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Mon June 25 2007 15:06:13

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers are reporting that they are being targeted by eBay for seller nonperformance ("breach of non performance policy"). While this may or may not reflect a new policy, it seems the level of enforcement has increased in the past week or so. As with other recent Trust and Safety initiatives, eBay has not announced anything about it, at least from what I can see.

Here's an example of just one of many threads about the issue.

As you can see, this seller has no telephone number to contact eBay. It appears to me that recent T&S initiatives (beginning last fall) have increased the demand for customer support, but from my understanding, capacity has not increased.

Making the site safer by cracking down on sellers sounds like a sensible idea, but eBay sellers know that unscrupulous buyers can give them unjustified negative feedback. By going purely on raw feedback, and not taking into account circumstances like deadbeat and newbie buyers, some good sellers may get caught in the net. And as usual, sellers are left wondering if eBay exempts their top sellers from such crackdowns.

I have inquiries pending, in the meantime, let me know if you have been affected by this issue by posting a comment below, or calling the AuctionBytes Hotline (see this page for the toll-free).

Comments (179) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: RichardC

Mon Jun 25 16:04:27 2007

Ina, I do believe this was the "Seller's Experience" focus that was introduced at the ecommerce summit back in January. eBay stated they were going to look closely at sellers performance, and robotically or by humans-those falling within certain parameters would receive consequences.

Of course this is not fair for sellers, but as is the case of VERO violations, what is fair. Shoot First and ask questions later (if you can!) At least with VERO you have an contact email- though you rarely receive a reply!!!   One must remember eBay is not a democracy.  

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Todd

Mon Jun 25 16:45:42 2007

We have been affected by this.  As per eBay notification this is the information that they provide to you:

''eBay will continue to evaluate your account on a monthly basis. Restrictions will not be lifted unless your buyer dissatisfaction rate is brought below 5%. Please note that failure to reach this level within four months will result in the suspension of your account(s).

Significant improvements to your customer satisfaction must be seen in order for us to consider reinstating full selling privileges. Please note that should these improvements not occur, eBay may be required to take further action.''

eBay reviewed our account after 6 weeks and suspended us for life.  They stated that a previous account that we owned (from one of our drop off stores) did not meet the criteria therefore we were being suspended.  Just to note, that account has not been used in almost 5 months no feedback received in over 3 months and when we asked them to close it 6 weeks ago they told us no.  So now we are suspended permanently for being linked to that account.  Our account manager was unable to help us - he was told that any appeal would not be fruitful and the decision is final.  The ironic part of all this is that when they contacted us 6 weeks prior they told us to improve our selling account - no mention of improving this other account.  As well, how can you improve over 100% satisfication (if you sold nothing and received no feedbacks that equals 100%).

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Sandi

Mon Jun 25 17:21:41 2007

I received an email from ebay Friday, telling me I was in the bottom 2% of sellers for buyer satisfaction.  My feedback is 99.3, I have 4.9 on the new ratings stars. Over 500 positive feedbacks from 275 unique buyers.

I have 2 negatives, one from a deadbeat, crook buyer, one from a buyer who notified me her insured item arrived damaged via feedback, yet refused to return it for a refund or file an insurance claim.

I have emailed ebay since Friday with no response.  I find it odd they say they are doing this to improve the buyer experience, yet the seller who has had 20,000+ unhappy buyers this past year alone continues to list & sell.

I find it ironic that ebay, a company with the worst customer service of any online venue has taken it upon itself to decide what good customer service is. If they were a seller, they would have already received a lifetime suspension.

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Ramy

Mon Jun 25 22:41:23 2007

I too have been unfairly suspended. I am not a full-time ebay seller but only do it part-time to earn some extra money to put my two daughters thru college. I have a 99.6% positive feedback with only two negative feedbacks in the past six months and only 6 total negatives out of over 1400 positive feedbacks. My regular job is as a retail manager in a clothing store so I understand what it takes to offer good customer service but this new crackdown is unfair to small mom& pop operations and they need to use different criteria not just a blanket percentage rating. Thanks for letting me vent.

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown


Mon Jun 25 22:48:42 2007

we have been sellers and buyers since may05 and have a 99.2 rating. we also got the 14 day suspension for the bottom 2% . ebay customer service is terrible and we have not gotten back any responce from the trust and saftey dept. we have rec 1 neutral and 3 negs in the past yr. all the negs we dead beats that destroyed our property and file claims through paypal. my acct was on hold for almost 2 mths .WE LOST A TON OF BUSINESS. paypal and ebay fees avg 400.00 to 500.00 a months , so u do the math.
robin and richie

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Caleb Laurence

Tue Jun 26 19:23:20 2007

I to have had this happen to me, but have been fighting it all the way back to february.

My business is destroyed, and if someone wants to start a class-action lawsuit, please count me in

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Caleb Laurence

Tue Jun 26 19:24:29 2007

May I also say, that I have been busing and selling on Ebay since April of 1999, and basically got the boot, never to be able to sell again......

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Kevin

Tue Jun 26 23:46:27 2007

I am a family man and a father of five children. I have been an ebay member since 1999. Almost Three years ago, I started doing research on products that I can seller on ebay. It took me 18 months of research to find the items and suppliers that I can make a living on. It was only 2 years ago that I have become a steady ebay powerseller. I quit my day job and started my business out of my house garage, then I had my brother work for me in addition to three more employees.

I was working long hours trying to keep up with the expenses of my large family and try to build a sustainable business.

Then early this month (June 6th), I received an e-mail from ebay saying that my account was suspended. And although the reason was unclear, they specifically stated that because my account is linked to my brothers personal account, and his account was suspended for seller non-performance!!!!

I was thinking that this is a spam e-mail, so I picked up the phone and I called my ebay account representative, a lady by the name of Anna Spenz. She turned out to be very unprofessional. she didn't even give me a chance to talk and she started talking to me like I am a nothing. I was shocked just by the tone of her voice... I mean I didn't expect that at all. Although she didn't want to specify the reason for the suspension of my account, she did tell me that my brothers account was from the bottom 1% of ebay sellers. And because we shared the same information such as last name or address, my account was suspended too. When I tried to understand why his account generated so much dissatisfaction, she said that he hasn't been shipping the products that he sold to his buyers but then she rejected the idea of putting him on a three way call stating that ''he is not eligible for her service as a reason....''

Anyways, I waited for my brother to show up and I explained to him the problem and that I am pretty much out of business because of his action. He didn't believe it. So he showed me that he hasn't sold a thing for over five months, no open disputes, and his feedback rating was most 98.2% so what was she talking about!!!

I ended up sending an e-mail to the trust and safety department requesting some more clarification about the problem as per my account manager recommendation. The reply was suppose to take 24-48 hours. I got a reply e-mail a week later stating that they will uphold the suspension and did not address any of my questions.

I have since let go of my employees and in the process of closing my business. But what bothers me the most is the ability of ebay to bully anybody around. And the fact that they don't even have phone support for the trust and safety department. That's the worst customer service, I've ever seen. I think that ebay grew too big and they just bully honest sellers around.

I hope somebody can shed some light on this and contribute with any idea on how to resolve my problem.


eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Brian McGregor

Wed Jun 27 03:13:11 2007

Unfortunately this is one ball game where eBay owns everything! If they decide, fairly or unfairly, that you can no longer play in it, then  there's little you can do apart from embarking on the appeals process. I feel real sympathy for those sellers for whom their eBay earnings are a significant element in the household income.

There is one strategy, however, which can reduce the impact of eBay suspending your account. That strategy is to have more than one eBay account.  

I strongly advise every eBay seller to set up a second, and even a third eBay account. Make sure you get feedback ticking over on all your accounts then, if eBay pull the plug on one account, you aren't put out of business!  


eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Rick Dronkowski

Wed Jun 27 07:27:04 2007

Would like to join a Class Action suit  against ebay for new 90 5% policy We are Powersellors and this ias totally unjust. They need to pay!!!!1

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Laurel

Fri Jun 29 13:16:35 2007

I have been affected by the crack down I received the 14 day suspension.  I work full time as an ebay seller and as an aide to a handicapped child (which dosn't pay much therefore ebay)I have surched for anything that could possibly have trigered the notice.  I have a 99.7% positive feedback yet it said I am in the bottom 2% of sellers even the new star systim gives me s 4.7 avg. from buyers. I did have a npb and I did file a claim the buyer had a -7 feedback. and a neutral from a newbe that did not understand the system.  I have sent 2 emails to trust & Safety and no answer in 10 days.  If this is a punishment for something I did wrong wouldn't it be more productive to let me know what I did so it can be corrected?  I am very disappointed in ebay, but it is the only game in town with this following. I am fortunate to have a 2nd site that I sell other items on and have listed some of my best sellers from the restricted site but what a pain.  I am still down about $4-600 in sales for these 8 days, which is scary for us as we run very close on $$.  My husband is disabled and we count on this income. I feel as a could be power seller (I opted to not sign up) for 5 yearsIt is truly infair not to be given a less drastic warning and then if i did not comply, then restrict me.  But to get this out of nowhere and no way to contact anyone at ebay and no response to emails it is very bad business.

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Dan

Sun Jul 1 05:40:49 2007

If every seller and buyer reported ebay and Paypal to The BBB and IC3 they might do something about it, but it seems everyone I have talked to & read about only complains & takes no action against ebay.. My Advice TAKE ACTION I am & have been for the past year. I actually got 1/2 of my money back from Ebay. Hope this helps.
PS If we could get ebay to stop the scamers getting away with 1 sent starting prices & all cost on shipping, they could probably afford to lower fees for honest sellers.

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: John

Sun Jul 1 14:38:09 2007

I have been a part time ebay seller for many years.  My 100% feedback is only because I have refunded money when it was not due or have been "black mailed" into receiving a positive feedback. It is there ball and there playing field. I have seen questions and concerns posted over the years all going no where. Cynical, yes.  

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Sandy

Mon Jul 2 09:03:15 2007

I have recently become a member of this select group-my experience is the same.I am so overwhelmed by this, and other seller friends are amazed at Ebays' actions. They do control it all- there isn't anything that can be done. They give no answers and leave you hanging. If there was somewhere else to go it would be great.But everyone knows Ebay-so we are stuck in this crazy new control policy.

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: quickphil

Mon Jul 2 18:12:49 2007

I have been saying it all over the boards and the PS board for a long time.  If you put, or keep all your eggs in the eBay basket, you are nuts.  Simply nuts.  I know a PS who was VeRO'd, all her items.  She was stuck with, I believe, $18,000 of inventory.  Now, after the ax feel, is she putting up a website.  Amazon and the others are helping, but they are going down the eBay road also.

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: Si

Mon Jul 2 19:26:51 2007

I'm not sure having multiple accounts will help much now - eBay are linking accounts and suspending ones that relate to suspended or closed ones.

This has just happened to me, they 'caught' all but one of my accounts and also my ex-housemate's old one at my address. (I believe the rule says something like if account is suspended no-one from that household can use another account, rather than just the individual.)

It seems they are using addresses, names, IP addresses, emails, attached Paypal and/or Skype accounts and more to link accounts.

For me this all comes from an ancient account with incorrect info - faxed them id as requested... not getting anywhere! I don't want to risk selling with the one I have left and trying to sort it is a nightmare.

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: eno59

Wed Jul 4 00:33:32 2007

I too am under the %2. Buyers that knowingly use a service I provide for honest buyer .Canada post light package/bubble package. These are a theif tool if you except Paypal as payment . I had one theif allready . People that use this and know the lenght of time it takes but EBay allows them to leave negative feed back and proof thats like a coaster.My bigget problem too is EBay never answering the emails or 1 that looks like the automated email syndrome.even a neg from 2002 when they never helped me back then ethier and livechat is a joke . They prove each day here they don't care. They make a claim they do but they refuse to look at yuor feed back and all that happened . They are as bad as the ignorant people that put the negative feed back. Right now I dunno whos worse actually. I can't even EDIT my listing to remove the shipping. all it takes is 5 neg feed backs even from years ago and 15 to just get to the %5 . what a rip off they call a 3 to 1 fair.I would have to be a complete idiot to believe that. I had to put my site on vacation thanks to EBay. Yet they still will charge me and as you can tell I'm being ripped of buy them . I have tried for 3 months now to get this fixed . The last year now when I ask for any help its a total waste of time. It amazing a company that makes the multimillions is so darn cheap to have a 1-800 number. I finally thanks to people in the Ebay community got the one for paypal and I never will use paypals emails again I hope. The theif got his money but so did I with a fight for whats right fully mine.Credit card companies should really be investagaining these chargebacks. Its a thiefs heaven . Sick of the few people in the Ebay community that tell me to drop the shipping . It makes up more like 10 to 1 of my sales but ebay's ignorance to suspend with out having the curtacy and respect to check first is disgusting and appaulling. The fact is when its abviuos buyers are making claims that they shouldn't be then ebay should fix it. 3 months is way do darn long to wait . I pay a monthly fee and I'm treated like a pice of sh..t and every one on here . I know there is a lot more than whats here thou.

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: eno59

Wed Jul 4 19:17:32 2007

I guess this site proves we are screwed and evil allways wins and nothing we can do . well I will just close down It not worth it .
I hope ebay dies when they feel they aren't responsable to investigate it but don't mind using it to srew the inocent then they are as bad as the crook.

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: eno59

Wed Jul 4 20:20:53 2007

Seller even saying suck it up .I wonder if real stores that catch a thief suck it up. hmm
I wonder what would happen if the police could do like ebay and get a lawer to releive thenm from the responsability to catch that thief and do whats right and corect the wrong .
Ebay made the system that the thiefs and  just bad buyers use and abuse darn right they should be responsable.
Stinking laws again that let this happen.

eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown   eBay Sellers Complaining of Crackdown

by: eno59

Wed Jul 4 20:44:42 2007

Just earse my ranting its a waste of time .We have lost no matter how wrong it is . my store I'll close since its screwed any ways.

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