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Fri Nov 15 2013 12:39:39

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Transactions

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
When someone is at a restaurant and everything goes as planned, they typically pay the bill and leave. Same when someone is shopping at a store. Places usually have comment cards available for customers to fill out but very rarely are the forms used unless the customer has some kind of issue with the products or service received.

If every store had to have a sign on its front door stating the number of comment cards the store received and the percentage of those comments that were negative, the information would be misleading and the store would likely lose customers.

I believe if eBay used the total number of a sellers transactions to calculate feedback rather than the number of positive and negative feedback received, sellers ratings would greatly increase. I had an average of 400 transactions per month on eBay and believe me that I only received feedback for 35% of them. If each transaction without feedback counted as a positive feedback the result would have probably reflected my overall performance more accurately.

Counting each transaction without feedback as a positive feedback would make sense in my opinion because it is typical for someone to buy something online, receive it, be satisfied with it, and think nothing more about it afterwards. Nobody really feels obligated to take time and reach out to the place they purchased from just to inform them that they are happy with their purchase because being happy with their purchase is expected.

Am I wrong?
F.




Comments (43) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 15 13:09:12 2013

This is true, but it's definitely been exacerbated by the one way feedback we have as of now.

As unsatisfactory as the old two way feedback system was, it was much better than this. That stuff designed by Pierre kept everyone cordial. It was in everyone's best interest to try to work it out.

This has no good effect at all. It's whacked.  

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Fri Nov 15 13:31:45 2013

Given the corporate mindset of eBay's CEO (sellers are noise) which has permeated every level of eBay management, sadly, the answer from eBay would be a resounding NO.

Remember, eBay is the company that at one time declared and defended their view that neutral feedback should be counted as negative feedback. It took an eternity before bay corporation realized that their view of neutral feedback was totally and completely wrong headed, and they eventually relented.

eBay corp will never assume everything went fine with a transaction when a seller does not leave feedback.   Given eBay managements anti seller bent, the exact opposite likely reflects their outlook.  

This management team is so out of touch with their own marketplace, their customers and the real world that they may actually believe that no feedback left indicates buyers were so dissatisfied that they did not return to eBay to leave feedback or anything else for that matter.

In their ongoing efforts to purge eBay of all small sellers, the company seemingly goes out of their way to instill negativity between buyer and seller in an effort to encourage buyers to anonymously review sellers negatively.

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 15 13:36:34 2013

If people would worrying as much about the DSR'S instead of feedback they would have less heartburn....

FEEDBACK IS A JOKE FOR SELLERS and really stupid for buyers

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

by: froggie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 15 14:46:13 2013

@F, you're not wrong. I can't tell you how many times I've had a great transaction on Amazon, but not left feedback, and I know that happens on ebay all the time.

When I was selling on ebay, I had over 25,000 total feedback, but only 10,200 left (10,195 positives). On Etsy, I have almost 200 transactions, but only 96 feedback (all positive).

How many of those feedback that weren't left would have been positive is hard to say. I would wager that if the customers had been forced to leave feedback, my total feedback count on both sites would be higher, but my positive feedback counts would most likely be lower.

But even when feedback is left, these systems of rating a seller are simply ridiculous. They are very superficial systems and often do not reflect a sellers merit, especially when poor ''reviews'' of a PRODUCT or of USPS are left, and not a review of the sellers performance. There are so many ways the feedback system works against a seller. I see this on Amazon all the time.

The Item As Described is the one for which I got dinged the most. When one person describes an aromatherapy spray as being ''too strong'' and the next one describes the spray as ''not strong enough'', there's just not much I can do to make the situation right. And when they don't even bother contacting me prior to leaving neutrals, that's it. No resolution possible.

As many have already said, no neutral or negative feedback should be allowed (along with the concomitant low star ratings), without proof of a real effort on the part of the buyer to work it out with the seller (and I don't mean an empty email). Anything else just makes no sense, especially in a climate where the sellers ability to continue selling on the ''venue'' is dependent on these moody, ''bad hair day'' ratings.

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

by: froggie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 15 14:48:49 2013

@sasikat9, I think what you're saying is that feedback on ebay is really nothing. It's the dsr's that are the issue, and I agree.

When a 4.7 (out of 5) star rating on shipping time can cause a seller to be closed down by ebay, even with 100% feedback, then the result is a system that is a joke, and a very bad joke.

I was able to live with the dsr's, until ebay started using them as nuclear bombs against sellers this year.

This death-by-a-thousand-cuts system (and how it's being wielded by ebay) is the worst thing to ever happen to ebay.

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

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

Fri Nov 15 14:52:30 2013

Fortunately, this isn't something that I need to be worried with now... but back when I was an active eBay seller, I used cute stickers to remind buyers that positive feedback and 5-Star DSRs were important to me.

A colorful 2'' sticker on the box, or on the envelope, or on the invoice... that's all it took. A simple reminder and more of my buyers would oblige.

I figured that a feedback/DSR reminder RIGHT-AT the moment they were receiving/opening their shipment was the best time to ask. (ie: when the excitement about their purchase hasn't worn-off)

Just one time and one-time only. No other follow-up emails asking about feedback or anything like that.

There are two (or more?) schools of thought regarding whether or not it's appropriate to ask for feedback & high-DSR's.

I always figured that it couldn't hurt to ask (and in fact it seemed to help a lot!)

Nobody ever complained about it.

I always thought it was amusing how, at the beginning, Uncle Griff was advising sellers to ask-for-feedback, ask-for-feedback, remind-buyers-about-feedback.

And now? It appears that he's done a 180... an about-face. According to what he and his sidekick are now saying, it's ''bad form'' to remind buyers about feedback.

Feh! Humph! Fooey! (Whatever.)

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Nov 15 20:04:14 2013

Like the OP (F.), when I sold on eBay, only about 1/3 of my buyers ever left feedback for me. I make a point of leaving feedback for sellers on eBay, but confess I rarely leave feedback for sellers on Amazon since there doesn't seem to be the same emphasis on feedback there. The buyers I have on eCrater almost never leave feedback for me.  

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

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

Fri Nov 15 21:14:47 2013

IHJS writes: ''but confess I rarely leave feedback for sellers on Amazon since there doesn't seem to be the same emphasis on feedback there.''

You're right... Amazon doesn't place an over-emphasis on FB. For that reason... AND for the fact that I loathe eBay and everything it has become... I make it a point to be CERTAIN that I leave FB for all of my Amazon purchases.

I figure, if it helps an Amazon seller, then it helps Amazon (and perhaps in some small way, it hurts eBay.)

Good. <3

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Nov 15 22:09:45 2013

Feedback for sellers is NO joke, it is serious business.  Just as the associated DSRs are.  It is how Ebay rates us and it goes a long ways to determining if they are going to shut us down either temporarily or permanently.

So it is no laughing matter by any stretch of defining a "joke".

Now if you want to ask if it is a truthful representation of what kind of seller any particular seller is, then that of course is a completely different story.

The FB system is broken and has been for a long time.  And because Ebay management doesn't respect how many people have been hurt and some significantly hurt financially, it won't get any better.

It isn't a game.  In many cases it is someone's livelyhood.  And until there is respect for that fact, nothing will change.

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

by: SoldSnew This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Nov 15 22:45:29 2013

Etsy are still giving away free listings
http://etsy.me/19rGcGV via @Etsy

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

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

Fri Nov 15 23:41:39 2013

The Ebay bots needs casualties.....
the machine must must have sellers sacrificed. Explains the whole f-up
Ebay Orwellian universe. Needless to say, there is a fight to control sales on the net and Ebay is the dark side. Wake up people, Ebay has become  very evil. we should make other plans and stop shopping there until they change. It might take awhile.....for the
stock price to be affected, but when it
hits they will have to change.
All the work (content) we put into Ebay should be ported into another selling channel otherwise we are all going to be roadkill at Ebay.

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sat Nov 16 02:45:25 2013

Feedback on eBay IS a joke. It means absolutely nothing that is used to mean many years ago. It used to be that buyers left feedback and I usually got 2/3rds of my buyers to leave it but now only 1/3rd leave it. Most of those are new buyers that are looking to boost there own FB since my feedback is automatically left when I get a positive. I have not had to worry about that for years. I also do not worry about the DSR's. If I get bad ones I can easily tell and the buyer gets blocked.
If you give good service and the item is as described then you have nothing to worry about.

Bill

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Nov 16 03:23:05 2013

@bill

Then you don't understand the system.  You state " I also do not worry about the DSR's. If I get bad ones I can easily tell and the buyer gets blocked.
If you give good service and the item is as described then you have nothing to worry about."  It is subjective.  A buyers FB left for a seller is completely an opinion.  While certainly important, it most certainly is not always a truthful reflection of how a transaction went.  Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't.  And sometimes it has no basis in reality at all.

To ASSUME just because you give good service and design your listings correctly is going to protect you, you will one day be disappointed when you get the FB you do not deserve.  Just because the buyer didn't read the title or decided you charged them 10 cents too much for S&H, or it took a couple days to arrive which didn't meet their schedule, or whatever their reason is.

"Feedback on eBay IS a joke."  You go say that to a seller, a good seller that had the unfortunate luck to run into a small handful of buyers that left bad FB or DSRs or both.  This is no joke.  You may not take it seriously, but that does not mean it doesn't matter.  It just means that for you, it isn't important.

And you may not be dependent on the income you earn on Ebay.  But many are.  Diversifying is a different subject and one we all need to do, but that doesn't take away from the problems of Ebays FB system.

" It means absolutely nothing that is used to mean many years ago."  It most certainly does have meaning.  Not what it once had, but a new meaning and purpose.  

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 16 06:52:24 2013

When was the last time someone got banned because of feedback....Feedback is a joke....If people spent as much time worrying about their DSR'S as they do about feedback there wouldn't be as many problems.

PEOPLE GET SUSPENDED BECAUSE OF DSR'S NOT STUPID FEEDBACK.

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sat Nov 16 08:43:16 2013

Sasikat, Marie & those shaking a finger at the DSRs are correct.


Feedback, although one way, is still out there in the open and attached to a buyer & seller.

DSRs on the other hand, are akin to a whispering campaign behind the sellers back. They are capable of much more damage, including decreased sales or even putting a seller out of business.

They are used to rate a seller on another entity's performance that the seller has no control over.

There is no way to gauge if the DSRs are deserved, used to damage competition, or if they reflect a buyers ignorance of the system or desire to abuse.

As a buyer, DSR stars do NOT help me make a decision to buy. FINDING the item, does affect that decision.


Over the years, many ''feedback reform'' ideas have been put forth on this site. One that keeps making an appearance is the ''cumulative'' rating - a simple system, and one that would highlight positive experiences.  

In the past, common sense dictated that most businesses (or venues) would want to highlight their positive features and KEEP good business partners.

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

by: Fixiesupermarket This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sat Nov 16 18:24:51 2013

From time to time I remind buyers, especially those that have a business of their own, that have felt the need to leave a negative when they know full well the issue was beyond my control, or have not allowed me a chance to resolve. ''How long would they stay in business if they had a similar situation with a walk in customer and the customer was then allowed to place a giant notice in their shop window to say they were unhappy with their purchase/service - and that notice must stay prominently displayed in the window for at least a year.    

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 16 20:24:04 2013

The entire feedback system on all of the venues are nothing but a way for the venue to PUNISH sellers and FORCE them to do things the law does not even require them to do in business.

I am SO SICK of feedback and ratings system I can VOMIT!
This is why my new focus is on my OWN WEBSITE, where I run my business how I want to and deal with customers how I choose to.

I am sick of groveling for FB, ratings and to the venues who do not care one bit about me, my business etc.  

The venues ONLY concern is getting our FEES and they believe the only way to do that is to give buyers whatever they want weather they are entitled to it or not so that they keep coming back.

They now even dictate HOW we can talk to the customers.

The venues are OUT OF CONTROL!

However, it is our own fault they are out of control.  We as sellers have not only been allowing them to treat us like animals but we have been acting like servant SHEEP to them.

So now they treat us as sheep and send us to be slaughtered in mass whenever they feel like it.

I for one am TIRED of being a SHEEP and am turning myself into a BULL with HORNS..lol

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 16 20:51:51 2013

@Annie, I am not surprised Griff is now saying, "asking for FB s a bad thing."  Although they should tell their FB reminder bots the message.

ebay always says one thing one day and then says the opposite the next day and when confronted they just DENY it or IGNORE the question.

As for all Etsy, Amazon, Ecrater, Bonanza and the rest of them. In the end they are ALL the same.

They do not care about the sellers, they all have the same type of BAD feedback and ratings system which only focuses on the negatives.

Amazons systems seems to be a little more advanced than the others but the results are the same and it does NOT reflect the true performance of the seller. And they are not designed to do that, they are just a way of CONTROLLING the sellers and nothing more.  They are not even about the buyer, they are about CONTROLLING THE SELLER.

This is exactly why they do NOT calculate in the NON FB sales as positives.  They know full well if they did, the sellers would not be SLAVES to the FB & Ratings systems and they would lose the MASS CONTROL they have on sellers.

So to the OP.  Your point is very valid but the reason they do not do it is because they would lose the CONTROL over the sellers to do as THEY want them to.

FB & Ratings is a VENUE MANIPULATION and CONTROL  TOOL/WEAPON for their use on sellers. Everything else they claim it is for is just FLUFF and PR.

It is time sellers realize this.

NONE of us make our living from the buyers who leave FB & ratings good or bad, if those where the only sales we could count on we would ALL be out of business, but yet the venues act as if those are the only sales that count.

Seeing that the venues only feel those are the ones that count, I say that sellers should only be required to pay FEES on those sales then.  

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Nov 17 00:46:00 2013

@Marie,

When you give the buyer more than they expect and the descriptions are short and sweet a person should never have a problem with feedback of DSR's.
From all of the years I have been on eBay I have never had a problem with any of those. I deal in collectables only and have had tens of thousands of transactions since I first started selling on there in '99. I do not have a store any more (I opened it back when I first could and closed it in '12) since the amount of traffic does not make it worth it. I also list on other sites which get a lot more traffic and only list on eBay when I do not have to pay a dime. I have inventory just sitting to list on eBay when they have the promos and when I list for fixed price they also get listed on other venues. If I am very lucky I might sell 10% of what I used to but usually only sell 5%. I used to be a Silver Power Seller pushing Gold now I am just a Bronze TRS Plus with 100% feedback and all 5's on the DSR's.
Feedback is a joke on eBay but some people like it and for me I could care less.

Bill  

eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra   eBay Feedback Calculation Undercounts Positive Tra

This user has validated their user name. by: gettingby

Sun Nov 17 02:38:08 2013

As a seller, I have often thought the same thing -- that if a customer doesn't leave feedback, it should be counted as a positive transaction.

However, as a buyer, I have to admit that there have been many times when I've been somewhat dissatisfied with a transaction, but not enough that I wanted to deal with contacting the seller and end up in a time consuming back-and-forth conversation or return the item. Examples might be: an inadequate description but I can ''make do'' with the item and the service was great;  lousy service with the item shipped far later than promised with no communication, but the item was packaged well and exactly as described; or horrible packaging with the item sticking out of the box on arrival (but intact), but all other aspects of the transaction were good.  For those ''less than positive' transactions, I left no feedback at all.

In all honesty, if the policy were to give positive feedback automatically for transactions that didn't receive feedback, I might consider leaving neutral feedback for those transactions, so that the seller didn't receive that automatic positive.

Not hearing from someone doesn't necessarily mean that they are satisfied customers. It may indicate that they simply won't ever purchase from that seller again. A customer's memory is long, and we have a 'list' at our home of sellers we won't deal with again.

What bothers me more is those customers that come back time after time, and never leave that obviously earned positive feedback. But I try to console myself with the additional sales from those customers. ;-)

Just another way to think about it.  

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