Why SNP restrictions need reviewing

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Looking back over the years eBay have on numerous occasions been hammered in the press for the conduct of sellers on the site. Watchdog in particular have an almost annual pop at them (watch out for another program in the Autumn or early Winter, they’ve had one for the last two years running at that time of year).

eBay have had to take steps to clean up their site, and those steps have inevitably involved setting a bar for acceptable seller behaviour.

eBay had to set the bar somewhere, and no matter how high or low it might be there would always be some borderline cases or “dolphins“. Lower or raise the bar and it’ll simply result in a different set of sellers being borderline.

The big question shouldn’t be “Are the wrong sellers getting caught in the net”, it should be “How should eBay handle borderline cases”.

I have no problem at all with eBay taking action against accounts which are blatantly giving abysmal service and removing them from the site. However being an innocent victim of an over-enthusiastically applied policy and having your income removed for 30 days seems more than a little harsh to say the least.

It would appear fairer if borderline cases could be handled more gently by applying an alternative “speed bump”. Some eBay sites still use different penalties such as a 14 day listing restriction without cancelling any live listings already running, so there are options that could be considered.

I’m aware of the argument that in the past sellers undergoing a selling restriction may have abused the grace period, making as many sales as possible and in some cases giving even worse service than before. Borderline cases such as those with non-positive feedback from a single buyer, or those with only neutrals and no negatives in the last 30 days are the ones most likely to take positive action in my opinion.

eBay have to take a stand to protect buyers and the future of the site for the thousands of sellers giving superb service, but eBay must protect good sellers from becoming victims of the maths of their new policies, especially low-volume sellers who can easily be damaged by one random, rogue bidder.

We spoke to eBay and they have this message for sellers: “We appreciate the situation you’re in. Firstly we’d emphasise that many of the changes are geared towards offering great customer service and resolution of issues up front so that buyers have no need to even consider a neg or dispute in the first place. And we’re doing what we can to encourage buyers to communicate with sellers at the point of giving potential negative Feedback.

It’s impossible to attain the flawless service eBay aim for all of the time – even a brand new product can be faulty, or a delivery go missing en route. Whilst sellers aim for perfection, sometimes they (myself included) fall short.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though, eBay also said: “With regards to the new criteria for account restrictions we’re well aware of the uncertainty some sellers are feeling and are continuously fine tuning our policies to be ever more effective in targeting the right sellers. We’re also reviewing the nature of some of these restrictions and how best we communicate the policies.

Hopefully that will also include reviewing those sellers already classed as borderline and unable to currently trade.

12 Responses

  1. we have just had one of our best months selling on Ebay however we are beginning to hate selling on Ebay,

    we feel like we are bending over backwards just to avoid being suspended,

    there is not a lot of enjoyment selling on Ebay, there are lots of concerns that we have never really experienced in our many years in retail,

    we just feel as though we are totally open to being ripped off,

    things cannot continue as they are

  2. Do you know what happens at the end of the 30 days, it would have been a fairly pointless exercise if the truly bad sellers are allowed back in.

  3. I am seriously considering leaving eBay. It’s a shame as I started my online business on the site several years ago but I now feel totally fed up with the demands being placed on me by eBay.

    Our account is currently “at risk of suspension” because of a VeRO dispute way back in February!

    I only found this out today after asking my PAM what the hell was going on with my dashboard.

    The VeRO member that made the complaint made a mistake and said they had contacted eBay to get this removed. Now I have been told that this did not happen! Here is the reply I had from the VeRO member all those months ago…

    “Dear Nick,

    Apologies – I did a sweep of bootleggers and you got caught up in it. Bravado is the only authorised company.

    Apologies again and Ebay has been contacted.”

    eBay have copies of all the emails but they will not remove the VeRO dispute until the person that raised it formerly asks it to be removed!

    I have had enough of being treated like this and I am sure that I am not the only one.

  4. It’s high time eBay had some sort of console to appeal VeRO strikes that if the you’re willing to declare your product doesn’t breach someone elses IP and the supposed IP holder can’t be bothered to respond (or knows it’s not a valid breach!) the strike is removed.

    Then it’s up to you to take a view, if you declare the IP holder is wrong they can see you in court if you’re taking the mickey. If you’re in the right you’d have nothing to worry about in declaring they made a mistake.

    VeRO holders have too much power to strike and many don’t even bother to respond to communication which at least they appear to have done in this case.

  5. The VeRO member was very nice and quick with communication. Which is unusual.

    Broken seller dashboard, suspension threats, stealth fee increases, loss of feedback, buyer extortion, falling sales. The list goes on. Life is to short for this BS IMO.

    eBay is in danger of losing it’s best sellers in an effort to get rid of a few bad apples.

    I think I am need of a few beers. Maybe I will feel better about it all tomorrow 😉

  6. I agree with Nick, bring on the beers. Just don’t get too hungover because if you wake up late and forget to send out that package first thing you will probably receive a negative feedback.

    8+ years of selling on eBay 100% feedback (now 99.5% because of a few neutrals 2 of them from people who didn’t even pay me) and I just feel like eBay is doing everything to make me not want to sell anymore. They have taken the joy out of the whole auction process.

    They need to change something fast beofre they lose all it’s sellers who actually care about eBay and not just selling there 1000 iphone cases every minute.

  7. Agree with this. My ebay account has been NARU’d and ebay continue to repeat same words to me :

    The reason for this is that your account breached eBay’s Seller Non-Performance policy by causing an unacceptable level of dissatisfaction amongst your buyers.

    Without any explaination as to what exactly we have done wrong. We had 2 negs for postal issues. Refunded both buyers, one kindly withdrew the neg, the other went AWOL.

    Ebay refuse to be reasonable with us, instead just quote chapter and verse from a rule book that is fatally flawed.

    After the 30 days suspension we got 30, 60 and 90 day feedback scores to 100% pos, stars remained at 4.7 / 5. We were also banned under the old 90 day rule. They have sinced realised the flaws in this and changed it to 30 days yet still refuse to let us back on.

  8. JD

    Im afraid you will just have to wait. Ebay seem to be taking really long times to reinstate suspended sellers & no matter what you write, (if you get a reply) they just repeat the same thing.
    Whe you are suspended under the 90 day rules, it seems the new 30day rules don’t kick in

    Just have a break & rethink what & where you want/can go, it will come back soon……..

    Good luck

  9. This policy impacts unfairly upon low volume sellers and like any policy based upon a % is inherently discriminatory.

    One way around is for groups of low volume sellers to form “buying rings” to boost their fb and DSRs. If say 10 sellers each with 2 buying IDs buy from one another each week they could soon double their monthly fb and compensate for taking holiday leave. Just needs a bit of co-ordination and thought.

    Against eBay policies and rules maybe – but when the rules themselves are
    fundamentally corrupt then people will find a way around them.

  10. This may sound totally stupid – I can’t find details of the “30 day rules” against the “90 day rules” anywhere…

    can someone summarise them for me please?


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