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Julia Wilkinson AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

Julia Wilkinson is Editor of the AuctionBytes Blog and is author of the "eBay Price Guide," "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips and Tricks," "My Life at AOL" and numerous ebooks about selling online. You can also find her writing on Yard Salers.
Thu Oct 21 2010 23:05:16

eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Last month, eBay told sellers it would be launching a new way to report bad buyers. eBay said the new hub would be easy to access and would provide streamlined reporting to share their full experience with a buyer. An eagle-eyed reader spotted the new page here today.*

eBay said in its September announcement that it would add links to the reporting hub in more places, including the Feedback flow, Seller Dashboard, the seller information page in the eBay Buyer Protection hub, and in Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro. eBay stated, "Though it won't be public or visible to buyers, the information you provide will be used by eBay to help identify and take action against these buyers and sellers. They may be suspended or placed on restriction and their feedback and Buyer Protection cases removed from your account."

The AuctionBytes reader who found the new hub today was not impressed.

"That's the new and super improved reporting hub that seller have been waiting for ever and a half? That's just the plain old help page from before with new navigation on the left ?!?!?! That's the new page that was announced to sellers as a way to report buyers that eBay uses in the back to track and tell us how many times feedback were retracted and all? I hope not, this is very disappointing if it is."

However, eBay Vice President of Seller Experience Todd Lutwak told AuctionBytes last month that eBay would use that information the same way it uses reports on sellers. "We will look into the cases, we will look for corroborating evidence and things that other sellers have said and reported about those buyers. And if we find out that the buyers are not playing fairly, then we will take action against those buyers."

He said eBay had hired a team of people to look into those buyer cases, and to see if a buyer is giving too high of a negative or neutral rate, or have too high of an unpaid item rate, and to see if a buyer opens claims at a rate that eBay finds concerning.

What kinds of bad buying behavior exists on eBay? Feedback abuse, feedback manipulation, feedback extortion, unpaid item, unwelcome bidding or buying, customs fraud, and abuse of the Buyer Protection program, according to the reporting hub.

With eBay aggressively promoting its Buyer Protection program, sellers need a defense against abusive buyers. Sellers who encounter bad buyers may be able to point them to this page to keep them in line - will it be enough to deter them from abusing sellers?

UPDATE 10/21/10: As some sellers pointed out, the above URL points to the current reporting hub. We checked in with Johnna Hoff who said eBay expects the new reporting hub to be in place in November. She said, "As you can see from the existing page, we already do ask sellers to report problems; the new reporting hub will be more prominent and make it easier to do so."

It's interesting to see eBay CEO John Donahoe discussing the issue of bad buyers in this video interview conducted in May. At about one-minute-fifty-four, he says eBay needs to do more about the perception of abusive buyers on eBay.

Is the new hub going to help eBay get rid of bad buyers, or is it going to change sellers' perception of bad buyers? Certainly five months later, I'd say the "perception" hasn't changed. We'll have to wait until next month to find out what the new hub is really all about.



Comments (69) | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Rick1313
       
Fri Oct 22 00:58:20 2010
This is just a PR stunt and/or legal problem for eBay,inc.

They want to look as if they are pro-active in handling problematic buyers.

The thing is, eBay,inc. has always said that they have mechanisms in place to ferret out these buyers.

What can this ''new'' feature do to help sellers, that was not suppose to be already in place?

With this ''new'' feature, is eBay,inc. admitting that the ''firewalls'' they had in place to protect sellers where, in fact, a myth?

Strange that this comes in less than a year after the creation of the Buyer Protection Policy (BPP).

Does this mean that the number of buyer claims/disputes rose dractically (do not forget that PayPal claims are inclusive) in a proportion that eBay,inc. sees itself as being vulnerable to liability?

Regular viewers know that I have stated several times on AB that the BPP has eBay,inc./eBay.com in breach of their User Agreement site literature.

They claim no liability in taking part in the transaction process.

Unfortunately for eBay, refunding the transaction payment to buyer and then getting it back from seller, is taking part in the transaction.

Any seller who had or will have eBay taking money from a lost BPP claim should tell eBay to refund the money or you will seek remedies in a court of law.

The open case against your account (new policy) should also be removed as buyer should not be able to affect your account standing via a bad faith policy to users who are paying to use their services.

I am not against the BPP. It's just that eBay, in saying, ''We've got you covered'' can pay the buyer from their own pockets if they feel so magnanimous.
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: eBuyer Feedback This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Fri Oct 22 01:20:18 2010
This is a common approach eBay takes.

1)  Have a feature that does something.
2)  Announce years later they have listened and created a new feature.
3)  Point users to the old feature.

The eBay Garden and removing negs and neutrals from non-payers are prior examples.
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: TheMoneyShuffle
       
Fri Oct 22 03:40:09 2010
Buyer Protection is ebays new cash cow. ''Reporting bad buyers'' is a stalling scheme to keep sellers and the government off their back for awhile (at least through the holiday season) so they can drag out and profit from their ''Buyer Protection'' scam as long as possible. Paypal ends up with the buyers money while ebay gets an equal amount from the seller in the form of a cash reimbursement.

It's a money shuffle scam. Here is how the scam works. One company (ebay) issues a refund/credit to a party through another company (paypal) then the first company (ebay) seeks reimbursement from another party for that refund/credit. On paper it looks like both companies are generating revenue because one company has the buyers money and another company has the sellers money.

Example: Buyer makes a $10 purchase and complains. ebay issues the buyer a paypal refund/credit and requires the seller to reimburse ebay.
Where is the buyers $10? In a Paypal account!!!!
Where is the sellers $10? ebay has it!!!

Appears ebay and paypal both took in $10 each. A single $10 transaction looks like $20
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Digby
       Web Site
Fri Oct 22 06:17:51 2010
@Moneyshuffle

Very clever !
I think you are saying that ebay is not going to re-imburse the seller.
So ebay ''make'' an extra $10 on the deal !


eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: eBay Fraud again
       
Fri Oct 22 06:58:01 2010
Sellers still hanging up by a thread on ebay - please, DO NOT use that form. It will lower your listings and ding you up as a bad seller in corrupt ebay double-speak. I suppose most sellers that are still visual on feebay already know not to trust duplicitious ebay on anything they say or do, and not many if any sellers will report "bad" buyers as thousands of sellers leave daily (ie amazon UP 39% etc.), should not and will not report bad (meaning GOOD to eBay) buyers but instead report to ebuyer-feedback.com and toolhaus.com. The history of evil eBay has an agenda while the other sites do NOT.
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: SleepyTime
       
Fri Oct 22 07:26:52 2010
I guess the thing that bothers me about the whole thing is the privacy of reporting the buyers while the buyers can say anything/do anything they want to sellers.  Do I really think that Ebay will actively follow-up on these reported buyers?  Not in the least.

Bring back the original Feedback system.  It served Ebay well for a decade.  If there are abusers of that feedback system, then have them reported and dealt with - while the majority of the users (buyers and sellers) of Ebay will use it with no hostilities/ulterior motives.
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
       Web Site
Fri Oct 22 07:57:42 2010
''We will look into the cases, we will look for corroborating evidence and things that other sellers have said and reported about those buyers. And if we find out that the buyers are not playing fairly, then we will take action against those buyers.''

Looks like someone at eBay just used ''cut and paste'' from the same BS for all their other community policed procedures.

Now paranoid sellers can ANALize their DSRs for a few more hours and waste their time appealing to eBay to provide justice at eBay's whim.  

Did eBay hire MORE employees for this mission or were they taken off other projects?

If eBay was serious about policing buyers they would have verified buyers YEARS AGO. YEARS, YEARS, YEARS!!!

There sure is a lot of complaints and investigations and warnings and general useless pettiness that surrounds eBay and PayPal.

Does eBay sell exposure or drama?

eBay is the Bargain Basement of an Outhouse.
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Dman
       
Fri Oct 22 08:35:38 2010
Here's how the money shuffles:


Buyer purcahses $10 item

$10 buyer account -------> $10 seller account

Dispute opened


$10 held in Paypal  <------------  $10 seller account


Dispute lost (of course)


$10 Held in Paypal

eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Dman
       
Fri Oct 22 08:43:26 2010
Seems my paste didn't work quite right, here's the rest of my post.

$10 Held in Paypal -------> $10 buyer account


It's all the same ten dollars.


Paypal gets your $0.30 fee, and any money they make off the hold.

Ebay gets your listing fee and you FVF

Buyer gets their $10 and seller merchandise

Seller gets hosed
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Neal
       
Fri Oct 22 10:32:56 2010
''An eagle-eyed reader spotted the new page here today.''

eagle-eyed? This page has been there for a while now and has nothing to do with the announcement. The question is, what will eBay do about the reports, if at all?
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Rich
       
Fri Oct 22 10:40:59 2010
This might be a good change for sellers, but it clearly is a bad change for buyers.  What Ebay continues to not understand is that it's very hard to make changes that are positive for BOTH buyers and sellers and this is why the fewer changes Ebay makes; the better Ebay will become.  Amazon changes almost nothing and continues to blow away Ebay for growth. As a seller; maybe this is a good change, but not if it causes buyers to quit Ebay
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Buck Efay
       
Fri Oct 22 11:20:21 2010
Step one in reducing Ebay fraud:
REQUIRE ALL ACCOUNTS TO BE VERIFIED THRU A CREDIT CARD!!!!

IF AN ACCOUNT HAS FRAUDULENT USER INFO, IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION! No second chances!

Ebay makes too much money on fraud to ever get serious about cracking down. After all, it's all reward no risk to them. Here are a few of the ways Ebay profits thru theft & Fraud:

Counterfeit item listed. Ebay makes listing fee. Item sells, Ebay gets FVF. Buyer claims SNAD, returns rock. Ebay says sorry, and refunds all the money & keeps all the fees. You get a strike & a negative, losing your discount. Ebay profits all round.

Buyer bids on expensive item. Buyer is a jerk & making it hard for you. Threatens you with a negative & you are afraid to apply for your fee return on this unpaid item. Ebay wins again.

There's no reward for Ebay in stopping fraud. They NEVER used to allow relist of an unpaid item until it looked like they were going to get sued, then they allowed relists, but in the meantime they made MILLIONS OFF FRAUD.

Listing Fees on bootlegs, Seized accounts, 180 day holds are all looked at as legit sources of revenue for Ebay.

Dummyho said in the conference call""******** our increasing need to grow revenues from existing users and established markets,*******************"
In other words, grab your ankles & bend over, because JD ain't thru with you yet. And when you die, this crook will be pulling out your gold teeth!
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: SV
       
Fri Oct 22 11:46:56 2010
There are buyers?
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Oct 22 11:54:02 2010
What a crock!  Don't they ever tire of playing immature, childish games with their users?
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Now Is The Time
       
Fri Oct 22 11:54:29 2010
Now is the time for all websites to discontinue using paypal or any other payment service who interferes with their terms by allowing customers to bypass direct communication with them.  Any buyer now can simply make up a story to get all their money back and the business/seller pays for it due to buyer either not reading the description or understanding it.
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: 918644
       
Fri Oct 22 11:55:53 2010
Lame response to the obvious, pointed out so many times through the years now. Real registration and verification at the gate, and a limit to the amount of accounts each person or household can have.

There's never enough time to do it right, but always plenty to do it over and over and over.

For more entertainment, although off topic search this:
'The Rape Accusation Against Meg Whitman's Son That Got Hushed Up'  

from gawker
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Now Is The Time
       
Fri Oct 22 11:57:21 2010
To add to my comment above.  And any fraudulent competitor who chooses to hurt another seller can gain from this as well as helping paypal.
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: buck efay
       
Fri Oct 22 12:14:41 2010
Nothing new there, anytime you get a policy violation, 9 times out of 10 it's your competition. Remember the "confessions of Ebay TSAM" from a month or so ago, (look in the archives) where she admitted many Ebay top selling dealers are also top stoolies & stooges sending reports to harass for any reason.
eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: I am Edna
       
Fri Oct 22 12:15:16 2010
Now Is The Time said:
> Now is the time for all websites
> to discontinue using paypal or
> any other payment service who
> interferes with their terms by
> allowing customers to bypass
> direct communication with them.''

Consider it done!

My website now has a brief message that says ''Sorry, we no longer accept PayPal.'' (And that's just a placeholder message that will be removed shortly.) I've already removed EVERY PAYPAL ICON and EVERY text reference to ''PayPal accepted''.

You know what... it makes my site look MORE PROFESSIONAL to not have paypal listed anymore.

No offense to those small sellers who really have no choice except paypal... but the PayPal logos on my site made it look a little ''too'' mom-and-pop... and a little ''too'' ebay-ish.

I do not want my customers (and potential) customers to see my business as being SO SMALL that my only choice is to use Paypal.

Again, no offense to those who have no choice... but I hope that your small business grows to the point where you DO have a choice.

I remember when PayPal was my ONLY choice (not even a merchant account) and I'd have customers email me and say ''I don't have a PayPal account, can I still buy from you??''

I was fortunate that they took the time to ask... and I was able to let them know that they didn't need a PayPal account. BUT I WONDER... how many customers just wandered away without saying anything?? How much business did I lose from those people who saw PayPal (only) and assumed that they couldn't buy from me.

eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers   eBay Launches New Hub for Reporting Bad Buyers
by: Now Is The Time
       
Fri Oct 22 12:27:01 2010
Isn't this policy like encouraging more internet theft?  Seems to me now the only way if the business is robbed of money is to sue the customer in court.
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