|Sun Nov 18 2012 13:48:43|
What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?
By: Ina Steiner
eBay sent out its latest issue of the PowerUp newsletter to sellers, and readers are sending me their comments. Wrote one reader, "The safe dates for last day to ship will be useful to all sellers."
Another reader commented on the new feature that lets sellers control whether or not buyers can send them instructions/comments when placing an order via the checkout process. But most comments centered around eBay's message to sellers that they report bad buyers.
eBay announced a new feature that it described in the newsletter as follows:
"Starting November 17th 2012, sellers will be able to control whether or not buyers can send them instructions/comments when placing an order via the checkout process. This communication preference, once set, will apply to ALL of the seller's listings. The default communication preference setting will accept comments/instructions from buyers. In order to change the setting, sellers will need to go to "Manage Communication with Buyers" under "My eBay" and select "edit" to change preferences. Sellers will then need to de-select "Allow buyers to provide special instructions during checkout". Any changes made to the preference settings will be effective immediately."
One seller who said she hadn't heard of this new feature before reading about it in the newsletter explained that, while most buyers who wrote notes in the checkout message simply said "thank you," she had also received important instructions from buyers such as address change information, instructions about leaving the package on front porch, requests that she not use the buyer's husband's email address, and the like.
This is "one more area for sellers to look for (or potentially miss) important information," she said. "I plan to de-select the option as I would rather buyers send me a "harder to miss" email if they want to tell me something."
eBay's newsletter also advised sellers that reporting abusive buyers was better than leaving a negative feedback:
"Sell with confidence, and report buyers who misuse the system - it's better than leaving negative feedback!
During the extra-busy holiday season, know that eBay is on the job, as always. Through our feedback protection systems, fair case resolution, internal teams and dedicated resources, we're working hard to keep eBay the best possible place to do business. But don't forget - your help is key! Be sure to report buyers who violate eBay policies - it's better than leaving negative feedback!"
One reader, who signed themselves, "Amused," wrote, ""Better" than doing something that is not even an option and has been forbidden for a couple years??? Good to know that eBay is on the job. As always."
Said another, "It is interesting that eBay is pushing the report buyer feature as being "better than negative feedback." Given that sellers can not leave negative feedback, it's not a very good comparison."
eBay's been talking for years about cracking down on bad buyers, or abusive buyers. This fall, eBay integrated a reporting mechanism into the feedback flow so that sellers can report bad buyers when leaving them feedback.
Nevertheless, it seems unlikely most sellers would agree that reporting bad eBay buyers is better than the leverage they had when they were allowed to leave negative feedback for buyers.