Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Dec 1 2014 20:47:03

What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay put into effect a new way to measure seller performance that began impacting sellers in August. The Transaction Defect Rate is controversial, and there is much confusion about what counts as a defect and under what circumstances sellers can request a defect removal.

In Tuesday's Newsflash, we take a look at two eBay issues - the first is one we've been getting questions about: Under what situations will eBay count returns as defects?

The second issue is one that a reader brought to our attention. You might not realize it, but if a buyer revises feedback from a neutral or negative to a positive, it will no longer count as a defect.
    
eBay hosted an excellent webinar on October 29th that touches on important issues such as these. You can also download the slide show to peruse through the presentation more quickly, such as the slide below:



The issue about revised feedback is confusing - it was covered in the eBay webinar, and we confirmed that fact with eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore - but eBay's help pages continue to show the original policy, which was that revised feedback would count as a defect.

It helps to know the policies so you know when to fight for defect removal, so be sure to check out Tuesday's Newsflash.

Four months after its implementation, let us know what you think of eBay's defect policy.




Comments (78) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Dec 1 22:51:15 2014

" You might not realize it, but if a buyer revises feedback from a neutral or negative to a positive, it will no longer count as a defect."

So after alienating hundreds of sellers, eBay is reversing their policy just as they did a couple of years ago when they tried counting neutral feedback as negative feedback.

One must assume that eBay has succeeded in achieving it's goal of eliminating a sufficient number of sellers from receiving the Top Rated Seller discount.

One also wonders if eBay is going to go back and remove defects retroactively for sellers who received defects for revised feedback before they reversed the policy.  As that would defeat their purpose of eliminating sellers from receiving discounts, I am betting that they will not remove defects retroactively.

".....but eBay's help pages continue to show the original policy, which was that revised feedback would count as a defect."

eBay expects sellers to perform flawlessly and holds sellers to almost impossible standards of performance, yet when it comes to keeping their own house in order, eBay is an epic failure.

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by: Closeout Sale USA This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Dec 1 22:53:55 2014

It has had a very negative affect on us.  We own a successful brick and mortar store, selling closeout and overstocked merchandise.  We started our ebay store in March of 2014... got it up to producing close to $2000 a month.  We have had a few ebay customers try to get refunds without returning items even though we offered to pay the return shipping.  We had a few who decided they didn't want the product, so they took it through ebay's ''Resolution Center''.  All matters were resolved with the customers.  We hit ''Power Seller'' status (whatever that means) and Top Seller Plus by June.Through July, great sales...growth was going the correct direction until August 20th.. then sales just died.  I feel like Ebay has committed Fraud.  They promised we could build a thriving business on ebay.  It's just not possible and the so-called ''Defect Rate'' is just a scam to hold down small, start up sellers and provide more customers to their larger clients. Just try and call ebay to discuss getting defects removed.  I spent over 3 hours one morning...mostly on hold, only to be passed along to 3 different ebay representatives. With the third one, being a well trained, awful young woman who constantly interrupted me.  Ebay.. what a scam.  They really need to be investigated.  They are taking monthly fees and percentages of sales fraudulently.  

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by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 2 00:12:23 2014

I sell unique collectible items. I get very few returns. Usually the buyer contacts me and explains their problem and we work it out.
For those in other areas this is a horror. This impacts exactly the areas of sales ebay says they want. More insanity.

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by: Stanislav This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 2 00:28:51 2014

Without a doubt eBay intentionally hiding listings since August 20th of this year. Sales were bad since May but it got from bad to worse after August. I don't believe eBay is lacking traffic. They are committing fraud by hiding out listings and charging thousands of dollars our store every single month. Last month I paid about 3,000 in fees! Most of my auction end up with 2-3 views! I used to get around 200-250 views just a few years back on similar product.

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

by: Bubbles This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 2 00:34:22 2014

Appalling system - leaves sellers wide open to fraud,expense & possibly loss of their eBay business

Feedback/DSR's/Defects or whatever you care to call it, is dead in ecommerce these days. Buyers just want to go online, buy an item, have it delivered quickly without a Spanish Inquisition from the website after the sale - they just can't be bothered.

The number of our buyers that actually leave feedback these days is probably 20% if we are lucky.

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

Tue Dec 2 00:34:26 2014

Instead of selectively chewing round the edges of their asinine and absurd defect system, eliminate these anti seller policies from the ground up.

If Wenig thinks he's going to earn the gratitude of small sellers for small changes rather either eliminating the defect system or making it fair, he's got another thing coming.

Clueless.

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

This user has validated their user name. by: Mercy the Mingless

Tue Dec 2 00:34:28 2014

Ric wrote;

''So after alienating hundreds of sellers, eBay is reversing their policy just as they did a couple of years ago when they tried counting neutral feedback as negative feedback.''

Ebay does not have a seller problem.

Ebay has a Brian Burke problem.

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

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

Tue Dec 2 00:38:43 2014

I had kept my Top Rated Seller Status for 4 years straight (except for one month) until recently.  I've now gone 3 months without the TRS status and it is KILLING ME.  It won't get renewed until Dec 20.  maybe.  About ready to throw in the towel.  I could care less about the 20% fee discount.  It's the search rankings that are killing me.  None of my stuff is bubbling near the top...even when it is a rare rare item!  It's horrible and you can't find anyone at ebay who gives a damn.  Giving it until end of Jan to see how 2014 pans out and I may end it even though I've been a seller on ebay since 1999.  I have a degree in Business Analysis from TAMU, I do my research, I am not an amateur...I'm having better luck selling on other sites.  Ebay may just have to go by the wayside, even though that saddens me.  Big Mama

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 2 01:20:56 2014

What ELSE do we NOT know about that is hurting us right NOW on ebay????

My sales are dismal and I gave up the TRS over the forced returns long ago.

So--WHY are my things NOT being seen and WHY am I being HARASSED by ebay because (according to them!!!)  my PRICES ARE TOO LOW and my pictures are TOO FEW--no matter WHAT price I set OR how MANY pictures I have.

So--what is coming NEXT from the DEVIL????

Does this not remind others of the classic "He only hits me because he loves me"  routine of the abused woman???  

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

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

Tue Dec 2 01:21:06 2014

Ming is SO RIGHT when he points out that ebay makes as much or MORE from a bad buyer.

Let me get this right,
So say a dumb buyer leaves a neg and all five starts, the neg itself would count as a defect in and of itself??
A 1 or 2, inad, inr and now, the negative itself counts as a defect- I thought the 4 defects were the only additional defects and that the neg was just that, a neg?

So we can actually get 5 actual defects on each deal, correct?

This JOINT takes the cake.

Just close ebay.

This ebay terminology is exiting my mind, no more, I AM DONE. Ebay does not deserve my attention or any of my mental capacity.

You did it JD.
Efforts and attentions elsewhere.

mh

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

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

Tue Dec 2 01:24:17 2014

(I see from Ina's graphics that there are 5 defects, so I guess 6 possible defects including counting the negative)?

We are more screwed than ever, if they didn't add that "ask seller a question" ALL OF US WOULD BE GONE already- lol.
mh

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

by: Bogart This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 2 02:00:26 2014

Wow, I guess I made the right decision when I left 8 years ago and never looked back. Ebay always screwed the little guy. Nothing changes and yes folks history does tend to repeat it self.  

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

by: Sorbet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 2 02:03:55 2014

The hole in the floor opened for me on August 20th.  I understand that this impacted TRS sellers hard and they believe that the defect system was primarily in order to EBay to save itself that 20%.  But, it wasn't just that.  It was also a way of COMPLETELY brutalizing small sellers so they will leave.  There is almost no way, with no sales, that you can climb back up.  You're smacked down because you can't sell due to throttled exposure and limits and "trending" data, you can't improve your rank and the rest because you can't sell, and on the cycle goes.

Moreover, I DON'T TRUST eBay's data on anything, much less their tally of sellers' defects.  I think we all know that they can and do manipulate everything, and the rise in manipulation correlates with less and less transparency on the site. It's also why the policies are so ambiguous:
 Gee - you didn't realize that revised negs don't count as defects now, even though we always maintained that they would and we still have that info on the site?

Gee, you didn't know that perhaps some defects can be revised if 1) you know to call us about changing them and, 2) you have all day to devote to being on the phone, and 3) you get the 1 in 100 CS agent with the authority to do it?

Notice how they don't exactly broadcast this help?  That is so that they can help the fewest possible while still declaring a robust seller protection system.

How about all the "glitches" that are always in eBay's favor and never compensated?  

I only hope that there will be investigations and audits.  eBay execs and BoD are insider traders who are swindling the other shareholders.  JD called us "noise" to belittle, devalue and disempower us - particularly to those who might have listened and been concerned.  It's probably the most clever thing he ever did.  By claiming that we sellers were nothing with nothing to offer, he led the fools away from his critics.

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Dec 2 02:51:51 2014

I think what is deeply disturbing about this company is that someone, or a team of someones, devised such a ridiculous, convoluted scheme that has no single purpose but to harm its own customers-- eBay's fee paying customers (yes again, that would be the sellers....they are your customers eBay)

eBay obviously never tires of the bad publicity, the word-of-mouth that spreads like wildfire, the "noise", the ill speak on the blogs, that they they themselves create by the way they abuse their customers.

And the pigs at the trough are cashing in their eBay stock, making millions on the backs of these very sellers who at this point are barely getting by. What does upper management know that has them cashing in such large quantities of stock?  Insider trading?

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Tue Dec 2 05:19:42 2014

To better understand how San Jose executives think up these 'defect' buyer-experience policies, it might be best to just travel to California, get a "prescription" for medical marijuana (for insomnia, anxiety, hair pain, elongated ear lobes, etc..) and go on an ebay buying binge after ingesting the MMJ edibles these idiots must be consuming, then cancel and return those items once you've sobered up from the hallucination of being in foggy commie-fornia, (if you can still think straight).

Anything less would just be guessing at how they come up with this delusional weird stuff.

I'm headed back to my old day job at 4x the income, and Amazon on auto-pilot when this season is done.

I will miss you all and hope you decide to end the eBuse and never look back!

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

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

Tue Dec 2 05:41:14 2014

eBay defects? Never ...

The Craigslist v. eBay matter is back in the news ...
http://pando.com/2014/12/01/whitman-omidyar-craigslist-ebay/

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

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

Tue Dec 2 06:02:03 2014

"In keeping with the emphasis our culture places on integrity, we have already taken even further steps to completely firewall off the operations relating to our Kijiji offering in the U.S. from the corporate management of our investment in craigslist, Inc. Hence, more than ever, we feel we should, as we have unfortunately been unable to do to date, together leverage the myriad assets in the global eBay Inc. family to provide the craigslist community with the best possible user experience.
Warmest Regards,
Meg"

Too funny ...

Fortunately, we can always tell when an eBay/PayPal spokesperson is being disingenuous—their lips are moving ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 2 06:09:24 2014

The title may as well be what you don't know about the next 10 minutes the way they change things.

LOL @ ebankrupt though. Seriously! lmao. The youngsters are doing something called dabbing nowadays. It's like anywhere between 666 to over 9000 joints in one single toke. (true) If that's not a real factor many folks would love to hear other plausible explanations for ebay bizare behavior.

No wonder things are so far down the rabbit hole you'll never again see daylight.

Now going to youtube chris farley as matt foley, motivational speaker. Suggest ebay staff do likewise.

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

This user has validated their user name. by: mcfiver

Tue Dec 2 06:32:02 2014

Last week, a buyer sent me an all caps message, accusing me of trickery in my listing and implying I was intentionally ripping off customers (even though I'm a TR Power Seller with over 3000 100% feedback ratings).

He said he 'thought' he was buying 'sealed' items because the pictures showed them in their original shrink-wrap. They were listed as 'USED with most still in their original shrink' and nowhere in my listing did I use the word 'SEALED.'

After re-reading the item description, I felt I could have been clearer and wrote him back, apologizing for the unintentional confusion, adding 'that nowhere in the listing text did I use the word SEALED. I then provided return instructions and said I would pay for return shipping.

The next day he wrote back, telling me he appreciated my response and admitted he hadn't completely read the item description (which was evident all along).

So, when this is all over, what's the reason for the return? How about adding another reason to the drop-down menu: Buyer Made A Damn Mistake

Perminate Link for What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You   What You Don't Know about eBay Defects Could Hurt You

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 2 07:28:58 2014

FAST & FREE sellers On Chopping Block. It makes no sense, but when has a little quibble like that given eBay any pause? What am I Raving about? Yes, this does involve Defects and what We the Sellers don't know is all set to Hurt Us... again. EBay's new twist on giving unrealistic delivery dates is going to be Bad for all of us, but I think over the rest of December it will be far worse for Fast & Free sellers. Fast & Free blended with squirrelly, unrealistic delivery dates that SEEM to guarantee delivery dates will drive even Reasonable Buyers to hyperventilate and file INR cases like doing so would automatically earn them a 70% off coupon at Kohl's.  Mark my words. This is going to be HUGE... and huge in a Bad Way.  Don't overlook that eBay buyers who are buying Christmas gifts to TAKE WITH them on a 2 day car trip to Grandma's house will be all bent out of shape long before the 23rd.

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