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Tue Mar 8 2011 07:43:46

What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?

By: Ina Steiner
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Dear Ina,
Allow me to me begin by thanking you for the amazing job you do at covering relevant market news. Like many of your readers, my morning begins and my evening ends with a quick review of AuctionBytes.

I am writing today to find out if you or any of your readers remembers one of the recent updates, wherein eBay promised they would take action against bad buyers and that the action taken would be logged on the seller dashboard. If so, has anyone ever seen a result of the action taken? May I ask where on the seller dashboard this appeared and what the results were?

A few months ago after receiving an undeserved negative, I reported my buyer (who I believe to be a competitor) and the grounds for my suspicions via one of the many eBay help pages. At the end of the reporting process, I landed on another page that encouraged me to watch my seller dashboard for an update on the action taken by Trust & Safety.

Several weeks passed and I continued to check my dashboard daily, but saw no changes to indicate any action at all. Nor that I had even logged a complaint. I decided to contact eBay via chat and see if a CSR could explain the process more thoroughly, eg. would a new box appear stating the number of feedbacks removed, investigations completed, or action taken by T&S?

The CSR I chatted with seemed to have less knowledge about this new policy than I did, but promised they would look into this matter further and follow it up with an email. I never did receive the email promised though I did receive the standard request to complete a survey rating my recent experience with eBay support!

I won't bore you with details of the transaction I reported except to say I do believe seller's develop a sixth sense about these things and while over the years there have been a number of negatives I fully deserved, especially in the early years, this was not one of them. I believe I had enough information to prove I was being targeted by my competitor and just once, just one I was hoping that eBay might act on this.

I do hope someone out there has seen eBay make good on this promise and can report what changes can be seen on the seller dashboard when bad buyers / sellers are caught in the act of disrupting trade (I believe that is the infraction?).

Thank you for you time. Regretfully, I ask that you withhold my details. I'm in the camp that believes eBay can and will retaliate against sellers who post on any forum.

Note from the Editor: eBay launched the "Streamlined hub" in November 2010, the announcement stated:

"New Seller Dashboard module shows the number of times Feedback and Buyer Protection cases were removed from your account as a result of your report and eBay’s detection systems."



Comments (24) | Permalink
Readers Comments

What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: Kevin
       
Tue Mar 8 08:21:45 2011
Ebay will not do anything, despite what they say.  Never have and never will

Sorry, but that's just the cold hard facts
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: anyone out there
       
Tue Mar 8 09:40:19 2011
According to Fleecebay there are no bad buyers only sellers.

Buyers are being babysat by Fleecebay so much that how could they ever be considered a back buyer.

Bottom line... Fleecebay could care less about anything except the bottom line.
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
This user has validated their user name. by: Ric
       
Tue Mar 8 10:12:29 2011
The belief that eBay would actually take action against a buyer is one built on false hopes and empty promises.

eBay says they place unpaid item strikes, but insists that the strikes remain invisible on the buyers record. This renders the strikes useless when sellers need to evaluate a potential buyer's reputation. This also contributes to a lack of concern on the buyer's part since their record remains spotless.

eBay's promise to display information about reported members on a sellers dashboard is more of the same window dressing. eBay will go through the motions of looking like they take action when in fact all they are doing is placating the complaining party.

Given that eBay management has no experience with selling on their own marketplace under the policies they create, it is little wonder why the marketplace is so heavily biased against sellers.

eBay management does not care that the perception of the majority of their sellers is that there is no such thing as an even table. Sellers are being forced to simply submit to the will of management who wants to lay blame for every issue squarely at the feet of the people who bring inventory to their marketplace and generate all the revenue.

eBay sellers are given the distinct honor of being subjected to unreasonably high fees to sell in a marketplace where the assumption is they are always wrong.

What is wrong with that picture?
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: eBuyer Feedback This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Tue Mar 8 10:48:58 2011
I think the best you can ever hope for is eBay to tell you they took care of the buyer or marked it on their permanent record.  By doing that everyone wins.  Seller thinks the buyer has been punished.  Buyer thinks he got away with whatever he did because nothing happened.  eBay has two happy users of its site and never did anything.  None of this stuff is public so as far as you should be concerned it doesn't exist.
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: Kathleen
       
Tue Mar 8 10:50:31 2011
If you think that eBay has you the sellers best interests at heart then you are living in the twilight zone are are disillusional!!!
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: Donna
       
Tue Mar 8 11:28:25 2011
The is currently a thread going on the Buyer Central board on Ebay talking about a buyer who was reprimanded by ebay for leaving far too many bad DSR's.

Its not much, but it does make one feel warm and fuzzy to see that at least ONE of the problem buyers has had their fingers smacked.
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: Scotty
       
Tue Mar 8 12:25:31 2011
I have said this many times....if you can prove (and this is the key part) that this was left by a competitor or in an undeserved fashion (i.e. left glowing feedback and dinged you with 1's).....FILE A CRIMINAL MISCHIEF COMPLAINT!!!  Ebay will do nothing until their ''perfect'' buyers are ''perp-walked'' on CNN for doing these things.  Check it out for yourself....if a competitor tries to maliciously damage your business by any means, you can file a Police complaint against them....this is what it has come to and IMO the only thing that will get this changed.  I am still waiting for anyone with more knowledge than me to comment on a previous request of the board I made in regards to '' how can an entity FORCE you to continue selling to a buyer that can come back time and time again and ding you''.....there has got to be some sort of Commercial Code rule against this sort of thing.  If a buyer gives me a 1 DSR, I want to be able to block them....ebay is preventing that.  Comments?
Cheerio...
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: buck efay
       
Tue Mar 8 14:00:36 2011
Donna,
The problem is the buyer that gave bad dsrs is already back on Ebay with a new account because EBAY DOES NOT VERIFY THE ID OF THEIR USERS! So every deadbeat & Loser bum has nothing to fear, they can open 1,10 or 100 accounts just as easily! And using fakes name, addresses, information like phone # 1234567890. After all as has been shown here over & over EBAY PROFITS FROM BUYER FRAUD!
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: YUP
       
Tue Mar 8 14:43:55 2011
AS ABOVE
Favoured sellers are allowed trash rivals dsrs using various underhand techniques-ebay wants this because they want less sellers!
how it works
you sell hats
1000 sellers sell 1 hat a day
or 1 seller sells 1000 hats a day
number 2 option suits ebay best
so they slowly eradicate independent sellers in favour of big diamond sellers until they have their ideal venue in operation
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: HereAgain
       
Tue Mar 8 17:06:55 2011
There are two rules you have to understand that eBay follows:

1 - All buyers are good.  It is the traffic these "buyers" generate that con so many sellers into thinking eBay is the only worthwhile venue.  Bad buyers do not hurt eBay because it is the sellers (usually the small sellers) who end up eating the cost of fraudulent claims.  eBay simply uses PayPal to steal the money from the sellers and give it back to the bad buyers.  Sure, eBay MAY lose some final fees, but those are a planned loss allowance to maintain the image of valued traffic.  Besides, eBay has a history of simply raising fees on the small sellers whenever it needs to to make up for losses in other areas.

2 - eBay courts the huge sellers and gives them special favored terms so that those large sellers also can treat the occasional bad buyer as a part of doing business.  (Of course one has to ask just how often PayPal actually rules against the big boys as compared to the little sellers).  But the favorable terms give the big sellers the edge.

Bottom line, it is the smaller sellers who are out there walking on thin ice by themselves.  And eBay has repeatedly shown their disdain of small sellers through their actions and policies.

Rather than trying to report bad buyers, small sellers are better of spending the time and effort developing non-eBay operations, and most of that should go to your own website, frankly.
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       
Tue Mar 8 17:25:02 2011
Hey, Buck, don't forget that unscrupulous, nominal-start auction, shill-bidding sellers also "can open 1, 10 or 100 accounts just as easily!"

The point is, as we all already know, eBay won’t do anything that could possibly detrimentally affect their bottom line; even less likely so in these obviously desperate times for them.

Enron/eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: buck efay
       
Tue Mar 8 23:15:56 2011
Philip, I think that is only the rule for Chinese sellers!
Ebay created the whole shill/ low start/ high shipping problem with their useless .99 cent auctions but yet persist in them.

I have 2 accounts with about 10K feedback on each, but no DSRs on 1, so I'm afraid to use it for free any start listings for fear I'll trigger 21 day holds on both accts.
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: Chris
       
Wed Mar 9 08:30:59 2011
@ Yup

I have been selling on eBay for 3 years now. Trust me, I have felt a lot of the pain from fraudulent and unreasonable buyers. I also sell a some of my product through my own online efforts, as well as a brick and mortar location. (Motors parts and accessories)

Bad buyers happen everywhere. There is no way to bullet proof yourself from them. I have had credit card charge backs and bounced checks through other venues, despite some of my best efforts to mitigate those experiences.

Like eBay, I have some customers that buy more from me than others. I am happy to flex on my pricing with those customers, in order to keep their business. While I still appreciate my "one off" sales, I tailor my business to the shops that order from me on a regular basis.

I guess what I am trying to say is, as a business owner, I can understand most of eBay's decisions. Also, if I had a choice between one customer purchasing 1,000 mufflers or 1,000 customers buying one each, I would prefer to deliver to a single location.

However, I try to do everything I can to make 1,000 sales to that one customer, while still making 1,000 sales to 1,000 different people.

(Your hat analogy)

2,000 hats sold by 1,001 sellers is what eBay would prefer. Can they make all 1,000 of the single hat sellers happy enough to sell on their site? Probably not, no matter what they do.
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
This user has validated their user name. by: Bob
       
Wed Mar 9 09:34:10 2011
Buyers are saints...Sellers are felons....just the way eBay view it.
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: Rick1313
       
Wed Mar 9 18:00:05 2011
To OP and any other seller that uses eBay's phone support...

I have said it over and over and I will keep on saying it over and over...

never, Never, NEVER get off the phone UNTIL you see the email in your mailbox.

You must insist that the support personnel types it up, sends it and you see it in your mailbox or you will not get off the phone.

As you are paying to use their services, they must supply you with a hard copy of what they say. It is the way to conduct business or else it becomes a he/said she said thing.

eBay,inc., since at least last spring, is trying their best not to have what they are telling you in print format. This, so it cannot be used against them if a seller decides that they must pursue the matter in a court of law.

Even with an email, they continue to misrepresent what the phone conversation was about or are deliberately vague (''your concern'' kind of crap which can mean a million things) about the conversation.

I have many such emails and some are being used in my two small claims court case and some to be used if I have to go with a larger lawsuit or join a class action one.

The best offense in a legal dispute is when one party can use what another party has said and it is in hard copy format for evidence.
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: Paul
       
Wed Mar 9 23:46:17 2011
There is a module on the dashboard about seller protection cases which shows removed feedback, removed cases, and unpaid item credits.

Have you even looked?
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: Smitty
       
Thu Mar 10 00:50:15 2011
Many posters on this thread feel that nothing happens regarding the reports of bad buyers and they are most likely correct.

That said and because I'm a bit of a pessimist regarding ebay policies, I do think there may be some consequences of those reports.

Ebay may demote any seller reporting too many bad buyers.

Smitty
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: Vintageaddict2 This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Mar 10 02:58:01 2011
Well,, for all its worth, Last Christmas a customer left me a negative feedback for item not as described.  He never contacted me before leaving it. I wrote him asking him to remove the feedback and he said he would if I refunded his money and I told him to return it and his refund would be promptly procesed.  He never responded.
It just happened that I had to have to call in to review another question and with my gabby mouth mentioned this to the representative.  Without asking she reviewed the emails between us (I always use the contact seller, buyer button so things are on record) and she said it looked like feedback extortion.  Nothing in his post reflected that but the next hour the negative feedback was removed.  I guess it does work in some circumstances and if you can get your buyer to respond in writing something to the effect that they are demanding something from you in exchange for the removal.  I wish I remembered more of the conversation with the ebay representative but I have been an active seller for 12 years and have learned that these new rules make us sellers have to learn to go fishing and hope the seller bites and says something that can be held against them.  Oh yes,,, this is the 2nd negative I have had removed in a year, so there is hope.  Just play the game right and try to work it out with the customer through ebays system so they can see all correspondence.  GOOD LUCK all and hopefully all of the bad buyers stay away! LOL
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: Gypsy
       
Thu Mar 10 07:47:26 2011
I once had a buyer who purchased something from me and a couple of months later I received reports from both eBay & PayPal that this buyer had been buying things on eBay by illegal means. This buyer had hacked into someone's PayPal account and stolen the money to pay for their eBay purchases. PayPal removed the stolen funds from my account but neither eBay or PayPal took any action against this person to recover the item I had shipped out nor do they refund any of my fees or reimburse me either. Bad Buyers get off scott free while Sellers are made to pay in spades.
What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?   What Happened to Reporting Bad Buyers on eBay?
by: george
       
Thu Mar 10 08:22:58 2011
Since this kind of thread brings out the ebay-haters who are sure that ebay is the devil incarnate, I imagine that the very interesting post by Vintageaddict2 will be trashed (as well as mine), but Vintage's experience parallels mine.

Although the wait to speak to a customer service rep is frustratingly long and the quality of the reps varies, I have noticed a difference in their attitude in the past year or so.

I call ebay once every 3 or 4 months, so my experience in volume isn't huge, but when I explain the situation with ALL the facts, I have gotten supportive and very helpful responses.

I think ebay does (finally) realize that there are bad buyers - just as there are bad sellers.  

Like all sellers, I dislike the fact that buyers can threaten me with negative fb, but I have learned some helpful things by CALLING ebay and listening carefully to the response I receive.  

I try to think out all possible scenarios before calling so that I can ask ''what if'' questions that will allow me to avoid having to call a second time.

When I get upset by the behavior of a bad buyer, I try to remember that expecting 100% positive behavior from buyers, sellers, or ebay isn't realistic.
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