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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: concerned

Fri Feb 1 15:18:54 2008

To be honest I have checked out the other auction sites and the sales just are not their.  We need to SAVE EBAY from themselves before they chew off a leg are two.  I think the slogan should be "HELP SAVE EBAY" before they destroy themselves.

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

by: The Big Picture

Fri Feb 1 15:19:47 2008

What will you do on Feb 26 (the day after the boycott ends) if eBay does nothing?  

The boycott should begin on Feb 18 and only end when eBay ''gets the message.''

I know that's tough for a lot of people to do, but what other options do we have? Should we just surrender and go back to listing on the 26th?

eBay can certainly ride this storm out.  Their bank account is probably a little bit bigger than most of ours.

Don't forget the picket signs!

eBay Headquarters:

eBay Inc.
2145 Hamilton Avenue
San Jose, California 95125

The media coverage will be minimal without any protesting in the streets!

For those that truly depend on eBay as an income, this is YOUR WAKE UP CALL!

Thank you Shar for letting us know about epier.  Unfortunately, epier, ubid, waggle, etc., only have 200,000 or so visitors a month.  It sounds like a lot, but it just doesn't compare to the millions of buyers that go to eBay everyday.

We, the sellers and buyers have made eBay into the GIANT that it is today.  IT IS OUR COMPANY!!~  Unfortunately, some pinheads in the executive offices don't see it that way.  Make your voice heard!  Remember, if we lose this fight, there are no real viable alternatives out there.  

''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

Fri Feb 1 15:33:14 2008

In order to get customers to these other sites is to get your products on those other sites and then email all of your past customers and steer them to your new auction sites.

ebay needs to understand that these are our customers not theirs.

If your past customers have had a good experience with you then it should be no problem with them purchasing from you on those other sites. You might also make sure that you have lower prices than what you have on eBay and tell them that they will save money by purchasing from you on those other sites.

You could even charge the same but offer them a 10% discount for purchasing from you for February or March or whatever when the purchase from you on those other sites.

In the long run you will make more money, you wil bring your customer base over at the same time spreading the word to all of these buyers that there are other options besides eBay and at lower prices.

If we all do this by May it will have a tremendous impact on eBay and will do a lot more damage than a boycott will in the long run.

We could only hope then that eBay will reconsider these changes and change for the better taking our recommendations into account. I dont hold my breath on that but there is always hope.

"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: The Big Picture

Fri Feb 1 15:55:04 2008

Alex,

You bring up a good point, but most of my customers are first time buyers and will not follow me to another site.  I think we need to concentrate on saving the platform that WE helped create.  

I have tried many of these other sites, but in the end, my products would just sit there. Ebay has become too big for these other companies to compete.

I do not want to have to wait a few years for these other sites to attract enough buyers.  Let's save and fight for the one we already have: ebay

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

by: Alex

Fri Feb 1 15:55:55 2008

Another thought process on a class-action suit would be the inability for buyers and sellers to have google checkout.

Many buyers and sellers have had issues with paypal and eBay is denying our right to use google checkout for our listings. As eBay owns paypal they are employing unfair trade practices by denying its use on eBay.

Us sellers could save a lot of money by using google checkout. Just take a look at who they do allow and then tell me those other options are viable.

This could be the class action suit that would be most effective and eBays and Paypals monopoly on this.

"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

Fri Feb 1 16:40:35 2008

To the big picture:

I understand what you are saying that your customers may not go to the other site. But are you sure?

A bank is only as good as it's depositors. Once everyone stops depositing and keeping their money in those banks they fold and close.

Our only power to make eBay change is probably to leave. Ebay will not understand any other way. As long as make ourselves believe that they are the only game in town then they will continue to treat us this way.

I am thinking that us sellers will probably have to bite the bullet, pull up our bootstraps, get a part-time job, spend all of our time setiing up our merchandise on as many other sites as possible, hope google starts an auction site and then market like crazy.

If there is not much an eBay in the form of goods to choose from, the buyers will go elsewhere. The big sellers on eBay will move merchandise to the other sites and draw buyers to them. It will take time but it can happen.

"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

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

Fri Feb 1 17:09:55 2008

Alex:

I'll respond to your questions this evening time permitting. Right now, I'm swamped was shipping prep.

Suffice it say now, however, that a sweeping, comprehensive, and successful class action agsinst ebay/PayPal that IS NOT SETTLED out of court could literally compel ebay to re-invent how it does business and adopt a more honest and ethical business model.

We can NOT be successful by having poorly planned boycotts and taking unilateral punitive action against other sellers. You have NO idea how rough these boys can and will play.

After all, did you know that ebay uses your fee money to lobby the CIA?

Later.

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

by: Dan Burke

Fri Feb 1 18:05:32 2008

I have to admire Mr. Donohoe for standing up to all the cry baby sellers.  He knew that they were going to react with a lot of criticism and talk about this and that, and even is prepared to steer the company through this silly "sit in" whereby the stupid sellers can get together at candlelight vigils and sing "We shall overcome", etc. etc.  We all know the real deal that Ebay will still be ther best place to purchase anything you are looking for.  So SHOP VICTORIOUSLY !!!   And if some cry baby seller gives you a hard time, NEG 'EM !   Semper Fi !

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

by: auction-guru

Fri Feb 1 18:09:41 2008

So, when is this NEW feedback change sup. to take place????
thanks

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

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

Fri Feb 1 18:27:07 2008

Dan Burke -- another prime example of a trashy Donna Hoe plant and/or the kind of buyer ebay coddles.

Frack off, Burke! You may in the unemployment when the ebay layoffs begin.

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

by: Tina

Fri Feb 1 18:36:58 2008

This is awful. Bye-bye small sellers, seeya later feedback system, and oh! I shell out money to ship but don't have the money for my item in my hand?
Seems that deleting your account has been disabled, and any posts on the ebay forums nominating outside protests and the like are getting deleted.
Whoopsie Ebay!
Another site to check out....
http://fsbfeatures.blogs.fsb.cnn.com/2008/01/31/ebay-fee-hi
ke-sparks-seller-rebellion/
Don't
just boycott them for a week, leave now and go elsewhere..... write to other companies telling them to leap in and open up new sections for the 2nd-hand garage sale stuff! 99% of the stuff I buy or sell isn't new! (oh, and yes, I am a small buyer/seller, so ebay cares just about zip about me!)
Many happy sales, eh? :(

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

by: Ming the Merciless Squared

Fri Feb 1 18:38:56 2008

Alex:

Let me address several points you've raised.

1. Law firms specializing in class action lawsuits normally will take them on a contingency basis which means that their fee comes directly from the monetary awards from the judgment. In some states -- and I'm not familiar with California law -- a losing defendant (hopefully ebay) can be court ordered to pay the winner's legal fees and associated expenses. Contingency fees can range anywhere from 40% to 60% with the remainder spread out among the plaintiffs (sellers) whi signed up as aggrieved parties.

2. This lawsuit needs to be far broader than the feedback change issue. Ebay is a monopoly that has a well established pattern and practice of engaging in numerous violations of the Sherman Anti Trust Act, restraint of trade through collusive partnerships with potential competitors, its refusal to allow competitive online payment services, requiring new sellers to accept PayPal, the adulteration of product descriptions and the value of listings by placing unwanted ads leading away from the ebay site inside the product listing and on search result pages, suppression of free speech they don't like (and I'm not talking about obscenities), fee overcharging, software glitches that *create* billing erros that curiously always favor ebay, double list single items, phantom relist already sold items, and sometimes overbill sellers with their 50 foot long invoices  -- the list of the monopolistic, anti competitive practices ebay engages in is as long as the Alcan Highway. Their philosophy is that they can do whatever they want -- legal or not -- until they're court ordered to stop. They also think that sellers are a rag tag, disorganized lot who think they're powerless against a large corporation because of the communications problems inherent within the ebay structure.

3. For many reasons that I think if you knew you'd agree with, I simply don't have time to be any more involved than what I already am.

4. It's going to take more than one person contacting this law firm to persuade them to take the case, and it should be someone or a small group who are knowledgeable and can either discuss the case in or in a conference call which I'd be happy to participate IF we can figure out how to so SECURELY with no ebay plants participating. Several reasonable and articulate sellers need to contact this law firm not just one person.

5. I don't know whether ebay requires employees to sign confidentiality agreements or not. Most of them like non compete clauses aren't worth the paper they're written on. The problem is anything less than a very quiet and intelligently conduct investigation could result in information being passed on to you from an undercover ebay employee. But if legitimate former employees in key areas can be located and interviewed, I have a nagging suspicion they culd provide a wealth of information. Also past or present ebay employees could be compelled to give sworn, pre trial depositions under penalty of perjury as well as be compelled to testify at trial under penalty of perjury that would trump any confidentiality agreement they may have signed.

6. I am unequivocally opposed to any organized or individual punitive vigilante action taken against non participating sellers. This is kind of garbage ebay employees and their management engage in. Let's be better!

7. There are probably hundreds of California law firms that handle class action lawsuits. If Fazio, et. al won't take the case, ask them for three recommendations. It needs to be made clear that this case could be worth millions to the law firm that agrees to handle it. That's how utterly corrupt I strongly believe ebay is and has been for several years in just about every area imaginable.



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

by: Alex

Fri Feb 1 19:59:48 2008

To Dan Burke:

When you cant find anything on eBay anymore I cant wait to hear you whine about how eBay drove all of us sellers away and now you have nowhere to go and find such great stuff.

eff off eBay troll.

"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

Fri Feb 1 20:05:18 2008

To Ming the Merciless Squared:

If you scroll up to previous posts I was thinking about a petition and I drafted the first Statement regarding this asking for any input etc.

If we maybe Incorporate that with all that you have said and have people sign online and then send to these attorney's do you think that would be a good start?

"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: Dan Burke

Fri Feb 1 22:32:21 2008

Ebay is going to prosper no matter what a bunch of second rate idiot powerscrewer/sellers that think they are "above all that."  The sellers NEED eBay !  It's that simple.  So you get out there and boycott, demonstrate, protest, scream, yell, hollar, and cry yourself to sleep.  But at the end of the day, all these prima donnas will be back with their tails between their legs saying sorry I over-reacted due to my psychiatric problems.

In the mean time, we buyers get to continue to SHOP VICTORIOUSLY and shove it up where the sun don't shine if a seller gives us so much as an ounce of trouble.  For me, it's a hair-trigger.  One peep ?  Just one peep ? And you are getting a NEG from me, so dont even think about it.  Semper Fi !

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

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

Fri Feb 1 22:40:01 2008

Alex:

Please don't confuse frenetic activity with behavior changing activity :-) I know it makes everyone feel better to sign online petitions, blog, make You Tube videos, create MySpace pages, initiate viral emails, etc., but unfortunately none of these activities either solely or in the aggregate is likely to have much if any impact on ebay management.

The online world is completely separate from real world lawsuits except as a medium of largely informal communications.

THREE THINGS WILL HAVE IMPACT ON EBAY MANAGEMENT:

1. The immediate loss of revenue and Buy advisory ratings causing stock to tank further. Emailing or calling ebay analysts and cluing them in might also work if they'll listen to you or read your emails.

2. The filing of a class action suit that asks for and is successful in obtaining a temporary restraining order that a. prohibits ebay from implementing any changes in the feedback system and FEE INCREASES disguised as fee reductions b. orders ebay management and ALL ebay employees NOT to take any type of retaliatory or otherwise harassing actions against any seller whose listing habits change either temporarily or permanently until the lawsuit is adjudicated.

The basis for such a request would be irrevocable harm to the plaintiffs the nature of which has been demonstrated a thousandfold on this page for the last three days.

3. A successful conclusion to a wide ranging class action lawsuit that a. relieves ebay and PayPal of MANY millions of dollars b. compels ebay and PayPal to permanently operate their business in a fair, equitable, non monopolistic, and 100% legal manner in accordance with all applicable federal laws.

Human beings have to make contact with the law firm and persuade them using evidence and logic that this specific type of lawsuit a) has merit based on facts b) is winnable c) would be enormously profitable for the law firm because the scope of ebay's alleged misconduct far transcends the creation of a feedback system to defraud sellers. This is just the most recent example.

Remember, a successful lawsuit covering a broad range of grievances against the ebay/PayPal monopoly could PERMANENTLY change their business model and practices and create a genuinely better environment for both sellers and buyers.

Sellers must persuade a reputable law firm in California to take this case and run with it.

It's a potential gold mine for an ambitious lawyer.

Also remember:

1. Ebay doesn't care what happens to you or what you think. The warm and fuzzy ''community'' concept ebay promotes is nothing more than a cynical, profit driven smoke ebay screen of the worst sort designed to keep naive users in a fantasy world cocoon.

2. Ebay views sellers as nothing more than objects to be manipulated for fun and profit. They don't care if you fail - in fact, they do everything they can to guarantee you fail and in the process make sure they've relieved you of every red cent they can before they spit you out of their revenue generating jaws of seller death.

3. Most MBA whiz kid managers think they're the best thing since sliced bread and smartest people to come down the pike in a long time. Their own arrogance will eventually cause them to self destruct ebay (they're well on their way now), and we can make that happen sooner rather than later by making a noticeable impact on their revenue stream and by filing a huge class action against them for their violations of the the Sherman Anti Trust Act just for starters.

But individual sellers are going to have to make telephone calls, not petitions, not emails. Ask for apppointments.

If and when a law firm can be persuaded to take the case, then sellers can send them their own ebay horror stories of which there are millions.

Let's be professional and courteous about this. While more than one person should contact the law firm, we don't need to antagonize them by having a dozen or a 100 people call at the same time.

Don't waste another nanosecond of your time and energy begging ebay to change these outrageous new policies.

Only revenue losses, severe criticism from Wall Street analysts, and a temporary restraining order can cause these policies to be rolled back either temporarily or permanently.

Each one of us needs to look for ways to affect their revenue, persuade Wall Street ebay stock is soon to become worthless, and prepare a file WITH documentation of your ebay horror stories.

And when that's done, the email other sellers and your customers chain letter style about how thesde changes are going to adversely affect them.

I'm going to have raise my prices 20% and do something I've never done before which is to block certain categories of potential buyers. That's just a start.

Let me say it again: EBAY DOESN'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THEIR POLICY CHANGES. THEY ARE RIGHT. YOU ARE WRONG. END OF STORY.

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

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

Fri Feb 1 22:43:39 2008

"Burke:" I think someone forgot to take their meds today. So crawl back into your bottle of Haldol and leave the grownups to discuss grownup up things that all over your head.

Semper Fi? In your case, it's more like Semper Crap!

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

by: Alex

Fri Feb 1 22:45:50 2008

Thank you so much Dan Burke! It is comments like your that we can give to eBay to reinforce our argument against these changes.

We are forever in your debt. As well as all of the other buyer blogs who are saying the same thing!

What exactly do you shop for if there are no sellers?

And exactly when does a peep come from a seller? It is usually a buyer harassing a seller. Sellers dont usually go out of their way to harass a buyer. Your logic and comments are severly flawed.

Oh, you mean when you decide youre not going to pay, and you get sent a payment reminder? Talk about someone who has some psychiatric issues!

"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: Garbanzo

Fri Feb 1 22:46:49 2008

CIA?  eBay plants?  Methinks ol' Ming is a wee bit paranoid.  Chill, dude, they're really not out to get you.

Meanwhile, I'll be listing away during this silly "boycott".  Really, why all the furor over feedback? If this is how sellers feel about the buyers, is it any wonder they find eBay to be a hostile environment?  Maybe this feedback change will make them feel more welcome.  I know I never buy from those sellers who include long lists of rules and conditions and threats in their auction listings.  I'd rather buy from the friendly sellers who will treat me well.    Hostility toward your customers is no way to run a business.  Sure there are bad buyers, but being hostile will only drive the good ones away.  If your business can't handle a little shrinkage, then you probably shouldn't be in business in the first place.  If you hate eBay that much, then leave!  That much less competition for the rest of us.

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

by: The Big Picture

Fri Feb 1 23:05:55 2008

Black Monday
02-18-08

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