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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Scott S., 6 Jun 2008 @ 10:35pm

    eBay no longer a 2 Way Street!

    On May 19, 2008 eBay's Feedback system changed and it seems to ONLY benefit Buyers.

    It takes away the ability of a Seller to leave Negative Feedback even in the even a Buyer Backs out of the Auction after winning / never pays for an item.

    It's ironic that everyone here the loves the new Feedback (Looking through the Community Boards) is someone who has never sold a thing on eBay.

    Most Sellers have been on both sides of the eBay Street (Buying and Selling) and have every right to comment and be pissed about it.

    If you have no experience with it, you really have no right to comment.

    Let me ask all you "Buyers", what do you contribute in $$$ to eBay? What cost do you pay? THAT'S RIGHT... NONE!

    This new Feedback system is fair how? My knowledge of Fair gives equality and right to all parties involved.

    Feedback is an essential way of seeing who is the Honest and Dishonest on both the Buyers and Seller's Side. I have been on both sides of this street and over the almost 10 years I have been on eBay, I have 2 negative posts left on my account. Both because the Buyer did not read my auction fully and because they felt cheated (Even though I showed them the details they forgot to read) I received bad feedback. I live I move on, but overall, I come across a lot of "Non-Paying Bidders". I have to process at least one request a week that someone decided they are not going to pay or communicate with me. So I put in the Non-Payment Request which is a sellers right 7 days after the auction ends. The Non-Payment process takes close to two weeks overall to complete, when it is done, the Seller generally get rewarded their insert fees back and the now Bogus Buyer gets a Negative Strike on their account (After 3 eBay Suspends your account) and then I genuinely leave Negative Feedback on their account (Along the lines of "NEVER PAID, NO COMMUNICATION, AVOID " ).

    Now if I get someone that never pays, I have to be nice about it??? I will no longer have the ability as a Seller to notify others that "Joe Buyer" never paid for this item and be carful dealing with. Yet on the other and, buyers if they feel they have had some type of 'Bad" experience with a seller, they will still be able to leave the Negative Feedback.

    Again, this is fair how???

    I think this could have been handled / done another way:

    1. Like Sellers do, make buyers put in Credit Card information. Buyers don't contribute any $$$ to eBay. You pay no fees regardless of winning an item or not. A Seller on the other hand pays all the insert fees and once a Bid has been placed on an item, as far as eBay is concerned, it's sold and they take that percentage. Buyers putting in a Credit Card will solve / help solve buyers backing out. Rather then eBay loosing $$$ on rewarding me back my insert fees, they should be charge back to the buyer that backed out. Also on that, eBay should not take a percentage until the item is marked paid / sent by the Seller. You can change the system and make it almost like a wizard that a Buyer or Seller must go through to complete a transaction. From the initial bid, to communication after winning to leaving feedback. MAKE IT A REQUIREMENT ON ALL ENDS! Accounts neglecting to follow the rules get deleted after 3 months.

    2. If you are going to put in this change, then there needs to be some considerations. For instance, let Sellers still leave Negative Feedback, if a Buyer gets more then 3 Non-Payment Requests or 3 Negative Feedbacks against them in the course of say 6 months / year, then the Negative feedback should show up. (eBay put something similar to this in effect)

    3. Like Buyers do, we should have a "Star" System. Something that shows if the paid on time. Had good communication, Etc...

    Feedback overall is based on two things:

    1. A Sellers ability to provide the item as described / promised.
    2. A Buyers ability to pay for the item and in the way the Seller accepts.

    THAT'S IT!

    It is a Buyers Responsibility to Ask the Seller a Question. If you as a Buyer don't ask, you may be disappointed in the item you receive, especially if is not what you expected. Also to alert the Seller as to when the Payment is sent.
    It is a Sellers Responsibility to Advertise the item honestly and give as many details as possible, also maintain communication with the Buyer that won the item.

    Do you know how many Buyers I have that NEVER communicate with me, then the minute I send a Non Payment request, I get the "Why did you do that..." The auction ended 7 - 10 days before, I have sent you several invoices and reminders and have not gotten one response, that is why. Overall, bad transactions generally happen because there is a LACK OF COMMUNICATION! I don't care that you went on vacation... I don't care that you only access eBay from your Work PC if you had time to bid / win then you have time to send me a quick note as to how you plan to pay for the item. It's simply common courtesy.

    I have 398 Feedback notes on my account. Most of it as a Seller, the remaining (About 37 Transactions) as a Buyer, so I have been on both sides of this street.

    Don't get me wrong, I know there are as many dishonest Sellers out there as there are Buyers, for the most part we are all good and in the world of Sales / Retail, in most cases, you sell an item based on 'Word of Mouth" (FEEDBACK)

    I am sure that some of you will disagree with me and I would gather that for the most part, you are all Buyers and you have the right to your Opinion, but unless you have been both a Buyer and a Seller, you really don't realize how unfair this is.

    Comments Welcome!

    My eBay Blog
    My eBay World
    Items for Sale

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.