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Thu May 29 2014 11:03:47

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I received this letter from eBay's merchant support organization (MSO) in response to a defect placed on our account. What happened was a buyer ordered an item, received the item, opened a case as item not described (which now counts against us), realized the item was as described and quickly closed the case. This was documented in eBay messages.

The end result is I have a case being counted against my 2% needed to retain top rated seller status.

Per eBay's MSO team:

"When a case is open a defect is placed on your account. In the event the buyer has made a mistake and closes it out before escalation, this will still count as a defect. The only way you will not have a defect in cases as of 5/1/2014 going forward is if you escalate the case and we close it in your favor.

"I understand your concern that this counts against your defect rate, however this defect cannot be appealed and is final. We are aware this system isn't perfect and buyers are going to make mistakes. This is the exact reason why we allow you a two percent threshold for these cases so you can still reach top rated seller status."


It doesn't make sense that the only way for something to NOT count against me is to make more work for eBay customer service. I'm already getting hurt from customers who open item not received (INR) cases and who close the cases before I can elevate them to eBay customer support.

Out of the cases counting against me, half of them are due to buyers not realizing the package was delivered or opening cases for Item Not As Described and then realizing that they were mistaken. So instead of working with a 2% threshold, I'm really working with a 1% threshold.

The good news, most sellers on eBay will be losing TRS and eBay's stock price will go up as its revenue will temporarily go up. The bad news, without the discount, there is not incentive to list product on eBay as opposed to competing marketplaces and the revenue will decrease in the long term.

Signed,
Wishing eBay hired people who actually sold products on eBay.




Comments (46) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: hogwarth This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 29 11:15:07 2014

Ebay wants more of your money and they want it now.this new defect system doesnt benefit the buyer or the seller, it benefits ebay by making more sellers lose their trs and then ebay receives more money in fvf from lost discount fees and by reducing the free listing promotions, they get more money from insertion fees and if desperate sellers are forced to buy stores because they no longer get the hughe free promotions to list free,  ''SHOW ME THE MONEY''   is all ebay wants to see now

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

This user has validated their user name. by: eBoy

Thu May 29 11:55:20 2014

This will hurt bad for a while, but I am confident this will hurt eBay more than the increased revenue will help. They'll have to backpeddle to stop the exodus of good sellers.

The only question is how much hurt they're willing to endure before losing face and trying to undo the damage.

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu May 29 12:38:46 2014

If I lose my TRS discount in August my plan is to NOT have an ebay store. I also feel the reason ebay isn't giving store sellers refunds for the hacking is ebay has those sellers who signed up for the annual store subscription are locked in and will be accessed an early termination fee. Never sign up for anything on ebay long term.

The best bet is to make a plan, if not done so already, to leave ebay.

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 29 12:50:39 2014

I just wish everyone would forget about that 20% discount.

That discount could be discontinued tomorrow, to keep saying that ebay is crassly trying to design a system to deny you that 20% discount is just ridiculous. They could just take it away- they don't need a reason.  They don't need to find a way!

If your business model cannot survive without you getting 20% off your ebay fees you have a broken business model. Fix that. If your business is not profitable you have to fix that.

I admit I have a much higher standard for profitability than many people.  Everything a business does should contribute to your business profit.

Businesses have costs. Even if you are working on your kitchen table, you have to assign your business the costs it incurs, even if you don't have to write a check for that. You have to do this so you can see if your business if profitable.

Just consider any discount you receive because you did well to be extra profit. You're not entitled to it, you just get it because of how it worked out. Ebay used the carrot to get you to behave, but we are bloggers, we mostly already behave.  We're the cream of the crop.

As to their attempt to control seller performance, they must have terrible problems with sellers who don't properly operate their business.  

Who don't pack and ship properly
Who don't describe and picture things properly
Who don't answer emails
Who don't properly handle complaints

They are trying to find a way to get the sellers who don't properly operate their business out of there, or at least so they don't sell anything.  It's misguided, I know.  But notice all those emails ebay used to send out that gave suggestions as to what to do to make your business successful?  I always read them, like I read all my email.   We already did all that stuff.  We do this for a living. It's just business.

I've seen all that as a buyer, but as a seller I do it all right- I give everything it's due attention, business is not forgiving of you not paying attention.  Your business depends on you doing it right.  Pay attention to your business.  You're in business now, it's *not* a hobby.  

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 29 13:00:23 2014

This is one of the reasons that eBay forbade people to do a class action law suit against them.

In this case - its outright FRAUD. You did nothing against the rules, in fact you did everything %100 correct yet eBay will still arbitrarily punnish you "just because".

These rules come about because JD, Lyin Ryan Devil Wennig "smart" from time to time from the stinging accusations of incompetance and need to lash out at sellers for this.

Good sellers should be rewarded for their hard work not punnished, but not in eBayland.

In a sane world you could sue - but eBay knows you wont go to San Jose with your lawyer (at $300-500 an hour) just to get your %20 back.

If you do go and decide to sue then you'de have to face one of their judges in arbitration (the ones they gave money to - helping their campaigns or their childrens college funds, or repayment (favor) for their cousins wife whos now a VP (but who only was a cheerleader in high school).

eBay is a crooked company. Their ONLY goal is to seperate you from your wallet - in ANY possible manner - legal or not.

Its like VERO. Verowatch (another hidden eBay shill company) uses their page layout, thier name (VERO) and their "about me page" ON EBAY to scout for companies who want to stop you from selling a product on eBay. For $150-300 a half hour, they will scour eBays pages to find victims. Manufactorers pay up and you get VEROd. Of course VERO SWEARS they dont do this - but they lie, like they lied about DSRs not counting or how they are just a venue (in court in France) or how/why they should get a cut of the fvfs on shipping. Everything on eBay is a "gotcha".

YOu did everything right and still they will mark you as bad then take your %20 - thats a low down rotten trick.

Id call back Trust & Saftey (theres 2 words that should never be in the same sentence as the word EBAY as eBay is neither of those 2 things) and fight to have it removed.

You may get lucky enough to get an AMERICAN employee who will actually help (I got 2 INR cases removed)(the items were picked up at the PO SIGNATURE CONFIRMATION yet I still got defects)(thank you JD you brain dead jerk) (note to eBay laywers: you cant sue me for defamation - I buy your services and I am reviewing them - its a FEEDBACK :P) and not one of the Philipeno 20 yr old girls who script read.

Good luck in your fight for truth justice and honesty (more words not associated with eBay) and good selling.

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu May 29 13:08:08 2014

Ebay at its finest.  Promoting even more unnecessary conflict between a buyer and a seller.  Sellers now must battle every claim they get no matter what.  Their only hope is to escalated it and get closed in their favor or as no fault.

Even if you tick off your customer, it can be a risk worth taking with the new punitive policies Ebay is bringing on board.  Even if the buyer were to win the claim and if they were so mad they give you a negative, it is still one defect.  Only one defect per transaction.  Now of course too many of these and you have a different issue which is your FB percentage.  All of this has to be considered every time you get a claim.

If you feel you have some chance of winning, it can be worth while fighting it.  

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 29 14:12:08 2014

Marie states:
''Even if you tick off your customer, it can be a risk worth taking with the new punitive policies Ebay is bringing on board.  Even if the buyer were to win the claim and if they were so mad they give you a negative, it is still one defect.  Only one defect per transaction.''

....how true.  With this initiative, they have in one swoop, removed any incentive or motivation a seller may have to work with the customer to solve the issue....what's the point...you can't put the water back in the hose once the customer has let it out....  In the past, in the rare instance I had a case opened, I would hop, skip and jump to solve the problem (if any) to get it closed and keep the customer happy with the resolution.  Now....forget it.  I had a buyer open a claim 2 weeks after this new policy started....he swore up and down he only wanted to ask a question....regardless, I read him the riot act.  What incentive do I have to kiss his a$$ when the damage is already and irrevocably done.  In the past, I would have never done anything that would have even come close to irritating a customer that had an issue...in order to contain the issue and resolve it amicably....and this was even to those that I had no doubt were scammers.  Now...up yours...as you can only damage my rating once (at least for now).

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: hogwarth This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 29 15:00:08 2014

why would they want to drive sellers from ebay, lets just say for example, with these defects and with ebay reducing the free promotion to list free, it drives away the bad sellers which account for 5 percent of ebays income, you know what ebay will do then, increase final value fees to make up for this loss, to me these defects and the loss of promotion to list free will only hurt ebays bottom line which in turn will lead to increased fees, makes no sense

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: LAbay This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 29 16:52:35 2014

eBay fostered a culture of shame and blame. This story is happening to thousands of sellers. It is a purge for profit.

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 29 19:58:43 2014

Question?

Once a person opens for NOT RECEIVED

What is my incentive to do anything about it??

NOTHING will take the defect away.

Same with all the others....

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: LinneyPinney This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 29 23:10:14 2014

The best thing to do with the many eBay problems is... Leave. Period. It's over. eBay is ruined and it will not be fixed.  

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri May 30 00:29:23 2014

@frustrated

INR's are different than SNADS.  You have GREAT incentive for fixing an INR claim if you can.  If you can prove delivery, then the case can be closed as received.  This is suppose to REMOVE the defect.  So that is the incentive.

They are not handling INRs like they do SNADs.

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: rooftop This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 30 07:26:38 2014

When selling on eBay , my main purpose is to sell at profit and also to make sure the buyers gets what they have paid for , in the same condition as listed and in the fastest possible time .
I refuse to play the Ebay game and I refuse to even look at my star ratings and I only ever read my Ebay message once a day in case there are some bad news in the messages as I don't want a complete day of stress .
I am not being paid by Ebay as their employee so I don't expect them to treat me in such a way that they have a punishment system . .
Ebay often makes more on a transaction than the seller who has to do all the hard work .
The only reason I stick with Ebay is because they don't in my area have any real alternatives ,If they did I would be out the door ASAP.
A huge amount of people sell on Ebay with very little return for their efforts while the CEO gets multi-millions each year .
His salary is coming from millions who often gets so little for their efforts and their loyalty .
Ebay shows very little loyalty in return in many cases of it's customers .
They only use them when everything is positive and quickly get rid of them when they perceive even the faintest of the negative  even if it is not proven .
How many other businesses have the luxury of getting rid of their customers for the simplest of reasons ?.    

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 30 08:31:01 2014

Pathetic ebay will fall when their fall idiotic policies take effect

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: Terry in Texas This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 30 13:08:01 2014

i stopped worrying about the TRS discount 3 years ago. my friend showed me how all my worrying and getting bent out of shape because of a buyer who didn't read the listing was causing me too much stress. and that the $60-90 discount was simply NOT worth the stress, particularly when i WAS doing everything correctly and professionally. i continue to provide exceptional customer service because it's what you do in a successful business practice. what other employer holds their employees to a 99.5% perfection rate to get their bonus? NONE. and it's NOT possible.

i think STEEVO makes a good point, just consider any discount you get from Ebay as extra profit.

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

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

Fri May 30 13:23:37 2014

I agree with Terry and Steevo regarding the discount. It's not worth the hassle for such a small amount.

But if a seller loses the discount, do they also lose-out by being placed lower in the search results?

Is it a double-whammy? Or is search result placement based on other criteria that's completely separate from whether or not a seller qualifies for the 20% discount?

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: hogwarth This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 30 14:33:50 2014

dont understand how a business can take certain customers of theirs and prevent buyers from seeing their lisitngs all the times, make no sense at all and seems a little fishy

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

by: hogwarth This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 30 14:37:57 2014

its like i own a mcdonalds franchise and mcdonalds sees i have a few poor customer reviews, so from now on, when customers come into to my mcdonalds franchise, they only see half of the food items on my menu, ebay are idiots

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Fri May 30 14:48:13 2014

I should of clarified my earlier post on losing the discount. It isn't so much as the discount but like Annie mentioned it is dropping even more in search. The more items are not selling my feedback percentage keeps dropping and the unwarranted defect percentage goes up.

I signed up for a store a while back hoping I would make more sales. I am not and refuse to give ebay more money for a store in August if my items are not being shown.

I do believe this is all being done intentionally since I can see this all in action with both my defect and feedback percentages working against me.

By the way I have done everything right as a seller in my listings and with MY customers. I SHOULD be at 100% feedback and NO defects. I wouldn't put it past ebay to employ buyers to sabotage sellers. Haven't a lot of us thought the exact same thing or am I just that paranoid when it comes to ebay?  

eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects   eBay Counts Buyer Errors as Seller Defects

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri May 30 14:59:09 2014

Well, Annie, I think many sellers will be finding out the answer to your query come November, December, and January.

IMO, visibility is much more important than the discount. But the answer to visibility after TRS loss remains to be SEEN. (bad pun, I know)

Who knows, starting February 1 eBay may just decide to KEEP the 90 day return policy if they like the re$ult$.

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