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Tue May 13 2008 11:01:51

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers have figured out a way to see how eBay's new feedback policy will affect their overall feedback percentage scores, and many are unhappy when they see the new scores. As a seller pointed out in a letter to AuctionBytes, "You can have 0 negatives but still be less than 100% (since neutrals will count against you). There are going to be some very shocked U.S. sellers (and buyers) next week."

eBay rolled out the changes in Australia on Monday, so sellers in other countries can go to eBay Australia and do an Advanced Search by Seller for their ID. Clicking on their feedback number will bring up their scores based on eBay's new methodology.

I compared the scores of one prominent US PowerSeller. His feedback percentage score was 99.3% on eBay.com, and dropped to 98.8% on eBay Australia. That means on May 19th, his feedback score will change to 98.8% on eBay.com when the new Feedback changes take hold in the US.

Under the old method, eBay counted only positive and negative ratings when calculating the positive percentage score. Under the new method, it counts positive, negative and neutral ratings. For example, if you have 95 positive ratings, 5 neutral ratings, and 0 negatives, you would have a 100% positive percentage score under the old system, but only a 95% positive percentage score under the new system.

However, some sellers' percentage scores may actually increase, since the new system only counts feedback going back 12 months. I found one seller whose rating was 99.8% under the old system, and 100% under the new system, since his one negative rating was older than 12 months.

eBay also removed the "Lifetime Summary" line on eBay Australia so it's impossible for buyers to know if a seller received any negative ratings that are older than 1 year.

The line "Lifetime Summary: Positives: 403, Negatives: 1, Positive Feedback: 99.8%" now becomes, "Positive Feedback (last 12 months): 100%."

Sellers on eBay Australia's discussion boards pointed out another reason feedback percentage scores are significant. "eBay Items Eligible for PayPal Buyer Protection" must be from sellers who have at least 98% positive feedback. (See section 13.9 of the PayPal User agreement.) eBay grants buyers $200 in protection for eligible transactions, but boosts it to $2,000 for transactions with certain highly rated sellers ($400 and $3,000, respectively, in Australia).

One user said he believed buyers are in for an unpleasant surprise. After being encouraged to leave neutral and negative ratings for sellers, he said, buyers will suddenly discover that their protection has dramatically reduced from $3,000 to just $400 "as result of their buying from sellers with less than 98% (the same sellers those buyers smashed down to 98% and under, lol)."

"Ebay has arranged for buyers to slit their own throats," he said.

 




Comments (105) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Sellers Waking up to New Feedback Scores   eBay Sellers Waking up to New Feedback Scores

by: Laura

Tue May 13 11:27:19 2008

It seems underhanded and deceitful for eBay to count neutrals the same as negatives.

1--Its like giving a student an A C or E, but when the students earn a C (average)  they actually failed (E) but never telling the teacher that a C is equal to an E and hence actually failing. The teacher gives half the students C since its average, unaware.  
Since when is “AVERAGE” EQUAL TO FAILING!?!

2---To have it retroactive is the same as giving the student a C (passing) for one whole semester then telling them a year later they actually failed that whole year.

The fact that this policy benefits ebay and ebay can do what they want is one thing. The FACT that it is totally unfair and underhanded is another!

There should NOT be a neutral rating if it counts as a negative. Get rid of the neutrals or have then count appropriately, and don’t have the retroactive.  

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Mandy

Tue May 13 12:35:51 2008

Well , the buying power on ebay has been falling for years and these steps are a desperate attempt to stop it.Unfortunately they are gonna drive away even more buyers with this and reduce the buying power stronger than ever before.

The only reason for falling buying power are the fee hikes they were making evey year which made the merchandise on ebay too expensive.Now it's time for ebay to pay for this and the new policy will reduce the buying power further making ebay less and less attractive for both sellers and buyers.

Amazon should be happy! ebay will fall into a depression for many years!

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: dimes

Tue May 13 12:48:04 2008

eBay is the only company I can think of that seems to believe its success is dependent on discrediting its own customers.  

Maybe upper management are really amazon employees in disguise.

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Nathan

Tue May 13 13:31:12 2008

The crybaby sellers are at it again.  This is what really makes me hate my job having to listen to whiney sellers moan about not making enough money on their sales while expressing terror at the prospect that a buyer might tell the truth and give them a neg.  Big whoop.  The sellers dont realize that they are part of the greatest market institution in the world and that it is their priviledge to belong to it.  I cant wait til John Donahoe and Bill Cobb really put the screws to these ungrateful idiots.

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: dimes

Tue May 13 13:41:16 2008

Don't hold your breath, Nathan.  eBay already put the screws to Bill Cobb when Whitman left.

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Laura

Tue May 13 13:50:35 2008

@Nathan
I don't see any value to your post. All you are doing is name-calling; can you at least express an intelligent argument for your position?

No one here said anything about sellers getting a negative as unfair. Do you even read any of the post before you respond? You must work for eBay, they don't bother to think things through or even listen to concern that its customers raise.

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: BYE BUY

Tue May 13 13:52:55 2008

i looked up Buy on ebay u.s. and auctralia. it looks like they will go from:
99.5% to 99.0%

interesting.

ps Nathan you sound like a douche

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Kal

Tue May 13 14:15:17 2008

Wow, what a shill Nathan!

A friend of mine's average went back up to 100% because he lost an unfair negative from >12 months ago. Certainly can't complain about that...

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous

Tue May 13 14:35:23 2008

After eight years on eBay and building a 1.2 million dollar business that gets 30% of its revenue from eBay, I've come to the conclusion my time as an eBay seller is quickly drawing to a close.

I'm tired of fighting it and just rolling with the punches.  eBay has made it unprofitable to sell on their site.  The only reason I continue to do so is for the exposure.  But with the recent feedback changes, they'll probably boot me off soon enough.  I'm sure my 99.1% rating will be much less once buyers are given free rein to do as they please.

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: LongTimeSeller

Tue May 13 14:38:25 2008

http://www.google.com/products/reviews?fq=omnimount+tria&cid=f3a1bf34f
5d2502b&sort=1

Paste
that URL into your browser to see Buy.com's 3.5 out of 5 stars (which is 70%) for Google Checkout.

Here are their total Google Checkout feedbacks:
All reviews (35550)
Positive reviews (27256)
Neutral reviews (1977)
Negative reviews (5646)

By the new eBay Feedback calculations Buy.com would have 78% Positive and not qualify for PowerSeller status.

Buy.com does not have a good success rate with Google Checkout, they will do not better with eBay in the long-run.

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Ming the Meciless

Tue May 13 14:56:53 2008

@LongTimeSeller

Ah, yes, but I suspect Google doesn't have to or won't 'massage' buy.com's numbers.

The same, however, cannot be said about ebay who routinely 'massages' numbers.

One of the thing I fail to understand is why buy.com would enter into a 'partnership' with a company with such a godawful reputation unless they're in trouble as well. Ebay will find some way to shaft them so to speak.

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Dan

Tue May 13 15:02:04 2008

Ina, I have some other info that you may want to include when you cover the feedback topic in the weeks to come. I have cut and pasted this post from a seller at randy smythe's blog:

''Surprise, surprise. all feedback are now hyperlinked. So you can click on the negative feedback number and see only the negative feedback a seller has received in last 12 month. Reading all those feedback would create a false impression of the seller as cheater and it would be easy for buyer to forget that seller has 97-98-99 % positive feedback rating. They will see 100 % negative. It's pretty damaging to high volume seller.''



eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Patricia

Tue May 13 15:17:35 2008

So...let's get this straight now just in case anybody thinks they're missing something because none of this makes much sense....  Ebay seems to be trying to lure back buyers (its excuse for the nonsense) by making its sellers look LESS reputable and LESS trustworthy.....  Nope, still doesn't make sense so I guess I'm still sane ;-)

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Mandy

Tue May 13 15:20:22 2008

well , hyperlinked feedback means that if you have 10.000 feedbacks and 100 negatives these negatives would be show all together and this will drive off plenty of buyers because the number of positive which may be 9900 would not matter anymore.

well , this time ebay are really serious about driving sellers away.I guess the fee hikes were not enough

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Robert Smith

Tue May 13 16:34:26 2008

I may buy just to leave 1 star negs.  My first purchase will be very low price item from buy.com.
Then maybe some positive comments in a neutral rating with 1 star across the board.
If the seller complains, I'll just tell them they should have sold it on eBid.net, OLA, or eCrater.

EBay was very good for us years ago.  If they want to chase off their customers, the very least we can do is help them out some.

Of course, I may not have time for a lot of that.  I'll be busy listing on other sites.
But if eBay wants to go down the toilet, I'll flush.

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Botcott Ebay

Tue May 13 16:37:53 2008

OT but karmic justice:

Craigslist is suing Ebay.

http://tinyurl.com/5ssmps

http://blog.craigslist.o
rg/

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Boycott Ebay

Tue May 13 16:41:09 2008

Hmmm. Try this URL for Craigslist blog.

http://tinyurl.com/39pq3t

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Adrian

Tue May 13 17:02:42 2008

I'm curious as to how to find Buy.com's items on eBay? What is their user name? I tried every version of Buy.com and can't find anything?

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: Adrian

Tue May 13 17:11:10 2008

One more thing. Wil eBay continue with the 12 month thing on FB? As negs or neuts go off for the 12 month period, will FB be recalculated?

eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes   eBay Sellers React to New Feedback Changes

by: DoctorDeals

Tue May 13 17:35:44 2008

Looking at the Top 100 eBay PowerSellers*, 60% of them will no longer qualify for PowerSeller status after May 19th.  Though the stripping of these sellers PS status may not be fully complete until July 1st, it is quite obvious that the majority of Top eBay Sellers cannot meet eBay's selling standards.

These sellers have had since January to change their ways and have not been able to do so either because it is not economical to do so under the eBay fee structure or they just don't care because their sales keep on going without adding the substantial costs to meet eBay's standards.

Until eBay actually gets to the point where they refuse to accept further listings from these sellers or pushes their results to the absolute bottom of search results regardless of ending time, these sellers will just keep on creating ''Bad Buying Experiences'' because eBay keeps letting them on the marketplace.

EBay has made all these changes to the detriment of its best sellers and lets the worst sellers still participate.  What is the point?  All I see being accomplished by this is the eBay marketplace as a whole will look far worse on Monday May 19th than it did the day before.  FB percentages for ALL sellers, good and bad, will drop on Monday and a huge influx of far more unrestricted negatives will soon follow as buyers will have absolutely no accountability what so ever for the FB they leave on the site.  

And to make things even worse, I just received a confirmation email from eBay Trust & Safety that a buyer demanding a full or partial refund under the threat of Negative FB, even if the ad posting specifically says NO REFUNDS, will NOT be considered FB Extortion.  T&S feels that buyers should ALWAYS have the option to demand a refund no matter what Terms of Sale they agreed to with their purchase.

Just wait till Monday if you think your FB looks bad on the Australia site today, it will be far worse in the coming weeks and months for good sellers and bad.  It only takes just over two percent of the buyers to be troublesome for this whole system to collapse.  But then again, Brian Burke head of eBay Global Feedback Policy has already said live on eBay Radio that if FB gets too bad they will ''Adjust'' the PS and DSR thresholds to ease the standards.  Well they better start sharpening their pencils because starting Monday it looks like they are going to loose 60% of their Top Power Sellers and that is before feedback even starts to go all to hell under the new one way only feedback debacle.

And remember everyone, those top 100 or so sellers, they ALL have eBay management business cards, phone numbers and email addresses.  They will also be the ones at the special Top Seller events with eBay management in Chicago at eBay live.  The TOP Sellers are the ones that really get eBay's ear and if anything changes, it will be most definitely be to their advantage.

Thanks,

DD

* Top 100 PowerSellers based on top 100 active accounts on this list:

http://www.topsellerlistlive.com/report_top1000feedback.p
hp

14
sellers were inactive out of top 114 listed, out of 100 remaining, 60 did not have 98% FB and 4.5 DSR's as required for PS status.

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