Why a strike is better than a neg

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Back in January 2007 I sold an item, sadly the buyer failed to pay. There were two things I could do, one was to open an unpaid item dispute and the other was to leave feedback. The unpaid item was opened and closed leaving the buyer with an unpaid item strike. Feedback was never left and there was no response to the dispute as the buyer was suspended.

Fast forward to February 2008 and the buyer had recovered their account, but has just been suspended again. They have contacted me to ask if I’d consider removing the unpaid item strike which still sits on their account. They’ve even offered to pay the eBay fees that I incurred so I won’t be out of pocket – the item was resold to another buyer a long time ago.

This has come up at an interesting time – many sellers are irately insisting that they should have the right to leave negative and neutral feedback for buyers as a warning to other sellers. Time has proven though, that the unpaid item strike I left over a year ago has been far more effective in stopping this buyer buying than a negative feedback would have been.

A year is a long time for an unpaid item strike to still be affecting a buyer, I’m surprised it hasn’t been discounted by eBay after this length of time. Certainly it appears to have impacted them for far longer than any feedback would have done regardless if it was positive, neutral or negative.

The only question that remains is should I remove the strike from the buyers record as requested?

15 Responses

  1. I fear your experience is an anomoly. Out of the dozens if not ❗ hundreds ❗ of NPBs I have closed in the past year, very rarely has the user come back to me to attempt to resolve the situation.

    As a seller this is possibly my biggest bone of contention. NPBs overinflate my monthly sales figures and waste far too much of my time.

    Maybe negative feedback is not the answer, but eBay have completely failed to address this issue by providing a better system. If they had announced an overhaul or replacement to the NPB process at the same time as the feedback changes, then maybe the backlash that has occured could have been curtailed.

  2. The same thing has happened to me on several occasions Chris.

    I stopped leaving negs some time ago with the view that it does not do me any good (apart from feeling better) and that it can look unprofessional.

    The unpaid item strike is the way to go but why did eBay change the three strikes rule? Three unpaid strikes should be more than enough to remove a deadbeat from the site IMO.

  3. James I’ve no doubt the buyer has only come back to resolve an issue from 13 months ago because he wants to get his account back. He’s probably tried more recent sellers who’ve issued strikes without any luck.

    Did they change the three strike rule Nick?

  4. I am not sure what the rules are now but I remember several months ago that eBay had relaxed the 3 strikes and you’re out rule.

    Maybe someone could jump in and confirm what the rules are now.

  5. IIRC Nick, eBay have said that they’re not going to confirm the exact details because – obviously 🙄 – buyers will take advantage. The policy only says:

    If a buyer gets too many strikes within a short period, their account will be suspended indefinitely. In some cases, limits may be placed on the buyer’s account in advance of suspension.

    I have to say, a lot of the issues with unpaid items, sellers having non-positive experiences with buyers etc. would be gone if eBay would refund ALL the fees associated with unpaid items, instead of just the FVFs.

  6. I’m thinking that a buyer who fights to have a strike removed and regains their account will probably be the best buyer ever in the future knowing that one more strike will finish em off for good…..

    It’s a bit like the handful of buyers that have had -1 feedback and asked politely if I’d let them buy from me, never ever had any -1 buyer be anything other than a delight to deal with 😀

  7. I am sad to say my experiences have not been as positive as yours Mountie. I’ve removed strikes, blocks and completed transactions, against my better judgement, often to only end up sending replacements or refunds due to “loss in post”.

  8. Any buyer that has got a strike removed will be happy to piss sellers off again, safe in the knowledge that he can have the strike removed by giving a sob story.

    Any -1 buyer who can’t work out that it would be better to register a new account is probably, in my opinion, to dumb to deal with.

  9. I have to differ there, an eBayer with -1 has had one bad experience already. Being a newbie that isn’t aware you can have more then one eBay account just indicates a lack of experience and has nothing to do with their intelligence. Also in my experience they are ultra keen to make sure the second transaction goes well and do everything possible to please the seller. If they make the effort to email and ask to be allowed to bid I’ve always let them and they’ve never let me down. 🙂

  10. Buyers can appeal to ebay customer services to get strikes removed. One buyer I had a few months into my ebay “career” begged me to lift a strike as (according to them) mine was the one that tipped the balance.
    I ignored their request. They were back buying a few days later and contacted me to tell me to say thanks. I had done nothing! Confused I braved the message boards and was told that ebay can and will remove stirikes if they see fit.
    Whether this policy has changed in the last couple of years I don’t know.

  11. I stick this in the cant be bothered and not orth worrying about tray,
    if buyers can buy again AND PAY its no bad thing,

  12. I have given strikes in the past and then received payment – I tend to not relist immediately so if I receive payment I send the item and I will then remove the strike (usually after I know they have received the item, just in case).

    I’ve not had any claims of non receipt so far, and I’ve received +tve feedback for it even when I have already left a neg.

    The one thing I would like to know though, is when ebay claim that negs cause buyers to leave the site, do those buyers in fact come back with a brand new neg-free ID?

  13. From what I understand, the three strike rule is still in full effect.

    eBay will remove one of them without requiring proof, but all additional ones will require proof of payment for eBay to remove.

    So really it’s a four strike rule, but they don’t fade away over time

  14. I have been asked numerous times to remove strikes – usually with no incentive given to me for doing so. A few have offered to repay me any lost fees if I’ll remove their strike, so a couple of years ago, I agreed to a few of these as an experiment. Not a single one paid up.

    I think the view that buyers who get their accounts reinstated will be extra careful will apply to reasonable buyers who can assess their experiences objectively. But this does not apply to the majority – if that is the sort of people they are, they wouldn’t have had so many strikes in the first place. Naturally, it’s impossible for me to consider myself 100% objective here either but my impression is that most of the people I have left strikes for were those who will turn things around in their heads so that it will become everyone else in the worlds’ fault that they did not pay before it will become theirs.


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