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eBay Feedback reforms are in the pipeline

By Dan Wilson May 6, 2015 - 2:40 am

There can be not doubt we’re going to see many new things from eBay in the not too distant future.

In the next few months (in the second half of the year) eBay and PayPal will split and it will be vital for both to be seen as strident and individual. Wall St. must be satisfied. But we have no idea what the single entities of PayPal and eBay will be thinking or doing.

So that’s why Devin Wenig’s comments last week are intriguing. Wenig is currently the head of Marketplaces at eBay Inc. And he’ll be CEO of the newly independent eBay sans PayPal after the spin-off.

He was asked about feedback during a shareholder call and he said: “we probably can build a slightly better system.”

But it was more than idle speculation, he continued: “I’m going to say more about that in due course, but I would say that we’re looking very carefully at buyer abuse of sellers, and irrational feedback, and feedback that is not tied to quantitative measures. And that will be an important part of how we look at revising whatever system we put in place as we roll out toward the end of this year and next year.”

There are plans in the pipeline, it seems.

Sounds good? What would you urge Devin Wenig to change about eBay feedback to make it a truly fair reflection of seller performance and great resource for buyers?

  • Jo
    2 years ago

    Sounds like something that might have had some impact a couple of years back… before most of the sellers left. Much too little much too late.

  • Andy R
    2 years ago

    Wenig needs to start by returning to ONE feedback system, not the confused irrational mess that now exists.

    Is feedback even relevant, when it is DSR ratings by which a seller will live or die?

    Above all, any feedback review should encompass fairness. Protect both buyers and sellers and get rid of the unbelievable bias against sellers which is entrenched in Ebay.

    The chances of any of the above happening is absolutely zero.

  • 2 years ago

    Weing said the median feedback score is 99.7%, presumably this is why larger outlets get feedback scores hidden if they are beneath that number, Argos for example in the 98% range has the feedback score hidden away.

    • Whatshisname
      2 years ago

      “Weing said the median feedback score is 99.7%”

      I find this hard to believe – wonder how Weing’s people calculated this – but I would guess the average score is significantly uplifted by a few of the following:

      1) Ebay 100% accounts used for “forum posting only”

      2) Ebay 100% Accounts used for “buying only”

      3) Accounts over 1 year old that are dormant and have reset to 100%

      I think if the boffins at Ebay actually did a proper analysis taking only live accounts with sales in the last say 3 months they would get a completely different “median” number way lower than 99.7%

      It worries me that they possibly cannot even get this right…

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    a company that has a feedback system where normal customer behaviour results in the the seller being penalised , has little hope of introducing anything fair

    • Sally Fulton
      2 years ago

      Defects are demeaning. The rules for defects are vague and not easily understood. Buyers shouldn’t be the sole information source for a defect being issued. I’ve been doing this since 1996 and never have I felt so helpless as a seller to run my business. Saying you have a 14 day return policy is useless. It’s a fair period for someone to return an item. But 30 days on used clothing? It’s like running a clothing rental store. Ebay needs to treat us like business owners and not kindergarten children.

  • Gary
    2 years ago

    Would you buy from this seller again? Binary answer option yes or no. If answer no state why not. That is the only feedback required. Then give a buyer the option of leaving a product review which can be scored with a single score. Allow consumers to make up their own mind whether a seller and product is right for them. No need for buyer feedback at all. Complete waste of time and effort. Make feedback one way only. Poor sellers are punished through lack of sales not by any ebay carrot and stick method.

  • Leigh
    2 years ago

    When I buy online from say Marks & Spencer or Asda I get a follow up email to leave feedback, I never bother as I have my order and I’m happy 99% of the time. If I were to do it I know I can leave truthful feedback and it might be used constructively to improve whatever needs improving i.e garments / delivery etc. without the company worrying about serious consequences.
    Ebay uses feedback as a type of whip with which to lash anybody who dares to drop below their standards…..regardless of whether the feedback is truthful, whether the buyer starts at the the top or bottom of the star system, or indeed whether they make a keying in mistake. These types of feedback can lose a good seller their account.

  • Steve
    2 years ago

    This sums up eBay’s attitude and what they think of their customers disgraceful for a company the size of eBay they talk the talk then stab you in the back

    http://community.ebay.co.uk/t5/Private-Seller-Board/Banned-from-ebay-for-a-royal-mail-fire-and-the-wrong/m-p/4247698#U4247698

  • zina
    2 years ago

    It should be compulsory that a buyer contacts the seller first before leaving a negative feedback as so many are quick to leave bad feedback without letting the seller know why or resolve any issue. The biggest fault I see is that customers never reads the item discription so when they receive the goods they complain its smaller than expected or something else, when in fact all details are provided on the listing.
    I sell personalised goods in which the customer never reads the instructions on how to personalise, so I end up with loads of ebay messages “how do i personalise my order”. It’s very frustrating.

    Ebay should also bring back the bulk buyer messaging system, it was brilliant and saved me loads of time.

  • Gareth
    2 years ago

    Do not issue defects for postal issues beyond the sellers’ control, and do not dictate delivery times, especially on international post.

    Trust that most sellers know how to deal with problems in a professional manner, and only issue a defect in instances when the seller cannot resolve things to a buyers’ satisfaction.

  • Joe
    2 years ago

    By the time a fair system is introduced most sellers will have either left for other sites or been banned due to the current defect mess.

    Too little, too late.

  • Andy R
    2 years ago

    Mr Wenig should try being a seller on Ebay for a month.

    He would then have a clear picture of what needs to be reformed on Ebay.

    A paraphrase of the response from Ebay customer service when we tried challenging a ridiculous defect:

    “The seller is going to get a defect, whatever the circumstances. You can challenge if it you like, but you are wasting your time”

  • Peter King
    2 years ago

    Negative feedback only matters to two people, the seller and mean, spiteful individual who left it.

    Its not worth getting worked up about, if your negative feedback is a high enough percentage to put your account in danger then you’ll already be aware that your a shit seller.

    • anony mouse
      2 years ago

      feedback matters to sellers, buyers and ebay – in fact ebay get worked up about it the most…

  • James
    2 years ago

    I can’t get over how spiteful and ignorant every comment is here. You guys need something more important to worry about.

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      James youve got the job ! ebay customer support will sign you up immediately

    • James
      2 years ago

      I’m not going back and you can’t make me!

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      there is no hope for your already infected with the curse of an ebay employee, just ask Dan

    • Peter King
      2 years ago

      is this your first day on the internet James ?

  • Bhavin
    2 years ago

    The proportion of buyers leaving feedback has decreased over the years. With so many people buying online these days, buyers are more likely to leave feedback if there is a problem, rather than if they are happy. Who has time to leave feedback for each and every purchase that they make? This skews the feedback score and makes it less accurate. Unless eBay can force everybody who purchases an item to leave feedback (which I don’t think is possible), it is no longer a fair way to judge a seller.

  • 2 years ago

    This defect system is a joke for me. I don’t sell enough on here as it’s a hobby. So post office damages item i get defect for not as described or they lose item overseas i get defect or the customer doesn’t know how to use the item again defect. I have perfect 100% no negatives for ten years several thousand items. Even got my 20% off listings for years before defect system. but to many defects now and they are threatening to cancel me. A total farce of a system.

  • Bunchy
    2 years ago

    Argh, not again!
    Fed up with the fiddling with the feedback!

    Can ebay not see the decline in leaving it due to the long-windedness ?

    What we’ve said all along was, if there HAS to be a change to it, just make it simple: Would you buy from this seller again, yes or no?

  • Rich
    2 years ago

    It really isn’t rocket science. If a seller has made a fair attempt to resolve an issue,ie, refunded, then a neg should be removed.

    • Barbara
      2 years ago

      ditto! buyers should not be allowed to leave negative feedback until an attempt to resolve issue with seller. The low feedback buyer flexing his voice with a negative should be an insult to EBAY and the buyer/seller security. Very unhappy with this dsr buyer control. Seller since 2001.

  • DS2987
    2 years ago

    I echo most of what has been said but my summary is:

    Buyer can’t leave neg feedback without contacting the seller first.

    Feedback should be about seller performance only not product review that should be on listing like Amazon.

    Courier performance should be a star rating for all buyers/sellers to see current trends at site wide level Yodel * DPD *** DHL****might make some of them raise their game…

    A defect should only be when eBay have to step-in to resolve an issue.

    Item not as described should not automatically be decided in buyers favour (seller can appeal but will always loose and eBay will tell you that!)

    One feedback system not combination of written text and DSR star ratings.

    That,s about it but no doubt eBay will use the overhaul as an opportunity to kick sellers again dressed-up as trying to make things better.

    • SANDPALACE
      2 years ago

      I AGREE WITH ALMOST EVERYTHING…EBAY HAS
      REALLY LOST IT…REALLY

  • Marsha
    2 years ago

    Buyers can leave multiple defects, but if ebay rules in the sellers favor on any one of them, it does not mean that they remove all defects the buyer left. I had a buyer that had the wrong shipping address in his account, which of course is the address I shipped to. Buyer opened an item not received, left a negative feedback, and a low star. Ebay removed the negative feedback, removed the defect for the case, yet left the low star for shipping time. Since each transaction is only one defect, no matter how many defect factors a buyer leaves, how was this suppose to protect me as a seller? I seldom get defects, right now at less than one percent, but BS like this doesn’t make it fair to the seller. I have three defects in instances that are similar to this one.

  • james
    2 years ago

    absolutely no guest accounts leaving feedback.
    – half of them are either banned former users, or have multiple accounts.

    in fact just scrap guest accounts altogether. the likelihood of a defect arising from a guest account is ten times higher than a full-fledged account in my experience.

  • john
    2 years ago

    You guys are kidding yourself on if you think ebay are going to implement a fair feedback system.

    Feedback is now a tool for ebay to manipulate sales, traffic and ebay sellers.

  • Nan
    2 years ago

    The current feedback system is corrupted beyond all hope of repair. It needs a complete uninstall.

  • Dan F
    2 years ago

    I feel like eBay executives have and continue to lose touch with reality. The people that set eBay policies are Multi-millionaires while the average eBay seller is a average Joe or Jane. EBay seems to hold sellers to a higher standard than they hold themselves. Sellers are the paying customers, eBay gets paid by people that list and when items sell. I understand that the goal is to have a place where customers feel safe and secure buying, but it should not be at the expense of sellers. Buyer fraud is a Very Serious problem on eBay. EBay policies are a big part of that problem. EBay also severely limits growth and earnings potential for sellers. Very counter productive as every seller wants to earn and grow as much as they can. The creation, growth, and success of eBay’s many competitors is a direct result of eBay’s bad policies and customer service. Come back to the real world where your seller base lives eBay. We want to do business with you but you are making it difficult to impossible.

  • Timmy
    2 years ago

    Does it occur to any of you people that are complaining about everything – the way for eBay to make the most money, or be the most successful is by trying to find or create a balance where the buyer and seller both feel like they are getting the maximum benefit? Beyond that – the promise to sellers is to give them buyers. The way to provide and KEEP buyers is to weed out crap sellers.

    I’m a seller, my buyer does not care if USPS messes up the package that I sent… In the buyer’s eyes – it IS a defect. I can try to make it right, but sometimes a buyer will still see it as a defect.

    I hope feedback and DSRs become simpler. Totally agree that buyer feedback is redundant, but people still gripe about not being able to leave negatives for buyers ;)

  • Ed Nelson
    2 years ago

    Well It is true the needs to be good sellers and Good buyers, but you can’t slant the feedback system one way or the other it has to be even for both. That said, It has come to my attention when a seller gets kicked off Ebay, any computer they have used to access the system , if it belongs to someone else who happens to sell on Ebay, they get kicked off also, So my son who sells on Ebay comes to visit me uses my computer to access his account. Has a problem with his selling account t, gets kicked off AND I also get my account Closed? When I had Nothing To do With His Account and My Account is Stellar 100%. That Is the most ridiculous System in Place in Ebay.

  • Richard
    2 years ago

    I have a buyer opened a dispute because they want to know when they’re item will arrive. No mater how I handle this from now on I’ll still end up with a defect, where’s the incentive to give the customer the best possible service?

    • derek duval
      2 years ago

      I used to get 5 a month of them from german buyers. That was until i blocked germany. Now i get them complaining why wont i ship to germany…..ebay loss as i sell unique products not currently being sold on ebay

  • Denise
    2 years ago

    Any system that is based on actual fact rather than “buyer opinion” has to be better.

    I sell on both Amazon and Ebay, give me Amazon any day, its more expensive but I have never felt my business threatened as I do on Ebay. A system where a small number of buyers for any number of reasons can get a seller banned and the seller is guilty as charged without the possibility of entering a defence is ludicrous.

  • 2 years ago
  • SteveB
    2 years ago

    Yeh right!

    It sucks but I doubt much will change and it will carry on just like it is.

    Do you really think eBay care about sellers?

    Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • Rich
    2 years ago

    You can have all the rules you want, if there is no integrity in the enforcement they are worth Jack Stuff.

  • john
    2 years ago

    Good feedback is pointless if ebay are doing this http://community.ebay.co.uk/t5/Business-Seller-Board/Throttling-sales-the-cats-out-the-bag-now/td-p/4062532/page/3

    And why has tamebay never reported this??

    it was official and from a Pink’s own internal document/memo.

    • 2 years ago

      John,

      Why has Tamebay never reported this? It’s usually because we don’t know about it.

      Please do tip us off. (We’re always grateful and willing to credit tip offs if you like).

      Must better than a little grumble! ;o)

      Dan

    • john
      2 years ago

      No probs will do ….Just assumed you guys would have known

    • 2 years ago

      I ploughed through the above re ebay selling limits. Surely it is illegal in the UK and indeed in many other Countries. It is ‘Restraint of Trade’.

      Now as I have said on many occassions I only sell a couple of Books a day. But in my stores I have about 10,000 Books(and before the idiots say this proves that I am Big Business it does not. Years ago I used to take a Specialist Book Stall around the Specialist Events such as Traction Engine Rallies and Railway Opendays. I needed about 800 Books to stock the Stall. I had just stocked up at the start of a Season when my many Health problems got on top of me and I had to stop).

      In addition I used to Wholesale and this too ended because of my severe Health Problems.

      So I would love to push my 2 Books a day up to say 4 or 5 or even 10. Why? Well once my 10,000 Book Stock has gone I can fully retire(I am 64 years old 65 during August) But if I am being limited because of ebay’s policies. I do not know. If I am it is very cruel because at 64 I cannot have a massive number of years yet to go. I do not want to still be selling Books in my last days on this earth.

      If there are individual ebay limits on accounts then the Sellers concerned should know about them and there should be an Appeals mechanism in place. Indeed if there are ebay limits in place on Accounts perhaps it is time for these Limits to be tested in the Courts.

    • jimbo
      2 years ago

      Didn’t the UK customer service rep say that there are no hidden selling limits on accounts?

    • Peter King
      2 years ago

      Yes they did, its just a bunch of conspiracy theorist sellers taking an internal document out of context.

    • john
      2 years ago

      Yes, Ebay pink and spokesman at the time denied there were any hidden limits.

      They said the leaked document was taken out of context/confused by short-hand terminology.

      They were never going to say they were manipulating/throttling sales to distribute and stabilize the market place for there own benefit.

  • derek duval
    2 years ago

    One has to know how to get round these selling limits….whats that saying. It takes a thief to catch a thief

  • Rai
    2 years ago

    The only selling limits I’m aware of kick off if you have a very sudden spike – such as selling £1000’s in a day from £100’s.

    When this happened, we were notified on our account and given a number to contact through our account (it was not hidden). After confirming our details we put in a request with this business team – who I must say were leagues above their general customer service – who reviewed our account within 12 hours and increased our limits to accommodate what we were selling.

    What I think people may be confusing is how cassini works, as it appears to rotate ranks a little like the amazon buy box.

    • john
      2 years ago

      These limits are Growth/turnover limits. Its a ceiling on turnover.

      Based on multiple conditions/situations.

      As for people saying this is a conspiracy theory, Ask yourself why would ebay NOT do this.

      Its full control of the marketplace the ability to distribute sales across sellers and keep steady flow of profit and seller inventory.

      Also would encourage sellers to chase growth. Listing more inventory.

      The benefits to throttling far out weigh the drawbacks for ebay.

    • 2 years ago

      Now lets get this right. A seller who has kept his eyes open and finds a unique product that nobody else has identified and listed it on ebay and finds that because he is the only stockist and it is selling in very large numbers is likely to be kicked off ebay because of his skill in identifying a product and a need for it while everybody else has missed it.

      As I said above this is restraint of trade.

    • jimbo
      2 years ago

      “A seller who has kept his eyes open and finds a unique product that nobody else has identified and listed it on ebay and finds that because he is the only stockist and it is selling in very large numbers is likely to be kicked off ebay because of his skill in identifying a product and a need for it while everybody else has missed it.”

      Where did you get that from? Did you just make it up?

    • john
      2 years ago

      yes and no. if you are going to manipulate a market what you are suggesting is not in ebay’s best interest, however controlling the flow of that product until other sellers can source it and limiting the quantities sold is in eBay’s interest.

      Market manipulation would be a lot more complex. Its not in eBay’s interest to have dominant seller selling a certain type of product .

    • 2 years ago

      I am now even more confused. Identifying a product and buying it and listing it on ebay and then finding that it sells in large numbers is not manipulating a market. It is really keeping your eyes open and identifying a potential best seller. You have manipulated nothing. Just placed your order with the supplier first and listed it first.

      OK take another example a Publisher usually lists his New Titles on ebay and they sell in reasonable numbers. But his latest title gets a good review in the press and indeed on TV and Radio and the publisher has the only listing for it. on ebay The sales go bananas. Again this is not manipulating the market. Its not his fault that the various Booksellers on ebay have missed it.

      Again any action from ebay is Restraint of Trade.

      Surely almost all sellers dream of finding a product that will prove to be a best seller for them. We can all identify products that sell at moderate numbers. But a Best Seller now that something else and if we then find that we are punished for identifying it. This really is bonkers.

    • james
      2 years ago

      on the other foot; and happens way more often

      a seller with little feeback, or lots of 99p digital download sales, suddenly starts listing cars and gold boullion, and not actually shipping anything.

      you could, in the space of a week, steal more than you ever sold through ebay, before the account gets closed.

      THIS is why they have selling limits.

      you are not “punished for finding a best seller”. if you normally sell £1 milliion per year, you probably have a selling limit around £3million.
      – if you suddenly more than triple your turnover, then questions should be asked somewhere.
      – if its a legitimate surge in sales, contact ebay, explain why your turnover has tripled, and they’ll increase your limits.

    • john
      2 years ago

      Forget the golden product that no one else is selling or an influx in sales due to fraud.

      this is a throttling of sales and growth for the benefit of ebay stabilizing the sales platform for eBay’s benefit.(it nothing too do with new user seller limits)

    • jimbo
      2 years ago

      Chris read James post. This is why eBay has selling limits. John’s view are just his views and are not substantiated.

    • 2 years ago

      Thank you to James and Jimbo. I can see this side of it. In fact a year or so ago I had this very problem. Somebody hacked my ebay account and listed several Tractors. I was not in at the time. When I got home I checked my emails and there was a flurry of emails. ebay had identified the hacking and removed the Tractors from my account.

      I sell Books and I have never ever listed any Tractors, Gold or whatever so it is quite simple to identify any strange activity.

      2014 A title I usually sell suddenly went bananas for me. I was selling a lot more copies than I ever expected. I checked such as Google and I was well ahead of the field. Why? Well I remembered to place my usual order and everybody else, including Amazon had not. So I had the field to myself.

      Unfortunately 2015 everybody placed their orders in time and I am back to my usual low levels of sales. Shame I enjoyed it while it lasted.. However I am checking my Store-room in case in amongst all the accumulated stock there is a title that is now significantly more than it was when it went into the store. I have found one or two in that category but not a couple of dozen now in the high value collectors category but still I can dream. But if I was to identify such a Book it is no justification for ebay jumping on me like a ton of bricks.

  • theheadphonecompany
    2 years ago

    Wenig is fooling no one ….. yet there are some who still believe that he will do something about it….. sad.

    eBay knows how to fix it – right NOW if they wanted to, but they dont.

    eBay believes that ONLY buyers are their customers, sellers and what happens to them are only collateral damage.

    Sellers are a tool used to transfer money from buyers into eBay pockets. Its that simple.

    eBay last year didnt pay dividends and isnt on track to this year either.

    While eBays Marketplace sales drop month after month, eBays OTHER revenue producing sectors make plenty. I dont mean the back end money from manufactorers to keep certain sellers or items off eBay, the shady VERO deals, or even the pay offs for front page or Deal of the Day. THOSE THINGS are regular every day occurances on eBay.

    I do mean eBayswharehousing (GIS) businesses. Those are doing VERY well. Its basically FBA for manufactorers, and according to the trade papers, eBays doing QUITE well.

    Back to feedback reform.

    1) if eBay sellers are at %99.7 then why continue to abuse them?
    2) if feedbacks worked ok until 2008, why not go back to it?
    3) why continue to punish sellers for things they have no control over?

    The eBay/Paypal split has nothing to do with feedback. The spolit itself is hogwash. Paypal’s splitting from eBay so they can go after other business. Association with eBay taints them, and everyone knows it.

    Paypal after the split will still be the stick to beat sellers with – who’s he fooling?

    They can fix feedback in 5 mins – it doesnt take a room full of worthless MBA candidates to figure it all out …….

    He must REALLY think we are stupid.

  • Steve P
    2 years ago

    Dan Wilson says

    9:43 am on May 16th, 2015

    John,

    Why has Tamebay never reported this? It’s usually because we don’t know about it.

    Please do tip us off. (We’re always grateful and willing to credit tip offs if you like).

    Must better than a little grumble! ;o)

    Dan

    ………………………………………….

    regret to say you were tipped off about this..

    your replies in two emails both dated the 10/12/14 were:-

    1):- Steve,

    We don’t have the evidence to run a story like this. If you have it, then by all means share it.

    dw

    2):- Needless to say we have spoken to eBay about this. Happy to keep a watching brief but don’t want to be alarmist.

    dw

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