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Wed Apr 28 2010 18:34:08

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Live blogging eBay's Town Hall Meeting, April 28, 2010, covering the eBay Summer Seller Updates.

Topics being covered:
New Item condition
(Feedback reminders?)
Buyer Protection in Seller Standards
Member to Member communications
New tools for relisting in bulk

Panel:
Griff, Lee Mirabel
VP Seller Experience Todd Lutwak
Dawn Sullivan, Standards
(missed the rest)

Questions from listeners. NOTE: I am paraphrasing, this is not a transcript!

1) Diane from PA: Re seller standards (connection went dead) back again.

Dawn: question was about regarding refunds....

2) Email question: why holding sellers accountable for things outside their control example: shipping problem - buyer doesn't contact seller and tracking shows package delivered - but with new standards, sellers are responsible.

Dawn: A high rate of "open cases" is a sign that something is causing buyers to open cases. It is a less stringent requirement than seller unresolved cases. Using best practices, sellers should reduce the number of open cases.

Rich: Upload tracking info.

Discussion amongst the eBayers about the issue.....

Lee started talking about the radio station, connection went down, back again, Lee asking email question:

3) What's to prevent buyer from lying?

Dawn: With member-to-member communication improvements, we can check to see if the buyer reached out to the seller.

4) Larry from DE: Items not Received cases opened. Great idea, an indication of buyer satisfaction. Buyers open cases without contacting us at all - you do have a way to verify that. Require buyer to communicate through My Messages as proof, and to know that the seller had a reasonable time to resolve issue.

Dawn: It is something we may be able to do in future, fantastic idea.

Todd: Hi, Mr. Philips.

5) From Chat room: Feedback reminders - where is the opt-out tool?

Nicole: not changing reminder, but will eliminate Selling Manager Pro email to reduce dupe emails. It is a buyer-optional email, sellers cannot opt out.

6) Email question: What is expired item or title number?

Nicole: Ability to click on reply to a member-to-member communication. eBay checks to see if item is expired (listing no longer exists), eBay will send an error message. They can still go back to eBay and initiate a conversation, but the conversation thread ends at the time the listing goes away from eBay. About 60 days. (Might be 90 days, no one can agree.)

7) Diane form Sunnyvale: Bulk Editor - works with SM and SM Pro.

Eddy: No, you don't have to use Selling Manager.

Todd: Advanced search - that is only available to SM and SM Pro.

Eddy: Adv. search only available to SM and Pro.

Griff: SM is free - is there a reason why not using it?

Diane (caller): inventory control is not something I need (collectibles/antiques) - another layer of eBay software and potential glitches.

8) Email: Scenario Buyer files INR - did not contact seller, who could provide proof of shipping, carrier lost package - Does this count as a strike against the sellers

eBayer: yes, Open Case

Part B of email: how can eBay blame seller for something outside of their control

eBayer: We're looking for high rate - one-off cases should not affect sellers. Sellers should provide tracking info into eBay so buyer can see it. Be proactive communicator.

Part C of email: can seller appeal in that case?

eBayer: It won't be held against the seller in the Seller Unresolved cases

Part D of email: Why not make it mandatory that the buyer have to contact seller ahead of filing a claim

eBayer: We agree, we strongly encourage the buyer to do that. We don't have the ability to check that they have.

9) Margie MO: why shipping an issue on feedback, when they are willing to pay but then complain after they paid.

Rich from seller tools team: Shipping cost a big deal for our buyers. We got a lot of feedback from buyers on what's important to them. Buyers leave eBay because of high shipping costs. When they pay those high shipping costs, they leave eBay.

It helps eBay get visibility into what buyers think of shipping costs.

Margie (caller): You have to raise your prices if you lower shipping.

Rich: Cover a reasonable amount of shipping costs and handling costs, and if you moveit into the item price, for some sellers, that is the right practice. High shipping costs turns off buyers.

Griff: Some confusion - if buyers agree to pay shipping, they don't have right to complain. They don't forfeit the right to give input into the sale.

Margie: I keep shipping low and still find people gripe about it.

Rich: You're doing the right thing, and let the buyer know your actual shipping costs.

They want to know what her shipping DSR are.

Where did eBay go? We can hear Margie, but not eBayers!

Someone named Donna came back, but they lost everyone else.

Silence.............

.............

More silence..............

Someone is talking, eBay's back but they are clueless....

Someone from eBay is answering a question that we out hear never heard......

After hanging on so long, they won't take another question from Margie.

10) Angela from San Francisco: Says sellers feel eBay does not treat sellers fairly. Can you give me a percentage of disputes found in favor of the seller

No one knows.

Angela: Ballpark?

eBayer: Probably more than she thinks

Todd: If neither the buyer or seller is at fault, eBay will handle.

Todd: A lot of claims are resolved, very common

eBayer: over half the time, a case won't be escalated - the seller has taken care of it.

Angela: If resolved, does that mean it won't count against the seller?

eBayer: Won't affect unresolved claims, Two different metrics: Open Cases, and Unresolved. It (Open Case even if seller resolves) will held against the seller regardless of the seller.

Angela: What is high rate?

eBayer: no more than 1 percent of transactions.

(discussion about details of standards.

Lee apologized for losing feed

11) email: on discussion boards, eBayer Bennie said certain amount of time must pass before INR claim can start

Dawn: answers details - they look at date of payment, handling times specified by seller, and method of shipment.

12) Steve from Virginia: international shipping - no tracking - most disputes come from international shipping.

eBayer: cases filed by U.S. buyers only

Steve: both Open and Unresolved

eBayer: Yes

13) Email: auto feedback reminder - language of the email about anonymity. Most buyers just want to buy an item, can you plant a positive seed?

eBayer: Feedback email is not changing. (see above)

She will look at the wording again, but it is not changing.

Todd: Positive feedback has never been higher at eBay.

14) Email: I'm all for complete descriptions, but confused about sheet music - has no binding....

Roy: As we came up with values for Item Condition, we wanted to be as comprehensive as possible, but not have too many values that might confuse buyers. "You guys are the experts in your categories," we recommend being conservative and using your best judgement.

15) Email: Sellers should not be accountable for things outside of their control, and to upload tracking info; can eBay create automatic time for DSR...  (Dave from Iowa)

Dawn: ship-time DSR - includes handling time and carrier. Buyer's opinion - may not be happy that something took 2 weeks even if the seller said it would take 2 weeks.

eBayer (Rich?): This is about Buyer satisfaction. Thanks for suggestion, we'll look at further.

Lee: Reminder that this is only about the changes

16) Email: Shipping - I am on West coast, ship dolls to East coast, carriers charge a lot. I use the eBay calculator, often underestimate weight - but I have a .51 in shipping DSRs (below?). Only one buyer felt my shipping costs unreasonable. Open to abuse. Signed your formerly biggest fan in doll community, Denise.

Dawn: Bar is very high, and we give high reward to sellers who meet the criteria. Constantly look at metrics. Your metrics are very good.

Kristina: There are some small tweaks she could make to her business. Check out the DSR reports - see which groups of items are causing low DSRs (type of inventory or which carrier).

Griff: can provide Denise with some suggestions.

17) Katherine from Bellingham: Clarification of what counts against us with regard to claims - Unauthorized funds and bank returns in PayPal, would that count against us.

eBayer: no.

Katherine: Funds that buyer pays with, it may not clear, and causes a claim in PayPal resolution account.

Dawn: I would like more info - email me at dsullivan@ebay.com

Phil Allen from PayPal: Please explain again.

Katherine: Unauthorized transaction, PayPal opens as a dispute and says please respond to this claim. We have to go in and show where we shipped it, etc.

Phil: I don't believe it would be factored in.

Todd: No, it's when buyers open up a claim. If a bank or PayPal opens up a case, it doesn't count.

Katherine points out that the buyer could open up a claim on PayPal.

Griff: asks for clarification from Todd.

eBayer: We do count buyer protection on PayPal or eBay, but I don't believe it counts.

"Katherine stumped Griff."

Todd: I am more than 99.9 percent sure it won't count against seller.

Technical troubles again.

Back again

Lee apologizes again

18) Bernard: anonymous email system. I use formatting and include links - once you go to anonymous system, if i keep it under the limit, will eBay format my email with my formatting, graphics and links.

Nicole: There are some restrictions - text only, URLs are okay, non-eBay links are not clickable, but the recipient can copy and paste the URL, and you can attach image files only.

Griff apologizes for lost feed.

19) Email: eBay is all about Buyer Satisfaction, but Sellers are your customers, they pay you.

Todd: Sellers come to eBay because that is where the buyers are. We ultimately have the sellers' best interest in mind in keeping buyers happy.

Griff: Buyers come to eBay - buyers and sellers are our customers. A balance is not always easy.

Kristina: our team thinks about how to make it easier for sellers. UPI Assistant, bulk edit and reslist - to drive seller satisfaction.

Todd: we talk as if they are different groups, but a large percent are both.

20) Melinda from Dallas: Automated emails eBay will send out to buyers re leaving feedback. Any way we can have an option to opt-out. Some sellers don't want to have that.

Nicole: We're not changing the feedback email. It is buyer optional. Buyers can opt-out.

Kristina: That email is something we've had for a while - since 2002.

Griff: when does it go out?

Kristina: 15 days out if the buyer has not left feedback.

eBayer: if you leave feedback, you don't get the email.

Melinda; how do we tell buyers to opt-out? There is an opt-out link (unsubscribe) in the email.

21) William from Eureka CA: Concerns buying. With INRs, I've gotten two disputes, I promptly send them out - now I downloaded parcel post and have tracking. I still have to wait for the payment. I don't understand why I'm penalized in 21 days if parcels are still being delivered.

Griff: are you a new seller?

William: Yes.

Kristina: we are beginning to hold payments for new sellers.

William: To alleviate that problem, I downloaded Parcel Post. How long do I have to wait? If a buyer doesn't leave a decent feedback, that puts the seller in a predicament.

Griff: If new seller with PayPal hold, buyer feedback or delivery confirmed, funds are released in 3 days, otherwise 21 days.

William: I don't need the money to pay the gas, so I'm okay on that one. That's a joke.

22) Two people in chat room:
Someone was complaining, one more way buyers can extort sellers.....
Response: Most buyers don't' extort sellers, and eBay sees patterns and takes care of them. (Gave an example - compared to shop-lifting)

23) Michael from Denver: anonymous emails - I like to print out sales records - will the emails be staying on the sales reports? It includes the email address of the customer.

eBayer: Emails stay in post transaction, yes you will still see the email address in the sales reports.

Griff: we should have used the word "alias," not anonymous.

24) Jason from NC: I have a buyer that left me a ton of negative feedback, he leaves everybody negative feedback. He left me 7 negative feedbacks. He left 40 negs in the last month in a half.

Dawn: If you feel buyer is leaving malicious feedback, report it.

Jason: I have reported it. Numerous times, as have other sellers.
Keeps going on.

Dawn: Email me the buyer's feedback
(Send it to griff@ebay.com)

Chatboard - regular eBay Radio Chatroom - there is a tab on the player. Or go to any eBay page, click on Community - Click on Groups - it wlil bring you in to groups.

25) What is purpose of not being able to ask questions after an item has ended. Example, someone may want to see if I have additional items or a different color.

eBayer: If item is no longer on eBay, you can still have a conversation. It is still possible to ask a question after a listing has ended.

26) Email: Feedback reminders - 2 weeks is too quick - example. shipping from Canada

eBayer: Between 15 - 50 days.

WRAP UP

Todd: Thanks for having us.

Griff: wraps up.

Todd: Webinar tomorrow.

Griff: final wrap up.

Next Town Hall is July, 2010
END.




Comments (34) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Apr 28 19:06:07 2010

Love all the dead air during the broadcast! Are these the same people you are entrusting your fortunes and business to?

Lost your feed huh?

* One star for communication!

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: EbaySeller

Wed Apr 28 19:14:57 2010

''Rich: Cover a reasonable amount of shipping costs and handling costs, and if you moveit into the item price, for some sellers, that is the right practice. High shipping costs turns off buyers. ''

Yes it is the right practice for ebay to make more money.

Nicole loves to flip flop the answers.

Executive Brief:

If something goes wrong, it's seller fault but ebay will solve your problem.

If seller solves the problem, the response to the buyer from ebay will show how ebay resolved the problem (look for example on PayPal claims, if you agree to refund the buyer received a message telling that PayPal decided a refund on this transaction.

Open claims will impact sellers products in search, but this does not apply to the diamond big ones, all of them are top sellers.

Nice.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: whatever.

Wed Apr 28 19:27:17 2010

DAWN from ''Standards:''

''Dawn: ship-time DSR - includes handling time and carrier. Buyer's opinion - may not be happy that something took 2 weeks even if the seller said it would take 2 weeks. ''

''ship-time DSR - includes handling time and carrier.''

If Ina's paraphrase is correct: lovely.

Oh it does? (the shipping time DSR) Include carrier? Oh, it arrived in the specified time frame but I wanted it faster? Well then choose the faster option: the weather man forecast rain and it rained: but I wanted a sunny day.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: whatever.

Wed Apr 28 19:29:29 2010

Could Dawn and Kristina be any more condescending (as well as clueless)?

I know, why even ask? Yes and Yes.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Apr 28 19:37:38 2010

''Non eBay URLs will not be click-able.''

Sounds like censorship - no? Just a venue?

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: eBaySeller

Wed Apr 28 19:38:38 2010

Fantastic answer to ebay customer Denise (yes Denise sells dolls on eBay that makes Denise an ebay's customer):

Sorry Denise there is no answer to your question, maybe you should go to another site to sell your dolls.

Automatically asking a buyer to leaves feedback is like asking for a tip on the restaurant check, it is something that no seller should do, but now ebay does on seller behalf. Son Fantastic !

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: eBaySeller

Wed Apr 28 19:51:08 2010

Beautiful advice from the seller chat room, if something goes wrong refund your buyer and avoid the claim.

finally we want to keep the ebay fun or is anybody selling here to make money?

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: whatever.

Wed Apr 28 19:56:34 2010

''Griff: Buyers come to eBay - buyers and sellers are our customers. A balance is not always easy. ''

Thus spake The Advocate.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: Troglodyte

Wed Apr 28 20:17:18 2010

Do these arrogant little Donahoe minions realize just how reviled they all are?

What another load of manure.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: why bother

Wed Apr 28 20:32:33 2010

why even bother just go ahead and release more changes and then more after that and keep going.. change, change, change, because they don't listen don't know what they are doing and will never even make it back to what ebay once was.

Growth forget about it.
You can't water a plant with gasoline and expect it to flower.

It's absolutely washed up until a surgeon with mad skills comes in and tries to bring it back to life.

Donohoe has as much chance at bringing growth to ebay as pee-wee herman has at becoming a linebacker in the NFL.

who needs another Amazon or Walmart anyway. One is in every town and the other is a click away.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: Rich

Wed Apr 28 21:52:46 2010

I got my seller update e-mail from Ebay yesterday.  I deleted it.  I think deleting these e-mails and deleting all Ebay messages from the My Ebay messages are now the healthiest approach to selling on Ebay. The time wasted and aggravation caused by all of these completely unneeded changes produces nothing positive for sellers, buyers or Ebay as a company.  So my new approach is to now delete all e-mails from Ebay.  If something's important I'll read it here

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: J.G.

Thu Apr 29 00:31:19 2010


This company has more regulations than the IRS and the US Army combined.  Sellers are neither stupid nor criminal and don't deserve to be treated as such.

Sellers are entrepreneurs -- creative people with alot of drive and initiative, with pride in what they have accomplished and a vision for what they want their businesses to be.

All of eBay's arcane, convoluted, and  ridiculous rules serve to stifle the entrepreneureal spirit that built eBay into a giant.

I wish these people could listen to themselves and read their tortured rules and regulations and realize how downright stupid it all seems.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Thu Apr 29 00:45:32 2010

Sorry, I gave up trying to make sense of this nonsense after a number of paragraphs; I'll wait for Ina's more succinct summary, thank you.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 00:55:03 2010

Perhaps its just me but they sounded like a bunch of arrogant, over-bloated, full of themselves idiots.  How did these sellers hold their tongues?  Amazing...

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 02:32:00 2010

What on earth is to be gained by nagging Buyers to leave feedback?  It makes no sense. Why would Ebay management even care if Buyers leave feedback for Sellers?

The only thing that it will do is make Sellers angry, and possibly result in lower DSRs.  Is Ebay so desperate for money they would try to get Buyers to leave lower DSRs so they wouldn't have to pay so many Seller discounts?  That seems like a stretch, but then you never know with Ebay.

Amazon sends out feedback reminders (maybe Donahoe is feeling a need to copy Amazon again.)  It is rare for me not to get a 5 rating from Buyers there.  But, last month a book Buyer left a 4. In the Comments, he said he was perfectly happy with the transaction, but was fed up with Amazon hassling him to leave feedback.  So, the idiot took it out on me.  Fortunately, there, it didn't ruin my 100% feedback rating, like it would have on Ebay.  That is a perfect example of what is going to happen, when Ebay starts sending their nagging e-mails.

Seems like Ebay management lives in a world up on the clouds high above the Buyers and Sellers who live down here in reality. They sound like a bunch of spoiled brats, and are saying, ''Hey, what's the problem?  Just follow our silly rules and you will be just fine.''  Kind of reminds me of Marie Antoinette saying, ''Let them eat cake'', when the masses outside the palace were starving.

Still, very few sales on my stuff on Ebay. Still can't figure out why everything changed on March 30th.  But, if I'm not selling hardly anything, I can't afford to keep paying Ebay's rent for their ''venue''.

I tried telling my husband on our walkies tonight about the new ''open case'' rule on Ebay, and he wouldn't believe me.  Got Delivery Confirmation?  It doesn't matter, because the Buyer is always right. It's still a strike against your account.

I only listed items on two other sites today. No Ebay.  The feeling of less stress was amazing!

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: Marvin This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 04:21:24 2010

You can download gigabytes of files daily, videos, podcast, You tube videos and software without any problems but ask ebay a question they don't like or can't answer and you loose the connection.

I love their town hall meetings, they show how idiotic, greedy and crooked they are.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: Kal

Thu Apr 29 07:26:51 2010

The CONDESCENDING ARROGANCE of the answers was just astounding. There is nothing more that can be said.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: Doris Knight

Thu Apr 29 08:48:32 2010

===== QUOTE: =====
Part D of email: Why not make it mandatory that the buyer have to contact seller ahead of filing a claim

eBayer: We agree, we strongly encourage the buyer to do that. We don't have the ability to check that they have
===== END QUOTE: =====

Absurd nonsense! This is a no-brainer... it's easily solved.

As part of the ''opening a claim'' process, eBay should simply add an additional step to the online forms:

Example: Buyer clicks a link to initiate the claim process. The VERY FIRST page of the form should say something to the effect of:

''Before you can initiate a claim, you must first submit an official (documented) complaint with the Seller by using this form. The information you enter on this form will be forwarded to the Seller. Please provide an accurate description of the problem or issue you experienced. If the Seller does not respond, or is unable to resolve the problem within ''X'' days, then you may escalate this and file a claim.''

Basically, the process of ''filing a claim'' can be automated with a series of steps that GUARANTEES the Seller is notified and given a chance to respond (rather than taking the buyer's word for it: ''Uh, yeah... okay, uh... I contacted the seller, sure, that's what happened.''

If eBay can automate the non-payment procedure (ie: seller files, buyer given X days to respond) and it ONLY counts against the buyer if they don't respond...then they can certainly do the same thing when it comes to Buyers who have a complaint.

If this simple procedure was installed, the opening act of *starting* the process (ie: sending the required and documented communication) would NOT count against the Seller as an ''open case'' during the time that the Seller is given an opportunity to receive and respond to an official (documented) complaint.

Their current methods and policies are not merely ''pro-Buyer''... they are anti-Seller''. There is no balance, no fairness.

It's this ongoing and ever-increasing ANTI-SELLER attitude from eBay that has convinced me to branch-out and begin selling at Bonanzle. I can't leave eBay right now, but I can surely get my foot in the door at Bonanzle and contribute to its growth.

FACT: Our complaints here are ignored by eBay. For the most part, we're a feel-good echo-chamber just venting and ranting at the wind. It's good to get sympathy and support from each other, but what we SAY here accomplishes NOTHING.

On the other hand, WHAT WE DO about it makes all the difference in the world. The things that WE DO may not produce instant results, but in time, if everyone DOES SOMETHING to break free from the abuse that eBay heaps on us, then change will happen and other venues like Bonanzle will become viable and lively and profitable alternatives to eBay.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: What's next?

Thu Apr 29 09:09:35 2010

eBays's greed is packaged to the community as helping the buyer.

Many policies are anti seller, but these changes are going one step further and becoming anti buyer too.

eBay needs to curve its greed appetite  and actually start innovating.

Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates   Live Blogging eBay Summer Seller Updates

by: CS

Thu Apr 29 09:23:50 2010

LOL. When someone writes the final book on ebay there will need to be several chapters  in crayon.

More koolaid anyone?

*flabbergasted sigh*

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