EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line! Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear in the blog.
Mon June 21 2010 08:54:13

Number of eBay Buyers Leaving Feedback Is Falling

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

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: Carrie A. Tewn

Mon Jun 21 19:26:32 2010

beachbucks said: ''it's VOLUNTARY!!!!!!!''

True. It's supposed to be voluntary, but because it's such an important element in making it less expensive to sell on eBay, it has become a defacto requirement and necessity for many small sellers.

Not just the beginning sellers who are trying to get their foot in the door, but also for long-time small sellers who are doing their best to hang-on in spite of eBay's abhorrent policies and attitudes.

You're absolutely justified in getting pizzed off, and I'm glad we can all agree that it's EBAY who has created this atmosphere where sellers are constantly in pursuit of feedback.

In the old days, people collected feedback for mere vanity reasons and trophies of their previous sales. (In much the same way that Facebookers collect ''friends'' that they don't even know.)

There can be no doubt that the sense of urgency among sellers is no longer about vanity feedback and bragging rights. Indeed, it's a matter of hanging on in a competitive marketplace and trying to compensate for all the obstacles and disadvantages that eBay is constantly throwing in our paths.

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

by: ubbrd

Mon Jun 21 19:35:49 2010

Ebay  Buyer Feedback means absolutely nothing these days.
I'm a buyer only & I feel sorry for the many honest & descent sellers who get belted by irrational or inexperienced or less than honest buyers, not to mention those buyers who attempt to extort cheaper prices with threats of bad feedback.

The poor buyer cannot leave neg feedback for these types of buyers any more. So, these buyers continue to rip off the honest sellers with the knowledge that there can be no neg feedbacks against them which will warn other sellers.

Although I no longer buy/bid as much as I used to,I still leave pos feedback for the good sellers I deal with on those occasions I do do business on Ebay.

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

by: ubbrd

Mon Jun 21 19:38:03 2010

"The poor buyer cannot leave neg feedback for these types of buyers any more"

I meant "The poor seller"

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

by: ted

Mon Jun 21 20:10:32 2010

I do not worry about feedback unless Ive had a good or really bad experience.

Usually if everything is cool I'll get around to leaving feedback just to help the seller out.

We need to help each other so do not just axe feedback for sellers that send you really cool stuff thats exactly what you ordered or better.

I will usually only ask for FB from a buyer that I already know or had a good rapport with during the sale; especially if they left FB already.

Help them out, you know how crooked the FB system already is.

Ebay changed the FB system to do one thing; extort more money from sellers.

No one wants a dog that lays around all day waiting for a meal; even if there arent any burglars to chase.

Sellers stopped barking loud every time they heard the word auction or buy or large fonts, or get 1 picture free if you buy one for $$.

They needed a excuse so they wouldn't be accused of discrimination or extortion while knocking you down in the search to force you to buy your way out just to survive.

So they created a system that you [ or the majority of sellers ] couldn't win at.

And know every seller cringes in fear [ I have 100% and only 4 negs in 9 years, none in the last 3 years and none 3 years before the last one], yet I can not relax like I used to and let the money come in.

Ebay has now forced me to sit in fear, and walk around in circles barking at everything that moves; even my own shadow.

My business has dropped 90% and now Im actually homeless when once my ebay sales paid my rent plus bills easily.

Still I maintain 100% feedback and never a nasty word from anyone in 7 years; last nasty words were from a deadbeat bidder that never paid and left retaliatory FB when I filled against them.

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

by: jlewis

Mon Jun 21 23:12:50 2010

The original poster's assumption no longer applies.  eBay now measures seller performance by the number of 1 & 2 DSRs (and disputes) vs total transactions.  So, it no longer matters if a seller gets feedback or 5 stars.  Sellers only need to avoid bad DSR scores to get a high rating.  eBay is trying to track bad buyer experiences, not good ones - that's why the focus is now on bad scores.

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

by: Quicksilver Messenger

Mon Jun 21 23:46:49 2010

Frankly, I don't care if a buyer leaves me feedback. I cringe every time I see my FB number has risen and am paranoid to even click on it. I also wince every time I see that I have a new message. I have only (2) neutrals over 10 years, both due to stupid stuff the buyer didn't understand or they didn't read the description or invoice. eBay has created such a hostile environment that I really would rather not get feedback. I'm sure not going to go out of my way to prod or poke any buyers. I am also a TRS and one wonders for how long these days. I tend to hang around more pleasant venues these days and it is my hope to put eBay in the rear view mirror in the not to distant future.

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

by: kw

Tue Jun 22 00:01:57 2010

I do understand why feedback is important to ebay sellers who are held hostage by DSR's, discounts, and ebay's whim du jour.  I sympathize but will not participate in a feedback system that is so stupid and time-consuming.  Any other selling site with a feedback system keeps it simple, as it should be.  I won't spend 2 seconds leaving feedback for anyone on ebay.

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

by: Barbie Dahl

Tue Jun 22 00:09:00 2010

jlewis wrote ''The original poster's assumption no longer applies.''

I think that's not entirely accurate, Jlewis. The OP's message did center around feedback by noting how the percentage had dropped sharply. We can logically assume that no feedback is also an indication that buyers are not leaving DSR scores too.

''So, it no longer matters if a seller gets feedback or 5 stars''

This isn't entirely accurate either because it assumes that there are no benefits of getting 5-star scores. You also suggested that the only negative consequence would be when a seller receives 1's or 2's.

It's true that sellers will suffer the WORST consequences with the 1-2 DSR scores, but they can also suffer financially (no discounts) when those 1's and 2's bring down their overall DSR average.

Even a ''good'' score of 4-stars can cause devastating (or expensive) consequences.

Sellers truly need the ''positive feedback''... in ALL FORMS. When we see the valueless pos/neut/neg comments aren't coming, we also know that the all-important DSR's aren't coming in either.

The vanishing positive feedbacks are a telltale symptom letting us know that something ELSE is wrong...and that symptom shouldn't be ignored or dismissed.

''eBay is trying to track bad buyer experiences''

Disgusting, isn't it? All sellers are made to feel unworthy. Buyers are made to feel that sellers cannot be trusted.

I think the dramatically slower sales can be attributed to the highly suspicious and overtly hostile environment that ebay has created.

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

by: Barbie Dahl

Tue Jun 22 00:16:35 2010

Quicksilver wrote: ''I cringe every time I see my FB number has risen and am paranoid to even click on it. I also wince every time I see that I have a new message.''

YES! I know the feeling very well. It shouldn't be this way.

I remember being thrilled to see my feedback numbers change. I remember the delight and excitement of seeing that someone had written to me and taken interest in one of my items.

I've stopped visiting the ''Dashboard''. It's too depressing to look at. I'll just keep plugging along offering the same service I've always offered. I'll keep doing what's kept me in business for over ten years... that is, until ebay kicks me off.

''Dear Barbie: We have given your customers every opportunity to sing your praises by filling in tedious and complicated forms that will take the better part of 30 minutes to complete. Unfortunately, none of your customers agreed to complete this process, so we must assume that they were not happy, therefore you're a bad seller and we have cancelled your account. This decision cannot be appealed, all replies to this message will be disregarded.''

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

by: feedback down - why

Tue Jun 22 00:59:36 2010

This was commented about on another discussion thread.

When you make it difficult for happy, good buyers to leave feedback, they will stop leaving feedback.

What is left is the buyers who 'have an axe to grind' and want to slam a seller or even get back at the system by clicking all the boxes, filling out the forms and sticking it to someone, anyone.  Only these disgruntled buyers and buyers who have earned a prescription for the doctor for 'happy pills' will be left (or will become not the rare fringe element but the more common feedback respondent) for any remaining sellers.

Can anyone tell me why this 'reads' like one of the scripts of the bestselling books of a few years ago "Left Behind"????

Don't be one of the sellers that is "left behind" as eBay continues to collapse!

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

by: colorful one
Web Site

Tue Jun 22 05:56:19 2010

people should stop selling on ebay. Don't support businesses that practice bad business ethics.

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

by: Don't feed the feedback

Tue Jun 22 06:22:37 2010

Do all those chinese junk dealers that ruined ebay with donuthole's enambling help leave feedback to the buyers they scam selling worthless gadgets on eBay? I don't think so.

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

by: Rose Blume

Tue Jun 22 09:52:59 2010

''''What is left is the buyers who 'have an axe to grind' and want to slam a seller or even get back at the system by clicking all the boxes, filling out the forms and sticking it to someone, anyone.''''

How much ya wanna bet that Ebay realises this already. All these new procedural obstacles to leaving good feedback and 5-star dsr's have been designed especially with this in mind.

Their new philosophy is ''make it difficult for happy buyers to leave positive comments and ONLY unhappy buyers will be willing (or motivated enough) to leave negative comments.''

Ebay wins. Small sellers lose.

And the myth that all small sellers on Ebay are dishonest will continue to be perpetuated.

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

by: Gypsy

Tue Jun 22 10:30:14 2010

There are countless buyers who do not leave FB at all. There are a few who leave Positive FB but no DSRs.  I refuse to leave FB for buyers unless they leave FB for me 1st. This way, any problems hopefully can be taken care of first.

I buy on ebay sometimes. When I do, if it is a good transaction I immediately leave Positive FB & DSRS accordingly. If there is a problem, I contact the seller first, giving them a chance to make things right first.

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

by: RicRoe

Tue Jun 22 12:20:07 2010

Not leaving feedback helps eBay as much as leaving less than 5 stars fro sellers.

Obviously sellers need positive feedback and DSR scores in order to jump through eBay's hoops and earn their carrot.

Buyers that do not leave feedback are helping eBay achieve their goal of increasing profits by eliminating sellers from receiving discounts.

eBay keeps making feedback more and more difficult so that only the chronic complainers, whiners, fraudulent and difficult buyers will leave feedback that is negative and knock sellers down.

The whole thing with eBay is about going through the motions of offering incentives to sellers for good performance, then denying those incentives by placing the blame on the opinions of buyers.

If you still buy on eBay and do not leave feedback, or leave feedback with lower than 5 Star DRS ratings, then you are perpetuating eBay's game by allowing it to continue to play against sellers.

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

by: kw

Tue Jun 22 20:32:51 2010

@RicRoe

Sorry, but as a buyer it really isn't my concern what ebay does to sellers.  All sellers have plenty of other online selling options where they can sell their items at a lot less cost and hassle.  Ebay has made the feedback system so annoying, why bother with it?  It is bad for buyers and sellers.  

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

by: tootles

Tue Jun 22 21:57:19 2010

Refuse to buy on ebay, wont give them one red cent

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

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 23 12:34:32 2010

I think Mr. Donahoe has managed to stamp out every bit of fun and excitement.  Buyers see what they want, they buy it and that's it.  Why bother with feedback - seems silly now!  There are less buyers, there are less good sellers and there are a ton of diamond sellers selling cheap junk.  Who needs this site?....apparently fewer and fewer buyers!

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

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 23 13:06:59 2010

@ric roe - also sorry but I have to agree with kw - feedback really isn't the buyer's concern.  If Ebay seriously wanted feedback on its sellers they would have simply put it back the way it was - that worked just fine!

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

by: Another Wronged Seller This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 23 18:02:16 2010

It's not rocket science!

The more complicated and hard work ebay makes the feedback system, the less likely it will be for buyers to go to the trouble of leaving feedback.

The original feedback system worked adequately. Not perfect but BALANCED! Opinions!

Feedback USED to be OPINION and anecdotal. It was only a guide about how quality a seller was. It was only when ebay started treating feedback (and dsrs) as gospel that EVERY feedback became life threatening to sellers. Opinion became FACT and then they used those ''facts'' to take away discounts, visibility and weed us out.

Feedback became a weapon. For ebay and for dishonest buyers.

They forgot KISS- keep it simple stupid.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.