Part of the changes that were announced this week involved how feedback is given, how it is valued and how it will benefit both sellers and buyers. As with most changes, there are pro's and con's but overall, my opinion is that they are positive.
For the full release go to http://pages.ebay.com/sell/update08/rewards/index.html?ov=004KM
The high points to me are that buyers will no longer be able to GET negative feedback. The reason? Too many sellers were abusing the system by holding the buyer's feedback as hostage until they received a positive from the buyer. I sometimes get disagreement in my classes when I say that feedback is due when the customer pays. It is no longer an option. The seller either leaves no feedback or it must be a positive.
I used buyer feedback infrequently, so it will not make a big difference to me, but it does cause some to be concerned that buyers will now mis-use their position, but time will tell. We do not ship until the buyer's payment clears, so.....
How feedback is counted has been changed and the time period used to calculate percentage rating. It is 12 months, so those who got off to a rocky start can look forward to improving their rating. The feedback comment will stay, just the percentage calculation will change.
There will be added benefits for sellers who maintain high scores. Their listing will have higher priority in the search process, so they will be seen by the buyer before lower rated sellers.
There are also discounts to sellers who have high DSR ratings (Detailed Seller Ratings) and are Power Sellers. I was never too concerned if we were a Power Seller or not, but with discounts up to 15% of selling fees, I will work a little harder to maintain it.
eBay Live will be in Chicago this year on June 19-21 at McCormick place. Hotels are expensive in the downtown area but Chicago has a decent Transit system so you can stay further out and still get in without too much trouble. Boston was a mess last year. Southwest Airlines has advanced tickets down around $90 round-trip on the internet. Here is a discussion board where you can get the details as well as follow chat about the conference. http://forums.ebay.com/thread.jspa?forumID=112&threadID=1000628958