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eBay Survey Could Indicate Major Changes to Come

eBay is surveying sellers, providing a hint of more changes to come as a new executive prepares to take the helm after the breakup with PayPal. The survey provided recipients an opportunity to complain about a laundry list of problems with the site, including having to deal with abusive and dishonest buyers.

The survey asked recipients where they had sold in the past 3 months, and how they would rate those marketplaces as a selling venue. Included in the list were Etsy, Alibaba/11 Main, Craigslist, Amazon, and “my own website/online store.”

A seller who took the survey noted that it wanted to know why they had rated other sites higher than eBay as a site on which to sell.

eBay listed various aspects of selling and asked recipients to answer questions about how it could make improvements to make them more likely to recommend eBay:

  • Shipping/returns policies and options
  • More buyers
  • Improved customer service
  • Selling fees
  • Site experience (e.g., website, mobile apps, tools, etc.)
  • Selling policies and rules (e.g., Seller standards, limits, etc.)
  • Help with becoming a more effective seller
  • Improved feedback system
  • Seller protection – “Provide a safer, more fair place to sell”

eBay provided possible responses for each of the nine areas where it could make improvements. Under eBay selling policies and rules, it listed issues such as selling limits; money holds; Top Rated Seller criteria; abusive buyers; frequency and inconsistency of policy changes; restricted categories/items; return and refund policies; PayPal policies; eBay seller standards; and “too many unpaid items.”

eBay has already indicated it plans to make changes to its feedback system. In the survey, it asked recipients to indicate the areas they felt needed improvement, including:

  • Too many buyers do not leave feedback
  • Feedback system does not help me learn to be a better seller;
  • eBay doesn’t protect me from abusive buyers;
  • Feedback system is unfair to sellers
  • Too hard to remove feedback that I think is unfair or inaccurate.

In another question about Seller Protections, eBay again mentioned abusive buyers as well as dishonest buyers (some choices sellers could select were “eBay sides with the buyer too often when resolving issues”; “eBay doesn’t protect me from abusive buyers”; and “eBay has too many dishonest buyers”).

More information is in the accompanying blog post. Let us know if you’ve received the survey and what you think eBay might be planning to do about the problems it presented to sellers in the survey.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.