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Thu Apr 10 2014 21:12:00

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I woke up Sunday morning to find my active listings went from 156 down to 40 and then I further watched them decline down to nothing. I called up and after about an hour on hold was told my account was restricted indefinitely for site manipulation.

That is all they would tell me so I called back again and after an hour and a half I got a more thorough answer saying the restriction was due to feedback manipulation. I was told someone was calling up pretending to be buyers who left us bad reviews and having them removed.

I have several employees who help me with messages, customer service and packing. When I confronted them, one came clean. I had offered incentives to anyone who could resolve issues with buyers and prove to me that they helped make an unhappy buyer happy or even more impressive, helped a buyer so thoroughly that they revised their negative or neutral feedback. It turns out he had done this on several occasions.

He has been fired and now I am left with nothing at all. Mind you this was a respectable and intelligent college student who was just looking to help pay of student loans and he single handedly destroyed my business.

I had dedicated my life to eBay and it was my sole income. I support my mother and disabled sister. Now I am lost.

I have been calling everyday in hopes that there is some way for me to get our accounts back. I never received an email or message informing me of the restriction or it's details.

Today a rep told me that it was also due to the fact I have so many open cases. I tried to explain that the open cases are cases that were automatically opened against non paying buyers. We have had occasional violations in the past, most of which were resolved and correct with us found to be not guilty.  

In all, we are honest people trying to offer people memorable buying experiences. Please take a quick look at our feedback and you will see our customers love us. We have been very successful at building our eBay customer base and we drive traffic to our eBay store at great rates.
N.




Comments (35) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 11 01:21:43 2014

That's quite a story, sorry that happened.

I always wondered why some employees (not many, thankfully) think it's a great idea to lie, cheat and steal for an employer.  

I have never had anyone ask me if I expected them to do that for me.  But I have known some who thought that made sense. I have never had an employer suggest I should do that for them.  

I really can't imagine. Seems nuts to me.  

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

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

Fri Apr 11 01:29:07 2014

Something similar happened to one of my best customers a few years ago.  She was running a dog rescue charity.  One of her employees bought something from the store and left a positive feedback.  That seller got shut down instantly.  Had to help her get her inventory straightened out and transferred to another account after that.

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

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

Fri Apr 11 04:04:04 2014

I'm just heartsick for ''N'' and what happened to their eBay business.

eBay should have reached-out to N to find out what was going on... eBay could have also taken less severe actions to punish or restrict (but not destroy) N's business.

This is a good object lesson for anyone who relies solely on eBay. Fact is, eBay is fickle and unpredictable. What's okay today, may not be allowed tomorrow. The consequences of violations are subjective and will vary depending on the day of the week, or the mood of the person who makes the decision.

Diversify!

Everyone should have a backup plan. Whether it's your own ecommerce site, or some other alternate venue... at least you won't be stranded out in the cold with zero income.

Good luck, N! Keep trying to reach someone who will let you back in. If you find a sympathetic soul, you might be able to re-start your eBay business.

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Apr 11 06:30:18 2014

I feel for this seller.

Something similar could happen to anyone who sells there.  The cases opened, feedback left, and DSR system should scare the daylights out of everyone.

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: Santini This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 11 12:46:34 2014

Whaaaat? Is this all you would have to do to take a competitor down? Just make calls to ebay, CLAIMING you were the buyers who left a bad fb and want to change it, and poof! goes the sellers account???

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: Professor This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 11 12:55:53 2014

"today a rep told me.."

The CSR's are completely incompetent. They do not know Ebay's rules, and I am sure that the one you spoke to had no idea why you were penalized. They tend to fish around, looking at your various statistics, not understanding what they mean, and make up excuses just to appease you. Like most complaint desks, their purpose is to waste your time so that you just go away.

When you told your employees, who are acting on your behalf and apparently at your request, to provide the best customer service possible, did you direct them to call buyers who left bad feedback? If not, then what did you tell your employees to do? Were they aware of the proper "ebay way" of requesting a feedback change, or did you just let them wing it?

I feel bad for you, but incentivizing an inexperienced and clearly untrained employee to contact customers on your behalf, is simply foolish.

It doesn't matter if you are on ebay or running a corner store, any employee dealing directly with customer complaints needs to have some parameters.

Where were you when these phone calls were happening?

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: Professor This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 11 12:56:55 2014

Where was the business owner when these phone calls to his customers was happening?

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 11 13:13:10 2014

It's interesting that buyers can lie, cheat & steal and they never seem to be tossed.  Buyers can enter into a binding ''contract'' with me & not pay; they can keep items by lying about description even though they never read it; they can leave low DSR's & Ebay can see some of them are lies by ship date for example - Ebay lies & calls this proven FACT an ''opinion''.  Buyers don't get tossed for any of this behavior & have the blessing of Ebay management to do so.

Ebay management calls their own lies and mistakes ''glitches''.  

Well, you just had a glitch & it seems to me that you took care of business.  There is NO forgiveness to sellers for glitches or mistakes - not even when it is buyers or the post office causing your so called glitch.

I'm sorry this happened to you & a normal business would have a conversation with you and perhaps give you limits or some way to prove yourself.  Not Ebay, you are a small seller; therefore you will not be missed.  No innocent until proven guilty here.  No one with a brain and some common sense available.

But, hey, the good news is - you can still BUY!  

I hope you get resolution and someone who will listen and give you another chance.  In this tough economy the rich boys have no clue what it's like to be in the trenches.  Nor do they care....

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 11 13:27:18 2014

Don't buy at eBay though

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: LAbay This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 11 14:48:29 2014

The Chinese sellers get kicked off constantly and start new accounts.

You should be able to do the same and sell your inventory.

Best of luck.

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: NYCElectrOnyx This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 11 20:24:50 2014

Wow, I want to sincerely thank everyone for their support and understanding. I have posted on eBay's power seller forums and boy they are cruel and insensitive.  This event has really thrown us off course.

To those asking where I was while the calls were being made. The question should be, where was my employee when these calls were being made? No other employees ever heard him on the phone with eBay. For no reason should they have ever called eBay anyway as the account is in my name. No outgoing calls to eBay were ever made on their personal line.

The few employees that I have/had are well informed of the way eBay works and the way feedback works. They were allowed to contact customers on behalf of our company to ensure satisfaction or resolve issues. I guess this ex employee of mine though he found a free and easy route. We all know there is no such thing. Now I am paying for it...

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 12 06:17:31 2014

I have a feeling that there is a lot more to this story than is being told...

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: JackieBlue This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 12 16:01:48 2014

I feel bad for your but ultimately you are responsible for your employees actions.  

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: Stanislav This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 13 00:18:38 2014

Hello NYCElectrOnyx,

I've been monitoring your account for at least a few month now and when I saw your account having zero listings I was devastated. Simply because I know how difficult it is to run eBay business nowadays and also because if it can happen to you it can also happen to me or anyone else. What strikes me the most while looking at your eBay account is the fact that you have ZERO negative feedbacks. eBay isn't fool, they know it's not possible. So either someone flagged your account or it was the vetting department auditing thoroughly accounts like yours. Like someone said here, there must be more to your story than you are revealing to us. I am sure you have had too many violations in the past and combined with feedback manipulation they decided to give you the boot. Again don't get me wrong I really feel sorry that you lost such a good account. I am sure you are just as dedicated seller as I am. No one deserves this, not even when you are "manipulating feedback". If you offered incentives to your buyers this could have been one of the deciding factors to ban you from selling again. Also in your ME page you advertising your website. It's another direct violation against eBay. They don't want you to steal their traffic/buyers. Again I am not defending eBay because we all know they are crooks along with a big chunk of their buyers who are willingly participating in online theft. So yes go ahead and manipulate eBay but be very careful and stay under radar for as long as you can.  

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: Jason_Cooke This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 13 06:27:55 2014

I've made many comments online regarding the subject of mass culling of eBay accounts and what continues to be sad as in this case above, that eBay essentially set the rules to entrap you. It's a setup. eBay create the system, we as customers follow that system and then, they ban you as a result. If we have open cases for example, it's because a seller or buyer is not adhering to the rules / providing a win/win transaction. We don't open cases to be a PITA, it has a genuine reason. eBay's strategy is evidently not that simple though.

I just wish for a mass boycott of Ebay sooner rather than later. And the less said about CEO John Donahoe the better. What a car crash he is.  

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Sun Apr 13 22:59:14 2014

I have to disagree with Stanislav. It's not impossible to have 0 negative feedbacks. I have 0 negatives and have seen many other good sellers who also don't have any. While I agree that it can be difficult to maintain 0 negatives in some categories, it's not impossible.  

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

This user has validated their user name. by: TraderBoo

Sun Apr 13 23:31:39 2014

To LAbay, correction:

The chines sellers already have several acounts open. So when one gets shot down they are already continue doing business with no interruption.  

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: NYCElectrOnyx This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 13 23:52:09 2014

I understand that the Chinese are able to fly under the radar but I am not willing to assume new identities or whatever measures they take to do so. I have a brand to represent and my customers need to be able to know who I am.

Also, re:Stanislav  I am unsure whether to be honored or worried that you were monitoring our account. LoL Was there a specific reason as to why? It's a shame though, we really built great relationships with our customers and now it's like we just disappeared on them...

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 01:54:31 2014

The issue really the employee's level control permitted without any safeguards toward the business. Customer communication is the #1 means double check if your business has issues either products or the employee's follow through to the customer. It's a classic case "Inmates Run The Prison" meaning misplaced trusting operations into the wrong hands within your operations.

The best bet start over and make a list who in your operations given access that level control meaning as a warden your business give authority to the prison guards and assure they report or prove to you --their are tiers in any business (chain of control).

eBay can't determine if this is business sabotage within via employee or just cutting out ploy seller on self negligence. If you fired the employee did you file with labor board the reason verifications of damage or poor service dispute to shelter against invalid firing?? Till you prove it and your bases covered eBay as any business only takes so much into account till then you must devise a written policy such issues don't repeat.

Really gave away too much empowerment ones business into others hands did you at least had a safeguard such as non-compete agreement, manipulation of source or vendor accounts and etc.. as this if in eBay shoes you permitted account manipulation as well open the door access manipulate eBay's review program. The employee through you probably had access the sales info (shipping address or etc to attempt these changes wrongfully so!)

Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business   Employee Implodes eBay Seller's Business

by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 02:05:45 2014

Sorry classic case, "Inmates Run The Prison". A business owner placed too much control of the business into others hand without reservation assure they could attain security entire operations. eBay's review is a base measuring tool not customer management program which is still at business owners responsibility and/or control.  

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