Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Mar 26 2014 12:20:31

eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

By: Ina Steiner

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Many sellers were excited to hear eBay was removing anonymity from the Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) that make up an important part of eBay's feedback system. But after conducting an email interview with eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore, I learned it's not a move toward full transparency after all.

Sellers will not be able to see what ratings a buyer has left them on each transaction. Instead, sellers will have to run a report. The report will indicate which transactions have received ratings considered a "defect" by eBay for item description and ship time - those are the only two DSRs that count towards defects under eBay's new Seller Performance Standards taking effect in April. That apparently means the two other DSR criteria will continue to remain completely anonymous, and sellers with a lot of transactions may have difficulty seeing which buyer left which "defects."

I'm hoping to learn more, in the meantime, eBay is holding a webinar this afternoon where it may delve into this issue in more depth. Not wanting to "interpret" Ryan's responses, here are my questions and his full responses.

EcommerceBytes: What will buyers see in April when they go to leave DSR ratings for a seller? Will there be any changes, such as special messaging about the DSRs no longer being anonymous?

Ryan Moore: In terms of messaging buyers will see: The current pop-up box which states DSRs are anonymous in the Leave FB Flow, as well as the Leave FB reminder e-mail will state "Keep in mind DSR are not anonymous - sellers can see the individual ratings they received.

EcommerceBytes: Do you have any screenshots of what sellers will see in April?

(none provided)

EcommerceBytes: Will sellers have to run reports, and if so, why, as opposed to seeing the DSR ratings in each transaction? Will sellers be able to view all four DSR criteria with each transaction - i.e., will any of the DSRs be anonymous?

Ryan Moore: As for whether sellers will be able to view all four DSR criteria for each transaction: Sellers will only be able to see which transactions have a defect, and for DSR's, item description and ship time are the only two DSRs that count towards defects.

EcommerceBytes:
I'm confused. If Buyer X leaves a seller a 1 for ship time DSR, the seller can't see that it was Buyer X who left him that 1? If that's the case, how are DSRs no longer anonymous? And if that's not the case, how would a seller be able to see that it was Buyer X who left the 1?

Ryan Moore: eBay will be providing sellers with transaction level defect information in order for the seller to see the item and transaction which the defect relates to. This level of information means sellers will be able to make much better use of the ratings to continually refine their selling practices.

EcommerceBytes: Why was the decision made now to remove anonymity, as opposed to 2008?

(no response)

EcommerceBytes: Which country sites will the DSR changes apply to?

Ryan Moore: The DSR change is global.

eBay is hosting a webinar this afternoon (2 pm EST) about the Spring 2014 Seller Release. Julia Wilkinson will be listening and will provide coverage on the AuctionBytes Blog.

UPDATE: See Julia's coverage of the webinar, "eBay Seller Standards Webinar: Buyers Expect More," on the AuctionBytes Blog.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

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

Wed Mar 26 13:09:15 2014

Ebafia becomes more obscenely and brutally Kafkaesque everyday.

How can any one with even a ounce of self respect or ethics work for them?

Ryan? Griff? Rich? Brian? Anyone?

Ming's ebay Law #1:

EBAY LIES. ALWAYS HAS, ALWAYS WILL.

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 13:48:01 2014

This is what happens when an arrogant, overstuffed group of Keystone Kops with a superiority complex come together and make new policy LMAO

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 26 14:20:23 2014

Business as usual.  Lip service once again.

Those were simple questions to answer that should have rolled off his tongue and his answers should have been so transparent that a pre-schooler would understand them.

Moreover, I thought all B-schooler grads were armed with Powerpoint slides. Not even a visual?  

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

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

Wed Mar 26 16:17:35 2014

Lyin' Ryan Moore's demonstration of eBay double talk simply demonstrates the classic, disingenuous obfuscation that we have come to always expect from eBay ...

You can always tell when an eBay or "PreyPal" spokesperson is being disingenuous—their lips are moving ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

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

Wed Mar 26 16:33:34 2014

The fact that these metrics are NOT 100% transparent tell me that it's all designed to HARM the seller rather than HELP the seller.

In order to ACTUALLY help a seller to improve, one needs to do MORE than simply say ''hey, you f***ed up!'' with a warning of ''don't do it again or you're outta here!''

Which leaves most sellers asking: ''Don't do WHAT again?'' and ''WHERE did I go wrong?'' or ''What needs to be different?''

Who has TIME for these types of guessing-games?

Why would any seller CHOOSE to live in FEAR of each new day? What's the point of DREADING every email, and being PARANOID about ever sale?

It's really a shame that today's eBay seller has to be SUSPICIOUS and DEFENSIVE for every innocent question that comes along.

Why would ANY competent seller be willing to go through dozens of repetitive trial-and-error adjustments in how they conduct business?

If there's a problem, is it REALLY the description that's lacking? --- Who knows?

Is it something wrong with the merchandise itself? --- Who knows?

Was it packed improperly? If so, which one? --- Who knows?

Was there a problem with a particular carrier? --- Who knows?

Maybe we could ask the buyer for more information? --- Oh wait, you can't. It's still mostly anonymous!

Lacking clear and precise information about the exact ''defect'' of the transaction, are sellers willing to waste time (and money, and effort) playing these hide-and-seek ''peek-a-boo'' sleuthing?

And even after considerable time and analysis and report-running, the seller still has no guarantee that the data is 100% accurate. It's just an educated guess (at best).

Argh. Ain't nobody got time for that!

So glad I got out when I did!

Yep... eBay chased me away. I refused to play their games (on a tilted playing field, with the sun in my eyes, with moving goalposts, with ever-changing rules, with ill-informed referees) and I decided to LEAVE.

So... eBay got what it wanted. Me gone. I guess that means that eBay won, right?

Or did they?

In this case, my ''surrender'' ACTUALLY means that **I WON**!!!

The fact of the matter is that I didn't surrender, it was an ESCAPE!!

It's FREEDOM!! Freedom from the hassles, from the headaches, from the PITA buyers, from the PITA rules, from the scams, from the shoplifters, from the fees, from the invisibility, from the broken search engine, from the bottom-feeders, from the trouble-makers, from the cheapskates, from the greedy-petulant-sociopath-stubborn CEO, from the risk, from the painfully low ROI.

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

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

Wed Mar 26 17:09:21 2014

Aaaaaah,
So RIGHT NOW, today, we can run reports and find out who left us low DSR's in ALL 4 categories, and now we will only be able to get reports on 2 categories- I see.
This is YET ANOTHER MASKING by ebay to make even L-E-S-S INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO SELLERS than we had before- with LIPSTICK PAINTED ON IT to make it look like it is a NEW BENEFIT?? I see.

Not surprised 1 bit-

So ebay comes out and says- we understand, so we are going to give you more tools to find out who left low DRS's BUT WE COULD ALREADY DO IT!!?>?
Now they ride out this TRIPE and folks think- oh ebay is SO UNDERSTANDING US NOW- when actually it really should read/ be announced:
"We at ebay are going to LIMIT the data you can now see by limiting the reporting down to ONLY 2 CATEGORIES instead of 4".

Are you bell ringers, ebay flag wavers and pom-pomers starting to understand??

My guess is this new gracious capability will UNROLL ON APRIL 1st- just to rub our faces in it??

Jail time JD, Icahn is going to EXPOSE you and you had better not bend over in there!
Mass howler
(Ina- I cannot WAIT until you and Julie post the webinar- I absolutely CANNOT WAIT- please hurry). :-)

"Lowest Fees Ever"

"We listened to our sellers"

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

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

Wed Mar 26 17:18:27 2014

This is a poorly masked attempt by ebay to accomplish 2 things at 1 time- SO OBVIOUS.

1. They want sellers to think they are doing something to HELP them- most selelrs do not know that they can even run reports- sepecially "new" young naïve sellers.
2. They want buyers to THINK that all low dsr's can easily been seen by sellers, this will make ebays serial dingers behave and will quiet the NOIZE from again, young naïve sellers and keep THEM posting.

2 goals-

Mass Howler
PS: Ebay KNOWS that they MUST keep these new sellers on and listing, or all is lost.

Happy April Fools Day everybody!

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Mar 26 17:19:15 2014

eBay to Wall Street: " We are listening to our sellers and making improvements they have requested by being more transparent."

eBay to Sellers: " Transparency?? Not so fast. You will have to endure the busy work of running reports, and, if you have sold multiple items from a single listing, the report will obfuscate granular details as to which seller screwed you. Take it...it's the best you are gonna get from us!"

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

by: Ogri This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 17:20:08 2014

Thats a relief, thought it would spoil the highlight of my week - running about 30 different binary reduced detailed seller rating reports, then creating a three dimensional matrix to identify the vector intercept of item, low rating, and buyer...gotcha!  Maybe should be honest and say, thinking for a few seconds about running the reports and creating a matrix before finding something better to do with the time.

Read a book a while back about a guy who had developed an infallible automated trading system.  Except it got clever and started to carry out its own malicious trades and killing anyone in the data centres that tried to shut it off.  Maybe thats what's happened to ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 18:33:49 2014

@Ogri-

Maybe that's what we NEED to happen - kill off all the humans and let a machine run eBay.  At least a machine would use logic for functions.  Probably not in our favor, of course, but at least we could predict and know what to expect.

When was the last time you heard of a machine being either facetious or two-faced?

I can just feel the big hand on the flush lever of the toilet now...

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

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

Wed Mar 26 18:41:06 2014

ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!

Go to the msn search page- enter ebay stock- hit the link and look for institutional investors- click the 5%- category.

HOLD ONTO YOUR SEATS FOLKS:

Pierre Omidar sold 8% of his shares on March 3rd!

TAKE A LOOK>msn search>ebay stock>click tab on left>institutional investors>click drop-down menu from Mutual funds to 5% holders>LOOK!

And LOOK also at all the big investors such as T.Rowe Price pulling out- the end is starting to occur.

That is going to be ONE HELLUVA an investor meeting in late April.

Mass Howler

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

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

Wed Mar 26 18:43:51 2014

Stub Hub sales have dropped from 15%- to a WHOPPING 50% according to ticket brokers- Yahoo search>enter ebay stock> look at stories!
In January ebays stub hub, along with ticket master were FORCED to list the fees they charge for getting tickets into the ticket buy flow- this has led to a 15% to 50% DROP IN TICKET SALES according to ticket brokers in the field.
Mass Howler

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

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

Wed Mar 26 18:45:10 2014

(Lookin' for bread crumbs here, I don't see any).
MH

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Mar 26 19:04:16 2014

I've added a link to Julia's AuctionBytes Blog post about today's eBay webinar to the bottom of this post.

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

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

Wed Mar 26 20:01:44 2014

That is:

6.3 BILLION that Omidar cashed out on March 3rd!

Msnsearch>ebay stock>"ownership" tab on left, scroll to bottom.

The yahoo insider deals only go up to March 1st so it is not yet on the yahoo ebay search- it is only showing on the msnsearch>ebay stock.
MH
6,300,000,000.
Also notice "Elizabeth Axelrods" big 7 million dollar day recently- sold 110,000 shares in 1 day at $58, exercised option for 100,000 shares around 38.

I am in the wrong business!
MH

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Mar 26 20:38:06 2014

I have been trying to run DSR reports for over a month and it is not working. Ebay, I believe, is doing this intentionally so in April the reports will be again up and running with only a slight tweaking to make it look ''new''. Remember ebay doesn't have any fresh thoughts and will not spend money to make money when it comes to their defect sellers. More opaque than transparent or lipstick on a pig, whatever you want to call it. Ebay is nothing than a front to steal money any which way they can. Buyers pay to get merchandise and sellers pay ebay to get what exactly? Sellers should be asking, no demanding ebay to ''show me the money''!

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

by: bulky This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 23:05:12 2014

Sellers pinged for cancelled transactions.  We get heaps of double click orders from buyers and then a request to cancel one of them.
So now to be a great seller and assist buyers we run the risk of getting marked down on our dsrs.  So no more cancelling of duplicate orders, just wait for an unpaid item claim, to erk the buyer and lose them as a customer.. is this for real?
Bulky

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 23:25:32 2014

DSRs are unfounded opinions, a shaky foundation to base a business on.

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 23:59:47 2014

Sadly all of this is very tragic for ebays ONLY customers--the SELLERS.  Big or small.  I have to think that if the small sellers are driven off--or if a lot of us are driven off--this will sooner or later affect the TRS--Toys R Us---sort of companies ebay is soooooo desperate to attract.  How long exactly WILL ebay be able to stay in any sort of business with NO customer base?????

Can the CEO's at ALL of the companies ebay wants to woo be THAT STUPID not to SEE what they are doing and wonder when it will be THEIR TURN to be trashed?  

Perminate Link for eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent   eBay Feedback Changes - More Opaque than Transparent

by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 27 00:01:42 2014

Mr. Me wrote: ''DSRs are unfounded opinions, a shaky foundation to base a business on.''

Yes, and ebay is taking full advantage of it to ding sellers. Anything less than perfect is the seller's fault.

- Slow shipping
- Not scanned at USPS when shipped.
- Ebay promises delivery in x days that USPS says is ''average'' but not guaranteed, if it isn't delivered by then, it's the seller's fault.
- High shipping costs from all major shippers, and even without adding handling fees to cover the ebay and paypal fees on the shipping cost or shipping materials, those are the seller's fault, too.
- The buyer demands extremely low prices and free shipping, too.
- Ebay makes more profit on most transactions than the seller does. That's the seller's fault, too, just part of the cost of doing business.
- Ebay buries your listings in the search results, or hides your listings completely, that's the seller's fault, too.
- Buyer complains that the item is not as described, even though it is exactly as described, buyer gets full refund without returning item, that's the seller's fault, too. There went the profit from 10 other items sold. That's just the cost of doing business. Ebay is the only one that has a guaranteed profit on every transaction.
- Buyer wants a full refund because he didn't read the description. Yes, the seller's fault.
- Buyer wants to return an item because it wasn't the part they needed, even though the part number was close but not exact. Of course, that is the seller's fault, seller loses out on shipping cost and $0.30 of the Paypal fee.
- Buyer wants to use the item for a week, then return it for a full refund by claiming it is not as described, even though it is exactly as described. The seller's fault again.

The list goes on and on. Any slight imperfection is the seller's fault, and ebay may take away the top rated seller discount. More profits for ebay. More disgruntled sellers. High risk for sellers losing money through returns, whether returned or not. High risk for sellers with high fees. But that's just the cost of doing business. Zero risk for ebay. Huge profits for ebay. Low profits for selelrs. More sellers leaving ebay. Ebay continues digging their own grave, deeper and deeper.

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