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eBay Will No Longer Allow Negative Buyer Feedback

eBay Will No Longer Allow Negative Buyer Feedback

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.


  1. Leonardo
    Leonardo I think the comment about moving away from the model of favoring the small business/small lister has some merit. In my eyes, eBay has been gravitating more and more in the last couple of years to the vendors with mulititudes of "Buy It Now" (usually terribly high, uncompetitive prices for suckers) items. It's almost like eBay is moving towards being a giant clearing house for all the online vendors who don't or won't open their own sites. Although I've purchased many computer items from eBay, due to unpleasant transactions in the last year, I've decided that I will probably stay away from eBay unless an item I need is prohibitively expensive in the online retailer market.
  2. CB
    CB In the 90's I was a regular eBay seller. since 2000, however, I felt a slow and steady shift away from consumer to consumer transactions, and toward wholesaler to consumer transactions.

    When eBay was just starting out, there was a heavy focus on getting people to sell off old things around there house, instead of having a yard-sale, now the focus is setting up a store, thru which one can sell thousands of whole-sale items at a time.

    Seems to me they lost their original niche and are being forced to revamp to accomodate their new model. Perswonally, I haven't felt welcome as an eBay seller in a long time. I moved all my books to half.com (also owened by eBay), and stopped selling anything else.
  3. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum On the other hand, I think that this move will do a lot of good to improve the confidence of the buyer.

    I've often been afraid, after a crappy transaction, to leave negative feedback for fear of a retaliatory neg, even though as a buyer I had paid promptly.

    I don't see the "small seller" as having a disadvantage here, the buyer is still paying up front.
  4. CB
    CB It's not a matter of feeling 'confident' about selling. To me it's about feeling welcome. At one point, I felt like eBay valued my business. I don't feel that way anymore.
  5. Leonardo
    Leonardo Good point. I never have quite understood the unwritten policy of sellers waiting for their evaluations before posting the same for the buyers. Once the seller is paid, he owes the buyer an evaluation. The evaluation is not supposed to be leverage, but unfortunately, it is used that way by sellers. In private trades (FAR preferable to the impersonal eBay) I almost always give the buyer a Heatware rating within 24 hours of them paying me. I rate them on how they fulfill their end of the agreement.
  6. Harudath
    Harudath I've always avoided Ebay for the sole reason of negative feedback. I do understand that not EVERYONE'S a lying, scamming, cheat that you can never trust, but I've never really thought it's been worth the risk.
  7. RADA
    RADA Guess I'll be using ebay even less than I already do....

    ..which means I will go from infequent to never.
  8. Tim
    Tim Looks like eBay WANTS to go out of business, because none of their new changes are things that I like. I don't use eBay a lot, but this is all the more reason for me to take my money elsewhere.
  9. CB
    CB Honestly, Tim, I don't think they mind. Sellers like you and I, who have more than twenty transactions but less than a thousand, simply don't matter to them anymore. They'd rather make the system work better for their 'power sellers' and the people who have never used the service, even at the expense of all of their blue star level members.
  10. GHoosdum
    CB Droege wrote:
    Honestly, Tim, I don't think they mind. Sellers like you and I, who have more than twenty transactions but less than a thousand, simply don't matter to them anymore. They'd rather make the system work better for their 'power sellers' and the people who have never used the service, even at the expense of all of their blue star level members.

    This system does not work better for the power sellers. It works better for users like me: users who hardly ever sell on eBay but buy frequently. It gives us the leverage to rate a poor transaction with a power seller negatively without fear of the reprisal of a retaliatory negative rating, which eBay previously had no way of protecting the buyer against.

    I think eBay has come to realize that 95% of its users are either power sellers or almost exclusively buyers.
  11. CB
    CB right, I didn't mean that the power sellers would like it better, they proly wont, but their not going anywhere. eBay would have to really make it unpleasant for those folks to pack up. I guess I worded it wierd
    CB Droege wrote:
    They'd rather make the system work better for their 'power sellers' and the people who have never used the service

    What I meant was that they would rather make the system work better for themselves, keeping in mind only the power sellers and the casual (non-seller) users. I think there simply aren't enough blue-star sellers to make it worth including them in the equation.
  12. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum The thought occurred to me that it's possible eBay is trying to coerce more power sellers to use BIN with PayPal payments, essentially raising their revenues and steering buyers toward instant payment.

    As a side effect, it would completely eliminate the original "auction" intent of eBay.
  13. CB
    GHoosdum wrote:

    As a side effect, it would completely eliminate the original "auction" intent of eBay.

    They've been working on that for years. :/
  14. Leonardo
    Leonardo Did anyone here get an unsolicited private message concerning eBay sellers' rationale for providing late ratings to sellers?

    I just got a PM from some eBay seller whom I've never heard of called "thepriceofpearl." That name is in fact an eBay members name as well as new registrant here at Icrontic.

    The PM seemed genuine and actually had some factual content that seemed plausible. I'm just wondering if this is part of some type of influence operation by a group of eBay sellers.

    To the credit of the unsolicited PM sender, he/she did not post a link to any vendor or organization.
  15. Leonardo
    Leonardo "thepriceofpearl" is OK. He and I have had an PM exchange. He had meant to post here in the this thread but was not well versed in our forums posting. He may be posting here later.

    Robert, if you do decide to post: Welcome to Icrontic.
  16. abrogard
    abrogard This thread interests me.

    I agree wholeheartedly that eBay is moving away from Auction to merely a front end for online businesses that don't even sell, often, at competitive prices.

    They, in turn, are often mere fronts for mainland China businesses which can mail or ship items to you direct from China cheaper than you can organise a friend to do it - i.e. at mail rates/shipping rates not available to the public.

    Because they are government sponsored. In a totalitarian regime. i.e. they are fronts for the Chinese government.

    eBay has become in large part merely a marketing arm of the Chinese government.

    As regards feedback and sellers/buyers I am totally a buyer. I've never sold anything. I pay promptly. I pay as soon as I have the information required for paying by direct deposit. The only times my payments are ever delayed have been when I've blundered in copying the names or numbers of the seller's account - and that's a fact I can of course prove by recourse to my bank statements which list the failed transactions and return of the funds.

    But three times in a row I've been cheated by sellers. Coincidentally sellers of used fax machines. I don't know what it is about such people but that small sampling seems to indicate there's a high percentage of rogues amongst them. Why I don't know.

    The first person never sent it at all.
    The next two sent machines that wouldn't work.

    The best one to make a fuss about was the first, because the clearest wrongdoing. Very hard to prove the case against the others - though I'm in no doubt and nor would anyone be who cared to follow the evidence.

    So I took up the case of the first with eBay.

    To no avail. Their standard mechanism for such disputes gets you nowhere at all - it has no teeth - until in the end you are left with a last resort of claiming and recoving the amount - about $35 or $40 or something in these cases - and paying $25 of that to eBay!

    I'm not sure of the details. Something like that. Pointless because you get nothing out of it.

    What would I want? I'd want the bludger's name and address published all over the place. I'd want the full amount recovered. Just because it's a small amount it doesn't matter? But three small amounts in a row?

    How many of these bludgers do it habitually and rack up hundreds or perhaps thousands from these 'small amounts' ?

    So I'm left with merely their bank account details which, I'm assuming, considering the banking laws in this country, are a direct lead to who they are and where they are, and can't be, won't be, easily changed. I mean, it's a major hassle getting your first bank account and it's almost equally a hassle getting future ones, proving '100 points' of identity, etc... , so unless they're highly organised crooks (which I'd have hoped eBay would have detected) they're unlikely to change much.

    And I'll hope to track them through their bankers and make problems for them by talking to their bank managers.

    But eBay... nothing. No good to me at all.

    Quite difficult to contact.

    Dispute resolution procedure futile.

    All of which made me somewhat soured towards them and then when it began to full of 'Buy Now' ads that didn't allow for Auction at all I was astounded. I couldn't believe it.... simple, silly me.

    But it is an indisputable fact, considering it all. Just as other posters have written, eBay has lost its original meaning apparently quite deliberately.

    It has little or no interest in the ordinary individual and his 'garage sale' buying/selling, doesn't care to protect them, promote them or communicate readily with them. Is now quite clearly more than happy to carry pages and pages of listings of items merely for sale, not for auction at all.

    In my field - electronics, computers, stuff like that - virtually all Chinese in origin. It's just a front for the Chinese government.

    Not that I mean anything political by that. I don't much give a damn. Just I can do my own trading with such organisations, and do, outside of eBay. I go to eBay - USED to go to eBay - for something quite different.

    Lastly I can only say that there's something to be rescued from the sinking ship and that'd by one's own records of reputable sellers. I've done business with some fair dinkum people and I can check eBay from time to time to see if they're offering any of the things I may want and I can trade with them confidently.

    But for the rest: (1) low price bargains from low volume sellers with 'good' ratings - likely to be a whole area of organised scam in my experience and (2) Pages of items for sale at 'Buy Now' without a bidding option quite open and flagrant scams inasmuch as they hide behind the eBay assumption of 'bargain' when in fact they sell at freely available retail prices (given a little googling).

    So: avoid eBay. find the substitute.

    Which is what?

    I don't know. If anyone does, please tell me, because it's sure as god made little fishes that eBay will never be eBay again.


    ab :)
  17. Qeldroma
    Qeldroma Stopped using eBay over a year ago- everything I wanted everyone else seemed to and, basically, by the time a bid was over you could have got it for less at Newegg. I have no evidence of this- but I'll go ahead and say it: It was like retailers had buyers schilling key bids. The site is so commercial now that maybe they ought to rename themselve NeweBay.com.

    Newegg will pwn them if they do- negative reviews allowed :P .

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