EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line! Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear in the blog.
Mon Mar 2 2015 21:55:52

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina:
I've been trying to work with eBay over their treatment of sellers, especially when it comes to seller abuse at the hands of buyers.

On Saturday, I thought I'd found a person who understood where I was coming from. After talking to them regarding bad returns, unfair negative feedback, etc., I was told that my business was important to them and that they'd take care of me. "Hold on while I transfer you to a retention specialist." Click -click -busy signal, -disconnect.

Buoyed by feeling that someone at eBay really cared, I called back this morning. To say what I encountered was beyond the worst customer service imaginable would be an understatement of epic standards. At one point the CSR said to me, "Let me get this straight. You're asking for a bribe (feedback removal) or you're going to leave? You don't need my help to close your account, go ahead."

I remained positive, kind and polite. The things they said to me, two different reps - it was beyond shocking. I just kept putting on my counselor hat and saying, "What do you mean by, "I'm sorry that you feel that way?"" It was brutal.

So, I contacted eBay for the fifth time and asked what my obligation was to them regarding my store subscriptions as I was on a yearly contract. He walked me through it.

I have been a Gold level Powerseller for many, many years. I've kept a 100% positive feedback rating with 5 DSRs my entire eBay career.

The issue that started this, although not at all important to my story now, was receiving a negative feedback for an item not received. The second I got the claim, I looked up tracking, found that it had ended after two scans, and IMMEDIATELY refunded my buyer. Later, I discovered that she had left a negative feedback. This buyer has 123 feedbacks and has left seven neutral and negative feedbacks. eBay says that she's entitled to her opinion and that this doesn't constitute a bad buying pattern.

Citing buyer history and eBay policy (and the fact that it benefits neither eBay or myself, I asked for the feedback to be removed. I explained that this had been a terrible year for me selling on eBay with tons of bad returns, fraud of every type, etc. and I needed for eBay to help protect me as it was becoming impossible to protect myself.

I have been trying to put myself in a position where I can leave eBay behind for exactly one year. I've built my own website, tried other venues, etc., but what I've found is that the $100,000 in inventory I possess which was purchased solely for sale on eBay just doesn't do well on other venues. I want to leave, but I feel stuck.

But for now I'll close my store, pack up the inventory and hope that eBay will rebound. Between the hacks, the throttling, the site issues and messed up search, bad returns and just "falling out of love" with the concept, I guess it really is time to go.

It'll take me a couple of months to raise the money to fulfill all of my obligations and then I'll say goodbye to fourteen years of blood, sweat and tears. It makes me pretty sad.

Another one bites the dust,
Babette




Comments (37) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

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

Mon Mar 2 22:12:09 2015

Good luck to you, Babette. I know it's of little comfort to say this, but you're not alone.

You're also not alone in your mixed feelings. I'm one of the ones who felt sad about what eBay had become. Sad, angry, depressed... I felt betrayed and abandoned. I suspect that you'll go through an entire spectrum of feelings as well. I guess it's a natural ''grieving'' process... for me, it was difficult to say goodbye to something that (at one time) had been a source of price, joy, excitement and that gave me a sense of accomplishment... a feeling of belonging... a community of friends and mutual trust.

Indeed, it was difficult for me to ''let go of a successful past''. What made it easier was the certain knowledge that I *had no choice* if I wanted to avoid was was sure to be a difficult future.

Like you, I held tight to the belief (or hope) that eBay execs and policy makers would see the errors of their social experiment. I felt certain that they'd return to their senses and stop ruining everything.

I was as patient as I could be. Every benefit of the doubt was given. After awhile, I felt foolish for having been so optimistic. Reality slapped me upside the head and I began my slow but deliberate transition away.

It sounds like you're also a realistic person and that you're laying the groundwork for your own successful future without eBay. Stay positive and try not to be discouraged.

If your path is anything like mine, there will be a lot of ups and downs... and sometimes a steep learning curve... but be patient and persistent, and you'll eventually realize your goals and you'll be successful again.

But even better than that, you'll be a much HAPPIER person with MUCH LESS STRESS in your life.

Best to you,
Annie

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Mar 2 23:57:22 2015

OP says: ''...but what I've found is that the $100,000 in inventory I possess which was purchased solely for sale on eBay just doesn't do well on other venues. I want to leave, but I feel stuck.''


If eBay is truly the best place at this point in time to get rid of that inventory then:

1) do you need a store to do so, or can you try to sell that inventory off during free listing promotions?  Can it be put into lots & still make a profit?


2) Un-Friend
Don't tie any emotion into eBay. Not over feedback, DSRs, TRS - none of that. If those  are gone because of defects, just keep moving forward.  The goal is to sell off the inventory.


3) Console? What Console?  
I don't even look at my console much anymore. I could have 100 defects show up overnight and be completely oblivious. I sleep well.  


4) Earth to Customer Service  -  
The last time I had to call CS to find where something was, the spot where the phone number was supposed to be was blank! The code was in place but the actual phone number missing.  Do we call them telepathically now?

I have had some pretty wacky unfair defects from day one, but I have not called CS to have any removed.  Probably happier for it.


5) Live each sale as if it were your last.
eBay can terminate any one of us at any time - we all know that. But, on the flip side, eBay themselves can disappear at any time. Buy out. Merge. RIP. Dave and Ina could have an epitaph writing contest.

Any sale with eBay can be your last sale with eBay.  If eBay disappear, TRS or a Million Positive feedback will likely be worthless to the sellers that have them. What was once a source of pride have been all but rendered meaningless for many sellers.


6) FOcus
Focus on recouping your costs. If waiting for free list promos on eBay you can keep looking at or trying other venues.  Spread the inventory around. Many here do that in hopes that a great venue will break out for their category. Maybe one will for you!  


I second Annie on Good Luck wishes. Hope you can come back with a positive future follow-up post.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Tue Mar 3 00:43:47 2015

OP: I'm a bit confused. Did you think the buyer's feedback broke a certain policy and felt it should be removed? I'm not seeing where it would qualify for removal.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 02:21:40 2015

Customer Service peeps at Fleecebay couldn't find the bathroom without a roadmap.

Not only are they rude, crude and uninformed, they think that they may be god.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Tue Mar 3 03:14:10 2015

A contract with eBay sharks for a year! Ouch!

14 years... and you just noticed things were bad now, eh?

Don't worry Gentle Reader. This seller's plight will never happen to you because you are special.

You should be more careful about the people you do business with.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 09:14:29 2015

That was a very helpful response, Basset. Nice to see.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 09:35:45 2015

Babette,
If you have $100,000 that sells on ebay and not other venues, I would use only the promotional listings and/or finish your store subscription. Sell what you can and on the packing slip in red, stamp your new website that they can purchase items, (maybe even cheaper) or if you can give them a coupon discount for your website. Go through your Paypal for customers email addresses and tell them that you purchase from you prior on ebay and that you have opened a website. Give them a coupon discount code.
Do what you have to do to get the Sam Hill out of there.

Little by little I am getting out of there. I have hired people to tweet for me, I do Pinterest, Wanelo and such to get seen. I also submit my URL's out for my website and eCrater account to the search engines. Do blogging to bring in people.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

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

Tue Mar 3 09:59:14 2015

This might be a case for Bonanza.com, which allows you to be linked to ebay search as well as google shopping. Look it over and see if it appears to be an alternative worth a trial run. Reasonable fees, decent management.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: SFH Storm This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 10:01:24 2015

I would like to say that Basset gave you some very sound advice. To add to that,
Reality is Ebay doesn't care about you, or anyone! It is a tough pill to swallow, but you have to swallow it.

Once you over come your hurt feelings and anger, and can realize that we all get the same crummy treatment. Don't take it personally! It's all of us!

Now with that in mind, you have to make sound business decisions for you! Look out for yourself, you have too!

Your reality is that you have a huge investment in E-bay, and you don't want to lose it.
Looking out for yourself, use E-bay to sell, knowing they are not your friend.
Take care of your customers like you always have, they are what is important.
There is always going to be some disgruntled or dishonest buyers in the mix. Part of Reality. Yep, you have to swallow that too.

Keep doing what you do, ignore the garbage that goes with it, Focus on the Good Customers and why you do this.
Don't cut off your nose to spite you face.
Use E-bay like they use us.

Best Wishes

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 3 10:02:59 2015

@Babette - Sorry to hear you were treated so badly by the CSRs, but if you've been reading posts on this site, you know that CSRs are, for the most part, untrained and understaffed, and it's a miracle if you can actually get someone who can help you.

You don't say what your $100,000 in inventory consists of, but I find it hard to believe that eBay is the only place where your items will sell. If you already have your own web site, concentrate on building and advertising that. Marketplaces such as eCrater and Bonanza have a plethora of categories and you should be able to sell almost anything on those sites. As DingDong states, e-mail everyone you've sold to in the last couple of years and tell them to visit your web site. I'm not into social media, but many people find success by promoting themselves on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

You do not have to be tied to eBay to be successful.  

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

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

Tue Mar 3 11:04:43 2015

Welcome to the new world order LOL. I have left a rock bottom store on e-bay but thank god I only drop ship. No inventory to hold me to the mill so to speak. Take the negative and keep on selling till your inventory is reduced.
I had a customer neg me over a refund and a phone call 5 years ago. She said that if I gave her the item for free she would remove the negative. Turns out she had some items for sale and recieved a few negatives back to herself. E-bay did nothing to help her or me LOL.
Whats fair is fair.
E-bay is not fair and will get worse.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

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

Tue Mar 3 11:31:08 2015

It is hard to hear these stories, but are becoming common place now.
You have John Donahoe and Robert Swan to thank for your problem.
Please keep in mind that you are just noise to John Donahoe who has completely destroyed a once thriving marketplace in order to line his pockets with cash.
I have never ever seen such a complete management failure as this, it is as if they turned the keys over to the devil and said here, destroy this marketplace.
What a complete failure,irresponsibility, greed and just outright criminal behavior have done to honest working people is just a shame.
Last fall it was announced there was a security breach at ebay but it happened months before it was announced, complete and total failure by a CEO who clearly without any doubt is more concerned with the stock market and his own wealth than anything else. Ebay has been a toy for him to play with on the stock market... It is really sad when a manipulated stock price fools the world, he will be gone when it comes crashing down.
I would urge you all not to give up go to other venues, be creative with your ads and pricing build your brand and sales will come.
 

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 11:34:51 2015

No offense, but the bad buyer behavior and fraud, while rampant on eBay due to their own policies, is also further enabled by sellers like you that immediately fold and issue refunds.  Buyers are being trained by peolple like you to simply claim issue and voila: refund.  Why?  Because you fear the wrath of eBay cases, feedback, etc.  Here is truth:  Your buyers do not look at your feedback before they buy, sellers do.  Stop refunding buyers unless they return an item or they item can not be delivered.  That's it!

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: ecompioneer This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 11:35:29 2015

I'm the original poster here.  

Follow Up:

I posted the same comments on eBay's facebook page. I immediately received an invitation to put my "struggles" in writing, which I did.  I received the following email from eBay.  It gave me hope.

Hello Babette,



I want to thank you sincerely for taking the time to write us in detail about the pain points of being a seller on eBay today. I completely understand where you are coming from and I appreciate the clarity and sincerity in which you explain your feelings as a long time seller.



This is what I’m going to do about your feedback:



I will go ahead and submit it into an internal process we have called “Insights” where eBay executive employees can submit ideas, opportunities, feedback, suggestions that are highly impactful or urgent. I have forwarded your email to a few peers and my manager for review as well.



I will bring with me a couple of points I thought were very valid to an “All Hands Meeting” today, which is basically a kind of Town Hall meeting with eBay employees and top level directives (VP of Marketplaces, VP of Customer Experience, etc) where we can bring comments, suggestions and questions. I’ll make sure to bring up your email and mention the sentiment that is coming from our long time loyal sellers. I’ll follow up with you and let you know what the directives say.



I hope that you know that as a long time power seller, your business is very valued. We have an extensive global Customer Service department that speaks to all types of members everyday all day, and sometimes don’t offer the recognition that a long time member like you deserves, and I apologize about that. The truth is, I’d hate to see a seller like you go. Especially feeling like we don’t care or that we no longer want your business.



I hope  this email brings a little bit of light to your selling career, and that you give us yet another chance to make great business on our platform. Let me know if I can do anything to help you.



Sincerely,





Nahum R.

Office of the President / Social Media Specialist

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 3 12:21:48 2015

"I want to thank you sincerely for taking the time to write us in detail about the pain points of being a seller on eBay today."

We know eBay employees read the posts on this site, so they are well aware, and have been for years, how they are perceived by the majority of long-term sellers. I'm sure this letter was just to keep you mollified for the present, and if their All Hands Meeting is anything like their Seller Protection, nothing in your letter will actually be addressed.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: jb5710 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 12:27:21 2015

I go along with the comment about getting rid of your inventory by using auction with the free listing ebay offers.  And any bad feedback you have had block those buyers.  With using auction a person has time to check a buyer out before the auction ends and if the buyer has bad feedback comments or what you find on that particular buyer, you can always end the auction early so you don't have to get in a bind and involved with that seller. Sometimes it is interesting that a person can get a better price through auction than a store.  

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: jb5710 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 12:28:24 2015

Sorry - I meant at end of my comment "involved with that buyer" not seller.  Didn't catch that.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: FS This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 12:55:20 2015

Hi OP. I understand how frustrating it is to receive unfair negative feedback, but it's important to remember why you are on ebay in the first place. You're obviously making money by selling on ebay and until that stops, don't let things like lying customers and negative feedback stop you from doing that. Positive feedback, although important, is not what selling on ebay is about. Selling on ebay is about making money and as long as you're achieving that, there really is no good reason to stop.

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 12:55:56 2015

WOW about the letter from Nahum R. (Office of the President / Social Media Specialist on eBay)!
Now, we will see if he means it!  My bet is that you will never hear from anyone at eBay ever again!

I like the idea of an eBay epitaph writing contest!

Venue DOES matter!  I also have tousands of dollars in stock that only sold on Etsy - before they opened the site to ''handmade'' items from China!
Since then I've been to MANY venues in a desperate attempt to sell that stock.  My experiences of these alternative selling sites have been:
1.Zero sales, or less than 10 sales a year.
2.Site closures due to no advertising or inappropriate advertising.
3.Greedy site managers who made it impossible to sell without HUGE payments to go toward ''advertising''.  Without the bribes ($50!!!!!!) my item wasn't on the front page where it could be seen by buyers!

I realized then that I can't do the necessary marketing to bring in the buyers, so I signed onto a site which took 15% of the sale.  It was great-orders coming in from all over the world!  I was in business again!  Then it all fell apart 9 months later!  I eventually quit because they allowed no payment other than PayPal.  I still owe them money, but this does not make them willing to discuss alternative payment programs!
Of the last two sites mentioned, both demanded access to my PayPal account to take ''up to $500 at a time'' for their outrageous fees!!  And, their ''permission'' to remove money from my PayPal account was not on the usual permissions page, they'd hidden it behind a further link!  When I went to pay manually, while they offered me the option to pay either the minimum due or to pay the full amount due, PayPal somehow took out the ENTIRE amount due, even if I'd clicked on the minimum payment selection!  After seeing so many money-grubbing scams from other sites, I thought this smacked of total dishonesty and financial unreliability!  (& PreyPal didn't do effall about it!!)

Furthermore, both of these dishonest sites continue to prosper by selling fakes.  They LOVE fakes!  Sellers offer them for WAY less than the real item so customers think they are getting a GREAT deal and bid it up and up, increasing the site's final value fees!!  Site management somehow justify their position by saying that it trusts it's sellers & any disagreement over authenticity must be taken up with the seller, not the venue management (sound familiar?)  Many of us could see that the item was fake, and alerted the staff who said they cared...the only proof they would accept is the original receipts...as if I have access to the other seller's receipts!!  That settled any reports of fakes!
Sadly the sites which forbade this practice went out of business!

So, stay with eFraud if you need to dump stock; but don't expect management to do anything for you & be ready to bail out if needed!

eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller   eBay Lets Neg Stand against Stellar Seller

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 3 13:01:09 2015

It may be too late now to do anything about it, but it would be helpful if you had the name of the rude idiot on the CS line, and made it publicly known. I'm in Tech Support myself (not for eBay), and it's frustrating when we could do something to resolve an issue if we had some key detail that unfortunately is missing.

Good luck on getting any more response out of eBay; please update us if you do.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.