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Mon June 21 2010 08:54:13

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

By: Ina Steiner

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To the Editor:
Like so many others have noted on your website, my sales are also down. Way down. And in spite of the obvious frustration of having MUCH slower than normal sales, I've been able to get a small degree of comfort in the knowledge that I'm not alone, and that it's not "just me."

Something else that I've recently noticed is that the percentage of customers who leave feedback is falling. Is this happening to "just me" or have any of your readers also experienced the same thing?

Previously, about 85% of my customers would leave feedback. Now, the number of customers who take the time to follow-through has dropped to about 45%.

This really concerns me because sellers need as may positives as possible to help compensate for any negatives that might come along. The more positives I have under my belt, the less disruptive an isolated negative might be.

My products haven't changed. My service hasn't changed. My prices haven't changed. My customers get their feedback within hours of a completed transaction. Delivery confirmation shows that everyone's receiving their items within a few days. I've had no complaints and everyone seems happy. --- So what's changed?

Why the sudden drop in the percentage of feedback follow-through? I don't get it.

Best regards,
A Loyal Reader

Comments (51) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: Stefano
Web Site

Mon Jun 21 09:24:07 2010

Hi ,

I am a former Power seller of Ebay. I still buy $3-7,000 a month off of the site (Though that number is dropping steadily).

I don't leave feedback any more. It is a waste of my time. On Ebay the process is too complex and time consuming. I pay by paypal so if I have a bad transaction, I use their system to recoup my funds.

I also buy a lot off Delcampe.com & bidstart.com.

On those sites I leave feedback for all my transactions.

Why?

IT IS EASY FOR ME TO DO SO.

On Delcampe I get one screen with all the items I have bought. I toggle the ones I want to leave feedback for (I have done 300 at once this way), then click on Positive & then click submit.....300 feedbacks done in less than two minutes. On Ebay that process would take over 2 hours for 300 feedbacks.

On bidstart I can do much the same thing except I do one seller at a time. It is click...click and I am done per seller.

My time is money to me. So I won't waste that time on the silly Ebay feedback system.

I give Feedback to my regular sellers in one way only... I go buy more stuff from them.....

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: RicRoe

Mon Jun 21 10:00:29 2010

I started my own feedback policy a while back.

As a buyer, when I am satisfied with a transaction, I leave 5 stars across the board. If I am unhappy with a transaction, I leave no feedback.

In the case of a transaction where the seller is so bad they do not belong, then I neg and leave all 1's.

As far as I am concerned, 2, 3, 4 star ratings do not exist as I refuse to participate in eBay's kill the seller sport.

As a seller, I have always left feedback first for  99% of purchases right after I ship their item.

The only time I do not leave feedback for buyers is if they show signs of being a problem buyer, PITA buyers get no feedback from me.

As for the new 10 point feedback, I will do the same thing, except it will be 10 point rating or no rating at all, 2-9 ratings will not exist. eBay would be very unhappy over the fact that they would have so many sellers in the discount program.

If every buyer treated feedback this way, eBay's feedback system would be broken.
eBay would be unhappy over the fact they would no longer be able to blame buyers for the fact that sellers were excluded from discount programs.

I refuse to play eBay's game or to aid and abet the games they play with sellers ratings and discount eligibility.

With fees being so high now, I believe every seller needs the 20% discount to make eBay fees a little more reasonable, and unless they delivered an absolutely horrible experience, I give every seller the top ratings.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: Thetaworks

Mon Jun 21 10:36:29 2010

My feedback has also fallen in proportion to sales. My main concern is that one used to be able to "nudge" a buyer for a feedback. Now none is required, so one is not even able to send a quick "Hi, I left feedback for you. How'd I do? Can you leave feedback and let me know?", yet discounts are contingent on buyers leaving it.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: fat frog

Mon Jun 21 10:43:03 2010

As both a seller and a buyer. I haven't left feedback in more than a year.

Why waste my time?????

Feedback is a joke.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: nouveauorleans
Web Site

Mon Jun 21 10:55:59 2010

Receiving feed back of any kind has been an on going problem for me for years and now it's almost non existent. Customers are more likely to voice their displeasure over small things and leave a negative or neutral for minor infractions. I'm chided for a missing sequin or feathers not looking like the one's pictured (to skinny, to fluffy, too deep a pink and so on). I've replaced product's for disgruntled eBay customers and get nothing in return. When I do put my foot down hard or feel like I'm being held hostage I receive a neutral with all wagging fingers being pointed at me. I truly think that the problem with feed back falls squarely on eBay's shoulders. I have been doing business thru a web site since 2001 and 98% of all complaints are from eBay customers. I work over time describing my items as best as possible and all items shipped are inspected for missing parts, holes or problems of any kind, yet eBay customers find something wrong. I'm always thrilled to see a positive feed back from customers who recognize that I'm not in business to rip them off, that I'm in business to service them with the the very best products I can make or buy for them. It's sad they don't reward us with a kind feed back.  

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: Gary Overton
Web Site

Mon Jun 21 10:58:24 2010

I have never been a feedback junkie so I seldom ever even look at feedback but you are the 3rd seller I have heard complaining about this recently. All 3 said they left feedback when the buyer paid. Maybe you should wait until the buyer leaves feedback. This would give them more of an incentive.
When I buy I seldom leave feedback unless it has been an extraordinary or a terrible transaction. I do tend to get perturbed when I hear from a seller soliciting feedback. The best way to get more feedback is to sell more. The more you sell the more you gonna get. I sell on eBay to make money, not to accumulate feedback. I asked my bank if I could cash my feedback in and they said NO.
I just looked and I have almost 27,000 feedback so I assume some folks still leave it occasionally

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: RAOTFLMAO

Mon Jun 21 11:09:27 2010

Feedback?  Why bother?  My "feedback" is the money I send when I buy something.  I hate jumping though hoops to do the feedback and in the big scheme of things it doesn't matter anyway.  I used to love leaving good feedback as both a buyer and a seller.  Now the whole system is redundant.  If I leave feedback now is is a neg with 1's straight across.  Have to say it is a great weapon now to use against competitors and also as a weapon to extort sellers into reducing the shipping fees?  Ebay is fun, like the old wild west and we can all be vigilantes, "Hey, let's take 'em up to the big house string 'em up and teach them a lesson!"

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: Lisa

Mon Jun 21 11:39:05 2010

Yesterday I went to leave FB for a seller and saw that every other Feedback for purchases had this bizarre rating system with a box for an essay-like statement.  I just clicked the first option which was "I will leave feedback later".  Those sellers may well never get FB from me and it won't be their fault.  What was a good enough process before the cumbersome DSRs is now a lengthy process that takes more time than I'm interested in spending on leaving FB.  eBay has to know this.  I thought it was strange that it was every other transaction regardless of when the purchase was made or what order.  That might explain the drop in FB for some of you.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: Also Not A Feedback-Junkie

Mon Jun 21 11:42:51 2010

GARY SAID: ''I have never been a feedback junkie so I seldom ever even look at feedback but you are the 3rd seller I have heard complaining about this recently. All 3 said they left feedback when the buyer paid. Maybe you should wait until the buyer leaves feedback. This would give them more of an incentive.''

ME: Hi Gary! I'm also not a feedback-junkie, but at the same time, I do realize its value to me as a seller.

In the past, I used to leave feedback ONLY when it was received (as an ''incentive'' to follow-through) but the elimination of negative feedback for buyers made this quid-pro-quo less of an incentive. Also, I decided to take the advice of the ''experts'' (like Griff) and the most successful sellers and simply leave auto-positive feedback upon payment. Presumably this was to reward the buyer for doing the bare minimum (ie: paying) and to create an atmosphere of gratitude and trust.

GARY: ''When I buy I seldom leave feedback unless it has been an extraordinary or a terrible transaction.''

ME: I believe you're not alone in that policy. This is a common theme among many buyers. Sadly, this philosophy probably does more harm to sellers in the long run, because it increases the impact of a negative.

GARY: ''I do tend to get perturbed when I hear from a seller soliciting feedback.''

ME: Oh yes! I completely agree! I'll mention feedback and/or DSR's in the customer's confirmation email. But it's just once, in passing...very routine and NO pressure, NO begging or pleading.

GARY: ''The best way to get more feedback is to sell more. The more you sell the more you gonna get.''

ME: That sounds good in print, but it appears to be advice that's intended especially for ''feedback-junkies''. And based on the LTTE writer's observations, selling more would not necessarily have an impact on the percentage of folks who leave feedback (I think that was his/her main point.)

GARY: ''I sell on eBay to make money, not to accumulate feedback. I asked my bank if I could cash my feedback in and they said NO.''

ME: I believe that most of the serious sellers who read AB feel the same way as you do. Of course the goal is to increase sales and increase profits.

For small sellers who are trying to be competitive (in all areas) it really doesn't make sense for those sellers to ignore the positive and negative impacts of feedback. To me this seems to be a sound approach to doing business. I think it's a bit unfair to quickly dismiss their concerns with suggestions that they're feedback-junkies or that they simply need to sell more if they want more feedback.

GARY: ''I just looked and I have almost 27,000 feedback so I assume some folks still leave it occasionally''

ME: Well done, sir! Congratulations! I think I better understand why the OP's concerns didn't resonate, or managed to strike a sour chord for you.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: brecklundin This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 21 12:17:31 2010

I take it to mean that less sellers are buying on eBay.  Because sellers know what FB means to us.  for buyers FB has never really been anything beyond an "atta boy" sort of thing.  I know as a buyer I could care less if a seller leaves me FB.  but as a buyer I will always leave it either way.

As eBay slides over to essentially an over priced retail marketplace with a bunch of "deodorant & tube socks" one normally finds at the Saturday or Sunday swap meet, Fb is going to continue to become more and more negative in nature.  As they always sale the only customers to speak up are usually those who have a complaint.

Dunno if it's good or bad...but it's sad as the site devolves into well, something less "special" than it once was a short decade or so ago...bummer.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: No feedback 4 U

Mon Jun 21 12:24:10 2010

Since eBay's feedback sysytem is totally corrupt, very anti-seller, and flawed and cumbersome as all get out we don't leave feedback anymore. But we DO leave feedback on a fair site : ebuyer-feedback.com good or bad to warn other sellers of bad buyers and show them which buyers are good (for now).

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: 2hard 2bother

Mon Jun 21 12:31:39 2010

maybe the extra complicated feedback is ebays way of making sure that **only** unhappy buyers leave feedback. happy buers wont bother if its too difficult to do but ##unhappy## buyers will do anything no matter how difficult it is to complain. and this will have the affect of making the negatives way more agains the sellers. just my thought.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: It Depends

Mon Jun 21 12:35:00 2010

When someone buys from us on Bonanzle, iOffer.com or Biblio.com we always leave good feedback. On fading eBay? NEVER!

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: beachbucks

Mon Jun 21 12:52:38 2010

As an Ebay seller, I never cared if customers left feedback or not!! It's voluntary!! As a buyer, Ebays *new* policy of sending an email asking me to leave feedback for my seller, just pizzes me off.....it's VOLUNTARY!!!!!!!

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: Ed Steele

Mon Jun 21 13:14:01 2010

We find that our feed backs have gone way down. The feed back system means very little to us. We no longer can leave a feed back for a customer other than a positive and if we request feed backs the only loser is us the sellers. The only negative feed back we ever received was from a buyer that wanted to return an item they did not buy from us. and our DSR's are 5.0, 5.0, 5.0 and 4.9 and we use to request feed back we got burned a couple times and we stopped requesting feed back that day. One time we got 7 1's for shipping time from a buyer with 1 feed back because of an eCheck that PayPal had a note that said DO NOT SHIP UNTIL CHECK CLEARS. The sale was under $20.00 the sad part is we ship two times a day M-F and 1 time on Saturday.

The second time we receive 5 1's for shipping cost because the shipping price was a few cents over the cost of a small flat rate box. The eBay shipping calculator did not pick up the correct cost for a small flat rate box and the customer did not request combined shipping. The sale was under $10.00 and the final price was the lowest on eBay.

I some times wonder why we even keep selling on eBay. We have lost total respect for the feed back system and when we buy some thing we don't use it at all.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: joyce

Mon Jun 21 14:25:13 2010

YES! I noticed the exact same thing, starting just a couple months ago. Been selling 5 years, had about the same percentage of feedback received, until a couple months ago, I was surprised that so many buyers weren't leaving feedback. And I really needed it because my sales have plummeted this year, and I want to keep my total feedbacks a month at a decent level so buyers arent scared off. After they took the negative feedback option away from sellers 2 years ago, I also started leaving positive feedback first for the buyers. Seemed to work all right. But when my ebay buyers stopped leaving me any feedback starting about early May, I stopped leaving feedback for them first. STILL, hardly any buyers anymore are leaving me feedback! Why? What does this have to do with? Don't get it. Maybe it is this new 10 rating garbage with the essay box that is doing it.
For me it doesnt matter anyway because I hate what ebay has become and am actually seeking to go back into the workforce. I sold wedding dresses and they are hardly selling at all anymore, for ALL of my competitors which I have tracked the past 5 years. It is no longer profitable to sell on ebay. And I was a Gold Powerseller last year!  Anyway, another site for preowned wedding dresses had gotten really popular and has over 5000 dresses listed there (preownedweddingdresses.com). This site only started prospering AFTER ebay tanked about a year ago. So so sad. Old ebay, wish you could be back! But I know you never will.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 21 15:16:27 2010

Feedback has become so difficult and convoluted to leave. It's developed a life of its own. Enough already, with the multitudinous methods for leaving feedback! It should be simple. Did everything go well, yes or no, and a simple comment.

It has also become "icky" to both the buyer and the seller. As noted by some folks, as a buyer, they don't want to take part in the seller "kill-off", and as a seller, they don't want to be raked over the coals by a scammer who is holding their feedback hostage for concessions after the sale.

It's nasty and getting worse by the minute.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: WIIFM

Mon Jun 21 15:42:56 2010

It would be nice if someone at eBay actually read the Marketing 101 text books they bought for that college class a long, long time ago.

When eBay 'borrowed' DSR feedback from Amazon and added it as another task for the buyers to perform, I immediately knew that buyers would leave feedback less frequently than they had been doing in the past.

eBay, (if anyone from eBay reads this post) You are 'exhausting' your buyers by foolishly asking them to jump through hoops, climb this, etc.  They won't do it.  They have no incentive to do it (WIIFM - What's In It For Me?).  It takes their time and effort.

Now eBay, you want to add another survey and provide an essay area, too?

First eBay lied to the buyers by not telling them what a DSR 4 meant to a seller compared to a DSR 5.  Now they are tightening the screws on sellers with the use of SNAD and Item Not Received filings counting against the seller, even if it is not justified.

C'mon eBay - Do you have any cojones?  Just 'man up' and tell the truth.  You don't want any sellers below Platinum or Diamond.  Bet you still don't have the guts to do it!  

And, we know you don't have the guts to be judged by the same standards you are trying to apply to sellers.  You know the entire company would be out on the street begging with a cup of half used pencils.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: Nochange

Mon Jun 21 16:40:33 2010

Mine is still around about 16-17%. It may be a tad bit higher than pre-feedback FU. What I do see is that a lot of those leaving feedback are not leaving DSR's. Of course we can no longer tell how many are not but I can tell by the way the numbers move that it isn't significantly smaller than the total feedback left. This means that when you do get that occasional nut job that didn't read the listing and never contacts you before they leave you all 1's that it hurts that much more.

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling   Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

by: another side of the coin

Mon Jun 21 19:03:34 2010

eBay wants buyers to leave neg feedback and DSRs or NO feedback. To qualify as a Top Rated Seller and Above Rated, the seller has to have a minimum of 100 DSRs in 12 months. They purposely are making the feedback system a long drawn out process so buyers will simply stop leaving any feedback. Also eBay ''encourages'' buyers to open cases, leave neg feedback and low DSRs. If you look in your My eBay under items Won, the first thing you see is any cases against sellers. If you don't leave feedback, eBay will send an email if there is a problem and reminds the buyer that they still have time to file a dispute. All this is geared to put money in eBay's pocket.

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