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 Useful Components

Useful Components

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 This, is Useful Components. I am an electronics engineer who likes to locate difficult to find parts for your weird electronics project or repair job. I also like accurate item descriptions, good photographs, and on-time dispatch. I believe that this is reflected in my feedback ratings.

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Useful Components Main Contents Page Useful Components "The Trouble With (i)bay" Page

Updated 04-JAN-2021 - If you're interested, you can now click on the nice safe ebay approved 'green padlocked' links below for the latest ebay "Fun:)"

Of course ebay, I'd love to upgrade to the new, useless, pathetic, ebay shop style, right?  But then you wouldn't be reading this page :)

I despair.  The ebay programming monkeys have screwed International Postage Rate Tables.  Obviously, sending to AUS is the same price as to the EU.  No, it's not.  Obviously sending to the USA is the same price as to Europe.  No, it's not.  But the programming monkey children at ebay think that it is.  If your post to Ireland and EU looks a bit expensive, it's because ebay is a disfunctional crap website that is in the process of dieing on its pathetic sorry arse.  Sorry about that.  From experience, I call it "The Nokia Syndrome."  Sounds like a film!  Meanwhile, economy overseas postage reflects an average for rates to all global locations with good postal services.  Thanks for that, ebay UK general manager Murray Lambell, who is "Responsible for all ebay UK activities," now that Robert Hatrell has been promoted to ebay europe V.P.  How did that happen?  Screw your sellers, screw your customers, just climb that greasy pole, eh Robbo?  Robert Hattrell did geography at Oxford University.  Goodness help us all, and the colossal mess that you've left behind for others to deal with.  Eh, Murray? :)

New Year 2021 thanks also to Suella Braverman who, as Attorney General in the UK, has ignored my notification of ebay system failures causing retail fraud on many repeated occasions.  If you want to read about it, copy and paste at will:)

I first started updating this page on 3rd October 2020 and gave up the will to live.  If you want to hear a fairly competent middle-aged electronics engineer having several entirely valid arguments with many, many, ebay customer so-called 'support' telephone liars, you can now follow the nice 'green padlocked' officially ebay approved links below.  What fun!

Ebay Customer Service Problems Navigation Page

Ebay Isn't very good when it comes to customer service for sellers.  In fact, they are absolutely awful.  There will be some more pages visible here soon.  For now, here is the sorry story of closing down my "Interesting Electronics" ebay shop.  This is the page that was placed on the front page of the shop for a couple of weeks prior to closure.  It was updated as the process went along and is shown here for archive purposes.

The Closing of Ebay Shop Interesting Electronics due to UK VAT Limit Related Invisible Sales Throttling or Capping Systems.

Patience ended.  There's no point in making life more difficult than it has to be.

Ebay, and Invisible Sales Throttling, Caps, Levelling or Limits Related to UK VAT Thresholds

Figment of a paranoid imagination or obvious mathematical truth?  You decide.  I am not alone.

30th September 2019, Ebay Loses Orders From The System and Blames Everyone Else

You would think that not losing orders in an online marketplace system is fairly basic and essential.  No, actually.  According to ebay seller support, you should expect this to happen.

1st October 2019, Ebay Remove Vital Functionality From Seller Hub By Way Of An Upgrade

Your new web page design may arguably be more mobile friendly according to several outdated measures in the Ladybird book of, "How To, Web Design For Kiddies," but that's not very helpful if it no longer actually works.

2nd March 2020, Proof That The Ebay Messaging System Lost a Vital Message and Their Pathetic Response

I've long suspected that the ebay messaging system has been losing messages sent to me from customers and vice-versa, particularly when they are using an ebay site other than  Here's just one example, and a recording of the telephone call to ebay seller "support," which did little to make me happy.  Quite the reverse, in fact.

7th April 2020, Ebay's Much Vaunted Multi-Buy Promotions Fail, Make Me Guilty of Retail Fraud, and their Pathetic Response

On the 7th April a customer alerted me to the fact that when he had bought four items, correctly using shopping cart and everything, that he had been charged the full price for one item rather than the multiple purchase reduction price.  That's retail fraud!  Here is the ebay response so far.  I've since added many more instances of systematic Multi-Buy Promotion failures, and some analysis.

28-SEP-2020,  Ebay Systems Fail To Apply A Simple Overseas Postage Rate Correctly, I get Blamed For it, and Effectively Called A Liar.

Oh dear.  It's the multi-buy promotions failure excuses all over again.  "You changed the listing after the customer placed the order."  No, I did not!  "Yes sir, you did."  No, I didn't!

01-OCT-2020,  How Ebay Tells Your Customers That You Are On Holiday and Not Processing Orders, When You are at Home, and Very Much Processing All Orders Within 24 Hours

For six days at the end of August to the beginning of September, Ebay was busy telling potential customers that I was on holiday on many of my listings and not processing orders at this time.  "Don't Worry," they said on the 'phone, "It won't affect your sales."  Really?  You have to be pulling my chain!

06-OCT-2020 Ebay Append Internal Computer Garbage to Customer's Address Line 2 For Their Own Purposes, At Everyone Else's Inconvenience.

This is yet another really awful software 'frig' to add some data to Royal Mail 2D barcode labels when printed via the ridiculously time-consuming ebay system.  I can only assume that some people actually use it, meanwhile the rest of us who print address labels by a proper method have to manually remove ebay computer garbage from the text.  Something is seriously wrong at Ebay Politburo Central.  Have we sacked everyone who used to understand the system properly and employed some cheap company to kludge every software change demanded by the marketing department for a whopping bonus?  Surely not!

Thanks then, Robert Hattrell, SVP of ebay UK, who is mentioned in many of those later telephone calls and who, "Leads eBay’s business in Europe and is accountable for all operations in that market."  This includes fraudulent retail price misrepresentation on a regular and ongoing basis, of which you were first notified on 7th April 2020.

Robert Hattrell
SVP of eBay Europe

"He is passionate about consumer sellers, small businesses and the role technology and eBay play in powering entrepreneurship and creating opportunity."  Really?  Mere 'passion' doesn't seem to be making the Oxford educated geographer grade for the leader of a competent online marketplace.

Ebay News

Please bear with me while while I spend about three hours of each day talking to the ebay village idiots on the telephone as heard above, and making sure that it is fully documented here.

Multi-Buy Promotion Offers

Multi-Buy Promotion offers are currently available on some of my listings when viewed in the UK, and possibly on some overseas sites.  It is not available in all countries for inexplicable reasons.  I would happily put a global multi-buy offer across every listing, and that is supposed to work in a given order of precedence if another promotion exists.  It doesn't work, and it causes retail price misrepresentation mayhem when applied.  There is also another nasty flaw.  At the moment, ebay systems are merrily turning my multi-buy promotions on-and-off, probably to limit my sales as discussed above.  If you view a page with a promotion and then ebay turns it off in the background, you might click on a reduced price for more than one item and be charged the full price.  I will usually spot this manually, but if you see this happen, please, please contact me via a site message.  I will always refund the difference but it might take a couple of days while I beat the customer 'support' telephone line around the head with yet another example of ebay retail fraud, and try to get the fees back on the refund to prevent them benefiting from corporate fraud.

International Postage Rates

Prior to a few months ago, using international postage rate tables as a seller would result in misleading prices being displayed in search results on overseas sites.  I first reported this as an ebay site problem about five years ago.  Yes, Really!  After much telephoning over months I was finally told it would take two years to fix.  It took five. The incompetence of ebay boggles the mind.   This was fixed recently however, and this finally allows me to send packets to Italy and some other countries with lossy postal services.  If the economy international post price comes up as £12.95 in the postage rates tab, you're in a country with a lossy postal service and unfortunately, it's the only option available.  A tracked, signed, or tracked and signed service will be used.  It's expensive for small single items, but don't forget it's a flat rate for any quantity of anything from the shop provided that you pay for everything together using shopping cart.

"Economy International Post," is now Royal Mail Standard Small packet Airmail.  Australia, the USA, New Zealand and many others remains the stated amount for any amount of anything, and is about 98% reliable.  You'll always get a refund if it doesn't arrive in 31 days but it's usually there within 14 working days.

Listing Title Auto-Translation

I've noticed recently that some 'people' in ebay upper and middle management have, in their infinite wisdom, decided to auto-translate most listing titles shown in search results on various non-English speaking sites, certainly France and Germany.  I can only apologise and assure valued overseas customers that responsible ebay sellers around the world are complaining bitterly about this stupid and useless new system.  I know that I certainly am, and I've recorded all the telephone calls for later publication.  It works particularly badly for many technical items and is likely to be responsible for a 50% drop in my overseas sales.   I swear, that if you have more than two brain cells and work in the ebay global management team, you'll shortly be sacked for being over-qualified.  Meanwhile, please click through the badly mis-translated titles in the search results, where you will probably find what you were actually looking for in the first instance.  Anyone can Google translate what you find there, but doing it automatically for listing titles via some translation company that you bought for a small fortune is for the management idiots who made a big mistake and are trying to cover it up.

As a last resort, you can always type into your browser and see the search results listed properly.

Hidden Restrictions and Listing Search Downgrades / Item Suddenly Unavailable

After careful statistical analysis of two and a half years of sales data across two ebay shops in my name, I'm fully aware of the system that frequently hides or downgrades listings, or causes unaccountable payment failures followed by a message to the customer saying that, "This item is no longer available," despite my being fully VAT registered, having approached the UK threshold more than eighteen months ago.  This is to protect ebay from being held responsible for the unpaid VAT of unregistered sellers trading above £85K per annum in the UK, which they are according to UK law.  The fact that this illegal cap stays in place on my squeaky-clean account must be due to its clandestine nature, or ebay incompetence in general.  If you have tried to pay for an item or suddenly can't find it any more, be assured that it is still there and is available for sale.  This applies particularly to buyers from overseas who might find that the item is available only if they type into their browser.  

The pointless telephone battles on these and other issues will continue.  I, and many other honest sellers are now failing to see any possible funny side to it.  If you'd like to contact me with similar well-documented experiences, you can do a bit of research for contact info or maybe see the image below.

Thankyou for reading to the end. 

Henry J. Walmsley.

Henry's email address


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