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Thu June 19 2008 16:23:54

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

By: Julia Wilkinson

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The questions about shipping and detailed seller ratings were flying at the Improving Your Visibility in Best Match Search Results session with Lynda Talgo and Jeff King of eBay.

I slid into the jam-packed room and found a space on the floor as the q & a was starting. Estate sale and eBay consignment seller John Saller (eBay Store "buyoldstuff") was at the mike asking questions about what he feels is the subjectivity of shipping and handling dsr's.

He said his feedback rating recently went down from 100% to 99.8%, and he and his wife, Susan, have sold over 10,000 items. He says he charges at the most $2 for handling on top of the actual shipping fee, but everything is included in his item descriptions. If the buyers don't read the description, he feels it's unfair to be dinged in a shipping dsr for a clearly stated shipping and handling fee. He said he thinks the dsr for shipping should be rated based on whether or not the shipping/handling was "as stated."

The next question from a seller was about "Finding 2.0" - will searches include subtitles?

"The intention is not to include the subtitle in title search," said King. But, he said, the subtitle is included in title and description searches. He said they are "moving to item specifics and custom item specifics."

One seller who sells tractor trailer parts made the point that you can't put what he needs in the limited space of a subtitle. Talgo replied it was a "perfect case for item specifics," but the seller came back with the item specifics he needed weren't currently included in eBay Motors.

"We haven't built that system yet, but we're working on it," was the reply.

The next question was an affirmation that the shipping area was one of the biggest concerns on people's minds. "Obviously you can see we're all hyper-sensitive about the shipping issue. The costs of shipping are going up." The seller's question was about "consumer perception about the value of shipping vs. the cost of shipping" and if there would be a change in the algorithm based on an average of shipping costs – presumably for detailed seller ratings (dsr's).

Talgo's response was that "consumer perception was going in the other direction," and sellers are now competing with sources that offer free shipping such as Zappo's.com. She indicated there was data they have such that if a seller charges a lot more for one type of item for shipping than other similar items, that would be reflected in the search results. However, they haven't "settled out what our numbers are."

The next seller wanted to know "when can we see what we're getting rated? I can't see it. All I know is my rating is going down and I want to know why."

Talgo said that although they "initially wanted to make dsr's transparent," and that now they are more concerned with that "sellers have the info they need," but said she was "not sure when" any of that would materialize.

The seller persisted with her questioning, giving an example that "So if the buyer is having a bad day, we just have to lose the money and our percentages is what you're telling me."

"Yes," Talgo said. But she said "all sellers are faced with the same situation" and to "focus on the info you do have...and if you get the random wacko buyer, that's it."

Another point made about feedback changes was made by a different questioner later in the session, who pointed out that "neutrals are the new negs." He said he went from a 99.9 to 99.2 since the new policy has been implemented.

I thought one of the best points was made by the seller about the demise of mutual feedback removal [which in its new incarnation would presumably be one-way feedback removal]. "By removing the mutual feedback removal, what is the incentive for the seller to fix the problem?"

Talgo replied that when mutual fb removal went bye-bye, for "most sellers nothing changed, and for "a few" their feedback dropped 5-8-10%, because they were creating so many bad experiences" [relying on mutual feedback removal to solve problems].

The seller was frustrated that buyers didn't give him a chance to prevent the bad feedback from happening when they don't contact him. "If the buyer doesn't contact me, there's nothing I can do" said the questioner…and "they're not going to come back to eBay."

"I can't tell you the neg rate hasn't gone up" since the changes, said Talgo, but that they "had to do what was right for the marketplace" despite the "edge cases."

There was a feeling of frustration in the air as the session broke up. Saller said he felt the communication was "a little more one-way." He also felt eBay had gotten much more complicated and away from the idea years ago where it was making things easy to sell. Some of these sellers may revisit their concerns in the Town Hall session later in the week, which I think is a venue more set up to field and reply to these kinds of questions.



Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6); Her latest ebook, "Over 500 Books that Sell for $50-$5000 on eBay," is available on her website.
http://www.yardsalers.net/500Books.asp




Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: billstuff

Thu Jun 19 17:01:18 2008

I'm inclined to agree with the eBay policy not to allow feedback withdrawal.  If buyers believe they can create a better negotiating position by leaving negative feedback, then I think we'll see even more negative feedback being left.  The rule of thumb will be ''leave negative feedback and then the seller will be forced to comply to your demands.''  If buyers realize the seller has no reason to negociate with them after they've left negative feedback, then the savvy buyer is going to leave negative feedback only as a last resort.  I think eBay took the right position on this.

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: Disgruntled Ebay Seller

Thu Jun 19 17:25:43 2008

Avoiding the questions!
Ebays changes have opened up a boatload of fraud.
Come see it here, story after story of people getting ripped off:
http://forums.ebay.com/db2/forum.jspa?forumID=113

And they say paypal is so secure, give me a break!

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: joyce

Thu Jun 19 18:28:06 2008

Bottom line here is Ebay does not care. After selling for 9 years, 6 months ago I got more neg's then I have gotten in 9 years. Had an emergency and neg's were due to slow shipping. As a result my rating dropped, I must now take paypal and subject to a hold on my money. And they lowered me in the search. My feedback is ruined, after all these years of selling.Ebay has made it loud and clear they could care less about they're sellers, I for one will leave. I can always go back to work in a law office, I see more fairness there then Ebay. Ebay has put the sellers in an impossible situation. I don't care anymore really. I am just plain sick of Ebay.

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: My Way or the Highway

Thu Jun 19 19:20:31 2008

Sound like eBay essentially said "F U".

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: DisgruntledPowerSeller

Thu Jun 19 20:15:09 2008

You got it, My Way or the highway!

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: *HippieChick1969*

Thu Jun 19 20:16:39 2008

AND the boat you came in on.

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: tj

Thu Jun 19 21:43:58 2008

Typical eBay bulls#it…the people from eBay sent to the once a year eBay conference to answer simple questions from it’s customers..Don’t know ANYTHING

eBay you are PATHETIC

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: Al

Thu Jun 19 21:44:37 2008

postage UGH who dreamed up the new rules ought to have there head choped off. How can one give a  true postage  when the item is not packed. Ebay is forcing you to cheet your customers.  I have always given my cutomers a choice of postage,  after the item is packed I know the true weight and then can give them  a choice of Post Office,  Priority, Parcel Post, Fed ex and UPS.  and they choose the way that they want me to send the package.  This new Idea is STUPID   eBay has it head so high in the clouds they have forgotten why they were started in the first place to make it easy for one to sell  now it has become a night mare  and so complicated.

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: Patricia

Fri Jun 20 01:54:33 2008

"The seller persisted with her questioning, giving an example that "So if the buyer is having a bad day, we just have to lose the money and our percentages is what you're telling me."

"Yes," Talgo said. But she said "all sellers are faced with the same situation" and to "focus on the info you do have...and if you get the random wacko buyer, that's it."

This is the attitude that will destroy ebay.  They just don't get it.  They are beating ALL sellers because they don't want to spend the money to weed out the bad ones!  None of this will bring more buyers to the site - instead - more sellers are walking away with their good feedback intact in the hopes that these loonies will come to their senses!  What an utter mess!  I'm surprised the sellers who are attending can hold their tempers when faced with stupidity such as this!

www.ACEOart.net

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: Randy

Fri Jun 20 02:39:18 2008

I'd been with Ebay since shortly after they opened. I've had it! I closed my account today. I have to say I feel bad/sad about having to do so.
Until recently I've truly enjoyed most of the Ebay experience. I guess it's off to Amazon or?

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: 100tonsofstuff

Fri Jun 20 23:54:42 2008

I sell antiques from an antique dealer's estate in storage since 1980 & shipping has always been a problem because you really don't know what a package will weigh until it is packed. Some fragile items are double boxed which insures (hopefully) that they will arrive safely but that adds to the expense. Sometimes a buyer will want more than one item & if the items can be safely packed together I do this. My favorite shipper is DHL which PayPal dosen't support, & USPS has lost 2 of my items last year without a chance of them being found & USPS really dosen't care even if they have to pay the insurance because when they do find your item they won't tell you if they've paid you & will put the item up for auction - probably on ebay! or take the item home.
I started in 1998 & sold on my own site & on ebay with much success & 100% feedback. As the yrs passed ebay got more & more greedy so I posted comments on my website from myself & others. The day for making money on ebay has long gome especially for antiques (which they did not entirely support anyway). I still have an account but with all the comments I am afraid to put anything up for sale. My honesty & reputation mean a lot to me because I always want to help my customers & do actual shipping. If any of you out there sell antiques, & I know lots of you do, consider starting an auction site just for antiques & I will help you.
DAJ - owner

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: ebaby

Sat Jun 21 00:19:26 2008

Why are eBay sellers being rated on another companies performance in the first place ? Shipping time ? I had a Priority Mail package sit in Minnesota for 5 days on it's way to California. I have absolutely no control over how long it takes.

Another thing : I charge exact shipping, no handling fee and still get dinged !! I think if you offer free shipping or exact shipping that rating should be an automatic 5, no choice to the buyer.

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: Ralph

Sat Jun 21 02:41:16 2008

DSRs being tied to how/where your item will appear in the search engine really sucks.  

Bottom line:  I pay the same fee as others whose items will appear higher in the ranking.  

Where else in the real world do you pay the same money as everyone else, but get lousier service?

I think anyone who gets a lower ranking ought to get a listing fee reduction.

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: Terry

Sat Jun 21 10:21:08 2008

To all of you that complain, here is one reason is that you listen to a ebay employee like 'Billstuff'.

In 2006 and again in 2007 BILLSTUFF represented the state of Maine at the annual U.S. of eBay event in Washington D.C. where participants lobby Congress on issues of importance to the eBay community.

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: Nrenda

Sun Jun 22 08:34:27 2008

The New Policies in action:

http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2
&ftab=FeedbackLeftForOthers&userid=newfeetx2&iid=-1&de=off&items=200

Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session   Shipping & Feedback Issues Bubble up in Best Match Search Session

by: linda

Tue Jun 24 13:34:41 2008

Whats with the romance novel photo? I thought Julia wrote book on running your eBay business.



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