Live blogging eBay's Town Hall Meeting, April 28, 2010, covering the eBay Summer Seller Updates.
Topics being covered:
New Item condition
Buyer Protection in Seller Standards
Member to Member communications
New tools for relisting in bulk
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.
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.
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
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.
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 email@example.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.
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
Todd: Thanks for having us.
Griff: wraps up.
Todd: Webinar tomorrow.
Griff: final wrap up.
Next Town Hall is July, 2010