Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat June 14 2014 22:40:50

Unintended Consequences of eBay's Seller Defect Rate

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is advising buyers to automatically open a dispute resolution case against sellers within 30 days of the actual or latest estimated delivery date - see the eBay Money Back Guarantee. Whatever the outcome, if a buyer opens a case on or after that date, it can count as a defect against the seller. But once a seller knows a transaction has resulted in a defect, and that no matter what they do, it will remain a defect, what incentive is there to help the buyer?

One of the problems with giving sellers a defect for open cases is eBay's use of the estimated delivery date. eBay doesn't necessarily display a realistic delivery estimate in listings, according to many reports, and it doesn't take into account all the things that can go wrong when a package is in the hands of a shipping carrier.

It also doesn't take into account the fact that buyers sometimes want to simply communicate with a seller about the status of a delivery or the contents of their order.

When eBay makes a policy, it is usually designed to get sellers to take some desired action. In this case, eBay wants sellers to ship orders quickly in a reliable manner. After reports surfaced that eBay customer support reps were telling sellers to consider other shipping carriers besides the USPS, one wonders if eBay is trying to pressure sellers into using more expensive shipping methods.

Another problem with giving sellers a defect for open cases is that eBay does not make it crystal clear to buyers that contacting a seller to inquire about an item is the same as opening a case, and the negative consequence for the seller.

There's already a certain tension between buyers and sellers on eBay, and by dinging a seller when a buyer simply asks a question about a delivery, eBay only adds to that tension.

eBay may find sellers less willing to be responsive to buyers once the defect rates go into effect in August, an unintended consequence of the new seller performance standards.




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by: tony bonn This user has validated their user name.
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Sat Jun 14 23:36:08 2014

the pressure to drop usps has nothing to do with using higher priced carriers. one of the small goals of the nwo is to get rid of government postal service because the hoi polloi don't deserve it. there is a massive campaign to get rid of the usps, and ebay is part of the nwo cabal.

the complaint is that the usps' billion dollar deficits are too great a burden while the usa spends trillions of dollars to destroy people overseas.

on the other hand, usps has some of the most arrogant asses - and I say it politely - I have ever encountered.

yes, ebay is intentionally trying to stir the pot.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sat Jun 14 23:52:34 2014

There is absolutely no incentive as a small seller to refund or resolve any issues with buyers once a case is opened. Most current TRS's will lose their status and/or discount once August 20th hits. Staying under 2.00% will be a lesson in futility, especially sellers with the 12 month lookback.

Whether it is 3 or 12 month retroactive defects, once August comes, defects will start adding up fast based upon ebay's ludicrous setup. And it is a setup, a setup to make sellers' fail. This is no longer sellers jumping through hoops. These are huge intended hurdles where only a very few will be able to make and keep.

This is not ''unintended consequences'' but intended to make sellers defect from ebay.


 

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

Sat Jun 14 23:57:29 2014

The answer to your question is NONE which I pointed out here the day ebafia announced their self destructive suicidal seller defect plan to exterminate plan.

Buyer erroneously files a claim because ebay directs them to do so just to answer a simple question and that 'question' results in an irrevocable defect for the seller?

No help from me. Let ebay deal with it.

It's a sad state affairs when ebay forces otherwise good, honest, and conscientious sellers to push back against good customer service so ebay can make more money by reducing discounts.

The result will be still more buyers leaving ebay.

These idiots can't think beyond the end of their noses.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Sun Jun 15 03:08:20 2014

Who knows whether the usually destructive consequences of anything that eBay does is intended or unintended. I doubt they woulf know either. Regardless, it should be perfectly clear to all concerned (as it obviously is to Wall Street) that eBay is directed, managed and staffed by a bunch of demonstrably incompetent morons—some of them criminal fraudsters ...

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 15 06:05:34 2014

Is anyone sure that this is unintended and maybe the Ho has really intended it to happen.

My question is If a case is opened and is a defect, if the seller doesn't just settle the case and ebay has to return the money does that count as 2 defects or just the one??? What would the end result be if the seller just ignored the case, blocked the seller and moved on???

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by: OnceuponaTime This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 15 07:10:51 2014

eBay Scales Back Same-Day Delivery Service....http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y14/m06/i11/s01
R>ebay
needs to shut their mouths when it comes to shipping.

@ bonn,

To become a USPS employee you must first pass a government civil service test. If there are a lot of arrogant ass's as one person claims then blame the government for that.

A civil service application does not take into consideration a person's personality. Just their ability at test taking, which has its drawbacks.

I know people who are hands on smart with common sense but could not pass a civil service exam if you gave them the answers.

I also know people who have passed these tests with flying colors and have absolutely no experience in said field, and should have never been hired.



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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 15 08:48:09 2014

@onceuponatime

I have a postal carrier who needs a road map to the bathroom...He isn't capable of delivering even junk mail to the correct address.

When complaining to the post office or online all you get is " We will look into it." Been looking into it for 2 years now.

I wonder how much the union has to do with all the poor delivery service people have been getting.

Its really troublesome when you mail a birthday card to the little girl across the street and it takes 10 days to get to her.

And even more toublesome when you go into the post office and the clerk weights and puts postage on a package only to have same package arrive postage due...The post office gives new meaning to inept.

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

Sun Jun 15 13:12:55 2014

Has dear old Uncle Griff given us his overpriced 2-cents-worth on this yet? What's his spin?

Every eBay policy is a tool to change, control, or manipulate seller behavior... a means to an end... that's a given. But looking at this realistically, I wonder if the defect-matrix (and the associated punishments) are primarily intended to *improve* sellers or to *eliminate* sellers.

The simple fact is that when enforced to its fullest extent, even the best-of-the-best sellers are vulnerable.

Those sellers will be drummed-out, or they'll simply be SO disheartened and frustrated with the entire thing that they'll just decide to ''voluntarily'' abandon eBay.

Either way, eBay wins, right? Ebay gets what it wants, right?

Oh well... I certainly hope that those sellers who do leave eBay (whether they're forced out or decide to leave on their own) will find the same sense of relief that I was able to find. --- I also hope that they'll discover that for LESS work, they'll be just as successful without eBay (and similarly... if they continue to invest the SAME amount of work outside of eBay, they may even be MORE successful!) Mileage may vary, but that's how it was with me.

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by: moto-science This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 15 14:14:52 2014

Any seller who isn't already moving off Ebay
will be roadkill. I forsee JD leaving  very soon when enough of his crackpot ideas are seen as
mostly disruptive and not innovative.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Jun 15 14:27:50 2014

Unintended consequences???  My arse, where eBay is concerned, there are no such things as unintended consequences as far as sellers are concerned.

eBay management implements policies to punish sellers so as to enhance profits and make eBay's bottom line more appealing to Wall Street.

As such, when new more stringent policies that have been designed to eliminate sellers from qualifying for or continuing to receive 20% Final Value Fee Credits go into effect, all negative consequences sellers are hit with were baked into the program which makes them INTENTIONAL!!



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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Sun Jun 15 17:13:37 2014

No doubt, everything eBay now does is done in an attempt to underpin its income stream. But I have to disagree with Ric; I suspect that much of the “consequences” that flow from eBay’s clumsy actions do so because most of the people running eBay are simply incompetent in the extreme; clearly, nothing Johnny Ho has done in the past seven years (since August 2007) has made eBay more appealing to the “smart money” on Wall Street; indeed, if you look at the stock market performance over that time, and Amazon in particular, you will see that, relatively speaking, eBay’s long shareholders have always been going backwards …

Had Omidyar, in August 2007, taken his money out of eBay and put it into Amazon, instead of ~6 billion, his worth would now be ~$32 billion. Now, that surely has to be a disappointment, to say the least! Johnny Ho must have them all mesmerizes somehow; for what other answer can there be for this headless turkey still occupying the corner office?

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jun 15 17:46:14 2014

There's no incentive for any seller to help a buyer after getting a "defect." This reminds of a situation I had years ago when I was still selling on eBay. A buyer leaves me negative feedback stating she didn't get her item. After the feedback, she then contacts me asking for her money back. I told her, no way, you've already stated publicly that I stole your money so you're not getting any help from me. After more e-mails back and forth, she agreed to have the feedback removed, and because the package was insured she got her money back. Sellers are going to be extremely belligerent when they get a defect for a simple question.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sun Jun 15 18:40:56 2014

''Unintended Consequences of eBay's Seller Defect Rate''

Consequences? Certainly
Unintended? Hardly.

''Another problem with giving sellers a defect for open cases is that eBay does not make it crystal clear to buyers that contacting a seller to inquire about an item is the same as opening a case, and the negative consequence for the seller.''

'' WeeBay does not now or in the past, nor will will in the future, inform or alert buyers of seller consequences of their actions on eBay  including selecting reasons for an inquiry. I don't mince words or raise expectations. There is zero chance of a list on ''instructions'' of this type for buyers.

Griff''

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.
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Sun Jun 15 21:03:31 2014

From a poster called Traveler on a forum: ... the watchword is "eBaygate", but I say the regulatory agencies don't work right on big business. They turned a blind eye on Madoff, AIG, Enron, and they will not stop whatever eBay is up to."

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by: Redlion This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 15 22:54:05 2014

Actually I have stated this exact statement (the title) to eBay's CS. Once I have a defect, what incentive to I have to even help the buyer. Most of my "defects" were because the buyer didn't read something detailed in the listing, didn't bother to check the package, asked me to ship to a country I don't ship to, etc.

eBay's position is that the entire "defect" program was to "Improve the buyer experience". I'm wondering how improved their experience is when they end up on my BBL.

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by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 15 23:10:54 2014

It will not matter if you refunded or rejected the refund, you will eventually be kicked off because of a high defect rate. So, sellers can either refund and lose the money and be kicked off anyway or keep the money and save it for when they get kicked off or start using the money saved to fund another another place to sell.

ebay is totally convinced that sellers need them and too many sellers make them think this because they refuse to take a risk to try elsewhere,  It is not until they are FORCED to that they do and they usually pay a much higher price at that time.

ebay has shown sellers time after time after time that they are only getting WORSE and WORSE to sell there, that they do not give 1 cent about the sellers and NOTHING matters to them except making the CEO richer and Richer for doing less and less for both buyers and sellers.

Myself and others can assure you all that there IS life after ebay and it can be just as good if not BETTER.

ebay is an extremely HOSTILE place to sell.  You are not a business when you sell on ebay you are a PRISONER!!!  And ebay is more than happy to be a  hostile WARDEN!

If you do not do as THEY want you to they make sure to send you to SOLITARY CONFINEMENT with no appeal.  

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by: joshua This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 15 23:15:25 2014

I opened an Unintended case recently. Received 2 of 3 packages by FedEx. Tracking showed all 3 delivered. Clicked 'Contact Seller'' tab and informed them 1 item was not delivered. It was not until after I clicked 'Send' that anything notified me I was opening a case. I immediately informed them I only wanted to let them know the item was not delivered as stated. The item was received 2 days later however it was my not my intention to open a case only to inform the seller of the issue. You can ask a question of a seller while surfing listings with no problems. Once you purchase an Item and click ''Contact Seller'' a case is automatically opened. Maybe eBay staff need to use the site before making updates.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 15 23:21:13 2014

There are a few constants in the universe ..... the sun rising and setting, our government running trillion dollar deficits, yet another season of the Simpsons, stuff like that but what is MOST constant - is that ANY program eBay creates - bombs.

First let me get this out of the way (since RIC and MING are too much the gentlemen to say it this way) HAHAHAHAHAHAH EBAY YOU SUCK. CANCELLING THE EBAY NOW PROGRAM - WE ALL TOLD YOU IT WOULD FAIL.

Now that my daily eBay laughter is done - lets get to the issues at hand.

eBay thinks nothing through all the way. Since no one in eBay has every worked for a real ecommerce company - they dont understand the 2 cent ideas they steal from Amazon - which they then ape poorly.

USPS - eBay likes USPS because 1) Having sellers use UPS or Fed Ex would be too expensive and therefore sellers would rebel against "free shipping" since sellers (eBay believes) will EAT the shipping to get to the top of the page (ty cassini) 2) free advertising on eBay supplies - it allows them to get free business off the us taxpayer 3) eBay can claim (as JD does) that its an EXPERT at parcel movement and trade when in reality a stray cat knows more.

For international sales - badmouthing USPS is so that you will switch to Global shipping - as the PB relationship gives eBay a slice of the shipping pie.

USPS in alot of hubs and stations is simply overwhelmed. Not only are the workers (like in my 11230 PO) ANGRY about Sat deliveries, being forced to stay late to sort the large amount of parcels, AND the HUGE amoutn f home based eBay business's that bring them garbage bags FILLED with small parcels - the word (so I hear from my 2nd cousin is that they have to now enter in every parcel into thier system (not usps.com - THEIR system) and reweigh each item. ANgry is a good word for it - if they dont like "the cut of your jib" your parcel goes ...... no where fast.

Defect(s) - not thought out all the way as described, since you can get order defects even when an item is NOT your fault at all - like with the 3 I got on sales PP said was FRAUD and pulled the funds back. Not putting in a tracking number and late shipment(s) = defect.

The system was put in place the worst %5 of eBays sellers who cause all the problems, yet it hurts the good sellers for no reason ... smart, very smart eBay.

The reps Ive spoken to  just dont care and insist nothing will change.

Way to kill your business - but since buyers not sellers are eBays customers - they dont care how many leave. The shirt, toy, camera or headphone YOU SELL will get sold by someone else - preferably a beloved so "its all good". Go ahead and leave small seller - and dont let the door hit you in the end .....

11Main - are you here? are you for real?

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by: odona This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 15 23:33:23 2014

I don't really give a damn about the ''TRS'' in terms of commission rates, etc. When we first started with ebay there was a fee to list and a percentage commission, period. I took that into account when pricing. But this other inanity is far more than I can even comprehend.

When I lost my TRS last year as the result of an actual fraudulent buyer's transaction, I knew that that would never be coming back to me.
Now - 90 days returns? Excuse me?

Listen - the business model was simple - the concept is flawless but it simply will never support the hunger of people who want to be running a Forbes 500 company.
I liked the model - it worked. I even bought in to the stock at the beginning, never thinking that the simple act of going public would destroy the company.

Oh Well...I'll just muddle through - stick with my etsy store - maybe 11 main ?? - on Bonanza (but what is that anyway?) - and use ebay only when it's the best truly logical choice.

I just wanna sell ma sh*t and get on with it.
Jes sayin'...

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by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 16 00:31:26 2014

I've worked for the post office so I can tell you that there is no such thing as a civil service exam for the postal service. The civil service exams were replaced years ago with job specific exams. The postal service exam is mainly recognizing minute differences in addresses quickly. What makes postal employees crazy is that they get blamed for everything that goes wrong even when it isn't their fault. Someone complains that there check didn't come on the day they expected and I hear about from my post master. If the check had been in my bin that day it would have been delivered, if it wasn't it didn't. That simple. I even once got chased by a man with a shot gun (while 7 months pregnant) because the mail was later than usual and instead of the post master being concerned I was chased at gun point I was chided for being later then usual with the mail. This was normal procedure at every post office I worked at. Anytime you have to deal with the public it can make you crazy. Just look at how unreasonable buyers can be sometimes and then multiple that by 100. That's why I quit. I was going to go postal on someone if I didn't.

About the whole unintended consequences. The fact is it shouldn't be a consequence but it is. No one should be changing how they treat their customers because of what eBay does. If you were treating them right to begin with then there is no need to change what you are doing. How does it help you if you refuse to do the right thing by your customer because eBay tricked them into opening a claim, or not taking care of your customer if the item didn't arrive, was wrong, or it was broken in transit just because eBay is going to ding you either way so you might as well screw your customer. How smart is that? Take care of your customer the way you would like to be treated. Does that mean you should bend over and get screwed. No! You shouldn't become a whipping post either. I don't change how I do business just because eBay does something asinine. If that gets me kicked off eBay then oh well, I'll amp up somewhere else or go out and get another job to make up the difference. I'm not putting my tail between my legs while I get kicked for no one, least of all eBay. I'm also not going to start treating my customer like shit because eBay is going to ding me either way. Think people! Don't cut your nose off to spite your face.

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