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
    In Mourning for Days Gone By, 6 Feb 2008 @ 12:00pm

    Stop focusing on JUST feedback, it's the least of

    But please do remember that back & forth feedback was part of the whole eBay COMMUNITY - buyers and sellers are often one in the same, especially in the niche/hobby areas. But the new CEO, Donahue, has said quite frankly that eBay is moving to the Amazon model; large Power Sellers with new goods only.

    They want the small/sporadic sellers (even smaller Power Sellers) gone - no more garage-sale-in-the-sky.

    The eBayPal monopoly (and it is one - if not by legal statutes then certainly by the constraints they have and are soon imposing) has been moving in this direction since eBay bought PayPal ... remember when it was X.com and didn't charge?

    It's all about the bottom line, the community aspect has been slowly moved out from around us and people are looking around and realizing only the barest trappings are there.

    Feedback is the least of the issues change-wise; it's mainly a smokescreen in that people are focusing their enraged emotions on it ... the real issues are the fee increases (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/pages/feecalc), the fact that small sellers will be pushed lower in search results, and the whole escrow issue with eBayPal transactions that have been deemed risky*

    This last issue is where the FB change comes into play as more than a smokescreen; your DSR (star) ratings will have a bigger impact now - they will soon show only the last month's ratings ... the lower your ratings (or none if you haven't sold in over a month) the more at risk you are to have your payment funds as a seller held in escrow - however, you still need to ship the item and will have nearly zero recourse if buyer claims not to have rec'd. Many are already questioning the legality of this as eBay owns PayPal and forced escrow is only supposed to be held by a neutral party.

    The sad thing is, a lot of small sellers - good & honest people whose eBay sales are their income - are already getting threatened with negative feedback by "buyers" with an agenda. The agenda is either one of stupidity (thinking that already sellers cannot leave even valid non-pos FB in return) or one based on terror; telling sellers that come May they are going to use their several IDs to neg them until their star-ratings are so low they're thrown off of eBay entirely.

    How is that right???

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