AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Sat Apr 9 2011 11:04:35

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay is preventing sellers from making certain statements about feedback in their listings or encouraging buyers to leave 5-star DSRs feedback ratings. Pop-up messages began appearing yesterday when some sellers tried to relist items. eBay's message states:


Attention Sellers:

Dear Seller!
A listing can't include statements that may discourage buyers from leaving honest Feedback. You also can't mention the possible penalties for not meeting eBay's seller performance standards

For example, you can't say things like:

"If I receive more than a few detailed seller ratings (DSRs) of less than 5, eBay will penalize me."

“Why would you want to give Negative or Neutral anyway? ”

"eBay holds me to a standard well above 4 stars so only leave 5 stars."

"4 stars will get me suspended, so please only leave 5 stars."

"Feedback will be left for you once your positive feedback has been left”

If your listing includes this kind of information, please edit it before posting it on eBay. Otherwise, this could prevent you from achieving Top-rated seller status or could get you removed from the program

For more info, see selling practices policy.


One seller who encountered the message yesterday told me her listings include a statement that she strives for complete customer satisfaction and asks buyers to contact her should there be any problems. She asks them to give her the opportunity to provide 5 star service, and mentions the importance of eBay's Detailed Seller Ratings.

"I have always felt this was a good way to let the customer know that I am reasonable and willing to work with them. Now eBay is taking that away too! I wondered what your readers thought of this and the fact that eBay practically beats the buyer into leaving negative or neutral feedback and also mentions how they should rate us on our DSR'S as it is anonymous and that they should let us know the areas we need for improvement.

"This is another move by eBay to interfere with the buyer/seller relationship. Before you know it, we won't even have the option of leaving feedback for our buyers, as eBay will either make it mandatory or will set an automatic system up."

Another seller referred to the new restriction as part of eBay's continuing effort to rid itself of small dealers.

eBay's feedback system is very different from a few years ago. It has taken away sellers' ability to leave negative or neutral feedback ratings for buyers, and introduced a system in which buyers leave anonymous Detailed Seller Ratings for sellers.

Sellers feel pressured to obtain five stars, since it affects their visibility in search, their ability to receive fee discounts, and even their ability to sell on the site. Some sellers have sued eBay over DSR ratings, arguing that eBay's five-star rating system is "misleading," since buyers view a rating of three as average and a rating of four as good, but eBay requires sellers to maintain a DSR average of 4.3 to freely operate on eBay.

If you've encountered the pop-up box, let us know. Do your listings discourage buyers from leaving honest Feedback, or do they encourage sellers to work out problems with you before leaving feedback?




Comments (129) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: HereAgain

Sat Apr 9 11:26:20 2011

So, eBay institutes a policy/program that can result in real damage to a seller's business.  (And I am talking about good sellers, not the bad sellers who deserve punishment.)  Then eBay refuses to allow sellers to explain to buyers how the program can damage the seller and the seller asks the buyer to give the seller the opportunity to resolve any problem before going to the damaging rating system.  It's not like the seller is trying to circumvent the system as much as trying to get buyers to understand the unintended consequences (that's unintended on the buyer's part, maybe intentional on eBay's part).

Huh?  Is eBay worried that this would allow sellers to educate buyers on the real effects of the eBay DRS system?  Maybe if eBay made a better effort to fully educate buyers on how these systems actually affect sellers (4 is "good", but can still damage the seller -- just how many buyers really understand that inane corruption of the language?).

Just another way eBay is screaming out that it does NOT WANT SMALL SELLERS!

Take a hint folks.  It's time to move on with our lives and leave eBay to the Diamonds.  Haven't we been whipped enough by eBay?  Just use eBay as a small part of your efforts to  recruit new customers to take to your other venues.  Use eBay the way eBay uses us!

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: pete

Sat Apr 9 12:06:46 2011

looks like eBay just went a step too far.
We have not given any buyers feedback for over 2 years due to the totally idiotic no neg rule...looks like many sellers will do the same now, just to break the feedback system

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 9 12:30:11 2011

"Dysfunctional Management" absolutely nothing you can do about it.  There is no cure except to change management and I see that's not happening (shrug)

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat Apr 9 12:33:37 2011

eBay implemented this program and took no responsibility for educating buyers. In fact, eBay told sellers it was their responsibility to educate buyers.

Now, sellers who are doing what eBay originally told them to do and are attempting to educate buyers are being told they are breaking the rules and will be penalized.

Can seller guidelines be any more contradictory than that?


eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

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

Sat Apr 9 12:55:49 2011

I don't have problems to read that disclaimers in the auctions. The problem is when sellers don't write anything in the description just the disclaimer.

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: Joe Average

Sat Apr 9 14:04:51 2011

I guess the people's republic of eBay's despots don't want a free flow of information, especially in this case. Its a win win for eBay.

1. Buyers are kept in the dark about the true effects of those goofy stars, so sellers continue to loose their discounts making managements shares more valuable.

2. Buyers are not eductated about eBay's tyrannical policies.

But eBay continues to bleed sellers big and small. So in the long run, big picture, it is bad for everyone. Sellers who were also loyal buyers are gone, along with their customers.

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: Kevin

Sat Apr 9 14:26:00 2011

I'll add this to the list of reasons why I don't sell on ebay any more.

Ironic how they encourage "honest" feedback from buyers but sellers can only leave honest feedback if the transaction goes well and everyone is happy.

If you are selling on Ebay you need to leave.  I didn't think it was possible, but it is.  Amazon will actually pick up the phone when you call.  Their customers do not bug you with idiotic questions all the time time and I have YET to receive a neutral, neg or for that matter have any problem with a transaction on Amazon and I'm moving 60-70 items a week now and growing.  

There is a better class of buyer on Amazon and they are waiting for you!  

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: John
Web Site

Sat Apr 9 14:45:31 2011

Abusers don't want you to reveal what they do.

Too bad you can't write what YOU want in the space YOU are paying for. There is enough room for other people's ad on the space YOU paid for.

Free shipping is a lie they make sellers print too.

Now sellers are going to charge a "restocking fee" to compensate for the money they lose from FREE SHIPPING.

eBay = lies, Lies and bigger LIES!

Send me garbage, charge me a restocking fee and now ask me for stars.

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

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

Sat Apr 9 15:04:10 2011

This travesty has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with encouraging buyers to leave "honest" feedback.

It's about REVENUE. Ebay is trying to further decrease non Diamond sellers' discounts.

Pure and simple.

With ebay and The Ho, it's ALWAYS about the money.

Ming's ebay Law #1:

1. EBAY LIES. ALWAYS HAS, ALWAYS WILL.

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Sat Apr 9 15:08:38 2011

I vote to rename them 'Chinese Throwing Stars'- their sole purpose seems to be asassination of medium to small American sellers!

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: hugh jasscock

Sat Apr 9 15:16:44 2011

I give negs to everyone who doesn't leave feedback first. When I've paid, my side of the deal is done. I think ebay should automatically give fb to buyers after they pay.

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

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

Sat Apr 9 15:43:50 2011

@ Hugh Jasscock

Is a buying transaction complete in a brick and mortar store when you pay the cashier?

No, it isn't.

A transaction is complete whe you have possession of your purchase and don't return it.

Online transactions are no different in spite of whatever bilge ebay pumps down your throat.

Please post your user ID so I can block you.

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Sat Apr 9 15:47:01 2011

No surprise again.

Ebay continues to expand its adversarial policies towards sellers instead of addressing the cause of so many sellers having a negative experience with Ebay's rules.

No win/win for us sellers on Ebay, only a continuing erosion towards loose/win.

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: Robin

Sat Apr 9 16:12:22 2011

It's a stupid and petty rule considering how little Ebay does to educate buyers about DSRs. And by ''little'' I mean ZERO!

For my listings, I say nothing about feedback and DSRs anyway, so this won't have any immediate impact. But what I always do is use one of these stickers on every invoice: http://bit.ly/dYU5dP to remind buyers about DSRs.

And I use one of these stickers: http://bit.ly/gxRyxY on the outside of my box to remind my buyers that their package was SHIPPED FAST (even if it wasnt delivered fast).

Ebay might be able to get away with the types of reminders and messages that appear in a listing, but they sure as he## arent going to stop me from COMMUICATING with *my* customers (yes, that's right JD, they are **MY** customers!)

I've read all the pros-and-cons about whether or not its proper to ask for feedback. Some sellers hate doing it, and tell of all sorts of horror stories with buyers being hostile to a friendly reminder. But it works for me and my DSRs and feedback are holding steady enough to stay a TRS/PS and keep my discounts and when there has been an occasional issue (but not often) my buyer actually CONTACTED ME FIRST to handle it without going directly to Ebay first.

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: Joan Rosenberg

Sat Apr 9 16:23:23 2011

Hugh Jasscock taunts us with: ''I give negs to everyone who doesn't leave feedback first.''

Why do Buyers even care about feedback? It's completely meaningless. GROW UP! Get a life!

Based on the pseudonym he used, and based on the tone/message... this appears to be one of the juvenile provocateur trolls that one often sees in the eBay Seller Central boards.

I think a more apt name for this type of clown would be ''Hugh Jasshole'', eh?

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: STOP IMPOSING YOUR FAILED INNOVATION ON US JD

Sat Apr 9 16:25:14 2011

Yer warped in my book JD - You create the 20% discount, and when people achieve it fairly, you finds a way to take it away, you love to torture us sellers don't ya ?

I bet when you were a kid, you loved torturing little bugs before finally squashing them !

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: Jim This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 9 17:30:39 2011

Time to pack up and move.  IMHO  

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

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

Sat Apr 9 17:42:24 2011

The nasty part about all this would be that the diamonds don't have to worry about issuing such information to buyers because, undoubtedly, DSR ratings don't apply to them.

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: Lon Dukdong

Sat Apr 9 18:42:36 2011

In the very near future, it will only be the China/HK sellers left on Greedbay.  This is probably how they envisioned it all along.

eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback   eBay Prevents Sellers from Encouraging 5-Star Feedback

by: whatever.

Sat Apr 9 20:22:12 2011

I use the text including fonts and colors that the person in post #32 of this ebay discussion board thread uses: it uses exactly half of a normal sheet of paper and I printing a packing slip on the other side.

Ever since I started including it in my packages my stupid DSRs went from a mixture of 4.8s, 4.9s, and 5.0s to 5.0 across the board--and have stayed there.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/44uzs68

I hope this tinyurl thing works with Ina's comments feature.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 4 5 6 7  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.