Source: eBay and PayPal

eBay to Protect Sellers Impacted by California Wildfires


The wildfire in California has become the largest wildfire ever and besides the human toll and devastation, it is causing interruptions at all levels.

eBay has posted a note to sellers that are impacted by the wildfires and is reminding them that personal safety is most important now.

Here is the full text from eBay:

We are closely monitoring the path of the wildfires engulfing our nation. Sellers who may be affected, please stay safe and do what’s critical right now: Take care of yourself, family, and community.

If there is any disruption to your business, please contact customer service at 1 (866) 540-3229 to request protections against incidents that may impact your Seller Performance status. What this means:

  • Stock-outs due to fire damage or unresolved cases with buyers will not impact your performance status.
  • Your late shipment rate will not be impacted.

If you are able to, there are a few things you can do now to help protect your business:

  • Communicate with buyers whose items have not yet been shipped and let them know your situation.
  • End any auctions and take down any Buy It Now listings before they result in a sale. We will not charge a fee for ending a listing early.
  • If you are an eBay Stores subscriber, place your store in vacation mode and extend your handling time on all items to when you think you can get back to business.

For more information, read our natural disaster checklist blog.

If you don’t have direct internet access, eBay can help you make the necessary changes. Please contact customer service at 1 (866) 540-3229 and update them on your situation.

Soliciting Community for Help

eBay is also soliciting help from its buyer and seller community for affected families through their eBay for Charity program in raising much-needed funds.

Donations can be made from their eBay for Charity page to either the American Red Cross or DirectRelief, a California-based humanitarian organization. PayPal is processing the donations for eBay.

Tips for Sellers Not Directly Affected by Wildfires

In addition to the suggestions from eBay, here are a few tips for sellers that are not located in the affected areas but may work with vendors or customers in those areas.

  • If a buyer wins an auction but did not finalize the payment, look at the registered address and send a note asking if they are okay and affected by the disaster. If you do not get a quick response, be patient. Give buyers a little time. If a buyer asks to cancel the order, don’t punish them by registering an unpaid strike.
  • If a buyer near the fires complains about delayed delivery, remind them that shipping lanes are impacted by the fires. Just because they don’t live directly in an affected area, USPS, UPS, FedEx, and other carriers may have to work around standard logistics routes to move shipments.
  • If you believe you received a negative feedback or low seller performance rating for a shipment that went through or around the areas where the wildfires are located, contact eBay and explain to them the situation. Believe it or not, often they will work with you to resolve the issue (you may need to ask for a supervisor).
  • If you use suppliers that are near the affected California areas, you may want to reach out to them and ask about current shipping times and status. Don’t get caught out with insufficient inventory because your supplier cannot ship due to the natural disaster. This is a reason eBay will NOT accept as an excuse to protect your seller ratings.
  • And finally, here is a map of current active fires to help you identify areas affected by the wildfires.

READ MORE: Protect Your eCommerce Business for Hurricane Irma and Other Disasters

Are you affected by the wildfires or do you have any additional suggestions? Head over to our Facebook Discussion Group or use the comments section below.

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