Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Oct 16 2013 13:17:11

eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

By: Ina Steiner

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Being able to review a merchant's feedback is important, especially on a marketplace like eBay. But users noticed on Wednesday eBay had removed one important feature of the feedback page: the ability to see the item title, description and price of the items sellers have sold.

Buyers use that information to help determine if a buyer or seller is being dishonest with their feedback comments and to help determine the types of items a seller has sold in the past.

eBay made no announcement before eliminating the feature, leaving users to wonder if it was a glitch, if they were part of a test, or if it was the result of a policy changes. The titles remain for some user IDs, but not others, and in all cases the link to "view item" is missing from the feedback page. EcommerceBytes is awaiting a response from eBay.



Some of the comments form sellers who noticed the change include:

"It is a bit disturbing, now a buyer can't see, what caused a negative."

"Interesting.  I see the "View Item" link when I view my own fb page, but not when I view anyone else's.  I wonder if it was intentional."

"I'm not nosy.... but I do ocassionally look at recent items purchased when viewing a buyers feedback.  Typically, there is a "view item" link associated with that feedback that goes back 90 days or so.  I've noticed that link is now missing when I attempt to do this.  Is anyone else seeing this?  Did I miss an update of some kind? No big deal really, just curious."

Let us know what you think, and we'll update this post when we hear back from eBay.

UPDATE 10/16/13 9:30 pm:
It's official: eBay spokesperson Ryan Moor told me eBay made this decision based on buyer and seller feedback, see the full story in Newflash.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: ABC123 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 13:37:41 2013

Personally I am all for this.  I sell out of print and hard to find items and have no problem haggling with a buyer.  What I do not want is to haggle with everybody if I feel I don't need to.  I list in batches so one batch of the same quantity might sell for xxx, a month later I list the same batch for a higher or lower price depending on what other sites are selling it for.  I don't like that anybody can see what I sell these items for in the past.

I do understand why others could be upset but really?  If somebody leaves a neg with us, it's one in thousands of positives.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed Oct 16 13:57:09 2013

I imagine that such a move would make it difficult for diligent buyers to get a better picture of what the seller is really like.

Did the seller accumulate their feedback by selling individual paper-clips? (And then, once a ''respectable'' amount of feedback has been earned, the seller turns out to be some sort of scammer.)

Did the seller earn a negative because the mystery-item is something that typically attracts persnickety buyers? (Wouldn't it be nice to know if the item description really WAS incorrect? Wouldn't it be nice to know if the seller's photos DID show the flaw after all?)

Ahh... yet another reason to feel vulnerable at eBay. Despite eBay assurances to the contrary... when eBay removes transparency and begins to obfuscate helpful bits of information, the 'venue' becomes a risky place to buy-and-sell.

So glad that I don't have to worry with this any more.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Oct 16 14:09:50 2013

As the eBay marketplace continues on its journey down the toilet, this latest devious action would most likely be just one more desperate attempt by eBay to obfuscate matters, just like the recent removal of the indication of the number of any already-placed auction bids from the “saved search” email notices, and the earlier removal of the Sort for “Number of bids: fewest/most first” from the Completed listings (and now also from the Current listings).

Undoubtedly, eBay would have to be the most demonstrably and blatantly disingenuous commercial entity on the planet; then, I suspect that is, by now, understood by all and sundry, except for those bureaucratic regulators charged with protecting we simple consumers from such unscrupulous commercial enterprises … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ...

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: alfabarn This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 14:19:05 2013

Well, you can't see any evidence of a SNAD scam if you can't see the item or the description that contradict the buyers statements. Now we have only the buyers history of feedback for others to see any history or pattern that supports any type of ''bad buyer'' activity.  

could it be that in advance of their new buyer protection they are taking measures to remove any doubt that they may have ''bad'' buyers?  

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed Oct 16 14:45:36 2013

Alfabarn nails it! The simplest answer is usually the correct one.

eBay never makes a change unless there's an underlying REASON to do so. This isn't cosmetic. This isn't for 'privacy' reasons. The more I think about it, it seems quite obvious that this is in preparation for a policy-change.

Why is it unannounced? --- My best guess is that it's a ''test'' to gauge reaction to it. After eBay has a sampling of the most common objections, then their team of wordsmiths can come up with a change in the TOS, and their PR department can find a way to try and make it sound 'appealing'.

Hopefully they've retired the old ''you-spoke-we-listened'' canard.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 14:49:39 2013

Whatever the purpose of this latest tweak, yet another piece of the puzzle, you can bet it is a strategic part of ebay's overall agenda. And we already know that agenda includes the elimination of small sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Oct 16 14:58:32 2013

Transparency has never been eBay's forte.

And it's all about the buyer, no matter how bad, dishonest or corrupt a buyer might be. Birds of a feather flock together.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 16:04:14 2013

This information is still available on my Feedback page. This probably was a test to judge seller's reaction. Since this is eBay, they will consider this test to be a roaring success and eliminate this feature.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 16:05:48 2013

When I look at the feedbacks from my "saved sellers" list - the items are there but the links to them are not.

Just as annoying to me as whats described above since they are mostly my competitors and I use it as a tool to see what items are popular or to see if theres a feature or some other info that I missed.

I have my own pics so I dont need any other elses.

As usual, its "another eBay trick" ... what for I dont know yet. I havent sat and thought it out - but Im sure theres something nasty, crafty and "ebayish" about it.

Im sure that Ming or Ric will figure it out - they always do :)

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 16:08:04 2013

I honestly think "our" eBay is spread over many servers with many applications in various stages of jury-rigging/development. I don't know what to think anymore. I'm just sooooooo tired.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 16:44:42 2013

@bloggo. You can only see the links on your OWN feedback page to your OWN items sold while logged into your account-you cannot see anyone else's. They are now hidden from view. I see this purely as an attempt by Ebay to limit damage control over the latest seller purge 2.0. This latest round of purges included a vast array of sellers with DSR's over 4.8. When sellers that have been suspended post their ID on Seller Central, the regular posters examine their feedback pretty thoroughly. If there's any reason to be had for this suspension, the posters usually find it and point out to the original poster where this suspension may stem from. For example ''You're charging $12 to ship a roll of coins-Ebay views this as shipping gouging no matter the fact you state in your listing that it's a $12 shipping charge''.
Such observations have benefited Ebay. However, with this latest round of purges, the posters are seeing more people suspended for reasons that seemingly cannot be fathomed-100% feedback and very high DSR's. And these are only the ones that actually COME to Seller Central to post their story's. It might be worth pointing out that the Seller Central forum is now very difficult to even find-I had to bookmark the page after 45 mins of frustrated searching, and I KNEW the darn forum was there somewhere!
It immediately ocurred to me that the removal of these links served no better purpose than to hide the truth.
Why am I not surprised?

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: froggie This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 19:52:33 2013

Ho wow!

I saw that this morning and thought it was a glitch. Then I saw reference to it on the bay boards. And now, I see it here.

Whatever ebay's reasoning, it can't be good for sellers.

Honestly, to me, it looks like short-term damage control.

Less transparency can only mean nothing good can come from it. Ugh.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: rudestar This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 21:20:31 2013

Trying to hide the gaming of buyers into higher priced items by not showing the lower priced ones.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Oct 16 21:31:55 2013

It's official - I've added an update to the story above with a link to the Newsflash article at the bottom.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 21:51:09 2013

gee, Now we can tell even LESS about buyers, this will make it even harder to weed out bad buyers.

Also, there goes more of the FUN that used to be ebay- some of the most interesting things we could still see was the neat things our buyers were buying.

MH

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 22:42:50 2013

Well eBay did it again!

Another feature/aspect of the system is hidden!? No announcement, no real explanation (at least not one that makes ANY sence at all) and good old LYIN RYAN finally tells the truth. He got his hand yet again caight in the cookie jar!

Why would sellers ask that this info be removed? makes ZERO sence.

If you are a buyer - you can see what your seller has sold in the past - maybe the buyer will want one.

If you are a seller - how does this hurt anyone?

eBay once again proves how shady and creepy they really are!

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Wed Oct 16 23:29:11 2013

This move was a piece of crap. After this, I don't have hope to see improvement in Feedback and DSR System in eBay. So I will be there as seller until I got suspended or they end the free listings.

As buyer. I always like to check feedback. For any new Neutral/Negative, I like to see the listing if available. So I can check the item and made my decision to buy from that seller.

As seller. I noted that every time I receive a feedback. I get some sale or a question from a potential buyer. Also I can check at least some history from the buyer.

Why someone/company copy social features from other sites meanwhile is blocking/limiting interaction between members? I agree with some members in the topic. It looks like eBay only wants to cover something.

@ABC123, I don't understand you. Good luck in your business.



Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Oct 17 00:22:26 2013

I type these words through my crocodile tears for EB Most Abused Buyer of the Year, Madam Beverly.

Some dark clouds have silver linings, and possibly here's one regarding this newest unannounced, broken Ho Q4 promise.

As ebafia continues down the road of Grand Opaque Secrecy in order to inflate their quarterly GMVs by inviting buyers to file INR and SNAD complaints against sellers, the percentage of allegedly returned items is significantly on the increase just as ebafia intended.

We spend a lot of time here cussing and discussing bad buyers, but some equally scummy sellers are and have been engaging in what I believe has become a fairly common and growing practice of post sale interference.

For the third time this year, I received a private email today from buyer asking that I not leave feedback, and here's the key part: because she doesn't want other sellers sending her emails offering the same or similar item for a lower price!

Of course buyers who benefit from post sale interference aren't likely to report this severe policy violation so it's difficult to prove until some honest buyer or buyer steps up.

Something else to keep in mind for package inserts: bounties for post sale interference.

As ebafia marketplace has devolved into too many sellers chasing too few buyers, I think there's a fair number of dishonest sellers engaging in this practice.

At least this change will have, IMO, one benefit that may reduce returns and our bottom lines.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

This user has validated their user name. by: Bijoux Dragon
Web Site

Thu Oct 17 00:22:33 2013

This sucks for sellers but sucks big time for buyers.  I want to know if the seller is used to properly packing what I intend to buy and, when selling other items of this type, do they get good, mezzo or bad feedback. Just one more good reason to not do business at all on eBay.

As for seller/buyer feedback involved, usual eBay BS - you couldn't find 10 sane adults who requested this and who are not on eBay's payroll.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice   eBay Removes Important Feedback Feature with No Notice

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Thu Oct 17 00:35:12 2013

@Ming, now talking about it. I received long time ago an offer to buy from a seller I never bought an item him. I just ignore him.

The worst are the e-mails of so-called companies/sellers searching for ''drop shippers''.  

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