Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

eBay Chatter - Feedback changes, etc.

Posted Saturday, February 2, 2008, at 7:55 AM
View 10 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • We do not ship until the buyer's payment clears, so.....

    Good luck with that, seeing how paypal is now allowed to HOLD YOUR FUNDS FOR 21 DAYS... Of course that's only if you fall into that "5% dissatisfied customer catagory". Which of course will be very,very easy now due to buyers ALREADY STARTING to threaten negative feedback for the sellers.

    The other side to look at is, as a buyer, you are simply buying ONE ITEM from a seller. Buy your item and move on. A buyer is not as protective to his/her feedback as a seller. Sellers on ebay, sell because it's HOW THEY MAKE A LIVING. It's extremely important to them to protect their livelyhood. Just a thought.

    -- Posted by danachris on Sat, Feb 2, 2008, at 1:57 PM
  • It is important to protect their livelyhood and eBay feels that this will encourage even better customer service to do just that. We are very protective of our 100% not only because we are a seller but also an Education Specialist.

    Apparently eBay has seen numbers that say the buyers are dissatisfied with the way we sellers have been conducting ourselves. From what we have seen and experienced with our students, I tend to agree.

    PayPal has always reserved the right to hold money in the case of a claim. We have had them do that twice over the years, but it has always been resolved to our satisfaction. We just have to cross out t's and dot our i's to make sure we have done it PayPal's way. At least so far, that has worked well.

    Grant you, the first time it happened, it was like a cold bucket of water. Luckily it was always small dollar and not one of our thousand dollar items. That would make a MUCH bigger impact.

    If a seller has 5% or more dissatisfied buyers, there IS a problem somewhere. That tells PayPal that there is more chance of a claim and they are going to protect the buyer first.

    Some categories seem to have more issues. Electronics, jewelry and clothing comes to mind. There are many new buyers who do not understand the system and more sellers who are less than reputable. It is a mix just right for disputes.

    eBay encourages us to notify them of buyers who threaten negatives in order to gain better pricing or other concessions. Save your correspondence for future proof.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Feb 2, 2008, at 4:22 PM
  • I bought a laptop about 2 weeks ago, the seller, stated it was a T42P. Excellent Shape, with a bad hard drive. I recieved it, NONE, the corner was cracked, it had the incorrect cpu, wrong amount of ram.

    I was ticked. I filed a claim after he wouldn't even say sorry. He then emailed me saying there was nothing I could do and to cancel the dispute. I replied, "The account I used was my personal account, my main account has over 400 feedback at 100%. I have used ebay and paypal for over 7 years and I know how to get my money after getting screwed. Have a nice day and remember, you can always resolve this sooner or I can just make sure that hold goes on indefinately."

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Feb 2, 2008, at 6:37 PM
  • I've been selling constantly for the past 9 1/2 years on ebay. In all that time I amassed plenty of return customers and have a perfect feedback record. That will change now. You see, I never gave feedback first - and that's because I wanted NO surprises. I guarranty my items 100 percent and have given plenty of refunds including shipping. I've bent over backwards to satisfy these customers so that they would return again and again and feel comfortable dealing with me. That will all be gone now because we all know there are bad sellers AND there are equally bad buyers. Honest sellers, like myself, will be punished along with the bad. To that end, I've closed my ebay store. My items are down to only 9 from the usual 50+. I've opened stores on Blujay, ePier, Etsy, eCrater and beefed up advertsing to my own website. This is not rare - this has been going on for awhile now among most sellers. They have seen the writing on the wall and so they are diversifying and becoming less and less dependent on ebay. As they leave, buyer traffic drops because 1) most sellers are also buyers and 2) many buyers will follow their favorite sellers. Instead of just looking at the surface of this problem - which is what I see you doing...get down in the trenches with us sellers - the ones who bend over backwards trying to satisfy customers...then give us an honest assessment of your thoughts!

    -- Posted by Patricia013 on Sat, Feb 2, 2008, at 10:52 PM
  • EM, I hope you not only get you money back but hopefully shut down a seller like you described. There should be no tolerance for that.

    Patricia, First let me say that we have sold over 2600 items on eBay, so I would think I qualify as a seller, "in the trenches with us sellers". We have a 100% feedback and always given our feedback FIRST!

    You sound emotional about this so I will not beat this to death, but AS A SELLER we see issues with this, but overall nothing that is going to make us close our accounts.

    We certainly agree that it is not good to put all your business in one marketing effort, and mentioned some of our efforts in other posts. Thank you for the other sites to research.

    I am not sure what you mean by looking at the surface. By no means was this post intended to cover all the aspects of the changes. That is why we listed the links for other to look at and decide for themselves.

    Again as a seller, this is my 'honest' thoughts. Even though I am an Education Specialist, it does not mean that I always agree with eBay or that I am required to talk the company line.

    I have been in business for over 36 years and eBay expenses are minimal compared to doing this through a brick and mortar store. However, if you see no value in the eBay trading platform, I understand the action you have taken. It still has too much value for sales, internet search benefits and my marketing efforts for me to walk away.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Feb 3, 2008, at 5:48 PM
  • Not yet, it is still in the process with paypal. Only $316.00, but it was the principle of his poor sales.

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sun, Feb 3, 2008, at 10:57 PM
  • Apparently you sell as a hobby - I cannot believe you depend on sales from ebay or anywhere else. I've been selling for 9 1/2 years constantly on ebay. I've gone thru price changes and took it because that's business. I've gone thru site changes - so be it...but now they are manipulating sellers like sheep! Yes, I'm emotional about it. I'm a retired woman who makes everything I sell online. Still, I've managed to accumulate almost 3,500 perfect feedbacks. I have good customers and a small following. The problem is not my customers - it is not even the majority of buyers on ebay...it IS that one nutcase that comes along and looks for something for nothing. In giving feedback last, I've run across some of them - even ate a LOT of money by giving refunds. I won't have that opportunity if my feedback power is taken from me. You don't seem to understand the whole crux of the problem...its not the raise in fees - its the fact that ebay is taking away a seller's ability to give a neg when a neg is due! If they want to weed out bad sellers as they say then why aren't they going by the rating system THEY instituted? Why the DSRs and why now take away the ability to give earned negatives to a buyer? THAT is the crux of the problem and it is why so many people are up in arms and why its not about to calm down anytime soon. I am just wondering what ebay will do to try to get the next quarter looking good because its very obvious that people are closing stores and cutting down on listings just like I am. They are all out looking elsewhere. I'm sure they'll cool off and come back but in the meantime it has got to hurt ebay's revenue. Even the sellers who don't sell much are going to be in for a terrible shock when Paypal holds their money for 21 days. One hard and fast rule I've always had as a seller - nothing leaves here that isn't paid for!

    -- Posted by Patricia013 on Sun, Feb 3, 2008, at 11:14 PM
  • Patricia, I understand your being upset about the inability to leave neutral or negative feedback for a customer who has earned it. That was one of my first questions to eBay University. I agree that this opens the possibility for buyers to abuse their position, but it will adjust and as I mentioned, we always give feedback first and have not had a problem. To my knowledge, we are still able to respond to their negative or neutral.

    After working so hard, that first negative burns like a hot iron. We had one that was given to us by a person who did not know how to use the e-mail system and wanted to let us know that they had not received the item. THAT certainly got our attention, but we had tracking that showed it was delivered. As you can probably guess, it did not matter to them.

    Their first reaction was one of distrust and that we were sticking them. You can also guess what we had to do to get it withdrawn, but we did because we believe she really did not get the product AND we wanted our 100% back.

    At the time we had insurance as 'optional', but now we make it a requirement unless they send us an e-mail specifically asking us to remove it AND the item is under $10.00. We want to be reasonable, but we can not take the hit for the delivery service either not really delivering or the item was left outside where someone could steal it.

    What type of products to you sell? There are some categories that seem to have more problems arise. Some of our best Education Specialists, who have feedback above 6,000, still have a negative or two from customers who I refer to as 'angry folks'. They suspect the worst right away and are quick to throw out the negative. That was even before this new system.

    Evil Monkey has an lousy seller and is one reason we have 'angry buyers'. But does that not occur in person as well? I know I have been upset when I bought a defective product and returned it within hours of the purchase to hear, "That will have to go back to the manufacturer", or sorry we don't accept returns on that item. Even though it is local, we still have little recourse, unless we go by 'wild west' rules. Hmmmm.

    While I would not call our eBay sales a hobby, we are not dependent on that income alone as you appear to be. As far as sales elsewhere, that is what I do, I sell products and services worldwide.

    Unless you have very strong sales avenues outside eBay, I would not pull away until they are developed. eBay is still one of the major platforms searched by search engines. I use it to pull business to other sites, and promote services, in addition to making sales.

    I too am concerned about the statement" In a small number of cases (fewer than 5% of all payments on eBay), PayPal will hold payment funds until either the buyer has left positive Feedback or 21 days have passed without a claim." I have put in questions on boards as well as contacted PayPal directly to understand how this will be administered. I will let you know when I find out, but if you find out before then, please let us know here.

    One weak aspect of eBay is their communications, but PayPal is usually better, so I hope to get answers. I agree that if they are holding funds, then I will not release product either. Therefore, how can a customer leave a positive, if we have not sent their product? Something is missing in their brief description and I will work to find out what it is.

    EM, I agree, any amount would drive me crazy with that kind of customer service. It is not just the $316 but also the lack of use or resale deprived by the misrepresented product.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 4, 2008, at 6:28 AM
  • Patricia, From reading more details about PayPal withholding payment http://pages.ebay.com/sell/update08/rewardsfaq/index.html#27

    I don't see how this will affect you much, if ever. Your feedback rating and customer satisfaction should insulate you from this type of action.

    Please re-consider leaving the eBay fold.

    Bad buyers who abuse the system will be removed from eBay, and when they are removed, so is there feedback. A violated seller will regain their original rating.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 4, 2008, at 9:21 AM
  • Please read the first two posts here if you are concerned with the feedback change. http://feeds.feedburner.com/ebaychatter

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 4, 2008, at 4:50 PM
Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration: