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AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Tue Jan 29 2008 07:57:17

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

By: David Steiner
Sponsored Link

Feedback on eBay certainly has taken a few left turns since Pierre's initial concept that allowed trading partners to rate each other. In probably the most dramatic deviation, Sellers will no longer be allowed to leave Negative or Neutral feedback for Buyers. There are some other changes, which can be found here: http://pages.ebay.com/services/forum/new.html but this is the most interesting paragraph:

What changes are being made to the eBay Feedback system?

There are five key elements to the new Feedback system being introduced in the first half of 2008:

   1. Beginning in February, buyers and sellers will be able to earn up to one Feedback per week from the same trading partner. Today, members may only affect each other's Feedback scores one time, regardless of the number of transactions between the parties. This change will both encourage repeat transactions and reward good service.
   2. Sellers will no longer be able to leave negative or neutral Feedback for buyers. This change will occur in May, 2008.
   3. Removal of negative and neutral Feedback left by members who are suspended or who fail to respond to the Unpaid Item Process (UPI).
   4. Positive Feedback percentage will be based on the past 12 months of Feedback, rather than lifetime, since it is most indicative of the seller's recent performance.
   5. Restrictions on when Feedback can be left:
          * Buyers must wait three days before leaving negative or neutral Feedback
          * Instead of 90 days, members will be able to leave Feedback for 60 days

----

We'll be speaking with John Donohoe later today, so if you have any specific questions, post them here before noon, and we'll try to incorporate the best ones in our interview.

Call 1-877-222-0856 and leave a 60 second message about what you think of these changes.

 

 


Reading AuctionBytes Blog: Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
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Readers Comments

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Donna
       
Wed Jan 30 17:28:14 2008
Not being able to leave neutral or negative feedback leaves sellers with no leverage. I have 4500+ 100% positive feedbacks so I know how to sell on Ebay. But, I don't back down when someone is being rude or unreasonable with me. Now to keeep my feedback I'll have to grovel to every person who acts like a jerk. I'll be checking out other auction sites as soon as I finish this comment. Ebay should have asked sellers what they thought of this stupid new rule BEFORE they announced it would be implemented. This is the beginning of the end for me. I will never leave feedback again if this takes effect.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Wed Jan 30 17:36:34 2008
Small to mid-size sellers: Here's how to neutralize at least some potential buyer fraud and Donna Hoe's free shipping scam:

1. Don't enter shipping charges on the listing form and put them in the product description instead. Disable ebay checkout and send invoices manually. If ebay forces numbers to be entered in the shipping charge boxes, then enter a string of zeros, and the first sentence in bold, capital letters of the product description are the shipping costs OR add a custom detail in Item Specifics with the shipping/insurance/signature confirmation costs.

2. Require signature confirmation on all orders from new customers or customers you've had past problems with and explain why in a tactful way.

3. Block every buyer who requests a discount or "best price" and tell them why. It won't take many times before they won't be asking anymore and will pay sellers' listing price or bid. Also report EVERY one to them for attempting to solicit an off ebay transaction.

3. Since USPS no longer requires a signature for items $200 and less, use a third party insuror like UPIC (which has horrible customer service) or DSI (which has good customer service). These guys can reduce your insurance costs by as much as 60%. Endicia uses UPIC so unless Endicia offers other things of interest to or can offer you a lower rate than UPIC will directly, then my advice is sign up with DSI.

Ebasy executives couldn't recover from The Great 2006 Store Fiasco which damaged EVERY seller on ebay but mainly those with core listinsg paying full fees while stores paid substantially less for the same visibility.

And we need to make certain that Donna Hoe won't be able to recover from these unconscionable, usurious fee increases and his scheme to defraud sellers by aiding and abetting larcenous buyers!



Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: Bidofthis.com
       
Wed Jan 30 17:43:41 2008
Select your buyer requirements. These include blocking buyers who:
"Have a negative feedback score"
http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/buyer-requirements.html
<
BR>How
does this make sense in the new system (as one astute caller in the podcast pointed out)?
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Empathy
       
Wed Jan 30 17:50:54 2008
Wow! Great insight Scot. I believe you did hit the nail on the head.

Ming: Kudos! I meant to mention your great posts also.

Ebay it's about time to cut through the crapmosphere. The reduced price listings will have little or no impact to the sellers. You could afford to be a little more generous and logical with your pricing structure.  After all your sticking it to the sellers backdoor when it comes to the increased FVF's.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: whyOwhy
       
Wed Jan 30 18:00:12 2008
That's 4 points, Ming :) And they're all good ones!
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Gold PowerSeller
       
Wed Jan 30 18:03:24 2008
Just cancelled my Shopping.com account. It was not a wise investment and another cash cow for Ebay. I am looking at Google Payment shopping carts for a second off Ebay ecommerce solution. Since I am a Google advertiser, alot of my payment discount fees will be offset. I have to do my little part and I vote with my wallet.

I can't imagine any seller being okay with this new policy. If so, can you please speak up so we can get another perspective?
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: whyOwhy
       
Wed Jan 30 18:04:01 2008
Ming - Hope you'll take your advice to some of the eBay threads where they've been chewing over what to do all day long.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Wed Jan 30 18:06:01 2008
From the AP story:

"EBay does sincerely want to compete. They are reacting to the competitive threat of Amazon," said Ina Steiner, editor of AuctionBytes.com, a trade publication for online sellers."

This from someone who says their publication is for online sellers? Yet I consistently see them publishing self serving ebay press releases and responses from PR people with very little NO critical appraisal of the comments. And certainly never holding enay's greedy feet to the fire.

Someone please explain how Auctionbytes is any different than the mainstream media whose mission is to promote the interests of big corporations.

Ebay isn't interested in "competing." Ebay management is interested in doing whatever is necessary to increase the price of ebay stock as quickly as possible so they can maximize the value their stock options and retire as millionaires or billionaires. They could care less about the long term health of the company or the stockholders. It's all about personal enrichment.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Jon Saalberg
       
Wed Jan 30 18:07:55 2008
These are shortsighted policy changes that ensure eBay will have a bad 2008.

Who protects sellers against buyers who:

Expect an item in three days?
Complain about shipping fees that are clearly stated in the auction?
Complain about an item that is clearly described and has a good photo?

The answer, apparently, is no one. eBay is foolish to take buyers over sellers. They don't realize that they are losing, and will continue to lose sellers with such anti-seller policies
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Wed Jan 30 18:15:19 2008
go to http://ola.com/

and start listing now. Only $8.00 month no fvf's.

seems to be a lot on there.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Just Another Ebay Victim
       
Wed Jan 30 18:39:32 2008

*** HERE'S HOW TO PUT A LEASH ON EBAY: ***

1) WE NEED TO ALERT THE MEDIA. They need to know what eBay is doing, and how eBay's sellers are responding to it. If the news programs receive enough emails indicating a revolt against ebay, including a planned boycott, they WILL be interested.

This is also important as any press we receive will help to make other sellers aware of what's happening. And it certainly won't hurt us if this encourages other companies out there to pursue the development of an auction site that would compete against eBay. WE NEED the auction business to NOT be a monopoly. That is what is in OUR best interests.

Contact FOX NEWS and NBC NEWS here:

ureport@foxnews.com
Nightly@NBC.com


2) WE NEED TO MAKE THE EBAY STOCKHOLDERS AWARE. The stockholders are the key to getting through to eBay. Ebay WON'T listen to us but they HAVE TO listen to their stock holders.
The media will be very helpful with this IF enough of us email them to let them know about the situation. If any of you know another means of alerting the stockholders please post it.

3) SELL YOUR EBAY STOCK. If eBay stock starts selling, eBay will take notice. So will the other stockholders. It will benefit us in this fight AND it will also be a wise move for you financially as all these changes are making it quite unstable.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Justine
       
Wed Jan 30 18:49:07 2008
Strike! Strike! Strike! Strike!
Count Me In!
Boycott feebay Feb 18- Feb 25-
I will not list anything!
My store will be closed!
I will not buy anything, either! (Yes, ebay shmucks, I am a seller, but I am also a buyer!)

Attica!  Attica!  Attica!:)

And while we're at it Stop The War, too!

Weren't the 60's great? It's like a trip back in time! Go, sellers! Stop the oppression! Let's make them hear our voices!
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Wed Jan 30 18:50:46 2008
We are noticing that buyers are already becoming emboldened thru emails telling us that we have to give them s/h discounts etc.

We need to educate these buyers on what is going on.

Reduced products, reduced choices, increased costs for the products available.

We can start offering free s/h but we will charge an additional $4.00 per item.

Customers are dumb. If a widget is $1.00 plus $4.00 s/h then it costs $5.00 total.

If the same widget is $5.00 with free s/h then then it costs $5.00 total.

Do they go around and say they only paid $1.00 on the first one and the 2nd one they got ripped off on. Or do they say They should have had free s/h on the first one as the 2nd one had free s/h?

Very dumb. You cant please anyone anymore. And it's only going to get worse if you empower them even more.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Rose777
       
Wed Jan 30 18:51:09 2008
Sellers may not be able to leave a negative/neutral to buyers anymore, HOWEVER, eBay cannot control our comments, therefore, when we leave positive feedback we could say something like:

*NEGATIVE* SELLERS BEWARE! NON-PAY BIDDER, DO NOT RECOMMEND!
or perhaps
*NEGATIVE* DO NOT RECOMMEND, HARD TO PLEASE BUYER, SLOW PAY

Well, you get my drift.  We can really help each other out by letting Sellers know how your transaction went with that Buyer.  If we put our comments in ALL CAPS when we leave a Negative/Neutral and leave Positives in lower case letters, it will help other Sellers be able to read the negative comments easier.  So Sellers, lets help each other out because eBay sure isn't going to.  

P. S.  Some posters on this blog may be employees of eBay......example:  near the top of this blog a person name Michael is most probably an employee of eBay.  No Seller, in their right mind, would be spouting such nonsense.  If the blogger is super positive toward eBay or is negative toward the sellers outrage over the changes, then you can almost bet the farm that they are a plant on this blog.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Wed Jan 30 18:56:43 2008
I say we start an eBay Sellers Coalition made up of eBay Sellers who are united on common sense selling practices and make up a huge block of fees paid to eBay every month. We have a logo on every item and a link to our by-laws and how to become a member. As a block we can mass block buyers by exchanging block lists for every problem customer. If a customer has a problem with one of us then they have a problem with all of us. The same goes with eBay, they threaten one of us they threaten all of us. As it would cost nothing to join and would be made up of volunteers to have a blog or something we would then shift a major group of eBay money to one. Maybe just maybe then our voice would be heard.

It's a thought.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Wed Jan 30 18:58:51 2008
I agree with rose777.

Anybody siding with eBay on this is either working for eBay or is just plain stupid.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Wed Jan 30 18:59:48 2008
PayPal accounts reps know absolutely nothing about these ebay feedback changes.

If you have a PayPal account rep, email them the link to this page.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Angela M
       
Wed Jan 30 19:09:34 2008
Okay, Alex, that ''customers are dumb'' hurts a little bit! I'm a seller and a buyer and I hope that I'm not dumb. Maybe you could say, ''some customers can be so dumb''. Sounds a little bit better. I'm upset, too, but better not to offend the customers, don't you think? Sorry if I'm nit-picking. I've noticed that you've been doing a lot of posting here and that you're trying to take a pro-active stance. Good for you and thank you.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Another Wronged Seller
       
Wed Jan 30 19:10:11 2008
Just when I think ebay can't make things worse, they prove me wrong yet again!

If John Donahoe is truly the ''mastermind'' behind the recent changes to Seller non performance, feedback, and fees ( as has been reported)than he has a promising career working at Mcdonalds!

These latest changes are the worst yet and are an insult to sellers AND ebay's own core values. Here:

About the eBay Community

The eBay Community is made up of eBay members, buyers and sellers, as well as eBay staff. The eBay Community encourages open and honest communication among all its members. You'll find that respect and communication are the cornerstones of eBay's dynamic Community.

( how is ''open and honest communication''  possible without an even, balnced feedback system for BOTH buyers and sellers? )

Community values

eBay provides the following resources The eBay Community is guided by the following five fundamental values:

   *

     We believe people are basically good.
( unless you are a seller. We can't be trusted to leave factual feedback)
   *

     We believe everyone has something to contribute.
( unless you are a small seller. We are not entitled to the new discounts offered ONLY to powersellers)
   *

     We believe that an honest, open environment can bring out the best in people.
( Yes, indeed. Scam buyers, chargeback experts, feedback extortionists, etc...)
   *

     We recognize and respect everyone as a unique individual.
( Not the sellers! Ebays every recent change has been a slap in the face to us)
   *

     We encourage you to treat others the way you want to be treated.
( Mr Donahoe are you reading this?)

eBay is firmly committed to these principles. And we believe that community members should also honor them—whether buying, selling, or chatting with eBay friends.

Ebay should try living up to its own community values and start treating the sellers with respect. Instead of treating us like criminals. Criminals that pay 100% of the fees to ebay!

I hope ebays efforts to enhance the buyer experience succeed. It's a shame that the only ones left here will be the buyers since any seller with any sense will be long gone!

Sellers, talk is cheap! If we don't follow through with what has been talked about in here nothing will ever change.

I would encourage all sellers to stop complaining about this and START doing something about it! Contact the major shareholders, managment, board members, etc... Also, contact the media. A flood of bad publicity will surely hurt the share price and that will get the attention of the investers including the large institutional ones who may have some pull with ebay ''management''.

Do something!!!!
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Wed Jan 30 19:12:35 2008
Another option for sellers come may be that no sellers leave any positive/positive feedback whatsoever for any customer.

Only leave Positive/Negative feedback for those customers that are leaving the Negatives for sellers. That way those positive/negatives will not get buried and only the positive/negatives will show.

This will become apparent to eBay then that their new system does not work.

Another problem in the eBay logic is their statement that they want buyers to feel more safe and secure with the sellers, and their buying experience. However with more customers leaving more negatives it is going to make more sellers look bad thus defeating the purpose.

Customers will see far more negatives on a seller and not feel as good purchasing which in turn means less sales and less money for eBay and sellers.
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