A few weeks back, eBay made some changes in how their system works. For one thing, eBay had gotten the reputation that their fees that sellers paid was too high, so they made an adjustment to that. Problem is, when the restructured the way that the fees work, the cost for most sellers went UP instead of down! But, eBay said that this change was done to change the perception of high fees. Does this make sense?
The second major change that eBay made is that Sellers can no longer leave negative feedback for buyers! This, in my opinion is a change that will really hurt a lot of sellers, and in the end it will hurt eBay itself.
Do you know how feedback works? Basically, when a transaction is done on eBay, the seller of the item, and the buyer of that item get to leave feedback about how the experience went. This feedback is accumulated, positive feedback is added up, negative feedback is subtracted, and neutral feedback doesn’t change the score. When all of these calculations are completed, a number is assigned to the eBay user. For example, if a person has been involved in 10 transactions and all have been assigned feedback, the total number of feedback scores would be 10 feedbacks. If all 10 of those scores are positive, the person would have a feedback score of 10. If 9 were positive and one was negative, the feedback score would be 8 (9+ – 1- =8). In addition, that feedback rating would be rated 90% positive. While 90% positive sounds good, it is not…. for the most part, a feedback score of 98% or better would be considered good.
Now, though, with negative feedback being banned from being left by sellers, is the system really fair? I don’t think it is any longer. There are bad buyers on eBay, and they can do bad things, fraudulent, etc, and the seller can do nothing. The buyer can leave a negative feedback comment about the seller, but the seller has no way to counter that. It simply is not fair. Fair and accurate feedback should be available to both sides.
Because of these two changes, Sellers last week staged a protest boycott of eBay. What did eBay think about that? Well, they shrugged it off and said that it only had an effect of listings on the site being down by 13% . Basically, eBay is saying that the boycott did not hurt them, and the controversial policies will be staying in place.
So, if sellers don’t like the new policies, what can they do? Well, they can stop using eBay. They can move to Amazon selling, and doing things using Google’s Checkout. Also, other auction venues could start to pop up. Craigs List is already getting more items being sold from these former eBay sellers. I have been saying for years that eBay needs competition, and it is looking like my feelings are starting to be right.
What do you think? Will you sell on eBay in the future? Do you think eBay’s new policies are right?