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
    InvidiaBlue, 16 Jan 2010 @ 12:59am


    Combining some suggestions here and accounting for loopholes already found... What about making feedback not only invisible to ALL until both parties have left it, but also making it mandatory so that neither can simply refuse to leave feedback? Ebay sends automated messages all the time. There would be no human efforts aside from programming that into the system. Perhaps after 30 days (longer on custom orders) they receive reminders to leave feedback, and if they dont after an allotted time the real humans on ebay get involved. If they refuse to do such a simple thing after the order is completed they can be banned from the site. Of course, if a month goes by and the item is not received, then its a matter of reporting and working it out, where you would wait til the entire thing is settled. Then, after the resolution date, there is another deadline set for leaving feedback. Anybody find any problems with this one?

    As of now I am just a buyer on ebay. Ive bought dozens of items in the last 5 months (67 left for others, and I always leave it), and of those I only ran into problems about 5 times. Two were lost and the sellers were sure to contact me about it, and said theyd inform me if they found them and I received a full refund. Another was the wrong item but the seller was cooperative. I only had real problems with two. One was when 2 of the 8 pieces were obviously broken before packing and their individual boxes were floating inside the big box, which had nothing but FLAT PAPER that was somehow supposed to absorb the shock. The one Im dealing with now really takes the cake.

    Other than those, I have had all great transactions. And the lowest feedback score Ive seen aside from sellers who sell only a few items a month (2ish) is probably about 94%, but those are rare and I do avoid them. Normally feedback is in the 97-100% range.

    *sigh* Id love to be the CEO. If I was, Id certainly do a lot of things differently. I wish fruitcakes like Donahoe and Eisner couldnt get hold of otherwise good companies and mess them up beyond all repair.

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