Open Thread : If you ruled the eBay world…

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So it seems we’re generally unimpressed about eBay UK’s head of seller communications appearing on the Online Business Forum. In fact, as of time of writing this, there are more comments on the TameBay post than on the OBF thread, and most of them are commenting that eBay just don’t listen to sellers.

I’m not expecting Patrick to pop in here (though of course he’s more than welcome, should he wish to). But – just for LOLs – here’s your chance: if you were running eBay UK, what would you change? What needs fixing? What could be better? Please be specific…

53 Responses

  1. get rid of the

    snot nosed patronising, arrogant know nowt, youngsters that ebay call support reps, trying to tell me how to run my business and how to sell on ebay
    ebay should insist their support reps have a history of selling on ebay as a condition of employment

  2. What Norf said.

    Other than that I have nothing to add, nor do I care, 9 years on eBay has taught me not to waste my time bothering telling eBay what I think, they couldn’t give a ****

  3. Always remember that:

    1)sellers are ebay’s customers, so treat them as valued customers, not naughty children or probable criminals

    2)buyers are our customers, not ebay’s, so stop interfering in the normal communication that should occur between buyer and seller.

  4. and hows about someone who is contactable and responsible,
    someone that has authority, someone that can take action and report back and inform,
    we have been on ebay 12 years various ids with a large turnover and the best we get is as our first post

  5. Have a feedback system that accepts that you cannot please all of the people all of the time.

    It is an odd system of feedback where sellers can auto generate feedback but buyers cannot. What is the point of sellers leaving feedback at all? They don’t on Amazon. Make buyer feedback a one click auto generated solution solution unless buyers opt to say more. My guess is most will not.

  6. Yep. You ring up eBay about DSR score concerns and all you get is that they will not tell you which item caused the issue. How does that help sellers learn from past sales and improve their service going forward?

    So remove buyer DSR anonimity. Let buyers take ownership of the DSR scores rather than eBay taking ownership.

  7. 1)Remove feedback comments completely, negative ones are often inflamatory and positive ones are too subjective to actually mean anything.

    2)Let sellers cancel a sale instantly at any point up to the buyer paying, without having to go through ANY dispute process whatsoever.

    3)Allow platinum/TRS’s and above to qualify for seller protection without having to provide proof of delivery tracking, we do not lie about posting items. In cases of INR claims against a platinum/TRS, if the seller chooses to ignore the law (which they won’t in general) the negative feedback received and low dsr’s will soon puch them off the site. (most will disagree with that one)

    4)Drop the VERO program, it is only ever abused by the owners to restrict sales of genuine products, not to stop fakes etc. We once received a vero warning for a draw string bag, no brand or style. The VERO owner claimed to have to rights to ALL draw string bags!

    5)Make the board list and sell items on eBay, possibly for charity…first to raise £10000 or something, maybe they will see some of the issues for themselves.

    6)Be consistant, I have had 3 different answers from 3 different CS reps, how are we supposed to do things right when eBay don’t even know what’s right.

    7)Drop deal of the day, How many hoodies, TV’s and laptops do you think people want? Keep it but make sure they are real deals, not some peice of tat that has been over priced for the past 28 days and now “half price”?!?

    8)Make the outlets EARN the right to sell on eBay like the rest of us, their service is very poor generally, can you not see how this reflects on eBay.

  8. No more free auction listing days for private sellers.

    Just charge a nominal 15p for every auction listing regardless of value or start price including relists. That way over 30 days eBay will earn 45p in listing and relisting fees for auctions that are relisted twice which is pretty much the same as the 40p charged for BIN listings.

  9. In fairness to Patrick, it’s probably more the format of the Linked-In forum which is making it hard for people to engage rather than him. I’m a member of a few Linked-in forums and I find it technically terrible to engage on (compared with bbphp, say). I’ve found eBay in general and Patrick in particular to have greatly increased their engagement with sellers over the past few years.

    We’ve had a number of the team come and visit us and learn more about how we approach selling, which I think is a really positive move.

    I do think it’s very hard to please all your customers all the time with limited resources (I think we all know that from within our own businesses) and eBay has grown big enough to make that an amazingly complex task.

    If I were in charge, then addressing that issue would be my highest priority: that needs clarity of vision and aligning the organisation behind a really clear direction.

  10. I’ve just noticed your sitemeter right at the very bottom of the left hand side of the page. Is this any good? Since I’ve had my website I look at other peoples sites, their meta data and even their links. Sad I know, I should get out more.

  11. Dont allow anyone under at least 20 positive feedbacks to be able to leave feedback. They can still buy but just cant leave feedback for others. Every neg i have is from idiots with feedbacks of 1 or 2, they dont understand how to use ebay. They buy, they dont like, they return, i refund item and postage, sometimes also return postage and offer discount for future purchase, constant communication, then i get negs of “good communication, but dont like product”…..ITS BANG OUT OF ORDER.

    These stupid ebay cases, 3 times i have had this dam problem, buyer does not receive item, so they straight away want to open a case, but they need to first contact me. So they send me a message at like 2am when im asleep, so thennnnn they have sent a message and then open a case against me… the hell can i reply quick enough to sort it out when im ASLEEEEEEPPPPP.

  12. Make the business more efficient ie achieve the highest turnover with the minimum number of staff. Get rid of all the small time sellers and get as many big stores in as possible then sack all the higher paid support staff.


  13. Totally agree with The Rock. Ebay need to educate buyers. There should also be a better feedback removal system. If you can show that you have done everything you can to resolve the problem the poor feedback should be removed. I sell low value items and have had people want to return goods they did not like. I have issued a refund and told the buyer to donate the item to a charity shop and still received neutral or neg feedback. When I contact ebay to explain the position I’m told that because the feedback does not meet the criteria for removal it will stay. The customer support staff have the simple mantra Buyer Good Seller Bad.

  14. I disagree that eBay should educate buyers (presumably, educate them on the effects of their feedback). Buyers have ONE function on eBay: to buy stuff. Telling them they can leave feedback and then telling them what kind of feedback they’re allowed to leave is only going to put them off worse.

    Arguably, the effects of the feedback of one or two buyers should be made less terrible for sellers. But this should be about seller performance metrics, not buyer behaviour.

  15. I would stop counting opened cases against sellers.
    I would also get rid of the current head of T&S and employ somebody that will really make a difference and actually start acting on reports of blatant rule-breaking. I would insist that the new head of T&S train all eBay staff in their own policies as it’s usually the case that the experienced eBay sellers know far more about eBay policy that the average person that works there.

  16. Hi,like to say that this thing about partial refunds should stop.

    I’m getting fed up of people even on used items asking for refunds over postage.It seems that it’s stamp price and that’s it.

    Also,I agree that the customers should deal with the seller first.Customers though know that if all else fails,bung in an INR/IND claim gets there money straight away.

    Too many ways that scammers can profit from sellers,either though INR claims,or not as described.

    I put everything by registered post,so that I have proof of postage.

    Buyers have way,way too much power,this needs to be addressed.Sellers have to accept problems but not ones forced on them by Ebay.

    I have 100% feedback rating,but it’s getting harder and harder to keep.

    Too many

  17. If a buyer wants to claim for an item not received, then it should be made through eBay and eBay keeps a record of it. I should then be able to block buyers who have made(say 2/3) item not received claims in the past year. This is essential to sellers of low value items which cannot be sent by recorded/special delivery. Currently people claim non delivery and we have to send a replacement or refund and many of these are fraud.

  18. A seperate section somewhere on ebay for sellers to make reports of buyer claiming INR etc.

    This would be easy to set up by ebay. If any buyer claims INR, the seller just puts in the Member ID/date/amount/item #.

    Over a very short time, ebay would have a large database including prolific serial offenders.
    Acesss to the list would have to be by certain situations only, but naming ID’s as serial offenders would help sellers no end.
    This should also be linked to paypal claims.

    If buyers know this existed, then many would think twice about fraudlyclaiming INR.

  19. Intresting question:

    If I ruled the eBay world; Feedback, DSR’s, opened cases and certainly refunds to buyers who have received their parcels but still claim they haven’t would be an absolute priority.

    As well as buyer education (yes there is VAT on postage costs, yes items can take a time to reach you, yes you should try your best to let a seller know there is a problem before leaving low dsr’s and/or negative feedback, yes if you leave low dsr’s and negative feedback it is likely to affect end of month discount for the seller)

    But I think the very ‘glib’ replies (probably learnt from a script) of all those who see no difficulties at all in how eBay is organised and run (staff and also other users)would be my first port of call, as although I am a big fan of eBay ‘99.9% feedback – Top rated seller 50000+ over 10 years) I do become frustrated by the attitude ‘eBay can do no wrong’, realistically we all do, it’s how we deal with it, is the real test of professionalism.

    I remember the sheep in Orwell’s Animal Farm trained to sing ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ I agree with the comment earlier it does appear that there seems to be a song ‘Buyers good, sellers bad’ (although maybe not intentional by eBay it is exactly how it feels quite often).

    An example – I sold three very large boxes of mixed lego (three seperate auctions), the buyer wanted them urgently, the postage was listed as free and the total cost was 80 pounds. I had a member of staff passing his house (32 miles away) by pure coincidence on their way to a holiday destination. We hand delivered them, three days later the buyer opens a dispute (3 cases) and leaves positive feedback that says ‘item not received’ opens a paypal dispute and in his own admission leaves low DSR’s for ‘item as described’. I rang eBay and told them the story, they refunded him in full, would not do anything about the low DSR’s and also nothing about the ‘opened cases’. In their words ‘I should have made him sign for them when handed across’ and suggested wording for a receipt I could have got him to sign. And said that he had also ‘reported’ me to eBay for ringing him twice trying to ‘hassle’ him.

    The buyer started selling some lego. He first registered in July 2010 and sold lego over Christmas and has not had a transaction on eBay as either a seller or buyer this year.

    That one transaction altered my top seller status, my DSR scores and of course my end of month fee discount from 25% to 10%.

    Remember the sheep, they haunt me on occassions!

  20. Look at my case. Last December with the alarm of the bomb packages my orders sent to the US were delivered all late, many in around 45 days, I have had 9 item not received cases, ebay forced me to refund all payments that I did, then all 9 customers received the items, 7 of them contacted me and paid again. I informed ebay that all packages were delivered, they were sent by registered mail and tracked on, send the papal transaction numbers, ebay refused to revise these cases, I asked help also to my ebay personal assistant but there was nothing to do, now I’m a seller below standard for items delivered late. Luckily my web site sales keep on growing.

  21. its not buyers fault, its ebays system thats at fault
    and ebay will not listen to sellers
    as long as buyers are buying
    after all were all nasty, double dealing, scamming, fraudsters,
    and deserve our punishment

  22. what pisses us off is when a buyer opens an item not as described case
    we refund replace and generally climb up the buyers bum in an attempt to please them,
    they give glowing feedback become happy life long customers and are delighted,
    yet ebay still counts the case against us
    and uses it to stick the boot in to our TRS status

  23. Gary says; (20.1) Why was the postage listed as free? and leter Why did you not ask for the Lego to be returned?

    1) We list most things as post free and just adjust accordingly.

    2) He point blank refused to return it as in his words ‘you have no proof that I have it’ which is true of course. Although reselling it on eBay was a bit of a giveaway.

    Chris; (21.1.1) says ‘That’s long been a complaint’ !!!! A complaint that’s never been resolved by eBay? I wonder how they would score as a Company, I noticed in the early days that both Amazon and eBay would show their average scores and Amazon their personal score for their own items sold.

    However, that was quickly removed from both sites.


  24. Its the “item not as described” issue that bugs me more than any other. It actually stands for “give me some money back”.

    Issues can normally be sorted although you do get the odd picky buyer who says that something clearly shown in the image should have been mentioned in the description. They forget that it takes 2 to tango and that they were bidding in competition.

    The nature of distant selling is that things do happen that are outside the control of the seller. If things are not sorted they don’t buy again and if they cannot be sorted they send the item back. It is 5***** customer service to sort things. eBay are unique in penalising sellers for going out of your way and giving 5***** customer service.

    A full refund should result in automatic 5*****’s. Buyers should not be permitted to score DSR’s.

    Business sellers should not be subject to this feedback abuse on eBay as they have to operate within the law anyway and those that don’t should not be allowed to sell on eBay.

    Buyers should only be able to claim “Item not as described” against private sellers who are not subject to the same legislation.

  25. It seems to me that ebay are discouraging genuine people who wish to embark on an “ebay trading career”.

    Limits on items you can buy, limits on items you can sell. Limits on CLAIMS when items you have received are INAD. What’s that all about?

    Let’s say I bought 200 items last month – 25 of which were counterfeit.

    1. I can’t resell them
    2. I worry about claiming for them (if the seller won’t help me) as there appears to be a claim limit in buyer protection !? WTF!!!!???

  26. I can’t work eBay out. I’ve lost my top rated seller status and now I seem to have it back although I’ve not qualifed for it. I’m confused.


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