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Mon Nov 25 2013 21:56:05

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I have to vent. October absolutely ruined my feedback and status on eBay - thanks to three buyers with **** for brains.

1. New buyer leaves negative on $25 doll without any contact with me. Checked feedback she left others and she has a habit of this. She was even angry a seller had blocked her. I couldn't resist emailing her and telling her sellers check feedback left by buyers in order to head off any problem.

2. Buyer states item broken. Was double boxed with sheets of Styrofoam between at top, bottom and sides. Inside box was damaged. No damage to outside box. Parcel weighed 24 pounds. Buyer required to pay return shipping per listing. I knew something was funny. Probably dropped it when removing it from the box. How can the inside box be damaged and not the outside box? Opened a case and negged me.

3. Buyer opens a case without ever contacting me. Needless to say, I was furious. With over 900 feedback, I would expect the buyer to know the rules of the road. We exchanged a few emails. I finally agreed to refund him $15 and he could keep the book - original price was $22 with free shipping. He had previously asked me for $10 refund and keep the book. I went over and above what he asked. Suddenly, he escalated the case and negged me.

We sellers receive no concessions from eBay when it comes to feedback or cases. I have accepted eBay's policy of no negging bidders. What I cannot and will not accept is eBay's failure to FORCE buyers to FIRST CONTACT SELLER BEFORE LEAVING A NEGATIVE OR OPENING A CASE.

We are given absolutely no opportunity to provide customer service - which we receive at any brick and mortar store. eBay gives us no protection on malicious and undeserved feedback from buyers having no class, no sense of fair play and no conscience.

Needless to say, I am losing my TRS and losing buyers as well. Had someone told me I would be neged three ties in one month, I would have laughed. Well, I'm not laughing now.

eBay refused to remove the negative from buyer who agreed to $15 refund and no returning the book. We had an agreement and he reneged. It is in our messages.

eBay refused to remove the negative from buyer who had the undamaged outside box. eBay paid the return shipping. Again, outside of box was fine. Damage happened at buyer's home, not in shipping.

So, am I operating under a full moon? Is there a voodoo hex on me? Is my Mojo gone?

I was moving along happily with sales good enough for me. I prided myself on fast shipping and personal emails with buyers. Now I've been tossed to the wind. Has this happened to anyone else recently? Any thoughts on this? Any way to fix this? Or am I just *(**(**?
Thanks for a great site!
D.




Comments (44) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

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

Mon Nov 25 22:45:45 2013

If you sell at eBay, sooner or later your gonna get flucked. And, as D (the OP) has discovered, it's not just a one-time thing... when you get flucked at eBay, the flucking lasts a long long time.

There may indeed be some sellers who (in spite of everything) manage to succeed at eBay. But if eBay is their one and only venue, eventually they'll get flucked too. And then what?

What can a seller do who has ignored the risks of putting all of their eggs in the eBay basket... only to find out that their ENTIRE CHRISTMAS SEASON is now totally washed-out?

I'm so, so wonderfully happy that I don't have to deal with this any more!

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: up74 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 25 23:26:16 2013

Thank you D for your comments about the feedback system.
I was literally getting ready to write a similar letter myself out of sheer frustration.
Having been on ebay 14 years with 2 sites at 100% positive until this year. The recent ebay changes have allowed buyers to run all over sellers, often just because they can!

One buyer today just left me a negative stating "bad seller communication" on an item shipped to Chile. He had never emailed me at all during the process for me to know I needed to communicate other than to send a tracking number.
After multiple calls to ebay, even though part of the neg related to customs fees, ebay would not help.

The previous neg I received was a comment that said "great seller" so go figure! Even when I referenced ebays own policy about removing a comment where "Negative Feedback when the comment is clearly positive" the ebay rep told me the rules said this type of feedback "MAY" be removed. MAY being the operative word here.

I certainly share your frustration. I believe that until the ebay powers that be realize that sellers are just as critical to ebays success as are the buyers to the whole process nothing will change and in fact will only go more downhill that it has it has.

One of my biggest frustrations is the whole DSR rating system which can often affect a seller even more than feedback. Why a buyer is even allowed to leave a rating on shipping time when that refers to the shipper used, i.e. USPS Fedx Ups etc and is nothing the seller can control once shipped. How in the world can the seller be responsible for that, just Nuts!
Who came up with that idea, just BRILLIANT!

I used to love ebay. But the ebay I knew and loved sadly does not exist any more.
I now find myself looking to other venues where there is more support and less frustration.

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Nov 25 23:52:59 2013

Gee, how much more time is it going to take before all you "non-preferred" eBay sellers come to terms with the reality that eBay does not want you on their site and that all this abusive treatment is simply their way of trying to tell you so?

Move on now; there is now nothing more for you here on eBay, and don't forget to close your "PreyPal" account on the way out the door ...

The ugly reality of eBay Inc.:
eBay's crooked auctions marketplace ... bit.ly/11F2eas
eBay Motors: Auction Fraud Galore … bit.ly/I2gTEU
eBay's clunky, unscrupulous "PreyPal" ... bit.ly/UVXx53
The ongoing joke of it all ... bit.ly/YvxFEg
Fun quotes from the eBay executive suite ... bit.ly/12xvzyA

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: mbbn This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 25 23:54:22 2013

I feel for you!!
I am so sorry this happened.  I could've written this exact same post two months ago myself... three completely ridiculous situations which led to negative feedback and eBay shut me down.
I depend on eBay for a side income of approx $1200-2000/month.
I was cut off for 90 days.  eBay let me sell some items, but certain categories were limited and definitely could not list more than 25 items at a time... it was such a nightmare.
It really shook my trust in eBay and they disappointed me.  I made calls to cust service and it meant nothing.  It is a shame that they force your hand to completely go against whatever you think is right or what is right...
Made me realize eBay doesn't give a hoot and I have learned to just give refunds and comply even when buyers are idiots...  Just not worth the fight--I cannot afford to have that happen again.
I would leave, but eBay, even with their search changes, still beats Etsy and Amazon's traffic.

Best of luck-

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: Pennilu This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 01:16:54 2013

I am so sorry you are experiencing this frustration because I know first-hand EXACTLY how it feels. During the past few months, a couple of (minor) incidents occurred that were far beyond my prevention or control. I have logged many, many hours in calling customer service and they have my notes in their computers. But nothing, NOTHING helped, even speaking with the supervisors and/or gaining the sympathy of the customer support techs.
As extremely frustrated as I became, eBay did me a huge favor by cutting me in the second huge wave of purged sellers in early October. Being physically handicapped, it is/was my means of financial survival. I have been on eBay for nearly 14 years with many thousands of glowing feedbacks and plenty of happy repeat customers.
I am still having withdrawal symptoms from the loss of eBay. I've been dabbling at a few other sites (with relatively little traffic), and tightened my belt to the point where don't know where to turn next for help... but slowly I am coming to accept that I am better off without the lying, cheating ways of eBay.
I bent over backwards to conform to all of eBay's rules, and to keep my customers happy, even those that were obviously scamming me. There is no protection left for Sellers from the Buyers who have figured out how to steal from us through this highly flawed system.
Mainly, I wanted to let you know that I think the odds are against you that eBay will keep you on as a Seller when they implement their next wave of Purges. I never, ever imagined it would happen to me, and I even ended up in the ER with a suspected mild heart attack due to the stress.
If this 'warning' spares you any of the additional stress you would experience when you have ''gotten the axe'' by eBay, then it was worth writing to you about this.
Just keep hanging in as best you can with the knowledge in the back of your mind that many thousands of GOOD Sellers were purged completely by having as few as one or two bad Buyers screw us royally!
PP

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: jbhernandez This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 01:44:54 2013

I had a customer leave a neutral rating because it took 9 days for his item to get to him. I'm in NY he's in CT.

The idiot didn't take into account that it was during Hurricane Sandy and roads were shut down for days in CT.

Moron!

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 02:11:36 2013

I am getting them all of a sudden too- they are coming out of the woodwork right now, 1 after the other, returns for no reason- all expecting all shipping back- worse than ever this week.
Working on a job and trying to get OUTTAHERE!
MH- FED UP! Barely listing!

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Nov 26 02:50:43 2013

OP
The current Ebay FB system is beyond broken.  It can and does put perfectly good sellers out of business in no time at all.  

If I were in your position, I'd call Ebay again.  I know it is frustrating, but I would call again.  As for the TCC department [Top Customer Care].  Don't settle for anyone else.  The first CSR will probably ask you to explain the problem before they transfer, but my standard response is No thank you.  That would just waste your time and mine as you'll end up transferring me as I originally requested and then I'll explain it again.  Said nicely enough, it will usually work.

Then go over each problem one at a time.  Don't mix them together.  Do one at a time and ALWAYS stay completely professional and keep your emotions and feelings out of it.  They don't care.  But what you need to care about is promoting that CSR to WANT to work for you.  So make them your best friend.  While you may not have success on all the problems, you may get at least a little relief.  But I can't stress enough, you need to be polite and professional.

And the same hold true for any comments you are putting on the FB you have received.  Often times sellers are their own worst enemies when responding to FB.  They allow their emotions or egos or both to play into what they write.  Or they will trash the buyer.  All of that only tells potential buyers looking at your FB to move onto another seller.

@up74
You can get that neg removed.  That was in the Spring seller updates.  Since it is proveable through the Ebay emails that the buyer never asked a question, they will or should remove it.

On that 2nd one, have you tried contacting your buyer.  Politely and professionally of course.  Ask them if they would be willing to do a FB revision as there appears to be a mistake.  Don't point any fingers at your buyer.  You want them to want to take the time to change the FB.  Upseting them will not serve you well.

@jbhernandez
You could have had that one removed.  Ebay does have policies in place that work during natural disasters.  I know I had one removed during that timeframe too for similar reasons.  Too late now for you, but if it ever comes up again, call Ebay.

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: minibeesknees This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 07:20:30 2013

I have a similar sad, unfair story. The product I make and market is successful because of quality compared to the competition, and variety. I was/am limited to 25 listings which would not provide the variety (of a single product) that the customers have come to expect. It is like I've been forced to open a dress store with only 25 dresses.  In my case I'd rather sell nothing then play ebay's games so I'm done with ebay. There are many, many of us that are not wanted on ebay so if whatever flucking (great word) you have gotten is resolved, there will only be another one soon that won't be. The working plan ebay seems to have is to become just a hosting site to the big box stores. My customers usually do not shop at those types of store, my product type is not carried in them.  I lived in a small rural town in TN that there was nothing but Walmart and I became very familiar with their operation. I also looked about me at other customers and many of those folks were never going to shop online, and were never going to use some device to compare prices, or shop on.  There are still vast numbers of the buying public that the shopping experience is only experienced walking around pushing a cart. Any ebay search requires the customer to be looking for something in particular...to input some search term and choose from those results. This is not the way some folks 'shop'...to some the shopping experience involves looking...window shopping it used to be called.  Most of the big box outlets already sell online, what makes them think they can duplicate those efforts on ebay? That effort will not result in sales doubling, it will just be a place for them to dump junk and returns and clearance items. Overnight that will result in a reputation for junk listings and not only include ebay listings, but all of their products online anywhere. I suspect that ebay getting rid of a lot of us, and the types of things we sell is going to result in a huge reduction of product type listings...in other words the 'you can find anything on ebay' won't be true any more paired with a reduction of buyers if for no other reason then the products are not on ebay any more.  

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 07:31:05 2013

Same thing here. That is why I dumped ebay as both buyer and seller.
Too much stress on ebay.
I need the income however, not at the price of my health. I moved onto Amazon and Etsy.  Not the number of sales but a lot less stress. I am supposed to be stress free or as close as I can get ( heart attack surviver).
Ebay-should say JD and the board going along with him, stated they do not want small sellers. They are now advertising that buyers can abuse the system just to move out as many of the small sellers as possible. WHY don't they just come out and drop everyone that doesn't have at least 10,000 listings. That is what they want. Large retail and brand names only.  Could be they are smart enough to know that it would raise too many questions with the feds and wall street???  Looks like wall street is finally catching on............
Remember the board of directors are just as guilty as jd.........

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Nov 26 07:46:28 2013

OP, when it rains, it pours.  Hopefully you get through this.

Don't expect any protections from eBay whatsoever. eBay management seem to be delighted over these scenarios.  eBay really have no idea who their customer is.

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 08:11:02 2013

doll buyers are almost always nuts - middle aged women who collect vintage dolls are historically my biggest complainers. earlier this year I got a neutral but she bashed me on all the DSR's as she stated dress was faded and pinback looks replaced. I had begged her to retrun it for full refund and I would pay all costs. She preferred to leave feedback and the killer was the DSR on shipping - I charged her exact postage $7 and eBay thinks that is OK. That DSR pushed me out of TRS for 2 months

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

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

Tue Nov 26 08:23:24 2013

This is the deal.

Selling on eBay - a gamble, a Crapshoot.

Sooner, or later, your going to run across "impossible" customers - its a "given". There is no guaranteed protection from that outcome.

Given the way the feedback system is set up - there is absolutely no protection from a pathologically and certifiable customer.

Given eBays stance that they are always "right" and your limited access to argue your stance - there is no way to "guarantee" your stellar rating.

In fact, sooner or later, everyone with a stellar rating is going to "lose" it.

Its just the way it works when your gambling with "your" reputation.

eBay, on the other hand - really has no interest in the outcome either way. Why, they have their money and "we" are but a drop in the bucket of Sellers who are "replaced" everyday.

Solution: Diversify and start selling on other platforms including your own website.

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: stan4943 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 09:12:13 2013

We have been selling on eBay for over 15 years. It used to be fun, now it is not. We have 2 full time customer service reps to handle our eBay questions, feedback issues, etc. We have a formula for dealing with negatives. First and foremost never allow what is “right”, or “fair”, enter into the decision making process. No one cares if you are being taken advantage of, especially not eBay
First, proactively tell every buyer, at every opportunity, to contact you first before leaving any feedback which is not all 5 stars and positive. We do it when they purchase, when we ship, on the packing slip, and on a separate piece of paper in the shipping box sitting right on top of the item with large RED LETTERS and a stop sign, “If there are any problems with your order please contact us before leaving feedback. We want you to be 100% satisfied with this transaction. We are here to help you.”
Here is our formula to deal with buyers who ignore all those requests and leave a negative without contacting us.
1- Contact the buyer find out why they weren’t 100% satisfied with the transaction.
2- No matter what reason they give you, no matter how unfair, outrageous, etc., immediately accept personal and full responsibility for the problem. Then sincerely apologize.
3- Ask what you can do to make them 100% satisfied with the transaction.
A- If they say nothing, you are done. Reply to their negative feedback with “SELLERS BEWARE buyer left neg w/o contacting us 1st, blocked”, to warn other sellers, and move on.
B- Decide if what they are asking is financially worth not getting the negative. If yes, Send them a feedback revision form; once they change the feedback give them what they wanted. In almost all cases it is financially worth giving the customer exactly what they want.
4- Block them, and never think of them again.
Bottom line, you had 3 transactions worth a total of around $100. If I said to you, give me $100 bucks and I will make some, if not all of the 3 negs go away, AND you won’t lose your TRS, wouldn’t you have done it? Instead you choose to waste hours of time communicating with these buyers, thinking about how unfair eBay is, thinking about how right you were and how wrong the buyers were, writing this email to Ina, etc. etc..
eBay and their policies: feedback system, search algorithms,  fees, resolution policies, customer service, leave a lot to be desired. Stop spending time thinking about them. Instead spend your time figuring out how to find other selling platforms and diversify your business.
PS: We received 2 negatives last night. Both from buyers with over 200 feedbacks. Both buyers have repeated “feedback revised” notations in their feedback history. It is obvious that these buyers know the system. Do we worry about it? No. We will ask what they want and give it to them after they revise their feedback, then block them. It is simply a cost of doing business on eBay.

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

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

Tue Nov 26 09:33:19 2013

Our approach is to think of eBay not so much as a place to sell, but rather as a place to get customers. Once we have a customer, we direct them to our website, where prices are a little better and communication is easier. In this way, we are building a list of direct customers, and keeping eBay out of the loop, as best we can. But, no matter what you do, if you are on eBay, expect casualties.

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 10:02:25 2013

The huge problem here is NOT that ebay is so bad---which it of course IS--but that for many of us there IS NO OTHER VENUE to use to sell.

Branching out is all fine n good except when there ARE no branches to cling to.

Amazon is fine if you sell penny books--how ARE people making money on THAT?Z??---or are a merchandiser of housewares etc.  Used clothing and vintage items cannot be sold there;  the recent  fluff over collectibles ---only with 3rd party verification and subsequent RAISE in prices kiddies!!!---is knocking a lot of sellers who would LOVE another venue out of the ballpark.  

Etsy is a Mini-Me of ebay with just about as complicated and bizarre  a system (as I understand it).  

Making your own website can be spendy and for some is not worth it as the diverse nature of what they sell--or the specialty of their merch--is not worth the time and maintenance.

This was EXACTLY where ebay had the lead.

But the the Ho and his greedy henchmen came along and killed THAT  golden goose.

Where to turn now?

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Nov 26 11:29:11 2013

LOL!  ''flucked'' reminds me of one of my new favorite words: ''fluster-cluck''.  They must be related.


M. Howler - good luck in job seeking. Beware, tho, sometimes what is ''out there'' can be problematic, too.

Just ended contract work which made eBay look like a rose garden.  I don't say that lightly.

eBay may require donning a suit of armor to do business, but now days just walking down the street seems to have the same requirement.


Some days I think the entire world has gone insane with priorities set on political agenda and/or greed. People have simply become ''numbers'' to accumulate to further the priorities mentioned in the prior sentence.

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 11:30:10 2013

Sorry you all had to experience the worst of customers. Sorry for all of us who once flourished on eBay to see what it has become. I guess it is very hard to discover that you and all your hard work to make eBay successful count for NOTHING with eBay. But it's a good lesson-at least now other sites are gaining traction! Good luck to you all.

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Captain Nemo

Tue Nov 26 11:43:48 2013

@stan4943 - a rare moment of useful sanity on this blog.

It's just business.  I take returns, refund money, sometimes pay for return shipping - whatever.  The cost of losing the TRS is always more, and the cost of losing the ebay channel altogether is much much greater than the cost of any return.

The price of aggravation?  At least that is something you can control.  You got to let it slide or you drive yourself nuts.

If you have already left ebay and are still reading blogs and forums about ebay, you are really beyond hope.  Sorry, but it's true. Instead of moving on, you are embracing frustration and disappointment.  If you think you're here to ''warn others'', believe me, anyone selling on ebay knows the scoop.  I don't know too many ebay sellers that leave while they are selling well, regardless of any horror stories they might of heard.

Everyone selling on ebay, every single TRS is fully aware they are sitting on a bomb.

If my bomb goes off and I am off of Ebay, I will put more time into my other sites and ebay will just be a distant memory.

eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers   eBay Seller Hits Trifecta of Bad Buyers

by: adrian44 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 26 12:41:49 2013

I keep asking sellers, with no response, WHY they keep selling on Ebay when you are treated like dirt? The one time I did get a response they said ''traffic!''

I'm not saying dump Ebay all together but if many of you sellers, especially large ones, would go to another site and list many of your items, try to choose just one or two sites among you I believe a lot of your buyers would follow. I'll bet in about 3 months you could completely dump Ebay and if enough of you did that Ebay would certainly feel the pain.

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