Feedback 2 launches on .com

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eBay have announced that Feedback 2 will launch on next week. The system, which allows buyers to rate sellers anonymously on accuracy of description, communication, speed of dispatch and reasonableness of shipping charges, was introduced in the UK and seven other countries in March: it will now roll on .com and all other eBay sites globally.

I have to admit that while I originally thought FB2 was a disaster for eBay, I now largely fail to care about it one way or the other. It’s typically buggy in its implementation: my own total number of star ratings received varies by about 150 either way from hour to hour, and I’m not the only seller to report this. Moreover, as a buyer myself, I’ve largely found that I really can’t be bothered to click on all those stars on the majority of my transactions, an attitude I know my buyers also share.

The belief was once expressed by some in eBay’s management that FB2 would allow buyers to distinguish between sellers, but this seems to be largely fluff. I’ve rarely seen a seller who scores lower than 4.5 on any criterion, and because scores are averaged by the half-star, it takes very little to up your score if it does fall lower than you’d like.

Where FB2 *might* have succeeded is in allowing disgruntled buyers who daren’t leave a neg for fear of retaliation, a platform for expressing their unhappiness. I’d argue that an anonymous, non-specific comment is fairly pointless, but if it cheers buyers up and keeps them on the site, I don’t think it hurts anyone.

6 Responses

  1. love it or hate it, its here to stay I suppose. The one thing of value I have found since its introduction is that buyers feedback comments have changed to reflect the star catorgories available – so instead of the usual A+++ etc, feedback now will usually have a comment relating to speed of dispatch, packaging, postage charges etc. It seems that feedback 2.0 has made buyers aware of the sort of things they should be commenting on in their feedback. As a seller who charges relatively low postage and dispatches everything next or same day, this can only be positive for me.

  2. IMHO it’s all been rather pointless. Any benefits to site users seem fairly arbitrary but it probably enabled site developers to justify their salaries, Dilbert style.

    Like the old FB system, it’s never going to be 100% fair. For instance, one buyer whose transaction I cancelled when he tried to use threats to get a discount gave me minimum scores for delivery time & accuracy, etc, when nothing was actually sent.

  3. I haven’t noticed a great change in the type of feedbacks, my feedback has always reflected delivery time, accuracy of description etc.

    To me, FB2 is yet another fancy tweak, pretty pointless and poorly implemented :
    -buyers can leave partial seller ratings – why??? lower response on one item stands out more ( to me anyway )
    -buyers can leave detailed feedback on incomplete transactions.
    – why the semi-anonymous approach? If ebay want to strengthen trust and promote integrity then lets see the detailed feedback as a star rating on each item of feedback, not as a homogenous block with poor resolution and open to snap judgements.

    Finally, it would have been nice to see eBay allow sellers to leave feedback for a buyer regarding payment time and communication.

  4. I feel fairly indifferent to FB2 now. Some buyers don’t bother and others say it’s too complicated. The worst thing for some sellers/buyers is showing the items purchased up front instead of links to click (people soon get bored with clicking links and don’t bother). It seems like rather an invasion of privacy.

  5. “It doesn’t matter” will be the response from Sellers in the US 8 weeks from now. Many sellers are upset right now but as you found in the UK “It just doesn’t matter”

  6. I guess the million dollar question is – did it achieve what it set out to do?

    A while before this happened, eBay reps at the Uni I went to were dropping hints that the feedback system was going to have a ‘major overhaul’ because so many people were complaining about unfair negs, etc. So has FB 2 stopped the moaning or have eBay finally realised that they can never win 😀 ?


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