|Mon Apr 21 2014 21:04:53|
Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?
By: Ina Steiner
If the emails I'm receiving from sellers are any indication, eBay may be forced to reconsider its new seller defect rate metric before rolling it out in August. While eBay announced last month the new way it would begin measuring seller performance, sellers didn't have a chance to see their new ratings until late last week.
It appears the reports are flawed, and/or the method eBay uses to determine a seller "defect" is different from how eBay described it when announcing its Spring Seller Update in March.
Julia Wilkinson first reported the new seller dashboard and defect-rate report through her post on the AuctionBytes Blog on Thursday. As I mentioned in Sunday's Update newsletter, sellers are reporting that eBay is dinging them for some issues that are the fault of shipping carriers or for other events outside of their control.
The scenarios described by some sellers are Kafkaesque - eBay is in some cases punishing them for going out of their way to provide good service to buyers. Some of the defects described by sellers include:
- defects counted for cancelled transactions due to the buyer requesting a change of address.
- defects for refunding a customer for a purchase in which the buyer asked the seller to delay shipment. ("I re-invoiced her from the "items sold" menu, and she re-paid the items when she was ready for them to ship. They shipped timely within stated period & she kept the items.") Clearly she went to a lot of work to accommodate the buyer.
- defects for transactions that were cancelled after the sale by eBay due to the buyer using a fraudulent credit card.
Another seller wrote, "eBay previously stated that opened cases would not count against the seller rating unless they were closed against the seller. This is clearly no longer the case and the fact that these ratings are retroactive back 1-year for most sellers makes their previous statements a complete lie."
eBay will be holding a webinar about the new dashboard on Wednesday. Anyone who has questions about the new defect rates should tune in and ask questions.
If you have had a chance to examine your projected defect rates, let us know if they're what you expected. And is eBay's new way of measuring seller performance that goes into effect this summer better than the current system?