Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Aug 2 2017 12:01:50

eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay's Cathal McCarthy said 14 million people became new buyers and new sellers between 2015 and 2017, and eBay executive Hal Lawton urged sellers during last week's seller conference to go out of their way to welcome new buyers.

Lawton said when he joined the company 2 and a half years ago, he heard a lot about zero-feedback buyers, recognizing it can be "uncomfortable" for sellers to deal with new buyers. But he said they were vital to eBay's success.

"How about we all make a commitment that as we see them, we reach out, we treat them with a little extra TLC, because they're the heartbeat of the next 5 to 10 years of eBay," Lawton said.

We see a lot of complaints about zero-feedback buyers, in part because they may be prone to make newbie mistakes, potentially costing sellers time, money, and even their reputation if they receive a negative feedback from an uneducated buyer. 

But sellers also recognize that zero-feedback buyers are not necessarily "new" to the marketplace. eBay has been criticized over the years for allowing bad buyers and suspended users to create brand new accounts.

Ultimately, it's up to eBay to protect sellers from clueless buyers - that's how to get sellers to overcome their fear of dealing with new users. Any suggestions? What's been your experience with zero-feedback buyers?




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Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

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

Wed Aug 2 12:25:48 2017

"Ultimately, it's up to eBay to protect sellers from clueless buyers..."

Too funny for words.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 12:29:11 2017

" Up to ebay to protect sellers from 0 feedback buyers." You are living in another world. Ebay protects no one except itself from anyone including 0 feedback buyers. Heck they even encourage those buyers to open up more than one account if the first one goes bad.

Best thing Fleecebay could do with 0 feedback buyers is to not allow any form of neutral or negatives until said buyer has at least 20 + positive feedback.

We understand its tough to get started with a new id but giving out negatives is NOT A MISTAKE ITS INTENTIONAL.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Aug 2 12:48:45 2017

In 17 years of selling on eBay I have ZERO problems with buyers with ZERO feedback. . .

I love giving new eBayers their 1st Feedback:

Welcome to eBay! Thank You for Choosing us for your 1st eBay Purchase.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Aug 2 13:00:52 2017

Off Topic: News Flash

TRS can get 30% off FVF ~ 20% + 10%

http://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/shipping/guaranteed-del
ivery.html?roken2=sa.pRUdEIEZ1bGwgTGF1bmNoIA==.bU0g=.g1240.cem

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 13:04:35 2017

As usual, because of what he sells - Tool has had no real world experience with zero and/or low feedback buyers.

VERY few people are scamming anyone (eBay or Amazon) for some oddball wrench.

They ARE scamming sellers though in electronics, toys (collectibles), and clothing.

%95 of all my issues have come from low feedback buyers - the ones who join eBay to take advantage of eBays NON EXISTENT "seller protection".

Of course if eBay HAD any seller protection, this wouldnt even be a topic - the fact that dope #1 has to bring it up means he knows that many many sellers have buyer restrictions on their accounts - I know I do.

As usual, the horse has already left the barn - eBays "well known secret of screwing sellers" is out there plain as day for all to see.

I have no problem "in theory" with ZERO or low feedback buyers - I was one once too - but I didnt use my account to harm anyone anywhere - i joined to buy toys (corgi, dinky, brooklin etc) and then to sell when I saw "it could be something great".

In summation - until eBay proves it can be a fair judge and protect sellers - this idea is pure rubbish.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: Trying-My-Best This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 13:26:30 2017

Give 'em to your diamond sellers, big retail and Chinese sellers & leave your small sellers alone.  

My hunch is the diamonds, big retail and Chinese have vetoed 0 feedback buyers leaving Lawton to spin this out to us.  



Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Aug 2 13:56:47 2017

No seller on eBay can stop a zero feedback buyer from buying.

And that's the way it should be!

My zero rated customers are excited to buy hard to find aircraft tools on eBay.

I try extra hard to make them feel welcome, I always give these new eBayers free gift. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Aug 2 14:41:27 2017

While I was selling on eBay I never had a problem with a zero feedback buyer. My biggest non-payment buyers were ones with over 1000 positives (I guess they thought it was easier to get a negative than pay me the $5 they won the auction for), or buyers in Australia (presumably they were shocked to see the cost of shipping). Of course, that was back in the Good Old Days when the scammers weren't overrunning the site, IDs weren't hidden, and most people left honest feedback for the transaction.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

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

Wed Aug 2 14:45:05 2017

Never had a problem, still not enough to get me back selling on Ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 14:53:37 2017

I've experience No notable problems from ZERO feedback newbie buyers .  

FEW problem buyers all around and no UP-Tick from the ZERO folks.  

TOOL was right that nobody can BLOCK zero Feedback buyers.  I think I remember that the BEST YOU CAN COME CLOSE TO is to block anyone with a -1 or WORSE.   Consider that it is now IMPOSSIBLE to get a MINUS ONE as a BUYER ONLY.                 With my 1,552 listings AVERAGING down around 5 sales per day I would have NOTICED if newbie and Guest acct buyers were any trouble.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Aug 2 15:32:31 2017

There is nothing a seller can do to prevent a zero feedback buyer from making a purchase. And I cringe when I see someone who buys one of my items and their user ID is pngtu-uy_yd1dsui (or some other encrypted ID).

I leave feedback for most everyone when I ship their item. But the noob zero buyers must earn it. If they would like to gain their feedback point, just leave a positive on my account, and I will reciprocate.

This also leaves the door open for an honest assessment of the transaction if there are any problems. Not by leaving a ''negative positive'' (which is against the rules) but just stating the facts in a professional manner.

In my experience, buyers with no feedback are either very young, or assuming a new eBay identity because of past problems. And they are way, way more likely to be the ones who miss an important detail or attribute on an item description. Happens all the time.

While eBay would like to embrace new buyers, they must be educated in the ways the site works. And reading & understanding what a seller has taken the time to describe about an item is a basic and fundamental requirement.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Aug 2 17:46:23 2017

I welcome new members to Ebay to shop my listings anytime.  While they may require a little more [or a lot more, depending on the person] help sometimes, that is my job after all.  Without new buyers coming to the site, we may as well just close our doors now.

Sellers say they need more customers.  The only way to get more customers is to get more members to Ebay.  You can't have one without the other.  I've seen many sellers say they would like to have the ability to block new members too.  I've never understood that.  They want more customers, but when a new one comes by they would prefer to refuse service.  That makes no sense at all to me.

I'm with Jack.  I typically do not have a lot of issue with new members.  Mine are with seasoned Ebayers and often times they are sellers too.  My guess is misery loves company.  Some sellers seek ways to take their frustrations out on other sellers.  Not sure what good that does them, but there are some that do it.

While I don't agree with all the stuff Lawton says about protecting sellers, the other stuff is true.  We must welcome these new members with open arms and help them through the process the best we can.  Do that and they will tell their friends that they had a GREAT experience on Ebay.  Word of mouth is the best advertising.

There will always be zero FB buyers that aren't really new to Ebay.  And in certain categories they really get out of hand as they are there to solely take advantage of the sellers.  This is when Ebay really needs to step up their game about protecting sellers.  But too many sellers try to resolve or deal with the buyer on their own.  Reach out.  Other sellers, here or on the Ebay forums.  There may be some unexpected help that other seasoned sellers can help you with.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 18:23:56 2017

Normally, I don't have any problems with Zero newbies.

But, just today I got a Neg from a Zero newbie, claiming item I sent was incorrect.

1. Why didn't you contact me FIRST before leaving the Neg (like eBay TOLD YOU TO DO)?

2. Why didn't the other 20 people who bought the EXACT same item over the last 5+ years ever think to say it was wrong?  Maybe because it's not?

If he'd wanted to return it, I would have considered it, even though I know he's plain out and out wrong.

But he never gave me the chance.  Still waiting for a response from him, to see if I can sweet-talk him (ugh!!) into revising the Feedback if I "take care of" the "problem".

Of course the eBay rep I contacted said they wouldn't remove the FB.  I'll have to keep trying to see if I get a rep that will listen.

If it weren't for the damned defect, I wouldn't care about the Neg.  I'd just reply to it so as to convince others looking at my FB that the Neg doesn't know what he's talking about (he doesn't).

As usual, eBay's TOTALLY unfair policies mean the Seller pays for the mistakes of the Buyer (both omission and commission).

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Aug 2 18:43:22 2017

@ Dans Parts

"If it weren't for the damned defect, I wouldn't care about the Neg."  Well you are in luck.  Negative and neutral FB no longer create a defect for sellers.  So take that worry off your list.  They changed that several months ago, maybe a year.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 19:53:31 2017

The real issue here is not ''the zero FB buyer'' per se.  As is evident, any reputable seller welcomes the chance to serve a 'new' customer (certainly ought to).  In fact, FB is irrelevant, both in that aspect, and as regards a more 'experienced' buyer regarding liklihood of fraud, abuse, and libel.  Though clearly, an 'uncertain' buyer is more likely to unnecessarily hound sellers about delayed deliveries, or cause issues by lack of understanding regarding terms or payment procedures.  Or in the case of 'multiple personalities', purchase with intent to defraud given the lack of consequence, etc.

No, the real issue is the continued condescention toward eBay's REAL customers (when did eBay ever invoice a buyer directly for service provided?) in their efforts to dictate business practice, made more distasteful in both their attempts to diminish the risks by calling them 'uncomfortable' - to WHATEVER degree they DO exist.  Moreover, these INCREASED risks, already enumerated here, are NOT SHARED by the 'partner' who would ask, ''How about we 'all' make a commitment...?''

Easy for him to say.  They already kowtow to every buyer no matter how badly behaved, no matter how dishonest, no matter how libelous, because the 'bread and butter' so wrongly attributed doesn't dissapear from THEIR gilded tables - made more so by false inflation of both member count for every multiple account buyer, and GMV for every 'defected' sale.

No, that particular sustenance is stolen off the table of the seller, who - by direction no less - is told to fend for themselves.  Or die.  

You want more sellers to 'welcome' with more 'comfort' eBay?  Recognize who really bleeds with each stab to that ''heartbeat''.  And put your money where your mouth is.  

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: onlinecommerce1 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 20:13:18 2017

@Marie...this is why you need to take a lot of the posts on this board with a grain of salt. People seemingly come here to complain about this and that with Ebay yet they woefully are uneducated on even the most basic rules. I mean, seriously, when was the last time feedback counted as a defect? You people really destroy your credibility when you don't even know of that change.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: onlinecommerce1 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 20:20:20 2017

Also, yes, we should be welcoming 0 feedback buyers. Let's be honest, we at least have some sort of way of looking at these buyers on Ebay.....on Amazon who the heck knows who these people are who are buying.

Maybe I am crazy (I doubt it), but Ebay is actually pretty damn fair now regarding transactions....to buyers and sellers. Yes, there will be exceptions....but let's compare Ebay versus Amazon.

Feedback....pretty pointless and subjective overall. Should not count on either site towards seller performance. Amazon does remove product reviews (which is nice) but the feedback still actually can bury you on that site (and we all know buyers will leave garbage FB all the time).

INR's.....pretty simple. If it's scanned as delivered on Ebay, seller wins....as they should. On Amazon? You basically lose unless you have signature confirmation....which no one is going to get on items under $100-200. You get signature confirmation and buy through Amazon shipping? You MIGHT win....they don't even follow that very clear guideline. Buyer on Amazon gave you wrong address? You lose. Buyer on Amazon claims item never arrived even though tracking says it did You lose.

Returns? Same here.....Amazon buyers basically are used to never paying for returns even if they messed up. On Ebay, yeah....you are going to get some BS returns where buyers lie. However, if you are part of the returns pilot, you should be able to deduct that shipping cost from buyer's refund still if buyer lied on the return reason.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: Trying-My-Best This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 20:40:02 2017

Is this what is keeping Lawton up at night?  Worried that small sellers are gonna bully his ''''new'' buyers?  Good grief.  

Please Lawton, who are these ''new buyers'' and why haven't most of us had the pleasure to serve them?  

And finally, it's YOUR job to go out of YOUR way ''to reach out to them with a little extra TLC'' (good grief, he speaks to us as if we are school children).  eBay is not a warm and friendly site for your small sellers.  If you need to spread a little extra TLC - start with your small sellers.  

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 22:56:11 2017

eBay allows fraudulent feedback, I had a seller who did not deliver an item, eBay allowed the criminal to make a fake purchase on my selling account just to leave negative feedback, and they let the feedback stick even though I told the morons in advance that is why the low life was going to do.

Perminate Link for eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers   eBay Tells Sellers to Welcome Zero Feedback Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Aug 2 22:58:43 2017

@onlinecommerce1

So you are saying Amazon DOESN'T guarantee payment when their shipping service is used (as advertised)?

This is news to me. Thought we as sellers were protected against false INR claims as long as the label was printed through Amazon Shipping. And Signature Confirmation was only required for packages over $125.

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