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eBay Surveys Sellers about Fraud, Privacy, and Safety

eBay Main Street
eBay Surveys Sellers about Fraud, Privacy, and Safety

eBay conducted a survey to ask sellers about their concerns over privacy and safety and asking them to share stories about any negative experiences they endured where they felt their privacy or safety was compromised with communication off of the eBay platform.

eBay also asked what threat sellers felt big-box retailers posed, and it asked about the impact on their sales if the USPS were to increase rates more than their normal range.

eBay’s government relations department (“eBay Main Street”) conducted the survey to determine how policy issues being discussed by elected officials might impact online sellers.

eBay told respondents that the survey would help it identify online sellers willing to speak to elected officials about proposed policies and said, “Your answers will help guide eBay’s future ecommerce policy plans.”

We heard from a reader about his take on the survey:

“My response to the latest eBay seller survey answers the question, “am I opposed to having seller information included in listings” with YES.

“As eBay is pushing to distance sellers from buyers more and more, what would derail that the most? Buyers being able to contact sellers outside of eBay.

“Then, when they asked what could the government do, I responded that they could investigate eBay’s managed payment cash hold policies, and their act of charging a fee if a seller tried to dispute a fraudulent return. We know that all disputes side with the buyer, regardless of evidence. I would suggest that others might follow suite.”

In May, eBay published a post on the eBay Main Street blog in which it claimed that Big Box retailers were behind efforts at the state and federal levels to pass the INFORM Consumers Act, which it said “would mandate the public disclosure of business information on every product a seller lists on a marketplace. The legislation also imposes burdensome and discriminatory collection of information requirements that harm legitimate small businesses and entrepreneurs who sell on online marketplaces.”

Here are the questions included in eBay Main Street’s survey:

How many employees do you currently have?

How much in annual sales do you do on eBay?

How many annual transactions (# of sales) do you have on eBay?

As you may be aware, Congress and some state legislatures are considering new laws that would require online sellers to disclose their full name, email address, phone number and physical address next to each product listing. Would you oppose any laws that would require you to disclose this information online?
(Yes, No, I don’t know / Prefer not to answer)

Which of the following concerns would you have regarding the proposed new laws described in the previous question? Please select all that apply:

  • Violation of privacy
  • Concern about SPAM or other solicitations
  • Fear for personal safety if contact information is publicly available
  • I have no concerns
  • Other

If these proposals were passed into law, would you stop selling online?
(Yes, No, I don’t know / Prefer not to answer)

Have you ever experienced a seller or buyer from an online marketplace attempt to fraudulently take advantage of you during the transaction process through communications off platform (phone or email)?
(Yes, No, I don’t know / Prefer not to answer)

If you answered yes to the previous question, and feel comfortable sharing, please describe any negative experiences you have endured when you felt your privacy or safety was compromised with communication off platform (phone or email).

With regard to your sales / business, what is the biggest problem you face that the federal or your state government could address? Please select all that apply:

  • Financing (grants, lending)
  • Training / Workforce development
  • Healthcare costs
  • Tax issues
  • Not applicable
  • Other

What do you anticipate being the major challenges to your sales / business in the next six to twelve months? Please select all that apply:

  • Consumer or market demand for my products or services
  • Increasing costs of doing business including taxes
  • Shipping delays
  • Availability of private finance (e.g. through a bank) to help my business survive or grow
  • Availability of government support (loans, grants, etc.) to help my business survive through the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Availability and access to labor
  • Healthcare costs
  • Not applicable
  • Other

Please describe any actions you think federal or your state government officials should take in 2021 and 2022 to help your sales / business recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you sell online, do you feel major big-box retailers are a threat to your sales / business?

  • No
  • Yes, somewhat of a threat
  • Yes, a very serious threat
  • Prefer not to answer / Not applicable

Which of the following shipping services do you use MOST frequently?

  • US Postal Service
  • Private Carrier (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.)
  • Other
  • Prefer not to answer / Not applicable

The US Postal Service raises package delivery rates on a regular basis. If the US Postal Service were to increase rates more than their normal range, how would it negatively impact your sales? *

  • Not at all
  • Slightly
  • Moderately
  • Very
  • Extremely
  • N/A

Thank you for patiently answering the survey questions. May we contact you if we would like more information about your survey responses?
(Yes, No)

Let us know what you think of the survey and the issues it raises.

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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

2 thoughts on “eBay Surveys Sellers about Fraud, Privacy, and Safety”

  1. “eBay Surveys Sellers about Fraud, Privacy, and Safety”

    fleecebay aids and abets in Fraud, Privacy and Safety

    Sellers need protection from fleecebay

  2. #1 ““Your answers will help guide eBay’s future ecommerce policy plans.” – NO, as eBay ignores what sellers want / dont want. We didnt want MP, we didnt want VERO, we didnt want Item Details – yet we still got them!

    #2 “How much in annual sales do you do on eBay?” …. I guess eBays seller protal works about as good for eBay as it does for sellers …. again – another NOT asked for function.

    #3 “As you may be aware, Congress and some state legislatures are considering new laws that would require online sellers to disclose their full name, email address, phone number and physical address next to each product listing. Would you oppose any laws that would require you to disclose this information online?” – I wouldnt mind – as long as you post the home addresses of EBAYS employees – so I know where to send Griff and Ionne stuff in the mail 🙂 (as they are MOR (key word being MERCHANT – why not?)

    #4 “With regard to your sales / business, what is the biggest problem you face that the federal or your state government could address? ” The biggest issue is eBays over reach and intrusion into a sellers business. Money holds, illegal VERO issues, interference in Returns and the like … just for starters

    #5 “What do you anticipate being the major challenges to your sales / business in the next six to twelve months?” finding other venues – ones AWAY from eBay the San Jose Mafia

    #6 “Please describe any actions you think federal or your state government officials should take in 2021 and 2022 to help your sales / business recover from the COVID-19 pandemic” … BREAK UP EBAY AND PROSECUTE ITS BOD

    #7 “The US Postal Service raises package delivery rates on a regular basis. If the US Postal Service were to increase rates more than their normal range, how would it negatively impact your sales? ” … not much as there are other carriers. It WILL effect YOUR business, since you rely on USPS to do most of the work for you… what would EBAY do if USPS started charging more / discontinuing services / implementing new directives?

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