Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue July 30 2013 05:01:44

Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

By: Ina Steiner

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We scooped eBay on its own Fall Seller Release a week ago, and today, eBay.com will formally announce the details of the release. You can find details in today's EcommerceBytes Newsflash newsletter.

One of the biggest aspects of the fall release for sellers is the expanded feedback removal policy. One big unanswered question centers around the anonymity of Detailed Seller Ratings. eBay said as part of its expanded feedback removal policy, sellers will be able to request that eBay remove qualifying low ratings and feedback in certain instances. However, since DSRs are anonymous, readers asked, how would sellers know how to make that determination.

One reader wrote, "If sellers start contacting buyers to remove low DSR that they are not sure the buyer left is going to cause so many problems it is sure to hurt sales on eBay for all sellers."

Another reader wrote:

"Everyone seems to be missing the obvious here-that as DSR's are SUPPOSED to be anonymous then its actually AGAINST Ebay rules for a seller to try and work out WHO left you low DSR's with your positive ratings in the first place. So Ebay is now declaring that IF we manage to work out WHO left the low DSR's then despite us breaking Ebay rules, they will reward us for our cleverness by removing the unjust feedback? Wouldn't it also be pertinent to make a buyers rating  public and NOT secret?

"Most sellers don't know how to run the complicated and time consuming reports needed to pin down exactly WHO left you the unjust low DSR's so Ebay's declaration to remove said unjust feedback means nothing without also giving us the transparency needed in the DSR system to be able to see EASILY who is committing these infractions."


Another was concerned about the subjective nature of the feedback removal policy.

Here are some examples of instances outlined in the new expanded policy in which feedback will be removed that were not previously part of eBay's published policy:

    The feedback refers to information you entered in item specifics, sales tax, return policy, combined postage, or accepted payment method fields, and there is no contradictory information elsewhere in the listing. For example, you selected "used" as the item condition and the buyer left you negative feedback with a comment that the item was used.

    The buyer mistakenly leaves negative or neutral feedback for the wrong seller or wrong item.


    The buyer leaves negative or neutral feedback or a low detailed seller rating that eBay determines is directly and solely the result of a publicly confirmed eBay system issue.

    The buyer leaves negative or neutral feedback related to delayed shipping when PayPal placed a hold on the payment and provided notice to the seller to delay shipping the item.


Sellers seemed hopeful that the new Top Rated Seller grace period would be a positive change. "A good change" and "nothing bad about this!" were examples of some of the positive reaction to this news.

However, some felt the details we reported last week were lacking and, once provided, might make it less appealing than it sounded on the surface.

"The 2 month grace period is only effective if one can continue to sell at the same pace as they did previously or else their income and exposure will still be cut. It seems that eBay is essentially going to allow a seller to keep a badge on his/her site with a fee discount but what good are these benefits if the system is set up for you to sell less if your numbers are down? You are not going to raise your income without amassing a lot more inventory on eBay which only assured eBay of more free window dressing."

"This does NOT help the small seller who got hurt by one or two buyer(s) who bought multiple items, as if they are under 400 sales per quarter (I think that's the number), they are judged on a 12 month basis, so those low ratings are with them for 12 months."


Sellers reacting to the news that eBay UK would be changing the fee structure were met with  dismay. eBay UK business sellers will begin paying FVF commissions on the total cost of orders, including shipping & handling.

"This is extremely unfair, nothing but greed on eBay's part, trying to force sellers to offer "free" shipping. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG," wrote a UK-based seller.

One UK seller said the change would actually be detrimental to eBay since sellers would pass along the cost to eBay customers. "It will make our non-eBay sales look even more attractive," and they recommended eBay remove the shipping DSRs to "mitigate this insane idea."

Get the most up-to-date information about the eBay Fall Seller Release in today's Newsflash newsletter and let us know what you think! And take our survey about the changes in our SurveyMonkey survey.




Comments (16) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: Rick This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 30 05:18:22 2013

Nothing too disturbing in this release - for a change. Nice job, Ina, getting this to us a week early! That's why I come here. ;)

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: ac This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 30 06:53:05 2013

Thanks for the early news and updates!  Just wondering what happened to this line:

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

Was that an error?  Did ebay say that and then change direction?  Anyone know?

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jul 30 07:32:11 2013

"But the same cannot be said for UK sellers. They'll soon be paying commission fees (FVFs) on the total cost of orders including shipping and handling, a change that U.S. sellers had to absorb in 2011."

So Donahoe has found yet another way to "smoke and mirrors" the stock analysts.  The future press release will reads "revenues are way up in the UK".  It worked in the US, so why not expand it globally.  It's much easier than actually growing Marketplaces.

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

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

Tue Jul 30 08:24:41 2013

Gee, a 10% discount on FVF for “expedited deliver” (for eligible sellers only); that won’t even cover the 20% discount they “pea and thimbled” you out of your 20% TRS discount …

Oh no, not another "reduction" in eBay user fees ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 30 09:07:23 2013

I don't see any changes that will want me to come back. The one way feedback and dsr is a joke.
They lost me as a seller and buyer.

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: deepinwesttexas This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 30 09:18:06 2013

I would like to see ebay address the unpaid item dispute and buyers that leave less than positive feedback or low stars simply because a seller has opened a dispute. Many sellers forgo opening disputes in fear of retaliation from buyers. Something like buyers who have cases opened against them should loose the ability to leave feedback.

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Tue Jul 30 09:51:54 2013

@ac said, Just wondering what happened to this line: "A buyer left low ratings or negative feedback but provided clearly positive comments."

That was the wording a week ago, eBay revised it.

Note that eBay describes the instances in which you can request feedback removal differently yet again in the FAQs section. (I pasted the policy in the Newsflash article and the FAQ bullet points above in the blog post, you can compare.)

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: MaD Mercantile This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 30 10:48:35 2013

Ina , if you could, please explain more about ; quote ''eBay has taken expanded Best Offer off the table in today's announcement''

I hope they do not push that on more categories...

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 30 11:41:32 2013

EEEEK!   My Survey went POOF in the middle!  Help!!!   What to do!!!!

I think MOST of these are on the surface poisitive changes re feedback BUT who is going to be the deciding JUDGE on these?  The non-English speaking CSR's?  Are they going to REEDUCATE all of these people who didn't get it with the current system?  Is it going to be bot driven like the current system where you can't list a Johnny Cash record because it uses the feared word CASH on the listing?  HAs ebay thought this thru?   ONce again ist seems like half hearted half assed measures not full thought out--altho I do wANT it to work!  

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Tue Jul 30 11:47:45 2013

@MaD Mercantile Expanding the new Best Offer to all categories had been on the table for rollout as of last week, but it isn't in today's official announcement.

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: MaD Mercantile This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Jul 30 12:01:04 2013

Thank you Ina , I am just worried that this ''Expanded Best offer'' will end my relationship with my last hold out Non payapl (Very Good) customer who likes to haggle through the best offer system as it is now.  

As I understand, in the new system, the item will still be available on eBay until it is paid for.

I could,(I think) mark it paid manually , then I would lose the 'top rated seller' discount as I will not be able to load tracking info until after his payment arrived in the mail...

         Thank you

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jul 30 14:55:57 2013

Yes they certainly did revise what the actual release reads from what was originally reported here.  Most likely because of all the questions about how we can view the DSRs a specific buyer leaves.  Ebay most likely realized this would be a clear indication that their DSRs aren't as secret as Ebay wants the buyers to believe.  And it is VERY sad for sellers that this was taken away as it sure would have helped.

This is from one of the threads on Ebay, written by an Ebay employee.

If a buyer leaves a Neg with an obviously positive comment ,  eBay will remove  the Neg and will also remove the related DSRs after reviewing M2M and other communications to make sure that the buyer did make a mistake.

In the case of positive feedback and positive comment with low DSRs,  the feedback and DSRs will remain because the buyer may be overall satisfied with the transaction but may still not feel it rates as high as a 4 or a 5.  If a buyer shows a pattern of leaving disproportionately high rates of low Feedback or low detailed seller ratings our automated systems will detect the pattern and the feedback will be removed.

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: ac This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 30 19:27:40 2013

Ina - thanks very much for replying.  I do understand that ebay revised the wording.  They also TOOK OUT the part about removing negs and/or low DSR's when clear positive feedback is left.

I would have expected today's article here to acknowledge and address that major change head on.

Also, I took the survey early this morning and last week's proposed wording is used in the survey.  Someone may want to look into that as well.

With all that said, I do want to express my gratitude for all you do.  Your articles are an invaluable resource.  Not your fault if ebay occasionally says one thing, then does another.

Keep up the great work!

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: Ed This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 31 09:30:41 2013

There is no protection against Low DSR's because all ebay has to say is you don't know who left the DSR and you don't have any thing to worry about it is only an opinion. Then yo find out you lost your TRS and your search and your sales crash.

DSR system has to be scraped, you can't trust ebay as long as they have a punishment system.  

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 31 14:33:31 2013

I don't see how anyone is going to remain competitive for International buyers when Postal rates have doubled and Ebay will charge an additional 10% on those fees. That will add $1 to $7 (more in some cases) in fees for each item sold Internationally. China will soon be the only International Country shipping to the U.K. and the U.S. for even if Ebay implements the fee for Chinese sellers, it won't amount to more than a few cents in additional fees for Chinese sellers. China has low postal rates.  

Perminate Link for Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release   Feedback Changes Highlight eBay Fall Seller Release

by: lemonsandlemonade This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 31 14:44:02 2013

What about the Item Condition field right below the title that you type condition description, flaws.

There is no mention of it, just Item Specifics.

Are we supposed to create another CONDITION field under ITEM SPECIFICS and duplicate the condition statement we type in the Item Condition field for it to be considered as information ebay will consider in Item As Described ???



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