Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Aug 2 2017 12:01:50

eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay's Cathal McCarthy said 14 million people became new buyers and new sellers between 2015 and 2017, and eBay executive Hal Lawton urged sellers during last week's seller conference to go out of their way to welcome new buyers.

Lawton said when he joined the company 2 and a half years ago, he heard a lot about zero-feedback buyers, recognizing it can be "uncomfortable" for sellers to deal with new buyers. But he said they were vital to eBay's success.

"How about we all make a commitment that as we see them, we reach out, we treat them with a little extra TLC, because they're the heartbeat of the next 5 to 10 years of eBay," Lawton said.

We see a lot of complaints about zero-feedback buyers, in part because they may be prone to make newbie mistakes, potentially costing sellers time, money, and even their reputation if they receive a negative feedback from an uneducated buyer. 

But sellers also recognize that zero-feedback buyers are not necessarily "new" to the marketplace. eBay has been criticized over the years for allowing bad buyers and suspended users to create brand new accounts.

Ultimately, it's up to eBay to protect sellers from clueless buyers - that's how to get sellers to overcome their fear of dealing with new users. Any suggestions? What's been your experience with zero-feedback buyers?

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Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: onlinecommerce1 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 23:38:24 2017

If you do not use Amazon shipping, signature confirmation is required to win an A to z claim whether the item was a $1 or $1,000. Period.

Yes, Amazon is SUPPOSED to cover you if you use their postage but there are MANY instances where people have posted that they did this and were not covered....or had to appeal 2-3 times just to get it decided correctly. Amazon was not even supposed to need buyers to represent those cases....let alone have to do so and lose.  

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 07:42:01 2017

If they REALLY REALLY mean it, eBay can do something very simple - don't allow ZERO FEEDBACK BUYERS to leave negative feedback for EXPERIENCED SELLERS.

Require that a buyer have 20, 30, whatever feedbacks BEFORE they can start leaving negative feedback.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Aug 3 07:43:05 2017

Ina says "Ultimately, it's up to eBay to protect sellers from clueless buyers - that's how to get sellers to overcome their fear of dealing with new users."

Which is likely the biggest reason that so many sellers fear zero feedback buyers.

Quite frankly,  I don't know why sellers even give buyers feedback.  It is positive feedback or no feedback.  I'd say that is quite meaningless.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 08:29:47 2017

@onlinecommerce1 @marie

Not having received any Neg's on any of my accounts in the last 2 years, I either glossed over the change or forgot it.  Usually when trying to digest all the "hard pills to swallow" included the Seller Updates, it takes me a couple days to come to terms with what all the changes mean to me as a Seller.

And, as a grumpy old curmudgeon, counting the days until I can officially retire and tell eBay to F-off, I have more on my mind than their stupidity, and the constant changes for change's sake.

Turns out in this case I was lucky.  The guy was reasonable and changed the Feedback after we figured out what happened, and why he thought the item was wrong.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 11:26:28 2017

How about give sellers a little tlc and protect them from thieves with zero feedback.

At any rate..I don't filter them out and still no sales..where are these 14 million new users? Oh yea..buy8ng Chinese junk for 15 cents

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Aug 3 13:10:47 2017

@Dan

There are lots of sellers that are not aware of that rule change.  I'd venture a guess that some here didn't know either, they just aren't admitting it.  When Ebay makes a change that benefits sellers it gets next to no press.  That isn't to say they do that very often, because they don't.  But when they do, no one really talks about it.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 13:10:52 2017

What this slimeball doesn't say, is that there is a HUGE difference between a New ID, vs. a New BUYER.  They are NOT one and the same thing.  If ebay would not allow you to create a new ID every 5 min, I wouldn't have a problem. No one has a problem with a new BUYER.  But a new ID does not a new buyer make.  A new ID is dangerous if they just created it to skirt your blocks or because of their past with another ID.  Ebay COULD prevent this, but alas, desperate times call for crooked tactics.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: bpm This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 13:12:46 2017

I don't have a problem with 0 feedback buyers - I just wait the 2 days until I can raise an unpaid item case and another 4 until I can close it. I'll start to welcome them when the unpaid item rate for zero feedback buyers goes under 50%.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 13:24:28 2017

No thanks, Zero feedback accounts are more often than not, fake buyers and/or competitors messing with your sales. Especially if they are the "ebay generated" nonsense userids. it's 2017...Anyone who is "truly new" to ebay at this point wasn't born when ebay was invented and I am not interested in doing business with children/teenagers/people who have been living under a rock all this time.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: Susan Barnes This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 14:23:18 2017

Well good for eBay to say that, but they are not in the position where they had bad experiences in them. Had several times where I wanted to sell a Macbook and I would get a 0 Feedback buyer as the winner who never pays. Each and every time I list, I get some scam message from the buyer to send to a different address once they have won the item. Gets pretty frustrating when these buyers use multiple accounts like this.

But the fact is, it is so easy for them to create new accounts with all the info out their for them to do the same thing over and over again.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Aug 3 14:58:13 2017

@buffalochick - What you mention is a big problem. While I was selling on eBay, I once had a non-paying buyer tell me in an e-mail that if I left him negative feedback for not paying, he'd just open a new account. And another buyer who had bought a couple of things from me, but then didn't pay for another auction he won because he had bid more than he could pay, admitted that whenever he got too many negatives for non-payment, he'd close that account, open a new one, and when he got more negatives, would close that new account, open a new one, and on and on. And eBay wonders why sellers are wary of zero feedback accounts.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: 1st Armored Div. 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 17:17:22 2017

No problem dealing with zero feedback buyers. Everyone has to start at zero including me at one time and my current feedback is over 25,000.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: Just A Old Seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 17:45:06 2017

What about 0 feedback sellers.  I have bought several items over the years and the seller either did not get PayPal verified did not send the item or simple not ship the item.  One even told me I had not paid even after showing him proof and still refused to send item.  All but one never answered emails including two from China.   I think some new sellers do little or no research about pricing and postage and are way over their heads and just simple take the cowards way out and refuse to communicate to the buyer.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Aug 3 18:00:53 2017

@Just A Old Seller

And for some of the reasons you describe is why there are tight rules on new sellers.  For the buyer, unlike a seller, the buyer has recourse.  Their money is NOT at risk.  All they have to do is file the Request and ultimately escalate it to a claim and all their money will be returned.

With that said, I still firmly believe that new buyers are the path to the future of Ebay.  Without them, we can not grow.  

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by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 18:11:55 2017

Everyone needs to start somewhere. I have had a few issues with buyers with feedback less than 5. I wish ebay would look at a new buyer who gives other than positive feedback, they look at the seller's other feedback and remove it if its warranted. No one likes negative feedback especially when you go above and beyond for a five dollar item.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Aug 3 20:03:06 2017

All this talk about zero feedback buyers ~ I got 2 of them today!

One of them has an address that is over 40 characters.

Now do I change the address or refund and make the buyer change his address to something shorter? It fits if I remove the Inc. on the end.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: onlinecommerce1 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 21:38:29 2017

I feel most of the 0 feedback buyers could honestly care less about leaving people feedback. I think feedback is useful....but it's not something I would put much stock in (and obviously Ebay doesn't since they no longer count it).

No one leaves feedback on Amazon (I would say 1/20 of what is left on Ebay) so that also obviously shows the what little importance that buyers put on it. Amazon really should just stop making that one of their seller performance measures. It's too subjective....it frequently is false or misleading....both neg and positive feedback.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 22:25:45 2017

@ tool...

Remove the Inc. It's not necessary for assurance of delivery to the intended recipient.  Any other uncertainty (like obtaining a personal name for example). might be remedied by a quick call.  If you have a minute.

You should be just fine without all that extra effort though.  Unless any ambiguity, however unlikely, IS intentional, with purpose of supporting fraud.  But there are adequate measures to challenge any followup 'claim' of course.  It you want to invest the time, and such investment proves fruitful.  If not fruitful, it will take more time.  And no matter how much time taken, there are no guarantees of course.  So there's that.

Well, except for the defect no longer a defect defect, but still a defect if the defect is rendered a defect and you lost that cliaim...oh, and that time. So that's it.

Um, unless that pesky FB becomes....pesky.  And damagingly libelous. Despite truth.  Despite super secret probation applicability, if applicable. Despite any more time taken to de-pesky-ize it.  No guarantees for that effort either of course.  But that's really it.  

Hmmm.  Maybe you might consider handwriting the 'Inc.'. on the label.  Shouldn't take but a sec.

STILL, no guarantees though.  It's eBay.

eBay, Inc.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: trader_chris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 23:56:40 2017

Gotta be honest, if I could screen out 0 feedback buyers, I would. I feel like a large portion of my non-paying bidders come from new accounts and/or foreign buyers that don't know what they're doing. It's a giant pain for auctions, which is mostly the format that I use, and wastes 1-2 weeks of my time at a minimum. Ugh.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 00:08:29 2017

I've had 0% feedback customers on eBay, but don't recall any problems with them.  

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