Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Feb 4 2013 19:52:33

eBay Policy Changes Coming in April

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay will delay previously-announced changes to its Buyer Protection program until April and will make some slight changes to what it had announced last July. eBay is also modifying its Privacy Policy and User Agreement. The updated User Agreement and Privacy Policy are effective immediately for new members and on March 26, 2013 for current members.

The updated Buyer Protection Policy takes effect on April 9, 2013. eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore said eBay will require buyers to contact sellers first to resolve any issues. Sellers will have at least 3 business days to respond before a buyer can ask eBay Customer Support to review and make a decision. Opened cases will no longer count towards seller performance standards. No reason was given for the delay in introducing the new policies.

Moore said the communication process between buyers and sellers will occur via the eBay Resolution Center - not My Messages, as previously announced. "When the buyer first contacts the seller regarding an "Item Not Received" or "Item Not As Described," a case will be created in the Resolution Center to bring all communications in relation to the issue into one place. Cases opened in the Resolution Center will be an opportunity for direct communication between buyers and sellers, without eBay getting involved."

Moor said the change would consolidate all communications for sellers, and would be an advantage in the event that the case gets escalated to eBay Customer Support, "because our Customer Service representatives will be able to evaluate the full interaction between the buyer and seller."

The eBay announcement is online, and stay tuned to Tuesday's Newsflash newsletter for more information. In the meantime, let us know what you think of these changes and how they will impact you!




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Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Feb 4 21:46:20 2013

Funny how a change which was announced months ago and will actually benefit sellers for a change is being delayed yet again with no good reason given for that delay.

The fact that cases will no longer count against sellers is a positive step which should be implemented sooner rather than later. Unfortunately for sellers, it would appear that eBay has no plans to make the change retroactive which would be the fair and reasonable thing to do. Sadly, what is fair and reasonable is of no concern for eBay management, hence yet another delay..

The other good news is that communication will now be part of a case and will be through a system separate from ebay's messaging system. This benefits sellers in that case related communication should not prevent a seller from obtaining the automatic 5 star rating since the messages are not through the eBay message system.

Knowing ebay management's anti seller bias - I am sure there will be a catch that comes back to bite sellers in the arse....perhaps that is why the additional delay is being imposed in order to allow management to come up with a new, different, and more severe way to penalize sellers.

Stay tuned for the other shoe to drop.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Feb 4 22:41:53 2013

"Cases opened in the Resolution Center will be an opportunity for direct communication between buyers and sellers, without eBay getting involved."

Without eBay getting involved - yeah right, is this the same as "eBay is only a venue"?

Sellers mistrust in ebay runs deep


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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Mon Feb 4 23:13:14 2013

Sounds good … regrettably, an early draft of the statement was released prematurely; the statement was meant to read:

“eBay will delay the announcement of previously-implemented changes to its Buyer Protection program until all the small nuisance sellers have been weeded out and if necessary will make more changes to what it had “announced” last July (like with the changes to shill bidding policy last May) if that effect is not achieved in quick time.”

Regardless, there will never be any effective transaction mediation; having by habitual poor policy decisions, caused every scammer on the planet to crawl out of the woodwork and onto eBay, the problem is now out of hand, and eBafia is simply to desperate and mean to spend the necessary funds on the human resources required to do the job properly.

Forget it, its all talk, and too little, too late, as usual … hence the ongoing delays …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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by: BlueHoundAuctions This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Feb 5 00:14:13 2013

Unfortunately too little too late.  Since losing over $4000 last year alone with the eBay backed Fraud, it is time to move on.

We are not planning on no longer listing on eBay - but just having the account there until it croaks.

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by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 5 01:46:04 2013

Unannounced changes happen all the time. An announced change is delayed for no apparent reason. Typical.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Feb 5 08:19:37 2013

The few items that we have sold that got "item not as described" were from buyers who did not read the item listings.

Ebay always sides with the buyers in these cases, so there is no seller protection here. It is a fantasy.

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by: innerpuppie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 5 08:36:14 2013

Rexford, same here. I've even gone so far as to put item information in a number of places and to be horribly repetitious. Doesn't help. I still get folks saying that they thought it was larger or smaller. Who sufferes? Me, of course, because they want to send the item back at my expense.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 5 09:19:51 2013

The timming of this program is simply being ''metered'' against 1) ebays internal accounting of its finances (profits) 2) the growing volume exodus of sellers 3) whether or not buy.com & sears sellers who are leaving those platforms will be stupid enough to come to eBay.

If theres anyone on this plane (mwn/women/children/animals/house plants/microscopic organisms)who think that eBay is doing this to be fair or even handed ... they are SERIOUSLY deluded.

1) most sellers will tell you that Christmas on eBay stunk. I dont care what JD and his 60billion mobile transactions tells you - its pure fantasy. eBay knows it and needs to prop itself up for reporting Q1 - and it wont be pretty. They got lucky that the post office increased thier prices so that in turn ebay could grab more on each transaction. Q1 reports will be UGLY !

2)eBay knows theres a growing exodus - mostly to Amazon. Not that Amazon is all that much better - they may be just as cruel - but there are no games, and the rules are the rules - for TRU and for Joe Shmoe Electronics. Theres no VERO, no unpaid buyers, no international fraud - none of it exists. And, if you can find an item in a category that you can ''own'' you can make good money! THEY dont openly admit to manipulating the search away from you to thier buddies. Either you get Featured Merchant or you dont, either you get the box or you dont. No favoritism likeon eBay.

3) Buy.com is hemmoraging sellers too - as is Sears. Sales are dead there and Sears has taken to imitating Amazon by blocking off many good brands. eBay is waiting to see where those buyers go ... they HOPE its eBay, but chances are its Amazon.

The program will show up sooner if eBay feels threatened ... ie ''please sellers come back - see we really do care'', but wil stay delayed if they can cook the books for Q1 and if they feel they can get ''new life'' visa via new sellers from buy & sears.

Seller Protection is the Bigfoot/yeti/Lock Ness Monster of ecommerce. Ill believe it exists when the magic invisible DSRs are gone and you can once again leave negative feedback for eBays stellar criminal buyers.

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 5 10:49:31 2013

So, they're really loosening that noose from around the necks of their sellers....grudgingly I bet!  Sounds like desperation time to me.  I believe they've come to the end of sellers who want to put up with their ham-fisted nonsense.  I know after almost 15 years I've basically moved on....listing on 3 items on Ebay in the past 30 days...down from the 50+ I used to list and even more than that when I actually had a store there.  If my time with them is any example of what's happening to other sellers then I'd say Ebay is in deep do-do!

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 5 13:36:11 2013

I don't see how this is a "Seller Positive" move at all.  Now they have it set up so the ONLY way (pretty much) for a buyer to ask a question AFTER the sale/delivery is to have them claim there was some sort of PROBLEM--the dreaded and dreadful "Item Not As Described" dealie.  For which sellers get punished in several ways--even if the convo NEVER becomes a "case"!!!!

Now the same deal is going to go via the "Resolution Center"--what a name!!!!---instead of "Messages".  Big freakin' whoop de doo!

We ALL know that ebay can and does scan our "Messages" and can do this at ANY time altho the CSR's will try and claim they cannot see what a buyer and seller SAID to one another about an item--lies again!  So changing this to only go thru the more adversarialy named RESPOLUTION CENTER is going to HELP---how????

To me this just looks like a desperation play.  This will encourage  even MORE buyers to feeling entitled to get something for FREE---as it automatically sends the message that the seller MUST have done SOMETHING wrong like dared to charge to sell something.  

Now if ebay were to ADD a category of communications---I must be hallucinating here!!!!---such as --NOTHIN' WRONG JUST ASKIN'---to allow a rational buyer to ask a seller a rational question--indicating that there is no serious "Issue" about the item--THEN this might benefit sellers.  So of course the very thought is enough to send The Ho scrambling for that private jet to Tahiti for a R&R break.  

I know I get shaky if the dreaded email arrives---and have had lots of emails where the buyer merely wanted to THANK me or to let me know something arrived--BUT what I GOT was the notice that ITEM NOT AS DESCRIBED or similar because--that WAS the choice the buyer had!  

And yeah--what is up with the UNANNOUNCED ANNOUNCEMENTS--and yet this has been hanging fire for---HOW long????

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by: Ed This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 5 14:02:07 2013

@Pace
1) most sellers will tell you that Christmas on eBay stunk. I dont care what JD and his 60billion mobile transactions tells you - its pure fantasy. eBay knows it and needs to prop itself up for reporting Q1 - and it wont be pretty. They got lucky that the post office increased thier prices so that in turn ebay could grab more on each transaction. Q1 reports will be UGLY !

What a CSR told us is that ebay tried to give smaller sellers some of the sales. They sold from the small to give to the smaller. They did not consider the fact of the inventory problem they caused. We started with a few cases of products and with policies like this we ended up with cases and cases of 2012 products. If you can't trust your partners who can you trust?

We lost over $15,000 in sales for no good reason other than ebay did not want to lose all the listing fees. We have to agree with Philip Cohen. Who needs partners like ebay.

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking  

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by: Jbyron This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 5 23:46:49 2013

@Pace. @Ed. Your right! Christmas sucked big time 2012. Sales were half of the $8500 I sold in Decenber 2011.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Feb 6 00:25:07 2013

I'm convinced that the delay is being  caused by ebafia's failure to date to integrate whatever it is they're going to do with Best Match.

Best Match is illegally used to hide paid listings and, worse, to limit the monthly sales volume of many sellers so that they don't have to hire more TSAMs.

Some of the factors that determine lower search placement include how many emails a seller receives with those two drop dead titles and how many FVF cases has seller has opened.

The children have some code re writing to do, and the code hamsters can't run fast enough.  

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

Wed Feb 6 04:15:03 2013

The word “ebay” synonymous with “fraud” …

Just for fun I Googled the word “ebay” today and all I got back was articles about shill bidding … it seems that this ugly commercial entity “ebay” is now synonymous with “fraud”. Well, many people have been aware of that for years but it is interesting to see that a Google search now confirms that belief …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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by: abprules This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Feb 7 09:40:33 2013

What it doesn't say is that now buyers will just go straight to paypal and file a claim. They require NO communication, no time frame, etc...

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 7 12:05:18 2013

@Ed

eBay isnt your partner. I thought that too, many years back, only to get beat up time and time again ... mostly by eBays ''other partners'' aka the manufactorers and through thier evil henchman - VERO.

I thought that if I had good product, gave great service and made buyers happy - I could make a fair living off selling on eBay.

After all, Ive been in the electronics biz since 84 and I have MANY MANY contacts to purchase items from.

I learned the hard way, and was rewarded for my hard work by eBay lies, eBay fraud and eBays money grubbing ways.

Whether its the fake Seller Protection, or VERO, or Unpaid buyers, or having eBay decide that I should have a MACY'S style return policy, or even the magic invisible DSRs that they swore wouldnt ever be used against us ... to the very last straw - not being able to leave negative feedback for thier criminal buyers - its a lesson I learned the hard way - EBAY IS NOT YOUR PARTNER.

Wait - I stand corrected - when they decide to give away YOUR MONEY - THEN they are your unasked for partner. When they force a return policy on you then they ARE your business partner. So maybe Im wrong?

What spurred me to accelorate my dealings with Amazon was last years speach at CES 2012 - given by JD himself who simply said ''we will be partnering with large manufactorers and selling groups, to bringing them increased traffic to thier listings.'' In english .. they get to be seen and you dont. They get deal of the day front page access, you dont. They get to have large amounts of eBay rules violations - and you dont.

I mention this one all the time - it trumps the TRU negatives and poor service issues. I brought up to eBay a seller that had 1100 negatives in one month and was still selling on eBay. That wasnt a typo - One thousand one hundred(in ONE month). PURE INSANITY. Why would you let ANY seller have that kind of record .... eBay told me straight out - we dont care - its about the FVFs stupid! THAT is eBay for you - THAT is a game tilted against you the small seller, THAT is ''buyer/seller protection'' .... Just pure BS.

JD's speach was reported in TWICE magazine (where theres a standing 1/2 page ad BEGGING manufactorers to let thier authorized dealers sell on eBay)(that would be the magic and so far unused ''Authorized Dealer'' tag that didnt go into effect). It would have put any small non direct seller in deep deep trouble (why would anyone buy from a NON authorized source?) Who would bother with any small seller after tagging them as a non authorized dealer?

eBay sees me as ''meat''. Im to be used and then discarded when I no longer have value - which is why I use eBay as a catalog to make as many off eBay sales as possible.

eBays policy changes bring me at least, nothing. Nothing in them will help me make more sales (which is the ONLY thing that counts) so .... I mostly ignore it.

Sales of Xmas this year were poor at best, with Amazon kicking thier @$$ 3 or 4 to 1.

JD can hollar about this 60 quadrillion mobile sales - where theres smoke, theres fire and here there isnt even smoke.

On to Q1 numbers!

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by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 7 12:19:08 2013

So here is the fancy wrapping of another "we're looking out for sellers" BS policy change.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but here is what I see:

Opened cased won't count against seller -the only good.

However look at the bad!

As soon as a buyer wants to contact you about an item not received or  nor as described, there is no message to you, but instead an immediate case is opened up.  Immediate case means immediate hold on funds associated with purchase.  Say buyer purchased 18 items and has a problem with one because he does not like the color . . . you got it the funds for all 18 are on hold.  

Think about the interest on all that held money . . . new creative ways to increase revenue to fluff the stock price.  

Wow . . . boy this place stinks more and more.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Feb 7 12:37:02 2013

Pace 306 says: "What spurred me to accelorate my dealings with Amazon was last years speach at CES 2012 - given by JD himself who simply said ''we will be partnering with large manufactorers and selling groups, to bringing them increased traffic to thier listings.'' In english .. they get to be seen and you dont. They get deal of the day front page access, you dont. They get to have large amounts of eBay rules violations - and you dont."

And yet he has no shame in taking a small seller's money. They pay for a listing to be seen, not buried.  This speaks to his true character. Gordon Gekko lives.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Feb 7 12:55:16 2013

Please correct me if I am remembering wrong - but isn't this the way problems were solved on eBay several years ago? Before eBay messages and DSRs. When FB was still 2 way. When user ids COULD be someone's email address. That era.

If an item did not arrive, or if there was something wrong with it, there was something similar to resolution center (but a different name at the time) and basically you communicated with eBay somehow monitoring the thread.

Somehow the whole process sounds familiar to me but I could be completely wrong.

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

Thu Feb 7 13:35:41 2013

John Donahoe: (when introducing DSR's).
Dsr's are just a TOOL to HELP sellers- They will NEVER be used against them.
This is a DIRECT QUOTE of John Donahoe.
This is then LIAR we have to deal with.
Mass Howler

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