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eBay Negative Feedback Changes

eBay Negative Feedback Changes

eBay Negative Feedback Changes

A couple of weeks ago eBay announced some big changes to the way it treats sellers on the site. Among these, the one that has caused the most outrage is a decision to prevent sellers from leaving negative feedback for buyers. Currently both buyer and seller can leave feedback about each other after each transaction. This feedback can be either positive, neutral or negative and includes a short line of text. However, from May, sellers will only be allowed to leave positive feedback. The reasons for this are well understood. Buyers often avoid leaving honest feedback when a transaction has gone badly in the fear that the seller will retaliate with negative feedback. I have been on the receiving end of such retaliatory feedback myself. And research has shown that buyers are more reluctant to buy from any seller after a bad experience with one. According to a survey, 98.7% of eBay sellers are against the change and believe it will negatively impact their business. Their arguments that removing the ability to leave negative feedback prevents them from vetting buyers and weeding out non-paying bidders (NPBs in eBay jargon) are valid. And yet there seems to be a much simpler and fairer solution: don't display feedback until both buyer and seller have entered their feedback into the system. That way both buyer and seller can be honest in the knowledge that it will not affect the feedback of the other party.

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9 Comments
Grafter
I much prefer your suggestion Tam. In the past, buyers have unfairly left negative feedback for us - including one who turned out to be a competitor who bought an item simply to leave the negative feedback!
Not applicable
yep hold the feed back till both partys have submitted theres. i use to sell alot till one buyer wanted a expensive dress of my sisters to be dry cleaned and me foot the bill. which at the price she got it at would of left me out of pocket. so ofered a full refund on delevery of item back to me. she didnt take this offer but left neg feedback now if i couldnt of left neg back saying i had offerd a full refund. i would not have bein able to explain why that negitaive was left under these new rules.
Community Veteran
I feel generally pretty short-changed by eBay's changes. I'm solely a seller on eBay (I've not bought a single item off the site), but I'm just a personal, low-volume seller. Aside from feedback changes, the other major change was how eBay would deal with fees: insertion fees have been reduced in price a little bit, whilst final value fees have gone up. This benefits big-time sellers who flood the site with millions of auctions (well, generally buy-it-nows) for the same thing, because many of those don't sell so they pay smaller insertion fees. But what eBay don't tell you is that for people whose items do sell, the FVF increase is considerably larger than the insertion fee decrease. Then there's the whole issue of discounts for 'good behaviour'. I get about the best scores possible for eBay's 'detailed seller ratings', probably largely because I don't sell much so I can invest time in providing good service when I do sell something. Yet I won't be eligible for all the new discounts for sellers who provide a good 'customer experience', because I don't sell anywhere near enough items. So in sum, the only way I stand to gain from all the new changes is by the fact that, being a good seller, I'll apparently be bumped up in the search results a bit. But then of course, with the decreased insertion fees, the site will be even more flooded by items from big sellers, so what different will that make anyway. Basically, eBay has become a website for big sellers - basically businesses - not small home-based sellers. That seems to me to be the complete opposite of what the site was conceived for, so it really rather annoys me.
Not applicable
One flaw in that plan Tam, if both buyer and seller have to submit feedback before it's posted and visible to anyone, how do we post feedback to say "Seller didn't send me the item" or "Buyer didn't pay" If either party is a crook and never logs in again you have no way of warning the eBay population of that fact. There'd have to be a time limit and then that would be abused and we'd be back where we started :/ Also: the website won't keep me logged in so I can't post this under my staff login - will check tomorrow if this is a problem or if it's just my PC Sad
Grafter
Ah, good point. I knew there must be a reason why nobody had suggested this solution!
Not applicable
I think the feedback change is a good thing. There are sellers selling useless wholesale lists and they have 100% feedback, isn't suspicious to anyone? The only thing a seller should care about is if he gets paid or not. Most buyers are honest and they pay so it's all good. Few don't pay and very very very few are scammers. In those cases, you can always report to eBay. You can blacklist them. You should automatically blacklist buyers with 0 feedback in the first place. If the buyer is really bad, you can even submit their ID's to http://www.rottenbidders.com - a site where sellers share their bidder blacklists.
Grafter
I welcome the change, even though I have been the victim of a few inappropriate neg. feedbacks from buyers. I am sick of sellers refusing to leave feedback for me as a buyer until I leave their (positive) feedback. Some even state it in their adverts. I check sellers' requirements and nearly always pay instantly; I've done my part and should be left feedback for that. Then I have to wait often 2-3 weeks to get my purchase, often with no communication from the seller! If I lower the feedback because of that, I will get lower feedback myself. That is totally wrong but is the vast majority of situations on ebay. On the few occasions I have left negative feedback when a seller has really deserved it, I have, of course, received damning feedback myself as a result. Most of the time I just don't leave feedback if I can't be truthfully positive. That too is wrong but it protects me from retaliation. The best way of dealing with the issue is for ebay to take a much more active role in investigating bad feedback and removing it if it is not appropriate. As it is, to get mine removed, even though it is total lies and defametory, I have to pay a solicitor to sign a form and send that to ebay. It's quite obvious when most feedback is retaliatory, but ebay don't care as would cost them money to do this.
Community Veteran
I think in your post you're implying that a seller should leave feedback as soon as a buyer has paid their money. I actually completely disagree with this. Certainly, it's not fair to say a buyer has to be the first to leave feedback, but as a seller I always leave feedback when the whole transaction is complete - that is, I have sent the item and I know the buyer has received the item. (It is worth noting here that buyers often use leaving feedback as a way of indicating that they've received the item.) The reason is that problems can occur at the last minute - for example, I once had a buyer who phoned up and complained that the item wasn't what he wanted (I had described it quite clearly in the auction); I said that Ok he could return it for a refund, which it then took him forever to do. He wasted a considerable amount of my time, and as a result I think I left him a neutral feedback - which reflected the true nature of the whole transaction, rather than just up to the point at which he'd paid.
Not applicable
I agree with Be3G; I started using ebay to sell of personal stuff, and now use it to sell off end of line and overstock for a small business. I'm continually perplexed by buyers that expect ridiculously cheap prices but the same range and level of service as in a dedicated retail store, something ebays policies seem to be encouraging. I don't get many scammers when I sell personal stuff, but the business stock is amazingly full of people whose postmen mysteriously lose everything.