Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Nov 20 2013 21:19:48

Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?

By: Ina Steiner

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With news that online auction site Proxibid was adding a feedback system that lets buyers rate Marketplace sellers in a system similar to eBay's Detailed Seller Ratings, we wondered, should eBay's feedback system be the standard for online marketplaces?

Here is eBay DSR criteria:

- How accurate was the item description? (Item as described)
- How satisfied were you with the seller's communication? (Communication)
- How quickly did the seller ship the item? (Shipping time)
- How reasonable were the shipping and handling charges? (Shipping and handling charges)

Here's a list of Proxibid's new Seller Ratings criteria:

- Did you receive your item in a timely manner?
- How reasonable were the seller's shipping charges?
- Did the seller's online listing accurately describe the item?
- How reasonable were the seller's fees (fees other than shipping)?
- Please rate the seller's customer service.

In both the eBay and Proxibid systems, buyers rate sellers on a 5-star scale.



While seller ratings are important when shoppers are evaluating sellers, sometimes even more important is how the marketplace itself uses the ratings. eBay uses DSRs to measure seller performance. Sellers who are "below standard" face consequences ranging from less exposure for their listings in search results all the way to permanent suspensions.

I asked Proxibid spokesperson Dana Kaufman how her company would use the seller rating system and whether Proxibid would reward or punish sellers in any way. She responded, "The seller rating system is meant to be a tool to reward sellers who receive high marks and as a tool for sellers who might see areas for improvement. For example, a seller who receives feedback that the buyers premium is too high, that seller might be encouraged to lower their premium which would likely result in a higher score."

eBay recently surveyed sellers on changes it was  considering making to the feedback system, covering several main areas regarding its feedback system:

- eBay Feedback and Seller Standards systems;
- Shipping Charges Detailed Seller Rating;
- Two ideas eBay has for changing the feedback system;
- Buyer feedback.

eBay even said it was considering changing - and possibly eliminating - the Shipping Charges DSR. Here's the EcommerceBytes blog post about the survey with links to our 4-part coverage of the feedback survey.

Which leads me back to my original question, should eBay's feedback system be the standard for online marketplaces?

If you were creating a feedback system for an online marketplace to help buyers and sellers and keep things fair and balanced, what kind of system would you create?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?   Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 20 22:35:09 2013

Sellers are literally FLEEING from ebay because of the DSRs, and the DSRs were used in the purges. They are the death toll for small sellers and will be the bane of any other online site that adopts them if it uses them punitively against sellers the way ebay does.

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 00:00:31 2013

Ebay HAD a functional feedback system BEFORE the DSR system and they deliberatly trashed it to destroy sellers.

Somehow the fact that the DSR system was allegedly NOT meant to be USED AGAINST SELLERS as per ebays OWN statements was lost in Ina's article.

Now it is used to bludgeon sellers---and since they are ANONYMOUS the seller might have NO idea who left the bad rating or WHY they left it--many buyers have left great Positive Feed Back and TRASHED a sellers DSR scores.  Is this because ebay REFUSES to let sellers tell their buyers WHAT these little innocent stars REALLY mean?  OR do buyers just click and not think about the consequences to sellers?

NO the answer is NO---anything BUT the ebay system of punitive and hateful DSR ratings.

Transparency and honest feedback such  as was seen Pre--2008 would work tho.    

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by: Snoopdog This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 00:13:11 2013

Ebay's FB system is a total disaster... buyers have no clue what shipping time means.  Communication DSR... I rec'd a neutral because I did not get back to a buyer within 2 hours...it was a weekend and it was at night... ebay does nothing to protect its sellers.  The seller protection program is horrible and almost non-existent.  Ebay is chasing good sellers off its site.  If they don't make massive changes soon the only people left will be the B&M stores and no one will bother using ebay any more.  

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by: forrosebud This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 00:35:18 2013

Yesterday, my perfect DSR's and my exceptional Feedback was just TRASHED by a volatile, unstable Ebay buyer (who also 'attempts' to sell.) I only auction antiques/collectibles, not my used clothing... Ebay appeared to be supportive and in my court during my professional 4-day volley of emails back/forth with this individual. The buyer didn't get away with any $$$, which was her goal, but due to EBay's outrageous DSR and FB policy, she was able to post 1 Star in all categories and 'BAD SELLER, etc.' Neg. FB. I'm not gonna deny that I didn't see the light in 2008-09, but I guess I needed this 2x4 smack in the back of my head to finally get the #%$! out of Ebay! Paid all my acct fees from my PP Acct and I still cannot UNREGISTER my account for 30 days per Ebay. I don't want my good name associated with 'smarm' any longer. Almost free at last...  

Perminate Link for Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?   Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu Nov 21 00:37:24 2013

Gee let me think about this...NO!!!

It's like asking a seller which of the lesser two evils do I choose. As a seller do I want to be punished by eBay or/and the other sites I list on? Forget rewards because no matter what I do as a TRS plus ... free shipping, no communications, great prices, fantastic photos, 5DSRs... my sell thru is beyond pitiful. Maybe I should not say "sell thru" since nothing is getting "thru".  

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Nov 21 00:38:42 2013

I remember one of the regular posters here had a great idea for fixing the DSRs, and that is to change them all to "yes" and "no" responses, with the ability to comment on why the rating was given.

As to Ina's initial question, eBay's system as it currently is structured should absolutely NOT be the standard for rating systems.

Perminate Link for Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?   Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?

by: Xander This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 00:42:45 2013

It seems ebay’s DSR rating system is slowly infecting internet sales as a whole. Should it become an ecommerce standard?- Absolutely not.

Not sure how such a corrupt system has managed to gain so much speed but as a seller, we don’t believe this system offers much use other than to destroy independent mom and pop shops worldwide. For those who have been paying attention, big business is really trying to squelch out its smaller competitors and this system is just one step of the process.

Smaller businesses commonly have more “hands on” product knowledge which their larger competitors lack. It is for this reason they want us gone.

If anyone really thinks the internet is an open opportunity for small business to grow, than they are grossly misguided and possibly naïve. Unless your company has it's own brand of merchandise, sales opportunities on today's internet is becoming more and more limited.

Systems like DSR’s and pay per click advertizing is nothing more than internet sales manipulation which is certainly going to be the destruction of today’s independent sellers; the worldwide dream of being in business for one’s self is slowly coming to an end, sad but true.

Perminate Link for Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?   Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu Nov 21 00:48:17 2013

Note: When I stated no communication I meant with ebay's auto 5 DSR. Of course I always answer any messages in a timely manner.

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by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 01:19:07 2013

DSR system is pushy - you as seller need to confirm item delivered as described and no shipping issues get a yes done ------if no's is real test a seller metal and equate satisfaction to the buyer! I can care less DSR I care if circumstances beyond buyer and seller arise the effort to resolve these issues and how that relates to experience/professionalism/business integrity!

Perminate Link for Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?   Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Thu Nov 21 01:44:27 2013

If the standard helps, eBay would use it on themselves to offer a better experience.

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

Thu Nov 21 02:05:27 2013

There is nothing wrong with the DSR rating system per se; it’s how eBay applies the results of that process that is so grossly and stupidly unfair, indeed, bordering on evil …

Regardless, you can rely on eBay always to take what could be a sensible idea and destroy it utterly …

eBay Motors: Auction Fraud Galore … http://bit.ly/I2gTEU

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 21 02:35:40 2013

GOOD GRIEF NO !!!  The Ebay system has so many problems.  To make it the standard is just a way to eliminate even more online sellers.  

Now one of the BIGGEST problems is the lies Ebay tells the buyers.  The buyers are lead to believe that rating a seller with 4 stars means the seller is doing a good job.  And as anyone that has any Ebay experience knows, nothing could be further from the truth.  Get too many 4 stars and you will get suspended or worse.

So stop the lies, lead with the truth, we would all be better off.

Perminate Link for Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?   Should eBay Feedback System Be the Standard for Marketplaces?

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 03:56:56 2013

any feedback/rating system is inherently flawed because most happy customers get their item and go off and be happy without leaving a positive rating.  

the DSR system in itself is no better or worse than any other system.  the problem comes from ebays execution of it with sellers with a 4.6 rating being considered "bad".

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

Thu Nov 21 05:57:05 2013

Only an imbecile would recommend ebays ludicrous feedback system,along with its fee increases and commission on postage it is probably the reason that people are leaving it in droves.
Recommend it ? To quote Mr McEnroe "You cannot be serious".

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 06:45:20 2013

Guess Proxibid wants to go out of business as well.
The most totally unfair feedback system is on ebay. Obvious, someone did not do the homework.

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 06:50:03 2013

  DSRs are the tip of the iceberg as far as ebay's egregious actions go. The idea of other online sites following suit is horrendous. Like most big corporations, ebay maintains a massive propaganda campaign of "polished PR activities" and reputation management. For numerous reasons, mainstream media isn't bothering to investigate ebay much beyond the surface of whatever press releases ebay gives them or whatever spin some ebay top brass puts out in a speech. It has been said that most ebay buyers are apathetic towards the plight of sellers. That may be the case. HOWEVER, i do not believe the purges (triggered in large part by the DSR system) and numerous other egregious actions by ebay can continue to go on indefinitely unnoticed. Somewhere in the thousands of people purged is someone who is an attorney or has a friend who is. Somewhere in the thousands is someone who has a friend who is an investigative reporter at a newspaper or TV station. Somewhere in the thousands are a small group of intelligent articulate people who won't just take it sitting down, they will in fact call attorney generals offices in the states wherein they reside, they will in fact call the FTC, they will in fact call the SEC, they will in fact- and many already have been- engage in blogging across the internet about what ebay is doing. Ebay is not invincible. The right combination of interested or authorized regulatory authorities just hasn't come together yet with the facts of what is going at ebay. Nixon managed to forestall the Watergate scandal over a two-year period but it gradually unfolded- slowly at first and then it gained incredible momentum. And that's the U.S. government at the Presidential level. I cannot believe that ebay is more powerful than that.

 

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Nov 21 07:40:03 2013

Guess where I won't be selling?  Starts with a "P" and ends with a "D".

Our DSR scores on eBay are great, but we know that it only takes a few disgruntled buyers to ruin them.

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by: minibeesknees This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 09:02:56 2013

Ebay is flawed on all levels including feedback/DSRs.  I was part of the purge although I was just restricted. I chose not to renew my card on file which expired right about the same time which is my way of quitting.  I've been on Etsy since 2006, and with their announcement of plans to mimic ebay, I stopped using them too.  I would rather sell nothing then be bullied and manipulated by either vendor.  Universal adoption of their system is going to create a lot of business for web hosting, and shopping cart programs.

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by: beverly This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 09:12:29 2013

being an Ebay buyer..I think there should be NO FEEDBACK AT ON ANY SITE

but I think all sellers should be required to accept returns without question


I sell on another site that has no feedback and sellers must accept returns without any questions asked

If there is a serious problem and the seller and buyer can not resolve issue, the buyer can contact the site.if problem is still not resolved, then seller gets one black mark

after 2 black marks, seller is removed from site

I have has few returns and no problems that could not be resolved

Buyers and sellers can along just fine and are allowed to communicate
through personal email or phone calls

every one seems happy and I love speaking with my clients

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by: Joanbet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 21 09:15:18 2013

This feels like a joke question...  A set-up!  No, absolutely not, never, no way, banish the thought!!  Of course not.  The only way a system like eBay works is if feedback is two way.  And I rather think rating buyers is a little dumb so the eBay system should just be completely scrapped.   Seller  feedback should be separate from product reviews.  Customers, who paid immediately, should be allowed to rate the seller (only after their purchase has been delivered)  on overall customer service and that rating can be accompanied by a comment to which sellers may respond.  Comments should be allowed to be amended or removed by the author at any time to encourage resolution.  Simple, straight forward and without all the punitive components that allow buyers to bully sellers.  It goes back to eBay's original core belief that people are basically good..  Not the current structure that believes that sellers are basically bad and need to be controlled and treated like the bad children we know they are.

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