Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Nov 5 2013 21:20:17

eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

By: Ina Steiner

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Since August, eBay has been conducting seller purges, the first of which we inquired about eBay acknowledged. In Wednesday's Newsflash, Kenneth Corbin reports on the latest purges we've been hearing about.

Differentiating between sellers who appear to meet eBay's minimum seller standards and those who don't can be tricky thanks to the opacity of eBay feedback. eBay has a set of Seller Performance Standards and writes, for example:

"To meet the minimum performance standards that are required to sell on eBay.com, the number of 1 and 2 ratings you receive on your detailed seller ratings can't exceed a certain percentage of your total transactions with US buyers."

Sellers can receive a maximum of 2% of 1 and 2 ratings in three out of the four DSRs, and can receive a maximum number of 3 occurrences of 1 and 2 DSR ratings. eBay's Ryan Moore told us there are checks in place to prevent individual buyers from unfairly tarring a seller's reputation. "To measure seller performance accurately, we count 1-star and 2-star detailed seller ratings only if they come from at least two different buyers during an evaluation period," he said.

But here's the kicker: eBay provides no easy way for sellers to determine who has left them low DSRs, making it difficult to make a case for appeal.

On eBay's Seller Performance Standards page, there is a section that may be fairly new:

Note: eBay monitors the site for sellers who may be creating poor buying experiences at higher rates, in shorter timeframes, or in different areas than sellers identified by the eBay Seller Performance process. These accounts may be restricted, limited, suspended, or have their seller level changed to below standard.

eBay also uses the number of buyer protection cases closed without resolution as a measure of overall seller performance, so it's pretty challenging to look at a seller's raw feedback and DSR numbers and determine whether their suspension is in line with eBay's minimum performance.

Moore also said eBay sellers "who believe their accounts have been inappropriately limited or restricted have the opportunity to appeal the decision and eBay will review each situation on a case-by-case basis."

But many of the letters I receive from sellers who have been suspended say they are unable to appeal. And because they are suspended from selling on the site, they have no way of fixing problems or improving their performance.

What is ironic is the fact eBay is considering changing the Shipping Charges DSRs so they would not impact a seller's standing (and is even considering doing way with it altogether). If it does take such action, would eBay allow back sellers who had been suspended for receiving low DSRs in the Shipping Charges criterion?

Some sellers applauded a crackdown on bad sellers 5 years ago, but these days, it seems solid ground can turn to quicksand in the blink of an eye.




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Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Nov 5 22:06:26 2013

"eBay also uses the number of buyer protection cases closed without resolution as a measure of overall seller performance.."  What the heck?  Why would they do that?  With this newer version of how cases get opened just because a buyer wants to ask a seller a question, often times the buyer lets the claim die a natural death.  It never gets escalated.  Because Ebay is FORCING these cases to be opened when the are COMPLETELY a WASTE of time, why are they or are they being held against me.  Until this new way of doing things, I had only EVER had 2 cases filed against me in the previous 10 years.

Moore keeps saying these seller can "appeal", but everything I've read here and on Ebay threads say sellers are NOT being allowed to appeal.  And mostly it is CSRs telling them there is no appeal process in place.

I don't know how we can have any faith that Ebay is tracking these numbers correctly or accurately when it is obvious that they can't track policy compliance for sellers.  How are we to have any secure feeling over what they are saying?

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 5 22:08:49 2013

suprised?
Why doesnt eBay sell off its "undesirable" auction business to a worthy buyer who could possibly return it to its small seller friendly, hands off, auction site, where private individuals can buy and sell to eachother in peace.... then.... JD can take eBay down the mega-slease-o-rama-strictly-commercial-shopping-mall full of asian crap and "brand" name junk..
dont forget free shipping and mindless returns.  

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Nov 5 22:22:56 2013

" What is ironic is the fact eBay is considering changing the Shipping Charges DSRs so they would not impact a seller's standing (and is even considering doing way with it altogether)."

Apparently, eBay is indirectly acknowledging the fact that in order to remain profitable, sellers have had to inflate shipping costs in order to cover the outrageous Final Value Fees levied on items sold with calculated shipping.



"If it does take such action, would eBay allow back sellers who had been suspended for receiving low DSRs in the Shipping Charges criterion? "

In a word, NO. eBay initially promised that DSR scores would not be used against sellers. eBay's blatant lie was exposed within days of the start of the DSR system. Management is unlikely to welcome back sellers who have previously had their accounts suspended.



Perhaps, this is a sign that eBay is close to achieving their targeted goal for round one of seller purges - perhaps management realizes they need to meet sales goals for Q4 and that further purges during the holidays would negatively impact GMV prompting Wall Street to ask questions eBay does not want to face.

The bad news is that round two of seller purges will likely commence once eBay estimates they have achieved GMV sales that they will be comfortable reporting.

After all, we very well can't have Mr Donahoe reporting low Q4 sales results or that Q3 cold will turn into pneumonia.

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Nov 5 22:24:14 2013

If you want an alternative site that does auctions as well as buy nows, you could try ebid.net.


Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 5 23:49:53 2013

Wonder how many sellers that get purged are in competition with the diamond boys????
ebay has become the biggest joke on the web.  
Whats the percentage of sellers badmouthing Amazon, Etsy, ebid etc. compared to ebay???
Any sellers who stay with ebay will get burned. If not by the buyers then by ebay.  
It's almost as if jd is looking for the feds to come in. He thinks he has all tracks covered. Problem is for every seller he dumps - how many buyers are being dumped at the same time.

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 5 23:51:55 2013

Many purged ebay sellers have already migrated over to Bonanza as well.

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Tue Nov 5 23:57:49 2013

I feel bad for those sellers who are being purged, with no warning, just 50 days before Christmas.

Considering eBay's obvious and ongoing lack of transparency, there can be no doubt that eBay execs just don't care.

They don't care about appearances, they don't care about fairness, they don't care about decency or common professional courtesy.

I think the day is coming where those same execs will be equally surprised to learn exactly how FEW people care about (or for) eBay either.

People often describe JD's philosophy with the ''beatings-will-continue'' meme... but I think it's more than just a joke. There's definitely some truth to it.

I don't fully understand why it is that JD, his minions, and others like him, are of the mindset that they can terrorize sellers into ''submission''... and that loyalty will be his reward.

Totally absurd!

Is he tired of the ''noise''? Is he of the mindset that if he can't shut-them-up, he'll just kick them out? --- Has he considered that he's only making things louder?

For Pete's sake, just look at me. I'm an ex-eBayer... got my start in 1999. But just because I'm an ''ex'' doesn't mean that *I* am shutting up.

Sure, I drone on and on... I'm repetitive... and I drone on and I'm repetitive too. But my criticism of eBay is honest and it's coming from an experienced eBay seller who experienced the sea-change first-hand.

Now... imagine 15,000 more Anonymous Annies who remained silent... but who are now free of eBay's shackles... and who will ALSO speak out loudly against eBay's abusive and anti-seller policies.

eBay's seller-base just got smaller... but the chorus of voices that express their outrage and disappointment in eBay just got BIGGER.

Brilliant, JD. Brilliant. You da man!

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Nov 6 00:15:45 2013

I'm just going to throw this out there. Let us say for every seller purged or left on their own accord ebay loses five buyers including the seller. I believe this is a VERY conservative number. How many MILLIONS and MILLIONS is Donahoe losing?

"If it does take such action, would eBay allow back sellers who had been suspended for receiving low DSRs in the Shipping Charges criterion?"

If it doesn't benefit ebay financially, it won't be retroactive. Something to keep in mind.

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Nov 6 00:29:05 2013

After I posted my previous comments, it just shows how ebay's finances are so screwed by. They nickel and dime sellers every which way but then lose at their own making MILLIONS of dollars by treating sellers horribly. Ebay is so messed up that if they were following a road map they would be at the bottom of the ocean. Of course, Donahoe thinks he knows it all and would never ask for directions.  

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Nov 6 02:47:01 2013

@bitbybit

Why would we assume that Ebay is losing any buyers other than what that particular seller would have purchased?  What makes you feel that way?

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 6 03:40:43 2013

I just went to Ebay and looked for the Discussion Forums. After about 15 minutes, I finally found at the bottom of My Ebay page, in small type, ''Community''. When I clicked on that, it said the Forums were closed for maintenance. Interesting!

I appears they don't want Sellers going to Seller Central anymore and complaining.

About Buyers. Just speaking personally, I won't buy there anymore, even though I sell, (I know, I know, that makes me a hypocrite). I talk about what a crappy company Ebay is to my friends and relatives.

I normally don't bring up Ebay at our retail antiques store, but sometimes our customers do. A LOT of people hate Ebay, and won't do business there anymore. I hear some interesting stories, and not about Sellers, but about Ebay, the company. One couple this last weekend said they wouldn't buy there anymore because they refuse to use PayPal. They had bad experiences with them, and didn't want them anywhere near their bank account.

So yes, people talk to people about Ebay and PayPal, and from my experience, they rarely have anything good to say about them. What a difference from years ago, when everybody thought Ebay was fun, and were buying like crazy.

When a Seller loses their account, it usually affects their whole family. Of course bad feelings spread and word of mouth can have a negative influence. Ebay's image is no longer a good one.

Like someone mentioned, you don't hear people saying bad things about Amazon or Etsy. In fact, I can't think of any bad things I have heard about them at our shop. People love Etsy! We sell a lot of items for crafts, so we love them too!

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Nov 6 03:43:09 2013

Marie asked "Why would we assume that Ebay is losing any buyers other than what that particular seller would have purchased?  What makes you feel that way? "

I believe you can answer your own question this way... Imagine you have just received an eBay seller termination notice.  You feel it is unjustified. You call eBay and CSA's say there is no way to appeal the decision. You are out. Your eBay business is over in less time than it took to read the email.

Now imagine you are out with a few friends and one of them asks how your online business has been.

Do you say fine...or do you tell them eBay shut you down, would not detail why or give an intelligent reason, and they refused to consider an appeal?

Now, when those friends who heard your story think of eBay, what are they going to remember, and do you believe they will feel good about buying on the site? Do you think they will have a warm and fuzzy feeling about the company that just destroyed their friends small business?

Now, imagine that same situation taking place at least 15,000 times after the initial purge, and untold thousands more times as each monthly purge takes place.

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 6 06:42:09 2013

CLAP CLAP CLAP  Betting there is more to these suspensions then the sellers are willing to admit to....

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Nov 6 07:12:03 2013

"Ryan Moore, a spokesman for eBay, would not confirm or deny that the company is engaging in a wide-scale purge of sellers who have been dinged by low DSR or feedback ratings."

RYAN MOORE---SELLER PROTECTION....THE BIGGEST OXYMORON EVER.

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Nov 6 07:23:03 2013

Donahoes latest essay: "People think you have to earn trust, but that mindset reduces team effectiveness," Donahoe wrote. "Instead, why not presume trust until someone does something untrustworthy?

Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde has spoken.

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 6 07:36:28 2013


Ebays buyer base has been deliberatley destroyed by ebay

Management made a choice to woo massive generic merchandise or retail chains to the site and to FAVOR them over existing smaller sellers

This had the effect of alienating their core heavy user base of buyer/sellers who have been thrown off or left by the tens of thousands

The diamonds and platinums, unlike the small sellers , have power and infulence, and  are no fools, It is only logical they have based ebays take on their own sales, not ebays promises,
   I have no doubt ebay makes agreements with these diamonds and platinums where ebays take is based on the diamonds and platinums business volume

Once you understand that, you understand that ebay needs to steer customers to these sites.

  However as the customer base erodes, there are fewer buyers overall and it gets harder and harder to funnel the diminished buyer base to the diamonds and platinums .

 Thus ebay designed a search engine which is designed not to maximize customer satisfaction , but rather weight the result towards ebays preffered sellers, and to even hide undesirable (small) sellers items.

However it appears that buyers have been able to locate to many of the non preferred sellers

Ebay of course anticipated this and designed Designated Seller Reduction tool with such strict and unforgiving guidelines that ebay would have a (legal) justification to destroy the lives and business of any number of sellers at almost any time.

The seller dashboard is DESIGNED NOT TO HELP SELLERS IN ANY WAY, BUT TO GIVE EBAY THE JUSTIFICATION TO TERMINATE THEIR BUSINESS

The answer as to why the mass exterminations come in waves is simple.

   Management evaluates the status of the super sellers who ebay has volume based deals with.
   
If they see the targets are falling short, they simply reduce the competition by mass suspensions, terminations, or dropping  sellers into the death spiral with reduced status, higher fees,  and greatly reduced visibility

In my previous posts I predicted a huge seller sweep to clear the decks for the diamonds and platinums unfettered access to xmas buyers . It appears that may have started

It is also intersting to note that it takes less than a minute if an ebayer wants to close a store, but MONTHS to close an account. Ebay wants and desperately needs buyers, and equally NEEDS to eliminate lower tier sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 6 08:29:23 2013

I left ebay on my own. Did not like the games being played.
I no longer buy on ebay. I know for a fact that as a result of talking to others in regards to ebay tactics, there are 6 other people not buying on ebay.
Switched to Amazon and etsy.

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 6 08:51:38 2013


Moore neglects to admit that the entire purpose of the exercise is to ELIMINATE  sellers. He also neglects to mention that is FOR a small to medium size seller , 2 bad buyers in in a month can get you suspended or restricted

 The restriction of course is a joke, they message you to inform you you are below standard and advise you to get your ratings up, however they restrict your visibility, volume,  and placement so it is IMPOSSIBLE to make any but an intermitant sale

Thus the 1's and 2's gain an increasingly disproportinate percentage of overall sales as the months go by

The walking dead seller will be reminded of his tentative hold on his business periodically, telling him he is improving but not fast enough

So a restricted seller, who may not have a single bad experience since his status drop , will be suspended anyway.

REPEAT : the system is DESIGNED to exterminate the powerless small and medium seller.

They are  not scouring the site and eliminating bad sellers.R=They are LONG gone

Rather They have PREDETERMINED HOW MANY SELLERS NEED TO GO AND THEN TAILOR THE SYSTEM TO ACHIEVE THAT END BY REBRANDING GOOD SELLERS AS BAD SELLERS.

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: OnceuponaTime This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 6 08:53:10 2013

''''''Management evaluates the status of the super sellers who ebay has volume based deals with.
 
If they see the targets are falling short, they simply reduce the competition by mass suspensions, terminations, or dropping  sellers into the death spiral with reduced status, higher fees,  and greatly reduced visibility''''''

I would also add that there are still new sellers registering to sell on eBay. The purge will reflect the new sellers who register. eBay can then offset their loss in revenue.

Example being 100,000 new sellers register. They pruge 50,000 old sellers.

They would have better figures than this example but that was what all the surveys were about to begin with.

Even the dsr controversy was presented in a survey years ago. Albeit, if memory serves me correct not as a direct issue but a number of questions that  when taken together lead to it.

They were designed to amass data, and trim the herd. Just like the last survey Ina posted some days back.  

JMO

Perminate Link for eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?   eBay Purges Sellers in Waves, What Gives?

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 6 09:36:29 2013


The new sellers ebay is  cajoling are NOT the professional small sellers who want an ebay business, but rather persons who have never sold anything, have little or no business experience  and who actually believe ebays bullcrap,

In other words while ebay is hurling  experienced professional sellers out the back door , they are ushering in exactly the type of seller ebay (on paper) says should not be on the site , in the front

They want naive newbies who will put their grandmas jewelry and their electronics up as auctions

  The newbies goods will go for a tiny fraction of value thus perpetuating the myth of ebay as a "place for bargains"

These newbies will also have their funds held and will very quickly find out they are sheep ripe for the fleecing, with ebay handing their base of professional fraud buyers the shears.

 
 

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