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
    M Cooper, 6 Feb 2008 @ 10:35am

    News Flash

    News Flash: Individual sellers on an auction site being compared to WalMart/Circuit City/Best Buy/etc. is retarded.

    When I sell something on eBay, I pay a listing fee, I pay fees for whatever features, I pay a final transaction fee, and I pay a cut to PayPal if the buyer pays through that route.

    eBay's policies leave me virtually unprotected *except* for the ability to leave feedback to a purchaser.

    I've never gotten bad feedback as a buyer or seller. I've never left bad feedback as a seller - but I have as a buyer.

    Ultimately if eBay had the same protection guarantees if a buyer is a deadbeat and scams you out of money - I'd be fine with not being able to leave feedback.

    However, I no longer sell on eBay because of that.

    "Power Sellers", i.e. real businesses can still afford to.

    Borrowers/Sellers who leave frivolous feedback are a problem, but that problem was manageable because they could both leave feedback.

    If scammed by a borrower - I could post on his profile "SENT FRAUDULENT CHECK/BEWARE" and this protected other sellers.

    How is this any different than a business posting signs of someone caught shoplifting, etc. to other businesses?

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