ChannelReply Blog

How to Solve 3 Huge Problems with eBay Messaging

Published at Mar 22, 2017.

Few things waste a seller’s time like eBay messaging. My eBay's inbox just isn’t designed for a high-volume business. Eventually, you find yourself too time-poor to expand your operation, or your profits get devoured by your support team’s wages.

Here are the three worst problems caused by eBay’s messaging system—and the solutions to each one.

Last updated 1/13/2020.

1. One User Account Fits All (of Your Employees at Once)


Every eBay account only gets a single login. You might have four dedicated support agents, but they all have to use the same username and password you do. This is a huge problem for the following reasons:

A. More Risks

Sharing your master account password with your employees creates an eBay security liability.

B. No Accountability

You’ll never know for sure which agent is sending which messages. You therefore have no way to distinguish the employee of the month from the guy you should fire.

C. Lower Productivity

One account for all means no customization for any. For example, if you enforce accountability by requiring each agent to add a signature to every message, they’ll lose hours typing or pasting it in time after time.

The Solution: All the Logins You Need

Having only one login raises costs and leaves you exposed to risks. Luckily, you can create a unique login for every agent. See “How We Let Multiple Users Reply via One eBay Account” for the solution we used for our own eBay enterprises.

2. Minimal Automation


eBay sends out a handful of automated messages on your behalf. But the 82nd time you get the same question about your return policy, you’ll wish they let you set up your own canned or automatic responses. The problems created by this lack of automation include:

A. Costlier Support

If you or your employees lose hours every week typing or pasting the same messages into eBay, the cost to your business is huge.

B. Slower Replies

An automated response reaches the customer instantly. A canned response takes seconds to send. Every manually entered message, though, takes minutes to complete and leaves other customers waiting for answers.

C. Lower Feedback

The longer customers wait for a response, the more upset they get, and the more likely you are to receive negative feedback.

The Solution: eBay-Compatible Customer Service Software

Integrating eBay with a compatible helpdesk enables you to use canned and/or automated messages with eBay. Zendesk, Freshdesk and Help Scout are three of the best choices for this. They aren’t free, but they pay for themselves in no time.

Canned and automated replies admittedly have bad reputations. Don’t let that stop you, though. Follow the best practices for customer service emails and they’ll delight customers instead of ticking them off.

3.  Multiple Channels, Multiple Screens

Multiple Computer Monitors

You probably don’t just sell on eBay. Many sellers use Amazon and their own website as well, and the more ambitious run multiple sites and use other marketplaces like Walmart. This forces support teams to keep several windows open, causing huge operating inefficiencies:

A. Costlier Training

It takes longer and costs more to train new employees to work with eBay, Amazon, Walmart, and one or more websites than a single support interface.

B. Poor Prioritization

The only way to tell which ticket has gone unanswered the longest is to keep clicking from screen to screen. That forces you to choose between making all customers wait longer while you click around, or some customers to wait far longer as you clear one channel at a time.

C. Multiple Archives

It’s easy to wind up with several libraries of canned responses. You might have an archive in Gmail’s canned response system for Amazon, another for eBay on Google Docs, and a third in a helpdesk you only use for your ecommerce site. If something changes, you can’t just revise one document—you have to make the edits in all three archives.

The Solution: All Channels on One Screen

Multichannel customer service integration solves all of this. Minimize the hours spent answering not only eBay messages, but emails from Amazon, Walmart, and your own online stores as well. Manage all your ecommerce support from a single screen.

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