Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Aug 7 2014 21:34:53

eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

By: Ina Steiner

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A lot of people have noted that eBay took away the ability for sellers to check bidder history. "Another attempt to nix what little transparency remains," wrote one EcommerceBytes reader. But others have defended eBay's move. "One could make a valid argument it's no one else business what a buyer has bought," said a poster on the eBay boards.

In the same thread, a user posted, "Buyers don't like being stalked by creepy sellers..."

When users asked eBay about the disappearance of the feature during a "Weekly Chat with the eBay Community Team" session last month, an eBay moderator wrote, "The eBay technical team is aware of this issue and is working to resolve. I don't have an eta yet."

During yesterday's weekly chat session, the head of eBay Community Jeff Terrell wrote, "We have removed the feature that allows members to search for other member's bidding history."

An interesting discussion ensued. A seller wrote, "Again, is there a reason why eBay feels no announcement is necessary for such a change?"

Terrell responded, "eBay typically announces changes that would have a material effect on a user's business (ex. fee changes, policies, etc.). Changes to design features or elements regarding the specific functionality of the site that don't have a material effect on a user's business may or may not be announced, depending on a number of factors."

When the seller asked for a list of those factors and said the change had had an effect on his business as a seller, Terrell responded, "This change does not have an effect on your business. As for the factors, you'll need to follow up with our Public Relations team to get that information."

Sellers say they use the bid history to check for bad-buying behavior, such as a coin dealer on the same thread referenced above, who gave an example of why he uses bidder history when he gets a request to cancel a transaction.

Did eBay remove the bidder history on purpose or by accident? Was it to protect buyers' privacy? Should eBay make bidder history visible to buyers' trading partners?

Let us know if this is a big deal or not, and how eBay could work to protect buyers' privacy while at the same time giving sellers' information to protect themselves from bad buyers.




Comments (39) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

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

Thu Aug 7 22:13:02 2014

What an arrogant bunch of world class jerks.

I HATE them!

Todays' Ebay Jerk of the Day, Jeff Terrell, gave Ina and sellers who dared inquire or question the change the double talk response equivalent of his middle finger.

I hope the hackers aren't finished with ebay yet.  

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 7 22:19:36 2014

I use it sparingly to check on "how real my buyer is".

Usually my intuition says to check on certain ones - the ones that seem fishy, the ones with very low feedbacks, the ones with really odd addresses.

If theres a normal pattern then I go ahead with the sale, if not I use he "I dont ship to this country" or call eBay to back out of the sale. Im not going to go through eBay HELL to make a sale for 10-20 bucks profit when I cna "smell" the neg, low dsr, defect etc comming my way.

I dont care what people buy - and I dont know them so its moot. I dont care if you buy diamonds or adult toys. Just pay for my item when you buy it, please dont be a PITA type of customer, you'll have your item in 2-3 days and everyone will be happy.

Let me tell you WHY a history is good. eBay (being the stupid people they are) "gave me" this sale for a 100 dollar headphone. Great except hes in Chile (not yet covered by GS (but it is now)).

I used USPS Priority mail, I have 3rd party insurance - but it was a weird address in a place "no one ever heard of". OK - hes allowed to live in the boondocks - thats no crime.

Well ..... unless you are doing something CRIMINAL. Like? using eBay to buy silver and gold coins and items (not jewelry - stuff used for monetary transactions - ie not a ring for a gf).

USPS says you cant import that type of stuff into Chile - its illegal.

I called eBay to ask about my item - his 120 feedbacks were ALL for silver and gold items, all shipped to Chile, and now he wants a headphone.

eBay told me ... "dont worrym we arent comcerned."

I said back "hes using eBay to POSSIBLY commit a crime - money laundering or the like and using eBays shipping". Using usps via eBay makes YOU a possible partner in the action if its illegal.

USPS says its illegal to ship that type of gold and silver items into Chile and thats all hes been doing - should I go ahead with MY sale? They said YES.

If you think they even bothered to look at it - Ive got a "thinking day" to sell you.

There it is in black n white - a little leg work can uncover a possible crime ... yet eBay doesnt care AND even goes along with it ... just cause of the FVFs.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

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

Thu Aug 7 23:43:06 2014

That information was deliberately reduced in value by eBay when they further anonymised bidders, across the board; if you now can’t tell what users’ underlying anonymous IDs are, how can you look up their buying/bidding history; regardless, there is always a reason for eBay doing anything and it’s invariably to protect their revenue, particularly that revenue from the endemic shill bidding fraud that they so blatantly and actively facilitate …

Frankly, I’m surprised that this criminal corporation has not yet removed access to the individual bidder’s “Bid History Details” on auctions; its only by that information that you can now spot the blatant shill bidders—like the one linked above—but, of course, eBay can’t see anything suspect about such bidding pattern …

"Again, is there a reason why eBay feels no announcement is necessary for such a change?"

The reason for no notice is the same as when they changed their shill bidding policy for the US, without notice, to protect a particular partners in criminal fraud …

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

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 8 00:19:22 2014

Meh! More de-evolution right before your eyes. Back in the day when ebay was actually a social site it was a great thing for all types of legit uses.


Now that it's a micromanaged, megalomaniac's Big Data mind game control trip, & highly Anti-social site in reactionary runaway mode, where penalties or defects are issued for merely asking seller a question, who cares?  

I'm still snickering from that brilliant research study concluding it was a bug, not a feature.


Roll that beautiful Boojiboy's Funeral footage!

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Aug 8 02:32:12 2014

This was a very useful took when trying to determine if a buyer was problematic.  Personally I really don't like that Ebay took it away.  It was one of the few tools left for sellers to evaluate buyers with.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 8 05:40:47 2014

We are glad that ebay has done this.

IT IS NO ONES BUSINESS WHAT WE BUY OR WHEN,

If that gets sellers noses out of joint so be it.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 8 05:49:30 2014

@sasikat9

So if I searched for items bid on by sasikat9 on ebay I would know what you bid on? I would know what sasikat9 bid on - is that your real name? Are people REALLY seeing what you bid on or what that ID bid on?

A buyer account gets highjacked and someone goes on a spree buying every expensive thing he can - that is NOT an unheard of senario - but to you it's none of my business that I might possibly want to do what little 'vetting' of a buyer that I can.

ebay does NO vetting of buyers. ebay does NOTHING proactive WRT buyers 'over purchasing' or not paying for things they buy/bid on/win.

But ebay micromanages every dang thing a seller does. They're a venue, supposedly.  

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

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

Fri Aug 8 08:56:16 2014

Woops, that shill bidder's "Bid History Detail" page was as above and below ...

http://offer.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBidderProfile&mode=1
&item=390885357645&aid=y***r&eu=&bidtid=434134017026&view=NONE&ssPageName=PageBidderProfileViewBids_None_ViewLink

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 8 09:11:14 2014

I liken a buyers reputation to a seller's reputation. In order to have a good transaction, its nice to know who you are dealing with.

After all, if you are dealing in high end collectibles or precious objects, buyers & sellers should both feel comfortable in completing a transaction.

Today's Quote:
eBay's business is **WAS** based on enabling someone to do business with another person, and to do that, they first have to develop some measure of trust, either in the other person or the system.
Pierre Omidyar, eBay Founder

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 8 09:22:41 2014

@sasikat9

I don't care what you buy, but I need to have a way to determine what type of buyer and if I should place a non-payment or ?? against you.

My first time of having a non-payment buyer was last year. I sent a couple of invoices with notes if please pay. Then I looked at her history and she was fairly new with 17 feedback. I read the sellers feedback on her and they mention slow payment. Then I did look at the item's purchased and time and saw that it would take her 2 1/2 weeks to do a BIN and some gave up there selling fee to leave, doesn't pay. I was in the same boat of not paying and realized.

I also spot check with expensive items that I will sometimes sell to see what other expensive items they have purchased. When I see that they have great transactions, the knot in my tummy goes away.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Fri Aug 8 14:16:58 2014

''One could make a valid argument it's no one else business what a buyer has bought,'' said a poster on the eBay boards.''

And the poster who wrote that is one of the oldest rats in the eBay apologist barn.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Fri Aug 8 14:20:37 2014

''USPS says its illegal to ship that type of gold and silver items into Chile and thats all hes been doing - should I go ahead with MY sale? They said YES.''

Then when the deal goes sour, nobody ever heard your name.

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 8 15:45:08 2014

To be clear, eBay ATTEMPTED to remove the search-by-bidder capability a year or more ago, but overlooked one particular link to the form. It was only after they finally figured out that a workaround still existed, and closed that loophole, did the complaints reach the level that they're at right now.

I would go so far as to say that they probably wondered why there wasn't a bigger outcry last year, at the time that they originally attempted to delete the feature, and failed without noticing that they'd failed. No one wanted to tell them. ;-)

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 8 16:32:40 2014

@a_c_green

Maybe that's why the policy pages are all blocked from being cached and/or archived? They got caught so many times, for various things, due to cached/archived it's not funny. Now nobody can look back and see what's changed.

Sneaky, slithering snakeybay!  Can't you people just hurry up and kill it dead already? We know you want to. LOL

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Fri Aug 8 17:54:58 2014

It was written on a thread:

"Buyers don't like being stalked by creepy sellers..."

Well us seller's don't like being stalked by the CREEPY Buyers...

You know, like the buyers that win your item 75% less than nearest brick and mortar star, leave you a Positive Feedback, but a 1 star Rating in Item as Described, when it was as described.

You know like the Buyers who win the item, then ask all the questions afterwards and decide not to pay !

You know like the ones that tell you the like the item, and will give you 5***** and Positive Feedback IF you take a return and refund them, OR give you a Partial Refund, even though it was NO RETURNS and item was as described 100% accurate !

You know like the ones that Buy your item, then 2 or 3 months later they claim they never received the item, or unauthorized payment was made and so they contact their Credit Card Company and file a charge back. Pay Pal takes your money out, even though you can prove item was delivered, and they even left positive Feedback confirming it !

You know like the ones that purposely buy off of you to give you grief for a competitor, but they use separate accounts !

You know like the ones that buy your item, and then tell you I will make the payment in 3 weeks from now !

You know like the ones that slander you with untruthful feedback for Buyers remorse !

You know like the buyers that argue with you after payment telling you to sip it to a NON CONFIRMED address 10 states away from their confirmed address !

I HATE THE EBAY SCUM BUYERS WITH ALL MY HEART ! Thanks to John Donahoe !

It is Seller versus Buyer with nothing but contempt and distrust for one another !

What a helluva community you got going on eBay Johhny Rotten !

I still can't believe those few years where a Buyer could lie or secretly rate you an unfair low DSR and you could lose your income completely ! What a rotten human being the CEO is to let that unfair practice literally ruin a good persons life who described accurate !

So there you go thread Buyer ! You Buyers are CREEPY also, ask about 97% of us small to medium sellers  

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Fri Aug 8 22:35:20 2014

Bidder history is really critical when selling an expensive item. Im afraid ''feedback left for others'' will be the next thing to go. I always like to check ''feedback left for others'' before I do a best offer to see how often they say how nice the buyer was about returning the item or offering them an adjustment. If there are a lot of those or a lot of negs and neutrals I don't accept the offer. I wonder how long that feature will last.
I would be terrified to answer honestly a survey sent to me by Ebay. I would be suspended so fast my head would spin.  Every time I make a sale at Ebay it is accomanied by a feeling of dread. I shifted so many of my items to Etsy in the past few months and have made quite a few sales there. Even of things that have been listed and relisted at Ebay for months. Probably never seen with Cassini (cant see me... I love it) search. Just go to google and do a test search for something you have listed (not the exact words you use in the listing, but the way a buyer might search) and go to images...the way lots of folks search. You can just scroll over the images to see what sites items are being shown at google. Not many from Ebay!   All my items are one of a kind vintage clothes and oddities and only the Etsy ones show up. By the way Etsy does now allow vintage items and  happily, the definition is pretty loose in my opinion. 1993 or older so drag out those old ipods and videos and books!
I wish I could use ECrater but I have spent wasted hours trying to figure out their ''shipping matrix''. I use fixed shipping and they want weights and sizes of the packages etc etc. I just cant get it!
After all of Ebays defect madness I am still not clear on one thing. Last week I sell a lady a leather jacket (best offer, no less). I described it as ''buttersoft black leather''.   She gets it and contacts me via my Ebay email saying its ''not really buttersoft'' and she wants to return it and will I also refund her shipping back. Of course I say yes as Ebay has us all running scared. Now, she did not contact me with an  SNAD just an email. I refund her via Paypal and another 8.50 to her email for return shipping. Grrrrrr. If I do not apply to Ebay for a refund of fees and cancel the sale  do I still get a defect ?

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Aug 8 22:49:35 2014

eBay has been so paranoid about sellers and buyers contacting each other and doing deals off eBay that it's amazing they are just now blocking that information. Just like turning IDs into i***w and then reversing them (w***i) so it would be virtually impossible to figure out who was who unless you entered into a transaction with the person. More protection for bad buyers while hurting good sellers.  

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

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

Fri Aug 8 23:36:43 2014

@ shabbychick

It's my understand -- but who really knows for sure due to all the conflicting information ebay has disseminated -- that a PayPal refund without applying for an ebay FVF refund will result in a defect.

So get your fee back and file a Bad Buyer report.

If sellers would use this tool more often perhaps ebay would get a much more comprehensive picture of just how much of a problem returns have become.

However, if the system works from an algorithm and provided ebay doesn't keep messing with it. enough bad buyer reports on a buyer and they might be history.

But I doubt it. Ebay does absolutely nothing to help sellers and everything they think of to do get rid of us.

 

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

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

Fri Aug 8 23:36:44 2014

eBay's further anonymising of users’ already anonymous IDs, and other user information, serves no other purpose than to further obscure the massive, endemic auction shill bidding fraud from which they profit and which it can be demonstrated they actively aid and abet … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Fortunately, it’s very easy to tell when an eBay or "PreyPal" spokesperson is being disingenuous—their lips are moving! ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

Perminate Link for eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?   eBay Removes Bidder History - Big Deal or Not?

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

Fri Aug 8 23:53:00 2014

I don't care what users buy in eBay. Now if I want to buy or sell something or make business with someone in a ''feedback oppression and retaliation'' marketplace. It will be nice to have some tools to check.

eBay doesn't care about privacy. It was a move to protect their bounty. It has obviously 2 reasons to make it:

1) Protection to shill bidders.
2) Avoid business outside eBay.

Does somebody here understand the concept of conspiracy theories? Because eBay with this move was a classic one. It was just to protect their money. So they search a ''common'' excuse. Lets people worry about their privacy in the feedback history. They get money from shill bidders and stop any potential ''scavengers'' or street salesman stole their buyers info for free.

How important is feedback privacy? If any hacker can get all our info. eBay doesn't want to accept a real issue.  

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