Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Dec 18 2012 09:25:50

Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

A warning to the public about counterfeit batteries is calling into question eBay's feedback rating system. UL (Underwriters Laboratories) issued a public notice to consumers on Monday pointing to a battery for sale on eBay listed by a top rated seller.

UL wrote, "the battery identified below bears a counterfeit UL Mark. This battery has not been evaluated by UL to any Standards for Safety and it is unknown if this battery complies with the UL safety requirements." It pointed to a listing by eBay seller thebatteryconnection.



Thebatteryconnection has sold almost 1200 of those particular batteries in "private" transactions - this page shows 100 of the latest transactions for that battery, but hides the buyers' identity. Private listings on eBay are more common for sensitive items than for commodities.

The eBay seller has over 600,000 feedback bearing the Top Rated Plus badge on its listings. It has thousands of items available for sale on eBay under 760 SKUs - those we checked had multiple quantities available.

Over the last 12 months, thebatteryconnection earned 232,828 positive feedback ratings, over 2,000 neutral and over 2,000 negative feedback ratings. The number of revised feedback is 932.

But despite the fact it has high DSRs and bears a Top Rated Plus badge on its listings, a look at the negative feedback ratings shows plenty of complaints from buyers representing purchases of a range of products sold by the seller:

"Battery is damaged/does not work. Doesn't respond to messages."

"Bad product, almost caused fire. never buy!!!!!!"

"they sent the wrong battery & then never answered my e-mail"

"The battery the sent would not hold charge for an hour.. seller doesn't reply"

"it is junk"

"Blew up within 5 minutes & then blw up my computer - BEWARE JUNK"


It only requires a miniscule number of negative or low DSR ratings for low-volume sellers to lose their Top Rated Seller status and even face suspension.

UL's warning points out that high-volume sellers can garner lots of negative feedback ratings and still be promoted by eBay as a top rated seller. It's clearly a numbers game when it comes to selling on eBay.




Comments (32) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

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

Tue Dec 18 09:57:55 2012

Ebay allowing the sale of counterfeit items? I don't believe it.
Ebay not available for comment
Oh surely not.
Private sales are ebays new hiding place for dodgy sellers.

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

by: rstpete This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 18 10:07:09 2012

And when ebay gets a black eye and allows it to go on we all get a black eye and more suspicious buyers ready to give bad FB and or DSR's.  

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 18 10:21:12 2012

eBay is the only place on earth where 99% is Top rated and 100% isn't.

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 18 10:22:57 2012

Wonder if it is possible for UL to sue seller(batteryconnection) and ebay?  They are a non profit but the need cash for expenses. Did the ebay seller have to submit all items they are selling to see if they are fakes??? Maybe they would have to go through arbitration in ebay(Utah)???
Wonder how many more items fall into fake UL tags.? Recalled items??
Just hurts all the small HONEST sellers trying to make a few bucks.

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

by: walrus2646 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 18 10:28:31 2012

Yes, fell into that trap awhile back - bought a selection of battery sizes from them - after trying ALL of them - threw them all out, swallowed my pride, sulked for an hour and then went back to eBay and bought Duracells.  Worked fine .

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

by: Leesantiques This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 18 10:28:45 2012

Just looked on Ebay - and this seller is still showing over 700 active listings, still showing as a top-rated seller.  I reported them to Ebay.

Maybe if we all did that, Ebay would take them down!!

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

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

Tue Dec 18 10:39:27 2012

GOOD FOR YOU UL!!!! This exposes ebay's DISCRIMINATION where they embrace the huge sellers and punish small sellers. Smaller selers obey the rules have 100 percent positive feedback have high DSR's and yet they are not a TRS. Ebay is going to deny everything for whatever reason, but there is no reason that they can give which would be acceptable. You can go on for years having 100% positive feedback, maybe you sell 2500 items a year and are perfect and just because you do not ship in 24 hours you are punished. How about punishing this bad seller ebay, we can all do the math. How many of you lost your discount? this seller who is really bad is protected by the numbers is getting a discount in fees. It is unfair and just dispicable for this kind of policy to be in place. In my opinion ebay should be forced to give discounts back to this who deserve them and make that retroactive. Mnay of work very hard and are punished for doing so how wrong is that.    

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

by: Frump This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 18 10:50:37 2012

Just playing Devil's Advocate here, but do we know for sure that this company knew the batteries were fakes? I know in the past, a company I worked for got tricked into buying counterfeits and didn't know until the rights owner contacted the head of the company. Does anyone know if other sell this battery?

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Dec 18 10:54:28 2012

It does seem like the eBay looks the other way with the big boys and pulls the hammer down constantly on the smaller sellers, even when the small sellers have done nothing wrong.

I wonder if this is the seller who I bought worthless camera batteries from that won't hold a charge (and bought them on eBay)

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

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

Tue Dec 18 10:58:26 2012

Its a numbers game? Well yes! The sellers negative and neutral feedback represents less than 2% of their total feedback over the last 12 months. Doesn't look so bad does it?

Taking a look at Mary Microseller with 500 feedback in the last 12 months, 10 negs and or neutrals would have her off the site.

Sam Smallseller with 1500 feedback in the last 12 months, 25 of which are negs and or neutrals seems to be doing OK but at 99.1 is he skating on the edge?

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

by: EssexEstateServices This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 18 11:00:55 2012

Seems like ebay has become the conduit for counterfeit, fake and dangerous merchandise. They do active monitoring on designer brands such as Rolex, Gucci, LV, etc, but seem to ignore issues like counterfeit batteries, toys with lead based paint content, fake perfumes, and other potentially property damaging or life threatening products.

To bad, ebay used to be a safe and fun place.    

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

by: wallflower This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 18 11:03:54 2012

There are plenty of fake batteries on Amazon too.

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Tue Dec 18 11:20:10 2012

A seller with hundreds of negative feedbacks? I seen lots of sellers with excessive number of negative feedbacks showing top seller, terrible and unfair really.  

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Tue Dec 18 11:20:16 2012

To paraphrase Capt Renault
"I'm shocked, shocked ..."
"Round up the usual suspects. "

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Tue Dec 18 11:43:03 2012

All manufacturers using the UL Logo must show the listing number issued by Underwriter's Laboratory on the label. Insurance companies can deny claims on fire/loss events if the number turns out to be bogus, so the liability of the seller is far greater than the cost of the battery or power device - it can be the cost of human life and total property damage if the goods display the UL logo and result in loss due to hazard. Ebay should be completely liable for losses if a UL counterfeit is sold within their market by their pampered 'Diamond' sellers!

All buyers of these UL counterfeits should contact the FTC and DHS/CBP to demand the UL Certificate for these items, and if UL shows no record, ebay and their precious 'Diamond' level sellers should be raided and fined accordingly. If it saves just one life; wouldn't it be worth it to teach ebay a lesson?

Ebay takes great pleasure in taking away its consumer rights to class action lawsuits, but the Federal Trade Commission and DHS/CBP have the ultimate power in shutting ebay down for cultivating this black market that makes a mockery of international insurance underwriter standards.

How much money has Donahoe now cost shareholders?

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Tue Dec 18 12:03:28 2012

Since installing thebatteryconnection's Baboom® Brand™ battery in my iPod, I can attest to the performance of this battery. Before, when I turned up the 1812 Overture,the cannons only hurt my ears a little. Now, simply by charging the unit for fifteen minutes, I'm able to create a deafening explosion far louder than the music itself, able to rattle windows an impressive two blocks down the street.  

You may be supposing this could get expensive, but that simply isn't true. With ebay's Buyer Protection Program, I'm able to get a FREE replacement Baboom® Brand™ battery shipped to me the very next day, and do it all over again!
Encore!!!

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 18 12:57:52 2012

Gee....you don't think Ebay is protecting a top seller....do you?  ;-p

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

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

Tue Dec 18 14:11:51 2012

I have 1 neg feedback out of 421 and that 1 neg brought my 100% score down to 96% as of today. It keeps bringing thet down each day because i'm not listing and when I do sell, most never post feedback. BUNCH OF BS if you ask me.

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Dec 18 14:22:19 2012

I don't believe Ebay knowing allows anyone to sell counterfit anything.  But when items are reported, they are extremely slow to respond as I can personally attest to.  With products I sell, there has been several times where I've ran across sellers clearly selling fake products.  It's about 50/50 to get Ebay to respond and get them removed in any reasonable amount of time.

Now this particular sellers is the clearest case I've seen of Ebay CLEARLY manipulating DSRs.  Many have alleged this before and I've always been confident it happens, but this one is so clear it slaps you in the face.

While in my experience many buyers that post negative FB don't do the DSRs too as they think it is the neg FB that does the most damage to a seller, the majority of buyers that post neutrals do.  

This seller is certainly being evaluated on the 90 day period due to the volume they do.  And lets say they do 60,000 transaction in that 90 day period.  Now if they get a minimum of 300 low DSRs in any one category, they do not qualify for TRS.  

Just using the numbers available on their FB.  There are 2274 neutrals.  2274 divided by 12 = 189.50.  Times that by 3 months = 568.  More than enough, by itself to knock them out of TRS if the buyers are doing the DSRs.

With the negs it is 2048 divided by 12 = 170.67.  Times 3 months = 512.01.  Again more than enough.

And these are just the numbers on the negs and neutrals.  As any sellers knows, many buyers leave postive FB and low DSRs.  

So clearly this is a case of Ebay manipulation and absolutely should NEVER happen.

Perminate Link for Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws   Product-Safety Warning Exposes eBay Feedback Flaws

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Dec 18 16:59:08 2012

As far as eBafia is concerned the only thing that matters is the FVF on the transaction ... then we all know that already, don't we ...

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.