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Thu July 10 2008 15:01:41

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay has announced that they will no longer factor in neutrals into feedback percentages.

In a message to the community, Lorrie Norrington posted the following:

Hello everyone - It's been less than a month since I saw many of you at eBay Live!, and already I have more news to share. In Chicago, I provided progress updates on many of the changes we've made over the past six months; early indications tell us that we're getting a lot of things right, as evidenced by more sellers improving their DSRs and fewer top buyers reporting bad experiences.

Many of you told me personally that you believed the changes were for the better, but we also heard concerns from Community members around the world about Feedback. As I said at eBay Live!, we are listening. Open, constructive discussion about what's working and what's not is a strength of our Community, and essential to the collective good of eBay. When we get something wrong, we want to make it right. And when you have ideas that benefit the collective good, we want to make them happen. To that end, we are making the following changes based on your input.

Recalculating Feedback percentages without neutrals: Effective in late August, neutrals will no longer be counted as part of the Feedback percentage. This means we will be recalculating Feedback percentages retroactively for users worldwide. In the interim, no one will lose their PowerSeller status as a result of neutrals being included in their Feedback percentage.

Helping you resolve issues and satisfy buyers: By the end of October, we will roll out a new process to help you resolve issues with buyers, even after the buyer has left negative feedback. Everybody makes mistakes – buyers and sellers alike, and buyers should have a mechanism to change feedback if they make a mistake or if the seller rectifies an issue in a timely manner. Unlike with our previous Mutual Feedback Withdrawal system, our new process will enable buyers to change their feedback of the seller, not just withdraw the rating. We'll provide more details of this new process in the fall.

This is part of our overall effort to improve the customer experience, especially for sellers. In fact, we're already making progress in addressing one of your biggest pain points -- removing negative and neutral feedback left by buyers who violate our policies. For example, since we debuted the new Feedback system in May, we have removed more than 60 percent of the negative/neutral feedback left by buyers in an unpaid item (UPI) process. Looking ahead, you will see us continue to take the steps needed to protect your reputation on eBay. [] In the meantime, you can also protect yourself by following some well-defined best practices [] in using Feedback. I encourage you to check them out.

Finally, we're working to resolve other important issues that eBay sellers have raised over the past several months. I hope what I've shared with you today demonstrates our commitment to listening and responding quickly with solutions. We want to make eBay a great place for you to do business, but it's going to take all of us -- together -- to get it right for the collective good. I want to thank you for your patience, your business and your continued commitment to eBay.

Lorrie Norrington

What do you think? Is this a positive step?

Comments (101) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: eBuyer Feedback

Thu Jul 10 15:29:10 2008

Only 60 percent?!?

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Kal

Thu Jul 10 15:38:21 2008

Say what you want, this is good news.


I am flabbergasted this is happening. This makes it a little less one sided. It allows buyer to correct mistakes or make changes when you ''make things right''.

This is the first POSITIVE move out of eBay since January 29th.

Keep up the noise. They are obviously hearing it. Perhaps some DSR reforms will be next.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Leslie

Thu Jul 10 15:44:28 2008

Personally, I'd love to know of even ONE seller who has had a bad feedback from an non-paying bidder removed since May 19.  
NPBs continue to leave bad feedback with impunity, from what I've seen on the discussion boards.  In fact, we've even been DISCOURAGED from filing UPI disputes for fear of retaliatory feedback, by EBay ''advisors''.
This is in direct contradiction of Ms. Norringtons claim.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Gary

Thu Jul 10 15:46:30 2008

About time something positive came out of ebay.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: dimes

Thu Jul 10 15:50:30 2008

How does one go about changing the entire management team of a public company?

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Mechelle

Thu Jul 10 15:51:54 2008

I want more changes!  
1) the links policy needs to be redefined - I like to use link exchange for traffic but I can no longer do this.

2) I want the DSRs to be a tool not a weapon

3) I want eBay to honor all seller who provide good service thus building eBay's reputation to benefit from rewards - and I'm a powerseller so I'm not trying to get something for myself.  It is only ethical and in fact would be the best way to build eBay's reputation.

3) I want them to stay the hell out of my store design

4) I want them to make time ending soonest the default search

5) I want them to remove the ability for people who have so little integrity that not only do they not pay they don't bother to contact you until after you file the dispute- to leave negative, neutral, or DSRs.

6)I want them eBay/Paypal to allow google check out or match the rates

7)I want them to have enough respect for their customers to offer customer support and to look into situations entirely prior to suspending someone for feedback issues

of course there is more but these are off the top of my head

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: JezebelsCollectibles

Thu Jul 10 15:54:22 2008

All I can say is HALLELUJAH!!!! I will not look a gift horse in the mouth...Thank you, eBay, I will take it & run!!!
@Leslie - I have had negative feedback removed due to a non-paying dispute - in fact, I didn't even see it before it was taken off!  As for the rotten advice given to you of not filing UPI - don't do it!  It's still our only way of ensuring another seller doesn't have to deal with them.  It is looking out for your community.  I promise I am doing the same for you. :)

::cheers:: To all those that kept up the good fight and were bees in eBay's bonnet - Hurray!!  It's nice to win one for once, eh?

Okay...on to the next battle.... :}

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Boycott Ebay/Paypal

Thu Jul 10 15:55:03 2008

Yes, it's a positive step. However, it probably also means that some big, bad news is to follow. That's the Ebay way. Feint, distract, and confuse.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Larry Phillips

Thu Jul 10 15:56:29 2008

Clearly a step in the right direction.  This shows that they're listening, and that they're willing to make changes.  I applaud this change, and look forward to more to come.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Too Little Too Late

Thu Jul 10 15:58:50 2008

Too Little too late. It should never have taken place, too many broken fences to mend.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Ken

Thu Jul 10 15:59:46 2008

Why is eBay changing their mind on neutrals???
Simply because TOO MANY of their Top PowerSellers would LOSE their PS status in a couple weeks if they didn't make the change. This is the THIRD time eBay has changed the feedback rules, due to the threat of losing to many PowerSellers.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: tula

Thu Jul 10 16:03:30 2008

This is encouraging.  It won't do much to help against bad extortionist buyers, but it does address those times when newbies leave negatives by mistake or too hastily.  There needed to be some way for the buyer and seller to handle this issue without having it be final.  I think it will result in a lot less work for eBay, since they won't have to scrutinize every seller report of feedback left in error.

The issue of neutrals is only common sense.  I'm glad they decided to address it.  

Now, we just have to get them to realize that NPBs shouldn't be allowed to leave feedback at all.  No payment = no transaction, therefore, there can be no opinion on how a seller has performed.  I can see how this can be a difficult issue, like with those buyers who pay with checks or money orders that get lost in the mail, but eBay could, for example, make this an additional benefit of using Paypal.  When buyers pay with Paypal, eBay knows instantly when they have made a payment and can then allow the buyer to leave feedback or, even better, start a 7-day clock to allow time for delivery.

I know a lot of people despise Paypal, and I agree that it has had issues, but I have no problem using it if I have the guarantee of not having to deal with NPBs and their negative feedback/extortion threats.  I'd like it even better if I could have some level of chargeback protection (for all, not just powersellers).  Even powersellers had to start somewhere and giving us little guys some protection will only help us in becoming powersellers.

Anyway, I like the positive tone of this and I'm hopeful we'll see more good things, however, I'm still diversifying to multiple venues.  Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Tim

Thu Jul 10 16:14:27 2008

I have to give credit where credit is due:  Good job!  I have no idea why it will take to the end of August (and they never get anything done when they say), but THANK YOU for this.

Now, let's keep up the noise and hope for some additional good news.

I, for one, need a tool to help me comply with all the new rules... I will not be able to manually change each auction (how many times??) in time to comply with their rules (and get anything else done, like selling!).

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Laura

Thu Jul 10 16:19:26 2008

...buyers will have a mechanism to change feedback allowing the seller rectifies an issue...  

Very good decision! This will help the buyers and sellers! I am happy with this decision.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Skeptical

Thu Jul 10 16:24:41 2008

Ebay has proven it cannot be trusted to make good decisions.  The ONLY reason they are making this concession is because THEY HAD TOO to try to look good.  

Ebay is still the same company it was 30 days ago.  They still don't give a damn about small sellers.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Lester

Thu Jul 10 16:31:39 2008


''How does one go about changing the entire management team of a public company?''

You'd have to do the same thing Carl Ichann is trying to do at Yahoo. Top management answers to the board of directors, and the board answers to stockholders. If the current board won't do this on it's own, and you want to ''force'' the issue, You have to be a big enough stockholder to be able to force your own slate of board members into board positions with a proxy war, pushing out the existing board members, and installing yours. Your new board would ''do your bidding'', of which would be to fire the current management.

Nice dream, but don't hold your breath.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: Leah

Thu Jul 10 16:34:26 2008

While I'm happy eBay has finally decided to become reasonable about some of their recent huge mistakes, I don't trust them.

Why did it take all the "noise" for them to realize what a huge problem they created? Didn't anyone at eBay think this through? Didn't they read any of the discussion boards after their January announcement when so many sellers accurately predicted exactly what would happen (a logical conclusion)?

Nice of them to admit they made a big honking mistake after they tried to cover it up by skewing the numbers with sales and listing adjustments (

All that failed. So finally they decide to adjust the new rules. Took them long enough.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: naenae52

Thu Jul 10 16:37:53 2008

Truely music to my ears. Now please consider rewording your DSR ratings so as not to confuse the buyer and allow less than deserved star ratings for the seller.(especially the shipping) Sellers are rated on how much the post office charges alot of the time, which is out of the sellers hands.

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: JJH

Thu Jul 10 16:40:03 2008

Leah, actually it took them about 6 weeks to realize it was a mistake.

Why it will take another 6 to 12 weeks to make the corrections is besides me. It's that big a programming job?

eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy   eBay Adjusts Feedback Policy

by: RatherRuss

Thu Jul 10 16:50:16 2008

How many folks, like me silver power seller, has just had it...a little too little, a little too late...a fall in visitors over 50%, a fall in sales about 60% since May 19/20 and of course the dreaded best match.  Started my own website, start advertising tomorrow, and open Brick in mortar in 90 days.  No more corporate idiots (except me) in my life...good luck to anyone staying with feebay...Rather Russ

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