Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Sept 10 2015 08:23:39

eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay will announce its Fall Seller Update today, which includes major changes to how it judges sellers' performance. And for the first time in its history, eBay executives will be available to explain the changes in person, as it kicks off a brand new "Seller Summit" in San Jose this afternoon.

One if the biggest changes: eBay will no longer use Detailed Seller Ratings in its defect rate, though they will continue to be displayed to sellers. 

In fact, eBay sellers will be judged only on delivery time and two measurements that it says judges the effectiveness of the seller's customer service to resolve any requests for help.

eBay is changing how it calculates shipping time, which appears to be positive news.

Today's issue provides an overview of the changes along with more detail about the new Seller Performance Standards.

Be sure to read about the changes to eBay's returns policy as well. 

Let us know what you think - and what feedback would you give eBay executives gathered at the Seller Summit?

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update   eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update

by: Owen This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 12:35:45 2015

I also stand in line to have my packages scanned into the usps system. When you get your receipt, on the bottom, there is a way to evaluate the usps performance and this also includes the clerk's performance. If they are not doing their jobs and not scanning your packages, give them the feedback they deserve. Without scans, it will affect your eBay seller performance. So it is vital to get that. eBay is not the only site that gives people "defects". Usps does too.

Perminate Link for eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update   eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 12:36:52 2015

Well--Maybe.

The deal with the "30 day money back to keep TRS"  is plain and simple--BS.  We ALL know this since there is the over riding 180 day RETURN FOR ANY REASON going on;  making ANY change to any sellers stated RETURNS policy moot.  

I have a NO RETURN policy and lost TRS over that years ago;  I have had few issues with this particular issue; a few crabby people have abused it but altho I gnash my teeth I am not getting tons of complaints.  One thing it does seem to cut down on is the "window shopping"  buyer.  Of course if I make a mistake I will take a return;  that is a given.  

Where ebay SHOULD be focusing it's time and energies is figuring out WHY nothing is SELLING;  why items sit and sit and sit.  Why some accounts offering the same sort of items have NO activity for MONTHS;  other accounts are showing as items being LOOKED AT but not SELLING.  Why IS that?  

And of course holding us HOSTAGE to the PO is--absurd.  I live in a rural area;  never print labels;  take items to several different PO's in several states depending on my travels;  MOST of them are in the scan system in minutes;  and MOST of them get where they are going;  It is the ones that DON'T arrive --that are MIA;  stuck on some conveyor belt;  or sent to the address the buyer provided that they have not lived at since 2008 that ARE the problem.  

Leaving the absurd DSR's on there for buyers to look at--with nary a CLUE as to what these actually MEAN---is stupid.  Now it's pointless AND stupid.  

Ebay SHOULD be focusing on getting BUYERS back in the game--instead they are cleverly shifting the blame to the PO and the seller and still doing rolling blackouts;  constant site issues; surely the CSR system will not work any better (altho with fewer complaints on SOME topics).

When I was ALLOWED to sell and my items were SHOWN and the buyers could BUY them with no issues--these sort of things were annoyances.  Now the burden is on EBAY to go back and FIND buyers who are EAGER to HAVE what we are SELLING.  

Meanwhile---crickets on THESE issues.  

Who IS the Man Behind The Curtain these days???  

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by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 12:39:00 2015

Mr. Wenig,
Ebay still has not addressed the problem of custom ordering. We still do not have customer input boxes.
The one size fit all is still going to discriminate against against a huge seller base. It has been reported to ebay for years and years and still no action and ebay just ignores any inquiry.
The problem is buyer's do not send their information to customize their items because they do not read the ad descriptions, or they do not know how to use ebay messages, or they are computer challenged and just do not understand.
This group of sellers cannot be a top rated plus because it is not possible to ship these items in one day, the items are made after the sale and unique to that buyer.
It is just wrong of ebay to do this.
Then there is the issue of first class parcel packages being held in sorting centers around the country for days and going past the delivery time, this is happening all the time, enough to ruin a top rated seller quest.
Judging any seller for delivery time when the item was shipped first class parcel is wrong.
Ebay's solution is for seller's to change shipping to priority mail , of course that is their solution, it means more fees for ebay.
This is a real problem, if it get a defect for delivery time because of the USPS delays is ebay going to detect the delay as a USPS problem?
Sellers have to call ebay now and talk to someone in a foreign land who has no clue about the USPS system and the seller is on the phone forever being transferred.
If ebay was serious about making changes this would be addressed now not later. The holiday season is going to be nightmare for those of you shipping first class parcel and no doubt priority mail in some areas.
There is a sorting facility in Florida that is delaying first class parcel packages up to ten days right now, it is completely dysfunctional and ebay is punishing sellers for this.

Perminate Link for eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update   eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update

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

Thu Sep 10 12:40:07 2015

I LOVE MY POST OFFICE!!!!!

I overslept this morning by about 2 hours and woke to find a bunch of orders to go out today. I had four of them done when I heard the doorbell ring and hoping it was a mailman grabbed them as I went to answer the door. she was delivering a package and asked if she could take the ones I had ready. She grabbed her scanner while I grabbed my box. I just checked and those packages are already in the system and saying they were picked up. I do not understand how some of you can have packages 'scanned' and the info doesn't show up. Whatever, I am glad I have an efficient PO and even most of my packages show up within days at the buyers with no mishaps. I think that good start gets them going well for the whole trip.

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This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Thu Sep 10 12:59:41 2015

It seems that everyone here is hung up on the scan/tracking issue OR the having to take returns..
First of all, WHO WAITS IN LINE AT THE POST OFFICE?? That is just absurd. Get some shipping software people!
Secondly, It has been crystal clear for some years now that FIRST ClASS MAIL DOESNT CUT IT FOR E-COMMERCE! PERIOD! For USPS, Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation....ALWAYS!
And lastly, if you do not want to take returns, then sell your items on Craigslist for cash, because that is your only option now!

Perminate Link for eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update   eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 12:59:58 2015

@Moonwishes:

> I do not understand how some of you can have
> packages 'scanned' and the info doesn't show up.

It's often a hardware issue. The older scanners don't upload their data for 90 minutes or more, some not doing it at all until they're docked for recharging at night (so I'm told), whereas the new ones upload every 90 seconds or so.

My personal record was six minutes between the time a carrier handed my delivery to me in my driveway, and the time I received an email from the My USPS app to tell me that my inbound package had been delivered.

Perminate Link for eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update   eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Thu Sep 10 13:03:21 2015

Returns are time consuming, Returns suck, YES... However, and I have said it before... IT IS E-COMMERCE in 2015!! Either adapt, or figure out another line of work!
For once there is a little bit of positive news regarding the ridiculous Seller Performance Standards and ''Defect'' system, and most everyone on here wants to keep bitching about things that they are never going to be able to change. Ebay (or any other marketplace for that matter..) Is NEVER going back to the ''Wild West'' days of 2002, in fact E-Commerce in general is never going back to that, so get used to it!

Perminate Link for eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update   eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 13:13:28 2015

>Returns are time consuming, Returns suck, YES... However, and I have said it before... IT IS E-COMMERCE in 2015!! Either adapt, or figure out another line of work!

Yes, returns do happen, but if you are unsure if the item is going to work for you - please ask before purchasing. It will save me time & money shipping the thing and save you time and hassle trying to get it back to me. Online is not walmart. If you don't mind returns, I'll be happy to send undecided customers your way. Me? I'd rather get more unique items from the backlog listed rather than selling the returned item twice.

As for standing in line at the post office. Mine isn't bad...usually 3-5 minutes. And another 2-4 to scan my 7-20 packages. Also, if the carrier picks up the package, it may get back after the cutoff and spend a night at the local post office. My local cutoff got bumped from 5:30 to 2:15pm. If an order completes before 1:45pm, it will probably ship today. Sure its a bit of a rush in the last hour, but it reduces the number of complaints. Plus 75% of items get delivered in 48 hours or less

Perminate Link for eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update   eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 13:17:39 2015

The way the system works here , I drop , they give me my receipt , I go home & upload tracking. I use 3 day handling , & it goes out 1-2 usually. Never had real problems with tracking. Im at 100% there.
Defect , & people trying to get partial refunds caused my issues.
I now send my email , Ph. # & a cartoon called "Little Star Dinger" inside, on top of the package. 1 piece of paper , a Thank you , & contact info personally helps with the main issue of  "DEFECTS ". It also steers customers away , from contacting me threw deadbay.

Perminate Link for eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update   eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Sep 10 13:29:52 2015

@comet

When selling on Ebay it is VERY important to remember that a No Return policy by a seller does not and has never meant that a seller does not accept returns.

On every listing that has a No Return Policy stated in the set up of the listing, Ebay automatically puts a statement on the listing as follows "You are covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee if you received an item that is not as described in the listing."

I do however agree, I do not like being forced into a 30 day return policy to keep TRS standing.  I currently have a 14 day return policy and I like it that way.  

PP's 180 days for filing a claim is NOT a return policy nor does it state anything about being able to win a claim for ANY reason.  This newer policy has been in effect for almost a year now and while there have been a few stories about people getting nicked by this policy, it does not seem to be the complete horror story that many predicted.  I don't mean to minimize anything for those it has affected, I'm only saying it does not seem to be as abused as many thought it would be.

YES YES YES, it sure would be nice if Ebay where more proactive about the sell through rate.  For many of us that is a HUGE issue.  I completely agree with you.  I was sure hoping this Seller Update would contain something about their search functions as well.

***************************

The upcoming changes on how we are being rated is a very good start.  We of course have several months to get through before it goes into effect.  And that is more than enough time for Ebay to change it significantly.  Ebay has always been reluctant to implement changes during the holiday season that benefit sellers.  But easily implement them if they benefit the buyers.

Perminate Link for eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update   eBay Holds Sellers to New Standards in Fall Seller Update

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Sep 10 13:47:56 2015

Just to be clear, having a no-returns policy does not mean that a seller will not take returns under certain circumstances and it does not mean that we don't work with our customers.  With a 100% positive feedback and a defect rate of under .60 and think that that speaks for itself.

I don't know why people jump to the conclusion that if you have a no-returns policy that you will not yield when it is appropriate.

With some items it simply makes sense to  have a no-returns policy.  A buyer can see "no returns" on a listing and if a buyer doesn't like that they are not forced to purchase the item.

And yes, we all know that eBay and PayPal have systems in place that trump a seller's no-returns policy. That has been discussed ad nauseam.

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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 13:57:44 2015

How do you know if a parcel arrives late based on the "estimated" delivery time? It's an estimate for a reason.  

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by: ebayclosed2016 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 14:40:23 2015

I just picked up on the ebay board that an out of stock can be avoided for $2.50. Send a customer the wrong thing, resolve the snad via refund and poof - no defect. Golden.  

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 14:46:07 2015

a tiny step in the right direction, but really quite lame,

try addressing some of the other more important issues

at the end of the day, sorry ebay but it's not enough to get us back selling there again,
 

 

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by: samanthanmignon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 14:51:58 2015

I am a 16 year Ebay seller. It took an agonizingly long time to bring Ebay to where it is today. Agonizing steps, and nightmares constantly, for Ebay to reach this point, where they are probably one of the most despised companies in the world.
I am hopeful, though. It has been so long since a crumb of good news for us sellers, that I very happy about this announcement.
No, it does not address many, many, many problems, but it is FINALLY, a start, hopefully in the right direction.
So, for now, I am going to be hopeful, and look for more good announcements in the future.
The Hoe did not not destroy Ebay in one day, and it will take more than a day to repair it, and it will never be the Ebay of years ago, again. That Ebay is gone for good.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Sep 10 15:10:50 2015

Rexford makes a good point on ''No returns''.   Several years ago I had the ''no returns'' policy - yet I allowed returns on many occasions. (Asking politely helped!)


Because I was already pretty much allowing returns, I adopted the 14-day policy.  The positive result of accepting returns was ending aggressive, verbally abusive return requests.

Also positive - returns did not increase when I ended ''no returns'' policy, they stayed minimal.


BUT: Selling new vs. used clothing (other categories, too) is an important difference:

If a pre-owned clothing seller gets a return, no big deal - the item was pre-owned before and after the sale. Most returns are for fit or color and buyers pay the shipping cost.  I have only had a few buyer-damaged items returned in several years.

However, if a NEW clothing seller gets a return it is very different. If tags removed or stained and smells etc... the value to sell it again may be quite lower.  Some things are seasonal - a 30 day return time span can affect value. Lots of things to consider.


And then there is wedding, prom, special occasion - I'm guessing most of those brave souls have left eBay, never to return.  


I'm still very curious about the plans to ''tweak'' the ''No returns'' policy next May. Hmmm...

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by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 15:30:04 2015

Some one needs to tell ebay that I am not the post office.

Sellers should not be evaluated on how the post office does or does not do their jobs.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Sep 10 15:34:42 2015

Basset, based on what you just wrote, I'd be willing to bet money that this is why Neiman-Marcus left eBay so quickly.

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by: thriftyone This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 16:06:39 2015

know if only they would find a programmer who is a seller too and roll out a new search engine or algorthim to replace Cassini, so our items will actually show up!

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 10 16:06:52 2015

Don't panic if the shipping time is all you are worried about. From the Ebay site, "If the only seller performance metric you are not meeting is for on-time shipping, your seller level will remain above standard. However, we may restrict the shipping options your listings can offer, including restrictions on stated handling time. Sellers with these restrictions will be notified accordingly."

Also, trust me....if your post office isn't scanning packages, I bet they will come February. Sellers are going to be complaining and putting pressure on USPS.

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