EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3120 - July 31, 2013     1 of 4

eBay Will Keep DSRs Anonymous Despite New Feedback Policy

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eBay announced a new feedback removal policy that expands the instances in which sellers can request that eBay remove negative feedback left for them by buyers. eBay explains the policy here, which takes effect July 31, 2013.

In general, sellers perceived the policy as being positive, though there are lots of questions, and sellers appear to be waiting to see how it plays out in real cases.

One area in which sellers raised questions was around Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs), in which buyers rate sellers on a number of criteria. Because DSRs are anonymous, sellers wanted to know how they could ask eBay to remove low DSRs that they felt had been left unfairly since they would not know which buyer left them.

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore provided us with some answers to sellers' questions.

How will sellers know if they have low DSR ratings associated with a particular transaction, since it's anonymous?

Sellers won't be able to know if they have received low DSRs associated with a particular transaction. The majority of our removal reasons are tied to the Feedback itself and not the DSRs. In an automated fashion, eBay will look at Feedback and DSRs, and remove Feedback and DSRs that are in violation of our policy.

If we remove a particular Feedback, we remove: the Positive/Neutral/Negative Feedback, the Feedback comment and all of the DSRs associated with it. In that manner, removal of Feedback will also remove any low DSRs that may affect seller standards. Monthly, we will send sellers a Seller Protection email, which consolidates all Neutral/Negative Feedback and low DSR removals into a single summary for sellers.

Even though eBay says it's not mandatory to request feedback revision from a buyer before asking eBay to remove feedback, it's a "best practice." eBay restricts the number of feedback revision requests sellers can submit. Are there any such restrictions on the number of requests a seller can make of eBay through the new expanded feedback removal policy?

We don't have any restrictions on the number of Feedback removal requests. However, the policy is more expansive and we expect that sellers are better able to self-diagnose where a particular Feedback is likely to violate policy.

If a buyer left low ratings or negative feedback but provided clearly positive comments, would a) eBay automatically remove the feedback, or b) would that be an instance where it would be appropriate for a seller to ask eBay for feedback removal, or c) is it acceptable for buyers to leave low ratings or negative feedback and provide clearly positive comments?

The new policy enables sellers to request Feedback be removed in instances where the buyer left a negative feedback with clearly positive comments. In this type of instance, Feedback will not be automatically removed since the comment must be reviewed by an agent, who will look at member-to-member communication related to the transaction.

There are instances where a buyer may leave a negative Feedback and the comment is positive. After review of the transaction and member-to-member communication, eBay will determine whether the buyer's intent was to leave a negative Feedback. Of note, if a buyer shows a pattern of leaving disproportionately high rates of low Feedback or low detailed seller ratings, our automated systems will detect the pattern and the Feedback will be removed.

You can find more information about Seller Release 2 on eBay's Fall Seller Update overview. Let us know what you think of eBay's Fall Seller Release - take the EcommerceBytes survey in SurveyMonkey, and leave a comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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