E-Bay’s Feedback Policy Changes – Good for Sellers?

Ebay has recently made changes to inprove the buyer experience which prevents sellers from leaving feedback of any kind to their buyers. For those users who have been around since the beginning, you should recall when ebays feedback system allowed any registered user to leave any type of feedback for anyone, anytime for any reason!

If you didn’t like that another user had “NYJets” in his user name you could leave a negative feedback. Shortly after there was a huge demand for improved accountability in the old feedback system.  Soon after ebay ran off a transaction related system.

It’s come along ways indeed. However many sellers started abusing the feedback system with the mutual feedback withdraw offered through SquareTrade.com. Powersellers could easily pay $10 and SquareTrade would “mediate” a dispute process. 90% of the time the seller who received the negative would get the feedback removed. A confirmation of this is as easy as seeing the image you now see before you leave a feedback.

Too many sellers had a strict policy of leaving feedback after it had been left for them. If a buyer left negative or neutral feedback, the seller would leave them an intentional negative and file a mutual feedback withdraw. In their statement, most sellers would say “Had a disagreement, would like to mutually withdraw”. The small guys consistently were “forced” to give-in so their 50 feedback name wouldn’t go down a whopping 5% over a retaliation.

Our instinct hates change but the feedback should level off for all sellers. This new policy will fix feedback abuse and feedback percentages should now TRULY effect the sellers reputation. For those who didn’t know about the loop-hole, or those who don’t want to pay $10 for every negative creates a handicap in seller performance.

Now that ebay wants to focus on feedback and DSR ratings, the only way for them to level the playing field and get true assessment of feedback was to implement this rule.  Overall trust in the community and marketplace should increase and the Feedback system truly does become a gauge of seller performance.

If everyone gives the feedback system time those who conduct business fairly will ultimately prosper. You may not keep your 99.5% feedback but your competitor who is paying for feedback will drop below 98% and lose powerseller status or have a lower search standard (and less ebay Final Auction Value Fees). After all is said and done and the averages over time weigh in, the frauds and “customer last” companies will fade in the dust while you get pick up their sales.

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2 comments

  1. fixed

    By the sounds of this article, you’re definitely NOT a seller, and it’s not only eBay’s new feedback system that is hurting sellers, it’s the new DSR (favor) system that is hurting them as well. However, that story is for another day. Here we’re talking feedback. You mention in your blog, “If you didn’t like that another user had “NYJets” in his user name you could leave a negative feedback.” HELLO??? You can STILL do that today! And guess what? Ebay doesn’t care if you do! The ONLY way to get rid of that is filing a non-paying bidder dispute and HOPING the buyer doesn’t respond so that the negative will be automatically removed.

    Not to mention, nowadays you see a lot of this from buyers” “Hi, I don’t like my item and I want a refund, or I’m leaving negative feedback.” Yah, that’s really fair too. Sellers are left in the dust losing money on shipping costs, ebay listing fees, etc… Ebay is turning into a buyers heaven while leaving their sellers to fend for their own. In my opinion, eBay is one giant MESS.

  2. tiphut

    I actually am a seller. (Titanium). I will agree these changes are hurting all for the short term but in ebays long term vision should leverage those responsible sellers above those who don’t resulting in more sales for those who take care of the customer instead of paying $10 to neglect them and then have the negative feedback removed. Where before this seller might not return to ebay because they relied on a dispute or negative feedback now ebay is making sellers “give in” (to an extent) to the their needs and while they might be a pain to deal with, the customer will most likely return to ebay.com to purchase another item instead of going to Amazon.com where a return policy is universal and they know their problem will be resolved.

    If a seller threatens negative feedback if you don’t refund them (and have to go outside of your stated policy) that’s a violation of TOS and although you do have to file a dispute, it will be removed and have been successful at this several times since the new changes have been made.

    For example: Joe calls up and says he just doesn’t want the item anymore but is going to leave a negative if you charge the restocking fee that’s spelled out in your listing. He’s now in trouble.

    I agree that it will hurt EVERYONE’S feedback and all those with 100% might now have it for much longer.

    Don’t get me wrong I think the policies have effected our business (IN A LARGE WAY) but I think when all is said and done if you take care of your customers they will come back and ebay will “reward” you with higher rankings in the core.

    DSR stars is another issue but we have been successful thus far. Being in an electronic category, you can expect 3% of items to be DOA even directly from the factory. Even with this said because of the customer service measurements we’ve put in place, we’ve been able to achieve a 15% FAV fee discount and a search standard increase in a TOUGH used and refurbished category.

    We do pump alot of resources into customer service which is costly with payroll and headaches but I think it’s worth it with our business model. We experience an overall 7% return customer ratio and an even higher 10% return ratio with those who had a problem. I think giving them a personal touch and letting them know we will make the situation right really restores their confidence in our product. They come back in larger numbers because they feel we are honest and if they have any problems we will do whatever it takes to satisfy them within reason.

    Good luck with your selling and thanks for the comment.

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