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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 311 - May 20, 2012 - ISSN 1528-6703     7 of 7

EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor

By Ina Steiner

May 20, 2012

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In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From shipping to payment services, from fees to online marketplace policies, EcommerceBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.

Send your letter to the editor by emailing ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor" in the subject line. (Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear.)

Visit the Letters to the Editor blog, here are links to letters published from May 6, 2012 to present:

eBay Senior Seller Sounds off on Age Discrimination (May 19, 2012)

eBay Takes over PayPal Shipping Labels again? (May 19, 2012)

eBay Free Listing Day - Fail (May 17, 2012)

PayPal Payment Holds Contribute to Phishing? (May 16, 2012)

More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed? (May 15, 2012)

eBay Seller Sucked into Beta Selling Interface (May 14, 2012)

eBay Still Has Search Problems (May 13, 2012)

Google Checkout Offers No Customer Service upon Account Closure (May 11, 2012)

Seller Describes PayPal Pet Peeves (May 9, 2012)

eBay Needs to Make Some Changes - A List (May 9, 2012)

eBay's Return Policy Can't Be One Size Fits All (May 7, 2012)

Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies (May 6, 2012)


Dear Ina,
It seems to me that eBay has defended themselves in numerous courts saying they were only a venue, not the actual seller of product.

While numerous policies dictate what I as a seller have to do, it has probably been defensible since it was for the whole venue.

But, the new policy where they will determine if an individual seller has to give a partial refund, on a particular item may be taking too much control for them to say they are "just a venue".

Maybe you could have some legal person take a look at this? Thanks.


Dear Ina,
Has anyone noticed, or commented on, eBay's new seller incentive of 5 "automatic" stars in the communication category of DSR for sellers who have NO communication with a customer?

Aside from the impossibility of a seller ever having any control over that, are there other sellers like me who enjoy responding to questions and other communications with customers?

In what Bizarro world of business is a complete lack of communication between buyer and seller a feature worthy of "automatic" reward?

Best practices for automatic 5-star DSR for Communication
Follow these best practices to help you qualify for the automatic 5-star DSR for Communication.

Provide buyers with all the relevant information they need in your listings. Clearly describe your items, list your item specifics, returns policy, shipping information, and payment methods so that buyers don't need to contact you with questions before making a purchase decision. New business policies make it fast and easy to include this information.

I don't want automatic stars if it means communication with customers is presumed to be "ineffective selling."


Dear Ina,
I have been a loyal eBay seller for 10 yrs and am approaching 200k in total global sales... always with top seller rankings and even power seller status.

eBay was fun to participate in and was excellent for part time income and benefits. Now in the last year so the fun and sales appreciation has been taken away from me and many sellers I talk to on a daily basis.

We sellers are now burdened by the constant threat of punishment in forms of bad feedback/low DSR numbers, returns for non legit reasons and damage by the carrier that the carrier should be responsible for but eBay makes it the seller responsibility as buyer can return for a notasdescribed case. These notasdescribed cases are fraudulent and very unfair to the seller as most are determined buyer remorse.

I as a seller now have low DSR in shipping and 3 negative feedbacks from buyers that lied about their purchase, maliciously marked 1 or 2 in my DSR as stated in emails from the buyer stating they would do this and neg feedback from a buyer which we had no transaction?

Again all of these changes in eBay buyer allowances has made the buyer king /treated like royalty and the average seller being treated like a second class citizen.

I have tried to express my feelings with eBay personnel on many occasions without any sympathy or changes made. I am now at limited sales and my funds are being held UNTIL I SHOW A CONTINUED SUCCESS AS A SELLER !

As stated, I have been selling for 10 yrs. on eBay with no restrictions or bad marks !

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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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