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eBay Tests Feedback, Asks Buyers about Delivery Dates

eBay is testing a change to the feedback system by introducing a new question, and sellers who’ve seen it are not too pleased. eBay confirmed in early May it was running tests of its feedback system after reports surfaced that it was hiding seller feedback.

The head of eBay Marketplaces Devin Wenig has indicated he will make changes as he prepares to take on the role of CEO once eBay splits with PayPal and eBay Enterprise, including possible changes to Search.

What’s Changed
Some users are seeing a brand new question introduced to the feedback rating process. Directly under the spot where buyers rate a transaction Positive, Neutral, or Negative and leave a comment, the new verbiage appears:

“Did the item arrive on or before (date)? Estimated Delivery Date: (date)” with the option to check a radio button for yes or no.

Oddly, eBay provides the Estimated delivery date and Actual delivery date on the same page as it asks the question.

A reader sent a screenshot on June 9, explaining they were surprised to see the estimated delivery date question when they marked the Positive radio button when rating a transaction. “Hopefully this is not another way to penalize us sellers…after all, these dates are only estimates,” they wrote.

Some buyers saw the new question last month, but others said they couldn’t see it, guessing it was a test. “I have feedback to leave for 6 items and when I go to leave feedback, none of them ask when the item was delivered. But, now shows the estimated delivery date and the actual delivery date. It never showed that before.”

Seller Reaction
People discussing it on the eBay discussion boards last month expressed concern that it could be used against sellers.

Shipping costs and shipping times are a sensitive issue for eBay sellers, with many feeling it’s an area eBay expects them to be able to control even after they drop their package off with a shipping carrier.

One user wrote, “I don’t know who’s behind these questions in feedback, in the purchase history, in the returns menus, but they are always worded in the funny way that calls attention to the negative side of a transaction rather than calling attention to the positives and encouraging more sales.”

On another eBay thread, a user said, “Just adding in more potential friction to the transaction.”

Another said, “Just great, not only does eBay provide aggressive estimated delivery dates, they remind the buyer of them during feedback.”

Have an opinion about the new estimated delivery feedback question?

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.