Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue June 9 2015 23:11:48

Is eBay's Latest Feedback Test a Ding Waiting to Happen?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is running a new test of its feedback system by introducing a new question. But is it a ding waiting to happen? That's what some sellers fear.

As Wednesday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash explains, some buyer are seeing a question about delivery dates:

"Did the item arrive on or before (date)? Estimated Delivery Date: (date)" 

Buyers have the option to check a radio button for yes or no. (See a screenshot in the Newsflash article.)

"Just adding in more potential friction to the transaction," wrote one seller. Complicating matters is that eBay comes up with the estimated delivery date using a number of factors, including the sellers past history.

What do you think? Can anything good come of asking buyers about delivery dates on the feedback page? Is eBay considering replacing the shipping-time DSR with this question?

Let us and eBay know what you think by leaving a comment!

Comments (96) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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by: Postthoughts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 01:34:17 2015

As sellers we have no control over the delivery date. The only control I have,  is if I ship the same day or next day.  Once it's in the hands of the shipper, it's a crap shoot if it gets there on time.  I shouldn't be rated on their service, only on mine.

I have moved most of my selling off ebay and I only buy on ebay as a last resort.  I've never seen a company that is so hostile towards it's customers/sellers.  Negative motivation doesn't work unless losing your sellers was the game plan all along.  If that was the case, well done ebay.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Thu Jun 11 01:47:56 2015

In my opinion asking the Buyer to confirm - or dispute - the USPS data upload is a healthy step toward reality. But this beta test of actual delivery dates has already come and gone. I bought several dozen items on eBay last month. The ''yes/no'' button appeared and has now disappeared from Feedback. All of my deliveries arrived before the estimated date except one which arrived shredded inside a clear plastic USPS bag. Naturally the Seller accused me of pulling some sort of stunt when I sent him a message saying that I was concerned that 10 days had passed without delivery of his USPS First Class package. He was just as snarly when I sent him 3 photos of his package in tatters and the contents crushed beyond recognition. Shame on eBay for creating such a paranoid market place.  

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by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 01:57:10 2015

WTH does eBay need to ask the buyer this?  eBay can get the info from the USPS.  So many more important things eBay needs to do , and they focus on this fluff crap???

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by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 02:21:53 2015

Why is this so hard to figure out? They have the numbers. Stop asking the customer questions about opinions. Use solid numbers and keep opinions out of it. All they have to do is get rid of feedback, but leave number of sold items on sellers account. Have a percentage for how fast the seller ships/prints label/scanned in, and a percentage of issues. If an issue is taken care of then it gets switched to a non issue. That way the sellers that screw over customers will keep the issue count. Good sellers that have good customer service and take care of issues will have slate wiped clean, not held against them for 12 months.
Example: 11,290/97%/1%

And as others have mentioned, stop force feeding negative things to the customer. Make their experience happy and exciting and instead feed them info so they can buy more from that seller.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jun 11 03:05:27 2015

Ebay has the information about the delivery dates.  Why not just make that a question that Ebay answers for the buyer and that the buyer can't change it because Ebay used the facts.  And if with the answer it shows it was delivered timely, then the associated DSR gets 5 stars.

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by: Fred Turnip This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 03:10:28 2015

This is a ploy to force sellers to use tracked deliveries.By their nature tracked deliveries cost more and if a seller is separating the postage from the item then eBay's fvf on postage take rises if not their fvf fees on actual item goes up also.More tax gathering by EBay.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jun 11 03:16:06 2015

If you pay for your shipping online, it doesn't have to be through Ebay, you will get tracking on your US orders.  If you go to the post office to buy postage, then you will pay more for the tracking.  So my advice would be, buy it on line.  The postage is cheaper and there is no charge for tracking.

They aren't forcing sellers to use tracking.  Tracking is something that is in the best interest of the seller and seller should have tracking as it protects you.

It does not have to cost you more.  In fact it will cost you LESS to use online postage and MORE if you go to your PO to buy postage.

Ebay does not "gather" a tax from sellers.  I'm not sure what you mean by that.

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by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 05:38:42 2015

Just another way for the scammers to make money.

Why do they need to ask such a question? Their computer programs can check the delivery date and make that determination, without every bothering the buyer!! Is not that why they started their communication dinging? Remember the old days, send a thank you not to the buyer, now nothing!

So why ask such a foolish question? Oh, well maybe a buyer may accidentally hit the wrong button. Or, maybe a buyer with attitude??? Well either way, profits increase and the board can give themselves a raise! Bigger than the saving, of coarse...

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by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 07:13:13 2015

Ebay will do anything they can to try to get money from the buyers remaining. I wish they would just get rid of the Top Rated Seller program but that would be too obvious and people would exit in droves. For now, all they do is keep making it harder to make the less than 2% defect rate. This one is totally beyond people's control and, as usual, Ebay hasn't told buyers that this isn't just a question to find out whether packages are arriving on time -- it affects sellers' bottom line. Toolguy will never leave a neg about Ebay even when what they do doesn't make sense. Wonder why?

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 07:58:33 2015

The question and its answer are OBVIOUS, so why is it there?

Its there because eBay is trying to FORCE sellers to create an Amazon Prime experience for "iots buyers" at a sellers cost.

Amazon, although they have a deal with USPS and UPS still pay out of their pocket (via a PRIME payment) for that speedy service.

eBay has no such thing (being its a VENUE)(LOL bs of the year) so what to do?

Theres no money left after it all went to JD, so how can eBay created that "Prime" experience without spending a dime?  (eBay never spends money - not on Google submissions, not on completing its catalog - NEVER).

Answer? condition your sellers to ship everything Priority Mail (which eBay JUST HAPPENS to get a cut of)(the 2 Donohues in cahoots with each other) and punish them when they dont get the item there in 2-3 days.

Yes YOU COULD use parcel post/select or FCM or any other method, but then the buyer wouldnt be getting that "PRIME" experience - and eBays NOT going to let that stand!

Use either the stick or the carrot (but 99.9% the stick) to FORCE sellers to make sure items arrive WHEN EBAY PROMISES THEY WILL, plain and simple.

EVERYTHING eBAy does is crooked, everything they do is underhanded, sneaky, boarders on theft - unjust enrichment - fraud and only GOD knows what else.

Shame on eBay as always.

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by: Cyclestripper This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 08:15:03 2015

Would somebody PLEASE buy Ebay and fire the people that come up with this stuff.

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by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 09:34:58 2015

If they want to end TRS, just end it and STOP torturing sellers. Enough is enough. Feedback is over-rated in the first place but to use it as a punishment tool is so grade school and needs to stop. And the Post Office does not work for us, we have NO control over them. Enough already.

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by: GoingBroke This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 10:41:05 2015

It seems they have forgotten the post office is in-between us and the buyer. I started been keeping track of items that have been lost or left sitting in a postal sorting facility and delivered late. Earlier this year an entire tote of mail was misplaced for 5 days. When these things happen we have no control over them yet it is counted against us. The ship date is what we control. If they want feedback on a seller have the buyer leave it on something the buyer has direct control over. Asking customers a question like that misleads the customer by taking the post office totally out of the equation.

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by: GoingBroke This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 10:43:11 2015

It seems they have forgotten the post office is in-between us and the buyer. Earlier this year an entire tote of mail was misplaced for 5 days causing all of them to be delivered late. When these things happen we have no control over them yet it is counted against us. The ship date is what we control. If they want feedback on a seller have the buyer leave it on something the buyer has direct control over. Asking customers a question like that misleads the customer by taking the post office totally out of the equation.

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by: Fred Turnip This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 10:46:07 2015

@ Marie

Here in the uk if you do not pay the extra for tracked deliveries there is no way to guarrentee  delivery on a specific date.Ebay UK are well aware of this so the screw is turned a little more on the delivery performance of sellers  hence my above prediction.

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 12:37:43 2015

ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT
This might be "old news"  but for some it might NOT be--

Yesterday I want to list something and discovered that "Sell similar"  no longer had my pre-written text so I had to re-write my entire spiel--no;  it would NOT accept a "C&P" either---well anyways--I add a squib about my ship times etc and include a disclaimer about the USPS and how once the items are OUT OF MY HANDS I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM-=-and when I went to proceed to the next page of the listing form I got a BIG RED WARNING BOX telling me I was "NOT ALLOWED"  to use such verbiage!

I changed it so none of those "trigger words"  were in there and it "passed inspection"  but the bots are obviously seeking out ways to make you NOT notify YOUR customers of the failures of the PO.  

Which makes me wonder in light of THIS posting----how badly IS ebay aiming at us sellers re the postal times etc.

I too have had the packages that have now seen more of America than I have---the three day package from NY to Alaska in the same shipment as the one that wandered from NY to MY to NJ to PA to MA and back to NY AGAIN before it went to--Ohio.  IT might have had more stops I just don't remember!

PS The "Donaho"  at the PO has been replaced;  don't know if there was a $32 million buy out or not.  

Have not been asked the "Was your package delivered on the "right" date"  or not because--I have not BOUGHT anything FROM ebay.  

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by: ma_seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 12:38:00 2015

Since the question wasn't shown as one of the ratings, I'm thinking it might not affect a seller's standing. Instead, it be an effort on eBay's part to gauge how accurate their shipping time estimates are.

If so, that could be a good thing if it led to more accurate estimates.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 12:51:51 2015

Do you have confidence in eBay as an professional ecommerce company?

__ YES  __ NO

Do you feel eBay is always out to steal more money from you then when ever they contacted you last?

___ YES  ___ NO

Is there ANYONE in eBay corporate that you believe in cares about its sellers?

___ YES ___ NO

Do you feel that John Donohues $23 million payday was paid for by your misfortune?

___ YES  ___NO

These and others are better questions

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by: Not A FOOL This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 13:47:47 2015

Example: First Class Package mailed on 6/1 at 6:30 am from the Local Post Office in NY to Georgia address with Tracking. Flat envelope 6x9 weighing 3 oz's . Package was never scanned at the local PO as received or having left or at the Albany Sorting Center either in or out. On 6/9 the package was delivered with only the scan indicating delivered.
Just another flawed concept as eBay indicated it would arrive in 3-4 days. How can it be conceived that a Seller has any control and how could eBay allow any negative impact on a Seller???  eBay and the word DUMB seem to go hand in hand!

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by: KeepItPositive This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 11 15:07:56 2015

The best practice for sellers is to state your shipping terms and expectations in the proper place and in the description.  The customer expectations are set not just by eBay but also by simple terms and good communications.  When buying your eBay label make sure to use the ''email the recipient'' message window.  This is straight from USPS to customer and includes the tracking number so the customer can be encouraged to track the item and email you if they see any issues.  Proactive customer service will garner positive feedback and Yes answers to these type of questions.  

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