I had every intention of writing up a really nice post about how I really liked eBay’s new business policies but then they had to go ahead and piss me off. If you haven’t used the business policies feature yet, it lets you opt into account wide policies for Payments, Returns and Shipping and just input the item weight and choose from your saved policies for each new listing instead of writing everything over each time. It is a real time saver.

Or, at least, it would be if it worked.

I’ve been really eager to get my shipping policies set up because everything we sell really fits into one of three policies and listing would be as simple as just inputting the weight and then picking the right policy from a drop down instead of remembering to fill in every option each time. I sell a lot of small items (my people call them ponies) so I went to set up my standard “small items” shipping options as a policy for future use.

I create my policy but when I go to save it, here’s what happens:

eBay Shipping Polcies FAIL

The error reads, “Package weight is over the weight limit for service USPS First Class Package. The maximum weight is 13 oz.”

In case it isn’t clear what you’re looking at, it won’t let me save the policy because “my item” (which, of course, there is no item yet as this is a policy not yet associated with a listing) is too heavy to go first class. In other words, this policy creation screen is defaulting to some kind of super secret weight for this item that doesn’t exist yet and making determinations on how it can and cannot ship based on it.

Weirder yet?

I happen to have an item already listed that uses almost the exact same shipping options that I’d be putting into this profile so I went to that listing. And even though that listing is live with a shipping weight of well under the limit for First Class (2 oz to be exact) and First Class as an active option I get the exact same error and it won’t let me edit or save that shipping profile on the live listing.

So this phantom weight is so pervasive that it somehow supersedes the actual weight of a listed item.

Wait for it. It gets dumber.

It also won’t let me save a policy that includes anything International Flat Rate, throwing up, “Package weight is over the weight limit for service USPS First Class Mail Intl / First Class Package Intl Service. The maximum weight is 4 lbs.” Now, 4 pounds is also the limit for domestic flat rate and it isn’t giving me an error when I save a policy with any of those options which means that there are actually two super secret BS weights at play here. A phantom weight of over 13 but under 4 pounds for domestic and another phantom weight of over 4 pounds of international.

This nonsense happens on the live listing too.

eBay Shipping Polcies FAIL part 2

Busted, yo.

Now here comes the real kicker. Once you opt into these business policies, you’re stuck with them site wide. So, if I want to list something and offer domestic first class or international flat rate, I literally can’t right now because it won’t let me save any policy that includes any of those options. It gives me that error and that’s just it, I can’t proceed. My only option would be to opt back out of site wide policies and then go back and add manual shipping policies to all the listings I just did which would make me very cross.

What would opting out do to the live listings using policies? Not a clue. But since it’s eBay we’re talking about, let’s assume it’s nothing good.

Because I have items to sell and no time for this idiocy, I selected the shipping settings from that 2 oz item I mentioned earlier on my new listings. (eBay automatically imported it as Shipping Policy ReallyLongNumber.) It won’t let me edit that policy in any way but it will let me save a new listing with it which is hopefully a loophole around this issue and won’t cause my listing to fail which would, in turn, cause me to go on a spree. (What kind of spree? Not a clue. But since it’s me we’re talking about, let’s assume it’s nothing good.)

So, um, eBay, what gives? This is a pretty big bug as far as I’m concerned. If a seller didn’t have a preexisting listing with similar settings to use as I did they would be completely barred from listing a new item with some of the most common shipping options.

Have any of you encountered this issue? Have you found your own workaround? Please share it below.