We need more complaints from banned buyers

By Chris Dawson July 27, 2016 - 12:02 pm

It’s been interesting to read the comments from Tamebay readers regarding the recent eBay UK test to remove visibility of “Feedback left for others”. It’s obvious that, despite eBay’s improvements in recent years to seller protection, you still feel vulnerable.

We’re pleased to report that eBay have told us “This was a test run in the UK. It has now ended and feedback visibility is restored“.

A test it may have been, but the comments were illuminating. Possibly the most sanguine comment was from eBay veteran Tinker, feedback doesn’t do that much for anyone until it’s too late and you have a problem so Tinker has automated software which leaves feedback on receipt of payment calling it a “soulless box ticking automatic dribble”.

Bearing in mind that around 80% of eBay sales are fixed price immediate purchases, it’s not possible to check feedback and cancel bids in the way you once would have done on auctions. Also, unless you’re a hobby seller, who has the time to check every buyer’s feedback before shipping the item out? If you do have time to check each and every buyer out then you’re not selling enough.

So accepting feedback is useless until something goes wrong, that is when many sellers use it for investigative purposes and as David Brackin pointed out “eBay is about trust and this visibility is important”. If a buyer is being habitually troublesome their feedback should reflect this.

No buyer’s feedback really reflects how good or bad they are – these days eBay only allows sellers to leave positive feedback for buyers. It’s only by seeing the comments a buyer leaves for other sellers you start to build up a picture of what they’re like to trade with.

The people we really want to pick up on troublesome buyers are eBay themselves. We want eBay to protect us and we want eBay to kick troublesome buyers off the marketplace.

There have recently been a couple of stories in the press about Amazon banning buyers who’s behaviour falls outside of Amazon’s accepted norms. I’m sure neither Amazon nor eBay really like this sort of publicity. I do though and I suspect that most sellers would agree with me.

If eBay are protecting sellers and taking note when enough sellers report a buyer to ban them then sooner or later a buyer is going to be upset enough to complain to the newspapers. I’m looking forward to that day.

  • Darren
    2 years ago

    I agree with Tinker, our software also automatically gives a customer positive feedback at the point when we mark the order despatched on the admin panel of our website.

    We never check feedback really – because to be honest we rarely actually log in to Ebay itself and do everything from either our website admin or Xsellco for messages etc.

    • elvis
      2 years ago

      How do you find xsellco? I had a meeting with them this morning about possibly signing up. I am familiar wiht volo and wondered how it compares?

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    as Dave Brackin says its all about trust and visibility,
    if ebay would be more visible and publish a monthly list of how many buyers had been sanctioned and for what ,we might then trust them when they claim that they protect sellers

  • Janet Taylor
    2 years ago

    I’ve been begging ebay to at least put up a warning regarding multiple item not received claimers. Especially since Royal stopped sellers claiming for standard & economy lost item ebay buyer claims.
    We closed our shapewear shop after they allowed a woman with 26 INR’s to claim. I sent them screenshots of all the INR’s some in copy pasted rows of 4 on same day for different sellers.
    A recent one was sent to me which was pages & pages of item not received. The seller had her 2 negatives removed but the buyer carried on buying. I sent pages to the media again a few days ago stating buyers feedback left for others should be looked at on accounts. They needed to see what sellers were up against on ebay & how although it had been reported. Nothing had been done. I last discussed this with an ebay representitive Monday. When I saw the tab missing yesterday I immediately assumed another glitch. I checked another of my shops in another browser. I checked my own account… fine. Eventually became enlightened. Somebody in your earlier extremely timely post regarding the matter mentioned someone should contact the media regarding all the theft. I wonder now if my interfering has had anything to do with the risk of us losing this valuable tool. On the other hand I’m thinking don’t be silly.

  • james
    2 years ago

    why would ebay bother?
    Scammers cost ebay little to nothing, the scammers take YOUR MONEY, not ebays.
    ebay will still charge you for finding against you and taking your money to give to a thief.
    ebay are basically a shoplifting assistant these days, they make money from assisting in crime, why would they want to stop?

    the “report a buyer” button does LITERALLY nothing.
    you may as well write your compaint on a post-it and deposit it in the bin, thats what the report button does. ebay do not care.

    • Michael B
      2 years ago

      quite a blunt way of putting it (but so true)

  • SAM
    2 years ago

    We have it set up to leave positive feedback after the customer has done it. Kinda class it as have received and am happy then the transaction is complete, I even have to pay to use that service. I do not think sellers should leave bad feedback. However a company like eBay need to actually take a more pro-active role in dealing the scammers (getting Police involved for one) and idiots. It is the platform I have the least confidence to sell on, it causes 99.9% of issues. Amazon and others nothing, sell the same products over all marketplaces. Ebay have set a system up to be abused and it is costing millions, and it is not their money they are putting at risk. Between them and RMG they are only destroying their own business long term by not dealing with courier issues and INR and theft, let’s be honest that is most the issues. I could employ someone with the FBA fees I payout each year but it is because Amazon take away so much hassle it is worth it, this money is going into Amazon and NOT eBay or RMGs coffers as they cannot be trusted with your products and will not deal with the issues at hand. Claiming an item has not been received when it has is a CRIME it is fraud, theft and should be treated as so. RMG need to join the 21s century and get with it. It should be in Government Legislation that these organisations take some responsibility to run safe selling environments so much small business is forced to use their services and platforms these days.

  • zena
    2 years ago

    I sell low cost value items from £3 – £20 personalised goods so they are never sent tracked (costs too much for low cost items). I would get approx 4 INR claims per week in which i would refund the buyer due to the fear of getting a negative on my feedback – it was getting very depressing especially as I was getting no claims on my Amazon account. Cant be royal mail losing post for just my ebay items surely?
    So I decided to put a fake tracking barcode on all my Royal mail postage labels…..and guess what? No more claims!!! I get maybe 1 a month now which makes me realise how many buyers are out there to get what they can for nothing. It has solved a large number of thieving scumbags trying to claim but I wish ebay would take notice and wake up to the people who work hard pay their wage!

    • Atom
      2 years ago

      How do you put a fake tracking barcode on? I asked RM and was told I shouldn’t be putting fake “tracking” on similar to theirs? What do you use?

    • Joe
      2 years ago

      I use a QR code on mine, when it’s scanned it takes you to a custom page on my eBay shop saying ‘thanks for your order, please come back soon’.

      It’s not fake tracking but I don’t get many INRs. Plus if you make the link via Google link shortener you can get stats on how many times it was ‘clicked’.

    • Atom
      2 years ago

      Hi Joe,

      Would the QR code not be the same as the one Royal Mail use with the DMO?would that not interfere then ? Thanks.

    • Joe
      2 years ago

      No, the RM one isn’t actually a QR code, it’s a 2D barcode, they’re different.

      I don’t use DMO though just regular OBA with PPI.

    • Atom
      2 years ago

      Thank you man!

      Me too, I use OBA, PPI too!

      Do you have a contact so I can ask a little more if you dont mind? Unfortunately our INR is getting worse 🙁

    • JT
      2 years ago

      If you don’t mind me asking, do you know how many of your customers actually scan the code?

    • Jan
      2 years ago

      for Atom

      When the barcodes are scanned using the downloaded software on a mobile the 3 green ticks show the item delivered. There are a choice of labels & sizes to suit the postage label you use. I have used these for years

    • 2 years ago

      I sell Books. Most of the Books I sell are less than £10.00 So tracking and the like is just too expensive for the value of the package sent. I had 3 inr’s over over Christmas 2015. I believe that everyone was received and the customer then reported that they had not received them.

      ebay is still punishing me because of it. I have been severely limited in regard to Sales and the few items that I have listed are often hidden at the bottom of listings. One recent example a new edition of a Book which I have the latest edition but it appears few others have it is hidden below second hand copies of earlier editions and copies with postage added(mine is post free).

      However I have a net worth of about £700K so I only sell to keep my mind active. Most of the proceeds of my sales I use to buy on ebay often silver coins. So if I do not sell many books I cannot buy silver coins. So as ebay is still punishing me because I was a victim of scammers at the end of the day its ebay that is losing because I am not buying or selling much on ebay. Indeed I would estimate about 10% or so what I was buying during 2015 and ebay is losing all the various listing fees, FVF etc.

      A classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    • Anne
      2 years ago

      see below for my solution

  • James W
    2 years ago

    Its mot Royal Mal’s fault, (on delivering)….the issue lies with eBay (allowing open fraud)

  • Jan
    2 years ago
    • Atom
      2 years ago


      Thank you very much!

      Had a look, seems a good idea but the the 2D barcodes is the same as the RM 2D barcodes, would that not cause a problem? And how does the scanning work? The buyer needs to download software to scan? What if they dont?

      And this is not same as Joe I presume right?

    • Jan
      2 years ago

      Hi Atom
      basically they’d get their parcel see the barcode or qr code square their choice if they want to test it but whether they do or not it’s going to show the item delivered when you use the products from ppi labels.
      I wish there was a different way to do it. I can’t say that it feels right but then I’m sick of being robbed. I’ve been reduced to tears of frustration.
      It’s bad enough that we now have to pay for people to try items.
      We parcel them up send them out wait up to 30 days for an item back & we have to pay for that now.
      People go shopping they have to pay costs to get there. Asking for costs for sending out while a buyer stays in the comfort of their home wasn’t unreasonable to me.
      But hey I don’t want to bore everyone with my whinging.
      Back on topic. These labels have helped me cut claims enormously.
      I also have templates which catch buyers out 99% of the time. The other 1% are buyers who are just too determined to keep item & money refund. Items are rarely lost in the post in my 12 years selling experience. Especially when they’re collected from sourse & no post office pick up is involved (my local post office went to prison for theft).
      steps which might be taken…
      Mark your parcels with a unique sticker
      if your parcels are similar shape & size show buyer a photo stating it will be sent to your postman asking if he recalls scanning it delivered.
      You can also say the postman will need to explain why he’s scanned it delivered.
      I’ve had many a gibbering buyer suddenly had their parcel magically appear with that one. Many know their posties & are loathe to get them in trouble.
      All these things are a bit iffy so have to be only used when one knows they’re dealing with a lying thief because their feedback blatantly shows that. Yet they’ve still been allowed to purchase from you. They must be reported too.

    • Atom
      2 years ago

      Thank you Jan!! Sorry for the late reply, you dont bore me, I am sure you speak our minds! Except INRs, we got charge backs too, now that really make me pull my hair out!

      Possible to contact you and ask a little more details?

    • Jan
      2 years ago

      yes of course Atom
      Chargebacks yes
      I’ve had to pay the £15 credit card company charges before.
      they make it easier to just refund the buyer then that’s all we lose. But why the L should we! As I’ve said to Paypal why don’t they lose anything?. They allowed the payment to go through. They allowed a person to purchase an item destined for their OWN address. While logging into both EBAY with their private password THEY are responsible for not us. & logging into Paypal with their likewise password. The item is purchased in their size destined for their home. Yet they didn’t purchase it with their card.
      Last one I sent screen shots of the buyers feedback dozens of them.
      I was relentless. I sent copies of the standard postage purchased.
      THE WOMAN HAD LEFT POSITIVE FEEDBACK FOR CHRISTSAKE. Sorry Atom i get a tad carried away.
      I threatened press.
      I was fully refunded in the end but the stress & time it took to send & prepare screenshots etc. copies of the feedback I’d received from her.
      It’s not surprising these big sellers just pay up & refund. But in doing so they create monsters. & they have a responsibility to report buyers if they’d at least add a note in feedback stating ‘buyer had refund for not received in capitals. That wouldn’t be breaking any rules & sellers who can’t afford to just ‘pay up & shut up’ could have some prior claims proof.

      Many buyers are now stopping leaving feedback or not mentioning claims. cheats… & there are many, are learning to keep any mention of claims off their feedback. This can be calculated by how many feedback left for others there are against seller feedback left for them. ‘very roughly’ as a guide. Taking other things into consideration. Thief rarely open a case. The are curt straight to the point some may want the refund asap & say I’ve already checked my post office. They often wait about 3 weeks. This doesn’t deter me from telling them Don’t worry I use unique packaging posties always remember it. & as your postie has scanned your item delivered I’ll send him a photo & my R. M advisor will ask him why. I also send proof of postage changed to delivery with a from noreply rm/fraud dept Proof of delivery. feel free to contact me anytime. I’ll take a look at Anne’s comment below sounds interesting 🙂

    • Atom
      2 years ago

      I have had 7 charge backs this July! :'(

      How to contact you?

      Drop me a email, I’ll leave you my Hotmail here and reply you with my proper email lol


  • Jon Y
    2 years ago

    Back to the original headline…..


    to eBay…
    Fraudulent buyers = Revenue

    Obviously there are banned buyers but for other reasons like hackers and underage people except those who deliberately defraud sellers

  • Steve
    2 years ago

    The fix is simple all ebay need to do is add more options to buyer requirements so sellers can set up rules to block buyers with more than the threshold of claims or returns from their items anyone abusing the system will soon fall foul of seller blocks.

    If I want to block any buyer with more than 5 claims a month it would stop them buying my items another seller may be happy to sell to buyers with 100 claims a month but we should be given the raw data and allowed to make the blocks.

    eBay have all the tools but seem reluctant to address the problem and give sellers the blocks they need is the problem bigger that we all imagine and ebay too scared that too many buyers will end up blocked?

    • TINKER
      2 years ago

      as others have alluded to buyer fraud is revenue to ebay so they fiddle while Rome burns

    • Sam O'levski
      2 years ago

      Steve – I don’t think there are so many scsam buyers as to be a problem if ebay banned them all, but I do think ebay need every penny they can get in revenue.
      Why would they continue with the 100 free listings per day promo, as well as other stuff, if sales were booming ?
      I like the idea of getting as many listings on ebay as possible (Perhaps not in every category though?), especially in collectables, where there are other options like bidstart and delcampe to choose from if ebay decided to drastically reduce the number of free listings they give out.
      Interestingly, collectables appears to be fairly free of scams, when comparing experiences of people selling clothing for example. You can’t exactly wear an old postcard or tea service to a party and then return it.

    • Anne
      2 years ago

      We use a fake barcode / tracked sticker, never had a word from Royal Mail, my postie tells me most of the Chinese parcels he delivers have a fake tracking number so he never scans it, we went with this home made solution; – using the 65 on a sheet, then added a barcode from google images;
      and then added the words ‘Tracked Mail’ in red above it, from there our INR dropped to virtually nothing,we just print a quick job lot of sheets out on publisher as and when we need them, I have emailed them to friends who have also had a problem with INR claims and the size of the stick just fits nice on the address label

    • glenn
      2 years ago

      we put our fake bar codes on our ppi label
      quick and easy to do post as you only need to apply 2 stickers on each package , address label and ppi label , still get 10 INR cases a week but not as many as before

    • Atom
      2 years ago

      Thank you Anne!

  • TommyT
    2 years ago

    It is quite obvious what eBay should do… they should look into accounts that have had a high percentage of purchased items refunded. That is exactly what Amazon do… then simply ban them OR notify sellers to use a tracked service for that specific buyer (because you know they may genuinely have 10+ parcels go missing each month)

    But firstly they’d need to implent address validation to stop the same fraudsters signing back up again.

    I currently have a 0 feedback newly registered user complaining that “all of my eBay purchases go wrong” – strange that happens considering you just signed up?!

  • SAM
    2 years ago

    We have been hammered this weekend with INR cases. At least 3 of them have proved to be fraud. We contacted the other sellers who had left feedback and they had all received the same issue.

    The one this morning is also concerning and is a whole 20 miles away.
    Despite providing eBay with evidence all 3 of the accounts we know about are STILL active. Royal Mail are totally inept at dealing with these issues also. That was a LOT of money stolen from our accounts this weekend.
    Both organisation eBay and RMG are not fit and proper organisations as far as I am concerned. Both do nothing against buyer fraud. I have even gone as far as getting fulfillment companies quotes as we are not wanting to deal with eBay or RMG who are not fit for purpose when it comes to security.

  • Steve
    2 years ago

    Another weekend of slow sales and endless INR claims got to love eBay always encouraging buyer fraud.

    I had a buyer trying to extort a partial refund on a purchase wanted 80% refunding so I held my nerve.

    The best bit is now he has opened a return knowing the postage eBay will charge me is more than the partial refund he wants to extort and he had the cheek to tell me it will cost us more to accept the return so we should just partial refund him.

    He is also a seller I am sure kama will have its day 🙂

    • Jan Taylor
      2 years ago

      feel free to send me the ID’s of these blatant thieves to my email & I’ll send you my block list of all my INR’s ID’s
      are we allowed to put emails on here?

    • TINKER
      2 years ago

      the maximum is 5000 on the blocked bidder list

    • Jan Taylor
      2 years ago

      If ebay intend to allow this rise in blatant theft without protecting their sellers. Then they’re going to need to change that. We are going to need to rise up against this. We are going to need to expose blatant theft.
      After I wrote to them stating I was going to the press regarding blatant theft in Feedback left for others. I have proof of these emails & the emails to the press. Then less than 2 weeks later Feedback left for others disappears. I’s spoken to an agent about it the day before it disappeared. Since then my sales dropped.dramatically in both of my shops.
      Things like this can make you paranoid & alone lol It’s easier to know others are in the same boat. But it’s frustrating that there are so many of us yet we don’t seem to have a voice at all.
      Without us there is no eBay. Without honest buyers there is no eBay.
      The only problem here is the blatant theft being allowed to go on. This is spoiling eBay for all of us.
      All eBay need do is monitor accounts.
      If sellers report ALL CLAIMS of not received.
      My claimers rarely get away with it but I ALWAYS report them. I always show eBay how they have tried to get both item & refund by fraudulent INR claim which I have foiled.
      Nothing is done They’re still allowed to carry on.
      I’ve had buyers absolutely crap themselves with the notice of fraudulent claim email I’ve forwarded to them from a bogus
      The excuses they come back with are totally pathetic & embarrassing.But who cares their parcel turned up & that’s all I care about.
      Fact is we shouldn’t have to go through this. What are ebay being paid so much for. Where is our protection if we have to resort to this.
      there answer to the problem….
      Remove the only tool we have to protect ourselves because they are so sadly lacking. That was so low. That gave sellers a message loud & clear. ‘We will never protect you & we will NOT allow you to protect yourselves”
      The stupid thing about it is. Feedback left for others drums up lots of sales. Lots of people purchase after seeing great feedback for an item in feedback left for others. The positive side drums up massive sales for ebay.

    • SAM
      2 years ago

      They certainly have their issues, the only thing that will concern this company is bad press and profits falling. How many sellers have gone over to Amazon FBA in the last two years it is huge, we shifted nearly 20% of trade their last year. Plus this year I have found another marketplace which is proving to actually be very good. I have also spent on my own site this it is a long term thing and hard work. I also think when you can check out on social media everything will change.
      I still sell a lot on eBay and do very well on it it is still a viable marketplace it is just been run by clowns. The standards they expect from sellers they fall woefully short themselves. Providing a basic secure platform to trade on should be the minimum requirement, a shoplifter does not even need to get the bus these days they just make a few clicks. You are correct they should be looking at accounts and they don’t. I have no trust in eBay. I do think a “sellers” blog or forum off eBay discussion boards would be good where sellers can speak freely. Thing is to remember most people are honest and just looking for the a good deal.

    • Atom
      2 years ago

      For years I have wanted to set up a list / forum for sellers to use with things like this but I have been told it is a big no no due to various data protection/privacy laws.

    2 years ago

    sellers need to grasp the logic of ebay
    sellers are expendable and replaceable were all cannon fodder

    • Atom
      2 years ago

      True say unfortunately :'(

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      What eBay don’t seem to realise is the sellers they hate so much are also the buyers they treat as gods.

      Why would we buy of eBay if eBay don’t treat us fairly and honestly when we try to sell things? eBay are making the mistake of allowing a few scam buyers to drive hundreds of good users away from using eBay and sales are slowing because of eBay’s one sided system

  • Vespa 1
    2 years ago

    Seriously .. What is the point they never listen , and cannot in any shape or form make a decision based on common sense .
    They constantly refer to the ebay rules if you open any dispute with them ,Rules which are so one sided in the buyers favour they are grossly unfair and really your beat before you start …
    Free postage ! really where do you get that .. ebay force you to lie to the customer , offering something that doesn’t exist…
    If you don’t offer free p&p then your selling nothing on the ebay platform as your at the bottom of the list , But there is no such thing as free postage ….
    Ebay is corrupt we all know that ..we use it and you either accept it is corrupt and unfair or what .. there are no alternatives unfortunately , And they know that …

    • Steven Myers
      2 years ago

      eBay need to change and take responsibility for all the fraud that goes on…They have money to combat fraud but they would rather withdraw as dividends….This is heading towards a similar fiasco of BHS, lack of investment + not moving with the times + not acknowledging the problems of the business = Heading towards closure

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