EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1121 - October 04, 2005     2 of 5

eBay Replaces Feedback Solicitation Policy to Eliminate 'Padding'

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eBay announced Monday it has replaced its current feedback solicitation policy with a more comprehensive policy that covers the larger issue of "feedback manipulation." According to the post, the new policy expands eBay's ability to take action against members for artificially enhancing their reputation on eBay.

eBay first created the feedback solicitation policy to prevent members from artificially enhancing their reputations on eBay by selling, buying, or trading feedback, a practice eBay calls "feedback padding." Under the old policy, eBay prohibited sellers from soliciting feedback within a listing description or title. For example, including language like "Build your feedback score quickly" in the listing title of a very inexpensive item is prohibited.

However, some feedback manipulation patterns were not covered by the existing feedback solicitation policy. For example, a member might sell ten items with a Buy It Now price of only 10 cents each, and even offer free shipping. After accumulating positive feedback in this way, they might immediately begin selling more expensive items such as plasma televisions.

eBay says its new feedback manipulation policy will enable it to take action against members when it identifies a pattern of behavior consistent with feedback manipulation. Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions including listing cancellation, limits on account privileges, account suspension, forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings, loss of PowerSeller status and feedback removal.

eBay will hold an online workshop on the new policy on October 7 at 11:00 am PT.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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