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Tue Feb 5 2008 22:37:39

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is changing its feedback system so that sellers may no longer leave buyers negative or neutral feedback ratings. But anyone who understands the eBay culture knows that buyers are also very proud of their feedback. While it's assumed that buyers will appreciate the fact that they will not receive undeserved negatives, might they also feel disappointed that they can't show off their 100-percent positive ratings (since everyone will get 100 percent positives)? Is there a chance it will take some of the fun out of buying on eBay? We'd like to hear from buyers on this one.




Comments (56) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: mike

Wed Feb 6 00:45:11 2008

I think you should go to this site and read the buyers comments , and then you will see why , we the sellers with 100% + feedback are leaving ebay like the rats they think we are , from a sinking ship , my stores are closed , I along with hundreds if not thousands of others are looking for a new home !!

http://blog.wired.com/business/2008/01/ebay-sellers-ri.html?
cid=100156142#comment-100156142

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Fruity

Wed Feb 6 01:00:22 2008

I don't recall anything fun on ebay for a long time. Plus, they'll have to buy stuff and from what I'm seeing in searches they'll only be able to be excited about new mass produced products cuz the collectibles sellers are outta here! lol. Ebay wanted to be the blue light special, so they can be the online Kmart store.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Dan

Wed Feb 6 01:23:44 2008

I don't want to bid against people who are not serious about paying. I'll contact sellers if I see questionable and/or low-feedback bidders on their listings; if THEY don't seem concerned I'm not going to put up a serious bid.

I don't know how anybody is going to know if a bidder is legit if there's no negatives. Am I missing something? Doesn't our track record count for anything anymore? does eBay WANT bidders who don't pay?

Will there still be feedback comments, so we can at least read some text even if we can't pick out negatives easily?

I know for a fact that some good sellers have been moving out of eBay because of the star feedback thing, because they have told me so! I can only imagine that this newest set of policies will drive out a bunch more.

EBay used to be my first stop for about anything, but I've been finding much less stuff that I'm looking for recently. If I want something new, like camera batteries or memory, I'll use Amazon. If I want good used stuff, I used to use eBay, but it's getting very weak. I hope they do a 180 or that another site takes up the slack.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Scott

Wed Feb 6 03:37:23 2008

It is a disgrace. Ebay is a safe haven for buyers and a minefield for sellers already.
The Ebay community cannot self Police if only 1 party (already empowered by Paypal) can leave negative or neutral.
How can we vet buyers?
If there was an alternative we would move. Please let us know if you can help us sell elsewhere.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Beth Muffley

Wed Feb 6 04:00:20 2008

Fun?  Is that still a part of eBay?  I can't remember the last time I'd call even shopping on there fun, and for darned sure, selling isn't fun anymore.

The latest rounds of feedback changes contain both good and bad. Sellers have been asking for NARU'd FB's to be removed for a loooong time. If a buyer isn't responsible enough to keep an account open, or just doesn't get how eBay works, why is the seller to be punished for negatives that were not deserved in the first place?  (I myself have an old negative from a NARu'd buyer who wrote "Not a good selling seller" or something of a literary similarity. Reason?  I would not send out the item and "trust" her to send me a payment later on!  *sigh*
But, that sort of thing takes notches out of a seller's total FB.

Then comes the repeat business FB. eBay has long punished great sellers who nurture repeat customers by counting only ONE FB per "unique ID". Funny how they CHARGE sellers for each trx from repeat buyers, instead of just one FVF from each unique ID!  ;  )

So, at least that will be a teensy bit more fair to the good sellers.  

However, some big glitches remain.  eBay still allows the gigundo sellers who rack up hundreds of negatives a month to continue to list and sell. Why are these people not suspended or put on listing restriction?  There are more sellers than I could count who have more negatives in a 30-day period than I have in sales for a month.

eBay is yet again approaching the problem backwards, from a boardroom view instead of the selling floor view. They are punishing the sellers with more restrictions yet again, while continuing to not tighten up buyer qualifications and expand buyer education.

Many of the problems perhaps could be resolved if buyers did not have unrealistic expectations of buying from eBay. I am sure a birthday card to Aunt Sally takes 3-4 days to arrive, but they buy widgets from eBay and believe they should be there the next day or two.  the 3-day waiting period for leaving FB is not enough - it should be a week AT MINIMUM, to allow time for communication to occur, and for something mailed out first class to arrive.

Do they really want to improve the site?  Get rid of that silly "Standard Shipping" option! It allows the shady sellers to charge priority mail rates, and send things out via parcel post/media/first class.  Buyers see the PM rates, think their item will arrive in 2-3 days, and are sorely angry when it takes 2-3 weeks to arrive!  (Same with drop shipping, but I won't get into that here.)

eBay's changes are simply change for change's sake, and are too little, too late to impress the sellers.  

Well, actually, they made a BIG impression on the sellers.  Too bad it was all negative! But, sellers wno't be able to leave a negative B for eBay either!  ;  )  Thank goodness there aer so many other viable options for sellers now.

eBay, you've ticked off a whole new batch of sellers - eventually, you are going to run out sellers who hav not been hurt, ripped off or otherwise burned by yet another inept policy change.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Zebra

Wed Feb 6 04:05:32 2008

Ebay has removed sellers' ability to give fair warning about bad buyers to other sellers. The ''star'' rating system was bad enough, making it way too easy for buyers to ''neg'' sellers anonymously, but at least sellers could post honest feedback on transactions. Now we have no public recourse. Ebay has gone the way of Paypal - surprise, surprise - and given almost total control over to the buyer at the expense of the seller no matter how bad the buyer or ridiculous the story.

After a 3-month hiatus due to moving I had planned to be back to listing on Ebay beginning mid-February. The feedback nonsense and my fees increasing 16.6% have convinced me to join the week-long boycott. I'm seriously considering finding another selling venue and bagging Ebay entirely.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Beth

Wed Feb 6 04:08:31 2008

Scott -
there are plenty of other places to sell now.  While there really wasn't a whole lot of places to choose from during the last seller's revolt in Aug06, there are plenty of decent venues now.  

Many people like Amazon, although I am not personally familiar with the store setup.  If you are on a budget but want functionality, I don't think you'd be able to beat Wagglepop at the moment.  Long maligned, WP has been working quite a bit at improving the site since the second grand opening.
As of Nov 07, they have gone to an "all stores" format - no individual listings will be available. The only ones you'll see on there now are the "grandfathered" listings that were separate before the changes.

This will breed a much more effective selling venue, IMHO. The have, in effect, created a mini-mall for sellers.  Buyers can appreciate that there is a commitment to have a store there.  (Note that this is VERY different from the other venues such as Etsy, who automatically give you a "storefront" just for having one active listing!)  

The price are good - $9.95 a month for unlimited listings.  Check it out and see if you like it.  It is definitely more affordable than eBay, and you can even leave a neg for someone, if you had to. Unlike the Bay, I haven't seen rampant fraud there, and the few bad sellers who have existed have awakened to find their accounts closed down. Imagine that - taking action against fraud.

What a concept...

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: jsicolts

Wed Feb 6 06:29:53 2008

As a seller (or buyer) you don't have to be subjected to ebay heavy handed tactics anymore. There are so many other selling/buying paltforms - Alibris, Biblio, Ubid, just to name a few.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Linny

Wed Feb 6 07:04:04 2008

I both sell and buy on ebay. Since the announced changes I have moved my buying to other sites. Ebay should have thought about the fact that a good number of those sellers they are making upset with this one sided feedback policy also bought on the site. If I am unhappy as a seller why would I want to support ebay and spend my money there as a buyer?

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Matchboxcarguy

Wed Feb 6 07:54:28 2008

Feedback. The brilliant idea Pierre had when starting auction web, (Now eBay) - way back when. This one single concept is how it all began and where it may all end....

It was a system where we could rate our trading partners and they could rate us. It was simple in the beginning. You could leave feedback for anyone. You didn't even have to buy from them or sell to them. A little later on it became transactional.

The comments built a trust between members - (Read cu$tomer$.)  Feedback was permanent. You couldn't change or remove it - unless you cussed or mentioned an investigation & a few other things no one I know ever did. This new feedback thing was an amazing concept. It made the average Joe or Mary selling stuff from their garage, home or trailer look like a respectable large merchant. (Think L.L. Bean.) People would talk to other eBayer's in line at the Post Office. What's your feedback?  216! Wow, mines only 84... We would ''log on'' each day to see if our feedback number changed overnight. It was a source of pride. Feedback - who would have thought?

Feedback became the backbone this new web phenomenon was built on. And eBay grew by leaps & bounds.

The feedback system was viewed  by some as flawed. Well after all, nothing is perfect. But Pierre's feedback system was very, very close. Brilliant in concept , execution & yes, even consequence. Yes, you could leave a negative or a neutral for someone - before trying to work the problem out. They could neg or neuter you back though. And both of you kept that red or gray mark back then. If selling -  it could affect your business. When buying, sellers might cancel your bid - if they thought you were a troublemaker. Well, no one much liked those things to happen to them, so people worked their problems out like adults & not too many bad feedback were left.

There was peace in the community. And after awhile, even the skeptics viewed feedback as sacred....



Then, a couple of years ago, the tinkerers that Pierre hired to run eBay decided they would tinker with the feedback system. They thought they were smarter than Pierre, I guess. No one really knows what brought on this idea to change the feedback system. It could have been some overcooked Eggs Benedict at an executive brunch, or perhaps something in the air conditioning system.  At any rate they decided change was needed. Change is always good - right? Besides, things were different now. Or were they?

They let a new company called Square Trade remove feedback in certain cases. Of course there was a fee. They tell me eBay didn't get a commission from Square Trade. I suppose that is true...

About the same time eBay instituted a program called ''Mutual feedback withdrawal.'' Some say this was initiated at the request of larger sellers to give them a means of getting rid of bad feedback, without paying a fee to Square Trade. I really don't know....

What happened next isn't hard to fathom, knowing human nature. Negative feedback soon started being exchanged in record numbers. Sellers, especially some larger ones - became a little bit more difficult to deal with. Customer service? What's that?  Hey, if someone negged you you just negged them back. After all, you could get a mutual withdrawal. Many sellers had hundreds of mutual withdrawals. They played this great new feature like a well oiled trombone....And no one at eBay regulated this process - or limited the numbers.

Soon buyers began to complain about this unfair treatment. Some left eBay and never came back. Management seeing all of this, decided the feedback system needed a little more tweaking. And that brought us to where we are today. More tinkering to try and fix what THEY broke.

You know what I think? It won't work. Sometimes, you need to get back to basics. Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best.

The Genie however, is out of the bottle, the sacred trust is broken.

Can it be put back, before it's too late?

I really don't know. A smart person would try .....

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Alexia

Wed Feb 6 07:56:36 2008

I have seen several posts inicating that buyers are frothing at the mouth in anticipation of being allowed to bid, not pay, and leave a unrequited negative over events that actually took place years ago. This is nuts.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Jeff

Wed Feb 6 08:02:38 2008

What I don't understand, and never have, is why eBay doesn't place ''administrative'' negative feedback comments into a buyers feedback profile when they don't pay. I've been saying for years that once you go through the unpaid item process, and you get your fees returned, that there is no longer a transaction between you and the buyer, and nobody should be able to leave feedback (being ''transaction based''). eBay should have ALWAYS, and now even more importantly, place an administrative negative feedback comment into the buyers feedback record when they don't pay for an item. If we're not allow to warn others that a users doesn't pay, why doesn't eBay take the ball and do it for us? If a buyer doesn't pay, a comment in their record is DESERVED. Since we can no longer put it there, eBay should. It should have ALWAYS been that way.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: John

Wed Feb 6 08:25:31 2008

"Fun?" eBay has not been fun since 2002! At this point, buyer feedback should be removed totally from the platform, it is unnecessary and ridiculous.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: T D Behnke

Wed Feb 6 08:51:05 2008

A lot of unhappy people and I hear about leaving eBay but nobody suggests where.  What are the options to eBay and that auful Paypal?

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: john

Wed Feb 6 09:20:41 2008

sellers should just open multiple accounts and play the game like buyers.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Not a Happy Camper

Wed Feb 6 09:35:05 2008

The IRONY of this whole thing is
MOST NEGATIVE FEEDBACK is COMING FROM These NEW BUYERS that have LITTLE OR NO FEEDBACK FOR THEMSELVES! THEIR feedback
Ratings are almost ALWAYS UNDER 10!
Now FEED-Bay want's MORE OF THESE People to FEED ON US! WE have a store on --->FleeBay. WE plan to reduce our backroom inventory , and get the hell out.. w/Lot sales to rid ourselves of our low margin items, that won't be of any profit to us, now, Thanks to Flee-Bay.
Most smaller stores DEPEND ON being able to SELL these LOW cost items on FleeBay, in hopes of attracting buyers in to their store, NOW Fleebay has made this impossible for us, especially  since deciding to tax us with these Exuberent Final value Fees at end of sale. You can Forget trying to sell anything for under $25.00 and make a profit!
Yet, FleeBay wants us to believe they are giving us AN UPGRADE, Great Savings,reduced up front listing costs and let us not forget FREE GALLERY! Weee.. Woohoo, we FINALLY get Free Freakin Gallery, something WE SHOULD have had from the start...Thank you.
THIS IS OUR REWARD for being a GREAT SELLER?? Give me a freaking break! I agree with the Lot of you, it's time to Flee Ebay, and the TIME IS Now!
Come join us as we Flee Ebay and open  our NEW store online, Far far away from Ebay! Or better yet, maybe we should all just park it on Ebays front doorsteps!

God Bless Everyone and Happy Trails to all who leave Ebay with only poop balls!

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Parrish

Wed Feb 6 09:53:59 2008

I guess you will have a lot more fun now - reading through each buyers feedback looking for ''False Positives''  Buyers should still be able to brag on their 100% positive feedback  -  They will just have more convincing to do - Every one will have to read ALL of their feedback and look for the ''False Positives''  to prove them wrong!  Imagine what fun it will be when someone brags to you about their 100% positive and you point out that 10 of them are Positive, but state what scum they really are.

So in effect you CAN still leave a Negative, it will just be cloaked by the Green Jacket!

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Les

Wed Feb 6 10:01:50 2008

OMG...the lengthy commentary by 'Matchboxcarguy' a few posts up from this are so RIGHT-ON 100%.  I couldn't have said it any better.

 My final auction is running now.  When it's over, I'm out of ebay/feepay/tinkerbay/fleebay forever.  I closed my store in 2006 at the outrageous !0% FVF store announcement.  That decision cost feepay about $5,000 revenue per year from me (I was a powerseller at the time).

I have over 5,000 feedbacks with a 100% FB rating.
5 Years of selling, building up feedback and giving top-notch customer service . . no, longer will I even buy from ebay after this

I have moved to other venues, and will sell from my own website.  Never in my long life have I seen such out-of-touch incompetent corporate management from the top.  The feedback changes are outrageously stupid, from a business perspective.

buh-bye ebay

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: Susan

Wed Feb 6 10:23:24 2008

Many of us sellers are intuitive. Without trying to unravel the wad of problems on eBay, we have already been venturing out to other sites. I now sell on etsy.com as(MoxyFoxDesigns.etsy.com) and have my website (http://moxy-fox-books.com).  I have put 150% effort into maintaining my 100% positive feedback since 1999 and have paid the increasing eBay store fees.  I've been a loyal eBayer. Did I say ''intuitive'' --- yes, I've sensed eBay's Matrix and have swallowed the red pill.

Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers   Effect of Feedback Changes on eBay Buyers

by: So sick

Wed Feb 6 10:31:14 2008

Ebay sellers are the frog in the pot of hot water.  Ebay kept turning up the heat to boiling point and the frog finally dies.  And Whitman and Donahoe say, I don't know what happened, the frog was ok yesterday.

Greedy Meg popularized ebay and changed the cultural to produce big numbers and big profits.  She didn't give a damn about what it did to individuals.  She had the right and the mandate and did a terrific job.    

Some of us remember how Ebay used to be and I guess that has just gone away.  And that is so sad.

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