With traffic suffering due to Google penalties, eBay is pinning its hopes on its catalog strategy. But one part of that "make or break" initiative is leaving sellers vulnerable to misbehavior by their fellow sellers.
eBay is encouraging buyers to leave reviews for the products they purchase, and as one reader informed us through a report on the Ecommerce EKG board
over the weekend, that can spell big trouble.
"Mass chaos is being caused in the coin category where buyers are leaving product reviews as seller feedbacks. Almost every product review I read in coin categories are actually specific item feedback," the seller wrote. "In one case a buyer left a "feedback" saying a 1918/7 D Nickel was not genuine. Now every 1918/7 D Nickel on eBay that uses the catalog has a review spammed in the listing saying the coin is a fake. Awesome..."
We confirmed that listings from different sellers included the following product review on the coin they had listed on eBay:
"This coin is not a 1918/7-d as the seller claims, just a regular 1918-d nickel."
Not only does it jeopardize the sale of listings for that particular item, but it could scare buyers away from all of the affected sellers' listings. It's not even clear if the seller who sold the nickel to that unhappy reviewer is selling that particular coin at this time.
In tomorrow (Monday)'s Newsflash (available now
), we delve into the issue of eBay's product catalog strategy and how the product review feature is a fatal flaw the way it's currently implemented.
In the meantime, we're curious if readers were aware of eBay reviews. Do you see them displayed on listings? Has eBay ever asked you to fill out a review, as this reader described
Could eBay make it clearer exactly what a product review is, and is not?
And do product reviews make sense for used goods and collectible categories such as coins?