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Tue Apr 14 2009 23:37:21

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is moving toward a system where it captures more information about transactions in order to guarantee buyer satisfaction, since unlike retailers, eBay does not currently know whether a buyer has paid for an item or whether a seller has shipped an order. Spokesperson Usher Lieberman said it would take some time before eBay could stand behind every transaction on the site, but on Tuesday, eBay announced some features and a new dispute process as part of these efforts.

For sellers, Tuesday's big news was eBay's new dispute process in which it will more aggressively inject itself into the buyer-seller relationship. Todd Lutwak, Director of Seller Development, said there may be times when eBay needs to play a role to ensure buyer and seller satisfaction. This is a change from early days when eBay declared itself "just a venue," particularly in courtrooms involving legal liability.

In some cases, eBay itself will refund buyers, it said, but would not reveal how it would recapture those monies. Spokesperson Usher Lieberman told AuctionBytes there were a number of ways it could go about it but said the company was not committing to a specific method. "We'll work with the sellers," he said. Some sellers have expressed skepticism that eBay would pay any out-of-pocket costs, however, believing the company would find a way to get payment from sellers.

eBay is still encouraging buyers to interact with sellers in any dispute, according to Todd, but has added another option for buyers and sellers by providing an 800 phone number to get eBay involved in the process. This will lead to a quicker resolution for both buyers and sellers, he said.

eBay will look at all the information available in making a determination, including the seller's history. In addition, Todd said, "Often we know when a buyer has paid, sometimes we know when a seller has shipped."

I asked Todd whether sellers who do not use eBay shipping tools would be at a disadvantage in the dispute process. He said eBay needs a lot more shipping information from the seller community. That's where new "Package tracking in My eBay" comes into play. For sellers who print shipping labels through PayPal or eBay, tracking and delivery confirmation numbers will automatically appear in the buyer's My eBay. Sellers who don't use the PayPal or eBay label printing solution can enter tracking information manually in My eBay.

Currently the tracking ability only supports USPS and UPS. eBay is hoping third-party providers, including services like FedEx, will create additional solutions, and Todd pointed to the new Seller Manager Applications beta as a way for them to do that. In addition, Todd said there would be more announcements over time about tools and incentives for sellers to provide eBay with shipping information.

A source as told us that, later this year, eBay would provide a method for buyers to print return-shipping labels from eBay. Along with requirements for sellers to publish their return policy, this will provide eBay with evidence of whether a buyer has indeed returned an item to a seller in a dispute.

While the main thrust of today's announcement is the move toward a marketplace with perfect information that will lead to better buyer satisfaction, eBay is pitching it to sellers as a way to increase their efficiency.

Todd said that by providing shipping information to buyers, it would alleviate the need to contact sellers or open a dispute. In addition, eBay is adding a Smart FAQ feature to help reduce the number of questions sellers receive from eBay buyers.

Look for more details on eBay's plans for improving the unpaid item dispute process. eBay wrote on its website:

We are planning two significant changes to the unpaid item dispute process. First, for PayPal only items, eBay will be able to auto-file and auto-credit sellers. Second, for Fixed Price items, we will begin removing negative and neutral feedback ratings left after a seller files an unpaid item dispute. We expect to launch both these changes in 2009.





Comments (71) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: Moby Gripe

Tue Apr 14 23:45:21 2009

"A source as told us that, later this year, eBay would provide a method for buyers to print return-shipping labels from eBay. Along with requirements for sellers to publish their return policy, this will provide eBay with evidence of whether a buyer has indeed returned an item to a seller in a dispute."

Woah!

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: Garbage in Garbage out

Tue Apr 14 23:56:14 2009

What about cross border trade, what about lack of buyers, what about broken best match, what about removing re-listing fees altogether, what about NEGATIVE feedback & LOw DSR's given by mistake or vindictive, what about Paypal chargebacks useing Post office International REGISTERED MAIL...what about ebay management now that is a joke?

People SELL the stock and move away from ebay it is never going to improve for sellers & the massive drop in buyers say it all..

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: Ebay Message Board

Wed Apr 15 00:46:25 2009

Ina, be sure to check out the message boasrd Ebay opened for this announcement. They got 2 goofs over there that don't know squat, I've learned more here about this. These guys keep using weasel words like "may & might" and can't even answer 1/2 what they are asked. They've already had to yank a few threads since these guys can't get it right. Good Job Ebay, I can see the sweaty pits & worried looks from here. Tick Tock, JD 4/29/09, open parachute.

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: Jim

Wed Apr 15 01:41:07 2009

If eBay is trying to keep scammers from scamming it won't work. Since when does a printed label prove that the right item was shipped (either way).

Small sellers beware...I think your days may be numbered. You are costing too much and they are trying to prove it.

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: Full-time seller

Wed Apr 15 02:14:56 2009

From ebay's announcements yesterday, from ''New item page rolling out to more buyers''

4. Cross-merchandising: Sellers will also have the option to cross-merchandise on other each others' relevant item pages. You can choose not to have cross-merchandising on your item pages, but your relevant items won't appear on other sellers' items pages. You'll want to consider the trade-offs carefully.

Ina, you may consider blogging about this, as it is a major concern for many old-school ebay sellers. Big sellers that do high volume, low margin commodity items will surely go for it. But many other kinds of sellers are pretty concerned. Not all catagories are as homogenius as you typically find on Amazon, (like say, sellers of rare Star Wars memorabilia)...

Also, not to cool of ebay to pretty much bury this inside an annoucement from within an announcement....

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Wed Apr 15 05:09:43 2009

eBay sells Stumbleupon back to original owners.......eBay to spin-off Skype with IPO next year....both due to lack of synergies with the core ecommerce business.  These new changes make it seem like there are little or no synergies with Paypal as well.  Anyone who has had to deal with Paypal over an eBay purchase (ie. chargeback, INR, ISNAD, etc.) already knows that eBay and Paypal claim to be separate entities with no connection whatsoever.

Yet really, eBay and Paypal already link up for a number of things (payment, updated statuses, shipping info, etc.) and Paypal already has much of the proposed "updates" in place through their channels.  So why make a big deal about all of this concerning eBay?  My guess is that management knows that eBay is faltering and they are preparing for the eventual spin-off and IPO of Paypal and are readying eBay for a time when eBay management does not have full control of Paypal.

The new changes don't seem like they will affect seller STR's or ASP's, but they seem like they will add even more headaches for small sellers.  Over the past few years eBay has slowly crept towards the point when sellers will be required to make all buyers 100% happy no matter what.  The time is coming when all sellers will have to have an eBay stipulated return policy that involves accepting returns for almost everything for any reason.

The larger businesses and Diamond level PS's already, for the most part, have their own similar return policies.  They can afford to, and have such losses in the business plans.  Small sellers and occasional sellers, especially ones who sell on eBay for fun or as an online garage sale (not specifically to make X number of dollars per month) will be burdened the most.

This direction is great for us buyers and ecommerce businesses that compete with eBay sellers.  eBay still has lots of traffic, though it has slowed considerably, but with each new stipulation that eBay places on its sellers comes the greater chance that small sellers will opt for other venues when trying to unload their stuff.

My first impression is that the changes will affect the sellers the most who are the sellers that under-price other eBay sellers and other online sites.  As an ecommerce seller with stand alone sites, I hope these moves push more eBayers away from ecommerce or at least to other venues without such a high exposure in Google.  eBay currently has a mix of online businesses competing with complete know-nothings that result in artificially lowered selling prices a greater chance for buyer dissatisfaction.

eBay is like a town with only one restaurant where they have a huge menu with 50 different chefs in the back each cooking their own food, and some of them aren't chefs at all, many of them don't know how to cook, much less turn on a stove.  The result is a menu with 50 different prices for spaghetti on the same menu with prices ranging from $.99 to $30, with no way for the diner to know which is best.

The other day I found an item, (a 45rpm record) in a round about way while looking as prior feedback from a seller.  The item had ended and was bought by a seller who had another product for sale that I was interested in.  The seller bought the 45 from another eBay seller for 99 cents.  The record had a book value of $3500.00.  Other than the buyer, who benefited from that ridiculous sale?  eBay made probably made 70 cents, the post office probably made a buck or so and the seller ended up with virtually no revenue whatsoever.  Meanwhile anyone who might be trying to sell another copy of that record elsewhere, just saw (theoretically) their record's value slashed exponentially.

This type of situation occurs daily on eBay on an enormous scale.  With each instance being of very little benefit to eBay, the sellers or the competitors.  eBay knows it needs high volume businesses with great customer service and/or easy return policies as well as sellers who are knowledgeable about their product.  Making a business survive indefinitely on sellers who are making 15 cents profit per item is a losing battle.  15 cents profit is OK, if you are Amazon and are selling a million items per day, but not if you are listing 10 auctions per week.  The pool of newbies is drying up and eBay knows it.  And while there are still eBay sellers making good money, most (like in any business field) are not and many fail, go under, or just stop selling....and there is no longer an unlimited supply of new sellers to take their place.

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: Scott

Wed Apr 15 05:23:46 2009

It is good to see some steps in the right direction here from eBay.
Although it may seem a little more difficult for good sellers you must remember that it is a LOT more difficult for the bad sellers.
It should put a more visible gap between the honest sellers and the fly by night bad sellers.
I might add I liked the change to feedback last year, it did make good sellers look a little worse compared to the old system but it made the bad sellers look really really bad !
Give it some thought !
An integrated return process is overdue, sellers must prove an item is sent, a buyer should prove an item was returned.

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: shame on you scott

Wed Apr 15 06:22:05 2009

There are no bad sellers, only bad buyers that can't or won't read the descriptions.
Another example: WE STATE ON EVERY LISTING - NO combining shipping & handling, PLEASE DON'T ASK.
and then we get this today :
THERE IS NO COMBINE SHIPPING. With the high ebay, paypal and postal fees we make very little as it is.
Good luck,
jsicolts


Then we have to blcok them since it's a negative waiting to happen.

Shame on you scott. you must be a newbie.

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: Jeff

Wed Apr 15 07:16:49 2009

Me the ebay seller: "Ebay's just announced new changes.  sigh"

My wife the ebay buyer: "Don't tell me.  I don't want to hear about it."

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: ebay=penny stock

Wed Apr 15 07:36:26 2009

HAHAHA Ebay doesn't know what the right hand is doing much less the left hand.

They don't have the intelligence to even somewhat make something like this work.

Even today most of the pinks have no idea what the heck is going on. When is the last time you emailed or phoned ebay for help?????

Ebay a sinking ship waiting for all the rats to parachute out.

HA HA HA to funny.

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: Walter

Wed Apr 15 07:41:59 2009

this will provide eBay with evidence of whether a buyer has indeed returned an item to a seller in a dispute.

Printing a shipping label means just that, printing a shipping label.
I DOES NOT MEAN THE ITEM HAS BEEN SHIPPED.
So, ebay is basically saying that all scammers have to do is print a $4.00 label and that $200 item is theirs free and clear!!!!
woo hoo, great announcement for the scammers. Couldnt make it any easier could ya ebay?

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Wed Apr 15 07:47:43 2009

@Scott-
How will this prove that an item has been sent?

There is only one way to prove an item has been sent...stand in line at the post office, pay for postage at the counter and have the clerk scan it.  Not a viable option for anyone selling on eBay as a business.

USPS, UPS, etc. do not scan parcels when picked up (carrier pickup).  And third party postal scans by carrier only include scanning a cover sheet of the days entire mailings (which still doesn't prove that a package went out with that lot, just that a label was printed that day and then the sheet was scanned by the carrier).

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: Walter

Wed Apr 15 07:50:50 2009

Another thing, now they fraud buyers to even have to go through the trouble of sending back an empty box. Just print a label.

Takes the whole mail fraud problem right out of the equation.
One less thing for the fraud buyers to worry about.
Thanks ebay for taking another tool out of our pockets against fraud!

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Apr 15 08:18:12 2009

"A source as told us that, later this year, eBay would provide a method for buyers to print return-shipping labels from eBay. Along with requirements for sellers to publish their return policy, this will provide eBay with evidence of whether a buyer has indeed returned an item to a seller in a dispute."

I made this connection, thinking it would be similar to the new "Package tracking in My eBay": for sellers who print shipping labels through PayPal or eBay, tracking and delivery confirmation numbers will automatically appear in the buyer's My eBay.

At the least, eBay is trying to make it easier for the buyer to make returns, but I believe eBay will also try to capture tracking information.

Not that proof of shipment means the actual item was inside the box (from the seller or the buyer).

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: John

Wed Apr 15 08:21:12 2009

"Currently the tracking ability only supports USPS and UPS. eBay is hoping third-party providers, including services like FedEx, will create additional solutions, and Todd pointed to the new Seller Manager Applications beta as a way for them to do that."

Um, Fedex/UPS/USPS all have tools that provide you with a way to automatically receive tracking information. Every other system I work with has a means of transmitting that info. Leave it up to ebay to ask another company to do their job for them.

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: John

Wed Apr 15 08:27:42 2009

@ Bob.
I don't think the point of the change is to prove what day your USPS package left in comparison to your generated confirmation number submission. The point is to guarantee delivery when a dispute actually arises. Somewhere along the way USPS generally scans the location of your parcel. They ALWAYS scan when delivered. Therefore, you are protected when using. No need to stand in line. Use one of the many tools out there.

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: Walter

Wed Apr 15 08:45:06 2009

Its like I was trying to explain to my post office.

If an item is NOT scanned at the point of the initial shipping, ie. drop off or carrier pick up.
and it is lost before it reaches another destination that it would have been scanned at.
You have NOTHING.
All you have is proof that you printed a label, NOT proof that the item was shipped.
Do you think you'd have a chance with paypal when the DC simply states ''customer printed label on...''?
I highly doubt it.
Why?, because printing a label is NOT shipping an item.

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Wed Apr 15 09:05:54 2009

@Walter-
Technically, if you insure the item and print the label and it doesn't get delivered, the USPS will honor a lost mail claim on it after 21 (or 22, whatever) days, even if you didn't have it scanned into the system.  They basically take your word for it.

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: dispecable ebay

Wed Apr 15 10:23:34 2009

How about Guarantee SELLER satisfaction? Is that just a pipe dream?

eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction   eBay Moves toward Guaranteed Buyer Satisfaction

by: DJ

Wed Apr 15 10:25:32 2009

What about Seller's satisfaction?

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