Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Nov 18 2012 13:48:43

What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

By: Ina Steiner

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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.




Comments (28) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: rqtball This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 18 13:58:20 2012

I have used the new report button on 2 new ebay buyers who left negatives on me with ZERO CONTACT, said my items sucked(sold 1000's this year with ZERO ISSUES)

both negs/dsr's are still there.

the report buyer button is as useful as calling ebay and trying to get a negative removed.

it wont ever happen unless the buyer is doing it to lots of sellers.

one buyer I reported did the same thing to another seller I know and they still have not done anything about the buyer.

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: rstpete This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 18 14:33:28 2012

Yes, the report bad buyers feature is like - "go to Helen Wait for help".  

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 18 14:37:08 2012

The "new buyer reporting hub" has been DONE 7 times in the last 5 years and it is the SAME OLD HIGHWAY TACO STAND with a NEW PAINT JOB selling the same RANCID TACOS they sold before.
How DUMB or FORGETFUL do you think we sellers are JD?
The SAME THING HAPPENS with the "new buyer reporting hub" as the old "buyer reporting hub"- NOTHING.
Where is my EXPOSURE????
Mass Howler

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 18 14:45:20 2012

Better than leaving a neg my arse!

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 18 14:53:12 2012

"During the extra-busy holiday season, know that eBay is on the job, as always."

Oh...excuse me....I'm laughing so hard I can't get up off the floor!

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 18 15:30:14 2012

9 reports, 7 through the new ''Report a buyer'' link over the past month plus, the other two sent through a link provided in the ebay messages for a single customer who first threatened a negative followed by that negative, followed by an immediate Death Threat with not a thing done nor have we received any communication from ebay.

Near 30 instances in less than 300 sales and/or purchases by this ebay member of extortion/control pointing to a ''do this or else'' yet they still have their account in spite of a Death Threat and we still have our negative.

Smoke & Mirrors Fluff, just as all else is put forth by ebay.  

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Sun Nov 18 16:49:13 2012

One of ebay's paid goons called me to explain that now I could report bad buyers, and I said, "for what? nothing happens.. it just goes into the circular file"

If ebay was serious about informing the community and keeping a safe place to trade, buyers would get a PITA rating; much like the seller DSR rating. Just make it a red line of percentages of seller complaints, and give sellers the option for auto-block of any buyer with 2% or more seller complaints - much like the DSR visibility block sellers enjoy for anonymous DSR defamation.

Without a public display of bad buyer behavior PITA rating, and a way to block the abusers and extortionists, a bad buyer reporting tool is nothing more than a broken panic button that ebay thinks will act as therapy to keep sellers overstocking the ebay china flooded catalog.

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: tc This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 18 17:08:01 2012

The no comments during checkout could actually be helpful. I get quite a few on cheap items that go something like this: If you don't "Please pack well." the item and spend a on packing material and postage, I'm going to Neg you.

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sun Nov 18 17:24:39 2012

First thing that pops into mind:

Does eBay's writer know what ''on the job'' refers to in British slang?

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Sun Nov 18 19:17:55 2012

What is not known (until it happens) is that sellers can only report a buyer ''if the seller has NOT left buyer feedback yet'' otherwise, its a lost reportable ordeal. How is that happening?

Sellers: Go and take a look at one of your buyer options to ''Leave Feedback'' and there will be the ONLY option to ''Report this Buyer'' on issues. If you leave FB then you lose that option.

Also, sellers should consider removing the AUTOMATED FEEDBACK for buyers the minute they pay for an item because if there are issues afterwards then it is also a lost ordeal. Changing your preferences with this is also a wise thing to reconsider.

With the holidays or high-end items sold, crooks will ask you to send ''elsewhere'' at checkout or send you a direct message.
If you did not/ do not change your preferences as suggested from OP topic, then you should send the item (with tracking) to the alternate address requested PLUS a printed receipt (with tracking) to the original PP address.

Go to your eBay SOLD section and check the ''Mark as Shipped'' without any tracking. This way ''if'' a crook contacts you for tracking info, then refer them to PP for follow up. They will think TWICE before putting themselves into investigation, etc.

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Sun Nov 18 20:14:54 2012

Since I had not read all the comments above me, I also would like to please add:

A) NEVER contact eBay for anything concerning buyers, sellers, site or issues because if you're right about the report you submit, they (eBay) will seek something wrong within your own listings and then contact you with the slapped details. Yes it is true. So, its best to just list and deliver and if buyer issues arise then wait and settle it with PayPal. You're NOT doing eBay any major favors bringing them details on any issues but instead setting your own self up to be ''investigated'' next.

B) It is TRUE that eBay will allow sellers to report bad buyers because the option discussed exists but that's pretty much it. You report and nothing else happens UNTIL the buyer is caught after the THIRD time. But if they ruin 3 other good sellers DSR rating with Negatives, then I wouldn't bet on eBay removing it UNTIL that disrupted buyer violates themselves on the 4th time.

C). I actually got this from one of my own ''FOOLISH upset buyers'' (after he rated my delivery time as LOW:

Dear (buyer) To keep eBay a trustworthy place for all members, we routinely review buying and selling activity. In reviewing your account, we found:

-- Consistent use of low detailed seller ratings (1's & 2's) for sellers, resulting in an unfair reflection of the sellers' performance.

Because of this behavior, we've:
--Restricted your ability to buy items or place bids for the next 2 days.
--Removed your account from the eBay Buyer Protection program indefinitely. You won't be able to open any cases in the Resolution Center.
--Removed from related seller profiles any neutral or negative Feedback and low detailed seller ratings left by you within the past year.

This restriction only affects buying, and will be automatically lifted after 2 days have passed. You'll still be able to sell on eBay and complete transactions for items you've already won.

Please be aware that if this activity continues, you may be subject to a range of other actions, including suspension of your eBay account.

======================

So think twice before spending too much time on ANY site where you know ''you're correct'' and they're not!

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Sun Nov 18 21:04:17 2012

@Sandymenu

"With the holidays or high-end items sold, crooks will ask you to send ''elsewhere'' at checkout or send you a direct message. If you did not/ do not change your preferences as suggested from OP topic, then you should send the item (with tracking) to the alternate address requested PLUS a printed receipt (with tracking) to the original PP address. "

--
Any item shipped to an address not on the paypal payment will lose a claim, and the buyer will have the option of keeping the item and your payment.

The only way to ship to an address not listed on the payment is to refund the payment, then request for the payment again, with whatever new address the buyer wants as the gift address on the new payment.

You'd end up doing all that work of mailing a receipt to address 1, the item to address 2, then be completely humiliated when the case is automatically closed by PP in the buyer's favor.

Sure, you'd have the receipt and all the 'evidence', but then spend forever in the legal system, instead of refunding/re-invoicing, which takes about a minute.

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 00:47:51 2012

One way we had of identifying some of these bad buyers was to look at their negative feedback left. However, some have caught on to that one. They threaten to contact eBay if they do not get to keep the product and get their money back. Ebay usually gives them their money and allows them to keep the product. If you complain loud enough they will take it out of their pocket instead of yours.
This has happened 3 times to me and each and every time the buyer then proceeding to leave me positive feedback. While I was happy to not get dinged I was mystified as to why they didn't leave a negative, then after the second it dawned on me that if a seller were to look at the feedback left to determine how to handle the buyer, this now looks like an isolated event instead of a pattern. I just report any problem I have with a buyer now, even if it seems isolated. If it is an isolated event the buyer is none of the wiser and if it isn't at least the ball is rolling for the next seller that gets the screws put to them.  

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: happyharry This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 01:24:04 2012

Now i report every scammer or troublemaker for whatever reason...eventually it might make a difference but I won’t hold my breath

Good to know ebay are going to give sellers the use of leaving negative feedback again ….I know but I can hope cant I
 

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Nov 19 02:52:03 2012

Oh please it's just another Ebay spin in regards to reporting a buyer.  A very important thing to note is that is says report a buyer for violating policy.  While certainly from time to time a buyer violates policy when leaving FB, but we have always been able to call this in, which is still what I would recommend if it happens.  This is really nothing new except that you can now report it easily right on Ebay without having to call.  This way you don't have to listen to a CSR tell you why they won't do anything to help you, they can just ignore the report you submit via the website.  A little less offensive.

What we need is a valid way to report buyers that are NOT necessarily violating policy, but are out and out lying.  Lies that are easy to prove, not something that that is subjective or time consuming to prove.

For example:  I have a negative, the buyer is mad as heck at me for selling him exactly what my listing stated.  Yep that's it.  He agreed it was what the listing said, but it wasn't what he wanted.  Say what?!?!?!  How do you defend against that?  Ebay won't do anything to help as no policy violation has occurred and the buyer is entitled to their opinion.  Pitiful !!!

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Mon Nov 19 06:52:24 2012

*All* this 'help is on the way' stuff they say is just to buy more time... we are being set up for something. Cassini? Who knows.

I think by 2014 all the smallies will be booted off.  

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: trickstunt This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 07:27:28 2012

Why the complaints? You've just gotten new badges, now super secret powers and soon Cassini.

To infinity and beyond!!!

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Nov 19 07:42:46 2012

Report buyer = send email straight into a black hole.

The boy scouts just lost funding.....perhaps eBay will send them one of their meaningless badges.

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

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

Mon Nov 19 08:22:14 2012

WHAT ABOUT NON-PAYING BIDDERS??? Sellers are charged a FVF when a buyer wins an auction or does a buy it now. A seller is required to jump through hoops then to get those fees removed. This is one of the biggest problems on ebay that will never be addressed because ebay gets free money because there are many many sellers who do not file npb alerts.Reporting bad buyers to ebay will only help ebay determine who is going to be clicking on that 100% buyer protection and costing ebay money when it is ruled in the seller's favor and ebay has to cough up the money anyway. When you report a buyer will ebay let you know how many times this buyer has been reported? NO! How many times would a buyer have to be reported before real action is taken? The bad buyers do whatever they please now, they even teach other buyers how to screw over sellers. This program has no meat, it is a joke and will do nothing, it is nothing but a pacifier for sellers to try to quiet the sellers down. Not showing sellers the track record of a bad buyer is a slap in the face and quite frankly an insult to all great sellers who are not stupid. Buyers being able to communicate with seller is a good thing however ebay will need this on mobile and paypal also and there has to be enough characters allowed, I thought this was already in place though. Ebay once again making useless fixes, fix the friggin search  

Perminate Link for What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?   What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?

by: johnnyMasada This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 15:28:05 2012

                                  Great thread, as least it won't go poof.
 

                                 Report a buyer hub and seller protection,

I won't speak to the misconceptions as I am not an expert, but I have asked one to come here and comment.

      I will point out that seller protection if  "a distraction" as labeled , it is now a very costly one as it has expanded greatly and has some great talent at its head.  Mother ebay, after nickle and diming us to death would not loosen those drawstrings for naught.

    Now to be sure ebay has caused me a great deal of angst,  ( angst often confused with anxiety, is a transcendent emotion in that it combines the unbearable anguish of life with the hopes of overcoming this seemingly impossible situation)  

                                 What's Better than Leaving a Neg for a Bad eBay Buyer?
     
                  "Bad ebay Buyers" yep they are out there, however there is a big difference from an unhappy buyer, a misinformed buyer, a buyer with greater expectations that one can provide, a buyer who bought from the picture and did not read the description, and many more "Bad ebay Buyer" Scenarios  
then a "Bad Buyer" who is a thief and whether on ebay or elswhere has never been a "Bad eBay buyer",  just a thief.  

   So no more bad feedback for a thief, report them, if you have the time to call also then do so,   Fight for the Police Report, File with USPS do as required just as if you were robbed in the streets. block them, move on.

      Somebody did not pay, lots of lame excuses, why would you wish to leave them negative feedback?
Are you so sure in your abilities to be their judge, how do you know what horrors are truly behind those lame excuses.

            Use the tools ebay finally granted us Unpaid Item Dispute, Block and Move On.

      Ouch, Negative feedback for being dead right - says it right there, would you prefer to be right at the expense of being dead,  BUT I must - want to get even and leave negative feedback, Ok so? You Did , You feel better?  What did it get you, nothing.  Being right without might is like screaming you are innocent as you are being led to the Gallows.

So now reevaluate your position, you did nothing wrong - reconsider your ebay policies - what did you do "right" that you can change.  

       I am not perfect nor am I a stooge but leaving bad feedback for buyers,  is not a viable business solution.  I have left 4 in my history as  stupid responses to the Mutual Feedback Removal Game (  Ratings At Bottom) I am still ashamed by those. Did I get bad feedback I did not deserve, well yes. Did I block everyone, No. I looked at every transaction and reconsidered,  Did some of those buyers who left me a neg come back and buy again,  yes some more then once.  You can not be stubbornly right, you have to work with what is given and not stand firm on your own policy.

     I know that the DSR system is flawed when used punitively. As a guide to buyer expectations it is a great tool but other then that it stands in the way of success.  
On a personal note,  
I am moving forward on ebay,  I will be doing the very, very best that I am able.  After tomorrow, I will no longer fixate on things out of my control.  Will I succeed?  Very hard to say and that is the paradox as I could assuredly succeed.

    I wish all of you great success in your future, remember that success need not have a monetary definition, If you don't have to go to bed hungry and you have a place to be when it rains - you are better off then many.

Transactions:  7380
First eBay Sale:  10/09/2005

Toolhaus, Bad for me.

17 Negative
32 Neutral
16 Withdrawn (0 removed by eBay)
65 Total

Toolhaus Bad left by me

2 Negative
0 Neutral
2 Withdrawn (0 removed by eBay)


     

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