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Tue Jan 29 2008 07:57:17

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

By: David Steiner

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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.

 

 


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Readers Comments

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Alex

Thu Jan 31 12:14:03 2008

What really galls me is the sheer audacity that the eBay execs have for us sellers.

They had to have known these changes were going to get dissected and revealed for what the really are. But they dont care.

eBay execs just have the "let them eat cake" mentality. I have heard other posters saying such nonsense as "I dont think if you are an eBay exec you would be stupid" I dont believe they are stupid. I believe they are the epitome of ARROGANCE and are very NAIVE.

When it comes to Auctions and selling it has not been eBay that has blazed the trail it has been the SELLERS! Without the sellers coming to eBay with their products and offering them for the prices that they do the buyers would never have bought and come back for more.

eBay is nothing more than a place where Buyers and Sellers meet to conduct business. eBay tries and says listings are down. It wouldnt be because of eBays high insertion and Final Value fees would it? NO says eBay! It is because those bad sellers are leaving unjustified retaliatory NEGATIVE FB to all of "OUR" wonderful buyers and they wont come back to screw more SELLERS.

I have never left a negative first unless that person did not pay and did not respond. Period. Was I not justified in doing so? I have also left negative fb when it was left for me without justification. Is this retaliatory? I guess so! But who started it? The customer! By not paying and by not communicating.

I remember seeing on the boards eBay encouraging sellers to leave negative or neutrals to customers who do not communicate first before leaving such bad FB and now they are saying we did wrong? They said that would encourage them to use the mutual FB in order to educate them on the proper way to conduct business with a seller.

Hey if it looks like sh$t, smells like sh$t, feels like sh$t and tastes like sh$t, it MUST BE SH$T!

I still say that eBay gets a big fat NEGATIVE. Outrageous fees, terrible customer service and definitely ITEM NOT AS DESCRIBED.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Alex

Thu Jan 31 12:32:07 2008

I agree with tula on several points and I will expound on the FB principle.

While it may be true that Buyers are not rated on other sites and if you purchase tiems from Walmart, Target , Bestbuy, etc. online there are no ratings for buyers. But there are also no ratings for those stores on their site from their buyers.

If as a customer you are not happy with your purchase you have several options to pursue in order to receive a refund or exchange.

All stores have different return policies and it is  your responsibility as a customer to know them when you purchase.

You also have the built in protection when you use a credit card or in most of our cases Paypal. Fraud should not be an issue when you purchase if you pay wisely.

I do beleive there should be some sort of FB system but it should be totally anonymous for both Buyers and Sellers. Just use DSR's and DBR's.

The only negatives on a sellers account should be CLAIMS RESOLUTIONS. Either through Paypal or eBay the system is in place and can be tracked. It should be based on number of claims filed, those favoring Buyer and those favoring Seller. Claims where the customer was refunded in full should not count. You could even expand this to the Claims current month, etc. in order to get a better idea of trends with a seller. I would not mind this system.

I know this would be a far more accurate picture of how a seller is than is occuring now.

Just because the color was off on those shoes in the picture a seller gets a negative? It's absurd.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Denise

Thu Jan 31 13:08:59 2008

Tula, I don't think you realize the gravity of the feedback issue. Most other sites don't rate buyers, no, but ebay isn't most other sites. No other site has been so rampant with fraud (on both sides of the buying/selling fence).

On ebay, sellers run into buyers who make unfair demands, who lie, cheat and steal just to get what they want. These are people of poor character. There are many of them out there, and things are not going to get better when those people of poor character are handed all the power in the transaction, without any risk to themselves. Many of them are angry from past experiences on eBay and if they are given the power to hack away at our business identities and reputations without accountability, that is exactly what they will do. It could basically become a free-for-all to destroy sellers' reputations.

Also, the interaction between the buyers and sellers on other sites is not as direct as it is on ebay. When buyers buy at other sites there is a different feeling about it -- more like they are buying from the site itself. On ebay, it definitely feels like you are buying from Joe Shmoe in Kansas. This sense of buying from the little guy as opposed to buying from big companies is 1) what has made ebay so unique and, at one time, wonderful and 2) what makes sellers such a target for scammers and frauds now. Little guys, like most ebay sellers, are vulnerable and will always be easy prey for predators. Just look at the animal world, or for that matter, your local elementary school. The small are routinely attacked and devoured.

ebay has, over the years, become an ''us versus them'' marketplace. It has become a very toxic environment in which to buy and sell. They can't step back in time and undo all that has happened, no matter what they do. And these newest changes are going to make ebay's seller's even more vulnerable to those predators that are out trolling for opporunities to exploit others for their own gain and profit.

Ebay has thrown us sellers into the wilderness, stripped us of our defenses, armed our enemies, and left us to be eaten alive.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Rgre428

Thu Jan 31 13:27:13 2008

I don't run Ebay but I do run MY business. I'm a charter member Silver Power Seller (I was already a power seller qualified seller before they ever started the program, so they sent me the certificate when the program began). Ebay has been good to me over the years. I have often disagreed with changes to the system and the constantly rising prices for selling my items. My response to this latest dumb ass decision is this. I will place a statement on all my auction pages that says- I WILL NO LONGER PARTICIPATE IN THE EBAY FEEDBACK SYSTEM FOR BUYERS OF MY ITEMS. IF YOU ARE BIDDING ON MY ITEM, KNOW UP FRONT THAT YOU WILL NOT GET ANY FEEDBACK FROM THE SELLER OF THE ITEM LISTED IN THIS AUCTION. AS A BUYER YOU CAN LEAVE WHATEVER FEEDBACK YOU CHOOSE ABOUT THE TRANSACTION OR YOU CAN LEAVE NONE. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR ANOTHER POSITIVE FEEDBACK TO LOOK AT AND ADMIRE FOR PARTICIPATING IN AN EBAY TRANSACTION BE ADVISED YOU WILL NOT GET IT HERE. THANKS, Rgre428.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Jan 31 13:30:30 2008

The inexperienced J. Donna Hoe is the poster boy for the brutal, ruthless, and borderline illegal business tactics being taught in MBA programs today and the self-centered, myopic business plans these conscience free graduates bring to the work place -- tactics whose only purpose is to raise stock prices however temporarily -- in order to cash in on stock options that chummy BoDs hand out like water.

These sociopathic wunderkind care NOT about the value of YOUR stock, and they care NOT about the long term viability of either the company or the long term welfare of its stockholders.

It's all about massive personal enrichment by internal manipulation of whatever necessary by any means necessary in order to sell THEIR stock options at a maximum profit.

Graduate from one of the top 5 MBA graduate schools, and you'll be able to write your own ticket for a six figure first job in management.

No matter that you haven't spent as much as one day actually working. No matter that you know absolutely nothing about the specifics and mechanics of the business that's just hired you to screw their customers.

Everything that J. Donna Hoe has done to date including the DSRs demonstrates his breathtaking, comprehensive ignorance of how ebay works. Donna Hoe's Supreme Arrogance of Being J. Donna Hoe and his accompanying aura of immeasureable hubris will be his undoing, and it will occur sooner rather than later because it appears ebay sellers will be doing everything possible to make sure ebay stock won't meet the Bear Stearns recommendation of $38 per share by the end of the year.

Of course there are still 11 months to go in 2008. But the ONE thing we've always known about ebay is their executives' uncanny and unerring ability to make WRONG decisions when it comes to the long term health of the corporation. And by long term, I mean years not fiscal quarters. But Wall Street can't make money with steady, modest stock price growth because their money comes from buying low and selling high constantly, and these business school trained pirhanas make sure they can.

Donna Hoe's decisions -- both those concerning feedback and ebay's typically deviousness when it comes to de facto fee increases -- will simply hasten ebay's downward death spiral.

Ebay's future will be similar to the distressed merchandise classified ads and traveling tool shows.

Let's all make sure that J Donna Hoe's tenure is as short, catastrophic, and career damaging as possible.

One way to start making him the Most Hated CEO in America is to hammer media about dogs and cats being sold for slaughter in China. THAT would be a good start for Donna Hoe, and a humane one at that for these poor animals!

Spend your Boycott Week off by deluging major media and possible sympathetic TV news hosts about ebay, work on migration, and work on your wesbite and marketing strategies.

Bur frankly, I think it's an unconscionable idea to neg sellers who continue to sell. First, they may not know about the boycott. Secondly, they may be dire financial circumstances.

To neg a non participating seller is an ebay style tactic, and I hope to God that we're better than they are. Except, of course, for ebay plants who I hope become casualities of the predicted ebay layoffs.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: dumpebaynow

Thu Jan 31 13:34:29 2008

Donohoe keeps repeating that all these changes are to make ebay a better BUYING experience. My question is: WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MAKE IT A BETTER SELLING EXPERIENCE? The SELLERS are YOUR customers WHO PAY YOUR SALARY. Improving the SELLING EXPERIENCE should be your TOP PRIORITY! In over 40 years in business, I have NEVER seen a company disrespect their own customers to this extent. Why should we give a hoot about OUR customer's (the buyers)experiences when you don't give a hoot about YOUR customer's (the sellers) experiences?  99 percent of the sellers out there care far more about the buyer's satisfaction than ebay does.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: tula

Thu Jan 31 13:38:39 2008

I do understand the gravity of the feedback issue.  I've been selling on eBay for over 5 years and buying even longer.  I do have concerns about it, but I can see how buyers would find it hostile.  I have hesitated in giving negatives to truly awful sellers for fear of getting negged in return, so I understand why eBay has taken this step.  They want to make things as easy and painless for the buyers as possible, which is a good goal.  

Am I worried about my 100% rating?  Sure.  But I'm being realistic.  In the real world, dealing with theft/idiot customers is just another cost of doing business.  Yes, this will make it easier for fraud to occur, but I'm hopeful that eBay will respond appropriately.  I won't know that until this goes into effect and I see how it affects my business.  Until then, I can't say for certain whether it's good or bad.  

Like I said before, I'm more concerned about smaller niche players being pushed out.  That will have a more detrimental effect on my business than this feedback issue.  If the marketplace for niche items shrinks, then there is less of a draw for those customers, which means less business for me.

I suppose I'm probably fortunate in that I deal in the kind of things that are unlikely to be targeted by fraudsters.  Those types would much rather target ipods or computers than old dishes or vases.  My only negative dealings with eBay have been as a buyer, not a seller.    I've encountered 3 or 4 bad sellers, but have never left a negative for fear of damaging my own feedback.  Having that prospect removed might make for more accurate seller ratings.  

I do think eBay should be careful about how much weight they give to feedback.  I'd prefer more concrete parameters, like those Alex mentioned, for anything that will affect the financial aspects of my business.  Low-volume sellers in particular could be harmed by malicious pranksters or competitors trying to sabotage their businesses, so I'd hope eBay takes this into account.

Basically, I'm going to wait and see.  If things take a turn for the worse, then I'll focus more effort on other venues.  Until then, I'm not going to feel paranoid about eBay being out to get me.  They're just trying to make money, same as me.  I may not agree with how they do it, but that's the prerogative of running your own business.  

If I could ask eBay for anything it would be that small sellers get equal treatment in terms of Paypal protection (not just PowerSellers).  We pay the same Paypal fees, so we should receive the same service.  

I'd also ask that they clarify their vision for the future of eBay and share it with us, so we can determine where we fit into that picture (if at all).  If they no longer want the smaller sellers, then we'll know that to start looking at even more alternatives.

Basically, I don't think knee-jerk reactions and cussing out eBay management is useful and it's not very professional.  We can hardly expect them to take us seriously if we sound like a bunch of whiny children.  :-)

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Justine

Thu Jan 31 13:42:23 2008

Please, does anyone know how to set up a website where we could form a Seller's Coalition? Kind of like a union?  This is what I'm thinking- A few of us have mentioned blocking any buyer who leaves a neg for a seller as a way of making the buyers think twice before doing it.  Someone also mentioned stating this on all our listings.  What we need is a central location where we can all go and list and view the user IDs of buyers who leave negs, so then we can block them and also warn other sellers.  This would have a similar "stifle" effect on the buyers that taking away the seller's ability to leave negs has on the sellers.  Then we'd be back to BOTH sides having to consider carefully before negging. It will render the FB system even more useless, if that's possible.  Even for all those who are leaving ebay, myself included, we might as well do as much damage as we can on the way out.  Got nothing to lose, right?

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Jan 31 13:43:10 2008

To Rgre428:

Your feedback statement will last about five minutes. Ebay will make you remove it under their free speech suppressing "gratuitous comments" policy which translated from ebayese means anything renmotely hostile or negative about ebay in a product description.

What might escape their notice is something like:

"I no longer participate in the feedback program. If you require feedback as a post sale requirement, then please shop elsewhere. But first, I hope you'll email me for the reasons why I don't participate because the reasons are just as much as much for your benefit as for mine."

Simply write a paragraph explaining the reasons why, save it as Template in your email program, and send it everytime someone asks. Be sure to mention that the fraud the new system has created is causing sellers by the thousands to leave ebay everyday for Amazon, ibid, Bidville, ioffer, etc. and more importantly, makes everything a buyer buys on ebay 20% to 25% more expensive than it needs to be.

Ebay doesn't like free speech. That's why they remove threads not to their liking from Discussion Boards and why they end listings with "gratuitous comments" in them if they're discovered by the omniscient ebay trolls.

The simple truth is that truth is the biggest enemy ebay has.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: JoeJoeJoe

Thu Jan 31 13:50:27 2008

Below is what ebay's spokesman has to say about all of us and our reaction to these changes... this came from the AP article (full url below)

''EBay said the changes were designed to boost listings, which have stagnated in recent years. The company is accustomed to a ''vocal'' and ''passionate'' seller community, company spokesman Usher Lieberman said.''

Full article can be seen here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,326686,00.html


Not surprising that it doesn't seem to bother them. They KNOW we won't leave because we have nowhere else to go.

Yes, we are vocal. But it is not because we are a uniformly quirky bunch, as they seem to imply. It is because we are watching our livelihoods being flushed down the toilet and we have no power to do anything about it.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Jilly

Thu Jan 31 14:08:58 2008

Thats me I'm totally done with ebay I'm off to tazbar  ....

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Alex

Thu Jan 31 14:24:19 2008

You better really watch out when you sell high end items. Paypal will hold your money and if it turns into a fraud too bad. You are out your product and the scammer can even leave you negative FB to boot.

I think we should all update our About me pages with links to our website and other auction sites. That is legal I believe. Even state that they can find more and better items on these other sites as it has become too expensive to do business on ebay. Stress how that the customer has the same built in protections by using paypal or even google on the other sites and they are just as protected purchasing from you on the other sites as they are on ebay who provides customers no protection whatsoever.

Can anyone tell us if this is okay per eBay rules to do on their about me page?

eBay gets a big fat NEGATIVE. Outrageous fees, terrible customer service and definitely ITEM NOT AS DESCRIBED.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Alex

Thu Jan 31 14:41:55 2008

I would also urge everyone of your customers to buy your stuff on the other sites and with every purchase put a letter in the package detailing where you can be found and at lower prices, etc.

eBay gets a big fat NEGATIVE. Outrageous fees, terrible customer service and definitely ITEM NOT AS DESCRIBED.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Denise

Thu Jan 31 14:43:58 2008

People, we can't be naive about this if we want to get anything done.

When the 18th - 25th comes around we either boycott or we don't. If we don't, then we are just giving in to ebay (which is what they expect us to do anyway -- that's why they release these news statements so early; so that we will get our whining out of the way and be done with it, and then be complacent when the changes arrive).

If we do boycott, then there's no point in a small few of us boycotting. It won't even make a dent. It would be laughable. And some sellers WILL exploit that time period to list even more items on ebay because they know that a lot of their competition will be out of the way, boycotting.

So to sum up the first two options: 1) we don't bother boycotting and just accept ebay's changes or 2) a few of us boycott pointlessly while ebay sits back and laughs at us.

The ONLY OTHER OPTION is to put pressure on ALL sellers to refrain from listing during the boycott week. Having enough sellers boycotting is the only way to make an impact on ebay. I don't want to neg anybody -- I hate the idea. I don't even want to THREATEN to neg anybody. I think it sucks. But the threat still has to be there or there's no point in going forward.

Again, it is not a pleasant situation -- it is certainly not ideal -- but it is naive and pointless for a small minority to go ahead with a boycott if other sellers are going to continue listing -- and especially if some sellers are going to take advantage of the situation by increasing their listings during the boycott... and some will.

As for needing to list that week for income reasons, if the financial need is that great, double your listings the week before or list somewhere else, or run shorter auctions afterward. Those options may not be great but they are something. And again, losing one week of listing to a boycott is far better than what you will likely lose later if ebay's changes are implemented.

So the question is: DO WE BOYCOTT? or DO WE NOT BOTHER? What are people planning to do at this point?

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Alex

Thu Jan 31 14:54:16 2008

What is really wrong with the paypal system is paypal not honoring our return policies. You can sell custom software that can easily be copied. You state in your listing NO RETURNS, EXCHANGE FOR DEFECTIVE ONLY and paypal overrides that. Many customers know that all they have to do is send it back with delivery confirmation, claim item not as described and they will get their money back, including the shipping! What kind of fair system is that? Does Microsoft allow anyone to buy their software from any vendor using Paypal? I would think not as under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will Microsoft refund your money. they will replave a defective software but no refund at all. I would like to see Paypal fight with Microsoft over that one. The same goes with movies or music cd's. Talk about a HUGE LOOPHOLE that paypal has for copying movies, music and software! And the buyer only has the return shipping cost to pay.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Polly

Thu Jan 31 15:01:23 2008

I'm a powerseller, but a small one because I sell niche items -- antique books, which take a long time to list as each is different and requires numerous photos and a lot of description (from the title page and contents). I have 1 negative out of nearly 600 fb -- that's 99.8%. I work hard at customer service. I try to make every transaction a postive one for the buyer. But I'm only a little guy so just 1 neg from a buyer and I will be below the threshold for ebay's new ''seller benefits'' and therefore less visible to buyers. I didn't used to worry about negative feedback too badly because I sold exceptional quality and offered friendly, excellent customer service. But that isn't going to matter anymore, I'm afraid. Our feedback will no longer be based on anything that we can control.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Justine

Thu Jan 31 15:03:21 2008

I am definitely boycotting Feb 18-25. I will not sell or buy and my store will be on vacation.
I am also in my 3rd day of my own week-long boycott.  I have been using the time constuctively to research the following alternatives.  There is something out there for everyone no matter what you sell.  Thank you so much to all who have posted alternate venues and sorry if I missed any:
Amazon.com
ioffer.com
ola.com (online auction sites)
ubid.com
bidville.com
ecrater.com
rubylane.com
b
idz.com
pricegrabber.com
wagglepop.com

Most
of these are NO fee or LOW fees. Most give you the option of opening a store or include a free one. Some are for new items only, but some include vintage and antiques.  I'm sure there are some I missed.
Let's use this downtime constructively, people. Many of these sites have the potential to be serious competition for ebay if we take our business to them and ditch ebay. Ebay is not the only game in town.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Polly

Thu Jan 31 15:04:30 2008

>eBay gets a big fat NEGATIVE. Outrageous fees, terrible customer service and definitely ITEM NOT AS DESCRIBED.

I second that!

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: john

Thu Jan 31 15:08:07 2008

Just another typical ebay bright idea on how to get rid of the professional sellers. they wont stop untill no sellers are left, I suppose then, they will charge the buyers a fee to log in and see nothing for sale.  Do what I did. I got off ebay over 12 months ago, saved myself £525 a month in fees, the best thing I have done in years, had to work harder to achieve the same sales on a specialist website selling collectables, but now im up to the same volume and expanding all the time. delcampe.net  fees £200 for the same volume, incidently the £525 will increase to &725 from feb on ebay.
ebay trying to pull the wool over your eyes with headline fee reductions. small print says you pay 30%-40% more at the end of the sale in total .
I guess meg pressed the auto-distruct button on her way out. 10 years, 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 poof! . ebay no-more

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

by: Denise

Thu Jan 31 15:27:47 2008

We could possibly do web rings too.

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