eBay Germany re-introduces mutual feedback withdrawal

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eBay Germany have re-introduced mutual feedback withdrawal in limited circumstances. Sellers can request buyers retract neutral or negative feedback within 30 days of the feedback being left.

There are limits of two requests per month, and sellers can only make one request per transaction. Once a request has been made a buyer has 7 days to respond, if they refuse, fail to respond within 7 days, or simply ignore the request then the feedback will remain on the sellers profile.

This is currently available only on eBay Germany and is running as a pilot so details may be tweaked in the future. Mutual feedback withdrawal should however roll out across all eBay sites in a similar format by October. It’s a great move as it gives a seller a real incentive to look after their customers and resolve any issues even if a buyer leaves feedback in haste.

61 Responses

  1. Heads should have rolled over this feedback fiasco. They’re now introducing policies that should have been introduced initially, it’s not like people weren’t pointing out the flaws in their policy before they were implemented.

  2. our aim is not get any in the first place,
    if we do get one we are certainly not crawling

  3. #3 northumbrian

    Dead right…….grovel,grovel, been there done that, try another seller…

    We’ve only been on ebay for about 4 years, so by some sellers standard we new on the block, but I must say, that ebay have treated their sellers really Shabbily in this year..2008

    Obviously they had a problem with bad sellers, but they just barged in like the great big monoply they are, changing everthing as the new team dictated, and Sod the kickback all the good sellers got.
    We all make mistakes at time & always regret & learn from it…..BUT ebay just keep doing it, it just keeps coming one thing after another, change this, then change that, then change it back agian slightly so it does not look like it made the mistake in the 1st place.

    Obviously it is good & right if a buyer left NEG/NEU feedback & then wants to retract it they should be able too. BUT all this rubbish over the last 6 months is enough to start a ‘new’ medical condition…………’the ebay sydrome’…..>>>> nervousness,hot sweats, headaches, worryguts,,alchol intake problems….oh and probaly the odd suicide here & there sometimes.

    Ebay need seriously to think a bit more about how they change things. There are plenty of ways to achive changes without using the sellers that are left as Guinea pigs, who are at their every beck & turn.

    Ebay should & need to remember ‘one size does not fit all’.

    Whilst you’re changing things ebay, bring back the sellers ability to leave NEG feedback, under certain circumstances ‘of course’.

    Excuse me, I’m off to indulge in a couple of asprins & a very Large scotch. Must write in the diary; Make appointment to see Doc……………with paranoria sydrome.

  4. Ok, at least they did it right by making it a seller initiated process. This will make my life a lot easier as long as this becomes uniform throughout all the sites.

  5. 2 a month? Completely ridiculous. So if you get 50 feedbacks a month you can withdraw 2 feedbacks, if you get 5,000 feedbacks you can only withdraw 2 a month?

    This is a joke.

    If a buyer without any heads up or communication leaves a negative and then the seller immediately rectifies the situation, they should get a positive for that or at least be able to have the comment erased or “edited”

  6. lol gerry 007

    heres a new opening for those that make their living feeding round the edge of ebay
    quack remedies for ebay seller syndrome would make a mint.

    all you say is so very true
    the inability to leave negative really does restrict how you can handle difficult situations and monitor customers,
    we have a buyer at the moment who is a nightmare fortunatly we had an inkling because of a removed positive negative from another seller .

    not being able to leave negative feels like walking around with your flies undone

  7. rather than being able to withdraw feedback I would be much happier
    with an option for the seller to cancel the sale and cancel the buyers ability to leave feedback if payment had not been made

  8. “not being able to leave negative feels like walking around with your flies undone”

    Which is not always a bad thing depending on the company you keep :-p

  9. a 12 hour window after purchase where the seller can say dont fancy you chum go away, I dont want or need your business , and cancel the sale without fear of a negative in return, would not be unreasonable

  10. we have a winning bidder at this moment who has 18 feedback positive
    they have left 5 neutrals and a negative as return feedback

    we are not psychic and cant block bidders with this attitude,
    I would dearly love to tell the bugger to sod off . but a certain negative would result
    this bidder is costing us time money and effort and there is little we can do to stop them

  11. What the hell good does 2 a month do?

    Yeah…just like neutrals were supposed to really be neutral and yet they still count in SNP calculations. Typical Ebay…..they announced all these changes and BS’ed us on all of them…..they misled us once again.

  12. @ #11

    That isn’t a good idea. There were many times over the past several years that I didn’t get the price I wanted for something I sold. What would prevent someone from cancelling a sale for that reason? Sellers tried to do this for years by cancelling just before the very end. It wasn’t good then and I don’t want to go back to those days.

  13. yes many many many times I could of done with a bit more too
    so why not limit the amount of times you can cancel a sale as they are doing with feedback withdrawal,
    I very much agree with the balance being slanted towards the buyer ,
    though if its slanted to much ,sellers will not be able to cling on and slide off the scale

  14. @ #16

    Even with a limit this would erode buyer confidence. Imagine being a low feedback buyer that can’t ever purchase anything on eBay because paranoid sellers keep cancelling his purchase.

    You also need to consider how eBay might try to “improve” that feature when it becomes apparent that it isn’t working.

  15. lets imagine how a low feedback low turnover seller feels when a bulls lug of a buyer holds them to ransome
    and a negative may make the difference between being able to trade on ebay
    buyers have the choice of millions of ebay listings,
    sellers have only one ebay to choose from

  16. I am deadly serious I have just done it !
    I am not sending a £500 item to a known problem buyer regardless of how many negatives they leave

  17. Removing 2 negs from most sellers feedback records is not going to impact them either way in BM search. You are way off in your knowledge of BM if you think otherwise.

  18. 23
    2 negs could be the difference between life and death for some sellers of high value, low quantity sales
    in fact I am certain I could make a ferw bob by blackmailing a certain bath seller when this withdrawal thing goes live 😈

  19. #23 Considering a part of best match not only includes negs/neuts but also DSRs and what’s known as “Buyer Satisfaction Rating”, a couple of negs (which will almost certainly be coupled with appalling DSRs), will most certainly affect the search standing for lower volume sellers.

    If you check your seller dashboard you’ll find the sentence “Your buyer satisfaction rating directly affects your search standing.” in the buyer satisfaction section.

  20. I am not disputing it will help low volume sellers….however, those of us who get 500-700 feedback per month…it does nothing.

    If someone getting 20 FB per month gets 2 negs they should be booted anyways. However, it benefits them and penalizes larger sellers (like we should be surprised).

  21. And it certainly does nothing against all the extortion sellers are subjected to. Don’t give the company line on this one Chris.

    With the exception of taking neutrals out of the calculation, Ebay’s promised feedback changes to address the huge outcry back at Live has been ridiculous. I don’t think anyone is surprised, though.

    It is all doubletalk. Yeah….we will make neutrals neutral again (but they fail to mention they still count in SNP). Yeah, we will allow you to change feedback and not just withdrawal it (you can only withdrawal it). Yeah, we will address all the extortion (we will give you 2 times to withdrawal feedback against morons who can’t contact a seller before leaving feedback, etc.).

    I have kept track on several of our ID’s since the May 19 change of all neutrals and negs we have received. 80% of them were left without ANY contact at all by the buyer first….and mind you, not only do we answer emails 7 days per week but we have our phone number listed all over our listings, item packaging, etc.

  22. # 29

    If they were getting 2 negs every month they should be banned. In fact they could have been selling on eBay for years and never had a neg, but if their first 2 happen to come within 30 days they would still be suspended. If you have really done the analysis you claim you know very well the unreasonable customers do not come at neatly spaced intervals. The low volume seller is far too vulnerable to being penalised at the first problems, while those with 500 – 700 feedback a month can absorb a lot before they are in danger of suspension.

  23. #32 I find it very interesting that you think it does nothing for those getting 5-700 feedback/month. That suggest that you think out of 5-700 feedbacks you expect a seller to get more than two negs/neutrals.

    To be honest I think the seller who may be most unfortunate is those that routinely sell mulitple items from multiple listings as they are most likely to receive more than one neg for a single transaction (I’ve seen a buyer leave 15 in one go before) and they’ll still have a limit of two (assuming the buyer is willing to retract them).

  24. Chris it should be done by percentage. Somebody who gets 5,000 feedbacks a month, what good is 2 neutrals/negatives going to do?

    Also it’s completely ridiculous that neutrals count in the SNP calculations. eBay claim that the reason they counted those is because people left neutrals instead of negative out of fear of retaliation.

  25. In regards the idea of getting suspended for getting 2 negatives a month out of 20 feedbacks. That’s not a new policy. since early 2000 they’ve always had a SNP policy. It’s just they would usually only enforce it on small sellers, and big sellers like bargainland because they paid so much in fees were able to get tons of negs and eBay looked the other way.

    Somebody I talked to told me that the Germany thing is just a test, and the one introduced in the US will likely allow a lot more than 2 a month. We will see. Originally mutual feedback withdraw allowed you to withdraw 5 feedbacks a month, and then at some point they got rid of the limit.

    Personally, I like the idea of editable feedback. I don’t care how many negatives you have, if you can contact that customer and come to a conclusion that makes them happy you *SHOULD* receive positive feedback. The problem is that a lot of times you don’t know there is a problem until after the buyer has already left their feedback.

  26. #35 I do care how many negatives I have even if I can contact the customer and resolve them. A neg in the first place means that the customer perceived the service to be less than ideal which isn’t great. Sure rectifying the issue is better than doing nothing, but it’s better not to have occurred in the first place

  27. “but it’s better not to have occurred in the first place”
    Of course it is. But like a lot of sellers, I have been in the unfortunate position of being negged by a buyer completely out of the blue with no contact before and no response after. What will ebay be doing about that?
    There has never been a proper system in place to solve this and I think you many find that it’s these kinds of negs that really piss sellers off. The ones that no amount of excellent customer service skills, communication, cajoling, bribes etc will ever resolve, just because a buyer had a bad day, or is just downright nasty.
    If ebay could sit down with sellers and come up with a fair system for ALL ebay users, with tools for at least a fair hearing of buyer/seller points of view whn things go wrong, then sellers wouldn’t feel so flaming shafted and vulnerable.

  28. why all the effort to introduce DSRS
    then still use negatives as a bench mark for performance

  29. @North #38 – I’d rather have negs used, tbh. A negative feedback is a negative feedback, whereas all this messing about with 0.01 of a star on DSRs feels like they got the calibration completely wrong. There shouldn’t be 0.5 of a star difference between a seller who’s tippy-top with discounts and search advantages, and a seller who’s not allowed to sell any more.

  30. It was actually announced by Richard Brewer-Hay on ebayInkblog and by Usher Lieberman on Auctionbytes that neutrals would not be included in SNP, but according to Richard Ambrose that was wrong and they were only thinking about it. How can business decisions be made when we can’t even trust eBay to announce the correct information?

  31. Sue, I was going to copy Richard’s post but I can’t find it. It didn’t read as if he was only talking about UK. He even apologized for the wrong information. I somehow don’t think he would have done, if he could have turned it round by saying the announcements were made in US and only applied there.

  32. yes me too Sue I would rather have negs used
    with DSRs
    ebays explanatory notes next to the DSR rating stars do not accurately
    convey their significance to a seller and are misleading

  33. As well as Ebay not explaining DSRs properly, sellers have no way of reading DSRs. If they drop, is it specific transactions or is it a general problem? At least with a negative the seller knows it’s there.

  34. Chris #42 – I’ve just been through all Richard’s posts for the last month, and I don’t see it. Of course, it could have been another Pink, or it could have been removed subsequently.

  35. Sue, it was definitely Richard. I think the whole thread has gone, because I can’t even find my question. Personally, I think it was an important post to have left on, as people asking the question since have had quite a sharp answer implying there is no reason to ask it.

  36. #37 and before.
    As usual with ebay, this all stinks like; ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’….ie;
    What one ebay employee says, seems to be constantly countered by another employee.
    Perhaps ebay should try brain storming sessions @ HQ before they go around announcing things… This is a classic case of climbing the corporate ladder, everyone knows better than the next person, and how they beat each other up with annoucements to just get one over on each other……AND the sellers pay the price for ebay’s divering.

    #41 Sue, I said earlier that ‘one size does not fitb all’. but AN IMTERNATIONAL CORPORATION THAT TRADES OPENLY ACROSS BORDERS, cannot have different rules for different regions.

    When a NEG is left each time, you get a page explaining what you are doing. It has all the suggestions that should be considered by the NEG leaver.
    Perhaps. ebay could introduce a automaticlly generated email page (for contacting the seller) before the NEG becomes active. Something like dispute resolution. Then, if the NEG leaver does not complete the email form, the NEG will not become active, until they do & if the NEG receiver does not respond within say 48 hours’, the NEG goes Live.

    At least this way, everyone gets a fair oppurtunity to comment & knows why it’s all happening.

  37. The above comments certainly apply to #13 northumbrian above.

    A serial NEG/NEU leaver can easily be highlighted by ebays system.

  38. I never fail to wonder why such a nasty , suspicious, paranoid, bunch of pillocks that buy on ebay, actually continue do so,
    if their comments are to be believed ,why do the buggers persist in using the site ,if sellers are so bad, and the service so poor,

  39. #49 northumbrian

    And besides, we’ve already upset every shop keeper locally, so it’s online now.
    unquote and advice;

    Get a life (the neggers of course)

  40. AN IMTERNATIONAL CORPORATION THAT TRADES OPENLY ACROSS BORDERS, cannot have different rules for different regions.
    It has to, Gerry: for one thing, laws differ.

  41. #51 Sue,

    Agreed, but not one rule for one seller & another for another from the rules of ebay themselves.

    Obviously Border Laws/rules have to be acknowleged.

  42. eBay needs to make up their mind. Are neutrals negatives or are they not negatives?

    It’s pretty misleading to not count neutrals in Feedback percentages, yet count them in SNP calculations.

    The problem that I have on eBay is I get very few negatives. My feedback percentage is 99.7% yet I’d get lots of neutrals, such as “Okay” “Good” “Thank You” “Took a week to get”, etc….

    Somebody even left me a neutral once saying “Fast Shipment, Good product, but needs communication to make transaction smooth”. If they are happy with the product and the shipment was quick that seems like a smooth transaction to me. Instead they are *looking* for something to complain about.

  43. #36 I disagree.

    I will give you an example. I sold a customer a roll of mercury dimes. The coins were sold as unsearched. Yet the buyer somehow expected to receive BU coins. He left a negative without contacting me.

    I immediately requested his contact information and we worked out a deal where I gave him 25% of his money back *AND* free shipping. He was happy.

    IMO this became a positive transaction for him. For me I lost money as he could have gone into a coin shop and probably made a profit as he got those at way below melt.

    The point is, you can turn a negative experience into a positive experience.

    I’ve done things like that quite a few times because I think it helps my reputation in the community.

    A lot of people rather than just contacting you to fix a problem or a mistake would rather just neg you.

    It sometimes take a significant effort to get a hold of these people and educate these people that they misread the listing and/or maybe I sent out the wrong item. Some of these people work long hours and it’s extremely difficult to contact them.

    I think somebody who is serious about making something right should be differentiated from somebody who gets a neg and says “screw you”

  44. Chris and Sue….what post from Richard are you looking for? Neutrals not counting in SNP?

    Chris Dawson….I also don’t like getting negs, even if they get removed. However, we have been selling on Ebay for 5-6 years…have tens of thousands of FB, etc. and that 80% figure I said probably is true over the 5-6 years. Buyers leave negs and don’t care….especially on low-cost items. It is because they don’t realize the ramifications….

    We all have agreed that this could EASILY be resolved by Ebay instituting a system where the neg does not go on for 7 days while buyer/seller resolve (like unpaid item dispute). However, Ebay does not want to do this.

  45. And trust me….the only reason there has not been more attention paid to neutrals still counting in SNP is because I would bet most people don’t even think they are still counting in SNP since the change last Tuesday.

    This is something Ina at Auctionbytes should verify. It was first reported on her site these would no longer count. It makes her reporting look inaccurate by not getting a clarifiaction and explanation from Ebay. As for Richard Brewer Hay….he has continually mis-spoken on Ebay rules. However, I feel the problem is with Ebay. I doubt Richard Brewer Hay could have mistaken what he clarified a month ago about this. I think Ebay is waffling on the issue, personally.

  46. Let me lastly say that every neg a seller gets is a neg against Ebay. Ebay should be trying to make it so as few negs as possible are left because it makes Ebay look safe then.

    However, I don’t mean to erase negs for big sellers. I mean actually make the seller earn the positive by having the 7 day window where they can work it out with buyer before neg goes live.

    Personally….if they did that….I say lower/put the SNP at 2% or 3%. If a seller is given the chance to resolve the issue and don’t, they should not be on the site anyways. At this point you would have 3 types of Ebay sellers….

    1-Those who have great FB and never gets negs.
    2-Those who do get some negs, get them removed and resolve issues and also have great FB as result.
    3-Those who get negs and don’t resolve issues….who eventually are suspended.

    I say 1 and 2 are pretty good for Ebay.

  47. James # 55

    As far as I can remember, it was on a thread that followed the announcement on 18/7 of the changes to UK SNP. I asked the question why neutrals were still being counted when Usher Lieberman and Richard Brewer-Hay had announced they wouldn’t. I missed Norrie’s announcement.

    I have even looked back at the list of threads around that time, but there are so few, a lot have obviously been removed.

    I can’t remember Richard’s exact words, but they were along the lines the announcements were mistakes, as they were only thinking about taking neutrals out of SNP and no decision had been made.

  48. Watch, Jan. 2009, Ebay will be exactly as it was in Jan. 2008. We’re all just spinning our wheels for nothing. I just hope John Donahoe and his staff are gone. That would be a blessing.

  49. I just remember somebody leaving me a neutral saying “Okay” and I’d have to call them up and get them to remove it, and they’d be like “I didn’t leave you a bad feedback I left you a neutral”.

    The problem is, people leave neutrals and thinking that they aren’t hurting you but they *ARE*

    I’ve even had comments that I’d interpret as a “soft positive” left as a neutral.

  50. When I was in the US the standard response to the salutation “how are you” etc was “great!” That was CA, I think other parts the standard response was “good”. In the UK the standard response is “alright”. US bands don’t like touring Europe much because the fans don’t applaud unless they do something good, over in the US the audience goes wild whatever. Last century on eBay a phrase in common currency was feedback ho, now that’s the standard or die. 4.25 DSR or you’re off, you could say 85%, there are just a handful of products ever been made in the world that score 85% satisfaction. In fact eBay has set the standard higher, as it’s the lowest of five ratings in theory you could be banned for having 96.96% (5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 4.24). That score exists virtually nowhere in the field of human endeavour, certainly not in customer satisfaction: https://www.theacsi.org/

    If I buy a Mars bar in a newsagents, hand over my money and walk out with my purchase thats a good transaction, it’s a bit difficult to see how it’s worth five stars “excellent shopkeeper, wonderful service etc”. It’s what is expected, that’s good, three out of five. So if I buy a standard £5 packaged item on eBay and it arrives a couple of days later, as expected, it is difficult to get enthused enough to take the time to click all those stars, write a glowing sentence.

    I mostly buy antiques on eBay, I think performance of sellers knocks 30% off overall prices and good sellers get kicked like bad ones. Sometimes I get junk, being forced to guess from poor quality eBay hosted heavily compressed pictures which are often enhanced. I know a powerseller nearly 2K 100% positive who is universally complained about. About 1:30 items are broken due to lack of proper packaging, maybe half are lucky to arrive, at the other end of the scale some have so much packaging that waste disposal is a problem. ‘Optimistic’ descriptions are a problem too, obviously antiques are often sold by amateurs clearing attics and sheds etc and you have to allow for it but some of the professional antique sellers take advantage.

    I’ve had retail businesses for around 30 years, in fact some manufacturing/service/retail, in a fairly difficult and complex field working in peoples homes. High Street stores, mail order from the late 1980s, I sell a bit on eBay too, not much, the one promise they keep is low prices.

    eBay however is in the process of being closed down to small businesses, those dollars and pounds going to ordinary folks will end up in the corporate coffers. It’s very deliberate, the management team are performing well in returning those dollars lost to mom & pop to big biz, they aim to repeat the High Street being emptied of small traders. They are breaking things that work, not fixing things that are broken, it should be obvious to all. They waste your time in communicating just like the universal call centre model. The same process is going on with Royal Mail and BBC, being messed up so that when privatisation comes along people don’t complain too much. The web in general is being made more difficult for small companies to exist, prices are going up for no good reason, it will end up like the High Street too.


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