Top > PayPal & eBay Technical Problems

eBay update: March 2006 - September 2008

March 17: YET MORE AUSTRALIAN PayPal problems as reports filter in of numerous outgoing payments, that should have come from account balances and instead, coming from linked bank accounts. March 10: AUSTRALIAN PAYPAL USERS without a registered credit card are having problems making payments from their account balance. March 4: NUMEROUS PAYPAL CUSTOMERS have reported their outgoing payments, funded by a credit/debit card or account balance, have sent as eChecks resulting in delays in shipping. Sellers accepting PayPal have also reported a huge increase in eChecks volume, with a higher than normal percentage that are later followed up with a "this payment has been reversed by the buyer's bank" message. PayPal has confirmed the increase in eChecks results from a change in PayPal's financial risk module. This confirms our earlier suspicion that this problem is unrelated to the usual case where a customer was paying by an expired credit or debit card and their payment was converted into an eCheck/eCheque.

Sept 8-11: SEVERAL EBAY SELLERS have reported a PayPal database glitch resulting in items being shipped to the wrong address. The problem seems to be a disconnect between the eBay and PayPal shipping addresses and/or previous PayPal customers of the seller. PayPal was unsure when the problem would be fixed.

June 25-29: BANK REVERSALS CONTINUE to plague PayPal users mostly for US sales. The common element is that the funds originated from a US bank account and it appears they were reversed due to a PayPal banking interface software glitch. None of the disputed transactions were credit/debit card funded. Similar threads about bank reversals can be found in the PayPal forums.

June 19: UPDATE CANADIAN PAYPAL CUSTOMERS will be automatically refunded all cross border and cross currency transaction fees paid by Canadian users for USA purchases between October 11, 2006 and June 1, 2007. Refunds should be credited by June 30, 2007.

June 9: BLOCKED BIDDERS LIST are being ignored according to several reports from eBay sellers.

June 3: BRITISH EBAY SELLERS report problems with seller’s account balance due suddenly jumping in the amount owed. eBay Customer Support have confirmed the problem. This is likely the same billing problem that hit USA sellers late last week.

June 1-2: PAYPAL USERS WORLDWIDE are having problems with accessing the PayPal website. Buyers can’t pay sellers, and sellers can’t access their account to see which buyers have paid. It’s not just affecting eBay payments either - online retailers that use PayPal on their website are also reporting failed payments.

May 25: AN HTML INJECTOR exploit that attaches itself to MS IE 7 (under Windows XP and Vista) is believed responsible for a wave of phishing attempts on visitors to popular sites including PayPal, eBay and a number of financial companies including banks. A Yahoo search shows plenty of other PayPal users experiencing the same exploit. Norton and AdAware scans fail to detect any malware and DNS hijacked can be discounted since the problem only occurs with IE. Fortunately Firefox is unaffected.

May 22: US EBAY SELLERS are having problems with listing auctions if their seller's account balance is over US$200 and they don’t have a credit card on file. According to LiveHelp “these changes were put in place because of too many unpaid accounts by fraudulent members.” There is an easy fix - to continue listing simply add a credit card or an automatic payment method to your account. You can also make a one-time payment to reduce your seller's account balance below the $200 threshold (which was previously US$500).

May 20: INTERNATIONAL PAYPAL CUSTOMERS are having trouble accepting payments - they are being prompted to Add a US Bank Account before they can accept incoming funds of any kind. Most of the problems originate in Israel, South Africa and Malaysia. PayPal is aware of the problem but unable to give a timetable for a fix.

April 25: CANADIAN PAYPAL CUSTOMERS will be refunded all cross border and cross currency transaction fees paid by Canadian users between October 11, 2006 and June 1, 2007. The refund will be completed by June 30, 2007. PayPal cross border and cross currency transaction fees incurred after June 1, 2007, will not be refunded.

March 17: UK PAYPAL CUSTOMERS have been reporting problems with Maestro/Switch/Solo debit cards since November 2006. Most of the problems seem related to missing 3-digit CVV field in Internet Explorer; fortunately FireFox, Opera and Netscape show the field so it appears to be a coding error. In a possibly related announcement, eBay UK recently acknowledged a problem with sellers try to register using a Switch/Solo card.

March 8: EBAY SELLERS REPORT getting Fee Alerts in their My eBay inboxes stating that their seller’s fees are overdue (when they aren’t). This latest billing glitch only affects eBay sellers that pay by automatic payment from their bank account. eBay customer service confirms it’s an error and to ignore the messages.

March 5: U.K. PAYPAL CUSTOMERS are having payment problems when sending funds of any kind. According to an eBay UK "pink" Kim, the problem is related to the introduction of a new verification process for UK account holders, similar to that used in the USA. Other eBay forum threads reporting similar problems are Paypal sending limits? and Paypal not working.

March 1 - 5: PAYPAL CUSTOMERS REPORT a serious problem with PayPal generating payments for lost auctions bid on, but not won by the customer. This problem seems connected to doing multiple payments to several eBay sellers at the same time for auction purchases - they get cross referenced with other auctions that the customer had bid on, but not been the winning bidder. This perplexing problem would seem to be related to the eBay/PayPal payment’s database but PayPal customer service haven’t yet confirmed it or a fix.

February 24: BACK BUTTON PROBLEM with Internet Explorer browser has been fixed after weeks of frustration. This annoying eBay bug meant that MS Internet Explorer users could not use the back button to return to their search results after having looked at an auction, with the result, that many potential buyers abandoned the search. FireFox users were not affected.

February 20 - 23: PAYPAL LABEL PRINTING problems have been widely reported in the eBay forums. Most problems seem to be related to problems with PayPal reporting errors like can’t connect with USPS or being double billed for labels.

February 1-11: REPORTS OF UK listings not showing in search results on eBay.com and eBay.ca have been flooding the eBay forums. This was confirmed on January 31 by Jordan, eBay’s Country Manager for Canada, “We are absolutely testing different search results on .COM... if you search on .COM today you will find no UK listings as a result of a test that is being run.” Several days later eBay USA’s customer service responded to inquiries with, “Occasionally, eBay tests different services or features to help us better understand our Community. During the week of January 29, 2007, eBay will be testing a feature where items listed on eBay UK (ebay.co.uk) will not appear in (normal) search results on eBay U.S (ebay.com). Members can still choose to view these listings by selecting "Worldwide" as a search option from the search results page. Additionally, items located in the UK that are originally listed on eBay U.S. will still appear in eBay U.S. search results.

In conclusion, it appears that eBay.com (and eBay.ca) is testing how to prevent (or filter out) eBay.co.uk items from appearing in regular searches. Otherwise, when the new cheaper UK media category rates are introduced in March 2007, there might be a significant drop off in North American listings of CDs and DVDs. eBay.com was the only eBay site which by default include other countries’ listings. This move should come as no surprise, as there has been talk about changing over the past few years. Given the weak US dollar it’s unlikely this change will affect many UK sellers.

January 15 - 24: REPORTS OF PAYPAL problems are flooding in of being Unable to Withdraw funds or send PayPal payments for eBay purchases. PayPal reports that the problem is with their database and are working to fix it.

January 5 - 14: eBay’s crackdown on the sale of fakes and counterfeits is causing havoc for genuine sellers of often completely unrelated items. It seems that eBay’s listing filter can’t distinguish between stamps and handbags. For example when a well-respected Australian seller attempting to list a stamp, eBay’s simple filter detected the oft counterfeited brand name Celine within the title (bolded for emphasis), “Tasmania halfpenny sideface lined TAS specimen”. eBay’s filtering software then spewed forth this unhelpful message, “In order to maintain a safe trading environment, limits are occasionally placed on accounts. When listing this item, you may ship only to Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States. Please go back and exclude other shipping options. Click here for a window with eBay’s policy on replica or counterfeit items.” Fortunately, the seller was (eventually) able to list the item under an alternate title, but many other sellers weren’t as patient and have given up on listing their affected items. (It could almost be seen as comical if it weren’t so serious for the sellers affected.)

Here’s an informal list of affected articles gathered from reports on eBay’s forums and seller reports. Check back for updates!

Brands:

Abercrombie
Adidas (sweatpants, some shoes)
Burberry coat
Celine
Chanel (anything)
Chloe
Christian Dior earrings
Coach (fobs, keychains, purses)
Diesel
Dior including Baby Dior clothing
DKNY including Donna Karen
Dunhill lighters
Girard Perregaux watch case 
Givenchy Bijoux Austrian Crystal CZ Chandelier Earrings
Guiseppe Armani figurines
Hermes
Juicy clothing
Lacoste
Lalique glass
Lancaster
Lancome make up
Levis
Louis Vuitton purse or wallet
Marc Jacobs purse
Nike watch
OLD Tiffany jewelry
Ralph Lauren (some items)
Zippo lighters

Generic:

1940’s low dollar value books
Canada Post "Jacques Cartier" stamps
Jigsaw puzzle of victorian COACH
New and old clothes
Perfume
Purses and handbags
Railroad locks, Radio chassis
Shoes

Dec 4 - 24, 2006: YOU JUST KNOW it’s the busiest time of the year when PayPal customers are again reporting intermittent PayPal access problems when attempting to login, or send PayPal payments for eBay purchases. PayPal users are greeted with this helpful message: “We are sorry, we are experiencing temporary difficulties. Please try again later. If this error occurred while making a payment, avoid duplicate payments by checking your Account Overview before resending a payment. Message 3005”. No update from PayPal on when it will be fixed, but hopefully it’s just another temporary PayPal outage. Such problems always seem to plague PayPal during the Holiday sales season.

Oct 18: CAN’T DENY PAYPAL PAYMENTS from unconfirmed or unverified buyers. PayPal has confirmed that a software upgrade in mid Oct 2006 has ‘greyed out’ the Deny button for received payments.

August 8: PAYPAL DOUBLED PAYMENTS problems return. PayPal UK has confirmed that a technical glitch in late July 2006 caused some PayPal account holders to have money debited from their account twice, echoing similar problems PayPal UK had in September 2005. We recommend you check your PayPal account and notify them of any discrepancies without delay.

August 4: RESERVES RETURN TO Australia eBay auction sellers after an absence of two years. Unfortunately it appears to be a yet another eBay software bug and according to eBay Australia spokesperson Xavier, “The ability to add reserves to listings is actually a bug on the site and is being worked on by the engineers right now. This should be fixed shortly.

August 3: BILLING PROBLEMS affecting the July 2006 invoices have been reported and confirmed by eBay customer service according to several eBay PowerSellers and eBay Store sellers. No word on a fix so far.

July 14: A STORE SEARCH problem has been affecting general eBay searches, notably by dropping significant number of store items from results, since late June 2006 according to several PowerSellers and eBay Store sellers. As a quick fix - try revising your items using the Sales Manager bulk editor; part of the basic Store package (you can do hundreds of items at a time). Revise a minor element like “Handling Time” that won’t materially impact the listing. The revised items will be all indexed again and start reappearing in eBay searches.

April 24: MONTHLY SELLER FEE payment problems have hit numerous US sellers as eBay attempts to withdraw seller fees at random intervals without prior notice to those affected. As we previously recommended always pay your eBay seller fees by credit card so your checking or bank account isn’t inadvertently overdrawn, and never pay your eBay seller fees by PayPal as you’ll have no recourse in event of an error or mistake, since PayPal isn’t a Bank. Apparently this problem has been ongoing since January 2006 according to several PowerSellers and eBay sellers.

April 12: UK EBAY SELLERS have been reporting problems with the newly introduced eBay counters (which replace the free Andale counters). eBay UK engineers are aware of the problem. eBay Australia and other international eBays have or are planning to migrate from Andale to eBay counters. Andale has provided free, integrated counters for eBay sellers since 2000 and will continue to do so directly.

April 8: PAYPAL CUSTOMERS ARE again reporting problems when attempting to login to PayPal, or send PayPal payments for eBay purchases. PayPal users are greeted with this helpful message: “We are sorry, we are experiencing temporary difficulties. Please try again later. If this error occurred while making a payment, avoid duplicate payments by checking your Account Overview before resending a payment. Message 3005”. No update on when it will be fixed, but hopefully it’s just another temporary PayPal outage.

March 31: UK PAYPAL REFUNDS now reportedly included the details of the debit or credit card used to fund the original payment according to several very worried PayPal UK customers. To see the card details go to your PayPal Account History and look for any recent refund. Locate the corresponding inward payment and click on Details. On the Details page it will say that the payment has been refunded and give you a link to click on. That link will give take you to the transaction details for the refund; it includes the number of the card used to make the payment. PayPal UK customer service couldn’t confirm the problem.

March 24: SELL FOR FREE on eBay (according to a Russian offer)! There’s a Russian Website offered eBay accounts for $5 - apparently all hijacked eBay account; payment must be cash and PayPal is not accepted for some reason... in unrelated news there is a recently discovered PayPal security flaw which makes eBay and PayPal users more vulnerable to phishers since it reveal customer’s full names as registered with PayPal. This accounts for the recent surge in realistic PayPal phishing attempts using customer’s names. Apparently it wasn’t an inside job as many suspected, but rather just lax PayPal internal security.

March 24: SCANDINAVIA PAYPAL USERS report trouble with using Visa Electron cards; payments have been bounced or rejected by PayPal, but confirmed as pending by the customer’s bank. PayPal responded: PayPal accept visa electron but... your card was denied because the system could not verify the 3 digit verification number. Please contact your issuing bank for details. The three-digit verification number is called a CVV and is used by Visa to confirm that the card is in the possession of the customer - this helps fight online credit card fraud. CVV is also tied to the billing address of the Visa credit card customer. PayPal’s apparent inability to verify CVV increases the possibility of fraud for sellers accepting credit cards through PayPal. We will follow this story closely as it mirrors what other European customers of PayPal have reported for over a year now...

March 19: PROBLEMS CONTINUE TO plague payments of eBay seller fees by PayPal users; payments have been bounced or rejected by PayPal. The problems has been confirmed by PayPal who are reportedly working on a fix. As previously recommended, eBay seller fees are best paid by a regular bank issued credit/debit card or by bank transfer. Banks will take responsibility for late or lost payment, while non-bank PayPal can disavow all responsibility citing they are not bound by banking and financial safeguards.

March 9: REPORTS FROM UK users of PayPal have been flooding in about their new Chip & Pin credit cards being rejected when attempting to use them in transactions. Visa UK has confirmed that the problem is on PayPal’s side. PayPal UK has not confirmed the problem or number of affected customer (which is probably extensive given the wide scale UK introduction of Chip & Pin cards by MasterCard and Visa last month.

March 3: POPULAR BROWSER FIREFOX is having similar page loading problems to those previously reported with poorly-coded eBay webpages. We recommend you disable javascript until the problem is sorted out. It appears eBay has once again changed the shared javascript code base and released it before properly testing it for compatibility with all browser. Ask Rich R in eBay Technical Support about when the problem will be resolved. A quick check of the eBay webpages in question revealed they were not web standards compliant.

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