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

by: moto-science This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 25 14:23:06 2014

We are all walking dead at this point......because the defect system is modelled on the horrible A-z system at Amazon.
There is no accountability, all it takes is 4-5 confused or angry buyers in a year and you are done.
What retail business can operate on a .3% transactions refunded in a year or whatever ?
First they encourage buyers to ask for refunds and then they punish the sellers for giving refunds.
This is the worst dog training system I have ever seen.....

The A-z system sucks big time and I pulled all my listings off of Amazon after 2 A-z claims.
I am already prepared to leave Ebay too.....if they go ahead with this stupid plan.

What business chooses to kill off clients who pay them $10K a year ?  

Ebay.

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

by: jaydee This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 25 19:35:14 2014

Well after 14 years of selling on ebay, this is the absolute worst we have seen.

This is not about the sellers for us, it's about our customers, and our business.

We have been delivering superior customer service, above and beyond what eBay could even remotely come close too.

We no longer want eBay to handle our customer service

We no longer want ebay to represent our good company name,  

Our customers should not have to be ''escalated'' to simply return an item or to be refunded, what they are doing is bad for OUR business, and OUR customers, and we certainly do not want to be called ''defective'' simply for a customer wanting to contact us!!!

Whatever the real motive for these new rounds of so called updates we really could not care less what the eBay company does to itself, it's our customers and business that maters.

When eBay learns they are only a paid service, and discovers who their customers really are, we might re-consider.

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by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 25 21:39:15 2014

Ebay - the company that loves to be hated.  

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

Fri Apr 25 22:50:41 2014

@Jaydee

IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY!!

ALWAYS AND FOREVER.

The Ho wants to make sure his annual compensation isn't reduced again, and so he's taking his displeasure out on us.

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by: moto-science This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 26 12:44:29 2014

"We have been delivering superior customer service, above and beyond what eBay could even remotely come close too. "

True that......Ebay do nothing CS really sucks for sellers. Or maybe Ebay just sucks period.

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by: etailer This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 27 08:22:33 2014

We have never been more confused with eBay policies.  

From the recent interaction with eBay CSRs and the announcement about how sellers will be measured, it appears that all the buildup about Seller Protection has been wiped out.

According to eBay CSRs, they have lost millions of buyers because of the recently implemented Seller Protection policies - therefore, in order to bring these buyers back, eBay is in the process of going back to its earlier business model.

Here is what we have recently experienced:

1. Buyers can leave Negative or Neutral feedback without any communication with the seller - without giving the seller an opportunity to fix the problem. eBay will begin treating these as ''opinions'' that display poor customer service by the sellers.  

2. We have not enrolled in the eBay's Return Program (the one that is administered by eBay). However, we do offer returns provided the buyer contacts us, we approve the return and provide the buyer with an RMA with detailed instructions that include shipping and the non refundable amount.  Our Return Policy was crafted and approved by an eBay Account Manager.  

Evidently, now the buyers can return any item for any reason without any prior approval - a buyer needs to simply send an e-mail to the seller indicating that they are dissatisfied with the item is and ship the item back.  If the buyer can provide tracking and Delivery Confirmation, sellers are expected to provide full refund - including S&H!

3. During the past few weeks eBay has indiscriminately taken down several listings that have been up since 2008 - with thousands of sales/ transactions.  Many of these listings were created at the request of our then Account Manager. When we called eBay Support, CSRs are unable to provide explanation - we were told to review the accompanying e-mail and/ or review listing policies.

4. Our Buyer Requirement settings do not permit buyers with Unpaid Item Strikes to purchase.  Two weeks back, a buyer wanted us to waive the requirement that we declined. Amazingly, the buyer was able to complete the purchase. When we contacted eBay, the CSR informed us that since the customer contacted them and they found the buyer to be safe, they overrode our settings and expected us to complete the transaction.

Has anybody else experienced these changes?  If yes, do they have any suggestions to counter these impetuously unannounced changes?

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: Puck

Mon Apr 28 11:05:58 2014

"JD! What is best in life?"

"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."

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by: Will Work For $$ This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 1 15:56:10 2014

I just looked at my Transaction Defect Report and out of 8 Defect Transactions 5 were due to out of stock which I can understand, those were my fault and is something I can work on. Out of the other three, one was a buyer protection case where the buyer said they didn't receive their item but a few days later the item was delivered and I have an email from the buyer thanking me, telling me how much he loved the item and the case is closed saying the item was received.

One of the other cases was just a negative feedback in which the buyer complained about the clasp on a bracelet which I offered to replace or refund her for. I have a documented email of this as well.

The other was an item not as described case in which the buyer claims the ring was not the correct size. When I told her to send it back for a refund she didn't want to go to the trouble.

I've been pretty tolerant of eBay's new rules in the past and usually just roll with it but this new report is just unfair. I bend over backwards to accommodate buyers and address their every email and concern. I offer refunds when the postal service looses their package and allow them to exchange items when they buy the wrong size.

Like many other buyers I've seen a drastic decrease in my sales to the point where I may have to stop selling all together. I used to love eBay but they killed my business with their new search engine....

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

by: desdemona This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 6 19:52:39 2014

I think almost everyone is missing the point.  The new defect rate does not help sellers, it does not help buyers - it does one thing and one thing only....it makes it almost impossible for an extremely large percentage of successful sellers to maintain the Power Seller discount...so eBay will reap thousands upon thousands of dollars from the 'defect' rate. That is all it does.

The 'defect' strategy is the complete opposite of the changes that were made last year that were actually a great benefit to both sellers and buyers. Those steps made eBay a much fairer and logical place to do business. These changes are something created by the Mad Hatter!

I know many of you smaller sellers are thinking this is meant as an attack on you, but in this game you are little fish. It is the larger sellers that cannot possibly keep under 2% that will be hit hardest.

The Resolution Center steers buyers to open cases whenever they enter it....when you are shipping hundreds of items from the east coast to the west coast in the winter, like I did this year - you get slammed with cases from people that just want to ask if you will check on the status of their shipment that was delayed by storms.

When you sell designer goods - buyers contact you constantly to verify authenticity because they are nervous - but eBay steers these folks into 'SNAD' cases - and then when the buyer apologizes and closes the case, the seller is left with the defect.

Now, eBay would like to put forth the notion that there are some bizarre statistics showing buyers leave the site when they have to contact a seller - but we all know that is pure nonsense. Buyers that are treated well by sellers come back in droves because of the personal contact on eBay.

But eBay may want to consider a few things that will actually make buyers flee the site:

- If, as a seller, I must fight every case and win it to remove the defect instead of just letting the case close on it's own - I will be pissing off an awful lot of buyers that will not appreciate the combative nature that sellers will need to adopt to protect themselves. If I were an uneducated buyer and I had to participate in a case system to simply gain some help...I'd be off the site never to return.

- If a defect is already counted against a seller when a case is opened and only one defect per buyer is allowed....why continue to help the buyer? you were already penalized.

- If eBay wants sellers to have  ridiculous 90 day returns during the holidays to maintain their status, and 1 day turn around, but they have already taken away the discount because of defects - then why would any seller bother even taking returns for more than 7 days or having a 1 day turn around? a longer turn around would decrease the chance of 'INR' cases! lol

- If sellers have to dramatically raise prices to make up the loss from the discount does that not drive up the prices of widgets and basically push buyers over to Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc. etc. (again - this is where the big sellers get hit).

I could go on...there are so many odd and underhanded things in the defect system. I wish some enterprising young go getter could sue for unethical business practices - there must be a way!

Simple truth be told...it is just a way to remove the discount because only eBay benefits....or at least they think they do...

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

Wed Aug 20 12:37:11 2014

Answer:
Try selling on eBid.  We HAVE to
leave Nazi-Bay.  Just start with a few listings and see how it goes.
I've just about had it after 17 years of selling on eNazi.  

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