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Mon July 27 2015 22:12:26

Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers had a chance to turn the tables and rate eBay on its change to the feedback system. EcommerceBytes conducted a survey and found not only is the recent change unpopular, sellers believe there are other problems with the feedback system as well.

A new yes/no question asks buyers "Did your item arrive on or before..." and fills it in with what it calls the "Estimated Delivery Date." (See more on this in Tuesday's Newsflash newsletter.)

Sellers rated the new Feedback question a 1.4 using a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "Poor" and 5 being "Excellent." 

Many sellers object to being rated about delivery time since that is dependent on the shipping carrier. "Why on earth won't they include a question about PACKING the item instead of timely shipping," one seller asked.

Interestingly another seller raised the issue of customized products (a popular option on Etsy and something Amazon is now getting into). "This whole thing they are doing with estimated delivery date doesn't work for some companies. I sell personalized products and it depends upon the product and the time for personalization. So, this may be very detrimental to my eBay store."

We wanted to know how satisfied sellers were with other areas of the feedback system. When asked, "Have you ever had a transaction in which you felt a BUYER used the threat of negative feedback to make a demand?" 73% answered yes, 27% said no. eBay has acknowledged the problem of "bad buyers" but clearly it has failed to curb the problem.

When asked, "Do you think that overall, eBay's feedback system is effective?" 14% said yes, 86% said no.

We also asked sellers to rate the eBay Defect removal policy - sellers rated it a 1.5 using a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "Poor" and 5 being "Excellent." 

The new question about shipping delivery is unpopular especially in light of the fact that eBay isn't sharing how it will use the information or whether it will penalize sellers based on the new changes to its feedback system - nor would it respond to our inquiries. 

Here is just some of the feedback sellers provided in the survey in the comments:

To even HINT that a parcel should be delivered by a certain day is unthinkable.

I feel that the feedback system on eBay is biased against the seller no matter what. Why have that sort of question to begin with when the tracking results provides the answer. I think it is just another way for buyers to leave additional negative for a buyer.

eBay estimated delivery dates can be very wrong, and I feel that if a buyer is happy with the service they have received, and that they got the item in good time, then really, what has it got to do with eBay itself? This question that they have added is totally unnecessary and I am sure that eBay will find a way of using that information against a seller's ratings too. Time will tell.

The date it is shipped is what a seller should be judged on.

eBay needs to stop instigating and encouraging friction between buyers and sellers. Feedback should be simple: Positive, neutral, or negative, with a place to leave a comment. If their "need to control" things is still obsessive, they could include "was item shipped by seller within their stated time". That is more realistic. People are not dumb. They know the ship time depends on the carrier and they are fine with that. It is this kind of mentality that is killing eBay.

I don't see any reason for the question unless eBay is attempting to gather non-feedback related data about deliveries. 

Fortunately, it is eBay policy to remove negative feedback if it is able to be seen in the eBay messaging system that a buyer threatens or makes demands using the threat of negative feedback. The feedback system as a whole is still completely unfair and obviously not transparent in it's intentions, however.

I once made a purchase on ebay and was sent priority flat rate small box. I live in Mass, item was sent from CT and took TWO weeks. Not seller's fault but post office. I do not like this idea.

The seller should not be responsible for the Post Office not making the delivery date Ebay set. As a buyer I have found the date to not be very accurate and the post office rarely meets it, they do however meet their own projected date. EBay's estimated date does not take into account weekends and many times it says the date should be delivered before the seller has time to ship.

We have had buyers come right out and say they will leave negative feedback if we do not give into their demands. Which at times, have been unreasonable or unjustified. No one takes kindly to threats or having something held over their head.

This is a common occurrence. Ebay has given all the power to the buyer and therefore the seller/buyer relationship has become adversarial. Sellers are constantly under threat. And now you are underestimating how long shipping will take and asking the seller to control the post office.

It is insane to judge sellers on what is essentially in the post office's hands. If a seller ships through eBay, then eBay knows damn well when it shipped and if it was within their stated handling time which is all the seller has control over. I currently have two defects for items they buyer judged shipped too slowly, both shipped the day after purchase and 2 days before they needed to per my stated handling time.

The eBay feedback system has been used numerous times to extort our company for free services or products.

(regarding threat of extortion): It's been a few years since I had one. It used to be more common, for me, than it is now.



Comments (35) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jul 27 23:32:01 2015

"When asked, "Do you think that overall, eBay's feedback system is effective?" 14% said yes, 86% said no."

How can feedback be effective if it isn't reciprocal, or at least have a means in place by which unwarranted negative feedback can be honestly reviewed and altered if necessary. As the saying goes, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely," and the buyers on eBay have been absolutely corrupted.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 27 23:37:14 2015

So basically, no REAL changes were made.

Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.

"Is this going to be held against sellers?" OF COURSE IT WILL. Its just another shipping metric eBay can use to squeeze money from sellers.

With eBay NOW gone, GIS gone, Paypal gone, and thank god - JD gone - whats eBay to do?

They REFUSE to advertise, they refuse to chow up to industry trade shows, they refuse to stop the blatant thefts and abuses on eBay - so another revenue stream is needed.

Good old Paypal, the partner in crime thats separate but not separate will be more then happy to earn the %80 promised revenues by removing money from your account, SOBs.

Maybe they will crank up the VERO abuses again, who knows.

32 thousand employees and this is the best idea they've got? dummies.

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Jul 28 00:42:52 2015

While an ecrater seller can't leave feedback for a buyer, that is okay because if a buyer leaves unwarranted feedback, if you have proof, ecrater will change it. They did this for me today after an international package got held up following the 4th of July at the PO  center in Chicago and then shipped to Jamaica NY. The feedback from the buyer was she 'finally' got her package (I had shipped it in less than 4 hours, not my fault that the PO was slow and then they complained that the package went to Bermuda. Feedback on ecrater is supposed to be about whether the seller did their job correctly and was the item as described. Not did the USPS do their job correctly? I'm so glad to deal with a venue that isn't afraid to support their sellers!

Ebay has been so mis-focused for so many years, it would take the equivalent of an specialized eye surgeon for them to see the light, but they would rather go completely blind instead.

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 01:13:24 2015

Would be nice if ebay 's mansgement got off their high horse and genuinely addressed the lack of buyers instead of punishing sellers.  This is stupid snd downright childish.  Seems to me once seller proves the item was mailed it is no longer his responsibility as to when it arrives.  How GD dumb can they be!

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jul 28 07:16:51 2015

Estimated delivery dates......I think that eBay may be experimenting again.  In the past month or so, most of our sales have come from the five surrounding states, and remarkably three orders were received in three days from addresses that were within one mile of my postal code.

Nothing like being hidden from the rest of the world. Sorry buyers....they aren't showing you everything.

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 07:26:22 2015

Worrying about what Fleecebag does or doesn't do only gives one ulcers.

I have more important things to worry about.

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 07:57:05 2015

But when sellers asked Griff Jr., aka Jeff, the ebay "Director of Community", these questions, Jeff was adamant that delivery time is COMPLETELY under the seller's control, since the seller picked the carrier.  Clearly Jeff believes FedEx and UPS are viable alternatives to First Class or Priority Mail, and that increasing shipping charges 300-500% will cause buyers to FLOCK to the site!

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 08:15:06 2015

People, people, come on! Don't you understand,
every ding is another bonus check for those entitled, 1%'ers!

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 08:25:01 2015

It's obvious that eBay either intends to use this as a club with which to further abuse/beat their paying customers [ie. the sellers!] or they're simply too stupid to grasp that they already possess the ostensibly sought-after metric via online tracking!  Now, given a choice between these two options [evil or dumb as rocks] when evaluating eBay [mis-]management, it's a very tough call indeed! So, given that I generally think the best of people, I'll come down this time on the side of Dumb as Rocks.

What is the CORRECT way to handle this? Well, the web page ought to first query tracking, and if the item arrived within estimated time, it LOCKS OUT the Shipping Time DSR and gives seller an automatic Five Stars.  If buyer clicks on the "why can't I enter this?" icon, it tells him the item got there on time and the seller's performance is therefore judged as Excellent.  End of Story.

Now, I can figure this out instantly. Why can't eBay?  Because they're Dumb as Rocks. Maybe you chose "Evil."

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: Henry This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 09:05:05 2015

This is blatant stupidity. Just a few days ago this was a test. Now it is reality.

I think eBay believes sellers will switch to FedEX or UPS or USPS Expedited delivery. Why? In order for buyers to receive their items faster - NO. They are doing it to increase revenue on their unwarranted FVF on shipping.

Of course this may eliminate more TRS and give a minor boost to revenue.

If this is their idea of helping sellers they need to have more ''thinking days''.

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 09:12:23 2015

One thing ebay management sure does NOT understand is that every time they eliminate one of us (sellers - bad or good) they eliminate a buyer and some times several buyers.

Do they really thing my husband will be spending $10k a year on ebay if I'm not earning it?   I've already semi-converted him to Amazon. Next I'll show him etsy - wave good bye ebay

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jul 28 09:14:09 2015

I bought an item in June that I forgot to leave feedback for.

When I went to leave feedback they asked me if it was delivered on or before June 11th.

It's July 28th and I don't have a clue if it was delivered on the 11th or not.

I could just guess YES or NO but that doesn't seem right, I could leave it blank but I'm not sure how that would work out for the seller so I picked YES.

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: Leesantiques This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 09:41:02 2015

As has already been stated, Ebay has the information as to when packages were shipped, and when they were delivered.  Sellers have no control over the post office - or UPS and Fedex, for that matter.

I can't see anything good coming out of this question being asked.  I would love to ask those in charge why it is being asked, and what is going to be done with the information, but of course they aren't telling us.  :-(

Lee

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 10:25:11 2015

I see this as a bad thing when freebay gets into something new it is not good folks simple not good at all if it was they would not be doing it, I often wonder who in the heck gives them these ideas? they know very well when package is delevered

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 10:56:20 2015

Yet another arbitrary index of seller performance makes me angry. I leave it blank. When an answer is required, I will hit YES. I always give the max stars no matter HOW BAD the service.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 11:11:49 2015

I thought the new CEO said he was going to take an objective stance on changes, not subjective... This is entirely subjective and prone for error and false reporting.

Buyers don't leave feedback right away and how will they remember if it was on time or not. And high volume buyers may not recall which came when at the time they are leaving feedback.. And really now, our lives are already complex, why in the world waste time answering questions when you have the label creating date, first scan date and delivery date.

USE THE OBJECTIVE FACTUAL DATA EBAY! It truly is unbelievable the ineptitude of this company! I have always said if I could bottle common sense and sell it I could really make some money in this world, but geez, I could be a millionaire selling it in San Jose and Utah to these imbeciles!

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Tue Jul 28 11:18:46 2015

Not worried about this one.  The tracking data is already posted. It's redundant and a waste of time.  I ship same or next day so the problem, if there is one, is not on me.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Jul 28 14:25:52 2015

Next they will think of a way to make this retroactive. These idiots love to implement changes that hurt sellers and then make these changes retroactive where a seller can't do one damn thing about it. This is especially caustic for small sellers with a 12 month look back.

If this shows the start of Wenig's reign, then sellers have no glimmer of hope for a restoration of eBay. All ebay tests are rigged with predetermined results to become reality and usually to the detriment of sellers.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Jul 28 14:28:24 2015

Typically, there is still no indication of what eBay will do with this collected data. eBay's ongoing lack of transparency is on display as eBay rolls out this latest unannounced change.

Is it possible that eBay will collect and review the data and learn that their estimated shipping dates are frequently inaccurate and displeasing both buyers and sellers? If so, will this data result in revised and more realistic displays, or even the elimination of estimate delivery dates entirely so as not to mislead, antagonize and displease buyers?

More realistically, given eBay managements fetish for beating down their sellers, it appears likely that this will be used as a whip to further denigrate seller reputations and either eliminate sellers from receiving TRS discounts, or prevent sellers from qualifying for TRS discounts in the first place. Bottom line is more money in eBay's corporate pockets which will be lavished on clueless executives as they turn a blind eye and allow the marketplace decline to accelerate.

Perminate Link for Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change   Sellers Neg eBay Over Feedback Change

by: The Grey Fox This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 18:53:40 2015

There is no point in getting upset about eBay asking if the buyer got the item by the estimated delivery date. This information cannot be used against the seller because 1) eBay arbitrarily set the date (supposedly based on average data supplied by the carrier), and 2) the seller cannot be held responsible for the actions of a third party over which it has no control. If eBay's ''estimated'' delivery date is incorrect (and this is important because it is not guaranteed), the problem is eBay's, not the seller's. I believe they are asking the question of buyers to see if the estimates they are generating are good estimates because it is eBay that is responsible for them, not the sellers. If the estimates prove consistently optimistic, sellers have a legal case against eBay because eBay is damaging their reputations without the sellers consent or input. And if eBay tries to use the data against sellers, then sellers have a hell of a legal case against eBay for the same reasons.

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