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Mon Feb 24 2014 20:38:59

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Questions

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
In your recent article titled "eBay Tackles the Problem of Deadbeats" something interesting caught my attention. eBay Senior Manager of Seller Protection Jonathan Haney offered sellers some advice which helps reduce unpaid items.

Here is the specific piece that caught my attention:

When selling auction-style:
If your buyer has not paid within 48 hours of the listing being closed, reach out to them via My Messages and ask them - in a friendly, encouraging manner - to pay for the item they won. Buyers are people, and life happens, so give them the benefit of the doubt. The buyer could have had an emergency or other issue that distracted them from the matter at hand. A little customer service can go a long way in these situations, and we've found it's best to work to find a mutually agreeable solution before opening an Unpaid Item Case.


Ok so it is agreed by an eBay executive that things happen out of our control which require communications between both parties to resolve a problem. The issue I see here is that this is only a one way suggestion. Why could this not be both ways where if a buyer has a problem they can communicate with the seller?

The buyer should be able to do the following:
1) Know that sellers "are people"
2) give sellers "the benefit of the doubt"
3) "work to find an agreeable solution" prior to opening a case
4) and the list goes on

Of course this venue has no intention of making things easy for sellers so we shall continue to get cases opened whenever a buyer has a question about a purchased item.

I have been working on my own website and adding items on other venues and encourage others to do the same. This type of nonsense will just get worse and I say "The Ho Must Go" or those that continue selling there will continue to be his eSlaves.

Thank you,
No more eSlaves




Comments (41) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Feb 24 23:29:57 2014

Buyers are people and sellers are ebay's soylent green.

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

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

Tue Feb 25 00:36:57 2014

Just had a buyer accidentally open a case.
He bought an item from me and hit a link to ask me if I had another and VIOLA- OPEN CASE!

Enough is ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!
MB

$164 LOCKED UP and now he is ''out of town''!!!!!!!!!!

WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MH
PS: That SHERLOCK Haney gives us ''advice'' that allows a person who MAY NOT PAY to Ding our Communication star if we politely email them-

HANEY YOU ARE AN IDIOT!

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 03:25:06 2014

Aaargh!

This happened to me again today!

A Buyer wanted to know where their postcard was. So, Ebay automatically opened a Case against me, and froze the PayPal funds for that transaction.

I mailed the postcard the day after they paid (like I always do). It has been 14 days, which is taking longer than it should. However, we had some bad weather, with snow closing some roads. Also, the address was to where the person worked at Google. The envelope is probably sitting somewhere in that building, waiting to be routed to the Buyer.

I immediately responded to the Opened Case, and refunded the payment. Ebay makes threats to the Seller (like we are all criminals), and I didn't want to spend anymore time on the Case. The Seller will be happy because she got a fee postcard, because it will arrive eventually.

I know, it is the price of doing business on Ebay. They treat Sellers like cr*p and Buyers like gold. Like that hasn't been said a million times!

How I hate that company!

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: handmade by martha This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 08:49:55 2014

interesting thread ... if a seller does not contact their customer in the transaction process,  then the customer can not enter dsr in the communication field.  so, if i contact a customer, then i am allowing my customer access to trash my dsr.  not good, not good at all.  if i am wrong about this, please let me know.  sellers all know that bad dsr(s) can put you out of business.  

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

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

Tue Feb 25 08:52:14 2014

Refunding to halt the path of a mistakingly filed claim is only enabling the behavior.

My hats off to the writer of the letter - you are correct. Diversify, work on your own website, build your own customer base, walk across the street and check out how they do business on competing eBay platforms.

Until more do this, eBay will continue to micro manage and brow beat you to the nth degree.

Why people complain about eBay and continue to do business there is beyond the scope of my understanding.  

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: redheadedlady This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 08:59:49 2014

I had a lady just yesterday email to ask a question and had no idea it would open a case.  She was very apologetic for it.  I put a note in all my orders that tell people my email to contact me to avoid this.  But apparently most of them need glasses for reading!!  As to Kathleen Johnson - why do people complain and continue to do business - right now it is my bread and butter.  I have a website but sales are slow and I am on other venues but again sales are very lackluster.  I make my money on ebay so I have to stay until things pick up on other venues.

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

This user has validated their user name. by: MJRock

Tue Feb 25 09:04:19 2014

GO TO AMAZON PEOPLE!!  I'm getting sick of eBays tactics, so I made a strong effort to get approved on Amazon.

Was approved by Amazon and started to add our products last month.  Sales are already starting to out pace our eBay sales, and we only have about 50% of our products on Amazon.

I talk to english speakers when I have a question, and even have a direct line to my own customer support person who helped me set up Amazon and continues to help with specific questions.

I'm sure Amazon has it's own issues that we will find, but so far so good!

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

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

Tue Feb 25 09:06:10 2014

Although eBay is the only place that I know of that penalizes it's sellers in significant ways for buyer's writing to them, Amazon also looks at this and gives sellers a score on buyer initiated messages as part of the seller's 'perfect order' score.
"Why do buyer-initiated messages get counted as imperfections?

Buyer-initiated contacts are included in your POP score to help you identify ASINs that may be causing a high number of buyer contacts. For example, a high number of contacts on a single or a small set of ASINs may indicate a product issue.

If you have reviewed all your messages and do not see any recurring issues, then there is no reason for concern. This metric is designed to be helpful to your business, and is not used by Amazon as a performance measure."

They may say that and it doesn't penalize us, but somehow buyer initiated messages have knocked my perfect score down a bit. Have these venues forgotten that part of customer service is TALKING with a sales clerk about a product, chit chatting, joking, etc. as part of bonding with the buyer and seller? Yet for some reason this is frowned on when selling on line.

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 09:18:38 2014

DSR will NEVER be used against the seller.
Amazon has an automated system which means any questions take up space. Also, appears that there is a problem.

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Feb 25 09:57:48 2014

Some of this is just due to couple misunderstandings.  One with auto 5 policy and one with why the policy was started.

Part of the policy reads:
Most often, transactions without additional communication are a sign of great service, and you shouldn't receive low detailed seller ratings for communication in these situations.

To give you credit for transactions where a buyer doesn't need to contact you, you'll automatically receive a 5-star communication detailed seller rating if:
*You specify either same business day or 1 business day handling and upload tracking information within 1 business day.
*There are no buyer- or seller-initiated communications in eBay Messages
*There are no requests for contact information between you and the buyer.

Note: Best Offers, Second Chance Offers, invoices, and invoice requests—even if they contain messages added by the buyer or seller—don't affect automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings for communication. You'll still qualify for an automatic 5-star communication detailed seller rating if you or your buyers send these types of communications.

Communication between a buyer and seller isn't undesirable. If you exchange messages—and the buyer is satisfied with your response—you may receive 5 stars for communication based on their interaction with you.

This change to the auto 5 for communication was due largely because sellers lobbied for it for a long time.  Much like we did for the auto 5 is S&H if we have free shipping.

There were buyers ranking seller's low in communications, when no communication was ever initiated.  This stops that.  It is a good thing.  If you need to communicate with your buyer, then you should without hesitation.  

There is never going to be a rule that works for everyone all the time.  There are just too many variables.  But this policy works for most transactions as they go off without additional communication or a hitch.

To be upset or in disagreement with this policy doesn't make sense to me unless it is because it is misunderstood.  If you are just against the policy, then that would mean we are back to where we were before it.  Even if a buyer never asks you a question or you never have any reason to communicate with them, they can ding your DSR for communication.  What sense does that make?  If there is no communication, why should they be allowed to rate it.

It is no different for the auto 5 in shipping time and/or  Shipping and handling.  If certain requirements are met you get an auto 5.

I strongly dislike the DSR system and Ebay is to stubborn to do away with it or significantly redesign it.  They just throw band aids on it.

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 09:58:32 2014

This is from a company with such a flawed system that it opens cases against sellers when a buyer asks a simple question.
If a buyer responds to the seller like Jon says, is a cased automatically opened against the seller?
Seems to be the case now.

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Feb 25 10:11:28 2014

@ Donkey

That is by design.  It is a policy change last year.  They announced it and explained it.  Not good enough, but they explained it nonetheless.

When the upcoming policy change for this subject of claims / communication was announced, sellers were extremely happy.  Ebay was going to REQUIRE buyer to contact sellers and give them 3 days to respond BEFORE ANY claim could be open.

Sounded great.  I loved it as I am sure most sellers did.  It made perfect sense to us.  The policy implementation got delayed a couple times.  No one but Ebay knew why.  It didn't seem that complicated to the rest of us.  

Then when it was about to roll out, the announcement came they had changed how this was going to work from the initial announcements.  Some genus at Ebay felt it would be better just to have a claim open when a buyer tries to ask after a purchase about the description or delivery.

Now granted the buyer still has a choice.  It is on their screen that they are about to open a claim.  They do have to check the box to open it.  But most aren't reading their screen.

It isn't a trick by Ebay as some say.  It is just the buyer not reading what is before them.  But then in their defense it does make it seem it is the only way to get the message to the seller.

The only way around it is for the buyer to check one of the other boxes when trying to send an email.  They have a half dozen choices.  It is only the top couple of options that create this claim problem.

But please understand, the cases are NOT auto opened.  The buyer is checking a box to have the claim open.  It is just they are don't reading what their screen says.  We have all made similar mistakes.  Not reading what is on our screens carefully enough.

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 10:17:09 2014

Tell buyer open case are not good for both buyer and seller.

90% buyer don't close cases. If ebay held your fund, it is good for ebay.  This is a motivation to Greedbay.

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

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

Tue Feb 25 10:43:49 2014

I'm finding sales slower and slower on ebay. Every time they tinker with something they get slower still. I notice the numbers of lookers and watchers goes down too,how long before they touch rock bottom?.

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Tue Feb 25 12:42:37 2014

My strategy for circumventing a case being opened: I send my buyers a personalized note via e-mail immediately following printing a label. I do this for every sale. More often than not, the buyer will contact me via 'reply' if they have any questions.  

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: rachel This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 12:51:23 2014

Notice not sales for a week for the first time in a year. Is this because eBay is promoting free stores for one week for casual sellers that have not sold in awhile with free listing for one week (one a day is what I heard) and no final value fees, offering these the most exposure as well as auctions? Perhaps they want sellers with their own store fronts to switch to the new format?

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: Ladmo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 14:36:51 2014

Buyers are liars and sellers are yellers. Wait - maybe that's a real estate quote...  

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 14:39:55 2014

@RACHEL---I had some odd "Free listing"  dealie show up---with 1000 listings per day--never got any notice of this in MY MESSAGES etc---just showed up on my SELLING page.  changed dates every few days.  Did not seem to actually get USED even tho I listed items.  Don't know if this was set to "kick in"  AFTER my "Free 50"  or?

Ended on completely different days for my two accounts.  

Never saw any notices about these here or anywhere else.  

Don't know what games ebay plays at and have to wonder if THEY even know.    

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 14:41:05 2014

@ MJrock, I have seen and heard the same exact horror stories about Amazon.  In fact I have heard that Amazon is even worse than EBay about giving in to buyer's refund demands.

eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q   eBay Shouldn't Penalize Sellers When Buyers Have Q

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 14:44:24 2014

This odd way of ebay encouraging cases to be opened for just any old communication is just one MORE way for ebay to micro-manage and DIScourage any seller from ever having ANY actual communications with a buyer for ANY reason.  It seems pretty backwards to ME but I suspect it has to do with ebays immense paranoia about how sellers might try and sell something off ebay more than anything else.  

Of course this could be just another way for ebay to not so secretly remind sellers that Big Brother really IS watching.  

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