Will eBay scrap feedback for top sellers?

eBay have made many changes over the last few years and one of the most contentious was to change the way feedback works. Could they (would they?) ever consider scrapping it entirely though?

From a simple Pos/Neut/Neg which everyone understood they introduced feedback withdrawals, DSRs, removed negs/neuts for buyers, canceled feedback from disputes not responded to and now even cancel feedback where the seller isn’t at fault and a failing isn’t called out by the buyer.

Now a story by AuctionBytes has revealed three different screen mock-ups of how a new feedback page could look for certified sellers. First thing to notice is the lack of “100% Positive feedback” and “Read feedback profile” sentences. Next is the URLs of the images, which are titled _NoFeedback_Option1, 2 and 3.

Committing to eBay’s highest standards, fast dispatch and reasonable feedback percentage may be all that a certified seller needs in the future. For these sellers it could be the end of the feedback Detailed Seller Ratings – why would buyers need to see them or rate a seller that always provides fantastic service in the first place?

It will be interesting to see exactly what requirements eBay hold sellers to for them to become “Certified”. It’ll be even more interesting to see the reactions to “No Feedback” sellers if they start appearing on the site.

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Comments

I think if this did come into effect, it would be a good move for sellers and buyers alike. Do a few negs from the odd picky customers in a sea of green positives really affect the buyer experience? I know that people on Amazon don't really bother to leave feedback - the items I have sold where the transaction has gone well - buyer never leaves feedback....so it begs the question what do buyers look for in a seller on ebay. My view is good DSR's - consistency and reliability at the right price. I would relish the chance to be an ebay certified buyer...be interesting to see what the criteria will be and when/if its will be introduced. Interesting story!

John Pemberton • 21st April 2009 •

Think this would be a very good idea. Certainly the feedback system needs to be improved concerning Business Sellers. Removing the 'Read Feedback Profile' would also work. Do buyers really need to read negative comments that are often inaccurate, misspelt, and rude? And why are people who leave negative feedback so obsessed with capital letters? IT LOOKS CHILDISH. All I'd need to see as a buyer to feel comfortable about making a purchase would be the examples shown above.

Lino • 21st April 2009 •

#2 I can tell you why people use capital letters for negative feedback - it's because they're wider than lower case letters so stand out more WIDER THAN LOWER CASE LETTERS SO STAND OUT MORE On low resolution screens the feedback comment will also flow over onto two lines if you use capitals giving a nice visual break in the feedback page where the neg is making sure no one misses it. (Oh and for the less sophisticated it's cos they're cross and want to shout a bit ;-) )

Chris Dawson • 21st April 2009 •

"It will be interesting to see exactly what requirements eBay hold sellers to for them to become “Certified” " Selling on eBay is enough to get you Certified, I hear Broadmoor has some great views, I might have to join if this year is anything like last year.

Whirly • 21st April 2009 •

Thanks Chris. If eBay don't scrap the comments, and I don't think they will, I would prefer they allowed buyers (and sellers) to leave longer comments as on Amazon. I'm not sure on the exact number of characters allowed, but feedback we receive on Amazon is actually worth reading as buyers can explain exactly what went right or wrong. This has got to be preferable to AVOID AVOID STOLE MONEY NO GOODS REPORTING TO EBAY or something similar.

Lino • 21st April 2009 •

Sorry what is a certified seller?? Is this current or for the future??

mark • 21st April 2009 •

Hi Mark, it's a possible future - no promises anything like it will ever happen but it could seeing as they're obviously exploring the idea

Chris Dawson • 21st April 2009 •

I find the problem on Amazon is the lack of customers that leave feedback when it goes right and then the twits that leave negative feedback have a greater effect, a typical example of a waste of time feedback is one we had this morning over a 17p ring sizer... "Fast Delivery, within 7 days or less, dispatched from America" How is this negative? and also it was sent from the UK And another for an item for 49p just came in ( I swear customers plan to do this all in one day) "Not exactly speedy or nicely packaged but did arrive on time" Again it was another ring sizer that we send in an envelope not quite sure what more you would expect??? This in my opinion does nothing for anyone and often feedback ends up being used by people who are having a bad day.....I would of thought product reviews are the way to go rather than feedback??? Stu

Stuart • 21st April 2009 •

Wil ebay still be honouring discounts on FVF if you are above a certain status?

benbob • 21st April 2009 •

#8 Stuart, we used to find that very few customers on Amazon left feedback, which as you point out, makes the negative ones have a bigger impact. We now include a flyer in all Amazon orders asking customers to leave positive feedback if they are happy, and to phone us if they are not. We also email all Amazon customers 7 days after the sale with the same message. It has worked really well.

Lino • 21st April 2009 •

Lino how do you email all the customers then? Can you bulk do this on there? Stuart

Stuart • 21st April 2009 •

I feel like I get feedback reminders on Amazon all the time (I buy quite a lot through their marketplace) so I just went looking to see if I could find out how it's done for Stuart. And was therefore quite amused to find this eBay listing :lol:

Sue Bailey • 21st April 2009 •

I love this idea but would want to see the requirements well above 99%. It should be more like 99.9%.

Hereford United Fan • 21st April 2009 •

Would it work if eBay were to add feedback/comment for products (like many sites) rather than the seller? I wouldn't mind haveing the last 5/10 comments for a particular sku available to customers. I would imagine it would encourage sales. Feedback at present are is far to nebulous in my opinion & serves little purpose.

Jimbo • 21st April 2009 •

# 4 Goof one whirly......I might need to join you.

Gerry007 • 21st April 2009 •

feedback is good when it's a positive........... IT IS BLOODY BAD (thanks for the tip Chris) when the buyer cannot be bothered to tell you enything/NO CONTACT & leave a Nue/neg without any explanation. It is even more annoying when we ask them 'WHY' and they cannot be bothered to respond. If feedback is to stay.... full feedback cacilities showed be allowed for both sellers & buyers. The current system is unfair, & one sided, in the buyters favor.

Gerry007 • 21st April 2009 •

I think this would be a great idea !! I'm also of the opinion, expressed earlier in this thread, that a few reds in a sea of green becomes meaningless. And even the frustrated buyer doesn't get much satisfaction as the neg is pushed down the page rapidly anyway... But of course there must be some confidence that this doesn't become something that means that the certified sellers can relax their standards...there must still be some means for a buyer to know that someone is measuring the standards and ensuring that the certification means something.

Pat Sherlock • 21st April 2009 •

It will be interesting to see exactly what requirements eBay hold sellers to for the to become “Certified” I noticed on the auctionbytes article about the certified seller program that one of the questions was "seller paid ebay for the designation". Does this mean that you can buy your way into certification? So bigger sellers with presumably bigger wallets could have a certification that smaller sellers could not afford. Maybe the answer to the question is that the only requirement to become certified is money.

fatseal • 21st April 2009 •

Hi fatseal, I think it's more eBay trying to find from site users what they would think when they saw the designation. If people simply thought it was a "seller paid eBay for the designation" that would be a bad thing as it would have little or not value. Asking how it would be interpreted gives an indication of how valuable it may be. To be honest the one using the PowerSeller badge is in my opinion the worst. The PS logo has been so devalued over the years it's pretty worthless and too easy to achieve, not that that's a bad thing - it gives people something to aim for but it's not really a sign of excellence as far as service goes - just a sign that someone has managed to flog a certain amount over the last three months.

Chris Dawson • 21st April 2009 •

I can personally see it as a benefit. There are always some buyers out there intent on ruining someones business no matter what service you provide. Example is last week a buyer bought a laptop and wifi card from us. They couldnt get it to connect to their wireless network so i thought i would call them up and try to talk them through it. I simply asked who their broadband provider was and make of their router and their reply was " Im not telling you that, its personal information. You have no right to know what things i have in my house". And hung up. Oh how i laughed at the 2 resulting negatives i received.

Patty • 21st April 2009 •

I am still not convinced there has ever been a point to feedback at all Buyers obviously never read it or the folk with rubbish feedback and rubbish DSRs would never get a sale Sellers simply do not need to leave feedback, they never have Every buyers feedback should just be columns of "they paid", what else is a buyer supposed to do? MY opinion? scrap the whole thing, it has always been more trouble than its worth.

board_surfer • 21st April 2009 •

Oh and "Ebay certified seller"? havent ebay shot themselves in the foot enough times without taking another shot, they bring that in, it will end in tears.

board_surfer • 21st April 2009 •

The part that I think many are missing is the implication that SOME sellers will not have to worry about feedback... but some sellers WOULD STILL have feedback to contend with. I know it is not a done deal, and that may not be how it plays out... but if there is a two-tier feedback system, that would not be good. Especially since eBay only listens to the largest of the large sellers... and if they no longer have to worry about feedback eBay would have no incentive to work on feedback issues any longer. I also think it would be a major mistake to allow large sellers to buy their way out of feedback. Now THAT would really erode trust in the site.

Tim • 22nd April 2009 •

I'm not understanding how this "no feedback" would work. You become certified by having more than 99% feedback but then you have no feedback so how do you become certified? Does it become permanent once you have 99% feedback and meet some other criteria? If so that seems to go against their belief that recent performance is most important (the justification they used for only using 12 months for your feedback percentage now).

ebuyerfb • 22nd April 2009 •

#11 Stuart, we use our order manager system (Stone Edge). We just select the date, 7 days previous, filter out the Amazon orders, and send the email. It takes about 10 seconds every day. It's well worth doing.

Lino • 22nd April 2009 •

You can bet your ass it will probably cost money to become one if it ever happens, would I pay £100 a month to not have the worry of feedback and DSR's, yes I would, yesterday!

Whirly • 22nd April 2009 •

#20 That sounds like a familiar story Patty. We have our phone number repeated 5 times on all our listings, and it amazes me that some people would rather leave negative feedback than pick up the phone when they have a problem. I agree with board_surfer. Scrap it.

Lino • 22nd April 2009 •

Arrrrghhh another feedback nutter today. Removal of feedback would help my blood pressure no end lol. A fellow seller with almost 4k in feedback blackmailing us over the phone.

Patty • 22nd April 2009 •

nice question of a buyer: "i still havent received this item from you. the shipping said that it would take up to 14 days and today is the 14th day and its not here." item location and information in the listing informs 3 times that it is international shipping.

Stefan • 24th April 2009 •

about feedback: buyers are not taking ebay so serious like ebay thinks. They do not think in community, they do not read policies, they do not read again the listing. Most of them are not skilled enough to find a one week old listing in their my ebay. A lot cannot pay by Paypal. But I have to be 100 % perfect?

Stefan • 24th April 2009 •

@ # 30 You don't have to be 100% perfect, just 99%.

ebuyerfb • 24th April 2009 •

you better have to be 100 % perfect or your punished by ebay and with 99 % I am closer to a restriction because 99 can be soon 98 or 97 .........

Stefan • 24th April 2009 •

#29 Stefan, have I missread this or do you want international buyers to wait 42 days for delivery?

Jimbo • 24th April 2009 •

you misread this, what I wanted to say is that the approx shipping time is mentioned 3 times in the listing with 14 days. Sorry I am not a native english speaker ...

Stefan • 24th April 2009 •

I just got a survey similar to the "Approved" survey you mention in another blog entry where they asked me what I thought the service would be of non-certified and certified sellers. The requirements for USA (certified) and UK (approved) are the same. 4.6 DSRs, 99% above 3 or above, and 100 sales per year.

ebuyerfb • 26th April 2009 •

I'm not sure how you see those 3 mockups and are then able to claim that Ebay might do away with DSR's for those sellers just because there is no option on there to view DSRs. Ebay's current look doesn't have this option, either. I think the whole point of the 3 mockups was to see how buyers felt about approved sellers......don't take anything more from it in terms of certain sellers having feedback scrapped.

matt • 26th April 2009 •

Hi Matt, the DSRs and Feedback is still there if you want to go looking for it, it's just not called out with links as it is for "normal" sellers. It appears to be all about saying "here's a trustworthy seller that eBay endorses" instead of the current situation which is "here's a seller, check out what previous buyers though of their purchases".

Chris Dawson • 26th April 2009 •

To me its all pretty simple, buyers want to click,pay,and receive, if owt goes wrong they want to know they are covered (like any credit card purchase) It still staggers me that eBay seem convinced the best way to make money is to make purchasing as complicated as possible #best match #3rd party checkouts #DsrScores #feedback #CertifiedSellers etc etc etc for gawds sake they just want to buy something and recieve it!

Whirly • 26th April 2009 •

And in about two lines, Whirly, you have summed up the over-long blog post I'm in the middle of editing ;-)

Sue Bailey • 26th April 2009 •

Ooophs. We had a board meeting the other day (5 pints at the pub) and we were discussing the eBay side of things etc etc some key things came out of the meeting 1. we supply dedicated staff just to deal with ebay customers. 2. we supply a freephone number for eBay customers. 3. we offer exceptional service and take pride in every transaction. 4. we pay our fees on time everytime. 5. we gave eBay £20,000+ in cash last year in fees 5. we offer a 20 year warranty on 90% of purchases. 6. we bend over backwards to make sure every purchase goes smoothly. And most importantly 7. Because we don't get alot of feedback/dsr left we could get suspended any day of the week because the royal mail loose/deliver late a £0.99p tube of silicone (which we sell just to bolster feedback/dsr scores) You couldn't make it up if you tried :lol:

Whirly • 26th April 2009 •

Wouldnt be surprised if Ebay leave Ireland ! Only 4 Stars ! Ireland comes highly recommended https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0426/breaking10.htm

hitch • 26th April 2009 •

#40 We have those sort of meetings Whirly. It really does concern us that eBay takes up so more more time than any other part of our online business. At the moment it's still worth it. But it does make us wonder where we'd be if we put all those resources into other areas.

Lino • 27th April 2009 •

It would be great if they do this. I'm a international seller on eBay and my rating is 99.5%. This is a big deal from Hong Kong sellers as buyers many time don't realize international shipping is rather slow. 99% of my items arrive within my estimates and the ones that don't, people usually give me the benefit of the doubt and contact me first. I always resolve those without problems. It is the buyers that don't read, don't care, impatient, and simply uneducated about eBay that gave me all my negative feedbacks. How do I know? Becuase they NEVER contact me first. Second, they NEVER go through PayPal and dispute the transaction. All they want to do is leave a negative and that's it. I do my usual reply to the feedback and make them look like tools but I don't know if they rate me 1 star in the DSR just because they are frustrated. I always contact them numerous times and so far, only ONE have revised their feedback for me. How fair is this? I get a ding and lower search standings and it wasn't even my fault! Buyers should be forced to contact the seller one time before being able to leaving a negative. I would bet that many buyers don't know they can get their money back, especially PayPal sides with the buyer easily. Most sellers, especially power sellers would work with buyers to satisfy them. I mean, why would they rather leave a negative and not ask for their money back when they can do both??? Makes you think what kind of buyers are out there and how I would love to block them all.

Jay • 30th April 2009 •