TrustPlus Shuts Down Merchant-Reputation Service
By Ina Steiner
Online reputation service TrustPlus is shutting down at the end of the month, citing a lack of support among marketplaces and merchants. In a blog post on Tuesday, founders wrote, "Despite the founder of Craigslist blogging about safety and reputation, Craigslist was unwilling to support our efforts. Partnerships have been hard to come by because safety generally takes a back seat to profits."
The company also said that most individual users were not willing to use a service that required a few extra minutes when posting or responding to posts on the Internet, "even if it might make the Internet a safer place over time."
TrustPlus launched in 2007, and online classifieds site EPage Classifieds integrated the service into all of its user accounts. In 2008, online sellers were able to link their eBay feedback to the TrustPlus reputation service through a partnership with SageFire.
And when EcommerceBytes launched the EveryPlaceISell.com merchant directory in 2008, it allowed merchants to display their TrustPlus badge on their EveryPlaceISell.com directory listings.
TrustPlus CTO Michael Johnson said on Tuesday merchants mostly imported their eBay score and then used the badge as a general signal of past reputation.
TrustPlus set up a bridge service that sends an empty image for TrustPlus badges to avoid the "missing image" icon appearing in web pages, but attempts to sign up for a new TrustPlus account will fail. It will wind down all of its services by the end of the month.
Initially TrustPlus redirected the site to its farewell blog post, but brought it back online temporarily so merchants could visit their profile. "The only feedbacks that will be there for them to save are ones that their customers created on TrustPlus - we don't have copies of their eBay feedback details, we only have the overall score," Johnson said.
He added that merchants should no longer display copies of their badge images. "The badges contain our TrustPlus trademark and when the company is shut down, we don't want to be vouching for someone's reputation that we no longer track."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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