eBay UK’s feedback trial continues

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feedback trialWe’ve noted in previous posts that eBay are trialling a new style of feedback: this has been around for some buyers on eBay UK for a while now, but for the first time yesterday, I got the trial version too. It seems there are a couple of versions going about: other buyers have had a specific date for the first question (“Did your item arrive by 9th March?”) – though mine may be because I bought from a UK seller for delivery to France.

As the trial’s been running for so long now, eBay will be running with some version or other of this: the trial now will be more about the minutiae of the wording than the general form. The sliding scale of 1-awful to 10-outstanding feels better than the current DSR labelling, where 4 is called “good” when in fact, it’s not. Of course, 1-10 is a big change from 1-5 or negative-neutral-positive, that could well encourage buyers to abandon the usual habit of “top marks across the board” which for so long has been the norm on eBay: it’s hard not to start imagining a storm of “I did everything right so why 9 and not 10” threads on eBay forums, but what will really matter is how eBay use the new system as part of their range of carrots and sticks for sellers, and that – obviously – we don’t yet know.

I haven’t blurred the details of this transaction out of the image because the seller was superb. Go buy their stuff.

33 Responses

  1. So instead of eBay trying to guess if the buyer was satisfied based on a number it looks like they are coming right out and asking a yes/no question. Sounds like an improvement to me.

  2. Don’t strangle the golden goose……

    1. Were you satisfied with the time it took to receive your item?
    2. Was the item what you were expecting?
    3. Was the cost of post and packing reasonable?
    4. How would you rate your experience with this seller?

    This version of Feedback is as flawed as the current version.
    Q1. Once an item is posted a seller has no control over the time it takes to reach its destination.
    Q2. “Well I ordered a CD and surprise, surprise I received a cuddly toy.” DSR’s cover this, why introduce unnecessary questions.
    Q3. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but if a seller purchases an item then surly they will consider the postage cost at the time of purchasing. Are buyers going to be provided with a price comparison list of Jiffy bag sizes, PIP boxes, record mailers & stiffeners, labels and other packing materials? If a seller uses a Pre Printed Impression (PPI) there is no cost of postage shown – so how will the buyer know the cost?
    Q4. A much better question would be “Would you buy from this seller again”

    An increasing number of professional sellers now have their own web sites, I do. I want to encourage my buyers to return and buy again and again, either at my ebay shop or preferably from my own web site.

    Bottom line – whatever badge, star, picture, image or ticks ebay awards me it’s in my interest to provide good products and service.
    If ebay concentrated more on supporting sellers and less on changing for the sake of change those sellers who consistently provide a good service will prosper and the cowboys will wither.

    Ebay – GIVE IT A REST – you are wearing sellers down

  3. somehowsomeway they need to make it balanced
    we envisage only the pissed off taking the time to use it

  4. Ebay are STILL asking buyers to judge Royal Mail delivery time as part of the seller’s feedback. Since ebay do very clearly state that buyer are not responsible for delivery times, why is this question being included?

    200 characters for comments: Is this for real?

    I agree with north on point 3, only the pissed off will really use this to it’s full extent.

    This feedback system is still going down the wrong path. Just scrap it and go back to the original formula, negs for buyers and all. To work effectively feedback needs to be equal for all who use it and at present it is far from it.

  5. It is unbelievable that eBay are putting buyers through this for a £3 sale. Anything other than simple positive/negative feedback and an optional comment should be limited to items that have significant value say £30 or more. That would be the commonsense approach but I may be right or wrong of course!

    For some reason eBay are still treating online retailing as something that is an entirely new experience for the masses and not something that’s been around for a decade or more. Feedback really is becoming old hat and needs to be kept simple. The only retail site I leave feedback on is eBay becuase I feel obligated to, not becuase I want to. And the only reason I feel obligated is that as a seller also I know what the feedback means for sellers in terms of fee discount and search standing.

    Break the link between feedback and seller rewards and I would not feel obligated at all. Thank goodness I also have my own website with regular return customers which is the only form of feedback I need!

  6. How long before eBay tell us how positively buyers responded to it….just in time for the next seller update, dead handy.

  7. many eastern europeans treat the present feedback system as a discount promo

  8. It’s a step in teh right direction …but only a small step….and I’m in agreement with most of the sentiments already expressed.

    eBay are fixated on this “buyer rating the seller” thingy and are trying to be too clever by half to come up the ‘optimum’ rating system – their holy grail. It’s just far too detailed and anal for most web savvy regular online buyers! This is like death by a thousand MBA’s …

  9. too many good sellers are not top rated and too many bad sellers are top rated
    its that simple
    buyers are overloaded with negatives neutrals dsrs ,percentages. paypal/ebay disputes, and all they
    really want is their money back, if they dont like it ,or it does not arrive,
    some system that allows for this easily and quickly is all that is needed

  10. Only the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches. I think the only way you can get eBay to understand what a seller goes through is if eBay management carry out an experiment i.e. become a seller. You see, you can’t fault Amazon for their tough rules on customer service and feedback scoring because guess what they actually know what it means to be a seller .. So I challenge the eBay management to behave like a seller for a week lets see how they fair !!!! Sell an item on ebay, experience royal mail who could lose their item, PayPal who could hold their funds, experience the most demanding customer, in the world i.eBay customer who expects their item tomorrow and wants free shipping and then see how they fair. Trust me they will be asking entirely different questions for feedback. So ebay Management take the challenge !!!!

  11. I imagine that the 1-10 method is statistically more valid than 1-5 (especially when an average of 4 is considered well short of acceptable), but in the current environment it all amounts to ‘rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic’.

    While we have a situation where a seller’s livelihood can be fatally damaged by subjective, arbitrary feedback, the niceties of statistical analysis are a distant second in sellers’ minds.

    Feedback was suposed to be all about transparency – to enable buyers to make informed decisions. That’s still valid but is now largely being ignored in eBay’s rush to cull any sellers that don’t fit their latest business model.

    It was always unwise for any seller to rely on ebay for the majority of their income, now it’s more akin to posting an assisted suicide note.

    I say this even though we’re currently TRS, which demonstrates just how precarious selling on eBay has become.

  12. I’m firmly with Norf on this.

    As long as the buyer knows they can have the money back if they aint happy then the battle is won.

  13. The whole feedback system has got too complicated and far beyond it’s orignal intention.

    The old Positive, Neutral , negative with a short comment worked well for years. it took no time to do as little more than a thank you between seller and buyer.

  14. My thoughts (feel free to insult me 😆 )

    Remove sellers ability to set out there own T&C’s, make a standard T&C rule that applies to all sellers based on the DSR rules that apply in the UK. Paypal only or checkout with CC payment facility. Standard return rules across the board.
    i.e every purchase that is made on ebay uk has the same T&C’s. Buyers cannot be arsed with all this nonsense.

  15. Sue.
    Oh, I agree….

    In this case Paypal were not involved as he never claimed anything, JUST A NEG for us as we stood up for our rights.

    However, Ebay did nothing to to assist & allowed the feedback to stand. Even though what was written was factually incorrect!!……….

  16. At one time it a buyer wielded a stick that left a red dot, now a buyer wields a big stick that can affect a sellers livelihood, one that can affect a business.

    Too much power can be a bad thing, buyers can now extort far more in their threats of bad feedback, to the sellers’ detriment should they refuse to give in.

    I had a buyer wanting me to send free goods in return for good feedback rather than return an item she was unhappy with, she had already purchased the second item before she asked. PS support gave advice throughout but they could not guarantee to remove bad FB if she left it.

    I totally agree with Whirly simplicity is key.


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