Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Mar 24 2014 14:00:27

eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

By: Ina Steiner

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In a major development, eBay will finally make feedback more transparent - starting in late April, the detailed rating system will no longer be anonymous, the company announced today. However, it appears eBay sellers may have to do a little work in order to analyze their feedback.

eBay's Michael Jones wrote about the feedback changes on the announcement board today:

"I'm pleased to announce you'll soon be able to run weekly detailed reports on your transactions to help you prepare for the new approach to seller standards coming with the August 20 seller evaluation. These reports will show which of your transactions have defects, and the specific defects associated with each transaction.

"Starting the week of April 16, you'll be able to see which transactions have:
- Returns initiated for a reason that the item was not as described
- eBay Money Back Guarantee cases opened for item not as described or item not received
- Seller-cancelled transactions, and negative or neutral feedback

"Starting in late April, the detailed rating system will no longer be anonymous, and you'll also be able to see which transactions have low detailed seller ratings for item description and ship time.
"

When eBay launched DSRs in 2007, it allowed buyers to leave them anonymously, saying buyers would be more truthful if they knew sellers could not leave them retaliatory feedback. But in 2008, eBay took away the ability of sellers to leave negative ratings for buyers - yet the anonymity of DSRs remained.

It took eBay 6 years to acknowledge the validity of sellers' argument in favor of making DSR feedback transparent. Jones wrote in the March 2014 announcement, "We've heard from many of you about the need for more insight at the transaction level into how you're doing toward eBay's performance standards - and we listened."

In the company's UK announcement today, it went further, writing:

"While the current system of anonymous ratings provides sellers a general indication about their service, they need details to address any issues effectively. For example, if a seller's ratings indicate their items take too long to arrive, it will help them take the right action if they know the issue is with posting to a specific geographical region.

"Sellers will soon be able to get reports that provide this kind of detailed information. Starting in late April, detailed seller ratings will no longer be anonymous. Sellers will be able to run reports telling them which of their transactions received low detailed seller ratings.

"With this change, sellers will be able to make much better use of the ratings to continually refine their selling practices - and deliver the great service you expect. So please continue to leave ratings and feedback that honestly and fairly reflect your buying experience."


Sellers have been telling eBay just that for years - with more information about DSRs, they could improve their business practices. So why did it take eBay 6 years to make DSRs more transparent? What do you think of today's announcement from eBay?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 14:19:31 2014

LOL do you really think I'm going to bother to comment on Ebay's nonsense about feedback?  That has been and still is useless...especially since its taken them six years to finally realize sellers were right all along.  Still...with arrogant nose in the air they intend to come on with even more rules and regulations for sellers.  I'm so glad to be out of that madness.  The inmates are definitely running that asylum and little can be said to make a difference.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

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

Mon Mar 24 14:47:21 2014

Translation:

"Someone is or is about to sue us.

But we're certainly NOT going to make it easy for you noisy defects to determine who left low ratings and why."

Here's how to fight back.

1. Block anyone who returns an item for anything other than defect or accidental misrepresentation.

2. Block everyone leaving 3 stars or less.

3. Form a private Yahoo group (avoid Facebook) of sellers in your category and share bad buyers for the purpose of blocking them.

4. Report all buyers who return items for anything less than defect or accidental misrepresentation until ebay removes this system because it's anonymous.

5. Block all buyers who leave negative or neutral feedback for unjustifiable reasons and share their IDs with other sellers.

The flaw in those sites who accept the user IDs of bad buyers, groups should be category specific for greater accuracy.

Fight back!

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Mar 24 15:00:03 2014

''We've heard from many of you about the need for more insight at the transaction level into how you're doing toward eBay's performance standards - and we listened.''

As long as it took them to hear, they're all legally deaf.

Beltone hearing aids all around.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Mar 24 15:20:34 2014

At first blush, this is a long overdue change in eBay's policy.

However, it is far too soon for sellers to be jumping for joy since eBay can back away from this policy change if they see their goals of eliminating sellers from qualifying for discounts is hampered by this token gesture of transparency.

The negative aspect of this is the apparent requirement that sellers run a report in order to drill down and get specifics.

With eBay's in a constant state of chaos with regard to various systems, forcing sellers to run reports provides little confidence in the accuracy and does not amount to complete transparency as eBay would like sellers to believe.

Instead of forcing sellers to run reports, eBay should simply be transparent and provide sellers with the necessary details without compelling sellers to run reports.

If eBay is going to be more transparent, and I believe this is an attempt to reach that point, then their systems should be revised so that sellers are relieved of the necessity to run reports in order to obtain information that should be fully and completely disclosed.

Sadly for sellers, eBay's concept of transparency and the genuine full & complete transparency sellers are entitled to have access to are still quite far apart. Perhaps full and complete transparency without the need to run a report will only take another 6 years for eBay to implement.

Next, eBay needs to address their decision to count neutral feedback as a transaction defect, as well as their arbitrary declaration that 3 star DSR's will count toward a sellers defect transaction counts.

Perhaps this change reflects the fact that eBay knows their "defective transaction" metrics where neutral feedback or 3 star DSR scores are counted as negatives against sellers are going to accomplish their goal of eliminating thousands of sellers from receiving discounts on final value fees as well as preventing thousands more from qualifying in the first place, thus the move toward long sought transparency.

History proves it took eBay far too long to rethink their defective policy the last time they tried to count neutral feedback as negative feedback.

The definition of neutral has not changed since that debacle, and eBay's semantic word-smithing of "defective transactions" does not change the definition of neutral feedback either.

Mr Donahoe and his team need to purchase a dictionary ( available from many sellers on eBay), look up the word neutral, commit the definition to memory, and adjust policy so as to be consistent with the world wide accepted definition of the term.


Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 15:31:18 2014

Oh damn my BBL has just gotten bigger.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 16:27:44 2014

Ric,
I wouldn't worry about those ''discounts''.  They could just discontinue those tomorrow.  

Just run your business the best you can and if you find you get some ''discount'' consider it a welcome extra profit.

As to running reports, I agree, that is just a waste of time. I have a hair trigger, I block everyone who leaves me a negative FB, for any reason. I block anyone who asks an inappropriate question, or hassles me in any way including complaining about prices, shipping, anything.  

Whenever I have deviated from this policy I have *always* been made sorry.  No good deed goes unpunished.

So I think we need to be able to block anyone who has a history of leaving bad ratings.  We just don't need that business.  

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 17:14:30 2014

I agree with MING.

Someone in corporate - the lawyers - the ones who sneak illegal things into the TOS - came to the realization that they could possibly be sued for the new "metrics philisophy" if there wasnt a tool (aka JD - the worlds biggest tool) to measure it with.

If you think for ONE SECOND that eBay "listened to its SELLERS" you are on CRACK.

eBay never listens to its sellers. Sellers arent their customers and they have said so over and over.

The 90 returns issue exists because they listened to some buyers in a survey who said they'de buy more if there was a 90 return policy.

Of course sellers would sell more f JD & Co left, there werent FVFs on shipping and you could leave feedbacks (negative) for buyers again - but dont wait 6 yrs for tose to happen - they wont.

MING is on the money AGAIN - in eBayland its always about the money or getting sued - those are the ONLY reasons things happen.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

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

Mon Mar 24 17:59:38 2014

----- "I'm so glad to be out of that madness.  The inmates are definitely running that asylum and little can be said to make a difference."

Preach it, Sister! Amen to that! :-D

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: Cyclestripper This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 21:44:55 2014

When I see Michael Jones begging for a job on a street corner, I will be happy.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 21:58:19 2014

As the old saying goes, "the DEVIL is in the details".

With ebay the DEVIL is lurking at every turn.  With this change which is long overdue, seller MUST expect to LOSE at least one valuable thing but probably more like 3-4 things.

ebay NEVER just does a good or right thing for sellers without TAKING something AWAY.

My guess is that they will be taking away the Block bidders list.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: Sunflower This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 21:58:34 2014

LOL I am just like Steevo! My BBL is huge, I am worried I will run out of room with the new ''transparent'' dsr's.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: mazelgirl This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 22:04:24 2014

It's not anonymous now -- you run a report and the offending DSR quickly comes to the top.  It's never been an anonymous system.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

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

Mon Mar 24 22:15:19 2014

A heads-up for Ming.

Multiple sites for sharing bad buyers been up and running for several years. One is: http://ebaybuyerblacklist.blogspot.com/
A Google search will verify if someone is on the list or not.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: TexasTwister This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 22:17:55 2014

@Steevo -  I also add users who make absurd ''Best Offers'' to my block list. I also block stupid question askers.

I've even thought about blocking buyers that type in all lower case with no punctuation and use the letter ''u'' for ''you'' and ''4'' for ''for'', LOL, but I don't have that much time.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear

Mon Mar 24 22:56:15 2014

I have a funny feeling that eBay will soon be getting rid of the BBL.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

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

Mon Mar 24 23:38:13 2014

As is always the case with eBay, it's too little too late. This won't help the thousands of sellers wrongfully purged in the slightest.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 25 00:39:03 2014

AM I the only one that noticed that this lil' ol' blurb was written for BUYERS EYES ONLY?  And not at ALL directed towards the actual SELLERS they are going to punish further in the Gulag?

No?

Just me?  

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

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

Tue Mar 25 00:59:01 2014

I don't care about discounts. I care about sales and being able to figure out who or why I was given a 1 for not combining shipping, when no one bought more than one thing. (I must have lost at least one sale and maybe more.) That way, I could at least explain to the buyer that Ebay's shopping cart that won't combine shipping. Maybe that way, the disgruntled buyer, won't ding the next seller for circumstances beyond the seller's control.  

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Mar 25 01:20:52 2014

They are just deflecting.  Or trying to.  There is a great deal of upset on the Ebay forums over the Spring Update.  I see this as an attempt to give the sellers something they have asked for a long time in an effort to calm them down.

So we can see them.  Then we can block the buyer from future purchases.  As that is about all we can do.  We can't get them corrected or revised if they are left with a positive FB.

So this is a bread crumb tossed out by Ebay in an effort to make sellers feel warm and fuzzy towards Ebay and won't see it for what it is.

Perminate Link for eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING   eBay Backtracks on Anonymous Feedback - BREAKING

by: VintageLady This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 25 02:25:30 2014

...and how exactly is this a major breakthrough? I would feel insulted reading this ''too little too late'' nonsense, including the tone of the delivery, if I were still a Seller in the thick of the eBay madness. Thankfully I made it out and the view from the sanity lane is...priceless.      

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