Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Aug 11 2013 22:30:06

Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay confirmed last week that it recently took action on some below-performance seller accounts. It's not uncommon for waves of seller complaints about crackdowns to surface, and last week, rumor had it that eBay's latest action impacted potentially tens of thousands of sellers.

According to the eBay Seller Performance Standards help page, "eBay expects sellers to consistently provide service that results in a high level of buyer satisfaction. This includes setting and meeting buyer expectations by providing excellent customer service from beginning to end."

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore told me in an email on Friday, "eBay regularly reviews seller performance and may limit or restrict selling activity for those sellers who do not meet our minimum requirements. Recently, we took action on certain seller accounts that were below performance standards based on a variety of criteria."

eBay relies heavily on buyer ratings to measure sellers' performance, both the feedback rating (positive, neutral or negative) as well as the controversial Detailed Seller Ratings. The performance standards help page gives some indication of what factors go into eBay's standards:

As a seller, you're expected to:

    Charge reasonable shipping and handling costs.

    Specify shipping costs and handling time in the listing.

    Follow through on your return policy.

    Respond to buyers' questions promptly.

    Be helpful, friendly, and professional throughout a transaction.

    Make sure the item is delivered to the buyer as described in the listing.


At the same time, however, sellers point to the accounts of large retailers and brands, accusing eBay of giving "Diamond" sellers more leniency when it comes to seller performance issues.

See Monday's Newsflash news story for details and to read what eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore told me, and let us know if you think such crackdowns are good or bad for the marketplace as a whole.

Comments (68) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 08:25:16 2013

@WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

I have PERSONALLY bought from you.

Service: EXCELLENT, product: EXCELLENT.

You sellplants, which any moron can destroy by refusing to water them, or plant them incorrectly.

Take your stuff and stick it on AMAZON. (forget ebay, let them destroy themselves, shouldn't be your problem)

And for GOODNESS SAKE build that Go Daddy website.

The stress relief alone will be worth the lost sleep.

People who sell plants are probably a good safe target, just like the farmers were in the early 80's.

LORD KNOWS these are the people who need to be culled from ebay.

What are they thinking?

There are a bunch of plant sellers doing well on Amazon.

BUYERS? Grab your planting material from AMAZON. They really don't want people selling seeds on ebay anymore, I guess. Like coupons. Too easy for some goof to mess them up.

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 11:01:29 2013

This latest purge is part of Donahoe's overall scheme to eliminate the small sellers using the DSR system. This goes all the way back to the introduction of DSRs in 2008 and his speech in which he called mom and pops "noise". What we are seeing now is just an acceleration of the overall plan. There is a very good video on YouTube by Glendon007 that addresses this all very well.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 11:32:33 2013

If eBay is purging sellers with poor records why is Toys r Us still on eBay? Why are any of those sellers with 100+ negatives a month still on eBay?

Like always with eBay it's all Bull S___t. You purge those you hate or are weakest, and claim by lieing that you are cleaning up eBay.

I don't think there's anyone on this planet that believes eBay is honest.

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Mon Aug 12 11:48:19 2013

That wasn't me. I don't sell plants :)  By the way . I have been DEAD LST in all my test searches. About 50 now.  It's bizarre.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: Kip This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 11:57:27 2013

***In other words, eBay evicted 15,000 potential buyers.***

I'd say those were more than potential buyers; I'd bet a good proportion were regular buyers.

Two years ago, I took a year off from selling on eBay and only sold on Amazon. What a relatively stress-free year that was! But during that time, I purchased almost nothing on eBay. If I needed something, I'd check Amazon or google it. Now that I'm selling on eBay again, if I need something, I'll check eBay because I'm already on the site.

And, if eBay kicked me off, I wouldn't want anything to do with the site.

I never understood why eBay thinks 4.8 is a low score. If you look at product ratings on Amazon, most top-selling products have a 4 out of 5 star rating. Instead of trumpeting the fact that 99.9% of eBay sellers are rated Good or above, they punish sellers who are rated as "good".

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

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

Mon Aug 12 12:09:46 2013

eBay actually stopped me from listing. I had to call and spent over 30+ min on the phone to get ''ban'' removed. I think it was for duplicate listings that eBay told me about but removed. When you are listing 100's of items some will slip thru the cracks. I would THINK that eBay would be able to make a program that would actually prevent duplicate listings to even be listed. Just another way to make you work even harder for our $.

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 12:24:44 2013

@pace306, toysrus is a good seller because they bring a lot of revenue to ebay. That is more important than having satisfied customers (to ebay). Ebay makes the rules. Ebay enforces the rules whatever way they !#$^ well please. Ebay doesn't penalize sellers that bring in a lot of revenue to ebay.

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: Ania This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 12:44:15 2013

Do you think, perhaps ebay's goal is to completely ruin the site, sell it off in segments and declare a massive loss?  

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: GoodK9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 12:46:12 2013

Regarding the boards -- I've NEVER been able to post a comment good or bad on them.  It tells me to sign in, I do that, and it takes me right back to the sign-in page.  Idiocy!

Only way I've figured to get around Cassini's "search" is to re-write the way I title my items.

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 12:54:07 2013

Ebay's traffic is going down and they are now getting so desperate they want to "clean" the site of the worst of the sellers....it won't help.  What they need to do is get their foot off the necks of sellers so the good ones can conduct their business and attract buyers again!

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 13:09:39 2013

How about cracking down on bad buyers, buyers who leave less than 99.5% average good feedback, leave less than 4.6% average dsr ratings, or return more than 2 items in a year.
that is the problem

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 13:12:48 2013

As soon as I read this article my first thought was what others have said - there goes 15,000 BUYERS!

Even if HO doesn't ''get it'', don't ANY of his underlings get it either?  Is he so full of himself (like I have to ask) that he doesn't listen to anyone?  

This is a man who can't be bothered to go to the store to buy a replacement phone charger he forgot - creating the NEED for same day delivery, so it's obvious he's out of touch with the life of the masses - his customer base as both sellers and buyers!

Why have an American garage sale when you can have a Chinese one?
Those Chinese items certainly make Ebay much more classy.  (wink wink)  

So, while the Chinese and TRU & the like can give bad service in volume, the small seller who gets wrongly dinged by a few new buyers within a year, takes the hit in a big way.  It is very painful & luckily I wasn't on the hit list, but a year ago I would have been because of uneducated new buyers who thought 1's were GOOD!  I'm very serious about this - I broke the rules and asked them!  (figured I was already in hot water, what else could they do to me!)

A year of pain for DSR's from NEW buyers when I was on Ebay well over 10 years & had done nothing wrong.  I am betting many of these 15K sellers also did nothing wrong.  This is where I have a huge disagreement with Ebay about using opinions to base punishment.

Ho, grow a pair and man up and fix your broken feedback system!  Give us visibility like we used to have, so we can sell to the few buyers you've kept regardless of how hard you try to be rid of all American sellers, whom you don't seem to realize are also buyers.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: SF Guy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 13:14:07 2013

--"Moore continued, "eBay sellers who believe their accounts have been inappropriately limited or restricted have the opportunity to appeal the decision and eBay will review each situation on a case-by-case basis." --

Obviously not trickle down information. My account was limited, I called and the CSR told me there was NOTHING that could be done. When I persisted, she admitted that, "in her opinion, it was unfair" but "that's just my personal opinion". Then told me she was authorized to end the call and hung up.

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 13:20:32 2013

DSR is a joke. I have a 9.8 for shipping time. In the past 2 years-NEVER - shipped late. Always within 24 hrs. Out of my control as when USPS delivers.
You want to be a bad seller - just pick on and complain about a chinese seller. They are higher in rank than the diamond sellers. Why?  Behind closed doors - meeting to sell to China???? Maybe it's getting close. JD going around and getting all this bs published regarding everything including purging bad sellers. Get the stock price up.....
Is it a ''fact'' that 15000 sellers got the door??? Just because ebay said so - has no merit. They lie way too much to take seriously. Just like the politicians.

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Aug 12 13:21:59 2013

Mr. Me is right. Crack down on the bad buyers. In the last two weeks I've had two items purposely ruined to force a return, and one buyer lied about color to force a return.  A quarter size hole was cut into a garment--not something that one would miss.  Ebay did absolutely nothing as it related to seller protection.

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: Ania This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 13:23:42 2013

used2luv2sell, you may like to know that I recently spoke with ebay's trust & safety and was told that ebay is aware of dishonest, wrongful feedback, but will not remove such feedback due to lack of resources "We are a business and would need a separate department to remove all feedback just because it is untrue, so yes we do allow buyers to lie and do not have a policy to remove lies at this time"  

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 13:23:53 2013

@ Ania,
You might be right. Even makes some sense.  Massive loss-The Government will give billions of taxpayers money as a result. Washington likes to give away money they don't have.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

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

Mon Aug 12 13:33:10 2013

As both a retailer in records & music for 44 years and an ebay malcontent for 13, I have never seen the constant idiocy exhibited by a so called landlord (which is what ebay claims to be). Since when can your landlord change the lease at his or her whim or take the opinion of a buyer who wss unreasonable in store or online's word after a tenant of 13 years (off and on depending on the latest idiocy)?  So once again the Bain destruction of a company continues although Mr. D is only a former employee, he carries the mark of mania to ebay.  So the point is of the 15,000 (me included), not buying anymore on ebay consider it done.  Last place I have looked in last seven years and now not even a look.  I don't need anything that bad.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 13:43:29 2013

By the way, I love the list of rules for sellers to follow.  

Meanwhile, buyers can lie, cheat and steal & that's perfectly fine.

How about a buyer reminder sent only to those who do not sell.

Did the seller charge more than the Post Office charged them?  Was it REALLY unreasonable or did you just not want to pay postage?  (Postage is NOT free to the seller; just in Ebay's mind)  If postage was what was stated in the auction, the bubble should be cancelled out.

Did you contact the buyer & if so, did they respond to your question?  If you didn't contact, then the rating bubble should be cancelled out.

Was the item as described?  If you are going to mark the seller down on this, please go back and READ the description and LOOK at the photos.  Do not mark the seller down for selling an imperfect item if it was described as such!

Did the seller put your item in the mail within the described time - next day or 3 days, whatever the auction said?  This is not a judgement on how long it takes the PO to deliver.  If the item was shipped within the stated time, this should be bubbled out (it usually is by Ebay, but not always)

Are you friendly and honest in dealing with the seller?  If you need help with an item, first consider that the seller may have made an honest mistake.  Give them a chance to correct a mistake before you rant at them or leave them bad feedback.  

Ebay - try looking at BOTH sides of the transaction and remember that some buyers will never be pleased and they, too, should be banned from Ebay!

Perminate Link for Sellers Report eBay Crackdown   Sellers Report eBay Crackdown

by: Ania This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 12 14:00:04 2013

used2luv2sell, your suggestion is perfect, unfortunately I doubt if ebay would put it in place as it is way to logical and only ebay knows what their agenda is

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