Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Jan 24 2015 14:18:58

Is eBay Backtracking on Free Shipping DSR Policy?

By: Ina Steiner

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Has eBay changed its policy for leaving Detailed Seller Ratings for transactions in which the seller offered free shipping? A seller wrote this morning stating, "eBay is now inviting buyers to leave less than 5 stars for free shipping. I don't recall seeing this highly important change announced."



The reader sent the screenshot shown above (adding a frowny-face stick-figure) that displays the following message:

Free shipping gives the seller a five-star rating. We filled this out for you because it looks like your shipping may have been free. If it wasn't, feel free to change the rating.


We first reported the automatic-5 star ratings in 2010, getting confirmation from an eBay spokesperson that it was a new policy.

eBay's Help page doesn't note any change in policy:

If the seller provided free shipping, we give the seller a 5-star shipping and handling charges detailed seller rating automatically, and you won't be able to change the rating.

Have you noticed any difference in wording when leaving DSR feedback for items you purchased where you received free shipping? Could there be something about this particular listing that excludes it from the automatic 5-star rating policy?

Update 1/24/15: Upon further investigation, it appears the variation in DSR messaging displays when the buyer has not used PayPal or another eBay-condoned electronic payment method.




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Readers Comments

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

Sat Jan 24 14:46:26 2015

If true, 1 more way for Donahoe to say *F* you to us !

Now maybe there is some shady sellers charging extra on an invoice after offering freem but now this invites the eBusive scum of the earth unquality, bottom feeding buyers on eBay to hurt sellers who really did ship for free !

In my opinion I just bet Donahoe tortured insects and small animals as a child and teenager !

Donahoe loves to find ways to oppress us more

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by: gramophone-georg This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 24 15:05:42 2015

Just when you think "eBay managers can't possibly be this stupid... can they?"- they immediately erase any doubt.

WOW just WOW!

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

Sat Jan 24 15:28:55 2015

Ebay inviting buyers to hurt your ratings. How can free shipping be anything else?

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

Sat Jan 24 15:36:09 2015

Yes... it *can* get worse! Apparently it can ALWAYS get worse.

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

Sat Jan 24 15:41:17 2015

I have a free shipping purchase from  a couple weeks I didn't leave feedback for.  I just went in and it's only letting me leave feedback for 'how accurate was item's description'.  Communication, quick ship and reasonable shipping charge were all filled in 5 star and won't let me change.

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by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 24 16:14:28 2015

here we go again another change surprise surprise surprise  as Gomer pile said once

we all know that e bay is gone now it is just a matter of when?

someone told me they had heard of their buyers leaving star raiting for a "free shipping" and ebay refused to remove the mark and he was aware that he "was supposed to receive automatic 5 stars" as shipping was free, the CSR when he called said that his product was higher than others listed without "free shipping" so therefore he boosted his price to what someone would pay with shipping separately therefore the buyer had the option of leaving feedback on shipping cost,

I would bet china sellers do not have this on their "free shipping program"

with ebay nothing is free unless you are a buyer then just open a Snad on the seller for free goods

unreal just another reason to close out another honest seller

ebay means
Every
Buy
Against
YOU!!!!!!!!!

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 24 16:33:53 2015

Another back-stabbing, double-dealing Eff Over by the dispicable JD and his henchmen. Anyone out there surprised?

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by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 24 16:48:49 2015

Is Ebay upper management only dumber than hell or are there some who are demented in a mean way. You do start to wonder

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This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Sat Jan 24 16:54:42 2015

They are scalping us all the way to the end.

Sure bet there will be selling fee increases with the spring seller up dates.

John Donahoe & crew, the rest of your life... where ever you rats are employed I will do my best to run up the cost of that business by any means.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Jan 24 17:30:40 2015

Anything that they can do to hurt small sellers they will do.

No company treats a customer who they want to stick around like this.  There is your answer which explains why they do these things.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Beanie

Sat Jan 24 18:16:18 2015

The changes that J.D. and his cronies dream up are nothing less downright mean spirited and destructive. He knows full well what sellers think of him ever since he called seller concerns and complaints noise. I cannot think of ONE constructive policy change that has helped sellers. He is hell bent demon on a mission to kill any hope of any kind that a seller can control his merchandise, sales terms, and profits. What in the world do they mean letting buyers alter shipping stars? Either it's free shipping or not. No gray area there. Stupid idiots. NO other place would treat its customers so sh*tty.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Sat Jan 24 19:44:11 2015

Shipping is no longer counted in DSRs so who cares.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sat Jan 24 20:04:49 2015

Wish we could send JD & His Thieving Cohorts back to an old-fashioned beheading like on the Game of Thrones. Or nail all of them to ''posts'' as justice for injustices done Daenery's style payback.

Actually tossing the whole criminal bunch in prison and throwing away the key would be equally satisfying.

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by: Russ This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 24 20:32:08 2015

Next will be drop-down boxes when a buyer wants to leave a five-star rating that may read, ''Are you sure you want to register five stars?  After all, only God and JD are perfect?''

These drop-down boxes can be linked to a sponsored ad to direct the commenter to an off-eBay site.

So much fun to absolutely screw sellers on this ''5h1t [thanks, Anonymous Annie!] scow corpoarately referred to as a ''venue.''

Keep up the good work, eBay...morons!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat Jan 24 20:51:02 2015

Step one - eBay allows buyers to leave less than 5 stars for free shipping without and keeping the change a secret.

Step two - eBay sends letters to sellers exclaiming they protected you from low DSR scores and boasts about how they are protecting you as a seller.

Step three - Sellers quickly realize eBay is really only protecting sellers from eBay itself.

Step four - Sellers begin to realize that everything at eBay is some kind of hot stinking mess that even eBay has lost track of.

Step five - Sellers begin in earnest to move their listings to sites other than eBay.

Step six - eBay increases the frequency of free listings promotions in a desperate attempt to inflate listing counts and bamboozle investors into thinking everything is just fine.

Step seven- Sellers begin supporting those other venues by making purchases on those same sites instead of on eBay.

Step seven - Buyers being noticing that the diversity of inventory has significantly diminished with the exception of the cheap carp from China.

Step eight - Buyers begin following sellers to sites other than eBay.

Step nine - eBay shows embarrassingly low growth rates for the busiest season of the year.

Step ten John Donahoe finally gets to do the only thing he knows how to do.  Break the company into pieces, dump all the debt into the marketplace which he conveniently destroyed and allow it to implode leaving sellers as well as tens of thousands of employees to fear for their futures.

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

Sat Jan 24 21:12:36 2015

Wow- speechless.
mh

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Sat Jan 24 22:09:38 2015

See update at the bottom of the post - buyer didn't use PayPal to pay for the item, so a different message appeared.

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 24 22:21:29 2015

Even so , still one sided by ebay. I quit buying a month or so ago , Im jonesing bad. I have 4 sites I sell on , including deadbay.

Theres a place for everything. I just cannot believe humans make errors like ebay is.

Once pay pal is no longer their bullys , then what payments will open up? PP fees will go up.

More of the same kind of games from ebay likely. "Deadbay games , the gauntlet of ecommerce."

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by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 25 06:19:12 2015

@Ina Camel's Nose Under The Tent. What possible Legitimate excuse could ''Oh, the buyer didn't use PayPal'' have?  The SELLER listed as Free Freight in full expectation of NO Backbiting from the buyer over ''shipping cost''. Automatic 5 star DSR for Free Shipping should mean exactly what the words say in English.  Point two. Could anybody actually ACCEPT that silly-azz reply from PEGGY at the Customer DisService Department. I actually see this as yet another way to attempt to set Sellers against one another in a Race to the Bottom resulting in more and more sellers GOING AWAY from eBay as the margins are just too low to justify the effort.  That CSR is either crazier than most OR is reading from a new script. Of course some FREE FREIGHT listings for ''identical items'' will be for MORE $$$ than some listings with Freight Added. I can point right this minute to seller of DVD Star Trek TNG season ONE who has Start price of $6, but is sooooo dumb about shipping costs and classes that they DEFEND charging $16 for postage on a 2 pound package. TOO much detail, but seriously that same 2 pound package from THAT seller to Houston would be only $7-ish by UPS or FedEx and less than $4 by MEDIA MAIL.  I bet Dollars to Doughnuts this seller is ''amazed'' that nobody bid on their $6 auction. Will probably be equally amazed the next 3 times they relist and draw no bids.

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 25 13:21:52 2015

This may be a special circumstance where the buyer used shipping calculator but gave free shipping. I just checked my ability to leave feedback for some free shipping items and ebay is still "greying out" the 5 stars for the protected categories (communication shipping time and charges). I can not change the rating and I am not seeing what this persons screenshot shows.

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