Neutral feedback will not be included in percentages on eBay

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eBay have just announced some significant changes coming to feedback in the next couple of months.

and from late August will no longer be included in the feedback percentage.

This was one of the biggest complaints of sellers at eBay Live!, with many sellers saying they felt “punished” for neutrals received prior to the last feedback recalculation. Many sellers lost treasured 100% feedback scores when neutrals were taken into account, and felt that it was unfair to retroactively count them as equivalent to negatives. eBay executives appeared genuinely distressed at sellers’ reaction to the changes, and Lorrie Norrington promised to address the issue.

In a second change, eBay are to introduce editable feedback for the first time. They have recognised that buyers sometimes leave feedback too early and will enable them to change the comments and rating. This will appear on the site in October and will encourage sellers to work with buyers to recitify any issues knowing the buyer can improve the feedback left. Currently it’s not been specified if buyers will be able to edit the DSRs left, but more details will be available in the Autumn.

It’s great news that eBay are not only listening to their customers, but are acting on what they’re hearing. I’ve never known them to make changes so swiftly following feedback from site users, so top marks to the new management team for not only listening, but also for taking prompt action.

46 Responses

  1. so what happened to all the waffle about neutrals really being negatives

  2. Very diplomatic announcement by Lorrie – trying to put a spin on the issue claiming it is responding to the voice of community, and careful not to use “U-turn”!!!

  3. Oh dear sudden realisation of that bottom line affected by all those (large) sellers who would fail to maintain 98%? (- and not stay).

    I have been following the fortunes of ‘primemediaking’, a recent newbie on .com with an inventory of close to 200,000 items.

    A few weeks on and with feedback at 98.1% having picked up 32 neutrals and 20 negs along with just 2264 positives their current listings are fewer than 24,000.

    When THEY and the like squeal eBay listens.

  4. 😯 Whilst at eBay Live with frooition this year I spoke with quite a few eBay people and they were keen to stress that they were listening – and they did! As you rightly point out they have responded swiftly and concisely which should recognised and applauded.

    As part of my work I deal with very many powersellers who have been affected by the neutrals situation and eBay’s response has been warmly welcomed by all. Lorrie Norrington should be applauded for the swift reversal and for listening to reason. Now sellers really can get on with selling and not worrying!

    A big thumbs up to common sense!

  5. yes , what is about the SNP? ok , they will allow more people to stay powersellers and the % of positive feedbacks will look better but will they count neutrals as negatives for SNP purposes?

  6. Decision has a whiff of crisis management and brings ebay closer to the Amazon position on self-managed feedback withdrawal. Shame they didn’t simply copy Amazon’s tried and tested ways in the first place, but guess they thought they’d go one better. Proposed changes, if they take place, to be lauded!

  7. This is fabulous. eBay is finally beginning to listen and have noticed they made some mistakes. I am very very glad that neutral will again be neutral and that we can now work with buyers so that we get little to no negative feedback. I hope eBay makes even more changes that will help the sellers as they are the core part of eBay. No sellers=no products=no buyers. I definitely will continue to sell, especially if eBay starts listening to some of our requests. I also feel they need to keep a strict plan for a year or two so all of us dont have to reshape our businesses every couple months.

  8. at least it falls in line, with most buyers perception of what a neutral means

  9. #5 it seems that you feel eBay are damned if they do and damned if they don’t!

    When commenting on large organisations having more bargaining power than small ones, you are simply reflecting on the obvious power of commerce. It has been like this since the caveman, the bigger the business, the more notice gets taken of them.Why should the ebay marketplace be any different? Last time I checked eBay were a company owned by shareholders and they are simply trying to maintain/improve their viability. If this means looking after the better revenue streams (big sellers) and taking more notice of them, then don’t tell me you wouldn’t do it yourself in ebays position!

    The corrections to the policy that they have announced are BRILLIANT for all sellers, whether they are big or small, so stop trying to spin this in a negative way. I don’t work for eBay and I don’t have shares, but I do appreciate good news when I see it.

  10. Oooh IMHO, you won’t like my comment then, lol.
    Why it everyone congratulating ebay for reversing their own poorly thought and ill concieved error? They messed up big style on this (and many other) issue and should be apologising unreservedly for not thinking BEFORE acting.

  11. It is good news for the future that eBay have listened to their sellers and made this change….BUT what about all the mess and hassle they have caused to many good honest sellers after introducing the stupid “neutral = negative” policy in the 1st place.

    Where is the apology and reimbursements? That would show real customer service on their part.

    We lost 2 ID’s on 30day suspension due to a few silly neutral feedback. That is no sales at all for 30 days – do they realise how much that can affect small businesses?

    Why do they not survey all the powersellers first to get their opinions, before introducing plain stupid policies dreamt up by people who haven’t got a clue about how ebay works on a day to day basis

  12. #15 Totally correct

    Hopefully this is only the start and ebay will listen a bit more in the future.

    I am very encouraged by the fact that sellers have refused to roll over on this issue and that through International pressure being brought on ebay an incredibly stupid rule has been changed.

    I would also like to say ‘Thank you’ to Tamebay and all the other Blogs out there for providing a mechanise for bringing our concerns to the attention of ebay, and to every seller who refused to accept a totally unfair rule and who contributed to the argument.

    So Well done guys and girls.

  13. I dont think its anything to due with seller pressure,
    as such as post 5 suggests, its ebays pocket that gets their attention ,thats about the only thing that makes ebay change anything

  14. I think it would be wise to reserve judgment of the editable feedback until we find out how it works, while a buyer changing a negative to a positive would be great, but what about if they can change positives to negatives, I can easily see a positive changing to a negative after a few weeks along the lines of ‘I dropped the item and it broke, seller refused to refund’.

  15. Cor! positives to negatives that would be fun
    and negatives to positives is going to be really profitable for some,
    I think a good way would be for ebay to give 14 days to make things good, refund etc, before a negative becomes live

  16. I’m absolutely certain that editable feedback will have a time limit – I’m sure eBay have thought of exactly the scenario that SuperMax outlines. The problem is that, as human nature is involved, there’s no way to make it water-tightly fair: the best we can hope for is something that will be the most fair it can be in the majority of situations. I think editable feedback is more likely to achieve that than the present system, and I don’t want to condemn a better system than that present one just because there are still potential scenarios under which it would have problems.

  17. “we have removed more than 60 percent of the negative/neutral feedback left by buyers in an unpaid item (UPI) process”

    I wonder if they will actually get rid of the ability for non payers to leave feedback? if I pop into Asda for some JD then change my mind it’s hardly Asda’s fault.

    It’s only cost me about £70 ish pounds this month in un-claimed FVF’s but there is still no way I trust the system enough to use it, yet!

  18. Whirly don’t forget that not all unpaid item disputes are the buyers fault. If the seller changes the terms or doesn’t perform in some other way they’ll often open a UPI unfairly even though there’s a perfectly good reason that the buyer didn’t pay

  19. I can see that Chris, talking from my own experience really.

    It’s a tricky one to solve which I doubt they ever will unless they go paypal only, but then again as you have just said there maybe a perfectly good reason for not paying, unless you took it a step further and made it instant payment, which I wouldn’t mind if the checkout allowed other instant payment methods aswell as paypal.

  20. Even if you go PayPal only, it doesn’t cure the problem: I’ve been given two UI strikes this year by two sellers who failed to deliver items as ordered and I had to file PayPal claims to get my money back. Technically, I didn’t pay for either item, but equally, I shouldn’t have had a strike either.

  21. I’m just a little cautious about this new change – just imagine the scenario of the buyer leaving neg then asking for god knows what to change it – aaagghhh

  22. #15 I too agree that it was an error of judgement on ebays behalf, so I don’t mind your comment at all.

    However the only way that one should be righteous about others mistakes is if you are so divine that you have never made one yourself. Do you REALLY NEED an apology from eBay? By revising the policy they are showing willingness to tweak policies for sellers benefits. What more can you really expect. Really you should get over it and try making some money.

    #17 Mate, you need a reality check… hellooooo!!! As if..!

  23. Sue – I really hope that holds true but this time I think it could be diff.
    We may be leaving as boxesandbusts but will still be around as private buyers and sellers.

  24. I cant spend, or eat an apology,
    so I dont want one, or need one
    its good enough for me, that they have changed the process

  25. To be honest I wasn’t that bothered when the policy was changed & I’m not that bothered that they changed it back. Personally my feedback was good either way (although treating a neutral as a negative did seem to be a a bit misleading).

    Because negatives now disappear after a year there will be less differentiation in feedback scores than ever and a lot more 100%ers, which looks like eBay have scored a bit of an own goal there.

    Overall eBay’s changes seem to have had a positive impact for me. My fees are down & my sales are up.

  26. #36 I’d contend that there will be a lot less 100%s than previously. In the past sellers were able to live off the fact that they had thousands of prior feedback and one neg out of every 2000 positives won’t drop you down. As an example I personally could have had four negs from different buyers and retained 100% under the old system, under the new system just two would drop me down to 99.9%

    It’s fairer to only consider the last years feedback as it gives a much truer picture of a sellers recent performance instead of leaving sellers like me to live off the last five years glory days. I totally support a neutral not being counted as a negative however 😀

  27. amazon count 4&5 star rating as pos and 1-2 as neg.
    makes sense to use that system as it tallieswith the dsr stars
    so the average over the five dsr stars could be used as the overall pos / neg percentage.

    as it is the two systems seems to conflict. some nuyers with good percentage have bad dsr, and the dsr seems to make more sense as a rating system

    google seems to go on the same same 4&5 pos on the checkout ratings.

  28. #15

    Totally agree!!!!.


    About time ebay listened to the perople that make the Co’ tick.
    An apology…NO chance & who wants one anyway from ebay…’oh we are sorry for screwing up your online business, WE will try harder & better in future’….dose that mean anything to someone that’s lost their business…Bloody HELL no.

    Ebay should think things through a bit more…then act if it is right too.
    4 months of hell & complaints coming out of your armpits hasdone the damage, so ebay may be putting right IT’S wrong, but they have closed the door after the Horse has bolted..

    Oh and when do we get out feedback recslcutlated to before this mess.

  29. #37 one of my accounts had about 20 negs now it’s got none! That’s an account which I actively trade on. My feedback was 99.9% now it is 99.8% soon it will be 100% (maybe). The account will have been trading since 2003 & no record of a bad transaction! I don’t think that 100% positive does accurately reflect my trading history. But to be honest I’m not really that bothered. Feedback in my opinion is overrated 🙂

  30. WTF ever. I was a 17,000 power seller when they screwed with my feedback rating. Go to amazon ebay sucks as an investor I say ebay sucks as well. Donahoe needs to retire to a job at mcdonalds and be publicly humiliated for stupidity.

  31. this is ridiculus !
    i had 100% feedback with only one neutral which was supposed to be a positive one from the buyer (he had mistakenly ticked as neutral)
    but now im down to 98% I would have contacted the buyer to get it corrected if I had known this earlier. but now its too late.
    fwak u ebay

  32. We heard today that they might indeed still count neutrals as negs. I heard this from someone at Ebay DESPITE the fact the contrary was posted on the Ebay Ink blog and to Auctionbytes by Ebay employees. Alot of people were right….these feedback reversal changes won’t be all they are purported to be. Unbelievable…

  33. Neutrals should not be counted in with negatives, nearly everyone agrees on that, but DSR ratings is not fully understood by a lot of people, especially newbies and they do not realise the impact that it really has…..

    It takes most people buyers/sellers all the time to do a feedback, never mind ticking boxes in the DSR…. In a nutshell, most people just want to buy or sell and leave a feedback, pos/neutral/neg….. Theres 80 chars to say what you think.

    Just a idea for you all to think about, what about making the pos/neutral instant, meaning you can leave it straight away, but the neg as say 3 radio buttons or textarea, stating why they intend on leaving a neg and it does not come into play for say 7 days, the information is then sent to the seller, who then has 7 days to rectify the complaint….i have started this does anyone, like to add

  34. Just to carry on from above, a fair amount of negs are done without really thinking about it, some are for spite etc, (competitor etc) some are trival, some are just a mistake, i could go on…..

    By having a cooling off period for negs, it gives the control back to the seller to do something about it and also the buyer to then get the whole picture and then they might realise that, the neg they were going to leave is not justified or is….There are two sides to every story.


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