Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Nov 20 2012 10:14:31

Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

By: Ina Steiner

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If anyone could be called experts on disputes, it's eBay and PayPal. Whether they're experts on successful dispute resolution is up for debate, but it certainly appears they let a lucrative opportunity slip out of their hands.

eBay has tried a lot of ways to figure out how to determine which party is in the right when it comes to claims of items not received, items not as described, whether feedback should be removed, and other disputes involving buyers and sellers.

Initially it used feedback to keep members in line. After many tweaks, including taking away sellers' ability to leave negative or neutral feedback and adding Detailed Seller Ratings, along with adding buyer and seller protection programs, disputes still arise, and parties to disputes still feel dissatisfied in many cases.

eBay has even tried "community courts" to resolve disputes.

At the center of all the initiatives was executive Colin Rule. He left eBay and PayPal to start his own company, Modria.

We caught up with him Rule again as Modria launched its online dispute resolution platform. In this interview in today's Newsflash newsletter, he provides some insight into what's going on with eBay's dispute resolution programs.

But most of all, the interview shows that eBay missed an opportunity. With its insight into buyer and seller behavior and experience attempting to resolve disputes, eBay could have added a powerful tool to its services offered to online merchants.

When John Donahoe took the reins at eBay, he promoted the idea of "disruptive innovation," and since then, he's acquired his way into some innovative tools, including Hunch. But his inability to hang on to executives is problematic. This week, for example, eBay lost Chris Dixon of Hunch to Andreessen Horowitz. (Often such acquisitions are called "acqui-hires" in recognition that companies may be acquiring the founders as much as the technology.)

How would you rate eBay's dispute resolution, and what do you think of Modria's solution? What is the key to effective resolution on a platform like eBay?




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Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 20 10:40:58 2012

''If anyone could be called experts on disputes, it's eBay and PayPal'' ..... Um no - %90+ they side with the buyer as the buyer has the power of the CC company behind them and can force chargebacks (a potential loss of $ for ebay/paypal).

eBay believes that the key to being in business is buyers and not sellers. Thats why the rules for buyers are lax, and sellers are responsible for everything from the items warranty to the weather, to the color underwear the postman is wearing.

''eBay has tried a lot of ways to figure out how to determine which party is in the right when it comes to claims of items not received, items not as described, whether feedback should be removed, and other disputes involving buyers and sellers.''

DSR's, and feedbacks are almost NEVER removed from a sellers account unless its by force (court order) or the issue is SO blatantly incorrect that eBay cant hide the lie(s).

eBay doesnt determine anything - there are rules (some incredibly unfair) that guide thier policys. Sellers are wrong most of the time and can easily afford to ''take the loss''. That last line has been quoted to me by Paypal MANY times.

''When John Donahoe took the reins at eBay, he promoted the idea of ''disruptive innovation,'' quite true - he distruptively interupted most sellers sales ... way to go GENIUS.

''How would you rate eBay's dispute resolution'' ... ZERO. They arent about problem solving or fairness. Its about keeping large sellers on board for the big FVFs and keeping buyers happy so ''they will come back''.

JD, Chris Dixon, Noah Hershman - the lot of them .... ZEROs!

 

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: Brainiac jones This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 20 11:00:27 2012

The very fact that an eBay exec left (and more regularly it seems) and has actually created a company designed to address a problem eBay has is very telling.

I have no resolution problems--the seller complains and I bend over, swallow my company's pride, and give them exactly what they probably want. I'm only fortunate that I have very few problems needing resolution and that I don't really feel that I've ever been cheated by my customers.

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 20 11:38:08 2012

Once again ebay has shown it's utter stupidity on this loss---ebay does NOT care about IT'S CUSTOMER ie the SELLERS in the false notion that they can promise ANYTHING to the SELLERS CUSTOMERS and force all sellers to take it without complaint.

I am right at this minute in the middle of a SNAD dispute as the SELLER and basically have been told by several CSR's that were heavy-handedly trying to FORCE me to "Escalate" this case that there IS no "Seller Protection" and this is the ONLY way to even get "my" side of the story considered.

Now of course in this case I have made every effort to PROVE that my item description was CORRECT and the size was clearly shown etc.  BUT the buyer cleverly Copied and Pasted a PORTION of my description  to try and prove HIS side --that I was lying!  Getting the THREE Asian CSR's to READ the Item Specifics and Description and the Messages--was like pulling dinosaur teeth.  The UTah CSR was much nicer and understood what I was saying and told me to call back right away should a case be opened and ask for LISTING SPECIALIST.  Which I did. Only to be told by Asia that there IS NO SUCH PLACE AT EBAY.  What--do I make these things up?

Why should it be so HARD for a SELLER--the actual bona fide CUSTOMER of EBAY---to get any sort of parity with the all-hallowed BUYER--who is nothing to ebay!  

I know I am preaching to the choir here but when I see such stoopid moves on ebay's part--along with all of the OTHER stoooopid moves like--No Negs; refusals on almost all removals of FB and DSR;s; "Hidden" DSRs to PUNISH SELLERS; and then they let the guy who was allegedly behind this wander off---well.

Wait----

Now--Ina dear--please clarify something I just thought of-=--WAS this the SAME guy who came up with the NO NEGS; The DSR "Star Chamber System"; the "Buyer Protection" system--or am I WRONG in my reading of this?

Because--if this IS the same guy---then the farther AWAY from ebay the better and you would only have to deal with that  special brand of craziness if you utilized his new "service".  IF he is NOT that guy---well good luck to him in leaving the most corrupt and backwards company since---well; as of this AM the BBC springs to mind.  But I am sure as the day goes on I will think of others.

After all I have all day to NOT be spending the money I HAD in my PP acct yesterday that is now on HOLD.  

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Nov 20 11:43:05 2012

eBay's dispute resolution is simple: The sweet, innocent, honest buyer is always right, and the evil seller is always wrong. It's "the customer is always right" only on a wider scale. So what if the buyer changes his mind, uses and abuses an item and then files a SNAD claim, or mails back an empty box. None of that hurts eBay. Who cares if a buyer mistakenly leaves a negative, or rates DSRs as all 1s because the color on his monitor doesn't match the color mailed to him. It doesn't hurt eBay. Until eBay is willing to listen to both sides of an argument, the key to effective resolution, nothing will change.

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 20 12:05:33 2012

I wouldn't give Rule a penny of my money - go and read his interview from 2011 - it is very one-sided, pro-buyer in the resolution process.

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 20 12:10:02 2012

Furthermore, one could see eBay stepping out of the resolution process altogether, pay Rule & Co. a fee to handle ALL disputes. The money they would save on manpower is worth it.

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 20 12:29:18 2012

Ebay is an all around failure for years. Dispute resolution is just one failure.

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Nov 20 12:34:47 2012

John Donahoe does not have a problem holding on to executives... he simply has a problem holding on to eBay executives who were in place prior to his tenure as CEO.

If you are an executive, or an employee trying to climb up the eBay ladder from within, you are at a severe disadvantage if you have been with eBay longer than JD.

JD wants his own management team in place. He wants people who are totally unfamiliar with eBay. He wants people like himself who have neither bought or sold on eBay in order to be able to better disrupt every fact of the company.

The weakness of this management team shows at every turn as disruptive innovation has become destructive innovation.

A few examples....

Policies that make no sense such as neutral feedback counts as negative feedback, and post transactional communication being assumed as an indicator of a problem.

Systems that do not function optimally on a daily basis such as the eBay shipping platform, search, and even relist features experience frequent outages.

Systems that make absolutely no sense, such as spending millions to develop a new search engine that does not work with wild card searches, and only offers potential buyers a limited number of available items from which to choose. (eBay is about the only major search engine on the planet that can not handle wild card searches, and rather than fix the problem, eBay simply eliminates wild card search capability.)

Long term issues such as non paying bidders continue to grow and are ignored as the company needs to artificially inflate eBay's Gross Merchandise Value statistics to appease Wall Street analysts.

Sadly, incompetence runs rampant on Wall Street as well since the metric eBay reports does not accurately measure transactions completed with payments.

Instead, GMV is artificially inflated by eBay in two ways. First, eBay encourages sellers to offer "free shipping" which means the price of an item is inflated to include the cost of shipping in the sale price of the item allowing eBay to count shipping costs as transactional revenue.  Second, eBay reports all closed transactions as part of GMV, including transactions which remain unpaid.

Some sellers feel that eBay's failure to address and fully resolve the non paying bidder issue exposes their complicity to use unpaid items to inflate the GMV metric they report to Wall Street. Other sellers believes that eBay actually utilizes ghost buying ID's and places bids on items just so they close and can be counted as part of GMV and without any intention of completing payment.

So, the dirty little secret is that under Mr Donahoe's leadership eBay has neutral to negative sales growth. I am not talking about the Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) fiction eBay reports to Wall Street, I am talking about genuine increases in transactions which actually close with payments completed.

If Wall Street ever demanded more accurate reporting of eBay statistics such as only reporting transactions closed with completed payments, John Donahoe and his team would be out on their ear.




Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: Red Ink Diary This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 20 13:17:35 2012

Dispute resolution on the eBay of today is an oxymoron.

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

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

Tue Nov 20 13:27:15 2012

I met Colin Rule in 2004 at Ebay Live, New Orleans and found him to be a very nice person.  Before that Colin used to drop into the Ebay Cafe and simply chat with us.  He is an honest, down to earth person and I would trust his system of dispute resolution far far more then I trust Ebay...period!

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Nov 20 13:34:56 2012

Article says "eBay has tried a lot of ways to figure out how to determine which party is in the right when it comes to claims of items not received, items not as described, whether feedback should be removed, and other disputes involving buyers and sellers."

Really?  I just thought that they always side with the buyer.  It sure seems that way.

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Tue Nov 20 14:06:37 2012

Resolve disputes??? Then how would they make CRAZY BANK pitting one party against another? Instead of no holds barred, they'd have NO HOLDS... 21 day holds that is.

Ebay has turned the fear of getting ripped off on the internet into a cottage industry.

I'm beginning to think that's why some scammers are allowed to continue- to keep just enough horror stories circulating so that the sheep 'behhhh-g' for those holds.

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: DonC This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Nov 20 14:18:49 2012

Chances are we have already experienced Mr Rule's system when doing business with eBay.

Thanks but no thanks.

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: stampman.cowell This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Nov 20 14:57:11 2012

The day that Ebay allows the seller to comment fairly on 'bad buyers' then we will be more likely to stop looking for the alternatives.While Ebay is stifling this possibility it is raking in money and saving itself from having to monitor buyers - a very lazy attitude. There is competition and inevitably it will come and 'bite Ebay in the backside' - I look forward to that day!

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: zvicki This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 20 16:20:23 2012

Well, It seems to me that this fellow is just stealing the ideals of the BBB. Which is a very old, established service that probably does a far better job than his ''new software'' ever will.

Seems to be un-needed, and un-nessasary - Ebay will not change a thing, so what is the point of paying someone for something you should be able to handle yourself, as a business owner - makes no sense to me!

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

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

Tue Nov 20 17:01:05 2012

We need SQUARE TRADE back- we paid for it but didn't mind BECAUSE IT WORKED.
Mass Howler
The day square trade closed the site/buyers went CRAZY.
 

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 20 21:00:34 2012

Modria: A useless high priced service.
http://www.modria.com/pricing/

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

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

Tue Nov 20 23:39:02 2012

I just sold 4 items exactly the same vintage mip items 3 of my buyers gave me  glowing feedbacks.. 1 guy complained how he  researched after receiving and could have bought them cheaper? wanted his money back claiming snad. I told him just return the item as recieved and post positive feedback and i'll refund. WELL! we all know how that went over lol he got pissed cause i wanted to take his feedback power away. Then he filed a case and ebay intervened and let him keep the item PLUS refunded him. I WENT BALISTIC with ebay reps telling them they are creating scammer buyers. Ebay did that twice now claims my seller performance wasn't affected? But still leaves a loop hole open for that buyer to post a neg? POPPYCOCK! I say.

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 20 23:44:25 2012

PS: ebay paid that buyer with ebay money not my money and let him keep the item

Perminate Link for Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?   Dispute Resolution a Missed Opportunity for eBay?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 21 07:06:23 2012

If eBay wants to pay for my merchandise and then give it away to scammers, I'd love to help them out.

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