This was a blog article we've decided to write which we have not taken lightly. We want to share our experiences good or bad so other people on the internet when looking around realise it isn't just them. We've spent a few hours searching the web and have found that we aren't the only people that this has happened to. We literally don't know what to do and have decided to just move on chalking this up to a bad experience.
Let's set the scene, we have always desired to expand our business and build up a bigger customer base, who wouldn't want their business to do better?
We currently have a very popular Etsy shop which is doing better year on year, it's been great for our book cushions and more recently our gingerbread people. We use Wix for our website and Wix has some fantastic tools to manage your shop and social media all in one place. We've been a very happy customer for the last few years although mainly ignoring all the additional bells and whistles the site offers and have been under our nose for the last few years.
This year we took the chance at using some of these additional tools in the hope of growing our very small business. Wix offered an interesting looking 'eCommerce Plan' which allowed us to publish our 800+ products from our handmade store on Wix to platforms such as eBay.
We discussed this as a family and decided that the £250 (ish) upgrade cost on Wix was a gamble but worth a shot, so we took the plunge and upgraded our Wix subscription to boost our newly created brand name 'The Nutty Squirrel' to eBay which boasts 70+ Million customers. All seemed to be going so well, the upgrade on Wix was seamless. eBay within minutes of the upgrade had some payment requirements so they did some bank validation exercise sending a small payment to our account for us to verify... We had to wait a few more days to realise our fate and soon to follow nightmare!
The payment landed, we verified our payments and off we went into the new world of pushing the Nutty Squirrel into the realms of a cool new eBay store and a slice of the 70+ million customer base. The next step was to 'upload' our store catalogue and get all of our handmade products into the eBay store. This was the appeal in upgrading the Wix store as doing one product at a time is a laborious job and therefore pushing them all across is worth the £250(ish) upgrade cost alone.
We pressed the big red button and synchronised our 800+ products... We then went out for the weekend enjoying this Spring sun and went for a walk around Stourhead gardens in Wiltshire. When got back in the late afternoon we had received an odd email from eBay which went something along these lines... We have suspended your store, please log into your messages to resolve the issues...
Worried as we are a family/business that sticks to following the rules, we logged in immediately and the detail wasn't very clear, frantically looking around their website/portal trying to find the cause.
Have we sent to many products in one go?
Did we list something that broke their terms and conditions?
Is it because we had the wrong service level with the eBay storefront?
We were literally unsure on what we had done wrong, so we raised a ticket to speak with a support agent. That in itself isn't an easy place to find on their overly complicated website/portal. After several minutes we finally got through to a support rep who did indeed confirm the following...
- Yes your store has been suspended
- The decision is indeed final
- And you cannot appeal this decision
As you can imagine we were deeply confused as all we were trying to do was expand the reach of our small handmade personalised gifts business to increase our reach and visibility to be a little more global so we can get our passionately made products in front of more people so we can grow from a small business to a medium sized business. Completely fair and reasonable with no intent to do any wrong.
The fact they state 'This decision is final' and 'you cannot appeal this decision' was bewildering and felt like we were talking to a brick wall with all subsequent follow-up questions. Our next question was just as innocent, can you give us some example as to why and what we have done? Their response was baffling, it went something like 'I'm sorry we cannot share any detail with you as that will help you circumvent the rules next time you try it'
Try what? we don't know what we've done...
To top it off, they wanted to charge us £116 for listings and a service they didn't supply. Weirdly that figure dropped to £79 a few hours later and today at the time of writing that figure is lower again at roughly £49. We have no idea what is making these figures drop lower despite having a shop they have stated is barred for life and was live for less than 20 seconds, we are now unable to close the account they've even requested a copy of a driving license to close which seems odd if you can open one without it... BIZARRE.
The long story short is that we feel incredibly bullied by a major corporation to which we are completely powerless in fighting both financially and competently we are just awaiting the next stage in this very odd saga.
We are writing this blog as information for anyone else scouring the web who might be facing similar issues - You're not alone!
Our new plan is to continue with Etsy as they've at least treated us fairly and offer a very nice safe platform! and perhaps expand by using other means such as Google Advertising and perhaps facebook advertising! eBay or should I say Fleabay isn't the only platform out there and I'll be closing my personal accounts with them imminently.
If anyone else comes across this blog I'd welcome any suggestions if you've managed to get things re-instated, or indeed if you've managed to speak to a rationale human at eBay as we've only managed to find androids where 'the computer says no'
On a more positive note, we are beavering away at the Nutty Squirrel HQ trying to make some brand new products to further expand our range! please keep following our blog, liking our facebook posts and supporting local businesses where you can. It really does help even a little like goes a long long way! thanks for listening and keep positive
The Nutty Squirrel