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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon July 22 2013 23:38:44

eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

By: Ina Steiner
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As part of eBay's fall Seller Release to be announced shortly, eBay will expand its feedback removal policy, among a host of other changes. The changes to feedback will take effect on July 31st and will roll out across all international sites, including the U.S.

One of the biggest circumstances under which a seller will be able to request feedback removal: a buyer leaves low ratings or negative feedback but provided clearly positive comments.

Another situation that will be eligible for feedback removal: A buyer left a seller feedback in error, i.e., the buyer provided the wrong shipping address at checkout, or left feedback for the wrong seller.

Looking through the list, it really makes one wonder why these weren't included in the feedback removal policy before now. The policy takes effect for feedback left on or after July 31, 2013.

But eBay isn't making it too easy to get negative feedback removed - here's the procedure it describes sellers must go through:

"First, see if the situation is one in which feedback will be removed automatically. Second, if feedback removal is not automatic, contact your buyer. Always try to resolve issues with your buyer before contacting eBay. Often, it's just a misunderstanding that can be worked out. If you're still unable to resolve it, use the existing feedback revision system to have the buyer revise his feedback. If the buyer is unwilling to revise the feedback and it's eligible for removal under the expanded Feedback Removal policy, you can contact Customer Support or use the Reply to Feedback Received feature to leave a courteous and professional comment explaining your side of the issue."

Other changes coming to eBay:

- TRS grace period (eBay had previously rolled this out in the UK, but not the U.S.).

- eBay Managed Returns Program expanded to include replacements.

- Expanding eBay Best Offer changes coming to all categories.

- Replacing the Coin Catalog.

- Other Category Changes.

In the UK, eBay is changing fees, among other changes coming as part of the eBay UK fall Seller Release.

See Tuesday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash for the changes we've learned are coming to eBay.com over the course of the next several months.

And let us know what you think of all these changes!
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
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Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Tue Jul 23 20:03:28 2013
@Ed

I completely agree.  The FB / DSR system is worthless for buyers, as no matter what they do, only positive FB is suppose to be left and it's extremely damaging to sellers, as buyer that may have simply had a misunderstanding or even a bad day can significantly hurt a seller for months to come.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Tue Jul 23 20:51:37 2013
We shall see Marie. What eBay says and what eBay actually do have made many of us here not believe one word that they say.  I hate that I have become this jaded as it relates to eBay, but for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  

I have completely lost trust in eBay and I think that the only way that I could ever get it back is for new management to take over, and to see actions from eBay rather than words.  I do not, and I will never trust John Donahoe.  My disdain for him has built over many years, and I find him to be egregious.
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Tue Jul 23 21:11:30 2013
@Rexford

I still don't understand "We shall see Marie". My postings are full of IFs and we have to wait and see.  You chat as if I've stated something is fact.  I haven't done that.  I stated that we have to wait and see how Ebay applies these new rules but that if any of it is true, it is a positive thing as it is more than we have right now.  I didn't say I believed Ebay nor that I trusted them.  What I said was we need more information and that when they publish the policy on this it will be interesting.

It is because I said something positive may come of this that some others take my posts to something that was never said or intended.  There are 5 potentially new points Ebay may allow for FB removal.  Even if only one of those points actually came to be a real policy, it is more than we have now.  So yes, we have to wait and see.  Many policies in the past have been announced and were significantly different once brought on line.
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jul 24 09:03:18 2013
Does this mean no more selling of "raw' coins? Only sales of slabbed coins? What about rolls??? If authenticity is the issue coins certified by ANACS would be appropriate for certain coins.
 
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jul 24 11:29:50 2013
As has been said numerous times here and on the ebay discussion boards: GET RID OF THE DSR SYSTEM
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jul 24 11:40:46 2013
How many buyers leave inaccurate DSRs because the feedback page is confusing? I have been selling on ebay for nearly 10 years and buy on occasion. I recently left FB for a seller. The ''Positive, Neutral, Negative'' selections were obvious, with a box to check for each. However, when it came to DSRs, each of the 4 categories is listed and 5 very faint stars next to each, with absolutely no explanation of the stars. Only by hovering your mouse over the faint stars does it give an explanation of what they mean, and then only while you hold the mouse pointer there. At no time can you see a description of what all 5 ratings mean at the same time. As an experienced ebayer, I was confused by it. How many other people are confused by the same thing?

Some people leave poor feedback in a fit of rage. The package arrived late. The shirt wasn't the shade of blue that they imagined when they bought it (and maybe the picture didn't look the same on their monitor as it did on the sellers). USPS or UPS delivered a day late. The result is the seller gets very poor FB from this buyer. While it might not seem like much to the buyer, the seller's sales can be impacted by this for a year, and seller fees might be impacted immediately through loss of TRS status.

Ebay should require buyers leaving any FB less than positive or less than 4 stars to enter the feedback, then wait 24 hours and review it, then enter an explanation for their reason for leaving low FB, before submitting it. Then a case should be opened and the seller given a chance to correct the problem so the buyer is satisfied with their purchase. Wait! That would be so unlike ebay to do something that would benefit the sellers. Ebay is more interested in making sellers lose their TRS status so they can pay the higher FV fees, hence more profit for ebay.

I have seen sellers receive negative FB from buyers, along with a comment that the purchase was good. This was obviously a case of the buyer checking the wrong box for negative (or neutral) FB when they should have checked positive. And that's the more obvious selection on the FB screen. How often to they leave low DSRs inaccurately on that confusing screen? What a great way for ebay to make more money!

If ebay truly wants sellers to be better sellers and buyers to be happier buyers, then the sellers need to be informed of reasons why buyers are unhappy and learn to make changes to improve that. Granted, some buyers will always complain and whine when they don't get their way, such as those that want a refund without returning the item. Fortunately, that is a small percentage of buyers. But the way feedback is set up now, one or two of these whiny buyers can destroy a seller's reputation on ebay.

I once had a buyer leave negative FB because I didn't send a refund for an item he said he returned. I never received it. He couldn't provide a tracking number. I called ebay CS to get the unfair FB removed. They refused to do anything about it. I asked how I deserved a neg for not issuing a refund for an item I didn't receive back, and never got any communication from the buyer that they were returning it. They said the seller is free to leave whatever FB they want for any reason. They refused to remove it, so I had a lower FB percentage for a year, unfairly. With that kind of buyer, there wasn't anything I could have done differently to avoid a neg, other than issue a refund for an item I didn't receive back. So how can I improve my seller performance? Quit selling on ebay and sell through other venues!
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Wed Jul 24 12:52:13 2013
@auctionguy

Your last paragraph about the neg you received reminded me of something that happened to me.  I got a neg from a buyer because I refunded them to quickly.  That was her complaint. She felt I should have waited a little longer because she needed more time to get use to the fact she was going to be refunded.  I am not joking.  I called her to see if there was just a misunderstanding and this is what she explained to me.  I should have waited longer.  I confused her by being so quick to take care of it.  And she said there was no way she would revise the FB because I never should have refunded so quickly.  She felt it was a bad business practice and went on to explain in detail how I should run by business and handle my customers.  There was no way I was going to be able to make this lady happy.
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
by: birdieman This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jul 24 16:18:50 2013
Wow, you are all complaining about being able to leave retaliatory negative feedback for buyers...answer me this, what other Seller, brick and mortar or eCommerce, would actually berate a buyer for being difficult, returning an item, or just browsing  etc.
If this is your hangup, the reason you get neg FB and low DSR's due to your lack of customer service and YOU deserve the ratings YOU earn. Don't blame the platform because you cant handle a difficult buyer. @Ming, @Patricia, @Frustrated, quit whining and move on to the next buyer that wants to buy something from you. complaining about a DSR that has been left and wanting to find out who left it...why? the damage has already been done. If you cant move past this point, you will always be the whiner in the background that cant succeed and blames all big business for their lack of being able to run a business.

If you all spent as much time running your business as you do B!#&ing about FB and DSRs, you would probably be pretty successful.

Has anyone looked at selling on another platform? Amazon...where the platform competes with the "small seller" or any other platform where you are a nameless entity.

As both an avid buyer and seller on eBay, the whining that goes on because sellers take their FB too personally and dont look at it as a business. Sellers dont want to take personal responsibility for their own failed business and profound lack of customer service.  
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Wed Jul 24 16:47:15 2013
@birdieman

In Ming's defend [not that I was asked to defend his honor], while it did talk about retaliatory FB, the story he described was not retaliatory, it was with good cause.  There is a HUGE difference.

Mjrock described retaliatory FB with their posting quite clearly.  Mings story is nothing like that.  

Now with all that in mind, there does need to be a way for sellers to determine how high risk a buyer might be, that may not be with negative FB, but there does need to be something.

Comparing business on the internet with a physical store isn't comparing apples to apples.  With a physical store if you are caught stealing, they will typically call the police.  Ebay sellers have no such thing available to them.  Ebay occasionally will help, but not near often enough.  Most sellers when there is a buyer clearly trying to scam them are on their own.  

You are correct that good polite customer service should be the basis of any business and I subscribe to that myself.  But sometimes stuff happens.  Stuff the seller has zero control over and zero way to prevent.

It is wonderful to know that you have not had anyone steal from you or scam you out of your money, product or both.  But it does happen and it happens to a whole lot of sellers.

Fortunately Ebay seems to be acknowledging that there just might be a problem.  It started with the Spring update when they are now removing neg or neutral FB left by a buyer that loses a claim against a seller.  A little too late for me as I have a negative for that very reason.  The buyer was mad that Ebay would not allow them to keep the product and force me to refund.

The Fall Updates have 5 more reasons coming on line for where sellers will be given a fighting chance to have bad FB and/or DSRs removed.  Now while the policy hasn't been published yet and we don't know how it will actually get applied, it certainly says that Ebay is recognizing that the sellers often get the short end of the stick and are punished for it.  
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner
       
Wed Jul 24 16:47:56 2013
@birdieman

Does eBay know that you are using their IP to post on our blog? I suspect they wouldn't be too happy with an employee posting incognito on EcommerceBytes. Just looking out for you and all...

David Steiner
EcommerceBytes
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jul 24 16:49:37 2013
Lot of questions here still. As many have said, it all depends on how Ebay applies these new rules. There are still a lot of gray areas in my opinion regarding these new rules.

My question is....if you are going to remove feedback where a buyer leaves bad feedback and the information was in the item specifics....does that also mean they will remove feedback where something is clearly pointed out in the description? Or does this mean they won't remove it if it says it in the description but NOT in the item specifics?

Revised feedback....what if a buyer leaves low DSRs and neg feedback...they then revise to a positive feedback but don't change DSR's.....will Ebay then go and completely remove the feedback since it's a positive comment with low scores? I think they should....but something tells me they won't.
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jul 24 17:38:21 2013
David, as far as you and I know ebay inc. has employees hired specifically to monitor and manipulate the blogs.  Heh.

You'd think they'd know a smart administrator would detect them by IP though....

I guess they are just not that sharp.  
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
by: Epins This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Wed Jul 24 17:41:19 2013
@birdieman
Does eBay know that you are using their IP to post on our blog?
David Steiner

Dave, any chance that other commenters using the meme,'if you all spent as much time running your business as you do POSTING, you probably be successful.', have eBay Inside too?
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
This user has validated their user name. by: Ric
       
Wed Jul 24 18:01:23 2013
Nice catch David...Great out!!
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jul 24 18:12:39 2013
The changes are welcomed and too late and the changes that we need desperately are not included we should be able to leave negative feedback, period. Why is ebay worried about making bad buyers angry? The 100% buyer protection is a real problem and if ebay is protecting sellers it is not showing me that. I have never had not as described complaints like I do now and they are bogus. I do not have a lot but come on ebay is prompting these buyers who simply want free merchandise. DSR ratings and how they are anonymous and a grenade to smaller sellers are just wrong. TRS my rear I have been ripped off twice by ebay's TRS because they sell is such high volume it does not count against them. I am primarily a seller, I try not to buy on ebay but sometimes I have to. I have already established my items in othert venues and I am doing okay but I still sell on ebay and as God as my witness there seems to be a problem everyday and it is nerve racking. The bad buyers are always not registered properly, are rude, and they know ebay's system and how to work it. In my opinion ebay is not curbing bad buyers they are making it worse. The feedback system should be just that. As a seller wouldn't you like to know that the buyers files a lot claims or does not pay, or extorts merchandise? The 100% buyer guarantee with a seller's money should have a quick resolution by ebay if the seller's item is as described, and ebay needs to quit egging it on every time a buyer did not read the ad description and complains. That is buyer remorse not something the seller did wrong and ebay is totally unwilling to realize that buyer's remorse or a buyer buying the wrong item is a return issue paid with paid ship[ping by the buyer, it is not a not as described! Retail 101 the buyer can return the item if they bought the wrong item. Does Walmart pay for the transportation costs a customer has when they return a item, NO! This is a online transaction with shipping costs, wake up ebay! If a buyer contacts me and states I bought the wrong item I tell them to return it, if I get the item back in the condition I sent it to them , I give them a refund. I do not need ebay interfering. I am hanging by a thread right now with keeping my account open. I am so angry with ebay, this stuff is just bonehead and wrong. The people making these decisions make millions is salary. What the heck is wrong with making this fair for everyone? Ebay obviously is pressing because it is becoming apparent that millions in sales are being lost daily because seller have left. I hope that investors those that are left, and the analysts are reading the comments on this blog.
What is really funny is I read the words level playing field in ebay's policy and that could not be further from the truth. Ebay you are going to lose me and frankly it does not look like you care.
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
This user has validated their user name. by: Basset
       
Wed Jul 24 18:58:15 2013
Birdieman - Busted!!!


It is no surprise that eBay visits this site, tho. They would be fools not to take a look at what is on seller's minds and what ideas are put forth. I'm always hoping they'll pick up on some of the ideas presented here.

Lots of criticism here, yes, but some of it is constructive since many regular posters do try to suggest a solution to what they are griping about.

Many businesses would pay to get that type of pulse on their company from its users.
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Wed Jul 24 20:36:14 2013
Way to go, David!!

This goes on far more than we know only usually, IMO, ebay management does it from home or from some convenient wi fi location.

Birdieman's post is quite illuminating because it provides incredibly accurate insight into how ebay thinks and exactly what they think of us.

And it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the names of person responsible also start with the letter B.

So Mr. Birdieman I say again: what brick and mortar store instantly would can be put out of business by one or two mentally ill, substance abusing, irrationally angry customers in need of anger management treatment engaging in shoplifting, extortion, criminal damage to property, disturbing the peace, and making provably false allegations?

The answer Birdieman is, of course, ZERO.

When a brick and mortar store encounters the kind of PITA and troublesome buyers ebay has created in order to reduce seller discounts, the store manager can call the police and get that customer removed and the store doesn't have to worry that this unstable buyer has the power to close their doors.

Birdieman epitomizes the endemic arrogance, narcissism, sociopathy, and ignorance that ebay management exudes.

Same old cr*p from ebay management.
Sellers who complain are "noise, whiners, disgruntled, failed sellers," and so on.

I suspect that we'll be able to categorize Mr. Birdieman as an unemployed ebay pimp in the near future.

Birdieman's post was simply stunning in view of the dire difficulties the .com marketplace has and surely explains how and why it's gotten to the point it has.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jul 24 20:50:43 2013
And how is it that sellers are supposed to determine that a buyer left low DSR scores with a positive comment? We all realize it is possible to decipher in some circumstances (not always where there is a high volume of sales for a given period), but without hard proof it is against eBay policy to question or comment to a buyer about the anonymous DSR scores they left. Are they proposing to take the anonymity away from the DSR system? Well thought out as usual. Sanction the seller who questions a buyer about malicious feedback. Insult to injury...eBay is blowing smoke.
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
by: Ed This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Jul 24 21:05:43 2013
If we changed the feed back system and every one was rated with a score what would be a bad buyer or a bad seller?

Simple their score
What is Good and What is Bad
Buyer Score  
99 out of 100 is buyer good or bad?
80 out of 100 is this buyer good or bad?

We don't need a feed back system like we have now, that is why we have a resolution center.

What is Good and What is Bad
Seller Score

198 out of 200
4950 out of 5000
22500 out of 25000
It depends on what you think is bad.
Our score would be 10804 out of 10826

What would be your score?
How would ebay rate with the buyer?
How would PayPal rate with the buyers?

Buyers and Sellers would only be as good as the customer service they offer.

Fraud would go away and there would be no need for an ebay punishment system.
Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Wed Jul 24 21:59:54 2013
Birdieman's post ranks right up there with the infamous Jose Mallabo post of a few years ago.

EB/AB vets will remember the vile personal insult he hurled at Ina and at the then AB in general.

At that time, Mallabo was head of the ebay spin department.

David skillfully outed Mallabo as well.

He was soon unemployed.

Just as we thought, the corrupt ebay corporate culture hasn't learned a damned thing since then.
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