|Thu Aug 22 2013 21:18:03|
eBay Removes Transparency as It Cracks Down on Sellers
By: Ina Steiner
Sellers are cynical over eBay's removal of a feature that helped them monitor their performance. The Policy Compliance feature disappeared from sellers' dashboards on August 19th with no warning. While some customer service reps told sellers it was due to a glitch, EcommerceBytes confirmed with a company spokesperson it was an intentional decision on eBay's part (see Friday's Newsflash story).
Some sellers writing about the disappearance suggested the removal would make it easier for eBay to crack down on sellers. Wrote one seller on the eBay boards, "Now when handed a policy violation you'll have to use a pencil and paper to write down the dates and eBay will just call everyone liars when they get suspended due to policy violations they were never aware of," saying it would be a "battle of he said she saids."
Another wrote, "Heard they are doing away with it so it will lessen Ebays liability when they make their wave of cutting sellers. Sellers wont know how many violations they have and when they are removed therefore Sellers will remain on their toes at all times and not have the luxury of knowing they can make a few violations before they are suspended and know when they can risk making them again."
Rumors circulated earlier this month of a massive crackdown impacting tens of thousands of sellers, and an eBay spokesperson confirmed it had taken action on certain seller accounts that were below performance standards "based on a variety of criteria."
Some believe the crackdown was part of eBay's secret internal program called "Guardrail," which they believe has its own criteria and different standards from those on the seller dashboard that can result in seller account restrictions and termination.
"There is a slide show on YouTube that appears to be screen shots of the internal eBay Guardrail and Quick Decline Program which is both worthwhile and very concerning," a reader wrote to EcommerceBytes. "It would appear that once eBay slams a seller into the "Guardrail" program, the system is such that no seller appeals will be considered and there is nothing a seller can do to restore their account."
eBay had confirmed the existence of guardrail to EcommerceBytes in 2011, explaining that the guardrail process was part of its seller standards program in which it identified sellers who were "creating poor buying experiences in a higher frequency, at higher rates or in a more recent timeframe than sellers who may be Below Standard."
The reader continued, "Perhaps an eBay representative would care to join the conversation and explain the convenient timing of the "glitch" while the "Guardrail" driven seller purge continues."
Here is a link to the accompanying Newsflash story - let us know what you think of eBay removing the policy compliance feature from seller dashboards. Was it helpful, and do you have tips on keeping track of your seller performance?