Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Feb 22 2016 22:01:21

eBay Denies It Will Use Return Rate Metric to Evaluate Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers began noticing a "Return Rate" metric in the Seller Dashboard on Friday. Numerous sellers theorized that eBay would use this metric as a factor in evaluating a seller's performance at some point in the future.

We asked eBay if that was the case.

Spokesperson Ryan Moore responded, "As you know, we just removed it, and we're getting great responses from sellers about the change, so we have no plans to bring it back."

He continued, "Sellers will see that their return rate is still visible, which is an acknowledgement that returns are still an important part of delivering a best-in-class customer experience, and the information is helpful to sellers in managing their businesses."

You can read more about the metric and sellers' response to it in Tuesday's Newsflash (available now). You can also find a comparison of the old standards and the new ones on this slide on the eBay website.

More to Come
In a post this morning, eBay's Vice President of Seller Experience Jordan Sweetnam gave an indication there could be more metrics added to the seller dashboard.

"Moving forward, and based on your feedback, we are focused on continuing to improve the mechanics, and the experience of standards. Some areas that you can expect to hear from us include:
 
"An evolved approach to managing the sellers who fall below standard. We know this is a hot button issue for many of you, and we want to be better partners in helping you manage the issues you face, and preventing unpleasant and surprise restrictions or suspensions.
 
"Continuing to look at other factors that are important to buyers but may not fall within the new standards framework. You'll see in your dashboards that your return rate is still visible, even though it won't count against you in standards anymore. This is an acknowledgement that, while complicated, returns are still an important part of delivering a best-in-class customer experience, and we are working on the best ways to help you manage this going forward."

Let us know what you think!




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Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Feb 23 02:16:43 2016

".... and we want to be better partners in helping you manage the issues you face,..... "

Their lips are moving again and we all know what that means.

This disingenuous statement flies in the face of the realities of dealing with eBay.

I will believe them when they:

a) Remove the language in the UA telling sellers their listings may not be visible. Improving visibility for all listings placed by every seller would go a long way toward proving eBay wants to be a better partner to their sellers.

b) When eBay gets out of the way with regards to returns.  Allowing, permitting and condoning buyers to lie about the reason they are returning an item so that they can escape paying return shipping costs and shift them to the seller makes eBay a worse partner to sellers, not better.

I could go on, but everyone knows my opinion of how eBay management has completely destroyed the value proposition of buying and selling on this platform.

eBay's only motives with statements like this is to pander to Wall Street in the hopes they can distract analysts from the many issues that are causing sellers to abandon eBay, and buyers to follow them out the door.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Feb 23 07:01:30 2016

Ric, I'm still laughing at the article (with photos) showing how some of eBay management have become Top Rated Sellers.  I bet they have top visibility too.

As for Ric's comment on visibility, it has never been worse. They obviously pulled another lever in 2015 to make small sellers even more invisible. We noticed this around June, 2015. Sales have NEVER been worse. There really is no point in staying if this continues. It isn't worth the effort. Thankfully we have built other sites so we don't need them anymore.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 07:51:39 2016

Evil Bay has and always will lie and speak with a forked tongue.

Anyone who even slightly thinks this won't be held against any seller in the future is a fool and needs to quit drinking the kool aid.

The only exception being the rah rah Toolguy.

This is almost as funny as the EvilBay and his 115 sales in 6 months being a top rated seller.

That is so funny. The clown needs to sell that much a day and try to be a top rated seller. No much chance of running into a idiot who wants nothing to do but ruin your feedback in 115 transactions. How slimy and disgusting EvilBay has become.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Feb 23 09:03:42 2016

Ebay is a waste of time.
But the employees are having fun with it and that's what counts.
NOT.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Feb 23 09:45:41 2016

The return metric is flawed at best.

Right now mine says I have 2 returns.

I had 2 requests for returns within the last 12 months but only 1 item was sent back the other item the buyer decided to keep.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 09:58:29 2016

Im sure as I sit here today that the metric is being used "behind the scenes" as we speak.

Nothing is done by accident on eBay, and like the comment on DSRs - truth on eBay is "fluid" at BEST.

Hal congratulates himself for being a TRS on the company he runs, and the fan boys all faint and swoon. Geez what loosers.

Dud - he runs the company - he can make himself ANYTHING he wants to! (who doesnt understand that?)

PLUS he makes $500K a year - he can afford to pay listing, FVFs, eat returns, provide free postage and more.

I SERIOUSLY doubt that when / if (LOL) he calls overseas CS agents they tell him (explain to him) that taking losses on eBay is "de rigur".... talk about the blind leading the blind!

I have more and better items THEN EVER and still sales drop. Its either theres no traffic or my listings are being hidden (Id say BOTH if you want to know the truth).

Returns? I made everything NO RETURNS. True it only filters out %50 of the crap - I mean eBays darling precious buyers - but its better then filtering out NOTHING.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Feb 23 10:05:07 2016

@pace306

YOUR PRICES ARE TOO HIGH!

That's why you have little to no sales. . . .

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by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 10:12:18 2016

Fair is fair, then ebay needs to call out those that abuse the return process, like the ones that claim to never wear a clothing item you get it back and it reeks of either perfume, smoke or worse body odor, its sent back on the sellers dime, and ebay won't do squat to help the seller out. Perhps ebay needs to educate the buyers that by offering returns and free shipping the sellers are raising the costs of goods to cover these ''free'' value added items.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Feb 23 10:24:25 2016

eBay should open a return center where returns are sent for evaluation for due process.

It would protect the seller and buyers would think twice about returning items.

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

Tue Feb 23 10:45:42 2016

The Returns metric needs to go one step further and be visible to all Members on the Buyer's Profile/ Feedback. eBay would be a safer Seller platform if we could restrict Buyers who have excessive returns within a given time period - similar to restricting non-paying bidders or policy-violators.

eBay CS removed a negative Feedback from my account from a Buyer who left 6 Negatives for 6 Sellers out of 10 transactions in 30 days. One can only guess at how many other "returns" there were that didn't show up in the Buyer's Feedback profile. My point is that normal people don't continue to patronize a site that produces dodgy experiences; malcontents and the mentally ill do.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Feb 23 11:07:05 2016

Forget the return metric!

This is what's going to kill most TRS:

Tracking uploaded on time and validated
91.36% 201 of 220 transactions

This is a bunch of BS!

Perminate Link for eBay Denies It Will Use Return Rate Metric to Evaluate Sellers   eBay Denies It Will Use Return Rate Metric to Evaluate Sellers

by: queenfloraday This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 11:14:02 2016

Wonder what changes those eBay exec's that sell would implement if those eBay sales were their only source of income? That's the true test!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Feb 23 11:18:14 2016

Toolguy says "@pace306

YOUR PRICES ARE TOO HIGH!"

Tool, you meddle in other peoples' businesses worse than eBay.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 11:42:31 2016

Why is everyone so crazy about this return metric? Don't you realize that it is impossible to return anything? Ebay has a return shipping label problem. it's been going on for months. If the buyer NEVER gets to print the return label and the time frame for the return passes - how does the seller get dinged? Is it any wonder so many millions of buyers now shop on Amazon? I myself have just experienced the ''sting'' of returning an item purchased on ebay. 7 straight days of calling ebay about their glitch I gave up and went to paypal for resolution. Honestly - their format for a refund doesn't seem much better. I'm not even quite sure the girl I spoke to even knows how it works. still waiting for her ''instructional'' email to come informing me how to ship something back to the seller. Girl I ship everyday. I know how to do it. As a long term seller on ebay I found the whole scenario dumbfounding. I will think long and hard about ever buying anything on ebay again AND - here's the good news - wait for it - don't you worry your pretty little heads about selling on ebay because no one can ever return anything without a vote from congress.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Feb 23 11:48:42 2016

@whatever

Returns are easy on eBay, you pack the item, address it to where it came from and take it to the post office. How hard can that be?

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

Tue Feb 23 11:55:01 2016

Of course eBay's fundamental problem is that it purposefully attracts hoards of "Bottom Feeders" who shop for the lowest priced item they can find with "free shipping" without any regard at all for the condition of the item. eBay corp openly admits that its policies allow Buyers to purchase a used light bulb and then return it for a refund because it broke when they tried to use it for a hammer. eBay's complicity in this type of insanity speaks volumes as to the character of the eBay CS goobers who are behind the evaluations of Sellers.

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

Tue Feb 23 12:19:47 2016

@Whatever - as I read your comment, your point is that Sellers actually do ship ISNAD non-conforming goods. I received the wrong book; Shooting Star Seller replies that "we use stock photos & catalog descriptions so we are not responsible for the actual item we ship" So, back it goes. What they lose on the sale they'll make up for in volume?

The "return label" was ENORMOUS and covered FOUR 8-1/2 x 11" sheets of paper? Yikes! After 3 tries and 12 sheets of paper I finally printed a standard sized USPS package mailing label.

Meanwhile, the eBay "returns" page asks me to manually enter the USPS Tracking Number that just printed out on the return mailing label. Huh? Yet I am receiving eBay messages saying "thanks for shipping this item" with the USPS Tracking number shown in the message. OK, so eBay Web Page Design is a part-time job for a dufus?

Now I'm wondering if the Seller was charged 4 times for the printed return USPS label. But considering the Seller's original reply that "we're not responsible" then I guess I'm not responsible either? No one is! Welcome to eBay!  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Feb 23 13:28:31 2016

Whatever says "Don't you realize that it is impossible to return anything?"

Seriously?  I've been on eBay for over 12 years and not once have I had a buyer complain that he could not return an item.  My biggest beef is when I tell a buyer that he can return the item and the buyer keeps the item for an additional month before he returns it.

It appears to me that you are expecting the seller to pay for your returns.  We always volunteer to pay for the return shipping if we have made a mistake so I would suggest that you contact your seller, tell him that you are having issues with the return shipping label.  Most sellers (except the very bad sellers will help you out).

I'm not sure why buyers expect return shipping to be paid if the seller has not made an error. They are already getting their outbound shipping refunded.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 15:55:23 2016

"YOUR PRICES ARE TOO HIGH!"

THIS from the ganja grower ...

Dude - I have more experience selling on line then most here, and more then ALL of the people over at eBay - wanna try that again?


(If %40-%50 off MSRP is too high then your on more then ganja)

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Feb 23 17:51:01 2016

@pace306 - Just remember, Toolguy is usually higher than your prices he's complaining about when he posts a comment here, so don't take anything he writes personally.

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