Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Apr 13 2014 15:12:35

eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

By: Ina Steiner

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An eBay seller seems to have figured out how to get negative feedback removed automatically. I've been watching the seller's feedback since February - he sells cell phone accessories and apparel. I reached out to both the seller and eBay to see why negatives were not sticking to the user's account, but have heard nothing back in response.

Several people had contacted me about the seller - you can visit this thread on the PSU discussion board for background.

eBay does allow buyers to revise feedback, but PSU posters noted the feedback revision number doesn't increase when negs disappear.

A reader who is following the PSU thread said it concerned him both as a buyer and a seller. "As a buyer, I'm scared that I could buy from someone based on fraudulent feedback (who knows how many other sellers like this are out there). As a seller, this special treatment is completely unfair to other sellers (especially to competitors). The rest of us strive so hard to create positive buyer experiences; sometimes going above & beyond, in fear of negative marks on our records. So if a seller knows they will have all negatives removed, then how hard do you think they strive for those positive buyer experiences?"

Is there something nefarious going on, or is there a legitimate reason for negatives almost immediately vanishing? I leave it to the collective wisdom of EcommerceBytes readers to help figure out what's going on, and if and when I do hear back from eBay and/or the seller about this case, I'll be sure to publish an update.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

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

Sun Apr 13 17:25:06 2014

I read the entire thread on the PSU Board.

Unless buyers are leaving the very few types of feedback ebay will remove, then either the seller or ebay is removing these negative feedbacks illegally.

Once again:

FTC Toll Free 1 (877) 382-4357

FBI Toll Free to report internet crime: 1 (855) 835-5324.

Since the removal aren't showing in quantity of feedback revisions, clearly this is illegal.

Don't let ebay get away with either doing feedback manipulation contrary to their own policies or permitting a seller who needs to be purged immediately and a wrongly purged electronics seller re instated immediately.

Help bring this rogue criminal enterprise down to its knees by making at least one complaint daily to a government agency that could investigate them.

DO IT!!!

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

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

Sun Apr 13 17:35:05 2014

Lose your tongue/keyboard, Ryan Moore?

This DEMANDS an HONEST, ACCURATE answer, Ryan Moore, if you still understand what honesty means.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Apr 13 20:44:05 2014

Wonder how they will handle this when the Defect policy starts.  Will the neutrals start to disappear too?

This is pretty strange stuff.  I looked this seller up on toolhaus.org too and could not see the negs.  You can usually see them there even if they were removed, but not on this account.  They are just poof.  There are some negs, but they are back in 2012 and prior.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: 1beck3 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 13 20:54:38 2014

Looks like some of the Negative Feedback left was questionable at best, but really they were leaving flat out lies.

There was one negative screen grab where the buyer left a neg and said in the comments he purchase "4 new battery doors....". When I pulled up the listing using the item # on their neg, the item was listed as "Used" and there had been 244 sold. There was also another neg left by another buyer for a "Manufacturer Refurbished" item, and the buyer left a neg b/c the battery door was used, had scratches and did not look like the picture. Now, the seller seems to use a lot of stock photos which is probably leading to many of these problems. But, in the item's description, it states the door would have scratches on it. Another neg was left and the only comment left was "not delivered". I've had deliveries that show tracking all the way to the buyer's zip and some that only make it to my metro area sort center but the buyer never received them item. They've left a neg, I called ebay, they saw the tracking info and removed it for me.

I know I've had 3 negs and 2 DSRs removed by ebay w/out my requesting since the start of the year. Once CS rep told me they have certain criteria that triggers automatic removals now. I'm not saying there's nothing shady going on with some of the negs from this PSU discussion board, but it looks like quite a few were justified removals.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

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

Sun Apr 13 21:22:58 2014

Lying feedback just like lying ebay press releases are simply "opinions."

According to ebay policy, buyers are free to parrot ebay itself by leaving whatever lying feedback they want to.

Even if ebay removed them, these removals are NOT reflected in the revised feedback number which they are when ebay removes them.

Watch that change soon.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 13 22:52:29 2014

This guy MUST have at least these 2 accounts.

I read it too - and its fishy. But its eBay and eBay lies so ....

I'm sure hes a big box chinese seller with multiple accounts and a rep.

If you are that big - you get a rep too.

Just like that computer seller who had eBay remove 1100 negatives that month.

eBAy thinks no one will ever find out since there are so many users and so little time.

Plus, because eBay hides so much informaiton - its hard to get accurate readings on what they do.

Im sure they hav a rep who gets big Xmas presents/cash. eBay is known to be PAY FOR PLAY - VERO takes money (verowatch.com) so why shouldnt reps/customer service/trust & safety.

Pay eBay enough money and negatvies dont count, DSRs (toys r us), multiple listings (I catch them all the time and eBay ignores it) and any other violation.
Buy.com aka buy aka Rakuten was given permission for longest time to put up a picture that had a camera with a line through it saying picture comming soon - and eBay allowed that even though its a violation of thier picture rule(s). Why? 1000s of listings!

AS for me - im not suprised - im sure theres many more out there we just havent caught yet!

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 00:25:33 2014

If the seller is smart you verify sales to feedback..

I document every sale (item source receipts with quantity, dates listed & sold, shipping, delivery confirmation, return policy, shipping insurance, taxes, revenue reporting, listing fees and any communication with buyer) you the seller bare burden proof if review is bogus or not. I've even had the IRS claim had sold more then actual inventory....these things happen.

I've had items previous sold in a relisting glitch by eBay that caused them grief not me. A good business advisor or attorney tells any business (seller) level you must document yourself for own self protection. My guess this seller did his legal/business backtrack plan better secured......

On-line reviews are not 100% valid (faked either side seller or buyer) unless you hold valid proof otherwise!  

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

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

Mon Apr 14 01:59:04 2014

If you supply eBay with enough FVFs on sales—real or faux, you can do whatever you like, including demonstrable criminal fraud, and eBay will knowingly aid and abet you all the way ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Just follow the money ...


Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Apr 14 06:33:59 2014

One of Donahoe's darlings no less.  The rules only apply to those who are not Donahoe's darlings.

To Ming's point, I would love to hear a response from Ryan.  I don't think there is a snowball's chance we'll get one.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 07:46:21 2014

That's ebay. Expect anything different????

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

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

Mon Apr 14 08:18:20 2014

I followed the topic and saw the negatives erase very fast. So it is difficult to follow in some cases. From the negatives erase. I only saw 2 negatives that in my opinion were unfair and nonsense. But anyway I don't remember see someone erase negatives in 24 hours.  

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 08:43:14 2014

For those unaware, there are commercial services to have feedback removed. One of them charges $125 a pop. Google it.

Oh, and for those filing complaints to the FTC, don't forget to tell them that Pierre Omidyar is on the list of billionaires who visit the White House most often, and that John Donahoe is on some presidential council on exports.

Remember how well they came through all those other times they received complaints from the ebay "noise"?

Yeah buddy!

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

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

Mon Apr 14 09:16:04 2014

I bought something from a seller that was fragile. BEFORE he even shipped it I warned him to pack it carefully. I get it broken in 4 pieces. I e-mail him and he promises to refund my return shipping. I open a case. I WIN the case but he fails to refund my shipping. I leave a NEUTRAL feedback, and eBay REMOVES MY FEEDBACK. I call CS and they say it was based on "internal policy." What a bunch of BS.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 09:31:49 2014

This is what a lot os pf small sellers have thought all along, the large huge sellers are getting a pass.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: ellisdtripp This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 09:49:07 2014

As the nuns used to tell us in catechism,"It's a mystery boys and girls! Isn't that wonderful?"

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 09:50:49 2014

Well, the screenshots posted there certainly don't lie: something odd is going on. Ryan Moore needs to sit down and read through that thread before responding here (and Ina, if you're reading this, see if you can shmooze the elusive Mr. Moore into giving you a direct phone number or cell number that will let you actually contact him, as opposed to forcing you to just ''reach out'' to eBay and waiting until they deign to respond -- you've certainly earned better treatment than that).

That's an interesting, somewhat plausible theory being floated over there, about the seller phoning up eBay and posing as the buyer, trying to get the Neg removed due to an error on his part. Given that the seller is provided with a lot of buyer information at end of auction, he might have just enough info on the buyer to enable clueless Customer Service reps to think that they're actually speaking with the buyer rather than the seller.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Apr 14 10:05:19 2014

What we are seeing here is a process whereby eBay is going to insulate their preferred class of sellers from issues that will effect the upcoming "defect" transaction process.

By scrubbing now, eBay is assuring that selected sellers will experience a seamless transition as eBay switches their seller measurement program.

eBay has admitted that they want to achieve a 25% to 30% mix with regard to Top Rated Sellers.
From the looks of things, eBay is proactively protecting the reputations of select sellers so that when the new standards take effect, these sellers are insulated from any change in their selling status.

This proves once again that eBay will exempt some sellers from any and all ramifications if their sales volume is high enough.

In the mean time, small and medium size sellers will still be pushed through the meat grinder of eBay's "defect" transaction metrics, with the end result being many if not most will lose their TRS ratings and 10% discounts within the first 3 months of the program.

eBay is determined to turn the act of selling on their platform into a zero sum game for small and medium sellers, and then they wonder why they find it next to impossible to show growth rates consistent with the rest of eCommerce.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 10:21:05 2014

Why would we all be shocked if ebay did the RIGHT THING on---anything?

I have a recent FALSE POSITIVE as a seller with TRASHED DSR's.  The buyer has offered to "revise"  but there is no way for ME to send him a link to do this--if ebay would even consider it.  SO I am kinda stuck--buyer understandably does not want to sit on phone trying to explain what he did and ask for a revision of the FB---

And I frankly worry that from a "False Positive"  with trashed DSR's I might end up with a Negative and those same trashed DSR's cause ebay is just soooo honest and straight forward on these things---

I have had a few older NEG's be dropped before their time by ebay in one of their "How we protected you"  deals---if they are so interested in PROTECTING us why do they allow these things in the FIRST place!  And then why is is SO HARD to get them removed when you DO have a legit reason???

I also see accts with hundreds of not thousands of NEGs---some seemingly earned and some just odd or false---and the acct stays up while the rest of us are bullied and threatened.  I do wonder on some why the seller does not try and get some of them removed but I understand that this could be a full time job for some larger sellers.  But I also start to see a pattern on some like a big time "jewlery" seller where almost EVERY "Italian"  chain and silver item is then claimed to be NOT Sterling---

Double standard much ebay????

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: Professor This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 11:48:44 2014

The sheet speed of these removals are quite mysterious.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically   eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 12:19:22 2014

First, let's all be realistic that it's not just EBay that has shady business practices. All large business controls this country and the people in it, including our leaders and politicians. They all seek money and power and they all will do anything for more money and power. It is not possible to become the CEO of a large corporation without being unscrupulous, immoral, and narcissistic, just like lawyers and judges. You won't find a successful lawyer out there who is a good person with honesty and morals because you must lie and cheat to win in court. And you must be a successful lawyer before you can ever become a judge, therefore all judges are dirty as well. I went into the legal field and quit when I saw firsthand that the good and honest lawyers went into teaching or public service simply because the legal system is so dirty and corrupt. The only law office that I saw in a large metropolitan area that had "real" and "normal" people as lawyers was a civil rights law firm, and that firm refused any divorce or family court cases because of how dirty the courts are regarding those types of legal matters.

Our economic system is just not designed to operate successfully without ruthlessness and greed. More, more, more. Every business/marketing school out there teaches their students how to sell ice to an Eskimo.  We can thank ourselves for that as well because we feed into it and buy things that we shouldn't or don't need. We teach our kids how to be materialistic.

I recently received a message from EBay that one of my low DSR's was removed because of identifying another scammer (not their words but mine.)  What happens is that every single day another dirty and devious buyer creates another new EBay account and they start ripping people off. They don't usually get caught for quite some time because it is so easy to scare sellers into giving refunds by using feedback extortion tactics expertly and easily learned by the scammers. By the time they are finally caught they have already left low DRS's and negative feedback for many sellers, all of which needs to be removed by Ebay.  Feedback extortion is what creates this opportunity for the thieves.  They fly under the radar for long periods of time because of the first dozen or so sellers who roll over and play dead.  Then when they mess with the wrong seller they get ONE bad mark against them but can continue their rampage until a pattern of bad marks appears.  Not until then does Ebay take any action but by that time it is too late.

I have always wondered about the sellers on Ebay who have so many negative feedback, the majority of which is obviously deserved, and still continue to thrive on Ebay, while other sellers must practically give away their merchandise to barely stay afloat.  There is definitely something amiss.

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