There’s no nice way to tell you this, so I’m just going to say it: one single pissed-off buyer can spell the end of your eBay account. eBay have previously assured sellers that neutral feedback, or one single negative would never, could never, get your account suspended. But with more recent changes on eBay UK, this is no longer the case. We’re hearing of more and more sellers who are being suspended for – frankly – the flimsiest of reasons. Here are just a few of them.
Gareth from aff_link("https://stores.ebay.co.uk/SaverSoftware-Discount-Software","saversoftware","dolphins","UK"); ?> posted about his problems in our forum. He’d received just three neutral feedbacks, with no other problems, no negs, no PayPal disputes, but had been told his account was being suspended for 30 days for non-performance. Claire from aff_link("https://stores.ebay.co.uk/imagineallthat","imagineallthat","dolphins","UK"); ?> received three neutral feedbacks over the last month. With 83 positives in the same period, you’d think she was a good seller, but under eBay UK’s new regime, she was suspended for 30 days.
Luciano, who sells as aff_link("https://myworld.ebay.co.uk/malpastrade","malpastrade","dolphins","UK"); ?> has just one negative feedback. But balanced with 27 positives over the last 30 days, that puts him on 3.7% non-positive feedback, which according to eBay, makes him a bad seller. Sarah from aff_link("https://stores.ebay.co.uk/JUST-TOYS-ONLINE_W0QQsspagenameZL2222QQtZkm","just-toys-online","dolphins","UK"); ?> also has just one negative feedback. She aff_link("https://forums.ebay.co.uk/thread.jspa?messageID=1205655900&forumID=15#1205655900","says she also has","dolphins","UK"); ?> one item not received which she’s replaced and is just waiting for the buyer to close the dispute. A buyer who’s a bit slow to close an INR dispute can now get your selling account suspended too. Both Sarah and Luciano are also on a thirty day suspension.
None of these sellers deserves censure. None of them should have been suspended, and when their cases came to light, eBay should have admitted that their policy had hit people it was never intended to hit, and reinstated their accounts.
Even eBay’s own ex-employees have fallen foul of these new rules. Vzaar were selling off some of their eBay swag a couple of weeks ago, and one damaged parcel has earned them a negative, a positive and two neutrals from the same buyer. Result? They’re taking a month’s enforced eBay leave too. Jamie told me, “I have to give the guy credit because he even initiated a conversation before leaving the comments. I like buyers like that. In the end I even agreed to meet for a beer at eBay Live this June! Sadly though in receiving these mixed comments from the buyer our account has now been suspended for 30 days from buying and selling with immediate effect. It feels that with one bad transaction (the items were posted as one) against our name, we have fallen foul to the new changes that were introduced to penalise consistent sloppy seller standards.”
So what are eBay doing to resolve these problems, to ensure that changes that were meant to affect bad sellers don’t inadvertantly affect unlucky ones too? On the face of it, absolutely nothing. eBay staff on message boards have consistantly refused to acknowledge any problems with what has happened to these sellers. They’ve been referred to as “dolphins caught up in the nets”; hardly reassuring when your business, your bank account, your family’s living is what’s on the line. Every one of these accidental victims of this policy is a real person, not an eBay seller statistic. Every one of them is having their livelihood damaged by this month’s suspension. eBay need to acknowledge and do something about that.
eBay must immediately introduce a proper appeals procedure for those caught up in this policy. Human beings must be made available to look at accounts which have been suspended, human beings who have the authority to make a reasoned judgement call as to whether a seller really deserves to have their account suspended or not. And they must change this wretched policy that says that one buyer’s feedback can cause an account to be suspended.