|Sat June 28 2008 11:41:38|
Should You Report eBay Deadbeats?
By: Ina Steiner
I've heard that ever since buyers figured out sellers can't leave them negative feedback ratings due to eBay's May 12th policy changes, there's been an increase in non-paying buyers (NPBs) and late-payers. But at the eBay Live conference last week, eBay said the rate of "UPI" (Unpaid Item) reports against deadbeats had not increased.
This apparent contradiction may actually be the result of unintended consequences from eBay's changes. Sellers are fearful of what filing UPIs might do to their DSR ratings, which have a powerful impact on their bottom line. So it does not necessarily follow that an increase in non-paying bidders would lead to an increase in Unpaid Item reports.
To expand on this point, consider: ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo has been writing and speaking about seller strategies for achieving and maintaining high DSRs. eBay invited him present his tips during the eBay Live conference. Scot added two strategies to his list after the conference, one of which was, "Improve your DSRs Tip 14 - Consider NOT filing for UPI credits."
So despite the fact that not filing UPIs hurt sellers' wallets (they must pay commission fees on those non-sales), higher DSRs mean being advantaged in Best Match search and receiving discounts on fees. (Scot walks through the math in his blog post.)
But if sellers do not report NPBs, those bad "buyers" will remain on the site. eBay will still get their Final Value fees on sales that were never consummated.
While people are basically good, they also act in their own best interests. That's why DSRs, for all their flaws, are causing many sellers to become better at serving their customers. Now eBay needs to look at buyer behavior and ensure buyers are rewarded for paying for items they purchase.
Analyzing data is crucial, but listening to anecdotal experiences can help get a more complete picture and should not be discounted.