Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon July 22 2013 23:38:44

eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

By: Ina Steiner

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As part of eBay's fall Seller Release to be announced shortly, eBay will expand its feedback removal policy, among a host of other changes. The changes to feedback will take effect on July 31st and will roll out across all international sites, including the U.S.

One of the biggest circumstances under which a seller will be able to request feedback removal: a buyer leaves low ratings or negative feedback but provided clearly positive comments.

Another situation that will be eligible for feedback removal: A buyer left a seller feedback in error, i.e., the buyer provided the wrong shipping address at checkout, or left feedback for the wrong seller.

Looking through the list, it really makes one wonder why these weren't included in the feedback removal policy before now. The policy takes effect for feedback left on or after July 31, 2013.

But eBay isn't making it too easy to get negative feedback removed - here's the procedure it describes sellers must go through:

"First, see if the situation is one in which feedback will be removed automatically. Second, if feedback removal is not automatic, contact your buyer. Always try to resolve issues with your buyer before contacting eBay. Often, it's just a misunderstanding that can be worked out. If you're still unable to resolve it, use the existing feedback revision system to have the buyer revise his feedback. If the buyer is unwilling to revise the feedback and it's eligible for removal under the expanded Feedback Removal policy, you can contact Customer Support or use the Reply to Feedback Received feature to leave a courteous and professional comment explaining your side of the issue."

Other changes coming to eBay:

- TRS grace period (eBay had previously rolled this out in the UK, but not the U.S.).

- eBay Managed Returns Program expanded to include replacements.

- Expanding eBay Best Offer changes coming to all categories.

- Replacing the Coin Catalog.

- Other Category Changes.

In the UK, eBay is changing fees, among other changes coming as part of the eBay UK fall Seller Release.

See Tuesday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash for the changes we've learned are coming to eBay.com over the course of the next several months.

And let us know what you think of all these changes!




Comments (72) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

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

Tue Jul 23 00:09:35 2013

This should have been done two or more years ago, but ebay hadn't realized then just how much their myopic policies had damaged sellers and by extension the entire .com marketplace.

The fact that a modicum of common sense was finally achieved because .com is in serious trouble earns them no credit whatsoever in my book for finally doing what they should have done out of fairness and decency some time ago.

If ebay wants to restore even a small amount of credibility with sellers, restore our ability to leave negative feedback with this legion of makor PITA buyers they created to eliminate our discounts.

My assessment?

Far too little, far too late.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 00:17:11 2013

They could fix the DSR fiasco today. They're just dangling a carrot in front of the legion of fed-up sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 00:35:00 2013

The business of a best offer that is accepted is not final is insane. They are just making trouble for sellers. They are creating bad feelings among customers.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 00:37:42 2013

Smacks of desperation on Ebay's part.....yet, they still have not allowed the seller to give honest feedback!  Its kinda fun to watch Ebay squirm...while still trying to look arrogant!

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Jul 23 00:39:19 2013

As is typical, eBay fails to fully detail the specifics of their announced changes. The full details omitted from the announcement lead to more questions...

So, let the questions begin....

With the changes to qualifications for feedback removal, will eBay also be removing DSR scores tied to that feedback?

Next, if the feedback qualifies for removal under the guidelines detailed, why all the hoop jumping i.e. contacting the buyer, then going through the feedback revision procedure etc... This is time consuming and serves to intensify an adversarial relationship between the buyer and seller. maybe that is eBay's desire - to ratchet up the animosity and further take the community apart.

What part of Keep It Simple Stupid do the eBay multi millionaires writing this policy fail to comprehend?

IF the feedback qualifies under the existing or revised policy for removal, there should be no need for sellers to beg and or harass buyers for revisions by contacting and then filing for feedback revision.

Sellers should be able to simply contact eBay when feedback meets the guidelines for removal and have the feedback as well as any DSR scores left with that feedback removed...PERIOD.



Besides the inconvenience associated with category changes, the majority of the update appears to be long over due.

Apparently, eBay is reacting to things that have left sellers feeling persecuted by their trading partner. Perhaps, John Donahoe does know (but does not want to publicly admit) that his bull headed changes have been antagonizing sellers and driving sellers out of the marketplace.

Let the backpedaling begin!

Expanded feedback removal amounts to the usual amount of unnecessary hoops for sellers to jump through, but is still a long overdue change which may not go far enough to afford sellers any real protections from vengeful buyers.

The TRS Grace period is also something long over due and should have been included when the TRS program rolled out. Now that thousands of sellers have left eBay after losing their discounts and finding the new fee increases made selling untenable, eBay is softening their standards a bit.

Shame on eBay for taking this long to realize their omission and the negative impact that rigidity had on so many sellers.

Allowing Exchanges through the Managed Return process is yet another omission which should have been part of the program when it was first rolled out. Failing to have an exchange provision as part of managed returns highlights the lack of experience in everyday transactions which plagues the executive wing in San Jose.

This change does not make the concept of allowing eBay to manage returns any more palatable for us and we will still leave eBay if or when eBay makes Managed Returns mandatory.



The new Best Offer process is a pain in the azz for buyers and sellers....No surprise that eBay is imposing it across all categories.

As to eBay's category changes and item specific changes...  eBay always manages to erect a new set of hoops for sellers to jump through. Sellers in the Coin category and the other effected categories are simply going to find it is their turn in the eBay busy work barrel.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 00:47:23 2013

What's the point? Most sellers been bankrupted by ebay's 7-month Cassini hiatus.. and forced to retire or left ebay.

Ebay cannot resurrect what is already death!

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Tue Jul 23 01:07:55 2013

" a buyer leaves low ratings or negative feedback but provided clearly positive comments."

i read that as: low ratings ( DSRs) or negative feedback.

the only thing is DSRs are supposed to be anonymous.  

what kills me IS low DSRs with positive comments/feedback.  

if, upon seller's request,  ebay would look into low dsrs tied to positive comments and remove feedback, that would be HUGE, IMO

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

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

Tue Jul 23 01:12:57 2013

I think that we can all agree, if eBay is doing anything it is only because they are starting to really hurt; and such hurt could not be more deserved; agree also, far too little, far too late ...

And, “The band continued to play on, even as the bow dipped lower and lower.”—The Titanic/eBay Story ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jul 23 03:02:50 2013

As previously stated, these FB changes are long overdue, but I'm very happy that they have finally arrived.  The application of this new policy will be interesting.

And yes, DSR are suppose to be secret, but if you know how to review them, you can.  It's a bit of work, but it can be done.  If Ebay is going to offer the removal of positive FB with low DSRs, then they should also give us an easier way of view DRSs so we can more easily figure out who has left them.

I'm also grateful they didn't hit us with some other huge time consuming change.  We all need some time to breath.  And historically speaking Ebay rolls out big changes for the holiday season then gums up traffic and therefore sales.  It doesn't appear that they are doing that this year, so maybe, just maybe we might have a better holiday season.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 03:16:56 2013

Ya have to wonder if this whole thing is not some GIANT social experiment.

Ya know--where there are the ants behind the glass and the big human eye is watching?  And the big human decides to put new obstacles in the way of the ants feeding paths?  OR takes away the food?  

Just to see what will happen?

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

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

Tue Jul 23 07:10:06 2013

Quoting Marie... ''If Ebay is going to offer the removal of positive FB with low DSRs, then they should also give us an easier way of view DRSs so we can more easily figure out who has left them.''

YES!! ~ Considering the fact that ''retaliatory'' feedback from sellers is now impossible, the entire concept of anonymous DSR's is totally unnecessary.

And, as discussed on another blog posting at this site... the delayed/anonymous DSR scores make it nearly impossible (and highly impractical) for sellers to use the ratings as an effective TOOL to improve their service, products and offerings.

Ultimately, as Ming points out... it's too-little, too-late. The damage has been done. The trust has been broken. The abuse and incompetence has ruined lives, careers and livelihoods.

On the plus side, in consideration of the fact that eBay will delay and procrastinate until the last possible moment... eBay's action at this late (very late) date suggests to me that they're FINALLY starting to feel the affects of their ill-conceived policies and their stubborn refusal to do anything about it.

For something like this to finally come into being, eBay must have REALLY been hurting and feeling it! Good!

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: ebayabused This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 07:16:34 2013

A buyer left low ratings or negative feedback but provided clearly positive comments.

This is a USELESS POLICY. We can't tell who left the low DSR so which buyer are we suppose to ask? They leave us positive feedback & give us 1 or 2 on our DSR''s without a complaint or contact about the item or what the problem was.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jul 23 07:19:48 2013

"having promised them 60 days notice of major changes to the site"

Really????  eBay continually make and implement changes without a 60 day notice leaving sellers scrambling to comply.

I'll believe these feedback changes when I actually see them being implemented and adhered to.  And by the way, eBay are doing no one a favor here.  It was eBay who created and changed this whole feedback / DSR system to begin with. Are they now finally admitting that they went to far, or is it only because so many sellers are fed up and leaving and eBay are feeling it in their revenues.  In my opinion nothing motivates eBay like their own greed.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jul 23 07:26:09 2013

And might I add one more thing.....I think the ONLY thing that could possibly regain the trust of sellers is a swift departure of John Donahoe, CEO and replacing him with a CEO who actually gives a flying fig about small- and medium-sized sellers.

Has anyone here ever heard him utter one word that makes us feel like he is in our corner and wants us to be successful?

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 07:35:08 2013

"a buyer leaves low ratings or negative feedback but provided clearly positive comments."

Okay then it says "try to work things out with the buyer"

They cannot revise DSR scores anyway. And I am prohibited from asking them to.

I have had this happen at LEAST 20 times this year alone. Positive remarks, negative DSR.

Too bad the last two did it when the other comments the ENTIRE DAY were from people who got free shipping.

So contact them? NOPE. NOT ALLOWED. But you betcha they are blocked.

What a USELESS policy.

And Rexford is right, they CREATED this monster. They should go back to mutual feedback, believe you me, there are PLENTY of buyers who deserve negs. Like the doofus who just backed out of a $4000 sale because they forgot there would be shipping and OOOPS VAT tax. All this whining is an attempt to get me to ship a 250 pound item for free.

My boss wants me to "let" them out of it. NO WAY. They are a non-paying bidder.  Not that ebay will do ANYTHING about it.

Big joke.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 08:57:25 2013

The dsr makes no sense. If there was ANY problem with a transaction, then you should know who had the problem so you can correct. That is only if ebay wants customer satisfaction....

They way it is set up now, only dissatisfied buyers and sellers. Think maybe that was the plan to get rid of noise. JD 3 year turnaround has not worked so it appears that he is doing what he can to get some honest revenue. Main source of revenue now is selling ads.
Probably too late for any comeback. IF it does, it will be years and years down the road if at all.  

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

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

Tue Jul 23 09:10:30 2013

The fact that common sense is starting to creep back into the midst of eBay's insanity is a positive sign but to be honest, I no longer see ebay as my sole home for ecommerce and I don't see that changing because of  few common sense rule changes.  Ebay remains a far too unsafe and unfriendly place to conduct a business on so many levels.  As a t-shirt seller I offer my customers 1,616 choices of shirts in a single listing... on ebay I'm limited to around 130 and then PUNISHED if I try to list duplicate listings of basically the same design to give my customers all their buying options.  It's so far beyond stupid and so far beyond buyer unfriendly that it's laughable. EBay's DSR system has been square wheeled from the beginning... This seller release offers more fixes to it but no amount of duct tape can make this boat float.  It's foolish, unfair, heavy handed and the fact that it's been around this long only makes ebay the laughing stock of the ecommerce world  

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 09:34:09 2013

Another useless update. Did JD think this up on his "thinking day"?

Fix DSRs, Fix one way feedbacks, Fix (once and for all) non paying buyers (JD (moron) its 2013 .. whats with the non paying buyer BS?), Fix the flaw in Global Shipping so you can invoice people, fix and fire the clowns in VERO and make it like Sears, Amazon and Newegg where these things dont exist ... theres so much more - why play games with these things?

Yesterday Amazon without thier "fall seller update BS anouncement" gave sellers the ability to use Google feeds to upload thier items to Amazon - THAT JD (you third rate CEO) is a FALL ANNOUNCEMENT!  (dummy)

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 09:36:55 2013

As usual with ebay, it's always too little too late. Not impressed.

Perminate Link for eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More   eBay Fall Seller Update: Feedback Removal, TRS Grace Period, More

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 23 09:41:05 2013

In going back and rereading the comments left here, I am once again struck by how DSRs are the major problem at ebay for most small sellers, and ebay still isn't properly addressing or fixing this issue. And so small sellers continue to go elsewhere to list and sell items.

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