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Will eBay’s Feedback Changes Ruin Your Business?

Will eBay’s Feedback Changes Ruin Your Business?

Like it or lump it, eBay have now officially changed their policy on Feedback. From now on, sellers are unable to give buyers negative or neutral feedback, only positives.

The reasoning behind what has been an extremely controversial move is that eBay believe buyers have previously been too scared of retaliation to give honest feedback. The idea is that removing the negative option for sellers will encourage buyers back to fold and bolster the increasingly flabby eBay brand name.

It’s been noted by many commentators that the eBay sellers most concerned by these changes have been those with small to medium businesses. What this says to us is that the feedback changes will most affect sellers without proper business systems in place.

For smaller sellers, eBay’s changes mean that it will be harder to get away with rushed descriptions and grainy photos or taking shortcuts with packing and shipping.

But will businesses actually be ruined, as some sellers have claimed?

The short answer is yes. Up until recently, eBay has welcomed sellers of all levels with open arms. People who knew less than nothing about business were encouraged to make a go of it – and many did. The feedback changes mean that the bar is now set much higher. Sellers who’ve previously managed to get by will now find it requires more effort to maintain the same level of sales. If they don’t lift their game, then their business will suffer, no doubt about it.

What people need to realize is that eBay’s move is part of a general trend back to ‘the customer is always right’ way of thinking. When you think about it, the majority of other truly successful auction sites also have tough policies for sellers. Amazon is one of the top ecommerce sites in the world, but only allows buyers to place feedback. It also has a very lenient approach to refunds and anecdotal evidence from Amazon sellers suggests that it’s not uncommon for refund requests to be honored no matter what the circumstance. Another very popular eBay alternative, UBid, also sets the bar high. Seller requirements include being a registered business, having a proven business track record and providing three references.

Let’s face it: buyers like their shopping experience to be consistently good. And as the economy slows down, we must try even harder to win the loyalty of our customers with better service. As money becomes more precious, people will look for a higher quality spend.

To our minds, eBay is still a relatively easy way to start a business. It’s far less risky and potentially more profitable than buying a Subway franchise for example. Sellers have just got to take a bit more responsibility for ensuring that their buyers get a professional experience.

In the long-run there are three things you can do to ensure that your online business remains profitable:

  1. Look at your business processes and find more ways to automate and provide a better customer experience.
  2. Sell on multiple auction/classified sites. It’s never wise to put all your listings in just one auction site’s basket.
  3. Set up your own website – this is the only way you’ll get complete control. But it also means you have to take complete responsibility too.

Watch out for our upcoming post on Easy Ways to Improve Your Feedback DSRs, appearing here in a few days time...

4 Comments Add your comment
Set the bar high and all that crap.. I have been selling for years on bloody EBAY and all they ever do is try to grab money off everyone. Myself and friends of mine have had to pull out of sales this way, its now unprofitable. What with ebay fee's and paypal fee's and now they are penalising sellers if just one thing goes awry and you get a neutral, you lose your seller discount. Christ its more trouble then its worth. I used to turn over $18,000 per month just on eBay now its all fucked up.. Well done twats... Reply
eBay feedback is important indicator how your business is reflected on buyers. I have been on eBay over 5 years and learned well from feedback received. Discovered areas of improvement especially when neutral and negative feedback received. With new feedback system, it was a quiet a surprise but definitely agree on point customer focus, make you work harder to improve way of business. Currently receiving average 180 positive feedbacks and turning over $50,000 - 80,000 per months. In fact positive feedback rates has slightly increased since new feedback system enforced, seems improvement in customer service pays back. If you need any tips feel free to drop a message. Cheers!! Reply
I think it only fair that Buyers get feedback too, after all sellers would like to have some idea of whom they are dealing with. I know of one eBay buyer of a website business (linked to a dropshipping company) who was told he would not be given the code to access his new website UNLESS he left positive feedback. He subsequently found the promised customer service to be non-existent and abandoned the business. The dropshipping company can now re-sell it. Reply
You know folks the good e bay days are over and they will and already are in self destruct mode come on we have seen this 1000's of times what comes up must go down what we truly need to do is ban together literally without the seller what is e bay another empty site we need a new place to sell,market,and advertise self promote from within. How did e bay get so popular?Word of mouth someone got a good deal they told someone else etc.Yeah they did advertise and such but it was the people and the prices that got them to where they are today.E bay made the decision to turn there backs on us now we must truly do the same.I mean come on do they really need a couple extra million dollars a year ,or maybe they have so much money they just really dont give a damn about anyone I mean look at how much money they have made off of these sellers and they just out right turn there backs on you .I will never go back there not even to buy .We need unity and until we can accomplish this one little feat of getting together and going else where forever they will continue to do what they do with no remorse. Reply
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