Today on The Whine Seller, we are a little bitter. Well, messed up by the time change, feeling the starts of a cold and bitter. These things happen.

But a few days ago, on March 10th, eBay teased the following:

Updates to the unpaid item process; Unpaid Item Assistant available to all sellers soon

In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be making the process for handling unpaid items easier for both buyers and sellers.

Improvements to the process when you open an unpaid item claim manually

  • If a buyer doesn’t pay and you cancel the transaction, the buyer will no longer be able to pay for the item.
  • If you open an unpaid item case, it will be closed automatically when the buyer pays using a safe electronic payment method such as PayPal or Moneybookers.

Automate claims with Unpaid Item Assistant, available soon to more sellers
In the next few weeks, the new Unpaid Item Assistant will gradually be available to more sellers and we expect to make it available to all sellers by the end of March.

Unpaid Item Assistant automatically opens a case if your buyer doesn’t pay after a period of time that you specify. If four days pass without payment after the case is opened, the case will be closed, your Final Value Fee will be automatically refunded, the buyer won’t be able to leave Feedback, and you will be able to relist your item.

To find out if it’s available to you, towards the end of March go to My eBay or Selling Manager > Account tab > Site Preferences > Selling Preferences, and look for the link to opt in.

I read this announcement with great glee. I have had problems often where a buyer finally pays long after the claim has been shut and I’ve sold that item to someone else. In turn, it drives me nuts that you cannot file NPB claims in bulk or automate them so it’s like this update was created just for me. I even like that they will automatically close the claim after buyer pays. Good news all around.

(Well, nothing on this about my “buyer wants to back out” pet peeve but more on that in a future post.)

So yesterday, I was manually starting some NPB cases and realized I could opt in and automate this in the future. I followed their steps listed above and spent an hour pouring over the resulting page shouting at my monitor “Where is the damn opt in!” Turns out, not everyone has the option to opt in yet which, to paraphrase Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer, “This is information that would have been useful to me YESTERDAY!”

I have to wait to play with this shiny new toy. Oh well.

But those of you that were able to opt in, how is the new process? What do you think of these changes?