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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.
Mon May 19 2008 18:04:57

eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link

eBay made a post to its Announcement Board that has a large number of significant changes to policies. It also said it is rolling out an expanded version of the Seller Dashboard this week, and announced changes to Best Match!

The Town Hall meeting is going to start soon, we'll see if Lorrie Norrington addresses these changes. Highlights:

eBay announced it is lifting two seller restrictions - the Choice Policy and the Multiple Listings Limit Policy (that limited sellers to 15 identical listings at one time). eBay said the changes would create more choice and selection for buyers and make it easier for them to find what they're looking for, and would add flexibility, convenience and cost-savings for sellers.

eBay also said it would replace its Keyword spam policy with a new Search & Browse Manipulation Policy that simplifies the guidelines for sellers, prohibiting any unfair methods of diverting members to their listings.

eBay will also ban Mystery Auctions starting early June, and is updating its Links policy. Previously, eBay users often linked to their own ecommerce website on their About Me page, it looks like that will no longer be tolerated.

As for changes to Best Match: "Some of our adjustments will result in a larger number of sellers with below average performance scores being lowered in Best Match search results. If either of the following conditions apply to you, the visibility of your listings may be reduced: Your 30-day shipping cost DSR is 4.5 and below, and Your buyer satisfaction rate (shown on the dashboard) appears as "needs improvement," "poor" or "unacceptable."

Starting this week, sellers with 4.7 and above on all 4 DSRs over the last 30 days may start to see an additional boost in their search standing in Best Match.

 




Comments (104) | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: AC_in_mich
       
Mon May 19 18:32:27 2008
More crap from eBay
 
  1: if you can't find it when they have 15 identical listings up, how the hell will you find it with 100 or 1000?  Let me guess - the 100 listings from the seller with Best Match on his side will OBLITERATE the small seller
  2: The links - well, there goes THAT opportunity to Drive traffic to your site (meanwhile, buy has 452673 items as of 6:24 EDT or almost 3% of ebay's listings - guess where the sales are going)
  3: And Best match is just a slippery slope down - a small seller may have one problem customer and never be seen again.

This sucks

AC
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: bret
       
Mon May 19 18:41:25 2008
this will cause sellers to up their game and offer better services! The ones that can't or won't do that will drop on searches, and they should!
I like the changes.
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: ebay you suck
       
Mon May 19 19:04:34 2008
LOL Bret.  

Yeah we will see how you like ebay when you are getting no bids, or then when ya get a PITA bidder or a non-paying bidder leaving you unwarranted negatives hurting YOUR dsr's and affecting your searches and there is NOTHING you can do.  LOL

Another ebay cheerleader.  Luckily they are becoming increasingly scarce the last few days now that the changes are actually taking affect proving the cheerleaders to be complete boneheads!!

The feedback changes went into affect and the feedback boards on ebay have blown up.  There are MANY new LARGE sellers leaving ebay!  Way to go ebay!  What an incredible business idea!  Drive away your REAL customers, THE SELLERS, and then bring in buy.com to drive traffic away from your site even more!

Ebay has now become a 3-ring circus run by clowns!
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: dimes
       
Mon May 19 19:16:05 2008
Not to be mean, but based on the picture on this blog post it isn't clowns that are running the place, it's Howdy Doody.
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: Laura
       
Mon May 19 19:17:20 2008
Ways for eBay to make money off stupid sellers.

My favorite is that ebay will now allow you to buy more then 15 identical listings for each item BUT "advancements in Finding will limit the display of duplicates from the same seller".

Basically means that Ebay is more then happy to take your listing fees, but those extra listing won’t show up.

The other change is that “Also, the number of listings from any one seller will be limited to ten per page”. This hurts any seller who sells similar items, or any seller who specializes. It would be pure foolishness now for me to list more ten 10 McCoy pottery pieces, or 10 Depression glass items, U2 CDs, video games, cookbooks, gold jewelry, rubber stamps ETC.  

Seems like ebay is more interested in listing fees then the seller actually making a sale.
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: drew11
       
Mon May 19 19:22:59 2008
No Bret what is going to drop is the amount buyers when they can't find quality items buried under an ocean of garbage. Ending soonest search will now be totally useless  in many categories due to spam duplicate listings.  
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: Laura
       
Mon May 19 19:33:57 2008
I also think this is eBay’s way to manipulate the buyer into only using Best powerseller Match.
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: Kal
       
Mon May 19 20:07:42 2008
@Dimes:

''Not to be mean, but based on the picture on this blog post it isn't clowns that are running the place, it's Howdy Doody.''

Dimes, that's classic! I needed the laugh.
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: tj
       
Mon May 19 20:56:02 2008
When is this madness going to end ?..guess eBay are well and truly committed to suicide
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: joe
       
Mon May 19 21:00:37 2008
I think this is the most disturbing item in the announcement...

Also, the number of listings from any one seller will be limited to ten per page, unless the only available listings that remain are from the same seller. This change ensures that buyers will have a variety of sellers to choose from.

So if I have 50 items listed, where do the other 40 display? And we're not talking about "identical listings" here... this means all items from a seller. If I pay ebay to list these items, how can ebay not display them?
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Mon May 19 21:09:56 2008
More largely boneheaded changes from ebay.

I guess they just can't commit suicide fast enough.
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: KD
       
Mon May 19 23:02:42 2008
by: bret
Mon May 19 2008 18:41:25
"this will cause sellers to up their game and offer better services! The ones that can't or won't do that will drop on searches, and they should!
=================================

To bret the big mouth:

Oh...shut up! What a jerk...

I'm positive this person is a plant writing for ebay...there is good NO reason leave a comment like this!

It shows how low ebay will go to keep creating the impression small sellers do not deliver good service in general, which an ebay's lie.

What's with the belligerent tone?
Wow.

Hey ebay..aren't you big enough, that you have to be a big bully too?

I'm really mad that bullying techniques can be used to squash small sellers on ebay, not only by making mean and untrue comments here, but by ebay managers, specifically Donahoe, who have used bizarre means to rid ebay of small sellers .

Donahoe doesn't deserve to be a businessman if he the only way he can win is to destroy the small guy's business on ebay.

There must be a line drawn in how badly humans can be hurt by the monsters leading ebay.
Is there no limit to the harm ebay imposes?

ebay management: the large majority is wishing you ill...be careful to observe because there is power against you in being the object of contempt

To ebay: there will be a reckoning day




I like the changes".

eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: sun
       
Mon May 19 23:14:28 2008
I think these changes are well timed as we leave the Meg era. The biggest hurdle for eBay is that of perception. eBay was conceived as a site for deals. Efficient pricing has been the main attractor for many eBay buyers on fixed priced listings. Providing better products and service is possible, but it comes at a cost of increased prices. The global pressure to compete with other countries (e.g. China) makes what is already a difficult trading environment even more difficult. Buyers want the best price with the best service. This just makes for an impossible business environment and I hope these changes do not backfire on eBay. While in the process of raising standards, consumers will drop eBay for other businesses that offer best prices (but not the best service).
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: Elisa
       
Mon May 19 23:51:00 2008
Yes, I have seen a number of large sellers leave Ebay for other sites.  You might want to look at my blog entry, "Why Is Ebay Like A Suicidal Teenager?"
http://diaryofamadfashionista.blogspot.com
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: techslinger
       
Mon May 19 23:54:08 2008
DEAR BUYERS:

WANT TO GET FREE STUFF OFF EBAY? HERE’S HOW:

Buy using PayPal. Then, after you have received the item, file a claim with PayPal and use these magic words: ''NOT AS DESCRIBED.'' PayPal will immediately HOLD the money in the seller’s account--just for you. Next, send back an empty box, for proof of return of course. After that’s done, PayPal will instantly give the buyer their money back, every time. My friends and I have claimed thousands of dollars in free stuff off eBay this way.

Also, ''NOT AS DESCRIBED'' works in cases of buyer’s remorse. It doesn’t matter if the item is described accurately, or even if the seller has a “no return” policy. PayPal is so stupid, they will refund your money back again, and again, and again. You won’t believe how easy it is. Thank you PayPal, you are a pal. :)

This is not a joke. If you don’t believe me, try it one time, you’ll see.
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Tue May 20 00:16:09 2008
DEAR SELLERS-

Here's how to beat scam artists like techslinger.

1. NEVER sign for a return at your home or place of business Instead tell the carrier to return it to the Post Office. Go to that Post Office and open the box in the presence of a postal employee. If it's empty, they will write and sign a note for you to send to PayPal AND you can file a complaint with the Postal Inspector fopr mail fraud. You can also consider filing criminal charges against the customer for theft and credit card fraud.

2. In reading the PayPal policies, the return criteria is SIGNIFICANTLY not as described. Of the complaint is patently false, you can win a SNAD complaint be cut and pasting the product description and then writing a narrative refuting the buyer's accusations and referencing the appropriate statements in the product description.

3. What seller can NOT protect themselves from is most but not all credit card chargebacks.

I think once sellers understand they have legal remedies against fradulent buyers and exercise them with police (be persistent but polite) or their state's attorney general and when these efforts get massive publicity, the amount of buyer fraud will decrease.

It will also decrease when someone files a class action suit against ebay and PayPal in California for aiding and abetting fraud and theft.
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Tue May 20 01:33:01 2008
How many sellers are aware that the new Feedback Policy has the following provision under Feedback Abuse:

"Negative statements that conflict with a positive rating"

These people are free speech suppressing fascists.
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: Tonya H.
       
Tue May 20 01:39:29 2008
Unfortunately, Ming the Merciless, that is not true. There is absolutely no protection for sellers if the buyer files a false SNAD complaint.

I've had the great displeasure of going through this myself with an expensive Halloween costume.

The buyer contacted me a week AFTER her Halloween party saying she did not need the costume anymore, and that she would be sending it back for a full refund. She said the costume was in great condition and that the transaction had been satisfactory, it was just that she didn't need the costume anymore.

I of course objected to this. I didn't hear from her for over two months, then out of nowhere I get hit with a chargeback via PayPal. Even though I qualified for PayPal's Seller Protection Policy, they would not cover me for the SNAD claim.

I submitted  multiple emails where the buyer admitted more than once that absolutely nothing was wrong with the costume, but PayPal would not do a thing.

I had to fight with PayPal for 3 months to get this settled. It was not until I threatened to send the emails to the Attorney General's office and file a complaint with the FTC that I finally got anywhere. Even then PayPal would not admitt they were in the wrong. I did, however, receive a very prompt message on my answering machine from them telling me that they were granting me a one-time good faith credit on the chargeback.

Unfortunately, techslinger is 100% correct. My buyer ended up with both her money back and she got to keep the costume. The only way a seller can protect themselves from going through this is to not accept PayPal.
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: KD
       
Tue May 20 02:42:24 2008
by: dimes
Mon May 19 2008 19:16:05
"to be mean, but based on the picture on this blog post it isn't clowns that are running the place, it's Howdy Doody".

Lol...Good one, dimes! You're right! It's Howdy Doody Time!

Does anyone notice that all ebay employees have a "look" in common, like they think they are "all that", with the smirky smile?
Everyone of them have "looks" that are very annoying, you just want to punch their faces in~
========================================

by: tj
Mon May 19 2008 20:56:02
"When is this madness going to end ?..guess eBay are well and truly committed to suicide"
 

ebay intends to relentlessly make changes for three years, that's how long their plan will need to succeed. I read a speech made by Donahoe to investors and he said as much in the speech.

Also, they do want to "kill" the small seller part of ebay business and it will be tricky for them to do. All these changes are designed to make selling impossible for small sellers on ebay.
The speech and illustrations presented by Donahoe indicate that.

I think ebay is hoping small sellers get angry and leave by their own choice and go to another site. Or, for those that stay awhile, they hope to make sellers look unfit and actually manipulate them to be unfit by forcing them to abide by impossible policy changes and new rules that small sellers can't possibly live up. Then they get kicked off ebay for low performance.
Or the sellers become so discouraged by lack of sales and all the rules and constant changes, that they can't go on and quit.  
It's a lot of bull. And a very cruel way to conduct a business change.

ebay hopes small sellers will fail and leave ebay when they cannot live up to the impossible new standards ebay management created on purpose. Why? Because ebay management cannot "look" bad, so they had to create a way to "look" innocent.
By creating changes that will ensure making sellers "look" bad, they can argue their false claims to investors and ebay employees to convince (brainwash) them that the new management is right that the little guy seller is sub-standard and must go.  
This fake claim makes Donahoe and managers "look like" they know what they are doing (after all, they proved the small sellers fall below ebay seller standards) and all the while the leaders hide that they are really bullies that forced the little guys to abide by new and confusing changes and rules almost every week, and did this to force them off ebay.
So, they force everything on us and it doesn't make sense. Confusion and anger are on fire (ebay used to be for the sellers). But we, the small sellers, are being screwed by ebay now. They want us to look like we failed the new test.

They're making it hard for peers and investors to see what they are actually doing.
Needless to say, we can easily see what they're up, but we don't matter. They just want the noise to go away and they are holding there ears shut until the noise stops.
They portray us as "just a lot of noise", a crowd and as sub-standard sellers to investors, ebay employees and the media. That's the negative PR they are using against us to maintain their reputation.

But really, what they are doing violates moral and ethical law.
Other business people, media people and investors of good character would look down on ebay if they could see the real story. ebay ought to be ashamed of the way they have acted for the past three months. Much damage has been done to thousands of small sellers. And the confusion is wild.
But, you see, that's what ebay wanted to create so they can glide forward while everyone is figuring out what was going on with ebay.
Then after it's over, ebay hopes everyone will just forget everything that happened, (or figure it's too much trouble to investigate what happened and how) and get away with establishing themselves as a much bigger player in the global market.
It's just a shame that we, the small sellers, had to be the object of contempt in Donahoe's plans. It's too bad he didn't pick another company to "shock and awe" with his "disruptive after disruptive" changes he will relentlessly keep imposing to beat up the market place. It's the most horrifying and cruel business technique I have ever seen or heard of and isn't used that much anymore, as I understand. There are many businessmen that do not believe in the disruptive approach and say the term "disruptive" is way over done. But it's big with Donahoe, because he believes in this professor that came up with the idea. So, he has to employ this disruptive idea and by doing so, he experiments with the most unique company that the world ever saw before.  
Personally, I think it's a very stupid way to conduct any business change and will not work in the end.

I believe the "good guys" are "on to" Donahoe and starting to "see" ebay is planning major moves to threaten the market and fair competition.

The ebay crowd will be done when the "good big guys" of good conscience find out the real horrible truth about how ebay is bullying it's way to achieve it's goal.
I'm positive ebay is trying to maintain a good reputation by covering up the truth by clouding it with confusing changes.
ebay would be ruined if people took a close enough look to discover ebay is really acting so unfairly in gaining world domination at the expense of it's past small sellers.

Donahoe and crew know very well people come to ebay to find the unique item. But his plans do not include that kind of selling, but for now he still wants to keep people thinking that's what ebay is all about. Until he gets his plans off the ground.
The new ebay is horrible!

Once the small guy is "outta" the way, they are planning to control and interface all aspects of ebay with all their "disruptive innovations". These include ebay marketplace (the new big one, dominated by "buy.com's" and controlled by ebay management), with PayPal, Skype, StumbleUpon and other acquired outside innovations. Plus have ongoing developmental teams inventing new "disruptive innovations" to "disrupt" some more and more and more...  Said by Donahoe.

This IS only the beginning, they know the plan is risky, it is NOT a sure bet, so don't lose faith and think ebay can get away with throwing small sellers out after ruining them, then go forward.  
Chances are they will not succeed. I read that venture capitalists, like Donahoe, only succeed 25% of the time when they try to change a company by disrupting and disrupting with "diruptive innovations".

Since eBay was so loved and so popular, with a unique identity, before Donahoe came along, it will be extremely difficult for him to overcome that fixed image successfully. His ways are commercially driven.
The old way's were driven by a common need to communicate and trade with trust and not necessarily for the money but for unusual items not found anywhere else. The latter way is where true inspiration is born, not buy a bunch of bucks. But Donahoe obviously thinks his rewards are only monetary (well, maybe for his ego too). That's why ebay won't work anymore, there is no soul anywhere.

The moves will ruin eBay. We will no longer have ebay to sell on. They will go down and all their peers will laugh at them.

Hopefully they will fail becaus
eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes   eBay Makes Major Trust & Safety Policy Changes
by: bite me
       
Tue May 20 02:47:18 2008
I'm a small seller and I think these feedback changes are good. My new FB is 100%. There's no point whining, there aren't any viable alternatives (200 other sites at last count). Just get used to it. If not, other sellers like me will take your place (aka hobby sellers). Do I really care if eBay changes their fees? No, I don't make my primary income off of ebay. If you do you're crazy, and you have a bad business model.
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