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Fri Aug 31 2007 12:08:54

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

By: Ina Steiner

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This week, eBay revealed in its Blog the details of how it judges a seller's non-performance in enforcing its SNP policy. It's pretty interesting to compare this with the original announcement from Phillip Justus, and with the transcript from the interview with eBay T&S VP. 

(Are they making this up as they go along?)

The section in the Blog post about low-volume sellers was confusing, and eBay kindly provided me with clarification regarding its low-volume sellers, but the logic has me scratching my head. Here's the update I got today:

A low-volume seller could not be restricted with 1 neg - they would need exactly 2 negs. Because of the way we've chosen to define this group, if a seller has more than 2 negs, they would not be a low-volume seller, and they would receive the 75% restriction.

So here's how I'm reading this. If I'm a seller with less than $3,000 in sales over a 90 day period and I get 2 negs, then for the next 14 days, I can't sell at all on eBay, but am automatically reinstated at the end of that period.

But if I get 3 negs, I can continue to sell on the site, though at a reduced sales volume, and after 30 days, eBay will decide if it will lift the restrictions on my account.

I had forgotten eBay had posted FAQs about SNP, so I just started reading them and found this gem:

Complete selling restrictions begin once you log on to eBay and not when an email notice is sent. So, if you received an email letting you know that you are restricted, you should log on to eBay as soon as possible to start the restriction. If you do not log on, the restriction will not begin and you may be restricted for a longer period of time than indicated in the email.

It would be nice if eBay mentioned that in the letter that goes out to sellers.

eBay's handling of this new SNP initiative is a poor example of how to communicate with customers. And the new approach to seller non performance should not have  been retroactive - I can imagine sellers who would have treated feedback ratings differently if they had known eBay was changing its approach.




Comments (30) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: GS

Fri Aug 31 13:00:49 2007

''(Are they making this up as they go along?)''

Yes. At least in my case and some others I have read about. Contact any CSR and get a different answer every time because they are not sure what is going on either.

''eBay's handling of this new SNP initiative is a poor example of how to communicate with customers. And the new approach to seller non performance should not have  been retroactive - I can imagine sellers who would have treated feedback ratings differently if they had known eBay was changing its approach.''

You hit the nail on the head with this one Ina. Most good sellers want to maintain a good buyer satisfaction rating but run into occasional problems, both personal and business. At least give them the reasonable chance to correct it.

Like most recent things eBay has released, this is a mess. Hopefully this will also get pulled and fixed.

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: Randy Smythe

Fri Aug 31 13:12:27 2007

I've been taking some heat for my recent post that Bitching about a problem seems to work. When I wrote the post I was just surprised that eBay was communicating at all, so I wrote that was a positive.

Had I read the Chatter Blog post more thoroughly I would have written something different all-together.

Once again it comes down to execution and I've lost complete faith in their ability to execute.

I also learned a lesson. Don't mention something in a post that you haven't read completely.

Thanks Ina for pointing these things out.

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: Another Wronged Seller

Fri Aug 31 17:58:15 2007

'(Are they making this up as they go along?)''

Yes!
IF that had been a hard policy back in June when they started this new enforcement, WHY did no one in stores support, T and S or PS support know the particulars of the criteria??? That would certainly explain why there were so many sellers complaining of canned emails, non- answers and being told different things while we tried to find answers from ebay. It took them this long to get a cover story put together.

Couple of possibilities:

Policy was NOT defined prior to this announcement.

Policy was defined but was never communicated to the people responsible for answering our questions.

Policy was deliberately kept from the CS reps because they didn't want sellers knowing how far they could ''push it''

Ebay CS reps were told to keep their mouths shut for fear of litigation.

Ebay NEVER expected the furor this would cause and didn't know HOW to address it. ( they think this latest announcement addresses it! HAh!)

Really, at this point I think Ebay is probably just trying to save face for a horribly conceived and executed plan. I would have more respect for them if they just admitted the mistake and restored accounts. However, if they admitted a mistake, they might be more vulnerable to litigation over this fiasco.

If they truly wanted to put this behind them they would admit the mistakes made and most sellers would probably feel better knowing they could list again and the whole mess would be forgotten in time. However, small consolation to the many sellers who were irreparably harmed by this misguided program. As a corporation they should bear responsibility for the financial damage caused and also to the reputations of sellers who may never be trusted again by buyers because of the perception that  ''we did something wrong''

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: jj

Fri Aug 31 19:43:34 2007

The wonder of eBay land…all they ever do is make sellers wonder “is it really worth all these headaches”…I Guarantee this time so many sellers (who by the way are also buyers) are saying NO

A complete mess, another shinning example of why eBay is going down & down>>>>>>>>>

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: sjj

Fri Aug 31 20:24:39 2007

(Are they making this up as they go along?) Yes, daily.

I was told by a T&S person on the phone that it was HIS fault that I got the 14 day notice. It was actually 30 days. He stated that I was lucky, because had I been on the 14 day restriction...I could not have listed anything. I said "thank you".

Now, we are dealing with a bot that has no human conception. The T&S guy was human (I guess), but the neutral I recieved today needs human attention! I know I can't get that, but it is REALLY an USPS error and they even admit it within the tracking notes (through stamps dot com). So, the bot does not see this and my percentage stays. Hopefully my groveling (SP?) will work with this buyer.

Label/Receipt Number: 9101 0105 2129 7217 9500 60
Status: Delivered

Your item was delivered at 2:27 pm on June 27, 2007 in NEW MARKET, AL 35761.

***Additional information for this item is stored in files offline.*** (stars added by me)

The PO doesn't want to be blamed with my neutral feedback! I use stamps dot com and have the entire tracking record there. USPS screwed up!

As I have said before, the execution of this "policy" is criminal.

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: sjj

Fri Aug 31 20:26:05 2007

Tracking Status

June 27, 2007 - 14:27:00 DELIVERED
Your item was delivered at 14:27:00 on June 27, 2007 in NEW MARKET, AL 35761.

June 23, 2007 - 10:38:00 FORWARDED
Your item was forwarded to a different address at 10:38:00 on June 23, 2007 in MEMPHIS, TN 38103.  This was because of forwarding instructions or because the address or ZIP Code on the label was incorrect.

June 23, 2007 - 10:38:00 ARRIVAL AT UNIT
Your item arrived at MEMPHIS post office, 38103 at 10:38:00 on June 23, 2007.

June 23, 2007 - 10:38:00 MISSENT
Your item was misrouted. The error has been corrected and every effort is being made to deliver it as soon as possible.

June 21, 2007 - 14:19:00 ENROUTE
Your item arrived at the MEMPHIS, TN processing facility at 14:19:00 on June 21, 2007.

June 18, 2007 ELECTRONIC NOTIFICATION
The U.S. Postal Service received electronic notification of your item on June 18, 2007.

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: sjj

Fri Aug 31 20:31:04 2007

Oh, the statement from the USPS about the zip code is wrong. It is the the former comment about the forwarding instructions, from THEM.
You can't print a wrong label through stamps.

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: bonni

Sat Sep 1 10:05:30 2007

Yes, they're making it up as they go along. It's the eBay way!

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: jsicolts

Sun Sep 2 04:57:46 2007

eBay's fake restrictions does NOT effect their other selling sites- you can list as much as you want, as we do daily, on HALF.com. Also, try other non-ebay sites that have no silly right-wing heavy handed ebay tactics: Alibris.com, Biblio.Com, etc.,

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: Brenda7567

Sun Sep 2 10:39:32 2007

Ebay, including Griff and Ebay University is telling us to leave negative when warranted and to ''take one for the team'' when a retaliatory feedback is left. This stand is rather hypocritical, don't you think?  

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: Cowbell

Sun Sep 2 18:01:18 2007

What do negs have to do with volume? More than two negs and less than $3,000 is a crappy low-volume seller. Not a crappy high-volume seller.

Determining volume by the number of negs received is idiotic.

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: jorge Llaury

Sun Sep 2 23:04:06 2007

yeap thats right, this policy is criminal. In my case I receive two neg feedbacks in 7 days, the people left them, has 0% feedback new users you know. When I receive the notice of my restricted account I had a medium inventory, I listing more items and I cant...I send a couple  emails to customer service and they respond me "sorry but your account is in evaluation"...what I do w my inventory...

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: Donna

Mon Sep 3 09:55:39 2007

Absolutely eBay is making this up as they go along. And sending emails to T&S or using Live Chat is pretty hopeless...all these people have been trained NOT to provide substantive answers to anything. I have been restricted because of 2 negatives. The stupidest thing is that I was notified of this status by email, and the VERY NEXT DAY I received my first announcement and "explanation" of this new policy. In this second email, eBay assured me I had nothing to worry about because my account was in good standing! Huh?!!!

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: thebidkahuna

Mon Sep 3 11:07:50 2007

EVERYONE IS CORRECT (except eBay) and they will do whatever they feel like with out any rhyme or reason.  I am just waiting for something in this regard to happen to me or maybe I will set up two new eBay accounts buy a couple of $0.99 items and leave negative feedback from both... That would be mean...  Anyhow I wish there was an alternative to eBay as I have about had it with all the BULL!!!!

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: Another Wronged Seller

Mon Sep 3 16:42:26 2007

I just discovered this seems to be the same situation over on the Ebay- UK site. Same or similar posts and nightmares about SNP on tamebay.com.

Was this horrible SNP program rolled out on all the ebay sites??

Anybody know?

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: Dennis

Mon Sep 3 20:24:48 2007

If you'll look into our disputes you'll see we're very responsive to customers' concerns.  Almost all of our disputes lead to the customer having a positive experience.

Unfortunately much of the time Paypal disputes are how we find out that a customer needs attention. We got SNP for a ''high'' number of these disputes.

I foresee that we'll continue to get Paypal disputes and we'll continue to address them.  Our business in Jet Ski Salvage tends to sell items to people who are under high stress and are trying to repair their personal watercraft.  Our clientel are more angry than say, someone shopping for hoola hoops. One little bump in the road can set off these already aggravated people.  The best that we can do is fix their problems and move on.  I don't see where that's Seller Non-Performance.

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: Bambi

Tue Sep 4 01:55:02 2007

Of course, they're MAKING IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG!!

My income was wiped out by Ebay in late July for 30 DAYS!. I was a small new seller making less than $3000.00 a month. Today (more than 30 days later) I receive a new notice, This one titled: SNPC NOTICE: Restricted Account, informs me, among other things that I can still buy and that "eBay will continue to evaluate...  account on a monthly basis"
But I perked up when I read this line in the notice "- As a result, your allowable dollar sales have been reduced to 75 percent of your previous 90 day completed sales."
Now this would actually make sense, because the only way to improve my "buyer satisfaction rate, would be to get buyers thru selling. BUT then, I realized I haven't been able to list anything at all (not on day 2 or day 34).

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN folks? I'm REALLY CONFUSED!!

As I mentioned on a previous post on this subject,  a few weeks ago, that it seemed as if Ebay is making this up as they go along. I'm happy to see I'm not alone.
By the way, if Ebays' response to this quagmire they created didn't have such dire consequences (cutting off income without warning) it would be pretty funny.

 

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: john iavarone

Tue Sep 4 06:53:56 2007

Now that Alibris.com has coupled with half. com (ebay's ugly sister) site, you can lisr as much as you want with no restrictions and no silly ebay feedback tactics. We hate eBay, and love Alibris.com .

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: Francesca

Tue Sep 4 15:02:27 2007

Thanks Ebay for opening the door to every scammer on the internet. Want an item for free or a reduced price? Threaten a negative which may lead to the seller's suspension and you may be able to extort a discount. Too much competition in your category? Have a few friends buy from your competition and leave a few negatives.....no more competition for you! While Ebay refuses to properly register buyers so that they can not just open multiple accounts, they give these same buyers the power to ruin honest sellers. Ebay does not just allow the scammers to operate, they enable them. While I believe that most people are good as Ebay says, let's face it, some are not.  Many sellers have worked for years to build a solid reputation on Ebay. Ebay is basically saying that none of this counts, but they will treat any complaint by a 0 feedback buyer as gospel. This practice just opens the door for fraud.
  For the record, I am both a buyer and seller on Ebay. We moved most of our business to our web site after an unfounded Vero take down. We now do over 70% of our business on our site.(For the record, We have received 1 negative since we began Ebaying 8 years ago, so we respect the fact that customer service is important)
 As a buyer, I am an adult, I am capable of reading feedback and buying from sellers that have a good track record. If by chance I receive defective merchandise, I know I can deal with it through my credit card company.(although in 8 years on ebay, I have never had to resort to this) I do not need ebay to hold my hand and I do not want to complete a survey after every purchase.
  As a seller, let the marketplace speak for itself. If I do not conduct my business honestly, my feedback will reflect that and my sales will go down.
  In short, Ebay, please stop being my babysitter. Let Ebay get back to the exciting trading forum it was before you started trying to control every aspect of every transaction.
 I know all of the rules and regulations have driven me away as both a buyer and seller. Please ''leave it alone'' before you totally destroy what was once a fantastic experience!

Details on eBay Seller Non Performance   Details on eBay Seller Non Performance

by: Donna

Tue Sep 4 21:49:47 2007

I am both a seller and a buyer on eBay, and have been a member since 1996, with the same ID all that time. I have been restricted by eBay for 2 negative feedbacks in the last 90 days, though my overall rating is 98.5%. I have written asking to appeal their decision 3 times. I tried calling, but kept getting put through to voicemail boxes that were "full" and could not accept any more messages. I finally decided to try writing to Meg Whitman. Today I received a response from someone in her office, which I am reproducing below, and will follow with some additional comments:

From: Office of the President  
To: realreformer@aol.com
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 6:15 PM
Hello Donna Donovan,

My name is Nathan and I am with eBay's Office of the President.

Although I can appreciate the personal issues you have recently encountered, the restrictions on your account were placed legitimately and will not be immediately overturned. As you have been informed by customer support, the restriction will be applied for a period of no less than 30 days. I would highly recommend that you use this period to review your feedback profile and resolve the negative/neutral comments you have received within the last six months. For information regarding the Mutual Feedback Withdrawal process, please go to:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/feedback/questions/mutual-withdrawal.htmlR>
If,
however, no effort is made to have the negative/neutral comments removed, the restriction will remain in place and your account will be
reviewed for further administrative actions.

Please understand that the action taken against your account is part of a company wide initiative to improve buyer experience and was not an arbitrary decision made by a customer support representative. Understanding this, sending appeals to eBay executives will not be beneficial to you. Although we can sympathize with your particular
situation, no exception will be made in this case.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Nathan Gilbert
Office of the President

Now, this is a new wrinkle in the whole debacle. Earlier descriptions of how to get a restriction removed focused on showing improved performance during your restricted period. Now, this guy throws in the need to get the negative feedback removed in order to be restored to full privilege! He also includes what I consider a veiled threat...that "sending appeals to eBay executives will not be beneficial to you."

All I can say is...bizarre! When I first joined eBay, it was actually fun! Buyers and sellers actually communicated with each other in friendly terms. I even got to know some other eBayers from around the country. Sure, there were a few sour experiences...like the guy who bought candlesticks from me and then told me they never arrived and demanded a refund, which I sent him--only to see my candlesticks for sale by him on eBay a few months later! But in spite of that, it was a fun, positive experience. It doesn't feel that way any more.

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