eBay Finally Working On Fix For App Glitch That Falsely Shows Free Shipping

Image courtesy of Kazuhisa OTSUBO

When an eBay seller posts an item up for sale, they have the option of calculating shipping costs so that potential buyers will have a fairly accurate idea of how much their total bill will be before purchasing. But that feature is fairly worthless when the shipping costs don’t actually show up on the product page. And that’s exactly what sellers say is happening when using the company’s mobile app. 

eBay sellers say that they’ve had to deal with a glitch in the company’s mobile app that prevents the shipping costs for an item from appearing on the product page until after bidding for the item has been completed.

This issue, they say on forums for the company, has caused friction between sellers and buyers – with buyers accusing the sellers of trying to eke out more money, and sellers claiming buyers are just looking for free shipping.

“Of course buyer’s were mad if the seller tried to point out the listing did have shipping,” one eBay user says in a community chat. “Total fiasco. Sounds like somebody in IT hung a bag on the side.”

“My buyers using the eBay app are being shown free shipping through the app which is not what my actual listing states,” another seller writes. “Then when they go to pay, they message me asking me why they’re being charged shipping. It makes me look like I’m doing something shady. So frustrated.”

User issues with the app appear to go back at least a year, with one poster recounting in 2015 that when a recent auction ended he noticed the shipping cost was replaced with a dash mark.

“This is a glitch with the mobile version of the website and not the first time the has happened to me,” the seller said. “The buyer is not going to want to pay the difference because eBay told them it would be free.”

In some cases, the sellers have chosen to eat the costs of the shipping rather than pass it on to buyers who would also be blindsided by the costs.

“I sold an item that weighs over 25 pounds and I did custom weight type and everything, double checked it before hitting the list button,” another seller posted in 2015. “It so now I have to honor the sale and lose $60-plus to ship the item because of some outlandish eBay glitch.”

Some users believe the glitch is the result of poorly written code in the app. If a seller mistakenly change one shipping type or point, it will reset all the data without notifying the user.

“The only way to be sure is to preview the listing and confirm that everything is ok,” a seller said in the forum.

Consumerist reached out to eBay about the supposed glitch. We’ll update this post when we hear back.

For now, an eBay employee updated sellers on the community forum Wednesday, indicating that the company was aware that the app can incorrectly show free shipping in accepted offers.

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“The mobile team is testing the fix today,” the employee said. “If all goes well, the fix should be released within the week.”

It’s unclear if the fix worked, or when it could be implemented.