Sellers strike in protest at eBay changes

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Arthur ScargillI guess this was inevitable: sellers infuriated by eBay’s recent announcements about changes to feedback and fees have called for a strike. US sellers have called for a listings strike for the week 18th – 25th February, when sellers will list nothing: the theory goes that hitting eBay where it hurts – in the pocket – will get them to rethink the changes.

As with previous listing strikes, support is patchy. Some UK sellers are joining in enthusiastically, and some are just waiting to take advantage of the competition not listing.

It seems to me that a listing strike sends a strange message to eBay: “I don’t like what you’ve done, but I’m not going to quit selling altogether”. Striking sellers, it seems, still want to sell on eBay, because on 26th February, they’ll be back.

How about you? Will you be striking? Listing as normal? Or winding your listings down to nothing and closing your account altogether? Leave us a comment.

71 Responses

  1. daft as brushes the lot of them.

    I’ll be listing as usual, in particular since Chris’ nice graph shows nobody is likely to be worse off in any case.

    Don’t they READ Tamebay?

    Because if not, they deserve what they get…… i.e. no sales whilst they are on strike…. ๐Ÿ™„

  2. Yawn. They make the rules, if you don’t like….leave. Simple.

    Any business contemplating leaving eBay because of the changes should make sure they have allowed in there business model for the loss of traffic if they leave. It’s all hot air and blusto.

    I hate certain things about eBay, however TRAFFIC is the key and they provide it, thats why I came back.

  3. Ermmm Lynne – the post covers UK fees only – the US fees need different figures and aren’t quite as generous.

    Even so for people that use gallery they’re good, for people that don’t it’s not nearly as good. I’m glad I’m in the UK but having said that if I was in the US I still wouldn’t be striking ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. The protest’s are really not about fees. The majority of those complaining are upset about the change in Feedback. Its all emotion and it won’t last.

    BTW Chris, I suggested eBay US sellers set up shop on the UK site because of your post on the fee changes. Just thought you would like to know.

    Fortunately only about 100 sellers read my blog so you shouldn’t see much of a change.

  5. He he – it makes sense Randy… and in fact I know some US sellers have moved stock to the UK to sell locally to take advantage of the stronger ร‚ยฃ vs the $ anyway. So long as they’re on UK fees they’ll be doing very well as opposed to selling domestically in the US.

  6. I’m with Whirly: I pay eBay for traffic. End of story. So long as they keep delivering that, I actually don’t care what else they do.

    Though I do question that the protests aren’t about fees. I see an inordinate number of self-selected ‘small sellers’ who *are* protesting about fees.

  7. Sue, I’m sure there are some who are protesting fees but the ratio seems to be 10 to 1 in the favor of Feedback, at least by my un-scientific count.

    BTW, when was the last time sellers threatened to strike on Amazon.

  8. Striking to protest fees I can take seriously, though not as seriously as I’d take quitting. Striking to protest feedback – FFS, grow up, get serious about your business. Who gives a flying fuck if you can neg a buyer? Does Donald Trump/Richard Branson/Jeff Bezos neg buyers? No. Have a think about why that might be.

  9. To be honest if they were striking about feedback why not simply refuse to ever leave any ever again? Feedback would be such a silly reason to cut off your income, it’s not like it ever paid the bills or ever will!

  10. Seller: I’m never leaving feedback again.
    Rest of world: So what?
    Random buyer: Leave me a feedback or I’ll neg you.

    What a pile of pointless nonsense.

  11. I wonder if flying pickets will mass outside Richmond,

    doolally tap the lot of them

  12. Hi Chris, referring to your post up there somewhere….^^^

    Yes I was referring to the UK sellers planning to join in the US strike….

    But I would have been very very happy if we had got free gallery too!

  13. Madness Lynne, it’s a done deal and eBay aren’t going to change something they’ve spent months in planning. No point striking if there’s absolutely zero chance of getting what you want ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  14. I agree with just about everything said so far here.

    If you don’t like it go to ebid! ๐Ÿ˜†

    As Chris says whatever action sellers take nothing is going to change. Remember when DSR’s arrived – everyone was up in arms and threatening all sorts because that would be left anonymously by buyers? ebay stopped that didn’t they!

  15. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I wont be listing during the strike. It’s not that I’m in favour of it, I’ll be on holiday!!

    Shame – I’d quite enjoy being a “scab” as Mr Scargill so eloquently put it all those years ago. I strongly suspect that the effect of the strike on eBay will be similar to the water displacement of a skinny bloke climbing out of a swimming pool.

    With regards feedback changes, I’m not too worried at all. I’m confident of my service and quality, my DSR’s and feedback suggests that my buyers agree, and I have very few outstanding feedbacks as it stands. Yes, everyone is wary of the numpty who can’t contact in advance, but that’s what the “reply to feedback received” option is for isn’t it?

  16. After the price hikes of late 2006 I made big efforts to set up a website and move off eBay Australia. After this miserable traffic on eBay Australia for the second half of 2007 , I decided to make my move.

    As off the end of 2007 I stopped selling on eBay. My sales are even better on my website. My website sales now are better than they were on eBay Australia for most of last year.

    I agree, don’t strike – leave. Its great not to pay the eBay fees any, my website fees are tiny compared to eBay. There are lots of eBayers that just whinge – they will never get up and leave.

    As some people have said – you pay eBay for traffic, but as the stats show that traffic to eBay has been dropping and dropping.

    It is quite possible to get your own good levels of traffic away from eBay.


  17. Greg that’s fantastic news and something many sellers should be doing. I’d not say scrap eBay entirely, but they should be developing their own website if they haven’t already!

  18. I am not sure if a strike by sellers would achieve much. We would all like to have lower fees and higher profits, and as long as eBay offer a profitable return I shall continue to use it. In the real world if costs go up then selling prices do likewise, we will be looking closely to see if this can be achieved on eBay.

    I will continue selling on eBay but as others have said it is also important to maximise other venues like your own website etc.


  19. I think eBay sellers should strike and show that they are as essential to the eBay community as the buyers.

    This รขโ‚ฌหœcustomer is always rightรขโ‚ฌโ„ข model that eBay is embracing with their feedback changes is more in line with how traditional retail works both online and offline where the merchant is the only party being scrutinized. However, this is a radical departure from the peer-to-peer roots of eBay, where the small, independent seller would be protected against buyer fraud or misbehavior.

    I’m not sure how far away from it’s original model eBay can depart, and remain a vibrant platform. I don’t even think eBay realizes what kind of gamble it is. I wouldn’t buy stock in eBay at this point, that’s for sure.

  20. I laugh at what you are saying. Ebay sales have been dropping, the traffic isn’t what it use to be. You act as those taking away a seller’s right to leave feedback is the way to go.

    Just wait until you get a buyer who is a nut case, and you have no options but to report them to ebay. That in itself is a joke.

    Those of you who are saying you will increase your sales, beware there are some nut case sellers who are going to take this to the extreme. There was a so called ‘buyer’ who currently is buying items from seller’s, just so they can leave the seller a negative.

    The buyer’s name is [removed: please don’t post eBay IDs here]. Check their feedback.

    In addition there have been some rogue sellers who ‘claim’ they will buy and leave a negative for any seller who is selling during the so called strike. Sure we all here know that is wrong, but there are crazy a–Holes that are going to do it.

    It’s not about emotion, it is about ebay running there business down the tubes. Not paying attention to their users.

    I won’t be selling during the strike, nor will I be buying. Many sellers won’t be buying anything. Remember many sellers are buyers.

    You go ahead list, and ignore this issue but be warned the fuse has been lit, and the insanity is going far beyond what people are thinking will just blow over. It is only going to get worse. Ebay stocks are less then $28 a share.

    In closing, remember this old poem when your store or sells go in to the pits, or ebay takes away something you love-

    “They came first for the communists
    And I didn’t speak up because I was not a communist.

    Then they came for the Jews
    And I did not speak up because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for the trade unionists
    And I did not speak up because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Catholics
    And I did not speak up because I was a Protestant.

    Then they came for me
    And by that time no one was left to speak up. “

  21. It does seem clear that this is a major issue for many sellers.

    It will be interesting to see Ebays response to this.

    We have all seen and been involved in outrage before, but maybe this one is a step too far for many sellers?

    I cannot help but feel that Ebay needed to pacify the seller community at the moment, not irritate it.

    Now I know many of you do not agree with this on here, but I think it is possible that Ebay have overstepped the mark on this one.

    I am on the fence, because I have no doubt we will lose our 100% positive, but it will level out over everyone and we will all be in the same boat.

    Maybe the stars were enough?

    Hammer and nut come to mind ๐Ÿ™‚

    It is the Amazon principle again I think, look at what your competition is doing and copy it, but whilst doing that, you lose your individuality, piece by piece, small change by small change.

    Has Ebay grown up into a proper e-commerce site, or has it lost the plot completely?

    I am not sure, but it will be interesting to watch.


  22. I won’t be striking. Buyers won’t notice. Ebay will probably be aware of it, but only because it’s being publicised. Revenue for ebay will stay the same as those who are not striking take advantage of the small gap in trading and list more or get better prices.
    The only people who will feel the pinch are those striking.

    Fine, protest. But don’t cut your own nose to spite your face. If you really want ebay to hear your voice. Vote with your wallet and walk away, otherwise it’s just pi$$ing down your leg in a bark blue suit. A nice warm feeling but no-one else notices.

  23. “It is only going to get worse. Ebay stocks are less then $28 a share.”

    You know what – when a business that has been a roaring success for years isn’t as attractive as it used to be there are things you can do.

    1) Act like an ostrich and bury your head in the sand

    2) Make radical changes to the way you do business to revitalise your business

    I think eBay chose the evolve and grow rather than the wither and die

  24. Sue, really it’s not in anyway comparing it to the holocaust. I hate when people play that card. Just because you mention it, you are suddenly comparing it. C’mon!

    Louise, just be careful listing. There are a lot of crazy people out there right now taking this to the the extreme.

    I want to apologize to the owner of the board too. I didn’t mean to break the rules by posting that users id, but I wanted to show you that what I was saying was legit. This person has several ids they are doing this with. I have caught two of them. He has been reported to ebay but he is still active and not suspended.

    So far there are a confirmed 658 sellers who will not be selling during the boycott. I am sure some of them will back out.

    Just be ready, it will get worse before it gets better.

    I know you all think I am this lose cannon, but believe me I have been right there in the thick of things. I have seen the posts on the Answer Center and the Discussion boards. I have seen the groups, private blogs. This isn’t one of those issues like the last fee increase. This is something that could blow up in ebays face.

    Yes, radical change was needed but they went the wrong way.

    People will notice this. It is a growing issue and it is starting to hit the media all over the place.

    Forbes magazine has quite a take on the issue too.

    Tom Cruise, no. More Like Michael Chiklis.

    Take care, and good luck!

  25. “So far there are a confirmed 658 sellers who will not be selling during the boycott. I am sure some of them will back out.”

    Do you know how many people use eBay? It’s millions.

    So what % of sellers are going to strike? By the sounds of it, somewhat less than 0.1%.

    “just be careful listing. There are a lot of crazy people out there right now taking this to the the extreme”

    Again, if I play the percentages, odds are heavily in favour of none of them buying from me. Probably to the point that I am almost as likely to win the lottery. Plus leaving me a neg is ‘taking things to the extreme’? Ooooh, scary.

    I think the most sensible comment I’ve heard on the feedback changes was someone who said in a forum that it will take a lot of the fun out of eBay for new users. After all, a +ve from someone who has the power to leave a neg means more than a +ve from someone who can only leave a +ve. And that’s a shame. But not worth getting worked up over when we haven’t even seen how it will work in practise yet.

  26. Ok, but when your feedback sucks in two years because of this new feedback system, your DRS is low and you are paying higher fees, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    Continue to take the ‘it won’t happen to me approach’ and turn your head the other way. That’s fine.

    As far as the confirmed sellers, those are just the ones who have said they will. No telling how many total will. There are other sites, such as the UK that will be joining.

    Maybe in totalk 5% of the sellers. We will see how it all plays out.

    ‘ooh so scary’. Be afraid, be very afraid.

  27. I won’t be striking over feedback changes. Like many other sellers I’ve had to live with this on Amazon already and to be honest if you are a good seller then there’s nothing to fear.

    After a year of good DSR ratings it will take at least a year of bad ratings to make me lose out on the powerseller discounts.

    I would liken the situation to owning a bricks & mortar shop in the real world – shoplifting happens – you deal with it in two ways – factor in the losses into your business finances and have some security. On ebay that may mean building secondary selling IDs in case one becomes unusable, restricting the amount any buyer can purchase in one go, blocking bidders, etc.

  28. I sell on ebay. I am not a huge volume seller. My feedback is in the 700 range, with nearly five on all of my ratings. I have been a member since 2002. I will take part in the strike. I am disappointed at the fee hike but I know it is a matter of everday life. The cost of living goes up. The cost of milk goes up, the cost of gas goes up. That is not my reason for striking.

    I am very unhappy about the feedback change. I am a low volume seller, so it will be kind of hard for me to keep up all the ratings over a twelve month range. I also do not look forward to not being able to leave the red donut for a buyer who does not pay me. This should not change. A seller should be able to red donut a buyer who does not pay.

    How will this effect my decision to stay on eBay? Only time will tell. ๐Ÿ˜

  29. The issue is not that sellers want to give negative feedback to buyers. The issue is that ebay is removing the mutual accountability between buyers and sellers. This accountability is necessary in each successful sales transaction in a marketplace as a whole. That’s why stores in every country in the world have a sales policy. This policy makes the buyer and seller accountable to each other.

    By granting buyers the exclusive right to leave negative feedback for sellers, ebay eliminates the mutual accountability in a legal sales transaction between buyers and sellers.

    For example, under current ebay functionality, it will be possible for buyers to buy items and fail to pay for them. If the seller demands payment in accordance with his sales policy, then the buyer can leave him negative feedback and move on to the next seller. At the same time the seller has no means to hold the buyer accountable for his actions. That is plainly wrong.

  30. Why should buyers be held accountable? The *law* doesn’t “hold them accountable”: it says they have the right to change their mind. Not “the right to change their mind and be pilloried in public.”

    Under the law, buyers are not even accountable for returning the goods or keep them in pristine condition prior to return, so who are eBay to demand higher standards than the law does?

  31. I think that is a very good point.

    It is the mutual accountability issue that is upsetting many sellers.

    To go from one system to another, from mutual accountability to seller only accountability, is going to cause concern and distress to some sellers.

    I still cannot get away from the idea that this is an attempt to copy “Amazon”.

    Are Ebay, Ebay, or are they Amazon?

    Is this an identity crisis, a corporate identity crisis?

    I wonder ๐Ÿ™‚


  32. I wonder if in fact it is the legal aspect that has made eBay make this change.

    It may be that even if they liked the idea of mutual accountability, the fact that the law does not hold a buyer accountable in any way has made negative or neutral feedback for a buyer in contravention of EU consumer law.

    We know that the OFT has been taking an active interest in eBay activities, perhaps this is something that they have been advised they must do.

  33. @ Lynne: I have previously seen comments from the OFT that have said that buyers have the right to change their minds, and if they choose to exercise those rights, then online sellers should not hamper their future usage of online auction sites. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Unfortunately I forgot to bookmark that and have never been able to find it again, but I would be pretty certain that negging and UIDing for change of mind would be something that the OFT would see as contrary to the spirit of the DSR.

  34. Now that is an interesting point.

    But as this is an international change, would it not be logical to assume that it would apply only here – re OFT.

    One thing that does come to mind though, is that I went to an Antiques Centre once and they were displaying the image of a pair of men that had broken into a cabinet and stole some stock.

    The police arrived and told them it was illegal for them to publish the image of the thieves in public and they should take the poster down.

    The owner refused and I am not sure what happened eventually.

    Is that not similar to what Ebay are doing with this change in policy?

    How does a scammer get reported now?

    Without negative feedback?

    What is to stop someone ordering something, doing a charge back and merrily wandering on to the next seller?

    How are Ebay going to prevent this, if there is no accountability?

    Unless I am missing the point ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think there are more issues here than are on the surface.

    It is also the illusion of control, when we had the ability to leave negative feedback, there was the illusion of control.

    Ebay seem to be removing any control step by step and people just do not trust them.

    I think it is a control issue psychologically.

    We will of course roll with the changes, but I think it is more than a group of people having a tantrum, this is a genuine concern to many.


  35. How does a negative feedback stop a scammer now? A neg doesn’t get them chucked off the site; nor does it stop them going and setting up another brand new ID. Anyone who thinks negs somehow protect them is fooling themselves, and the truth is not in them.

  36. “What is to stop someone ordering something, doing a charge back and merrily wandering on to the next seller?”

    In the real world, what is there to stop a shoplifter moving from shop to shop?

    Nothing, the shop is not allowed to put a photograph of a shoplifter on the door saying “stop this person if you see them…”, and likewise I do not believe that eBay would be allowed to say “don’t sell to this person if you see them” under International Human Rights legislation. By so doing, it could be held that they are accusing someone of doing something before they have done it, which I would certainly expect to be in contravention of international law.

    A shopkeeper can ask a suspicious person to leave their store however, and so eBay will ban a buyer from eBay (i.e. their store), but they may not be able to publicly draw attention to that person.

    I would expect that human rights law to be international.

    And “illusion of control” well – illusion is possibly the operative word there…

  37. Lynne is perfectly correct – it’s an “illusion”. Negs/Neuts is something that sellers have had that they mistakenly thought gave them control but it never did. Just how often have you checked a buyers feedback *before* they placed a BID or BIN on your item? Never! And that’s why it’s an illusion.

    The most powerful thing sellers can do (now and after the change) is to fully make use of the UPI program and give non paying bidders a strike. That’s here today, will still be here, and is the one sure way of warning other sellers.

    There is not and never has been a method of blocking buyers that have had more than a set number of negs/neuts in the last 30 days. There *is* a method of blocking buyers that have had more than two unpaid item strikes in the last 30 days ๐Ÿ˜€

  38. The thing with a negative was that it was a warning for sellers.

    If a customer starts acting suspiciously, there is a record of any previous similar activity for the seller to ship to.

    I have often done this when a buyer starts claiming non-receipt etc.

    Negative feedback whilst obviously abused, did have some useful functions.

    It would be good to see a similar system put in place, even if it was invisible to other buyers perhaps? Probably a daft idea ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree it is an illussion, but people were paying for that illussion, and now that illussion is gone.

    By the way, I am not saying I agree with either point of view, I am definitely on the fence with this one, but I do not think that Ebay have this all right either.

    They need to placate their sellers, not alienate them in my opinion. Too many negative changes too close together and the buyer is all important to the “detriment” of the seller may not wash for ever as an attitude.

    Wouldn’t it be better to couch these changes in the benefits they are to sellers.

    I do not have the answers on this, I am not even sure which I think is right, but it just tickles the back of my mind that this could have been done better and softer somehow.

    The feedback system made Ebay, it was the “community” aspect that encouraged its growth.

    Is there any “community” aspect at all anymore to Ebay?

    Without the feedback, no there isn’t, it just becomes Amazon II it doesn’t it?

    I suppose this is indeed the big question, is it a “community” any more?

    I reserve the right to be wrong of course ๐Ÿ™‚


  39. I think Mark, that if you had been one of the thousands of buyers who had a dreadful experience with a seller who then when you did you bit to “warn other buyers” instantly got a retaliatory neg from the seller you might think otherwise.

    According to eBay eight times more sellers leave retaliatory negs than buyers.

    That’s eight times more upset buyers who eBay say buy less or leave the site after getting negged.

    The ONLY thing eBay has that other auction sites don’t is buyers. They need to look after them or you and I won’t be selling owt cos there’ll be no one left to buy it ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    And apart from that better to solve a problem eight times the size of the lesser problem. Tis simple maths – eight times more people will avoid a potential reason for stopping using eBay in the future than if the change didn’t happen ๐Ÿ˜€

  40. If a buyer buys an item, it is sent to them and they do a chargeback and keep the item, I do believe that is considered fraud. More so if the item is sent through the mail, I do believe the term is ‘Mail Fraud’.

    Also I would check internet and FTC rules on the situation.

    Red donuts work for not paying for an item, works to warn other seller’s that this is an non-paying bidder. If a new buyer (currently) runs a (-4) in feedback they are suspended.

    Three unpaid item disputes and they are suspended.

    I think if a seller files an unpaid item dispute, the buyer does not respond to it then they deserve a red donut.

    I agree a buyer doesn’t deserve a red donut from a seller because the seller is getting back at them for other reasons.

    I also think if a buyer does not read your auction and then leaves you a red donut, it should be removed. If you have in your terms and they don’t live by those terms, they deserve a red donut. If you go to a store and buy something and break the return policy, you do not get a gold star.

    You asked what is to stop a buyer from registering a new account. To answer your question, NOTHING. eBay does not have a real verification system. This is a problem that eBay should be looking into, rather then feedback.

    It is silly to think that a buyer should not be held accountable for their actions. If you bid, you win, you pay. No exceptions. You agree to those terms when you sign up for eBay. If you don’t leave up to that agreement, you should be held accountable. Should we give a non-paying bidder a bell rub, a should massage? I don’t think so.

  41. If you have spent any time at all selling on ebay, you know that someone with no feedback as a buyer is most likely

    2)won’t pay
    3)try to pay with a dodgy paypal account or credit card
    4) Ask for delivery to an unconfirmed address
    5)not read the listing properly and demand all sorts of things that weren’t in the listing and neg you for not providing the spurious requirements
    6) simply change their mind and ask YOU to ship back the item (if its a heavy item THIS WILL COST)
    (By the way i m pretty sure a customer is not entitled to a refund or return simply because they changed their mind)

    This isnt just supposition, i have had many experiences of people trying on such nonsense, the feedback gives an indicator of how seriously you should take the buyer. Lets face it, the main problem with ebay isnt sellers negging buyers, it’s the legion upon legion of dodgy internet characters trying to pull all manner of stunts. From Nigerians spoofing paypal confirmation emails, use of stolen credit cards for high end goods and not to mention people sending a lovely rubber cheque. As soon as i see a buyer with no feedback or negs then i know to treat them with caution. Inexperienced sellers are going to be extremely vulnerable to this type of behaviour that ebay attracts. So when a seller is ripped off as they had no inkling the buyer wasnt genuine, the seller definitely wont come back either, so its pointless to favour the buyer over the seller as the seller is paying the fees! I can see a lot of scammers/time wasters/jokers just leaving negative feedback for the sake of it. Perfectly respectable sellers will lose their 100% (or their online reputation) in an instant and will lose sales, which in turn lose ebay money as the new fees are “success driven” ๐Ÿ™„

    I just think its absolutely daft, instead they should just spend more time policing sellers and buyers alike rather than lopsiding their feedback system.

  42. Sorry, Guy, but in my experience, someone with no feedback is most likely new, that’s all. And if you’re in the EU, then #6, yes, they are entitled to a return/refund just because they change their mind: you need to read up on the Direct Selling Regulations.

  43. Well then you must have been very lucky then! I only have 130 feedback and i can tell you that from selling online, people with under 5 feedback or less are bad news. To simply say they re just new is ignoring or negating my experiences.
    As for DSR i ve checked this now, you re right. As i run a physical shop (oh my god what are they??) i have a lot of people who come in and try to return cds they have simply copied, or simply return they have “borrowed” for the weekend. Here the not faulty rule applies but i will often give credit notes as goodwill.
    So in some ways i have recourse to say no to refunds as i sell new cds and new software such as final scratch, serato etc

    check here

  44. As you bring the topic up, I have 10,260 feedback ๐Ÿ˜† I’m sorry, but I don’t think luck has anything to do with problems with buyers. There are as many problematic buyers with 1000 feedback as there are with 0.

  45. So there are problems with the 0’s then???

    I know you work for ebay, but you ve got to admit this new feedback is going to cause so many problems for sellers.

  46. Well you need to change the title, as it sounds like you work for ebay. How would anyone employing you know that your advice is sound if what you say isnt affliiated with or approved by ebay management.
    I bet you five pounds sterling that this date is a disaster as well

    based on his feedback, i reckon she wont get paid or he turns up and expect some “extras” from a hooky credit card.

  47. @ Guy: Because I am a qualified eBay Educational Specialist, which *does* mean that eBay have approved my teaching trading on the site. Plus รขโ‚ฌโ€œ unlike eBay management รขโ‚ฌโ€œ I do make the majority of my living selling on eBay

  48. As a seller I’ve sent EBAY a request to automate the giving of feedback to my buyers – as all the feedback to buyers is the same, why do I have to go through the step of giving it? It’s more of a transaction count now, not feedback.

  49. Hmmm – EBAY changes may be having an effect – certainly on how sellers feel about ebay – you’d think they would try to build up sellers morale and good feelings about Ebay – a lot of good will to throw away. Anyway, yesterday Wed Feb20 listing total = 12,926,407, currently Thurs Feb21 = 12,621,222, a drop of 305,185 listings or 2.36% – let’s see what the rest of the week brings (I know my 60 or so formerly planned listings won’t be there :+)

  50. First of all, there are different laws for hobby sellers and business. That’s quite possibly why ebay reach for higher standards.

    As for the feedback protests. They are 100% justified for hobby sellers. Power sellers probably won’t be too bothered. However those who strive for their precious 100% feedback are going to be wide open to blackmail.

    You don’t prevent feedback blackmail by making it a one sided win win situation. The Ebay management are either very naive or they believe that allowing buyer feedback blackmail will increase revenue across the board and so it’s acceptable.

  51. Toby, I think you need to be more precise about “hobby sellers”. There are different laws for people selling their own second-hand goods and traders selling new items. However, those who “don’t make much profit” or who “are only doing it to earn some pocket money” or who “aren’t powersellers” (all real excuses) if they are buying to sell, are still subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

    As for the feedback blackmail argument, I’ve been leaving feedback first for months now, and no one has tried to blackmail me. If sellers are so paranoid about buyers, they need to consider the reasons for that paranoia, I think.

  52. Just to add to Sue I’ve been trying feedback first ever since I first started selling on ebay. You know I was so innocent, never occured to me the seller shouldn’t leave it first and thankfully didn’t have anyone to advise me otherwise. By the time people told me I was mad to leave feedback first I’d got used to it and just carried on regardless. Never done me any harm and for years has left me open to feedback extortion.

    Currently I’m still waiting for my first buyer to try blackmailing me, truth is that buyers are actually pretty much like sellers – in the main they’re nice decent people ๐Ÿ˜€

  53. Hobby sellers, people who do it for a bit of pocket money, whom HMRC aren’t too bothered about as long as they really are only doing it for a bit of money. Consumer protection laws are different for private sales, obviously not in terms of misleading descriptions, but goods purchased from a private seller do not have to be free from faults, unless the description said they were working.

    Feedback blackmail is going to shift from being a buyer problem to being a seller problem. The buyer will from May hold all the aces, you’ll have an empty hand and it’s the smaller sellers who are going to be the victims of this extortion. Power sellers will brush it off. Yet the small guy, he’s the one who will be worried. This is similar to the current situation, you don’t get many power buyers, so a buyer has more to lose from bad feedback, hence the reason they are more likely to negotiate feedback.

    The fact that you leave feedback first is really irrelevant, because the next time the person buys, they still have their feedback rating to think of, it’s designed to work that way.

    A poor system is a poor system, but ebay seem hell bent on making a poor system worse.

  54. If that’s representative of “hobby sellers”, I’m really not surprised at all that eBay are taking steps to tighten up standards on the site.

  55. Oh, my apologies, I thought your point was that people who weren’t making much money didn’t have to pay tax. And that “hobby sellers” can sell broken goods so long as they don’t say they’re working.

  56. Ok we’re going off on a tangent here, but I was trying to distinguish between business and private sales. In the UK you don’t have to pay tax if you’re selling a few unwanted presents or old items. If you purchased the items with the intention to sell them at a profit however, then you’re a trader. However always check with the tax man to make sure you’re not considered a trader. If you’re making a shed load of money then there are other taxes you may be liable for even if you’re not considered a trader.

    As for selling broken goods and laws on issues such as the buyer changing their mind, if you’re selling via auction format listings, those laws don’t always apply.


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