Recent fee structure changes and the policy forbidding sellers from leaving negative feedback on buyers is angering the eBay community so much that members are calling for a week-long strike beginning Feb. 18.
Earlier this week, eBay CEO-elect John Donahoe announced the company’s plans to lower the listing fees sellers pay upfront while increasing the commission fees they pay to eBay when they sell their items. (Details on the fee structure changes are outlined in this story.) The company also told the community it would no longer allow sellers to leave negative feedback on buyers, a move causing a furor among vendors who feel they now have no recourse for handling problem customers.
Though calls for a boycott came during the last round of fee hikes, veteran eBay members tell Ecommerce-Guide.com that the ensuing uproar is the most vehement they’ve experienced in their tenure at the online auction site.
Blogs and forums across the ‘Net are rife with seller rebellion, many saying they believe eBay is abandoning the smaller sellers, pushing them out of business, in favor of high-volume sellers. Plus, they saud they feel that removing their power to leave negative feedback leaves them with no leverage should the transaction process go badly.
One buyer and seller on eBay since 2003, told ECommerce-Guide.com, “The fees, are deceiving, lowering the front end cost, then adding it to the final value fee. Anyone who can do the math can see that they are not lowering the fees, they are increasing them. Many people are looking to other venues of selling and buying.
“As to the Feedback, as a seller I have been kicked in the head, unable to leave a nonpaying buyer feedback is very unfair, how else are we going to warn other sellers of a bad buyer?,” she said. “I, for one, look at a buyer’s feedback and if he or she has negative feedback for not paying for items, I will cancel the bids for that person as I do not want to go through the hassle of filing for a nonpaying buyer and the waiting it takes for everything to become final, before I can relist my item.”
Others are also angered by what they think is the philosophy behind the new fees — destroying the small seller’s business model, which was the heart of the eBay community, in favor of big business.
Erasing History Unfairly Evens Score
Another seller said that the new feedback system does more harm than good, writing at an eBay discussion board, “By also removing years worth of feedback history from both buyers and sellers alike (any feedback older than 12 months is now ignored by the system), eBay has slapped millions of good eBayers in the face, rendering years worth of hard work and integrity meaningless: the worst buyer will now have perfect feedback as well. The worst seller will lose hundreds, if not thousands, of negative feedback from his or her feedback rating.
“Most ridiculous of all, a bad seller who actually abandoned an account a year or more ago, because of all the negative feedback received on that account, will now have a perfect feedback rating of 100 percent on that account. Buyers will be victimized by this seller again, not knowing the 100 percent rating is a phony one.