Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Apr 21 2014 21:04:53

Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

By: Ina Steiner

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If the emails I'm receiving from sellers are any indication, eBay may be forced to reconsider its new seller defect rate metric before rolling it out in August. While eBay announced last month the new way it would begin measuring seller performance, sellers didn't have a chance to see their new ratings until late last week.

It appears the reports are flawed, and/or the method eBay uses to determine a seller "defect" is different from how eBay described it when announcing its Spring Seller Update in March.

Julia Wilkinson first reported the new seller dashboard and defect-rate report through her post on the AuctionBytes Blog on Thursday. As I mentioned in Sunday's Update newsletter, sellers are reporting that eBay is dinging them for some issues that are the fault of shipping carriers or for other events outside of their control.

The scenarios described by some sellers are Kafkaesque - eBay is in some cases punishing them for going out of their way to provide good service to buyers. Some of the defects described by sellers include:

- defects counted for cancelled transactions due to the buyer requesting a change of address.

- defects for refunding a customer for a purchase in which the buyer asked the seller to delay shipment. ("I re-invoiced her from the "items sold" menu, and she re-paid the items when she was ready for them to ship. They shipped timely within stated period & she kept the items.") Clearly she went to a lot of work to accommodate the buyer.

- defects for transactions that were cancelled after the sale by eBay due to the buyer using a fraudulent credit card.

Another seller wrote, "eBay previously stated that opened cases would not count against the seller rating unless they were closed against the seller. This is clearly no longer the case and the fact that these ratings are retroactive back 1-year for most sellers makes their previous statements a complete lie."

eBay will be holding a webinar about the new dashboard on Wednesday. Anyone who has questions about the new defect rates should tune in and ask questions.

If you have had a chance to examine your projected defect rates, let us know if they're what you expected. And is eBay's new way of measuring seller performance that goes into effect this summer better than the current system?

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: tbyr This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 08:53:44 2014

I agree enough is enough No one has mentioned the tracking up loading dependent on Post Office worker who contiue not to scann in pacakges some of the go from loaction to loaction with out a scann: Here is a prime example: This defect or default will be held agaist you for a year!!

Tracking #:9400110200882150983043
Carrier:USPS
Status:ACCEPTEDIN TRANSITDELIVERED
Delivered
Apr-18-14, 12:19 PM, KEARNEY, NE 68845

Out for Delivery
Apr-18-14, 08:52 AM, KEARNEY, NE 68847

Sorting Complete
Apr-18-14, 08:42 AM, KEARNEY, NE 68847

Arrival at Post Office
Apr-18-14, 05:00 AM, KEARNEY, NE 68847

Order Confirmed
Apr-13-14, 00:00 AM

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: tbyr This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 08:57:25 2014

I for got to Mention:
I live in Miami 33256 this pacakge manged to got it first scann in at this: Apr-18-14, 05:00 AM, KEARNEY, NE 68847
documents from my postage log at Endicua:

Item: 1713
Print Date & Time: 04/13/2014  7:16 PM
Ship Date: 04/14/2014
Account: 632163
Device ID: 071V00632163
Type: Stamp
Postage Amount: $ 2.25

Address:
Kearney, NE 68845-7611


Piece Count: 9778
Postage Class: First-Class, Package
Weight: 6 oz
Declared Value: $ 100.00
Optional Services: USPS Tracking, Endicia Insured
Tracking Number: 9400110200882150983043


I agree enough is enough No one has mentioned the tracking up loading dependent on Post Office worker who contiue not to scann in pacakges some of the go from loaction to loaction with out a scann: Here is a prime example: This defect or default will be held agaist you for a year!!

Tracking #:9400110200882150983043
Carrier:USPS
Status:ACCEPTEDIN TRANSITDELIVERED
Delivered
Apr-18-14, 12:19 PM, KEARNEY, NE 68845

Out for Delivery
Apr-18-14, 08:52 AM, KEARNEY, NE 68847

Sorting Complete
Apr-18-14, 08:42 AM, KEARNEY, NE 68847

Arrival at Post Office
Apr-18-14, 05:00 AM, KEARNEY, NE 68847

Order Confirmed
Apr-13-14, 00:00 AM

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: vince-q This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 08:58:32 2014

eBay is absolutely right to feel that they have to go further to cater to the needs of their customers.

What eBay needs to remember is that ''their customers'' are the SELLERS.

eBay collects NOT ONE CENT from ANY buyer.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: GypsyWitch This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 09:00:15 2014

BUYER REQUESTS SHIPPING DELAY BECAUSE THEY WILL BE OUT OF TOWN:

TOO BAD!!!! Tell them to contact the post office and put their mail on "hold"!!!! And tell the buyer that FeeBay sellers have to bow to the shipping and handling dates we have provided to the FeeBay Gods!!!!

BOYCOTT EBAY!!!!!!!

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

Tue Apr 22 09:05:28 2014

The "new" defect rates are a joke. It is always the same. All the changes in eBay are only to resolve a problem of money escaping of their hands. Not to resolve seller or buyer problems and site experience.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Apr 22 09:09:58 2014

Simple solution--do away with the 20% discount (since this seems to be what they are trying to do anyway) and stop this draconian defect system altogether.

One should not get a defect caused by someone returning an item or by someone simply asking a question. That is pure insanity.

Furthermore, if the big boys are not held to the same standards that small sellers are with all of this nonsense then eBay is simply showing that this is all a lot of hot air, and they really don't give a flip about buyers on eBay.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: Oldguy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 09:25:32 2014

So happy I am out of ebay.  Feel bad for those busting their buttt trying to make some money the honest way.
ebay discourages honesty from buyers.
I stopped selling and buying because as a seller, my listings were constantly hidden. No problem when I use my computer to use a search, but talking to my daughter at the same minute(s), she could not find them using the exact same words. Go figure.
DSR will never be used against you.  Seems to me the constant lies and hidden listings made me go elsewhere.
Good point about just doing away with the 20% on fees.  How would wall street act????  So instead they pull this crap and lower the number of sellers. I was a TRS when I left. Enough was enough.

I was told to increase sales on etsy was to include Paypal. NO WAY. 45 day return policy - forget it. Holding funds - forget it. Is their another selling site that doesn't use paypal???  

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

Tue Apr 22 09:26:34 2014

It would be helpful if eBay posted accurate numbers. They didn't.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: Joanbet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 09:28:15 2014

I have two defective orders from the same customer.  She placed one order for herself and then filed a "Item not Received" complaint saying that her order never arrived.  Two days later she withdrew the case because she found the package at her back door.. hadn't thought to look there.  Then she placed a second order for her daughter.  She filed another "Item not Received" complaint and this time it turned out that her daughter just didn't know the package came from her and told her it hadn't arrived.  She withdrew that one too.  Both are counted against me even though neither were possibly my fault and even tho I exchanged countless emails with this customer over this and called the post office (twice) to ask for a trace on the packages.

The only fair way to make a change like this is to 1) make sellers aware BEFORE transactions begin to count against them.. if you are going back a full year than let us know a full year ahead of time..  and 2) give us a fair and IMPARTIAL way to appeal defective transactions that are counted against us.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: GypsyWitch This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 09:35:43 2014

I don't understand how eBay can use something against you that happened a year ago!!! If they're implementing this new ASSinine policy/defect rate, then start anew when the policy takes effect!!!

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Apr 22 09:57:23 2014

@Orwellwasright - what you say makes a lot of sense. I have wondered about the effect that mandatory Health Care has had on sales. I agree about the economy in general and 2013 Holiday sales being low.

The media would have us think otherwise but another indicator I look at is the number of families giving up their dogs to rescue organizations. The reasons vary (lost home, apartment doesn't allow, can no longer afford food & care, etc...) but they all seem related to economy.


@Rexford - I agree. I have been saying the same thing for ages. Soon the cost of having TRS will be so painful that sellers will be begging eBay to get rid of it. Perhaps that is what they want: a ''you asked, we listened'' moment.



Since I hit send on my earlier post, I have had someone who has paid for an item ask to change their address. So - another refund, re-invoice, re-pay, send item timely defect for me.

I wish I could train my computer to make a noise every time I ''defect''. Like a stool flushing perhaps???

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: whipnet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 09:59:23 2014

So how many "defects" can we receive from ONE transaction?  Enough to kill TRS?

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: sellerfish This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 10:03:31 2014

Glad I read this blog because before that, I thought I was busting rear on eBay as some kind of pitanience for some unknow crime.
The slickest thing about what they are doing is training buyers to treat sellers like dirtbags.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Apr 22 10:12:42 2014

@Whipmet - I got two defects from a multiple purchase of two items from one buyer paid in one payment.


Did you just hear that noise? It was the sound of an item being deleted from my watch list.  

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by: foothill This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 10:41:10 2014

All my defect # are 0.00 except for
Canceled transactions
Canceled transactions (out of stock or sold to someone else)
0.36% 5

I did not have any ''out of stock or sold to someone else'' issues.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 11:02:46 2014

 Please people Do Not be foolish! This is just another way eBay can increase fees without saying it.

 For the past three years I have been a Power Seller with 100% Positive Feedback. I have always received and maintained my TRS Discount, until March's statement.

 For right after eBay announced their ''NEW'' Spring Sellers Update, I got hit with 5 neutral feedbacks within a 10-day period. I did not receive any complaints from these buyers! I did not receive any request to return the items! I contacted each buyer and asked how I could make them happy even offering to pay for the return if they wanted. You know what, not one responded to me! Every one of these buyer's names had less than 50 feedback rating. Checking on their feedback left, by toolhaus. Two of the buyers were full of Negatives & Neutrals left! Even the other three had a number of N/N give to others??? Upon contacting eBay C.S., the Rep. was so understanding and even agreed with me on some of the buyers remarks.

Examples,
        ''Would not buy it again''                     What does this have to do with anything?
        ''Item did not look like picture''          Took actual photo of item?
        ''Item didn't match description''         Again, description was accurate!
        ''Falsely Advertised, stay away''         Again, a complete lie!
        ''Received later than should have''   This just after eBay announce weather delays!

 As I said, not one of these buyers responded to my messages. The rep. said he would send it up and someone would get back to me, needless to say no one ever called back. So I called eBay back and spoke on the phone for an hour with no results. The rep. did say I could responded to the buyer's feedback, (NO SH..)!!! So I left some accurate responses to their feedback left for me! But also, followed up on my own feedback to them. After doing that two of the buyers, with a rating of below 10 closed their accounts! All I said, as a follow-up was Negative Experience, Contact me!

 Also, another thing to keep in mind, I keep hearing people saying (Based on transactions) That is not true, as far as it goes on feedback rating. It is calculated on your feedback received, period! As I only receive about 50% feedback on my sales, the other buyer did not leave feedback. When I look at some of the buyers, I see some of them never leave any feedback at all!

 So, I’m a POWERSELLER, with an average of 100 sales each month. Well, I use to do that! I have 100% feedback rating, for three years and now have lost my TRS Discount! Oh, by the way, my sales have dropped nearly 50% since March’s report. So I guess losing my TSR has also effected my placement in the search!

 So eBay got an extra $40.00 last month, because they cut my Discount. Fees were $200.00 for March’s statement. But right now, for April because of this nonsense, they are going to get $125.00, period! So does it make sense, YES because you got to understand, someone else is making up my sales lost! My competitors, and maybe they are not getting their TRS Discount either? Also, maybe they are having multi-accounts hit there competitors with neutrals and low DSR Star! Smart idea, eBay!

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Apr 22 11:06:42 2014

@Oldguy - You might want to consider selling on eCrater. Besides PayPal, they offer Stripe, which is a credit card payment processor.  

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: Mill This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 11:19:50 2014

I just checked my dashboard and I have been dinged for holding a package for the buyer.  Buyer was leaving for vacation and asked me to hold off shipping until his return.  He emailed me when he got back, I shipped the package that same day.  Customer left me positive feedback and all 5 stars on the DSR's.  

This why I moved 90% of my selling off ebay.  I only use ebay as a tool to direct people to my other venue.  

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: jewellsjust This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 11:20:35 2014

Every problem I had was due to Global shipping lost items or broken items.  They really are idiots over there. Global shipping is out for me.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?   Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 22 12:37:23 2014

Having a TRS rating does not help in the search engine. My sister was looking at wedding dresses. I used the max list of 200 items to look at at a time. I begin to see an awful lot of sellers with 0 or 1 feedback and so I counted the numbers. 38/200 with 0 or 1 feedback. 19/200 with TRS. 23/200 with feedback over 1000. A majority of the sellers on the page had less than 100 feedback. Made me want to close my store and start over.  

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