eBay Eliminates Purchase Details from Feedback System
By Ina Steiner
eBay is making its feedback system less transparent by removing purchase details from the feedback page in a move that has already shocked some users who noticed the change start to roll out to the site right before their eyes on Wednesday.
Because eBay did not announce the change, many wondered if it was a glitch or a test. But eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore confirmed it was a deliberate policy change.
"Based on customer feedback from both buyers and sellers, we have made the decision to remove the view item link and item ID information on Buyer and Seller Feedback profiles pages," Moore told EcommerceBytes. The move is one of the most controversial changes to feedback since eBay introduced anonymous Detailed Seller Ratings and stopped allowing sellers to give buyers neutral or negative feedback ratings.
Buyers are particularly concerned about the lack of transparency on feedback pages of sellers from whom they are considering purchasing. They will no longer be able to see the types of items sellers have sold in the past, and some say they will be hampered in attempting to gauge the honesty of sellers receiving complaints from past buyers.
"I imagine that such a move would make it difficult for diligent buyers to get a better picture of what the seller is really like," wrote an EcommerceBytes reader. "Did the seller accumulate their feedback by selling individual paper-clips? (And then, once a ''respectable'' amount of feedback has been earned, the seller turns out to be some sort of scammer.)"
Or, she asked, "Did the seller earn a negative because the mystery-item is something that typically attracts persnickety buyers? (Wouldn't it be nice to know if the item description really WAS incorrect? Wouldn't it be nice to know if the seller's photos DID show the flaw after all?)"
Some sellers were concerned that they would not be able to see buyers' history. "Well, you can't see any evidence of a SNAD scam if you can't see the item or the description that contradict the buyers statements," wrote one seller. Another seller was happy that shoppers would not be able to see what he had sold items for in the past, explaining he routinely adjusted prices and haggled with buyers.
Moore explained that buyers and sellers would continue to see the link and item number for transactions they are involved in as long as they are logged in.
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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 email@example.com.
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