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.