Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Sept 16 2015 11:43:09

Should eBay Absolve Sellers Penalized Under Old Standards?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is (again) changing the way it measures a seller's performance, and a reader raised an interesting point: "What I want to know is for those sellers that were suspended for metrics that will no longer count towards your seller performance come February 20th, be allowed to come back to sell again?"

eBay announced last week that many of the factors that go into determining a seller's defect rate would no longer count beginning February 20, 2016:

- Buyer feedback

- Detailed seller ratings (DSRs)

- Returns requests that are successfully resolved with your buyer

- Items not received requests that are successfully resolved with your buyer

eBay acknowledged on its website that it used buyers' opinions in judging sellers: "Sellers have told us they want a set of performance measures that are easier to manage and not based on opinions. We're excited to announce changes to help make seller performance standards simpler, more objective, and truly reflective of your level of service."

So what happens to those sellers eBay penalized based on buyer opinions or other, subjective, factors? Will eBay absolve those sellers and allow them to sell again?

We asked eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore on Monday and haven't heard back as of yet.

We published a "Dear John" letter eBay sent to sellers downgraded for not meeting performance standards a year ago: 

"Selling standards are in place to ensure that sellers deliver a great customer experience to their buyers. They measure whether buyers were satisfied with your items and your customer service.

"When you don't meet the minimum requirements for selling, you are creating experiences that erode confidence and drive buyers away."

As sellers, do you think eBay should use its new standards retroactively? Would you like to see those sellers return to eBay (or regain their standings)? Let us know what you think!




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Should eBay Absolve Sellers Penalized Under Old Standards?   Should eBay Absolve Sellers Penalized Under Old Standards?

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Wed Sep 16 12:36:28 2015

I read the Feedback left for other Sellers; and I communicate with Sellers I buy from about their "Negatives". All I want to know is if they were having problems 6 weeks ago - like self-sticking bubble mailers with bad seams - is it under control now? We can all agree that eBay needs to - and can - create a more trustworthy feedback system than what it has now. "More objective"? What part of it is "objective" now? It's disturbing to hear eBay CS say that communications from Sellers are "subjective" and unreliable, or that photos are suspect, but the Buyer's posted comment is accepted at face value even after admitting in an eBay message that they left it for the wrong Seller? The "analytics" that sift through posted comments must be a joke when a DVD Buyer writes "this music concert video sucks". Why should a Seller get dinged with a "Defect" for "Where's My Item" when eBay label tracking shows it's been sitting in their post office box for 2 weeks? Not just on eBay, but anywhere, the mark of the Seller is not that they never have any problems or issues, but that they resolved them to the customer's satisfaction with or without help from eBay or PayPal. I still believe that the Buyer's Negative Feedback should be discounted by the percentage of transactions they have left feedback for in the past. A Buyer who never leaves feedback should not be allowed to occasionally leave snarly comments and a neutral because USPS delivered the package outside the eBay projected window.  

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 12:58:08 2015

I dont see why anyone would come back. Ok well never flog you again, we promise. I cannot trust this venue , or their screwed up so called changes. Its deadbay as a whole who cannot be trusted , not just a few. Theyre just looking for quieter ways to screw sellers over. You beat me once , shame on me , you beat me twice , death to you.

I have no love or trust for this so called venue. I believe they are , & will get whats coming to them. Run sellers , run! And never look back.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 13:33:45 2015

There will be no absolution. For when they make things retroactive, they truly show they dont care about sellers.

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

Wed Sep 16 13:35:47 2015

Of course, that would be the fair thing to do. But, for the sellers who were affected by eBay's myopic and Draconian policies... those sellers should probably ask themselves if returning to eBay is the SMART thing to do.

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by: Katertot77 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 13:46:07 2015

I was booted for too many open cases because they directed any question about returning an item into opening a case. I wouldn't go back to that dump if they paid me. I moved my business to another site which specializes in clothing and although business is a bit slower it's picking up and I'm treated much better. eBay is in trouble and they've gotten away with bullying their sellers too long. I won't miss them.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Sep 16 13:47:44 2015

eBay's previous seller ratings system was intentionally designed to cull the number of sellers on the site.

Now that this mission has been accomplished, eBay is revising the way they rank the sellers who managed to survive the purges of the Donahoe error.

Make no mistake however, this is not eBay admitting that their previous system was draconian, nor does it necessarily reflect a admission that the past system was unfair.

eBay's management likely reviews this system change as a reward to those sellers who survived the past carnage. It does not however, reflect that current management that intends to allow previously dismissed sellers to return since the eBay management team is proud of how they "cleaned up" the site.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 14:20:31 2015

A reward? You realize the new system will be worse off then before due to automatic defects for no scans?

Plus its going from being booted at 5% to 2% defects

And losing top rated is .05% instead of 2%

This new system will further rid of people and top rated statuses across the board.

This is by no means a "reward" to those who "survived" the current defect policy.

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by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 15:34:28 2015

It's like Ebay likes to pat Sellers on the head with one hand, and slap you silly with the other!

Whatever Ebay gives, they take away elsewhere.

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

Wed Sep 16 15:45:38 2015

Who cares ?  Sales on Ebay get slower and slower with every month.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 16:34:20 2015

In all likelyhood all those so called booted sellers are on Ebay selling.  Its not hard to open an account even after being booted. So the answer is NO.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 17:15:09 2015

now that's funny,

until you ACTUALLY have New Standards, there is no such thing as ''Old Standards''

 

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This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Wed Sep 16 17:19:24 2015

great question.

Just another sign that the new owners are going to be nicer than the current criminal oppressors.

Ebay will probably never address this question because the sale of ebay has not been announced to the share holders yet.

These types of changes we are seeing are the setting up shop for the new owners to operate 'their" ebay on day one.

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

Wed Sep 16 17:28:14 2015

Ebafia operates within its own self created ethical vacuum.

What ebafia should do is not what it will do.

Reinstatement should be evaluated on a case by case basis by a human being with common sense if any of these exist at ebafia corp.

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by: Santini This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 18:56:30 2015

Jim Cockrum puts it succinctly:

"Regardless of what policies eBay puts into place, the new “rules” don’t matter if the shoppers aren’t showing up…and Amazon is KICKING EBAY’s BUTT in that department, so it’s a bit of a non-issue to me."

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 19:57:25 2015

Clearly it would be patently unfair to keep those sellers off the board after admitting that the old defect system was a huge mistake.

But, when has the Two-Headed Monster ever worried about doing what's fair?

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by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 22:01:15 2015

They didn't say it was a mistake - they said it was an improvement.

Now instead of defects maybe being somewhat under our control, we're going to be completely at the mercy of the USPS scan system, and Ebay's ridiculous delivery estimates.  

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by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 16 22:02:52 2015

And yes, they should make the changes retroactive, but whenever have they done that?

As one of the previous comments said, traffic is non-existent.

I've moved most of my purchases to Amazon, and I'm far from the only one.  

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

Thu Sep 17 00:19:17 2015

When ebafia first introduced their defect disaster, they made the defined "defects" retroactive for one year.

So the day the "defect" policy became operative, some sellers had already exceeded the permitted number of defects.

Ebafia makes policies retroactive whenever it $uits them and their agenda.

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by: handmedownheaven This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Sep 17 00:30:07 2015

After selling for 12 years, maintaining 100% feedback and 5.0 on DSR, we were booted because of 2 neutrals.  One neutral said '' excellent seller, will do business with again.  Why would I ever trust them again?  They did us a favor.  We have had our own website selling the same type of items we had before.  No fees, no supervisor, no nothing.  Plus with your own website, you get SEO results.  Not ebay results.

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This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Thu Sep 17 01:41:10 2015

What?  Absolve people for the old system and set precedence for absolving those creamed by this new metric when they figure out they overreached with 2015 Fall Update?  I think they are trying to get rid of TRS Plus and some more small to Med Sellers, but will end up with more Seller losses than they planned on.  The whole thing has not been thought out OR they did and are well aware of how deep the knife will cut.  Who knows with this ''venue''?

I came back to selling on eBay in March and have made 25-50 sales a month.  3% defect rating for me is 0.75 to ONE package not scanned Accepted/Picked Up or lost or not delivered in the estimated time per a month. When the new defect system comes online they will be using retroactive data collected for 12 months (3 months for those currently judged by that time frame).  We have only known that we need to adjust what we do since this month.  Six months of history without knowing what counts?  

The day in February that this metric comes online they will kick me off. Not because I don't do a fine TRS job and have all the 5s, 100% pos, blah,blah - but because I did not fight my local PO & insist they scan in my packages from Mar thru August, because they lost 3 so far and because eBay's estimated delivery is NOT based on your handling time + PO delivery time.  They over-promise shipping speed at every instance.  I already had to change handling from 1-day to FOUR days so I can stay within their ship time estimates 95% of the time...that is not 97%.

Of course I really don't know if they will kick me off.  They have been very vague about the consequences of falling below the 97%.  Limit my search exposure anymore & I will be non-existent anyway.

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