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Fri Sept 18 2009 14:22:04

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

By: Ina Steiner

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Remember back in May when the eBay blog interviewed Brian Burke about some new feedback tests? (Here's a link to the article which has a screenshot of one of the formats they were testing.)

Apparently eBay is still testing different feedback formats. An alert reader sent me a screenshot of something he encountered when leaving feedback today. At the top, it reads:

Try a different way to leave feedback
We've listened to you, and we're working hard to make Feedback more useful to buyers and sellers. By responding thoughtfully to these questions, you're giving us great insights that will help us improve. When you're done, you'll have the option to leave Feedback the regular way.

In May, Brian Burke said that the system eBay was testing would apply to both elements of the existing Feedback system, conventional Feedback and DSRs, but he said no changes were pending or planned for this year.

Have you encountered this new feedback format, and what do you think - is it better, same or worse than the current system?

Update 9/19/09: eBay blogger Richard Brewer-Hay posted an interview with Nate Etter about the feedback testing, he writes: "Nathan (Nate) Etter contacted me this week to update the Community on the tests because (1) there are different variations than we had discussed previously, and (2) the tests will cover a larger number of buyers & sellers than the tests did in May, so more members may see this new flow." See Richard's post - with videos - for more information.

Comments (77) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: zeak

Fri Sep 18 15:02:21 2009

confusing i can see the dsr but where is the star rating? how does ebay break it down? it must be the numbers but what are the cut offs?

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Fri Sep 18 15:43:10 2009

So now I'm supposed to enter multiple comments and check multiple boxes, instead of just one?  Haven't encountered this yet, but what an unwieldy process!  

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: joe

Fri Sep 18 16:10:18 2009

Just another reason to move off ebay...

Ebays feedback system is ridden with fraud, feedback comments and DSR ratings are meaningless and useless for both buyers and sellers.

The DSR system only benefits Diamonds because their DSRs have no effect on search placement for their listings.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: Whateverebay

Fri Sep 18 16:26:44 2009

seriously, eBay annoys me with their Feedback system testing. Why is something so simple made out to be so complicated?? Yes or No is enough, of course if you have a complaint you are offered links on how to do so. Example: Shipping time frame - HUGE HUGE pain. Item is shipped on time and arrived earlier than stated date, but customer wanted it two days prior to placing order. Hello? How fair is that????

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Sep 18 18:18:36 2009

Once again ebay is revamping feedback to eliminate still more sellers by creating subjectuive rather than objective questions.

Instead of asking whether the item is what the buyer expected, the question should read, "Is this the item you ordered?

Should sellers be responsible for a buyer's "expectations?" We're not mindreaders!

When same day free shipping isn't good enough to earn 5s in DSRs from many buyers, Brian Burke seems to think buyers should be given even more opportunities to put non diamonds out of business with still more subjective and often unfair ratings.

Further, what qualifies most buyers to leave anything but a subective rating for "appropriate" packing?" Anyone who would leave less than 5 stars for free, same shipping probably isn't smart enough to determine whether the packing was appropriate or inappropriate.

Brian Burke must really be under the gun to justify his continued employment by weeding out the remaining small sellers with such an off putting, utterly stupid system that's intentionally designed to kill more sellers.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: Rich

Fri Sep 18 18:21:56 2009

They have too may MBAs with time on their hands. The site seems unusable, but that's just me.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: eBuyer Feedback

Fri Sep 18 20:08:29 2009

What is the purpose of considering ''size, weight, and distance'' for determining if the shipping cost was reasonable?

Wouldn't it make more sense to consider the packaging used and actual postage paid?  If you follow eBay's instructions then Express Mail is a ripoff especially when living nearby.

My guess is if the average buyer is presented with this they'll just leave the page (not the feedback) meaning actual left feedback will trend more negative.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: RicRoe

Fri Sep 18 21:51:36 2009

The process pictured here does nothing but further degrade the value of feedback. But eBay will claim it is more ''granular'' or ''surfaces more accurate details'' of a transaction.

Why does eBay continually drag out the ''were you satisfied with the time it took to receive the item,''.

eBay always looks to hang sellers with this aspect of a transaction, when the reality is once the seller delivers the package to the carrier, timing is totally out of the sellers control.

For example..... I recently had a transaction to ship from the east coast to Indiana. The buyer completed payment in the evening. The following morning, the label was processed with Delivery Confirmation service and delivered to USPS for shipping First Class Mail.

Package was scanned through my local regional center less than 12 hours after the customer completed payment, as evidenced on the tracking information provided on the USPS website.

Three days later, USPS tracking clearly showed that the package was scanned in a regional processing center in California!!! Obviously the package was mis-routed.

USPS turned the package around and sent it where it should have gone in the first place, another 3 days later it was scanned in regional processing center in IN, then delivered to the buyer the following day.

Despite the obvious error created by the Postal Service, eBay still wants to utilize terminology where by the seller is held accountable for a documented Postal Service error.

If eBay wants to have buyers rate sellers on shipping they need to make the rating based solely on the amount of time it takes the seller to drop the package with the carrier after payment is completed.

Buyers should not be asked to rate sellers on the amount of time it takes the carrier to complete the physical delivery, but instead the rating should be based on the amount of time it took the seller to turn the item over to the carrier.

Holding sellers accountable for anything a carrier may do to mis route a package is not fair to sellers.

Of course, I will never be able to know what the buyer left for a DSR score, because eBay deliberately conceals individual ratings. They also outright refuse to remove DSR scores for any reason (except for their precious Diamond Sellers of course).

It is no coincidence the only 2 star rating on my record came during the same period of time feedback was received for that transaction.

Bottom line...eBay continues to word their ratings process in a manner that encourages buyers to find a reason to give lower scores.  

When sellers receive lower scores, it allows eBay to exclude them from discount programs  assuring eBay higher revenues.

eBay has skin in the game of sellers receiving low scores.

It is as though Donahoe & Co have devised the feedback and DSR structure to assure most small and medium sized sellers will fail to meet the new requirements to earn discounts on fees.

THAT my friends is the reason DSR ratings exist, are kept invisible, and can not be appealed or eBay can manipulate them to suit their purposes.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: john donaHOE

Fri Sep 18 23:05:11 2009

Brian Burke is a jackass.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: John

Sat Sep 19 00:16:31 2009

I think the screen shot for feedback would be a GREAT improvement.
I like what I see.
Some of you can never be satisfied no matter what Ebay does. . .

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: Another Wronged Seller

Sat Sep 19 01:39:44 2009

@ RicRoe

I completely agree.

Ebay dangles the carrot, discounts, exposure in best match, etc.. but REALLY doesn't want anyone to get the discounts.

The above screenshot is only part of the equation. What scale will it correlate to even get the discounts or exposure? Lets see, 1 thru 10 but you have to maintain 9.5 or you get demoted in search and no discount...

Your statement that ebay ''has skin in the game'' is completely accurate.

Like playing the lottery, only the smallest percentage will actually benefit. The difference is that with the lottery, every ticket has an equal chance. Suppose powerball manipulated the ''win'' results like ebay does the ''best Match'' results. Say, tilted the odds in favor of the east coast tickets or favored tickets bought at liquor stores or tickets bought in a state that hasn't won in a while.

In my view, feedback and DSR's aren't a tool to advantage some sellers as much as a tool to dis-advantage most sellers.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: Marvin

Sat Sep 19 05:20:43 2009

See where this is going? Ebay will ask questions then make the decision on what feedback and DSRs you get. When they need more revenue they will deliberately lower your rating in the foolish belief you will list more to bring your ratings back up so they can rake in the money from listing fees or use the system to favor one seller over another.

If caught they will claim it was a ''computer glitch'' but keep in mind one thing. Computers by their very design can never make mistakes. Computers simply execute code, line by line. They do exactly what the program code tells them to do. Even in the event of a component failure the worst that can happen is lines of code will not be executed. Computers cannot over bill or double bill unless they are programmed to. Computers will not fail to list your items or incorrectly calculate shipping unless they are programmed to. Even in the case of the most incompetent computer programmer on the planet writing code you are more likely to win a million dollars in the lottery three times in a row than experience  ''glitch after glitch'' that unintentionally favors ebay.

Everything ebay does is a scheme, they do not want a working feedback system. Remember Bill Cobb that used to be at ebay? He was offered software that would completely fix ebays feedback system and eliminate the abuses but ebay didn't want such a system. Wonder why? Auctionbytes should look up Mr. Cobb and ask him about this, it may make for an interesting article.

As for the diamond sellers, they are being used by ebay and don't seem to be able to read the writing on the wall, their days are numbered. Once the large sellers are all that's left, ebay cannot make enough profit off them without massive fee increases. Mark my words, the next step will be ebay making deals with the large sellers suppliers for ebay to sell the products cutting out the large seller completely. Eventually everything you buy off ebay will come from ebay not large sellers, the large sellers will be squeezed out.

Right now the little guy is being forced out and criminally abused by ebay. Once the little guy is gone ebay will tear into the large sellers. Ebay has all the tools in place to do this, it's just a matter of time. Of course none of this will work. Companies like Amazon and Wal Mart have all the pie. ebay idiotically thinks they can get a big piece of that pie but those that have the pie won't be willing to share. When that happens the small ebay seller, the large ebay seller, ebay and paypal will become as extinct as the dodo bird.

If you can make any money on ebay right now enjoy the ride because it's going to be a short one. ebays business plan is trading gold bars for lead bars.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: Why we DO NOT leave feedback

Sat Sep 19 07:03:26 2009

Because it is filled with fraud, because it is trult anti-seller, because eBay changes the rules, and because we feel it is unfair. WE NEVER EVER leave feedback to any buyers. and if (the buyers complain too much) we bloack them.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: JS

Sat Sep 19 08:27:28 2009

I also never leave feedback for buyers and I mean never.  The feedback system is perceived to be a means to judge performance of a transaction. When you favor buyer over seller or seller over buyer the system then becomes useless.

I recently had a buyer refused by my ebay purchase settings because they had more than 2 unpaid items on their record. The buyer messaged me and said his unpaids were all a mistake and to review his feedback as it was 100% positive.

Well I messaged him back and told him Ebay informed me that he was a deadbeat and had not paid for items purchased in the past, and for this reason he was not welcome to purchase from me. I also informed him that buyers feedback can only be left as positive and therefor is useless and meaningless.

My policy now is...

If a buyer refers to their great 100% positive feedback in a message, they are blocked and all messages from the buyer...ignored. I've personally found dealing with these types of buyers results in a bad unpleasant sale and they will never be pleased.

Ebay feedback just aids buyers in commiting fraud by blackmailing sellers for one thing or another, competely worthless in my humble opinion.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes


Sat Sep 19 09:20:53 2009

I don't like all these changes etc. But WHY is eBay Stock going up ? Something they are doing for themselves MUST be working, I don't know if getting rid of the small sellers is making the bigger sellers list more items ? But the stock was like $12 not to long ago, now it is like $24

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Sat Sep 19 09:45:20 2009

I've added an update to this post with a link to more information.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: matza

Sat Sep 19 12:48:07 2009

I've encountered it. I guess it's worded a little better but who wants to fill in a survey with every purchase? That crap is just a waste of time PITA! Some people think voting 1 means you're number one! Not many but some really do. I've had a customer tell me she voted me number 1 on all my stars and thanked me for the great service.

Business is dead on ebay so the feedback system should be the least of anyone's worries. I suggest they start doing damage control and try and get people back shopping and selling on the site. The original feedback system was the easiest and the best for all involved.

I don't understand why they always change things that are working just fine. There are a lot of changed that are needed but nothing gets done about those. There's no shopping cart for chripes sakes and they're busy working on dog show ribbons for their sellers who barely sell anything and taking away discounts from their sellers that actually make sales. Giving those FVF discounts must have been killing them!

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: Patricia

Sat Sep 19 14:07:30 2009

This is a joke....right?  Any adult could tell ebay they can right now fire all the feedback analysts and simply put "were you satisified with your order?"  with a scale from 1 to 5 and "would you buy from this seller again" yes, no.

THAT is what an ADULT would do and stop pussyfooting around with costly nonsense!  Perhaps thats too easy and negates all those big salaries these guys are pulling down!

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: Harriet

Sat Sep 19 14:11:02 2009

This is horrible for sellers, but it is also horrible for buyers. It is becoming so burdensome to leave feedback for sellers that many buyers are just not doing it at all. Why would I as a buyer, want to spend several minutes of my time filling out all kinds of survey type questionnaires.

I just want to buy my thing and then leave simple feedback and get on with my life. eBay has become so self absorbed that they feel that everyone else is as absorbed with Ebay as they are and want to devote lots of time there. That is truly not the case. Buyers want to be able to find their item (which is hard enough to do), buy it and be done with the transaction unless something unusual happens.

Silly stuff, and counterproductive.

But we are preaching to the choir here.

Start buying and listing your items somewhere else and start enjoying selling and buying online again.

It really isn't necessary to be this convoluted in an online transaction. For the most part, the marketplace weeds out the nasties quite well all by itself.

eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes   eBay Still Testing Feedback Changes

by: Harriet

Sat Sep 19 16:26:35 2009

I also think that eBay has got to start thinking about how to simplify their site from beginning to end. It has become a MOST difficult site to navigate, and there are far too many rules and regulations, and the feedback should be taken care of very simply.

It looks like merely busy work for the eBay lower level managers so they can produce something to look like they are working. I used to know managers who walked the halls of where they were working with a lot of file folders under their arms, when they were actually just killing time. I guess it beats sleeping at your desk.

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