Bulk email for sellers of custom made items

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I’m hearing more and more complaints about eBay’s retirement of bulk emailing through Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro, particularly from sellers of custom made items.

eBay have upgraded communications to buyers saying “We know you’re busy selling on eBay, so we don’t expect you to email your buyers to give them general information. We’ve got that covered”. The routine emails such as end of auction, checkout and despatch emails have all been replaced with .

It’s still possible to add a message to the “Buyer wins auction”, Buyer checks out” and “Order update” (despatch) emails, but it’s no longer possible to edit or add any further automated or bulk emails.

In a way this is good, after a decade of buying on eBay I’m fed up with making a purchase and receiving anything up to eight emails from the seller – I just want my item to be delivered. However the problem arises for sellers who genuinely do need to communicate with their buyers.

Previously sellers of custom made items often used bulk (but manually sent) emails to keep their buyers updated on order progress. These emails could be for example “We’ve still not received your photograph” and “We sent you your proof but you’ve not approved it”.

Sellers of custom made items may have hundreds of outstanding orders, and each one needs to be handled individually. However it’s likely that at any one time many customers will be at the same stage of the production so in the past simply ticking the relevant records in SMP allowed the seller to bulk email these customers with updates.

The retirement of automatic emails from Selling Manager Pro also saw the removal of the bulk email facility. This had two benefits, the first was saved templates which could be selected at the click of a button, and the second the ability to bulk email a template to multiple buyers at the same time.

In messaging customers eBay have taken a step backwards. For routine purchases the new automated emails suffice for almost every situation. For custom made items sellers now have to use the contact buyer link and manually type, or cut and paste for each and every purchase. The only alternative is to manage communications off eBay through Outlook or a 3rd party solution but this means messages aren’t held in eBay My Messages.

The solution is simple, bring back the bulk email facility and allow those sellers who need to email their customers to use saved templates auto filled with buyer name and order details.

Automatic emails duplicating the same messages were a bad thing. Bulk emailing to update customers on a case by case basis is essential for running a business and the ability to use email templates needs to be restored.

36 Responses

  1. There have been several occasions when I have needed to create a specific message for buyers over the last few years and indeed when we had heavy snow and mail wasn’t getting through eBay encouraged sellers to communicate with their buyers. That is no longer a realistic idea.

    As a seller who uses Royal Mail PPI I had on one occasion a full bag of mail returned to me (a complete cock up by Royal Mail), but that’s another story. I needed to open every package and identify each buyer and once they where all identified I sent a specific message explaining the delay. Imagine the nightmare of sending the same message individually.

    To be honest recent changes by eBay, I refer to this subject and also the new SMP sold items screen are major steps backwards. Just who is advising the decision makers?

    Things seem to be getting worse not better and I find myself listing more and more on Amazon even through the profit margin is less so is the grief factor.

  2. The thing that concerns me most is that eBay seem to have lost touch with sellers. A significant part of our business is with eBay and yet I find myself moaning and groaning about it and all the stupid changes and wishing I could move all my stock to Amazon and abandon eBay. I won’t of course. Amazon isn’t perfect but they provide a stability sadly missing from eBay and Amazon CS leaves eBay looking like second rate amateurs.

    Why do eBay feel the need to constantly tinker with things – If it isn’t broke leave it alone!

  3. The feature to add a personal message to the automated email is not working. The buyers are not receiving the personal message that I have added to the general emails that eBay send out.

    To be expected really as eBay rarely roll something out these days for it to work perfectly first time of asking.

  4. For a company like Ebay to say you need to communicate with your customers and indeed a DSR rates us on it, this removal has caused us issues in the last week. Surely more communition is matter than less. I personally have an issue with being rated on something that is down to Ebay, and I have little control over.

    Ebay needs to review this matter urgently.

  5. We noticed our P&P DSR go up by one yesterday and after looking at all the glowing positive feedback comments, we decided to call eBay…

    The eBay rep said, and I quote: “A buyer can leave you a comment saying amazing postage, amazing service” but leave you a 1 for teh P&P star rating.

    I said that I found it odd that a buyer can leave the lowest possible rating allowed, without at least a corresponding comment never mind a neutral or a neg.

    She didn’t get it, she said that whilst a buyer can saying amazing postage and service, they could also be very upset by the cost of taht postage….what planet do they find these people or are they so heavily brainwashed, they start to believe their own BS.

    It’s my belief that any 1 star rating should only be allowed if a neutral or neg is also left, at least that way we could see the potential issue and solve it by improving our service.

    I really am geting fed up with eBay more and more each week, even though we still make money by selling with them, I will be the first to raise a glass once their bubble bursts.

  6. I run two large shops. I’ll put it simply: Bring back bulk email, please!!

    Also, add an interim handling time between 5 – 10 working days.

  7. I like to e-mail eBay customers when I send them their items. I suppose eBay view them as their customers and want control over all e-mails. eBay seem to be making their selling plateform very unfriendly and arkward.

  8. “Ebay is just a platform”, so why are they dictating to me how and when I communicate to MY customers?
    I wouldn’t mind but the message we sellers can see (and allegedly “add message” to, on screen in the communicating with buyers section bears NO similarities to the messages being sent.
    I added a message to the ebay templates I was permitted to add a message to and these messages are not being added, so this new feature is broken upon launch, what a surprise!

    I did complain to ebay, but was told this new system adds continuity to the message thread of when buyers/seller communicate.
    ABSOLUTE RUBBISH! If I want to make sure ANY other messages I send are allocated to the sale/customer I have to add the message to the log myself!
    Before if I sent a message to the buyer about ANYTHING it was logged automatically.

    Anyway, I am resigned to the fact that ebay never listen to or understand any seller needs whatsoever.

  9. If you download your sales records from within smp, all of your email addresses, item numbers and descriptions are available.

    Obviously a little bit of tinkering and you have your bulk email back.

    Also consider clipmate, which can store massive amounts of custom boilerplate templates.

    When the sellers realise they can still bulk email, but have to take it off Ebay, then Ebay will have achieved the very opposite of what they intended.

    They have now opened themselves up to bulk emailing of clients inviting them to shop off of Ebay…

    They have shot themselves in the foot on this one…

  10. “The solution is simple, bring back the bulk email facility and allow those sellers who need to email their customers to use saved templates auto filled with buyer name and order details.”

    OH! that’s so not gonna happen!

    Anyway you should take every opportunity to cut ebay out of the selling loop, this is just another opportunity.

  11. I do believe eBay have indicated they will be removing access to email addresses from sellers, sometime down the track.

    Then what?

  12. Sadly one size doesn’t fit all, never has but this just goes over eBays head.

    I’ve added a “personal touch” to the emails but I can’t see what they look like as the “Preview” doesn’t preview my part of the message, maybe it’s not supposed to, who knows. Frankly I’ve given up caring about it now, if eBay want bland and impersonal then so be it.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if sellers had the confidence in eBay to react quickly to extenuating circumstances but they don’t and we don’t.

  13. It is even worse than I thought. Whilst going through this morning list of items to dispatch I noticed that approx 30% of my buyers haven’t received a ‘Payment Received’ email. So now it appears that eBay having assumed responsibility and control of emails are not ensuring that they are actually being sent.

    If 30% the ‘Dispatched’ emails are never sent – ?

  14. Another ebay balls up.You can’t make it up.From what I can gather it is a maturing platform that is loosing it’s grip on reality & is starting to weed out small sellers so it becomes a platform for the large sellers who sell the same crap everyday.

  15. simply use ebays Blackthorn program
    bulk emails are no problem at all

  16. dont use it then

    just pointing out its perfectly possible
    if its critical

  17. We’ve never had a low score for communication since DSR’s were launched, thats because we do it properly. God help us now.

  18. another reason for a bulk email option,

    we are changing strategy and are going to list all our items with one id
    we can bulk email all our customers on other ids to inform them of this change because we use blackthorne
    though if we did not it would be awkward

  19. so if ebay are doing the business
    why for gawds sake Do we keep receiving these effin emails

    “Could you please send me invoice so I can pay you”.

  20. same over here across the pond in the US. Shipping emails are not going out so now we have to cut and paste boy this new way sure does save time not

  21. eBay must be hiding e-mail details from sellers because all the big retailers that they have recently got on board must have only used eBay to poach their customers. All big retailers cut out the middleman and eBay are the middleman. This has to be the real reason for it.

  22. This is doing my head in. I had 24 parcels that were all due to go out by courier. The courier failed to collect due to his van breaking down. (A one off…never have they let me down in 3 years of using them. I want to email the affected buyers to explain the delay. In the past I could have just created a template and selected the buyers it was to be sent to. Now I have to do it one by one via ‘contact a member’. Thank gawd it was just 24 parcels and not 224!


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