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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.

 

 


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Readers Comments

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Jack
       
Thu Jan 31 17:33:56 2008
Folks, most of you are right. But it matters what you do rather than what you say. I am going to Yahoo and Amazon. Not overnight, of course. New fees and FB evicting me from eBay. Currently paying eBay 2-3k per months plus Paypal fees. This money will be going to a different pocket.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Thu Jan 31 17:39:10 2008
Manders: I dont see on the bidtopia site that they are allowing any new sellers. You go to the fees section and it says "Over 50% of our registered users have asked for
selling privileges on our auction site.

At this time we have not reached a decision whether we will
allow this function, and if so, if there will there be any fees.

Check back soon to this site for more information."

If they dont allow any new sellers what's the point?
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Thu Jan 31 18:07:26 2008
It takes many pieces of straw to break the camels back, but that last one sure did the trick!
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Lisa
       
Thu Jan 31 18:12:06 2008
I left a message on Bill Cobb's voice mail yesterday and got this email today.....

-------------------------------

Hello Lisa,

Thank you you for your recent call to Bill Cobb regarding the recent
changes to the feedback system. As a member of the Office of the
President I will be responding to your voice mail on his behalf.

eBay's goal for the public Feedback system was to provide an honest and
accurate record of the buyer's and seller's online experience to ensure
safe and satisfactory trade. This goal was driven by the desire to
create an open environment and to ensure that eBay members were
accountable for their transactions.

Over time, we have found that the open nature of the existing Feedback
system makes some members reluctant to hold others accountable. For
example, buyers fear retaliatory Feedback from sellers if they leave a
negative. Also, our data shows that sellers leave negative retaliatory
feedback eight times more often than buyers, often for no other reason
than to have a bargaining chip with the buyer in order to enter into
Mutual Feedback Withdrawal. Obviously that situation isn't acceptable
and changes had to be made.

Therefore, we'll be making a few important changes to eBay's Feedback
system, both public and private, to continue to improve accuracy and
accountability. Within six months these changes should help to
differentiate and reward sellers who provide a positive buying
experience on eBay. We will continue to change eBay's public and private
Feedback system as the Community and the online marketplace evolves.

Please remember there will be tools put in place that will allow you as
a seller to report bad buyer behavior and I assure you that your reports
will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate action will be taken.

If you haven't read the post regarding the feedback changes I would
encourage you to do so at the below link. It provides some additional
information on why the changes are being made and what protections will
be afforded sellers as well as buyers. If you have read it I would
recommend another review in order to see the other tools that are being
put in place to help wonderful sellers such as yourself.

http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200801.shtml#2008-01-290
54823

Thank
you again for writing to us with your concerns. I know change is
never easy but I think if you will give these changes time to have some
affect you will see they will benefit the entire eBay community in a
very positive way.


Regards,

David Smith
Office of the President
eBay Inc.

------------------------------------------
THIS WAS MY RESPONSE TO HIM:

Hi David. In spite of the reasons Ebay decided to enforce this new policy, I want you to include me as a seller who is vehemently opposed to this. I was opposed to the DSR system because I felt it was a system put in place that strongly favors the buyers over the sellers. But doesn't this DSR system already address the very issues you raised in your email? The DSR system is completely anonymous and buyers can already rate sellers without fear of repercussion. Why must Ebay take it a step further?

In a perfect world, I can see this might make sense in some circles. However, this is not a perfect world and we all know that this system and and will be abused. For example, I have an all-sales-are-final policy because my profit margin is so minimal I cannot facilitate returns. There will be buyers who buy something and later have buyer's remorse and want to return it. They will request a refund and threaten negative feedback if I do not comply, thus using the new feedback system as a way to manipulate sellers. Also, I can see that it will be much easier for unscrupulous sellers to create new user ID's, simply to negatively impact the feedback of their competition.

Additionally, with the new final valuation fee cost increase (and NO, I don't perceive the few concessions given on optional features to equate to the significant increase in the final valuation fee to be good news either), the possible 15% ''discount'' is based on feedback ratings and in the same breath you have made it significantly more difficult to keep a high feedback rating. It's as if you are giving a small gift in one hand and withdrawing a huge chunk with your other hand.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reconsider this bad decision.

And by the way, I found your comment that ''change is never easy'' very patronizing. I'm not opposed to change. I'm opposed to bad decisions.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Rose777
       
Thu Jan 31 18:17:34 2008
RE: Big C's comment:
''If Sellers Boycott feebay Feb 18- Feb 25- they should all buy items from sellers who are listing during the boycott and leave them NEGATIVE feedbacks.''

I'm as mad as everyone else is about this feedback thing, but people think......some honest, good sellers make their living on eBay.  Maybe they are scrambling to figure out what to do and where to go next in light of these stupid changes.  Closing their auctions right now may greatly hurt their families financially.  So please fellow sellers, lets give all our brother and sister sellers a break and do nothing to harm them.

Sell your stock, spread the word about other auction websites, list as little as possible on eBay and it will have an impact on FeeBay.

 
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: J
       
Thu Jan 31 18:37:31 2008
petition Google to start an auction site

http://www.petitiononline.com/ga05/petition.html
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: aaa
       
Thu Jan 31 18:46:31 2008
as far as attacking other sellers for their freedom to sell during the boycott-COUNT ME OUT. EVERYONE has the right to choose and the right to exercise that right. i choose to sell my shares, participate in the boycott and to close my ebay store to look for kinder pastures.
but it is wrong to bully others for whom participating in the boycott is not an option and actually i'm one of those but i'm so f*cked off at the lowlife way we're being railroaded into my pride just will not permit me to avoid facing this wrong and to boycott(for me anyways) is to face the enemy and yes eBay is the enemy
but please leave those others be
spread the word and more will join.
but don't sink to those long winded fat(made so by our money, btw) flesh bags level, at least play fair. please continue to post here any new info as i keep checking back, not only for info as to what's up but also other viable options
information is power-spread the power
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Thu Jan 31 19:05:47 2008
I agree completely about the not leaving negative FB for sellers during the boycott.

We do not know those sellers financial situations and we can make a bad situation for them even worse.

We also dont know if they even know about it.

If you want to do something constructive it would maybe contacting them on one their listings during the boycott and telling them we are boycotting and why. Give them links here and there.

The enemy is eBay not the sellers or buyers really.

"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 19:10:07 2008
In regards to Cobbs statement.

"Over time, we have found that the open nature of the existing Feedback
system makes some members reluctant to hold others accountable. For
example, buyers fear retaliatory Feedback from sellers if they leave a
negative. Also, our data shows that sellers leave negative retaliatory
feedback eight times more often than buyers, often for no other reason
than to have a bargaining chip with the buyer in order to enter into
Mutual Feedback Withdrawal. Obviously that situation isn't acceptable
and changes had to be made."

Can anyone point out if the customer had a valid claim why they did not pursue it? Paypal almost always sides with the customer. So why leave  a negative? Even if you filed a claim and won, just move on.

This is why in some of my earlier posts I proposed a FB system based on claims, etc. It would be far more beneficial to buyers than this system.

"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 19:34:06 2008
Did eBay even bother to find out what the real problem was? I have ran into this same issue, buyer leaves negative that is unfounded or a downright lie and then I leave them negative. I do not cater to buyers trying to extort s/h refund or other tactics. I have forwarded message from buyers stating that they would leave negative if I did not refund and eBay did nothing. In fact they said the buyer did nothing wrong! I know for a fact that I have never left a negative for any buyer first unless they did not pay. So what is the issue? I think the old saying is "people that live in glass houses should not throw stones" applies. Did eBay get tons of complaints from those 10 or less FB buyers who left negatives for no reason?

We pay the bills eBay not the whiney, complainer buyers who are the 5% minority!

"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 19:46:10 2008
copy and paste this to every chat board you can. Send as a press release also to all the media.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE*

Worldwide eBay Boycott February 18th through February 25th, 2008.

We the concerned eBay buyers and sellers on eBay are protesting eBays announced new fee increases and feedback policy changes. We do not believe that these changes will have any positive affect for buyers or sellers and will result in increased prices, less choices and disharmony within the eBay community.

We also are in complete agreement that eBay's policy of allowing dogs and cats to be sold on eBay in China for slaughter purposes is both cruel and inhumane and must be stopped immediately.

We urge all people's to not shop or sell on eBay during this worldwide boycott.

Please spread the word.

Thank you.

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: laura
       
Thu Jan 31 19:58:04 2008
Ebay, you need to attack the problems from both sides. Go ahead and weed out the bad sellers, BUT get the bad buyers too!  We all need to have measures that protect good sellers and good buyers.

Why do your plans only protect the good AND bad buyers?  Where are the policies that protect the good sellers? ALL good sellers deserve protection. Why do you think only the Powerseller do?   Don’t you realize that even the Powersellers at one time were just starting out?

If you are increasing our fees as sellers, are you going to increase our benefits for staying with you too? All we want is your help against fraud!  I know you have never helped us before. I know you said you have been listening? Have we not asked? We are asking now.

As a honest and good seller who it is more important to me to treat buyers honestly then it is to make a profit. I must say that I feel that any complaint that I make as a Seller will fall on deaf ears, that we have NO SAY as Sellers, yet carry ALL the RESPONSIBILITY?  Will you please help us?

You know with your current policies we alone have to deal with problem buyers and are left to feel that our ONLY option is always to just refund the money, give into the post sale discount, let them switch a different and broken item then the one we shipped, claim they never received, because tracking isn’t available internationally, claim item isn’t as described though it is and etc. As we silently take it.  I guess it won’t make a difference if we can’t leave feedback or not. I know as a seller I never once have left a negative for one of these extortions out of fear of further retaliations. But at least they  thought I could.

In all these years, where have you been? Have you only just been taking our fees? How long are you just going to turn your head and pretend like buyers aren’t scamming us?  Kind of makes you a party to all their schemes.  Because you know we get scammed and you do nothing but protect the scammer and now you are making it even easier.

I want to know what retail store I can go into and buy an item take it home then tell the store I want a discount?

What store can I go into buy whatever I want then tell the owner that they have to refund my money or I will paint on their front door an untrue criticism, slander against their character and they can’t erase it but will have to keep it up for all customers to see?

Also, how many retail stores charge actual shipping? They know how much they lose through scammers and pass it on to all their customers.  Yet you make the buyers believe that we sellers are taking advantage of them when we do this. Why do you market your sellers so poorly, then wonder why buyers feel the way they do?  Are not the sellers your greatest assets?

How does Ebay expect to keep us as seller? Even if we don’t leave, how long can we keep making a profit under such circumstances?

You know these current and past policies are leading to us ALL collectively breeding dishonest buyers. Is this really the path Ebay wants to take?  With Sellers unable to leave feedback it is just going to get worse. CAN’T YOU SEE THIS!

This will be, just as destructive, (if not more) to you then it is for us! We can go somewhere else, we (unlike you) have good customer service and our buyers will follow. After all they are our buyers they aren’t yours. We can find another middleman. You on the other hand will have alienated too many Sellers. Do you not hear how your sellers have silently been holding resentment towards you for so long, for years even? Do you not hear us, its not just “noise”? Are you REALLY listening?

Come on! Step up and put in some real policies that protect us too!!! You have OUR money to do it with!  
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: John
       
Thu Jan 31 20:08:31 2008
I have been an ebay member since June of 1997. I have over 2700 positive feedbacks and 1 negative feedback. My DSR's are all 4.9.
Is it fair that two non-paying bidders could give me negative feedback and I would be suspended for a month?
As of the announcement I am no longer selling on ebay. I will not buy during any of the recognized boycott dates.
Ebay does not own my inventory, nor do they own me.
RIP Ebay.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Empathy
       
Thu Jan 31 20:52:01 2008
Boycott Feb 18-25

I really don't have much confidence in the effect that we will have. Not trying to be negative, only realistic. But, I will participate AND GIVE IT MY ALL.

Although, lets not lower ourselves to the snake level of ebay and go after nonsuspecting sellers that are unaware or financially troubled sellers and leave negs.

If we can't show the world that we are better then ebay we will be defeated.

The idea is to protect all selllers and to expose ebay as the low life corporation that it is. The idea is to show the world the sellers are not the problem. Ebays underhanded management is the problem.

Unfortunately, there are numerous sellers that don't view ebay boards or read blogs and just want to conduct their little business and they go with the flow. Then they disappear.

HOWEVER, I wouldn't doubt if Ebay runs a reduced price listing during that week. Just to call our bluff!

If so it makes me wonder ''WILL IT WORK'' or will the sellers that say they are committed really stay united? I HOPE SO!

I personally couldn't care since my conversion rate on the last couple of reduced listings was only a proven waste of time and additional income for Ebay to relist in my store.

We need unity to make this work! Not just the boycott. We need unity to have our voice not ''NOISE'' as the ''Hoe'' stated that we are making heard.

I'm jumping in with both feet!






Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Thu Jan 31 20:59:39 2008
John you are so right. As it stands now those same non-payers could give you negatives if they have responded to the UID. What is stopping them? your ability to give one right back. This whole FB scheme is absurd. eBay should not count any of that and should only base an unhappy customer on their ability to file and win a paypal or credit card claim. The sheer act of filing a cliam would not be good enough nor the refund in full to the customer would count against the seller. Nothing gained nothing lost. just 2 people in a business dispute where neither won or lost. Just because a seller gets lots of negatives under this new system should not disqualify them from selling. It may be the nature of what they are selling as "used" goods are going to be far more likely to have disputes and disagreements over than "new" goods.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Thu Jan 31 21:02:01 2008
This is how to get the news spread.

Copy and paste this to every chat board you can. Send as a press release also to all the media.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE*

Worldwide eBay Boycott February 18th through February 25th, 2008.

We the concerned eBay buyers and sellers on eBay are protesting eBays announced new fee increases and feedback policy changes. We do not believe that these changes will have any positive affect for buyers or sellers and will result in increased prices, less choices and disharmony within the eBay community.

We also are in complete agreement that eBay's policy of allowing dogs and cats to be sold on eBay in China for slaughter purposes is both cruel and inhumane and must be stopped immediately.

We urge all people's to not shop or sell on eBay during this worldwide boycott.

Please spread the word.

Thank you.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Mark
       
Thu Jan 31 22:38:32 2008
Boycott is fine, but you better get it to the news media.  Drive ebay stocks down.  Hurt them in the pocket.  

The more media that know sellers are doing a boycott, the talk about it.  The more investors bail.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Your just noise
       
Thu Jan 31 23:21:14 2008
According to the CEO us sellers are just "noise"

He expected all this. I see a huge difference in our venting in our past discussions vs. the desperation of this discussion. In his interview with Ina, it even sounded like he took it personally for a minute.

Has this been tested before in other markets?



Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Town Hall Meeting
       
Thu Jan 31 23:23:23 2008
Hi all, there is a town hall meeting on Feb 4. Voice your questions and complaints now about the increases in FVF's and restrictions on feedback to: TownHall@ebay.com

I think if all the sellers who are unhappy with the changes to come flood them with mail maybe they will stand up and take notice of what we have to say.
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 23:28:23 2008
I hope by now that we ALL understand that ebay is NOT going to back down voluntarily.

Among other things that could be said about their management philosophy, it is principally a highly authoritarian and patronizing model that seeks TOTAL control over ALL aspects of its operations including controlling YOU, their customer.

And for years ebay sellers have been reacting just like battered women do to this abusive, excessively authoritarian management model -- the equivalent of calling the police and then not following through with criminal charges because their partner promises to do better. And then these victims get beaten up again, and the cycle repeats itself -- over and over and over again.

Too many sellers suffer from battered seller syndrome.

The only things that WILL change Donna Hoe's mind is the continuation of the downward ebay stock trend, declining listings, declining number of users, and declining revenues.

Calling ebay will do no good because ebay doesn't care what you think. You are NOTHING to them except another object they can manipulate so that you pay them big bucks every month.

They believe they're doing you a big favor by having even a nominal customer service program that seldom provides any real help, doesn't train properly, and is there primarily for cosmetic purposes not to offer any real help.

Do anyone honestly believe that some Donna Hoe hoe is going to agree with you that ebay made a mistake?

Don't argue with them; hurt them economically. Give them a big dose of serious economic hurt.

Ask your friends to shop elsewhere for now, tell them why, and ask them to pass it on.
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