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Spring/Summer eBay updates. Anyone want to comment?

Posted Thursday, March 1, 2012, at 10:10 AM

Upon initial reading, I did not see anything that would impact us in a big way, but after reading, listening and questioning both eBay and top sellers, I can see where the changes could cause issues. What's new about that?

The one thing that I at first questioned and now support is the 5 star rating if the buyer or seller does not have to communicate before the ratings are left. My initial reaction was that they were encouraging non-communication, but that was probably a result of the way it was presented.

Their (eBay's) frame of mind was that they were improving the DSR for sellers. Many of us, me included, commented that the buyer should not rate us for communications if they never had to ask us a question. eBay's change, in essence, agrees.

The caveat to that is that the seller must not initiate any extra correspondence either. We used to send an e-mail upon mailing that told them their Delivery Confirmation/Tracking number, thanked them for their business and ask for them to contact us if they were not 100% satisfied.

In the future, that will "unlock" the communication DSR and the buyer will have the option to rate us. Usually that is no problem except for when the buyer "never gives excellent to anyone" so they give us something less. Grrrr.

eBay/PayPal issues a note to the buyer with their DC/Tracking number as long as we have uploaded it. Do it within 24 hours and you semi-lock the shipping time DSR as well. I say semi-lock because it still needs to arrive in eBay's projected time frame or the DSR becomes unlocked and they can leave anything they want.

It was en education for some of the eBay folks that stamp, postcard and other lightweight items will have to up-charge shipping to provide delivery confirmation in order to maintain their DSR status. Many thought that would knock them out of competition and unfairly penalizes the buyer, who ultimately pays.

I could go on but, any thoughts?

Showing comments in chronological order
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eBay favors the larger sellers too much, they've been losing smaller sellers for years because of the changes they've made. Of course, don't forget to credit the scammers with making ebay a less enjoyable place because of all of the rules, scrambled usernames on bid pages, etc.

Anyway, as far as saving/buying on eBay goes:

If you send the seller a question about an item, find another of their listings, and send the question from that item page, rather than from the one that you actually want. This will add a little bit of work for the seller, if they want to add the question/answer to the item description page that you are actually interested in.

If you see an item that you want listed in auction format, send the seller a message asking if they will accept $x to end the auction early and sell the item to you. May be telling them that they would not have to wait as long to get their money (they would probably know that, but it still might help). If that does not work, use a sniping service such as Bidball.com to bid for you. It'll bid in the last few seconds, helping you to save money and avoid shill bidding.

Use a site like Ebuyersedge.com to set up saved searches. You'd get an e-mail whenever a match is listed. Especially good for "Buy It Now"s priced right.

If the item that you are looking for is difficult to spell, try a misspelling search site like Typojoe.com to hopefully find some deals with items that have main keywords misspelled in the title. Other interested buyers might never see them. Then, if the item is listed an auction format, after a few days of no bids (hopefully anyway) send the seller and offer to end the auction early and sell the item to you. They may worry that no one is interested, and take whatever they can get.

-- Posted by George513 on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 4:44 PM

George513, I appreciate your search for eBay blog comments and adding to the conversation, but you posted the same thing in a previous blog response so...., maybe you could respond to the post topic?

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 5:24 PM


he is a bot, he is posting the urls to gain traffic to his sites he is pimping. Look at the bottom of the first url, notice all of the sites are built in the same crappy amateurish way and all are linked back to each other.

Then if you do a search on what server the sites are on, they all point to the same IP.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 11:43 AM

Thanks EM. I figured he was up to something like that, but I can get lost quickly when trying to figure it out.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 12:32 PM


this is one of his comments.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Tue, Mar 6, 2012, at 10:48 AM

Yeh, I remember that one. I was wondering why he was trying to cause more work for the seller, but just let it go.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 7, 2012, at 11:44 AM

Ebay keeps making it harder and harder to stay afloat in the game. I spend hours at a time answering ridiculous emails, jumping hoops to get things out in their 24 hour time frame...including driving all the way to Nashville to drop things at the post office there which picks up until 8:30...and thanks to their new policy of charging FV fees on S&H charges, I have to offer heavy items for local pick up only which cuts my potential customer range way down in size.

I've been building my ioffer and etsy clientele and hope to leave ebay within the next year, because I'm sure they'll have even more hoops for us to jump by then. Ebay is so concerned with attracting buyer's that it has lost sight of its [small business] sellers. In the two years since I joined ioffer, I have now surpassed my monthly sales over ebay. I should be able to leave ebay even sooner than projected.

...that's just my two cents, having sold on ebay since 2003 and reaching a combined 4,400 positive feedbacks (with only 1 negative) and holding top rated status for the past year, and I am now at 4,567 positive feedbacks on ioffer (and no negatives). Best of luck to you in your future sales.

-- Posted by So_Sue_Me on Fri, Mar 9, 2012, at 12:50 AM

I have been looking for alternatives. Think I looked at ioffer, but worth a second look.

Rumors are that eBay is about to sink some substantial money into the market that got it going, One Of A Kind/Collectibles. Hope they are right.

We have been TRS for along time now but just lost it because we do not agree with the "free shipping" craze. We think out customers want to be able to see the price for the item and compare shipping costs. We also think they have enough sense to figure out which is the best deal for them.

When they rate the shipping costs and shipping time, they are really rating the USPS, but the seller is the one who suffers if they do not like it, so I do not know when we will be TRS again.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 9, 2012, at 4:39 PM

And, just for a laugh, some analyses of PayPal's "The New Way To Pay In-Store", PayPal Digital Wallet, PayPal Debit MasterCard, PayPal Here, PayPal Local and Watch With eBay ...


eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

-- Posted by PhilipCohen on Sun, Mar 25, 2012, at 2:31 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.