Ebay Morons Galore!

January 31, 2008

Ebay to sellers: SCREW YOU … Analysis Part Two (Feedback)

Filed under: ebay is the moron — Tags: , , , , , , — J @ 1:30 am

Yesterday I looked at the changes in the fee structure for 2008 and today I’ll examine the new feedback rules that will go into effect at an undetermined time. Tomorrow I’ll look at the previously unheard-of focus on Powersellers and the star rating system. Good times.

The biggest change everyone is talking about is that buyers will no longer be able to receive negative or neutral feedback. That’s right, sellers can only leave positive feedback once these rules go into effect. That’s ridiculous for a million reasons.

Sometimes buyers deserve negs, too. I’ve always said that there’s more to being a buyer than just paying. What about those new buyers who leave negs after three days, complaining about slow shipping? Or international scam artists who claim their item never arrived for half of their transactions? Or buyers who send daily threatening/vulgar/insulting emails? Or idiots who didn’t understand the auction and thought they were receiving something else? Or trigger-happy buyers who leave feedback THEN explain the problem to you?

Not to mention those special buyers who combine several forms of minor annoyance into one transaction, like paying extremely late, paying an incorrect amount, paying via an incorrect method, expecting you to ship using a service you don’t use, complaining that they paid $8 for shipping but postage only cost $6.50, and sending daily whining emails demanding you give them a tracking number when none exists. Yeah, all buyers are angels.

Apparently, this is being done to give buyers peace of mind when they leave a negative for a seller, since they no longer need to live in a world of fear that includes big, mean sellers leaving retaliatory negs for them. Give me a break. Buyers have never been shy about handing out negative feedback.

How are sellers supposed to be able to weed out the bad buyers? It’s easy to spot a bad seller, because their feedback generally includes many harsh comments. Whenever I have a high-end auction going, I always briefly glance at the competing bidders’ feedback page to see if there’s anything I need to look out for. If I see something particularly egregious, I have no problem canceling their bid and adding them to my Blocked Bidder List. Now it’s going to be much harder to see if a buyer is one of those people who cries about a 75 cent difference in shipping and actual postage, or if they have a history of filing false Paypal chargebacks.

Another new change I don’t understand the point of is that feedback more than a year old won’t count towards your total feedback percentage. So? What is this accomplishing? Who does this benefit? From what I’ve been reading, it helps no one. I just did the math and my personal feedback percentage over the last year exactly matches the percentage over the lifespan of my account. This doesn’t make ebay more secure because an actual scammer isn’t going to last more than a year anyway.

Thankfully, the rest of the feedback changes are a little more positive for sellers. I got excited when I first heard about how now repeat customers who leave positive feedback will count individually. Unfortunately, I later read the fine print, which said “(up to 1 Feedback from the same buyer per week.)” Oh. I was hoping that each transaction would count as one, but I suppose that’s simply wishful thinking.

One change I fully support (!!) is that when a user gets suspended, all their negative and neutral feedback they left gets removed. I have been waiting for this for a long time and this can’t go into effect any quicker.

Another nice new rule is that you will only be allowed to leave feedback within 60 days of the auction close instead of 90. Too often would I receive the random neg or neutral from a user who claimed some inane problem 75 days after the auction closed, to the effect of “i dont like the item can i exchange it” or “i never got it, bad seller” out of the blue. Maybe these’ll still happen, but at least they won’t come out of nowhere.

One policy change that looks better on paper is that, as ebay puts it, “Buyers must wait 3 days before leaving negative or neutral Feedback for sellers with an established track record, to encourage communication.”

Yeah, this will stop the instant negs from buyers who win auctions just to mess with you, but I’ve found a better way to combat them – require the buyer to have a Paypal account. People are less likely to mess with you if you can find their Paypal address and report them that way. I made this change about 16 months ago, and I haven’t been victimized since.

Also, unfortunately, three days seems to be a magic number when morons start complaining about slow delivery. Just last month I got a neg that literally was (this is a direct quote) “shipping said one day it has been 3 days.” Yes, they thought my listed shipping time of one day was how long it would take an item to arrive. Keep in mind that overnight service was available, but was declined. This was not a new user, and the bad feedback is still on my record. Thanks, dick.

Another “feedback change” is “When a buyer doesn’t respond to the Unpaid Item (UPI) process the negative or neutral Feedback they have left for that transaction will be removed.” Wasn’t this the old policy? What’s new about this? Where’s the change?

The final change mentioned on ebay’s page is this extremely vague sentence: “Buyers will be held more accountable when sellers report an unpaid item or commit other policy violations.”

Could ebay be any more ambiguous here? They’re already spilling the beans on all their new policies for 2008. There’s no need to hold back if there’s going to be a new “two strikes and you’re out” policy for non-paying bidders. Could it be that ebay doesn’t really know what they’re going to do, or that there won’t be an set procedure; that every situation will be treated differently?

It’s really hard to judge some of these policy changes until they’re actually put into use for a short while. I am very interested to see if ebay’s going to stick to their guns and hold up their end of the bargain on all their proposed promises. I guess only time will tell.


  1. Agreed, 100%. Thanks for these posts 🙂

    Comment by bitchwithbooks — January 31, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

  2. Ebay can barely keep up with reports, scam sellers and bad buyers as it is.

    They opened the door up for Thousand of seller’s to go to other sites.

    Currently other sites have seen 4 to 5 thousand seller’s per site flocking there. You add hose numbers up into the sites, and you have 50 to 60 thousand sellers going to another site. Seems small, but you add to the fact that at least half of them are buyers, and you see you a large corner of Ebay crumble.

    Comment by Mark — February 11, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

  3. As a Feebay seller/buyer since 1998 (with 100% FB at 562) I totally agree with you. This new no NEG FB to buyers BS is a joke!

    I always knew FeeBay had some seriously retarded policies. And some serious DEE DEE DEE’s working for them. But this just screams WE AT FeeBay ARE COMPLETE MORONS! AND WERE OUT TO PROVES IT!

    I mean what idiot brain stormed this stupid no buyer NEG FB idea? Better yet, what cross eyed drooling imbecile said yes, that’s a great idea, lets do it right away!?

    I HAVE NOT SOLD 1 DAMN THING SINCE THAT BS STARTED! AND I WILL NOT UNTIL IT’S REVERTED BACK! I worked hard all these years to do everything better then the best sellers out there to earn my 562 POS FB’s! So what now? I’m suppossed to let these Ass hats screw it up just so they can scam me over .75 cents shipping? I don’t think so!

    FeeBay,… you screw things up more as you grow. This is one company that does not learn from the past! IDIOTS!

    Buyers can be great. Or, they can be total scum. Just like sellers. They are no angels! And this article hits it right on the head!

    Until they revert back to the old fair buyer NEG FB policy. FeeBay can smooch my ass! I won’t risk it after all these years of hard work. I’ll just wait it out. And sell elsewhere until then.

    FeeBay,… EPIC FAIL!

    Comment by DS — September 8, 2008 @ 3:30 pm

  4. It looks like you are a true specialist. Did you study about the topic? *lol*

    Comment by Ploneoula — December 11, 2009 @ 11:13 am

  5. Please follow me on twitter:


    I am simply disgusted with eBay all round and know that the only way they will change or (preferbly) close will be by the people who built them seeing sense and leaving them. Enough of the small people helping make the giants only to end up being trampled on. It blows. And its time to move on.

    Comment by eBay Hater — September 22, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

  6. Ebay wasn’t working for me it is to cumbersome and found their up-sale technique annoying. So I created a brand new website BarterDown.com that is an excellent alternative offering sellers FREE 12 months

    Comment by Seller — September 12, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    • I normally wouldn’t approve such an obvious spammy comment, but your website is so terrible, I don’t think it matters. PLEASE, learn to spell before designing a website. At least turn on the spell check. “You have nothing to loose”? “Categorie”? Ugh, awful.

      Comment by J — September 12, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

  7. Your blog is really interesting to me and your subject matter is very relevant. I was browsing around and came across something you might find interesting. I was guilty of 3 of them with my sites. “99% of website managers are guilty of these 5 mistakes”. You will be suprised how fast they are to fix.

    Comment by five mistakes — December 9, 2011 @ 12:51 am

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