You may have heard that eBay has recently clamped down on ‘bad sellers’ in an effort to improve buyer experience. What exactly are they doing and how can you protect yourself? We hope this post will shed some light on the matter for you and help you avoid facing penalties.
eBay discovered that a small percentage of Sellers (1% to be exact) were creating 35% of the bad buyer experiences on eBay. These experiences were often so bad that the victims were dramatically reducing the amount they purchased from eBay, with some giving up on eBay altogether.
In an attempt to weed out bad sellers and improve buyer experience, eBay has been reviewing each Seller’s negative and neutral feedback activity and Item Not Received rate to determine the level of buyer dissatisfaction. If a Seller has greater than 5% buyer dissatisfaction within a 90 day period, penalty action is taken.
What? Neutral feedbacks? That’s right: eBay is effectively considering neutral feedback to be negative for the purposes of their cleanup, just one of the bones Sellers have to pick over this new initiative.
The consequences of having greater than 5% dissatisfaction are different for casual Sellers and high volume Sellers. Casual Sellers are banned from selling at all for 14 days, while higher volume Sellers are restricted to 75% of their sales volume (based on historical data). After 30 days, eBay manually review accounts to see whether the dissatisfaction rate has been bought down below 5% and then make a decision as to whether the Seller can return to their usual level of sales.
Note that different action is taken if you have a dissatisfaction rate greater than 10%. In this case, you have a full selling restriction.
See a full explanation on eBay Chatter.
As Scott Wingo points out in his eBay Strategies blog, 1% of Sellers is rather misleading in that it sounds like a very small number of Sellers affected. According to his estimate, 1% actually represents around 15,000 sellers when put into concrete figures. And that’s a big number!
There are also a number of other problems:
Clearly eBay need to refine their new policy further and yes, some buyers will give you negatives no matter what. However, there are some things you can do to limit potential negatives and also resolve negatives you already have.
I fully expect eBay to attempt to address some of these problems in the near future. I believe that they didn’t foresee the effect this would have on Sellers, nor the response. It should be becoming clear to them just how much business they might lose if they upset too many Sellers, so I remain optimistic for the future.
We’d love to hear your experiences and feedback about this issue – please share your stories using the comment function.