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Wed Apr 25 2012 22:10:41

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Now, when someone buys something through eBay we have to say uh-oh.

Used to be if someone bought something it was a happy thing. But now, there's quite a bit of potential liability for sellers in every eBay sale.

Now, you might sell something and have the buyer give you negative FB or low DSRs (a completely subjective standard that has absolutely no basis in fact) which might ultimately cost you thousands of dollars in extra eBay fees. And you can get low DSRs even if you did *everything* right.

UPS might break it or lose it and you will get the blame even though you filed a claim and refunded it or replaced it.

The money you made on the sale is so much less than the extra eBay fees you will pay for the next year it would have been better to just throw that item out. Or even better to find a way to sell it outside eBay.

The more sales you can divert from eBay the better since sales completed though eBay are so much worse, at least potentially. Less fees, less chance of bad DSRs, less hassles, less problems with an intermediary like PayPal holding your money.

EBay has now made it clear that they consider it negative if there is communication between buyer and seller. If a buyer emails you at all, even just to say "That was great, I love it!" eBay somehow considers that a negative!

They are taking emails out of those communications as a way to stop off-eBay sales, because of their paranoia. Paranoia that is probably well placed today.

Why eBay would foster a system that results in sales through eBay being so potentially negative for the seller I cannot imagine. It sounds insane, doesn't it? But it's what we got. Insane.

We just lost our TRS and a couple weeks later lost our powerseller because of low shipping and handling DSRs. This is after over 13 years and millions of dollars in sales. And guess what? In 100% of the cases the buyer knew to the penny what he was paying for shipping and handling. Even that wasn't enough ! If you don't like the shipping cost, just don't buy. How is a 52# item going to be packed and shipped 2500 miles for free? It's impossible.

If I had been able to divert even two or three of those sales to outside eBay that wouldn't have happened.

We generally use the eBay shipping calculator and sell big heavy items, and we sometimes lose money on shipping.

Even that is not enough! It's a very weird system eBay has forced us into.

The buyers are so much worse, so uppity and so much less nice than they used to be. 10 years ago we used to remark that everyone was so *nice*.

EBay buyers today want cheap prices, fast free shipping, support the same as if they paid retail., which in our case could be 10x what they paid to buy from us.

It's impossible. No company can afford to provide all that. But eBay doesn't care, they get paid their commission off the top, even if there is *no profit*.

I hate to say it but the interlocking FB was what made everyone so nice. It made people want to work things out.

Now that is gone and we have buyers that we mostly dread hearing from! Weird!

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Readers Comments

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful   Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 10:42:43 2012

I have had a store on Ruby Lane for over 10 years and would recommend it to anyone. My biggest problem is I'm not a ''general line'' specialist and have some difficulty determining how to price pieces. I am averaging 8 - 10 items sold and out the door every week.

Ruby Lane is not the cheapest place to sell but you have to remember ''you get what you pay for.'' They are doing a tremendous lot of advertising and increasingly more of the public is recognizing the name. Ruby Lane items are always near the top of Google searches I do and they are working other search engines as well.

Ruby Lane has fair base costs and beyond that everything is pretty much shop owner-controlled and optional; including using their programs to cut costs. When I participate in them, my expense ratio runs only 6% - 7%.

You also get to basically run your own store as you want, having to meet only a few reasonable accommodations (age of collectibles, authenticity, etc.) When you get repeat customers you know you are doing something right.

In all this time selling on eBay I had exactly 1 negative, posted by a seller who mailed me a piece of china crammed into a far too small box. (1 piece of bubble wrap and the PIECE ITSELF actually pushed out the sides of the box -- it should have been smashed but did arrive undamaged). I gave her a neutral suggesting she use the free USPS boxes; and she retaliated with a NEG that I should not have complained because the piece arrived ok.  

It was long ago and that FB has disappeared from my record, but I have no faith in the FB system anyway. Its best use today seems to be by scammers, since if you want to cancel a transaction you're prevented from filing FB (even positive FB).    

Re: eBay selling - the PayPal payment requirement will give you live email addresses, just check your account. Also, I think (haven't checked) eBay is still providing sellers with their auction winners' email addresses in the ''sold'' reports (at least for a few days immediately following the auction end?) Contact your honest buyers DIRECTLY (not through eBay) and send them to your off-eBay business!  

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful   Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Apr 27 14:24:04 2012

Why do ebay sellers keep pining for the old days ?
Listen to JD, look at ebay's home page.
The old days are not coming back.
So it's best to teach them a lesson and move elsewhere.

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful   Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Fri Apr 27 14:48:37 2012

We're not 'pining for the old days'-  what you're hearing are the sounds of a market being underserved. We are waiting for someone with enough capital to come into the space, reproduce ebay 2005, and absolutely make a killing.

I've said it before- I'd pay five bucks an item in 'front money' to sell on an auction venue like that.

When a need goes unfulfilled as long as this ebay vacuum has, the reasons are usually artificial- and illegal.

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful   Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful

by: LSP This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 27 17:02:28 2012

The fees I now have to pay for each sale has cut into my profits so deeply that it's not worth it.

I think I'd be better off taking a minimum wage job than to hassle with using my entire home housing Ebay items, tons of boxes of all sizes, packing supplies, photography equipment and every else I need to clean and prepare items for sale.

And the worst of it is, I have to sit and hold my breath every time I make a sale hoping I didn't get a ''bad'' customer who might ruin my reputation for no good reason. I've already had that happen twice. And each person gave me 1's in DSR's.

I did have all 5's. Ebay said it would take 54 people leaving all 5's to get back to where I was before TWO buyers maliciously trashed my ratings. Would you call that FAIR? Unfortunately, I'm also a low-volume seller so I can't sell enough items fast enough to get the scores back up. Which is why I've nearly had it with Ebay.

I went into business for myself because I was fed up with bosses breathing down my neck, a rigid schedule, rush hour traffic, and job responsibilities multiplying every year without a pay increase. But selling on Ebay is even more stressful than working outside the home, thanks to the DSR feedback system and the constant, never-ending demands Ebay puts on sellers.

It used to be fun and enjoyable, with friendly communications along the way. As a buyer, I'd sometimes send the seller a picture of a doll I'd purchased from them that I had fixed up. They loved it. As a seller, I'd hear from buyers telling me how much they appreciated the fact that I put the item up for bids. Some would even tell me about their collections. It was very gratifying to say the least.

Not anymore. More than ever, buyers are grumpy and demanding because Ebay has turned us sellers into mere robots. We are no longer real people who have feelings. And in doing so, they've made buyers feel more entitled and powerful than ever.

Fearful? Absolutely. We never know what Ebay will come up with next to make a seller's life miserable. And the rub is, we have to pay them for the privilege.

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful   Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful

by: Dazzle This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 28 00:55:42 2012

Ask yourself this - what is 20% of nothing?

Nothing is the answer

after 12+ years ebay has now become storage for me.

I have a store

I have changed all my items back to no returns

I have changed all my quantities back to 1 pc

I have changed all my listings back to 30 days

If ebay sees fit to not show my items at all so be it

whereas I used to fork over $600 per month in fees if nothing sells I'll owe them $75.00 at the end of the month

time for me to take back control of my business - it's my inventory not ebay's

I've been a loyal faithful trustworthy soldier for 12 years and what does that get me? Nothing - at the stroke of a mouse some loser having a bad day can ruin my business.

No more - enough is enough

I'm sitting on 1/4 of a million dollars worth of inventory - have a TRS - Power Seller status with 100% feedback.

I'm sick of ebay's games and taking my marbles to another court.

Wake up ebay before you go the way of the dodo bird or rather yahoo.

We have no benefits whatsoever unlike Donahoe

no health insurance
no retirement
no paid vacations
no unemployment
and no say anymore in how to run your business

not even thank you's when mr CEO cashes in his stock options.

you can only kick the dog so many times before he bites you back.

so one more time

what is 20% of nothing?

think about it

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful   Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful

by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 28 13:06:36 2012

Someone stated that Ebay should go to a ''factual'' basis.  HAHAHA, why do that when they can run us off with ''opinions''?  

You don't think those 1's left for all 4 areas along with glowing positive feedback are FACTUAL?

Well, Ebay says that Walmart gets ratings online from customers and they can't do anything about it.  This is a statement I got from ''CS'' when I complained about buyers ability to leave 1's while lying through their teeth - when sellers can prove many of these are lies ie: ship date, cost, communication, etc.  

What they don't get about this comparison is that Walmart doesn't get socked in the teeth with an automatic loss of 20% profit, nor funds held in their bank - you get the picture.

Ebay doesn't ''get the picture''  Slow learners, but hey, what does any CEO do these days to actually deserve mega millions but destroy the ''little people''?

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful   Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 28 18:05:21 2012

Why did the share holders of SOME major corp's decide to NOT give their CEO's these enormous salary/benefit packages?  They are slowly seeing the madness that these have created.

However---at ebay there is a $21 MILLION DOLLAR salary being paid to a goon who wouldn't know an auction from an avocado if he tripped over one.

Ask yourself---WHO is paying for that $21 MILLION dollar package?

And---what ever did this guy do to DESERVE that amount of money?

And who in their right minds voted to PAY him this insane amount?  

And when he cashes in his stock "options" just BEFORE some new announcement issues forth from San Jose that will drop the price of those stocks---we are supossed to BELIEVE that he didn't KNOW this was coming?  

What Board of Directors allows some one so "ignorant" to remain at the helm?

Oh,  right.  It is the SAME Board for ebay as it is for Paypal---the rescue ship for the sinking ebay/Titanic.  

I know they SAY it is not "the same" and ebay has NOTHING to do with Paypal---but--ya gotta know better than that.  

But WE are viewed as RATS and will need to leave that ship before long as the decks flood.  

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful   Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 30 02:45:05 2012

Check the Final Value Fee for the category you are selling in and do the math. For example:
$100.00 in Sales x .09% FVF = $9.00  
20% of $9.00 = $1.80 (Your TRS Discount)
I will lose my TRS status when the latest changes are implemented and I don't care.

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful   Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Apr 30 08:35:50 2012

@OP: If retail pries are 10X what you're charging, surely there's room for you to increase your prices? Perhaps do that and use some of it to partially subsidize shipping costs? I've found that most buyers don't know what things cost to ship and even when pricing is higher, they gravitate to free or low-cost shipping. There's a psychological aspect to it, according some studies I've read about. Might be worth a try. It doesn't help the loss of eBay discounts, but could increase sales. Just a thought...

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