eBay need to get dolphin-friendly sooner

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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 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 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 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 also has just one negative feedback. She 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.

165 Responses

  1. Brilliant piece Sue, thank-you. I hope for all our sakes (esp those mentioned in your article and all the unknown suspended dolphins who are no doubt out there feeling very miserable indeed) that somone with some clout from ebay takes heed.

  2. very very very worrying,

    I am considering putting my ebay shop / listings into holiday mode until this dies down, I have never had a negative but am now completely paranoid that I may get one bad buyer who literally destroys my business,

    this is a nightmare !!!!!!

    it cannot last though, if sellers keep dropping off at the rate they seem to be Ebays income will be getting a lot slimmer and we know Ebays may interest in profits

  3. Ebay seem determined to drive out the smaller sellers. Big businesses will not be hit so hard as they get more overall feedback so one stroppy customer won’t make as much difference.

    All the changes seem to hit the small sellers hardest and benefit the big sellers most.

  4. Indeed a very nice post !

    Seems like every 3rd ebay seller we come across is seriously concerned that they would be out of ebay soon ,
    Every 5th seller is looking for some additional exposure on alternative avenues .
    The most mature ebay sellers also seem to find the latest policies OUT OF PLACE.

    For the first time we have this feeling , Ebay might backtrack or announce some damage controlling steps with regard to the latest policy.
    Keeping my fingers crossed 🙂

  5. something needs to be done,
    the way things are now , it seems so easy to get rid of a rival seller just by leaving a few bad feedbacks,
    we have at least 3 buying accounts , with friends ,employees ,and family
    I dare say we could rake up a few hundred more ebay accounts
    if we were inclined ,
    what is there to stop us having a rival seller suspended, by leaving malicious feedback

  6. eBay are acting like a fishing trawler. Supposedly only fishing for a certain species but catch everything. The only problem being like a trawler, the ones that are unwittingly caught in the net end up dying or dead.

  7. though to be honest
    I would imagine its having the effect ebay desired
    we are much more focused on customer support and avoiding disputes
    these days,

  8. what I do find a little odd .
    is that there is a seller at this moment over on the powerseller board, complaining about being suspended, two of the negatives that tipped them over the edge they received as buyers


  9. Thanks Sue, this ‘system’ is statistical poppycock.
    A seller may get 1 negative feedback per 500 items sold, and would have 99.8% feedback in old money. And that is certainly not a bad seller.
    If the seller sells 30 items per month then they will get suspended for the month in which that feedback falls!
    Just how crass is that?
    eBay needs to sharpen up, and quickly.

  10. Thank you Sue, it needed to be said.

    If Ebays own ex-employees are being suspended, people who know the system inside out, but now cannot trade on Ebay, then we have definitely entered into the most insane period of Ebays history.

    Henry/Jamie? Your thoughts on this?

    Time for someone to admit they are wrong methinks…


  11. This is a shambles and it does seem to be affecting small businesses – I wonder if the FSB are aware of the way eBay are targeting small fry.

    I think the behaviour of one eBay individual lets us know in plain terms that they are being proactive about not caring.

  12. Really well written piece Sue

    Perhaps Richard would care to comment on this one 😉 Although I think he may just have dug himself a very deep hole with his dolphin policy and I think a major back track is on the horizon….

  13. I am frankly astonished at the arrogance and incompetence Richard is both portraying and defending on the Powerseller Forum at the moment. He seems completely oblivious to the very real damage this policy is doing to sellers. OK, lets be honest, there are a few sellers out there that should be suspended and even booted. However the examples given show this is not working.

    I am not why the FSB and Trading Standards are not looking at this closely. Where else can the subjective and unverified comments of a buyer be used to such potentially devastating affect? Changes in the site have meant my sales are slightly down and my feedback has dropped from 150 a month to about 90. On this level, only a few comments could get me in real trouble.

    I have never seen a manager show such callous disregard for the people that are paying the fees. The “Peter Principle” of management is in full force here!

  14. I think one of the biggest problems with this policy is that eBay *have* to take a stand against the sellers who have quite frankly given appalling service to their buyers in the past, but the sellers who are marginal cases (and I count suspended for feedback from a single buyer as most definitely marginal!) are getting caught up with no recourse.

    eBay don’t seem to have realised quite how much people rely on income from their site (or at least don’t have procedures in place to reflect it). I don’t know too many people who can have a whole month’s salary (and possibly their employees’ salaries as well) taken away with no notice and survive.

    Whilst I have no problem with the truly bad sellers being removed from the site to impose such a punitive measure on a seller who has poor feedback from just one buyer is a draconian step to say the least 🙁

  15. This is (insert swear word of your choice) ridiculous. I alone can give you 2 sellers who breech the new policies big time and are still selling. I am sure that lots of others can do the same!!
    Big Mess I hade 200 listings prepped to go live today and daren’t upload them.
    1 buyer can finish me.
    I wonder if ebay is worth it anymore

  16. @Karen

    Whilst I think the poor souls that HAVE been caught up in the nets have a good deal to gripe about, ( and have my fingers firmly crossed that it doesn’t happen to me too…), if you don’t list, Karen, then surely you will have exactly the same effect on yourself as if eBay suspend you?

    If you have other channels available that is another matter, but if eBay suspending you could finish you, please don’t shoot yourself in the foot…. you have to act as though all will be well in the end.

    It will of course for most people…

  17. Morning everyone,

    The individual cases that are brought to the boards are, by definition, edge-cases (or ‘dolphins’, whichever phrase is most useful). If you only look at them, you might well conclude that the system is unfair (though there are a fair few on the boards that haven’t stood up to friendly scrutiny from other posters).

    We are looking at the bigger picture – the vast majority of sellers being restricted by these new SNP rules richly deserve to be, and we’re removing more poor sellers from the site than ever before. The site overall will benefit from that, even it’s painful in the short term. There are also thousands of other sellers who are sharpening up their selling practices and customer service in response to avoid the risk of sanctions. This picture is largely invisible if you don’t have access to data from the entire site and the entire SNP programme, so I can understand the unease about individual seller cases.

    All that said, we are learning from the ‘edge-cases’ and will evolve the system where it makes sense to.


  18. Good luck to you Jamie and all the other guys….seriously this whole thing has been a fiasco from start to finish.

    Half price listing day just became cheaper, I’m not spending a bloody penny today.

  19. I have contacted the FSB today,

    I also have recieved a message that the Watchdog program would be interested.

    Still doesnt help me from my suspention though !

  20. I have to say I agree with Chris on this point. There is a very real and sound argument for ridding the site of the bad sellers. I would go along with that.

    However Richard’s response is typical. We don’t understand it, we don’t see the “big picture”. Richard says they will learn and evolve. In the meantime the “dolphins” suffer the loss of income, the damage to their business and the stress of it all.

    I do hope one of these Dolphins evolves into a Legal Eagle and hits Ebay where it seems to care about the most, in the wallet!

  21. I wonder how much must have been invested in Vzaar & what effect a couple of neutrals will have on there core business?

    What I would like to see is a clear statement from eBay (announcement page) about what is going on here (what criteria is used to bring on a suspension, what you can realistically do to have the suspension lifted etc.) & what they a trying to achieve (A diverse and vibrant site, a super mall or what).

    I guess my unwanted Christmas present will have to be sold elsewhere next year. 🙂

  22. Great piece Sue.
    What worries me, is what will happen when i go on holiday. I had a week off in april, but it meant stopping my listings nearly a week before i went, just incase someone took their time in paying. So in total i had nothing listed for well over 2 weeks, which meant my dsr points for this month is only 40. What happens when i go away for 2 weeks. It will only take one neg or neut and i’ll be suspended. I dread listing anything in case someone leaves bad feedback, but i also know that not listing could also finish me.
    I don’t know how much longer i can cope with the worry of ebay.

  23. I have holidayed my shop as I’m due to move house soon, waiting for the dust to settle too.

    Ebay just seems like a huge mess to me now, with one thing after another causing good honest sellers a lot of grief, for example I just manually amended all my listings to be compliant with the 14 day return rule that ebay brought in because there was no tool to successfully change the drop down box in the listings. How an organisation as big as ebay can get things so wrong time after time is beyond me.

    I am all for bad sellers being punished and kicked off but these measures are causing problems for good sellers which is just not acceptable as far as I am concerned.

    I’m going to take this time to re-think how (and whether) to carry on with ebay, I’m tired of logging on in the morning worrying about a newbie leaving me a load of grey or red negs and how it will affect my dsr rating, discount etc.

  24. we are learning from the “edge-cases”

    Surely the edge cases should have been taken into account before it went live?
    I think it stinks that edge cases are getting caught while sellers with almost 50% neg neut- pos are still trading !!

  25. My post just got pulled from the PS board and I have received a pinky slap as I am not allowed to discuss sanctioned accounts apparently.

    Apologies for breaking any rules.

    (Why didn’t all the other threads discussing sanctioned accounts get pulled would be an interesting question however)…

    Good job Tamebay is here.

    I sense some nervousness and beads of sweat appearing….

    Lets hope this Vzaar situation gives the problem the media attention it needs.



    I think we are all in agreement that bad sellers should be dealt with. But edge cases/dolphins should have never went through this.

  26. I also wonder how “long” Vzaar will be suspended, as this is extremely embarrasing for Ebay…

    Ex employees not able to sell on Ebay, because they are not good enough….

  27. Re. the PowerSeller Board –

    One thread has been pulled for “discussing sanctioned members”; at least three have sprung up discussing the pulling of the thread. Please, don’t get yourself in trouble by discussing things which are against Liveworld’s rules on Liveworld’s threads. There is here, there is our forum, there is Steve’s forum, and a dozen others.

  28. Firstly in response to Jimbo (post 28) this temporary suspension has no impact on the normal vzaar service. We are open as always. It just merely stops us from selling bits and bobs on the side through eBay that we have done in the past for charity. We are eBay nuts after all!

    I also want to point out that we are quite happy to sit and take our medicine in this instance. Whilst I’ll be certainly ensuring that we pack items to an even higher standard than before, we fell foul of the current rules (however draconian) and so will wait our 30 days.

    To Mark’s posts (32 & 33) we are not trying to leverage anything from this and do not want to be the face of this case as I hope I made clear above. We shared our negs with Biddy last week, chuckled at our misfortune as ex staff members, and then it became apparent that there were a lot of edge cases out there. To that end we were happy to share our experience to date in order to support Tamebay’s article. But we will not in any way seek to leverage our relations at eBay to change what has happened to date.

  29. *groans* Last thing we need is negative publicity from Watchdog et al to tell buyers to neg us with impunity to get us kicked off eBay 🙁

  30. I never suspected that Vzaar would try to use their connections for this error on Ebays part.

    But it would not surprise me if Ebay reversed the decision in this instance to avoid the negative publicity this is bound to get.

    The whole situation has become ludicrous now.

    You reap what you sow and all that, I suspect some reaping on Ebays part is about to start sadly.


  31. @#36 vzaar jamie

    I guess its ok for you Jamie, as you said, it “just merely stops us from selling bits and bobs on the side through eBay that we have done in the past for charity”

    its different for others though, not that you being an ex pink or whatever would endear you to that, eh

  32. I totally rely on ebay for my living and my mortgage payments, and my familys food. My 5 staff members also rely on me to run this business, for their families and bills etc etc. I have been on ebay for over 5 years now.

    We’re 98% good at our job – which is probably unparelled in any industry.

    Broadband provider Virgin.net came top, with 85% of its customers expressing satisfaction.

    The survey placed Telewest second with 83% and Tiscali third with 80%.

    Tiscali came top of the home phone providers with a customer satisfaction rating of 81%.

    Both TalkTalk and Telewest achieved an 80% rating, followed by BT at 72% and ntl at 70%.

    I’m 98% percent!!!! I’m tons better at my job than BT!!

    This week we have had two ids pulled, for seller non-performance.

    They were both 98% plus positive feedback, since the 30 day average started & the neg free for all began, one dropped to 96.8% – still not quite sure how this is calculated, i couldnt get to this displayed figure, and we have had a neutral and 2 mad negs…this is one of our smaller accounts…

    Our negs were for someone who didnt want to pay postage, and someone else who gave us an incorrect address so the courier could not deliver. To my mind my staff and I did nothing wrong, simply couldn’t do any better.

    We’ve been taken off for non performance and told to improve our feedback in the next 30 days or we stay off. How exactly do we improve our service if we can’t sell anything.

    Ebay – Fix the system. Immediately. I would prefer to keep my house and not have to sack people.
    Ebay – with no sellers there are no buyers.

  33. @Whirly I’m quite open to people expressing their anger/frustration etc, but I have to say Watchdog are the last people who have ever done eBay sellers any favours and I can’t see that changing just because it’s sellers complaining this time instead of buyers 🙁

    Sadly I think Watchdog would do little to help, and just make a lot of other things a lot worse 😯

  34. Woohoo – I am now officially “on the edge”/ borderline dolphin!!!

    Despite having over 200 sales in the last 30 days, earning a FVF discount for the last 2 months, I have not been receiving as much feedback from buyers as in the past (around 30% of sales have resulted in feedback at the moment) but I have received 2 neutrals, along with 72 positives in the last 30 days. – one of the neutrals even states “Despatched quickly and no problems with seller!”

    It has been now been confirmed by PS Support that I am only 1 non-positive comment or one INR claim from being restricted.

    I’m a such a bad seller!!

  35. Here here Keith.
    I cannot see anyone who has been restricted or suspended being quite so ‘understanding’.

    ‘Grow your business on eBay’

    Unless of course you fall foul of a statistical inevitability.

  36. ebay no doubt will be delighted to co-operate with watchdog and working lunch, the press etal
    what an advert
    for the new ebay

    If I were a buyer, it would certainly make me feel more confident when buying

  37. vzaar Jamie I didn’t imagine that it would impact the service as such, I was thinking more along the lines that having an active eBay ID in good standing brought some benefit to vzaar in terms of good PR. 🙂

  38. Is also borderline I have had a neut, fair comment but no contact first. Still waiting for a neg from a Naru seller to be removed.
    It is getting scary now and I dont know if the money I am making is worth the hassle anymore.
    Will be doing some serious thinking this weekend.

  39. Chris, you can’t stop people wanting to vent there anger, whilst I agree with you its inevitable that this will reach the press, many of us wouldn’t have know about Jamie’s account suspension unless Tamebay brought it to our attention, I like many others are certainly glad you and Sue posted such a quality article.

    Good response Jamie.

    Just reading that BBC Working Lunch are wanting to speak to affected sellers.

  40. The penny has dropped finally 🙂 god I’m so slow lol

    I have left 50+ positive feedbacks so far this month, goods have a value of £10k+ , I’ve paid eBay at least a grand for the same period.

    I have received only 21 positive feedbacks so far this month, most of which are items from April (our buyers tend to leave feedback once the bath is installed) my 30 day DSR is 5,4.9,4.8,4.8 but if one person leaves me a negative I will be suspended.

    Nice place to trade ain’t it.

    Forgot to mention as well, more Positive feedbacks are dropping off the 12 month period than are coming in, so another problem to tackle.

  41. I have just contact the Federation of Small business FSB & an officer will be taking it up at with there National Policy Chairman in a meeting shortly !

    I would very much like to hear from seller particularly where the small business are being blantenly being discriminating

    PS Is anyone else an FSB member I would advise contacting your Regional Officer ASAP.


  42. Probably Chris, but the sellers suspended have little chance of reinstatement, what tools do they have, I mean they can’t even see who has bought what…how the hell are they susposed to lift the ban by improving there service levels??

    Bad press is inevitable.

  43. Richard from Ebay, Post #24,

    While you express that you “can understand the unease about individual seller cases”, do you actually comprehend that for some of these individuals, who you so thoughtfully refer to as “edge cases”, you are interfering with their livelihoods?

    Oh dear, you earn your livelihood from Ebay, I hope that this “non positive” comment doesn’t mean that you will not be paid this month…..

    Think about it, Kevin

  44. whooo hoooooo..

    Ebay are well on their way to making the venue unlike anything you have known before – as they promised.

    Neutrals = negatives
    Good sellers = bad sellers
    Less sellers = good for business

    Genius! Well done ebay.

  45. Richard is an ignorant, arrogant excuse for a spokesman.

    He always has been.

    Ebay have signed their death warrant with these stupid policies.

    The bad sellers continue because of their high amount of feedback, the good sellers get kicked off because of one neutral.

    And Ebay still states in their help pages that neutral has no effect on a sellers rating. Along with the gloating emails sent to people telling them to neg sellers with honesty because sellers can’t respond.

    No-one is ever going to buy new goods from ebay – it was an attractive site because of the variety of stuff.

    If I went electrical I go to Curry’s or Comet – I don’t buy it from Ebay.

  46. kate I am not doing Richards job for him
    but may be because you and others go to Currys or Comet is why ebay are doing this,

    though I am certain he can more than stand his own ground,
    on a personal basis I welcome Richard from ebays posts and insights into the workings of ebay,
    I also often find myself agreeing with him more than an ebay seller should

  47. Dear oh Dear oh Dear (*sighs)

    I am sat here reading all this with greater pessimism by the day

    . It says here above the form that you use to post here…………… “speak your mind”……

    ……………well, as sad is it is, despite there being the occasional person who comes along and says “ebay is “A” ok, no problems here, everything normal, nothing to see here, move along……………..” (and so on), this is me speaking my mind.

    “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!” (*Screams out loud at top of voice and frightens the kids)

    That;s about all i can say really.


    …oh and ebay wont change, in fact I would sum ebay up in one (*more polite than usual word), “change”, thats about all you can really count on now.

    (*Sits down and prays that Google will open up a rival action venue)………….

  48. I can see the feedback changes having the opposite effect on buyers,

    ebay think it will make good sellers stand out, all I think it will do is make the standard of sellers look poor to buyers, they are used to seeing 100%, 99.9% etc etc,

    some good sellers are now at 97% etc etc,

    sellers in general now look worse

  49. I just got suspended. I have 300+ positive of extremely high value items and 1 negative from a buyer who was frankly, a crackpot buying a low value item from me! I then resold the same item and recieved delighted feedback for it. All the proof i need the original buyer was a crank. Ebay SUCKS. And as for playing judge, jury and executioner with me, they can go to hell; I’ll never as long as i live put another penny in their arrogant coffers.

  50. Bingowings, i TOTALLY agree with you mate….i WISH we could all go to another GOOD auction site, and ebay could go to hell……oh well, wishful thinking.

  51. I had a paypal dispute over non recipt of goods.
    Ebay when they 2st suspended us, removed ALL buyers that had bought from us in the days before… EVERYTHING wnt. No details of buyer/ amounts/item # etc.

    What to do???………….. only wait for the buyer to contact us… When they did we explained the situation & sent the item immediatly (all the way to Australia). That buyer cannot leave a+ or – as the sale does not tecnically exist.
    Oh, and the buyer never closed the dispute….even though they assumably received the item (NOT heard since).. Paypal closed the dispute as out of time..

    Thanks Ebay… You just make things worse & worse.

  52. As a potential edge case, dolphin who could suffer from collateral damage at any time. I’m living on the edge.

    I can’t improve my performance to a higher standard than it is. I have one outstanding sale for which feedback hasn’t been left. I’m praying that it’s not ‘non positive’, in fact I’m almost praying the buyer doesn’t leave any.

    On one thread, Richard openly said to an edge case, ‘you have one dissatisfied customer out of 20, it’s not good enough’. The arrogant (insert any sweary word you like here).

    Wonder what he will think of me with only 3 +FB this month if the next one is a ‘non positive’.

  53. I think the one size fits all theory is the fault
    we have another ID that lets out a holiday chalet it can only possibly
    get 5 feedback in 30days as it lists only 5 items a month even if it sells all 5 , one neg and a neutral and its stuffed

  54. There have been more UK suspensions in the last couple weeks than I’ve ever seen. ebay seems to focus on one subject or area at a time.
    Ebay closes accounts daily with ambiguous or no reason, they will shut down your home business without giving you a chance for any explanation or defense, no notices, nothing. It takes a lot of work and proof to get back on and get back to business, if you can get back to your home business. It is very easy to violate an eBay listing policy guideline without knowing it, the first you will learn about it is when you receive an email from eBay or when you notice all of your auctions are gone, a sinking feeling you will never forget. If you get suspended or not take a look at this site. It has good information on this. https://suspended-from-ebay.com/

  55. Evening everyone,

    I wanted to add some further comments on SNP enforcement.

    Improving site safety is our number one priority, and in consequence we have significantly toughened up our seller standards. Improving eBay’s site safety isn’t just a question of targeting a tiny minority of fraudsters; just as many buyers leave eBay because of the cumulative effect of disappointing service as leave because of being victims of fraud. So we have to set up seller standards that are designed to increase levels of seller service as well as simply targeting fraud.

    We’re very aware of how much heat and reaction this change is creating. We have, as I said, significantly toughened up our seller standards, and there is bound to be a reaction to that. Although the number of sellers who are restricted or suspended has increased significantly following this move, it is still only a tiny minority of all sellers who are being sanctioned. And, as I posted above, the great majority of these sellers were open-and-shut cases of poor service, not the edge-cases that are appearing on the boards and here.

    We care very much about the livelihoods of our sellers. We’re very proud that the eBay marketplace supports so many people and their businesses, and aware of our responsibility to them. However, we are also aiming to deliver radical improvements to the safety of the marketplace this year, to ensure that we keep the large number of regular buyers visiting and buying from eBay sellers. This is how we can most responsibly protect the long-term businesses of the great majority of eBay sellers.

    This requires us to move harder against underperforming sellers, and inevitably there are some sellers whose underperformance may only be marginal who are affected. I repeat, scant consolation to them though it will be, that they are a minority and not typical of the general pattern of affected sellers.

    As I mentioned, we’re looking very closely at these marginal cases to identify where the programme can be improved without compromising our goal of improving the safety of the marketplace.


    PS There were two specific comments that I wanted to address:

    #59 – it isn’t possible to be suspended for a single negative. The new programme may be harsh, but it’s not that harsh.

    #63 – this quote is out of context – I was referring to a rate of 1 in 20 dissatisfied buyers, not to someone who had 20 transactions and a single dissatisfied customer. I would reiterate that any business that disappoints 1 customer in 20 isn’t sustainable on eBay or anywhere else.

    PPS For the avoidance of confusion, I’m Richard from eBay UK, not Richard Brewer-Hay the eBay blogger in the US.

  56. Notice how the eBay rep said absolutely nothing about addressing the issue of sellers who are being unfairly suspended?

    Q: How does eBay have any idea whatsoever whether the consumers it is targeting for removal are “poor sellers”?

    A: Clearly, it doesn’t.

    It’s the fact that when this is pointed out to them, they could not care less that speaks volumes about the decline in what used to be a viable ecommerce site. It calls these people dolphins? Nice talk, coming from a dinosaur (and we all know what happened to them).

    I’m an active online buyer, yet I don’t even bother searching eBay anymore. As long as it refuses to verify members at signup, it isn’t serious about addressing the fraud that permeates the place.

    Getting rid of established sellers because of unverified and possibly fabricated feedback is disruptive but by no means innovative. It’s simply bizarre, and does nothing to reassure me (and every other buyer I know who has abandoned eBay) that it’s a safe place to shop.

  57. “it isn’t possible to be suspended for a single negative. The new programme may be harsh, but it’s not that harsh.”

    What about if a single buyer leaves a negative, opens an INR/SNAD, and leaves 1s or 2s on all 4 DSRS just because they can?

    Under the new rules, doesn’t that lone buyer then count as 3 unique buyers–thus making your assertion re: the bots moot? It may not be a single negative, but it is SINGLE BUYER.

  58. @ Richard from Ebay

    You have said: “it isn’t possible to be suspended for a single negative. The new programme may be harsh, but it’s not that harsh.”

    However, the Vzaar case seems to suggest that damage to a single package containing multiple items for one buyer can cause suspension, or am I reading that situation wrongly?


  59. What about the unjust negs and neuts. They do happen!. And are more frequent depending on the product sold.

    When is the human eliment going to kick in regarding SNP?
    When will you press the button too free the dolphins?
    Where is the feedback hub?

    This is wrong , All wrong….

  60. #66, Richard,

    “I would reiterate that any business that disappoints 1 customer in 20 isn’t sustainable on eBay or anywhere else.”


    Only 72% of customers are happy with BT’s service (that’s more than 5 in 20 who are not happy).

    NTL = 70% customer satisfaction (that’s 6 out of 20)

    I would dare you to run a poll for eBay customers (sellers) and ask them if they’re happy with eBay’s service. How many out of 20 would be happy? Certainly less than 50% I would guess.

    You’re talking nonsense mate. Companies with diabolical customer service still trade and still survive. The companies that are big enough and have no real competition are the worst offenders as they know they can treat everyone like dirt and still make millions. eBay is a prime example of this. Paypal are as bad. Just look at Royal Mail. Year after year of poor service and rocketing prices but they’re still number one because there’s no alternative.

    These are facts, not some dreamed up argument.

    To a degree, the big eBay sellers can take the hits in their stride and drive out smaller competing sellers by selling items cheaper (thanks to their 40% fee discount) but the little men are all quaking in their boots and I’m one of them.

    The next big change is enforced P&P prices set by eBay (already happening on eBay.de). This will be yet another money making farce.

    Although I would lose my 2nd income I would actually rejoice if eBay took a big hit and committed suicide. The company that would take its place would know from the outset to look after its sellers or bite the dust.

  61. #59 – it isn’t possible to be suspended for a single negative. The new programme may be harsh, but it’s not that harsh.

    Richard. I’ll save your post because I may have to quote it back to you.

    I have 3 pos feedback left for me in the last 30 days. If I get one non positive I will have 25% dissatisfaction rate. Do you seriously expect me to believe that I won’t be restricted.

    You said it.

  62. Richard… as usual you speak lots but really say nothing … you always avoid the real questions and the real problems … main question was what is ebay doing RIGHT NOW to address the ‘borderline dolphins’ who have been suspended … those people who have spent years building up their businesses and rely SOLEY on ebay to pay their mortages, their cars, feed their families and pay their staff? … you never answered that!!!… many high volume sellers have people in their employ to handle packing and general office duties ….What are you doing to address these problems right now??!! … absolutely nothing! … 30 days with no income??

    Richard, imagine your boss comes to you and says … fart once in building and you will be sent home for 30 days with no pay, and he says if I smell fart anywhere near you office, even if you did not fart and it was someone else … you will be docked and sent home for 30 days with no pay … no excuses and you cannot appeal …how would you react? that is how ebay sellers are feeling … too scared to sell and begging for pos feedback! …

    Brian Burke (director of ebay global feedback policy) recently stated:Personally, I am surprised that neutral feedback has been calculated. To me, the word neutral itself means “not causing or reflecting a change in something”. In the case of feedback on the auction Web site, it would seem that eBay is actually using the word neutral to mean “slightly negative …

    Why did ebay not have the feedback hub in place before the suspensions? … Why did ebay change the suspension rules from 90 days to 30 days without prior warning? … Did you not say in a recent post on a forum that ebay buyers don’t really know how to use the DSR rating system properly? …Why does ebay still keep the neutral feedback which counts as a negative? … Why does a buyer rate 4 stars on a DSR when it tells him it means good, yet ebay sees it as bad and lowers visibility? … the list goes on and on!

    I have a lot more to say, but will leave it at that …however, one more statement … Richard you need to be more active on the ebay forum boards and answer the questions … peoples livelyhoods are at stake … you have a big responsibility on your shoulders! … I personally don’t think thay you are doing your job properly! …

    [Editor adds The quote attributed to Brian Burke in this comment was not said by Mr Burke, but by someone else commenting on eBay’s feedback changes. Please see #109 and #114 below.]

  63. We’ve all encountered “those” who seem disconnected with reality… aka “the real world”. Only those closely associated with eBay continue to persist in claiming the strike had no affect but this farcical claim, which no amount of repitition from employees will make legitimate, has been proven, REPEATEDLY AND REPEATEDLY, untrue. The listings were padded. Ebay stock is at a low not seen since 2001. Recovery to the stock is nowhere to be seen.

    Other auction sites are RAPIDLY gaining ground. Most of the oldtimers who help to grow eBay in the first place, sickened at what they see, have left to other arenas. This in and of itself should be a tremendous red light flashing the warning. And guess what, they have the experience, knowledge, and proven perserverance that can grow other sites! Mega PowerSellers are leaving as well, those selling millions. Why is this?

    Ebay is no longer an autonomous behemoth. Youtube and MySpace have leveled the cyber world and it is ALL over. Rallies can be called worldwide, word to the world CAN and HAS been spread! The complete alterations effected by eBay are idiotic beyond belief. And sadly, the powers that be just arent getting it.
    I have heard it said that eBay never backs down once decisions are made and implimented. Sooner or later, such ideology receives its death knell. I believe we are hearing it ring now.

    I cannot believe the stockholders will so passively allow this to proceed. Even the removal of Donahue is not far, far too late. Once stabbed so ably in the back, how can seller trust ever be regained? Even the buyers are sickened by the stench.

    The eBay site is beginning to feel like a graveyard. I cannot even imagine what June will be like.

  64. We have had our suspension notice today.

    Platinum Powerseller – £65,876 over the last 90 days. ~£260,000 in the last 12 months.

    We are a low volume, high value business.

    91 Feedback in the last 30 days
    3 Neutral
    1 Negative
    1 INR Dispute

    All DSRs 4.8 to 4.6.

    We’ve hit the discount every month so far (35%).

    We have had our first premises move (going from home into a 3,000 Sq. Ft. unit) and kept all customers up to date and offered refunds to EVERYONE because of the delay in dispatching orders. Obviously a few customers didn’t like it (which is totally fair enough!) and left us damaging feedback. The move took a week and all customers did receive their items within 7 days.

    It’s just bad timing that all the policies have come into force at once and with eBay tempting customers to leave neutral/negative feedback we’ve been hit badly.

    Although, on the plus side I do feel a bit of relief that the pressure from eBay is over and I’m so glad that we started Adwords and launched our website 3 months ago. We have now loaded up £2000 onto our Google account to see how it works out over the next 30 days. We’ve given eBay & Paypal ~£20000 in fees over the last 12 months and I’m sure Google will be happy to take it off our hands! Also took PayPal as a payment option off from our website.

    Even when/if eBay reinstate us, I doubt that we will be back, we’ve stuck two imaginary dolphin fingers up to the eBay fishing boat and swam to the safe haven of the deep blue sea. I’ve never known or heard about Google turning down any money and from what I’ve seen so far they actually want to help you build your business as they realise it’s a mutual benefit.

    I hope any suspended seller will seriously think about a website and adwords over the next 30 days and make the most of the time you have without the hassle of eBay, you’ll look back on the suspension and laugh! Sit back and relax for an hour and brainstorm ideas to make your website work, I bet you’ll be getting up buzzing tomorrow (or even not go sleep!).



  65. @ Richard Ambrose (not Richard Brewer-Hay)

    Your claim that no business ‘that disappoints 1 customer in 20 isn’t sustainable on eBay or anywhere else’ is the biggest load of nonsense I’ve read from you today and that’s going some.

    Why not put your money where your mouth is if you think ebay is doing better than that? Why don’t you put a poll up in the PowerSeller portal asking what sellers think of ebay? You’d be bloody lucky to have 1 in 20 satisfied customers I’d guess.

    But you lot still keep going don’t you?

    God help us all!

  66. Steve,

    Congratulations my friend. I hope there are more and more of us that gain the courage to do the same soon. It is the only way. I am smaller fry compared to you (£15K over 90 days and a Silver Powerseller). We work from home and employ no staff. I also have a full time job elsewhere. The eBay/Paypal monster currently get around £700 a month from us in fees and I’m thinking of all the online advertising I could do with that money. We do have a website of our own but it only generates 13% of our total sales at present. I need to get it really moving so I can escape from the monster’s clutches. You’ve given me hope. Many thanks.

    Richard, are you listening yet mate? eBay shares in decline… Powersellers shutting shop… just when is it all going to sink in?

  67. Why is Richard spending time answering questions here on Tamebay when the numerous questions being posed to him on the eBay Q&A board remain largely unnaddressed and unanswered? When he does deign to post there it’s to repeat the same old nonsense, make sarcastic comments and ultimately totally avoid the main issues.

    Dreadful behaviour.

  68. We are ANOTHER Platinum powerseller aiming to get off ebay ASAP and sell off our own websites.

    We’ve spent around 8K a month in fee’s for the last few years, and do not deserved to be treated like criminals for having a 98% customer satisfaction rate.

    I sympathise with everyone who’s business is at risk due to this crazy new policy, not thought out properly, and it simply DOES NOT WORK.

    On one suspended ID we did not have a negative for the last 7 months, then we got 2 in the space of a week, off complete morons, and ebay boots us off. Even when we met all the DSR targets the month before!!

    Soon enough ( I would estimate less than 12 months?) there will be nothing much left on ebay for anyone to buy, as hopefully all of the powersellers will have moved on to pastures new and left ebay to die a slow horrible death!!

  69. Good luck Steve and Mark.

    Steve, your post has us discussing the ‘what if we put our ebay fees into Adwords…’
    because the ROI with Adwords is much higher than with ebay – for us anyway.

    By the way, what does your shopfront look like when you’re suspended? Does it look like business as usual with no listings or are ebay plastering the shopfront with their garb? And if you have an ebay shop do you still get charged for the month you’re suspended?

  70. Andy #82 – from the ones I looked at yesterday, it looks like an ordinary but empty shop. There’s no apparent indication that the seller is suspended.

  71. Sue#83 – so after 30 days are you reinstated or do you have to have improved to acceptable levels? And how do you improve if you’re suspended? Maybe Richard from ebay can answer that one if relevant? (I assume you’re watching Richard because as my lovely wife says you can’t be sleeping at the moment with this going on!)

    PS. For Richard @ ebay – are fees refunded for all listings pulled when a seller is suspended? And does that mean CLD today is pretty pointless if you’re on the borderline of suspension?

  72. Thanks guys! It means alot.

    To be honest though I know we’re in a bit of a better situation than some sellers and I really do truly sympthaise with sellers that have no website or other sources of income. We’ve been keeping our eggs in one basket (eBay) for a couple years now until we got the website a few months ago.

    Since eBay announced the changes we got stuck right in to exploring other avenues of income and it’s paid off bigtime. If we didn’t plan ahead then I would be having a trouser changing moment every hour!

    Please, please, please, if any of you are worried about getting suspended now or in the near future, make plans now and start implementing them one step at a time, everyday that goes past in one day that you could’ve been on your way to making your OWN rules and making decisions like the proper businessmen/women we all are! Even if you don’t think you’ll get suspended do it anyway, eBay isn’t the be all and end all!

    #78 (Jamie), you’re well on your way with 13% of your turnover coming from the website, the trick is to implement things daily that will increase that 1% at a time and before you know it you’ll be getting 50% of your turnover through your website. These are a few things that I would recommend:

    Adwords!!! This has been the life saver. Keywords are the key to start with, long tail (3 or 4 words minimum) on broad match. This way you’ll know you’ll get targetted traffic. You need to be laser guided with your keywords, avoid 1 or 2 word phrases to start with. Have a seperate ad targetted to each ‘group’ of keywords, this will increase your CTR (click through ratio) so you can lower your CPC (cost per click) in the future. (Give me your email address if you want to know more!, I’ll help anyone the best I can).

    Get a payment processor (other than PayPal) for your website, if you’ve got a website then customers are used to paying by card. I would reccomend a Nochex Merchant Account, it’s setup within a day and it’s fully secure so you don’t need a stand-alone SSL certificate.

    Have a landline number displayed in the top right corner of the page, you can now get VOIP landline numbers for a very low cost (I’m with Skype). I have an 0208 number which customers can call me on and the customer wouldn’t know it’s Skype, just a normal number. Even if you’re too busy to answer phones set it to voicemail through the Skype software and ring them back at a convenient time (with Skype landline calls are free!). Having a landline number is much better than having none at all, even if you can’t answer them straight away.

    Advertise anywhere you can! I would advertise on toilet paper if I could! Definately include a compliment slip with all your eBay orders with your website address on (maybe offering them a 5-10% discount through the website for future orders). Cost is about £100 for 5000 full colour glossy compliment slips. You will get this investment back within a couple weeks. It takes 2 seconds to slip one into a parcel and you’ll get rewarded!

    Any related forums/message boards is an ideal place to advertise, aswell as promoting your business and Google will look on your favourably for having your links around the web. (Don’t do it ‘spam’ style though), take a bit of time to get to know your customer base on forums and they will appreciate it more.

    Link building! Very basic here but this is good to start, type in Google what you’re business is about, this is an example:

    car parts “add a link”


    car parts “send a link”


    car parts “add your website”

    This will bring up websites related to car parts with link adding facilities, make sure you put the ‘add a link in’ in quotes (“”) though, doing that makes sure they do have a link adding facility. Those are just examples but I’m sure you’ll get the meaning of it.

    I’ve got loads more ideas and tips and I’d be happy to share them with everyone to get you on your way! I’m sure all those things will be old hat to most people but I hope it gives some ideas to get your brain working!



  73. Andy#82 – ebay shops that are suspended look a very sad sight 🙁

    All the shop is there like normal, just no active listings. Like a real shop with the shutters pulled down by ebay.

    majority of these people have done nothing wrong at all, looking at their feedback it is nearly statistically perfect.

    It really is out of order for ebay to potentially put so many smaller firms out of business.

    Will someone please send ebay a dictionary so they can look up the term NEUTRAL!!!!!

    on our suspended account we recieved refunds for the items removed. Our feedback percentage now is 97.7%. We have no outstanding feedback to come. So how do we get back up to 98% if we cant sell anything??

  74. Andy: I *believe* (based on what Gareth posted in the forum) that you have to improve to an acceptable level. However, assuming that you get no more negs/neuts over the 30 days you’re suspended, the previous bad feedback will have rolled out of the 30 day calculation, so you are likely to be okay. But if you do get any more non-positive feedback, you’re not in a position to trade your way to more positives, so you can probably kiss your account goodbye.

  75. “This requires us to move harder against underperforming sellers, and inevitably there are some sellers whose underperformance may only be marginal who are affected. I repeat, scant consolation to them though it will be, that they are a minority and not typical of the general pattern of affected sellers.”

    Not good enough, simply and utterly not good enough. You are messing with people’s livelihoods based on a system that is opinionated. Go back to the 90 day system until you have in place the facilities to address, quickly those who are “edge caases”. How on earth you can even try and justify the damage you’re doing is absurd. Unfair feedback is getting people suspended, however ebay won’t look into unfair feedback.

    Get your head out of the sand, you sir, are underperforming massively.

  76. I started selling/buying with ebay in 1999 and up until the latest changes enjoyed every minute.

    The recent changes are a complete and utter joke and have left it open for all the idiots and scammers to have a field day. Like many others I am winding down my account and have already opened shops with other auction sites.

    The old saying of ‘If its not broke, don’t fix it’ comes to mind.

  77. oh and I would def be interested in an ebay customer (seller) satisfaction poll. Let’s see how they feel when they know their score!!

    Surely somone could set up a webpage called rateebay.com or whatever and all powersellers could vote on it, and it would work out a big percentage in the middle of the screen that we could all see.

  78. About time I made a comment – I’m a small time seller who is doing no more than clear the loft following its conversion but now I am in a situation where I dare not list for fear of negative feedback resulting in a suspended account. I am in no sense a bad seller and aim just to clear some space but have decided to do that using ebid and would encourage others to do likewise. I don’t like making personal comments but the explanation offered by Richard is insulting and insensitive – he claims to care about the people making a living selling on ebay and then refers to marginal cases as “dolphins caught in the net” nice one Richard, that’s allright then.

    People are up in arms over this (read the ebay board) and I truly believe that ebay don’t care – Richard says that things may be reviewed to lessen the impact on what he unbelievably refers to as dolphins but no action is taken, he promises a “hub” for sellers (whwtever that is) but no action is taken and to top it all off he makes smug statements that just about make my blood boil.

    I don’t want to continue with a site that will potentially cause me so much angst and I believe others feel the same – the power is in our hands but we are a disperate group of people and we have no way of organising a realistic process but I truly believe that the only way to get ebay to listen is to stop using the site in enough numbers to hot them sufficiently hard to force them to change these ridiculous policies, what we have now is an organisation that refuses to answer very real concerns from thier customers and has been commented on during this discussion if they were measured by feedback from there customers and traded on ebay they would have been kicked off the site well before now

    And finally, to Richard – if you read this please listen to your customers, the sellers, they are being hurt by these changes and it appears as though you just don’t care

  79. It’s plain that ebay are not listening to it’s paying customers. They aren’t going to change tack, reverse, alter or apologise. My ebay shop is now closed for the first time in 3.5yrs and all listings have ended.
    This was my first and longest serving selling id and instead of feeling sad at the closing, I was relieved.

  80. For those who are based in the Uk and who sell antiques and collectables … If it’s too much hassle to set up your own website, have a look at http://www.rubylane.com … you can srt up shop there … not too expensive… very professional … I have spoken to other shop owners based in the UK , and they say what used to sell for £120 on ebay fetches £400 on rubylane … when you search for something on google, ruby lane ranks high

  81. Mark #90 – I think the problem with an eBay satisfaction survey would be that happy sellers don’t hang out on eBay forums so much as unhappy ones, so just by that fact, you skew the results. Plus of course, if we run a survey that shows that eBay sellers are only a tiny percent happy with the site, what will that achieve? It won’t give people their income back when they’ve been suspended, and it won’t change eBay’s mind about anything.

    We can do it for laugh if you want, but that really would be all it would be good for.

    BTW, can I encourage everyone to go to http://www.gravatar.com and sign up for an avatar picture to go on your comments (not only for TameBay; they work on many, many sites). We have a lot of people with matching names, and it’d be great to know who’s who 🙂

  82. northumbrian on May 29th, 2008 3:45 pm kate I am not doing Richards job for him
    but may be because you and others go to Currys or Comet is why ebay are doing this,

    though I am certain he can more than stand his own ground,
    on a personal basis I welcome Richard from ebays posts and insights into the workings of ebay,
    I also often find myself agreeing with him more than an ebay seller should

    Did you deliberately misunderstand ? I guess so.

    What ebay is about is the things you can buy there which you cannot find anywhere else.

    It is not about buying high end new goods.

    End of story.

    If you really think Richard’s posts are about the workings of ebay then you need help. Seriously.

  83. #92 ah, I wondered where you’d gone 🙁 . Mine is holidayed at the mo, I share your sense of relief though.

  84. #86


    Thank you so much for your advice. In that short post you have really opened my eyes to what could be possible. I did try Adwords once but ended up paying out money for no return. I think I must have gone the wrong way about it and need to target very specific audiences with key phrases like you suggested. I will have another go and see what happens.

    We already insert flyers into all our packages. Customers get the same items for the same price but with completely free delivery if they order from our website. So that is definitely a good incentive for them to avoid eBay.

    Your idea about searching for sites willing to add links is superb. I can’t believe I never thought of that. I have also been on forums spreading the word (gently… without spamming).

    I simply do not have the time to use the telephone to talk with customers which is a shame. Like I said earlier, I am also fully employed elsewhere doing 12 hour shifts. I am trying to build up a business so I can get away from eBay and also from my shift work. I need to knuckle down and get it moving quicker I think.

    Anyway, I think I am filling this post with info that is becoming irrelevant to the main topic here on Tamebay so I’ll quit for now. If you do have a spare second I would be delighted to hear a few more words of advice by email but please don’t feel obliged to as I know how valuable time must be for you right now. Should you choose to contact me you can get me at: [email protected].

    Many thanks again. No thanks to eBay.

  85. why just stick to ebay try ebid.net ok you may not make a killing but every sale counts towards profit margins and can be used whilst setting up your own site

  86. viva le adwords – started making money on adwords. took my most profitable ebay listings and turned them in to web sites. good buy fvf.

    i am no way affiliated to this web site but if you’re getting in to adwords and internet marketing then visit edrivis.com. he’s in the uk and there’s loads of free and valuable stuff.

  87. To Richard A (from eBay UK)

    Quote “#59 – it isn’t possible to be suspended for a single negative. The new programme may be harsh, but it’s not that harsh.”

    So i am now suspended and a liar? You clearly have no clue what is happening within your organisation. I have ONLY ONE NEGATIVE and ONE NEUTRAL in my ENTIRE TIME on Ebay and I AM very much suspended. the biggest insult is that i, along with everyone else here, have for years sustained the moronic institution that pays your salary! Look after the buyers? Thats what we are, we are Ebay’s buyers! We have bought your services, paid HUGE fees, made Ebay and Paypal digustingly wealthy, and been ROYALLY ROGERED by way of thanks!

    I hope Ebay implodes in a disgusting fireball of greed and apathy, and that you sir go with it – you are a clearly a moron!

  88. Tried ebid for 6 months without one single sale.

    I would, however, love to see ebid take off but it’s unlikely. Even if they did, eBay would just buy them and disband them.

    The only companies that could challenge eBay successfully are those that can resist being bought out. Examples include Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple etc. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if eBay and certain companies had a sort of “gentleman’s” agreement to keep off each others toes. That could be the reason why we still haven’t seen a credible alternative yet.

  89. Richard – you admit the new regime is harsh – think before you type. I’ll get the rope.

    harsh (dictionary definition);
    1. severe and difficult to cope with:
    2. unkind and showing no understanding:

    About sums it up. How much do you get paid and are there any jobs going?

  90. why is a neutral counted 0.667 and not 0.5? who decides that when a buyer leaves a neutral it is classed as more negative than positive? surely a neutral is just that and sits in the middle.

    if i have 16 pos fb in 30 days and receive one neg then my snp is 6.25% above the magic 5% and I am suspended. never had a neg in over 400 sales and one neg and I am a gonner.

    Your right Richard (can I call you Dick) it is harsh.

  91. Why is it that for years people have been crying about ebay needing to do something about bad sellers yet when they do people start crying about it?

    If you can’t handle the heat get out the kitchen, And if you can’t look after your customers then get off the site, and go amd wallow in self pity blaming ebay, your buyers, the postman, god, anyone but yourselves.

  92. #105 – strikebreaker
    Were you just born last night? Everyone on this forum are amongst the most brilliant savy business owners in the world so do not tell us how to run a business. The ISSUEs we have with ebay are countless, ranging from unfair neutral to newbie buyer to your competitors just gaming the system. YOU SH!@ have no IDEA how easy it is to kill off a business with the current system striker. Since every transaction carries the same fkn weight, a penny transaction with neg can just kill someone business and lifetime dream/goal!
    There is no protection against them. Block Bidder LIST? EASY LOOPHOLE! just change your ID name and come back and purchase multiple pennies product and you can simply Burn down whoever business you like. YES, it’s that simple……MY GOD you are an idiot sir. Think before you speak.

  93. H #73,
    The quote you have attributed to Brian Burke, is actually the personal comment of the blog’s author AFTER they finished quoting Brian Burke. I was surprised that Brian Burke would have said that and Googled your quote.

    Mr Burke believes in fact, that neutrals are not being treated as negatives, only that positive feedbacks are being counted. He simply considers that neutrals are “non positives”. This overlooks that neutrals are having the exact same impact on a seller’s rating as negatives for the first 12 months after they are left, even when the neutral praises the seller while criticising the postal service. Unless neutrals are individually appraised the system that has now evolved is seriously flawed, particularly as it is currently being applied to UK sellers.

    Kind Regards, Kevin

  94. I would like to see richard explain exactly how a seller is supposed to improve their account standing.

    bearing in mind that the seller cannot sell, cannot do MFWs, has no access to phone support or the fabled Feedback hub.

    Ebay is backing the seller into a corner and not giving them a way out.

    Smaller sellers will be lucky and after 30 days of receiving no feedback the bad ratings will move out of the calculation range.

    That is all very well but I am willing to bet Richard would not like a months leave without pay.

    As someone has already said, this is just plain wrong, by all means force sellers to improve, but you must give them the opportunity do so , not just tell them to go sit in the naughty corner for a month!

  95. there is something just not right with this system
    when long term sellers such as I fear the The Sword of Damocles,
    too much at once, too many changes ,and too severe ,

  96. Ignore SD – he’s a multi- id troll from the ebay Question and Answer board.

    He spends his sad little life making more and more ids all with SD in them and getting them all suspended.

  97. I can usually find the rationale behind eBay’s decision, but this one does seem rather ill thought out. This must be the first time that I am somewhat chary of whether we will have enforced holidays from time to time.

    It is almost as though eBay are trying to wipe the slate completely clean, and then start again with new sellers… 🙁

  98. why the full 30days, why not 7days first , why the instant suspension why not some other restriction such as a demotion in search ,or a loss of discount first

  99. Well it has certainly made me open my eyes and at long last accept that it is the height of folly to use eBay as your only selling outlet.

    Since I started my eBay break (from choice not suspension !) I have had several emails from buyers asking why I have stopped selling but more interestingly they have asked for my website address. Well silly me I haven’t got one but rest assured I willl have soon.

  100. We are, as I type, setting up our own website.

    Ebay is no longer viable long term.

    We are a Gold Powerseller that pays £900.00 a month in fees.

    We do not expected to be treated like this for that amount of money each month.

    Richard, you have got this so wrong, it seems you are the only person that cannot see it?

    There is a willfull deliberate blindness that can result from pride. Is this the case here?

    If you are taking responsibility for these changes on the UK site, then I doubt now if there is even anything you can do to recover yourself from this.

    Your attitude and complete lack of compassion reveals a side of Ebay that I do not like.

    Are you listening Ebay?


  101. Richard is an ebay employee and has to stick to the party line regardless. Such a massive company isn’t going to reverse such sweeping changes overnight. IF they have been listening, then there WILL be changes. Slow, discreet and based on “their decision” not pressure from a “small group”.

  102. Beauty @119 is right, unfortunately those changes may be too discreet and too late for a lot of the sellers posting on here and the PS board.

  103. A buyer left me neutral feedback a short while ago for an item I refunded after a balls-up by the Royal Mail. In an eBay context, ‘neutral’ has always meant ‘neither positive nor negative’ and never affected a seller’s overall rating. In my case, the buyer had not received her item, but I’d not been a bad seller, hence the neutral.

    However, under the new system, that one rating means I’ve lost the 100% feedback status I’ve had for eight and a half years straight. Not only is this a misrepresentation of me as a seller, making it appear as though I have dissatisfied customers, but I’m also seriously [beep]ing angry.

    Sadly, I doubt that eBay’s pointless tampering will have much impact in the short term, but what it will do long term is make sellers nervous. Along with an economic slowdown, PayPal gouging and and ridiculous fees, they now fear their customers. The moment they have another place to go — such as the one everyone hopes Google will provide — they’ll be off like a shot.

  104. THe star system whilst proven effective on amazon has been copied by ebay but not implemented properly and i suspect too many people are going to get stuffed on the 4.5 etc, its just not maintanable.

    amazon works on this star bases:
    Positive Feedback: 5 or 4 stars
    Neutral Feedback: 3 stars
    Negative Feedback: 2 or 1 stars

    knowing full well that a 1-5 rating system would mainly get 4’s for good service unless it was exceptional.
    who here does a survey and gives a company 5/5 not mainy i deal with tbh.
    its onyl because we a ps and understand the implications of the system that i leave 5’s for people, i suspect jo public see’s my service as four. the pay the get the goods in a few day. not exceptional but bang on the nail for online selling.

  105. Bacjk from my holiday now, completely closed down shops and listings, as I said in a previous similar thread I am amalgamating all my selling accounts into one to hopefully avoid anymore near misses.
    Ebay/Paypal must be losing a million a more a month in lost “Dolphin”Fees, surely they could employ 6 or so temporary staff to manually look at cases before suspension, cost 25,000 a month or so, seems financial madness for them to be continiuing this process with such hopefully unintended results.

  106. This is copy from a post under ” Ebay Bares it’s Ugly New Face”

    I felt it was very important that this be seen again by those of you who do not know where Donahoe’s roots were before he lit the fuse at eBay.

    Just look back at what Donohoe did to MedQuist when he ruled there…got them delisted from the SEC and involved in lawsuits from cheating the transcriptionists and cheating the hospitals, yet he left with a golden umbrella. MedQuist is still trying to recover from his rule. Now for some reason eBay thinks he walks on water when he’ll be their downfall.

  107. Trouble is, Richard thinks the sun shines out of his lower orifices as well.

    And we have to put up with Richard on the ebay uk boards spouting complete drivel.

    This is the Pink who once threatened to ban ids who posted in capitals on the Question and answer board.

    I kid you not.

    He spent an afternoon removing threads with capital only titles and threatening what he was going to do to ids which continued to do it.

    You don’t seriously expect him to have any idea or care about what’s happening now do you?

  108. ..and in the meantime shoddy sellers who Ebay claim they want to be rid of easily get around the system:

    “asmdirect” – now NARU due to poor performance (I assume) so they open “amityserv” which is now restricted due to buyer complaints so they are now trading under “asmdirect1” – not even atempting to distance themselves from their suspended account!

    At least 2 of us have reported this to Ebay and nothing has been done. In the meantime genuine good but low volume sellers get suspended daily.

  109. These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren. Proverbs 6:16-18 AMP.

    Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

    Romans 1:18-32

    (18) “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness”

    Geoffrey B. Wilson wrote, “God is no idle spectator of world events; He is dynamically active in human affairs. The conviction of sin is constantly punctuated by Divine judgment”.

    Luke 16: 15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

  110. As for the DSR’s … I don’t trust them at all! … All way too transparent … a good way for ebay to secretly demote sellers and get extra cash by not giving discounts! …

    Would be interesting to test the DSR’s … list 5 or 6 items with a buy it now … get your mates to bid on the items then let them leave 5 stars for all the DSR ratings on all the items … wait a few days and see what the DSR stars show on your dashboard … will be interesting! … If depicted correctly on your dashboard, only then will I trust them!

  111. H, I’m sorry to say it but if that’s how little you trust eBay, you should find somewhere else to sell. Seriously.

  112. SUE and what about ebay’s padded listings during the boycott (just to mention one)? … thats why I am very weary! …Why hide things away from sellers? … I am very weary of Donahoe … was he not involved in a major lawsuit for fraud when he was at MEDQUIST?….


    We are a consortium of 7 antique dealers who sell LOTS on ebay … we are busy moving and are winding down our sales … its not just us … lots of our collegues are doing the same … it’s sad cause we really enjoyed selling on ebay!

  113. Whether or not the things you mention are true, if that is how you feel about eBay, then sell somewhere else. If you are a consortium of antique dealers, you are fortunate in that there are a lot of other markets open to you.

  114. Thanks Sue … that is what we are busy doing and am 100% determined to do well … lots of sellers are doing the same …. I thought this what members were discussing on this site … Ebay’s unfair policies … seems like you are taking ebay’s side now?

  115. Thanks Sue … you sound the same as me … I have always been known to call a spade a spade … I am a bit concerned about some close friends who have been booted off ebay for 1-2 unfair negs … They rely soley on ebay to feed their families … they contacted ebay and have had no recourse and are in dire straits … they are suffering, hence my anger! … anyway I have said what I wanted to say so will move on … have a nice weekend … and you wrote a great article!

  116. Unbelieveable……..

    I now fear, well im 100% sure this is what has happened with 2 sellers i have bought items off.

    2 weeks ago i couldn’t understand why my seller with 706 feedback was suddenly not a registered user. My item arrived, no problems at all, but now cannot leave them feedback.

    I didn’t think much of it, until 3 days ago when another seller id purchased from suddenly became not a registered user even though they had 435 feedback. Again my item arrived, no problems, but cannot leave them feedback.

    I then began to wonder what on earth was happening as this has never happened to me before and for it to happen twice was a bit odd. Then i stumble across this and it all makes sense.

    It makes me very cross indeed as i am also a seller myself and to think a buyer can effectively whinge about the tinest thing and get sellers suspended is just pathetic.

    If ebay continues this way, i’ll just leave. After all my local paper is free to advertise items to sell…

  117. hi, i too have been suspended from ebay for 30 days due to non-performance or no customer satisfaction or something like that. i went from 100% pos to 99.3 in 2 days due to 3 neutrals and i neg, the neg from a horrible woman claiming not to have recieved her parcel even tho she emailed me to tell me the postman leaves parcels down side of her house and they get stolen???
    there is a strike on 4/7/2008 and we want little or no buying and selling on ebay that day. im not a buisness just a mum who tops up her income selling stuff we no longer need. the new feedback policy is a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    whirly, i am still recieving feedback even tho im suspended, i wont be leaving any tho, whats the point it wouls all be pos eh.

  118. Nah Whirly – you can’t leave feedback for NARU users, but (unless something’s changed) you can leave it for sellers who are under a temporary trading restriction

  119. I haven’t heard anything about a strike on 4 July. If that’s true it’ll be a cheap listing day again.

    Sue & Chris – you may as well add it to the calendar now. 🙂

  120. Jesus, you are saying that suspended sellers can’t recieve feedback!!!??

  121. Chris #141:
    SNP – “seller non-performance”, the eBay policy that says if you get too many negs, 1 or 2 stars scores, or PayPal disputes, you get a 30 day suspension.
    NARU – not a registered user, i.e. chucked off eBay for good.

    Guess it’s time to write that eBay Glossary I’ve been threatening to do for years!

  122. i was suspended for SNP i think. the woman who left the neg also opened up a dispute and got a refund THEN left me neg feedback. please see her feedback (angel4darkness) yet she cant recieve any negs, only positives.
    please please join us in the 4/7 strike.

  123. ok Chris, the impression I got from 135 was that the buyer they had bought from had been affected SNP I didnt realise they were NARU.

  124. If you want to check your buyer satisfaction rating you can do so at .com

    Follow this link https://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?SDSearchStanding (login required) and you’ll see it under ‘Search standing requirements’.

    The ratings are:

    “If you have a Good buyer satisfaction rating, most of your buyers have been satisfied with your customer service.

    If you have a buyer satisfaction rating of “Needs work,” some of your buyers have not been satisfied with your service. You need to do more to make your customers happy.

    If you have a rating of “Poor” or “Unacceptable,” too many of your customers have not been satisfied. You need to improve your selling practices.”

    Why isn’t this on .co.uk?

  125. 141….SNP…can mean this, you sell a item to (a another) they don’t pay and leave you a negative, you are then suspended under SNP……..

    NARU…No longer a registed user….many reasons for this which include SNP, not paying your bills, feedback wrecker etc etc

  126. thanks andy, i have lowered satisfaction rating. look at my feedback tho (christinebamber)
    1 neg (lokk at hers that left it)
    3 neutrals, 1 of which said nice item. THEN WHY THE NEUTRAL????????????????????????/

  127. Fantastic idea about the one day strike on 4th July. We should all change our accounts to the holiday setting (with all items unavailable for purchase) on that date. It would be fantastic if word could spread and all sellers did it. It’s unlikely but we can all hope.

  128. Self-employed people striking harms no one but themselves. Do you think eBay will care if you strike? They won’t even notice!

    If you want to protest at what eBay have done, then doing so with reasoned argument will achieve a lot more than going “strike strike strike” yet again. The last three strikes have achieved nothing at all, so why will another one make any difference.

  129. a strike always hits those that strike ,the hardest,
    just ask the miners ,shipyard workers, dockers etc who now dont even have a job to strike from

  130. I think calls for a strike on that particular day may have been purely chosen because many US eBay users will be taking the day off anyway! It’s akin to calling for a strike on Christmas day in the UK. 😀

  131. This is the piece I wrote on Martin Lewis’s Moneysavingexpert.com

    If there needed proof that ebay has made it’s biggest botch of all time, and there gave been a few, then this site has documented it. It really need a birching for the misery and uncertainty it has caused, and a thorough investigation and public castigation for it’s unbelievable intransigence to it’s sellers. I have had a couple of replies to the dozens of emails I have sent ebay customer support, very PC, very easy on the ear, but, still no reassurance of when this debacle or if it will end, and what help is to be given to the suspended sellers. I am so dissillusioned like you wouldn’t believe. I cannot fathom it’s policies, or the reasonings it uses. It used to say that it basically thinks people are good, and it want’s ebay to be a ‘fun’ place. Fun has been replaced by fear, suspicion and paranoia, ebay is now an intimidating and hostile environment. It will end in tears…..

    I am writing now to inform you of a breaking scandal on ebay. It seems most people are now using ebay, but the rules are and have been changing steadily this year, so that now more rights are afforded to the buyers, than are the sellers. I have been a seller for 7 years with over 8000 postive feedbacks from satisfied customers. Ebay have just introduced a new feedback system, where only the buyer can leave a negative feedback or a neutral feedback. Sellers can no longer leave negative or neutral, only postitive feedbacks.
    As many knew would happen, many buyers, knowing they won’t get a neutral or neg in return, are now leaving far more more neutrals and negs than before, many unfairly.
    Ebay now take these feedbacks into account, and are suspending sellers left right and centre for ‘non perfomance’ they call it. I have just been restricted for 30 days on ebay. I can’t buy or sell, and this is my living. After 30 days, they say they will review my account, and although I have pressed them through many emails and several phone calls to them, they won’t say what you have to do to be re-instated. None of the call centre staff know why this is happening, the ebay hierachy don’t tell them and seem to give them very little information.
    If you check on the forums and q and a parts of ebay, you’ll see thousands are up in arms over the unfair treatment ebay is meting out to it loyal sellers, many of whom have been trading for up to 10 years.
    Ebay in my case, gave me no warning, just an email stating they were restricting my account for 30 days, possibly permanently. No selling, no buying, and no clear definition of what you need to do to prevent you being suspended permanently.
    So my livelihood has gone for at least 30 days, maybe forever, because of ebay’s new draconian rules. This is nothing less than scandalous, maybe illegal, I’m not sure. It’s happening to lots of sellers, and it seems to be suicide on ebay’s part. Why destroy the businesses of it’s loyal sellers?
    I had 154 positive feedbacks, 5 neutral and 2 negative over the last month. So, 3-4% of unhappy customers, or those that on less than meritous grounds left bad feedback, ebay says this is non-performance!
    Many are leaving ebay for this betrayal of trust, and, no matter what complaints you make to ebay, nobody is willing to listen and act! It needs someone with clout to bring them to book.

  132. Could not agree with you more
    I too have been a seller on ebay for 8 years, 1563 positive feedback and until recently 99.6%.
    All it took was 1 unjustified neg from a buyer who failed to email correct info for a replacement and 1 neutral that buyer clicked by mistake.
    30 days suspension will kill my shop off so I have closed it anyway.
    Worst of all if your a nasty type the new feedback is ideal to get rid of the competition, just buy a couple of items and leave them neg feedback(knowing they cannot leave you the same) and job done they are suspended, enjoy having their business!
    If ebay had looked into all the options the new feedback would bring up , I am sure this would have come to light.
    Oh well as Richard says ” We are just dolphins caught in the ebay net”

  133. I had another email from ebay customer support today. It was lengthy and mostly of no use to me. One of the steps they said I could take ( this is assuming they reinstate me in 30 days) is:

    “Though from the 15th of May, sellers will no longer be able to leave
    neutral or negative Feedback for buyers, we will be offering a number
    ways for sellers to handle transactions where problems arise. If you
    feel that a bidder may be untrustworthy, you can cancel their bid and
    block them from bidding.”

    Ah, now, how do you feel that a bidder may be untrustworthy, if they have no negative feedbacks??? Because they can’t receive any now can they! And why would I doubt their trustworthyness? On what basis? I have nothing to go on! I am more in the dark now than ever before, and rogues have more opportunity to abuse ebay than ever before at the mercy of genuine sellers. Far from making ebay safer, it has made it more dangerous and murky than ever before. For instance, a buyer who ONLY buys, and there are millions of them, they bid, win, pick and choose, maybe pay, maybe don’t, leave negs for no reason, and the seller would never know. These rogue buyers are bidding on your car, have several positives from the transactions they have completed, and you think they are trustworthy. You let them bid on your car, they win…and that’s the last you hear from them. They’ve wasted your time and money…and may leave you a neg as well.
    And ebay spent how much time working out this new and ‘improved’ system??? About 7 seconds I’d say.

  134. That ebay have no regard for the seller now is a scandal that is growing by the day. Forums all over the web are in rebellion over such unfair treatment. It will reach such proportions, I’m sure, that either ebay will reform just before it implodes on itself, or some other organization will expose them on TV or through other media, and then ebay will be fighting for survival as it’s customers flee to the hills, confidence at zero, share plumetting and so on.

  135. In the mean time eBay uses tactics like censoring their own bulletin boards to cover up whats going on, padding the listings to make it appear there is no fallout and other questionable practices.

    – Between Buy.com and frogswamp (an employee of ebay) they have almost 1/2 a million listings?

    – The seller frogswamp has a percentage of 96% with 47 negatives for the month and over a hundred negatives for the year but still can sell?

  136. 1/2 million listings @ .30p ( or = $ cost) listing fees is alot of dosh for ebay to recredit back to an account when they pull the listings & suspend you.

    That’s why these pathetic sellers are still trading.
    But of course the big sellers are only a small % of all sellers so this suspension thing must be costing ebay a fortune in credits to accounts.

    Maybe ebay should file for bankruptsy now & do us all a favor..

  137. Why don’t they make use of that time and start moving their business to another auction and while they are at it start contacting their customers telling them where they are. If ebay do not care enough to cover these people, they will have to find a way to cover themseleves.

    Sorry ebay but us dolphins can take on sharks once we are out of the net of rubish you are putting around us.

    All because a buyer that is negged opens up a new account, and what do ebay think it is, the buyer is leaving. maybe they should have started reading the IPs before bringing in such bad rules.

  138. As if all the things everyone has said are not enough, Ebay (what some on the forums are calling Greedbay) is now implementing a requirement on Paypal (the only form of payment they will allow and of course they own it) that they will hold your payment from buyers until they have received their package. Amazing. So sellers will have to front the money for shipping and can wind up with the buyer claiming they never got it, get a refund, leave a negative and……. you get the picture. Quite grim.

  139. @159 Martin,

    Valid point as to looking at other avenues. Prior to the latest SNP, Feedback rules, increased FVF, I was quite happy on eBay.

    But these changes have done me a favour in a roundabout way. I now list elsewhere, I am building my website, I now advertise locally of my wares, and am considering craft fairs.

    Once I would have been more than happy to list everything on eBay, now I don’t.

    On a separate positive note, I read on Q&A about a seller getting a neg from a NPB who responded within the NPB disute removed as they were now NARU’d. I tried my luck, emailed eBay with item number, user ID and reason ‘NPB dispute, No Payment, User NARU’ Please remove neg feedback.

    Today it dissappeared! The transaction was in January 2008.

    So if you have time, and see any Neuts or Neg and that Buyer is NARU, try to get them removed.

  140. #161 Not a bad idea about the NARU neg/neuts. I had one removed without asking last week, I believe I read here before (Sue? I think you mentioned it?) that NARU feedback is being assessed and removed manually, so it will take them more than a little while to get through everyone.

    So if you tell them where to look, they will likely be grateful to have one sorted without searching for it.

  141. twasn’t me, but I have heard from several people that if you request from PS Support to remove negs/neuts from NARU members, they will do it now. I don’t know what’s happened to the automatic removal thereof; it was supposed to have been done by now.

  142. northumbrian, surely if they are within 12 months it’s worth it?

    If only for the perception that Buyers still look for 100% Sellers, and if that one neg / neut brings you back to that can only help your cause.

    Or if that one neg / neut being removed brings you back above the 98% Powerseller mark.

    We are all moaning about wrongful feedback being left, and sellers not being able to do anything about it, at least this is light at the end of the tunnel albeit a very small light!


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