eBay Bans Negative Feedback For Buyers; Everyone Be Good Now

from the here-in-lake-wobegone... dept

eBay has been making some changes lately that aren't sitting well with eBay sellers. First, it announced fee changes that initially were promoted as "lower fees," but the details showed were only lower for goods that didn't sell. The fees on sold goods were actually higher. Now, the company has banned sellers from giving "negative" feedback on buyers. This is quite an interesting move. Years back, eBay was often held up as the epitome of user feedback/rating systems. However, over the years, problems have cropped up, leading to questions about how effective the system really is, as it's often been gamed. A specific complaint is that many buyers are afraid to leave negative feedback, as a seller can retaliate and provide a similarly negative response to the buyers. The hope, then, is that by not allowing negative feedback, buyers can start being more honest about sellers. Of course, from the sellers' standpoint, it also means it's much more likely that buyers can now be problematic, without worrying about a response. eBay claims that it will now personally handle complaints from sellers about problem buyers -- which seems like a pretty big undertaking for the company. Either way, there does seem to be something silly in having a company offer a feedback system if you can only say positive things.

Filed Under: bans, feedback, negative feedback
Companies: ebay


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  1. identicon
    Justin Bianchi, 5 Feb 2008 @ 9:25pm

    Substituted Reality?

    How many times have you stayed clear of a seller with a low feedback score? Or one that has many *recent* negatives? I sure have. Heck even been burned by a few. And no, eBay was never there for me. I was out a few bucks here or there. Even had a few experiences where the process was sour but the seller and I agreed to both post positive feedback to maintain our high rating - which, interestingly, seems to be defeating the overall purpose of the rating system to begin with. Brent, nice call. For the marketplace to stay fair & balanced, a self-regulating system needs to be in place -- and hiding one's feedback from the buyer/seller until both parties have left feedback is just the ticket.

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