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Sun May 30 2010 20:47:34

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

By: Ina Steiner

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There has been an uptick in the number of surveys eBay has been conducting recently, with eBay asking about the types of problems sellers are experiencing and about their views on its feedback system.

On May 9th, I wrote about a comprehensive survey eBay conducted that revealed its concern over rivals, particularly Amazon, Google and Craigslist, and revealed which retailers it considered to be its top competitors in various categories. More recently, eBay asked sellers about the types of problems they were having, and also about their thoughts on eBay's feedback system and how useful it is.

I thought it was interesting that eBay was using a survey to gather data about the types of problems sellers have. eBay should have access to much of this information by data-mining its customer service records - if you can assume that all eBay users can successfully reach customer service and that customer service reps can, and do, accurately document their problems.

In its survey, eBay asked if sellers had experienced problems with buyers who extorted them or were unreasonable. In a recent eBay Radio podcast, eBay CEO John Donahoe had discussed with Griff "the notion that sellers have that there are abusive buyers, and that they're being abused by the buyers."

John said, "It's clear to me that we are not communicating effectively what is already happening and that we can do more." eBay already filters out buyers that leave systematic ones and twos if higher than the norm, and, he said, "I want to go to the next stage so sellers don't have to worry about abusive buyers." Abusive buyers are obviously on John Donahoe's mind - he had also raised the issue in an interview with eBay's corporate blogger, where he said there was room for improvement and he wanted to do more about the problem of abusive buyers.

The survey asked respondents how satisfied they were with eBay protecting sellers from fraudulent buyers, and with eBay providing disciplinary action against buyers when needed. (eBay also asked how satisfied they were with eBay providing disciplinary action against sellers when needed.)

The other kinds of problems eBay believes sellers are having were listed as answers to the survey question, "Please think about your recent visits to eBay, and indicate which of the following problems, if any, you have experienced in the last 6 months. Select all that apply." The graphic shows a list of the problems. The survey also asked what problems they had experienced while communicating with buyers on eBay.


eBay also surveyed sellers about its feedback system, asking if they believed it allowed buyers to be honest in the feedback they leave for sellers without fear of retaliation, whether it improved the trustworthiness of eBay, and other such questions. Sellers were asked if they agreed that the feedback system allowed them to fix problems with buyers before their reputation was negatively impacted, allowed them to protect themselves against unreasonable buyers, and whether it was a fair system.

eBay is asking sellers about the fairness of the feedback system shortly before they will be rolling out the ability for buyers to filter a seller's negative and neutral feedback ratings on the U.S. and Canada sites (this feature is already in place on international eBay sites).

Best Match was also included in the survey, with eBay asking respondents for their opinion on how much various factors influenced where an item appeared in search results on eBay when sorted by "Best Match," including feedback ratings, the quantity of past sales or page views, the seller's performance on eBay, the relevance of the item to the keywords entered/categories selected, shipping fees and competitive pricing. (In other words, "We won't reveal the Best Match algorithm, but we want to know if you know what we know.")

Another reader wrote about an eBay survey he had taken recently that took him 20 minutes to complete. "They inquired if you use eBay or Third Party tools in those areas - product research, printing shipping, managing inventory, monitoring fees, photo hosting, etc. Here was the kicker - they also asked which one of those areas (product research, printing shipping, etc. etc.) would you be willing to PAY EXTRA for. Geez, with the latest round of increases being the highest ever, don't most sellers pay enough?"




Comments (89) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Sun May 30 21:06:50 2010


That's it in a nutshell. Ebay is so clueless that they actually have to have a survey on what their problems are.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: Ron

Sun May 30 21:12:21 2010

ebays complaint list is a auto check for any ebay seller that sells 200 items or more a month. It's a wake up almost daily deal to hear from a buyer and what they want done to sweeten to pot.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: Ron

Sun May 30 21:15:35 2010

My last two negs one was for refusing to give bank account info to someone in Germany and the other from a lady because I filed a UPID against them for refusing to pay. Called ebay and asked the feedbacks be removed and was told sorry can't be removed..

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 30 21:32:29 2010

"eBay is asking sellers about the fairness of the feedback system shortly before they will be rolling out the ability for buyers to filter a seller's negative and neutral feedback ratings on the U.S. and Canada sites "

when did they announce that?  i guess it doesn't count as a seller change, so no need to let us know.

the question they should have asked is "do you believe that ebay is doing it's best for you as a seller?"

betcha nobody would answer yes to that.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: GazLanNaThai This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun May 30 21:34:20 2010

Your first paragraph after the graphic says it all - San Jose are looking for validation that they're doing the right thing with their feedback path - no matter how many slam them for it, they'll only take note of those that agree it's the right path.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: Dante S

Sun May 30 21:37:04 2010

It es clear that ebay sees sellers more and more as disadvantage employees rather than valuable partners. the new rules squeeze harder at sellers rights and makes it a lot thougher to sell in ebay, buyers now insult you and treaten you more and more and one is left powerless to post it in their feedback, it is no longer fun to sell in ebay when one works at the mercy of the buyer.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: Denise

Sun May 30 21:48:16 2010

Why ask if they don't give a Damn? They already KNOW what the problems are, where else would the questions come from?

What a bunch of clueless morons they are. I closed my store today. I am so tired of being abused by buyers, and paying ebay so I can be forced to take the abuse. I will be closing my auctiva account, paypal will be getting ZERO in fees from me. Since I will not be selling on ebay- I will no longer be buying on ebay. My family members will not be buying on ebay either.

I still can't believe that the multi-million $$$ execs are this stupid- there has to be a hidden motive. They bought Amazon stock? They are short selling ebay stock? They are taking bets in Vegas as to when ebay will implode? You have to be a complete imbecile to make this many assinine changes in such a short period of time.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: joe

Sun May 30 22:11:20 2010

Conniving bastard interlopers.

Yep, I could check nearly ALL of the above.  About the only one I wouldn't check is the bottom 'no problems in last 6 months'.

Ebay is agony compared to even just a year ago.  You NEVER know what kind of bad news is in the mailbox in the morning.

I CAN and DO take care of problems of my own making.  But Ebay continues to roll out new ideas to make more.

Joe

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 30 22:15:39 2010

Sounds to me like JD still believes his sinking ship is the only game in town.  He needs to look at all the sellers who have left and NOT returned - preferring to find jobs in the real world rather than put up with any more of Ebay's nonsense!  He's asking these questions because he wants to squeeze more fees - just wants to feel around for how he can do it without it looking like outright fee increases.  The man needs to GROW UP AND ACT ADULT!  Throw out the Bains!

Shame of it is even with free listings we are still not seeing traffic and not many sales either!  Bottom line is SALES John Donahoe - no amount of glitz or free this or that is going to make up for lack of sales and lack of profit!  Wake up!

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: kw

Sun May 30 22:24:52 2010

LOL ....Where has ebay been for the past couple of years?  These problems are so old there's nice antique patina forming on top.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: Bubbles This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun May 30 22:30:06 2010

How can Ebay possibly have the nerve to ask if sellers think feedback is fair when it is so one sided? Are Ebay exec's really that obtuse?

Ebay still don't seem get it through their skulls - sellers are also buyers - if sellers get too fed up they leave.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: fitzcharming
Web Site

Sun May 30 22:38:40 2010

Ebay has been relatively good to me.  I haven't really had any problems selling there.  My issue is how unstable they've made the reputation of the platform.  I never remember the  relationship between buyers and sellers being so strained.  And I certainly don't remember people hating ebay like this.  It makes me very uneasy as a business person.  I had a small cache of stock that I've sold and lately I'm ramping up sales on other venues.  Not leaving ebay for the moment but I don't appreciate the ruckus management has made from a seller or shareholder perspective.  

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

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

Sun May 30 23:19:07 2010

I think that we should all understand that eBay management takes no notice of its forums except to moderate them for postings that infringe eBay’s rules, rules which are all designed to protect eBay—no one else; the forums exist otherwise solely for the entertainment of eBay users and were clearly never intended as an avenue for ascertaining what eBay users wanted.

After all, the “eBafia Don” knows what he wants and that is apparently all that matters; but, I don’t doubt that he also well knows that eBay’s clunky auction system is so open to abuse by unscrupulous sellers (and even more so since his introduction of non-unique masking of bidder IDs) that there is always the possibility that some consumer affairs regulator in the US could eventually blow down this most unscrupulous auction “house of cards”, and that is probably why he would prefer all listings to be fixed price.

Clearly, he has never had any thoughts of cleaning up the mechanics of the auction system to control shill bidding fraud—just the opposite, indeed; which must be as short-sighted as any policy maker could be. eBay is “auctions”, and yet auctions are effectively dead as far as this clown is concerned. All you sellers who remain are eventually going to have to learn how to list everything fixed price and hope that buyers will pay the price you ask. (At least mandatory fixed price gets rid of all the many unscrupulous sellers who can’t sell anything without a nominal start and shill bidding.)

Regrettably for all of us, this arrogant fool has no understanding of retail selling and apparently never had any understanding that the “eBay Marketplace” is comprised of a very large community of small sellers, and buyers who want to buy from those sellers—call it a “flea market” if you like. He clearly has some idea that eBay’s “brand” is (was?) so strong that he could do whatever he liked with it, and set out to do so. Clearly he was mistaken.

The real question is, how much longer can this headless turkey last, and can eBay ever recover from the damage that this fool has done?

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Sun May 30 23:21:08 2010

lol/...eBay providing disciplinary action against buyers when needed...

So what? the buyer can make new buyer accounts all day long, a seller has to jump thro all eBay hoops and then pay stupid fees for the privilege..IDIOTIC

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: my_secret_treasures

Sun May 30 23:25:38 2010

"eBay also surveyed sellers about its feedback system, asking if they believed it allowed buyers to be honest in the feedback they leave for sellers without fear of retaliation,"

Umm, excuse me if I am not understanding this but what do buyers have to fear from retaliation when us sellers can't even leave a negative feedback for buyers.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: Pat

Sun May 30 23:38:35 2010

I have 100% positive Feedback but DSR (stars) is not accurate. My shipping charges are $1.50 for all my items, which is actual or below what I pay to ship. I ship items same day or next morning. Not good enough for buyers. I guess they want free shipping and for me to drive the item to their house as soon as they pay??!! My sales are way down. The exposure Ebay promised is not happening for me probably because I am a small time seller. I've sold $40 in last 30 days as compared to $500 a couple months ago and before. Right now I have been waiting for a buyer to pay me a lousey $4.49 for 5 days. I don't like to file unpaid because of the possibility of losing my 100% feedback. Ebay has given some buyers permission to do what they want.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: Dear eBay sellers & employees

Sun May 30 23:56:24 2010

The cheapest seller wins Best Match almost all the time. End of story.

Feedback, DSRs, great reputation, etc,  mean nothing.

A seller who beats you on price (and thus, recent sales of the item) wins Best Match. End of story.

This means sellers become desperate for exposure and keep lowering their prices.

Best Match is eBay's covert attempt to have the cheapest prices on the internet.

Best Match is eBay's covert attempt to let ''survival of the fittest'' play out, as the sellers who can survive Best Match will be those who can and will sell their goods at the lowest price.

Two years later into Best Match and countless seller flame-outs and bankruptcies....guess what?

Amazon continues to gain share and eBay continues to lose share.

eBay blew it. They should have just made default sorting by price, the lowest to highest, as on Amazon. Yes, us sellers would have been toast, anyway. But I think Best Match sorting is NOT producing the results that buyers want.

In sum: Best Match killed tons of once loyal eBay sellers (eBay designed it this way, weed out the weak, favor the strong). But buyers think Best Match sucks and they are buying elsewhere.

So, was Best Match successful for eBay?

In 2015, eBay will be as irrelevant as AOL, their share will be that diminished. Amazon and other new sites not yet launched will own the internet.

Best Match is eBay's ''New Coke'' scenario...Coke could and did switch back to the old formula. Problem for eBay is they can't switch back, it's too late into their plans to NOT finish them.

By 2015, eBay.com will be a higher performing version of ebay express. Still very huge but way smaller than it is even now in 2010.

Yesterday, I helped a friend sell a high-end, vintage car on craiglist. Five years ago, I would have helped him sell it on eBay. Those days are gone, gone, and gone.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: Mr Obvious

Mon May 31 00:06:43 2010

I think ebay needs to go all the way back to gradeschool before they can fix the feedback.

Today's lesson: compound words.
Example:
Feedback = feed + back.
There is a reason they call it that.
Try working on the 'back' part.

Maybe you'll have more success ekiddies.

Or not.

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: ebay nonsense

Mon May 31 00:20:44 2010

To quote Ina,

"Here was the kicker - they also asked which one of those areas (product research, printing shipping, etc. etc.) would you be willing to PAY EXTRA for. Geez, with the latest round of increases being the highest ever, don't most sellers pay enough?"

They are getting beyond GREEDY.
Years ago when they changed completed search from 30 days to 2 weeks they said it was a GLITCH.  They lied!
They sold the data to third party companies that charged people to view what was free for a long time. Greed!

Now they want to charge for the existing 2 weeks of search (which is worthless anyway these days) AND charge for printing labels? OMG!

Is there no end to their GREED?

eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback   eBay Conducts Survey on Seller Problems and Feedback

by: NullApps This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon May 31 00:48:50 2010

That last paragraph was not about greed.  eBay is actually good to its developers and this was likely about them.  If no one is willing to pay for third party services those developers will go away.  If the developer's program isn't healthy it hurts eBay.  eBay consists of more than just buyers and sellers.

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