eBay change “File a report” options

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eBay have changed the way that item reporting works. Gone is the ability to enter up to 10 item numbers at once and the option to add in an explanatory note as to why you’re reporting an item. In it’s place you can report a single item number at a time and can only select exact reasons from a drop down list of options.

eBay tell us that Filing a separate report for each item “helps you review each report carefully and thoroughly before you submit it”

There are some good things, such as the notes which should go someway towards increasing accuracy of reports. For instance reporting under “Listing Practices; Avoiding eBay Fees; Avoiding Reserve Fees” the note explains that you should be choosing this option if “The listing has bids that were canceled and was ended early because the desired sale price wasn’t met”.

The downside of this regimented reporting options means that it’s impossible to use the reporting tool to report anything out of the ordinary and there’s no way to report things like a logo with a URL in a eBay seller’s shop. The notes option also made it possible to report more than one violation at a time.

A couple of years back that the Enhanced Member Reporting Tool (Which sounds rude but isn’t) was cut back to focus on counterfeit goods only in 2009. A common complaint by Enhanced Member Reports was that a seller offering counterfeit goods was often purporting not to be businesses and charging excessive postage and this could be highlighted at the same time before the tool was limited.

I can see why eBay might have made these changes. I suspect that cutting and pasting of 10 item numbers at a time had little benefit over and above reporting a single item – eBay would still likely only sanction the seller once at a time. I also suspect that there are some regular reporters who dobbed their selling colleagues in on a practically daily basis and possibly are pretty much ignored. It would be unimaginable that eBay don’t attribute some sort of accuracy metric to reporting as they measure absolutely everything to the nth degree. They will know exactly what impact the “streamlining” of reporting will have.

The most common complaint about reports is of course that nothing happens and the seller you’re reporting carries on trading in the same manner with no visible effect. Hopefully increased accuracy will mean that those reports submitted will be more quickly actioned in the future, although it’s worth remembering that a first report normally results in a warning at most unless it’s for a server policy breach.

If you do report under the new system let us know (without mentioning eBay User IDs!) whether you see listings taken down or other action being taken.

3 Responses

  1. In the category we sell in, there are sellers that blatantly flout eBay policy (namely the multiple duplicate BIN item listings.). This is something we reported to eBay on several ocassions last year when they introduced this new policy. The response from eBay in removing these listings was non-existent and the multiple BIN listings in our category are still there. eBay are just making it harder to report items by reducing the number of items you can report at any one time to just a single item. It was quite time consuming finding items in breach of eBay policy in our category and reporting them. Given the response from eBay was very poor, I doubt we’d bother reporting anything again and this would be even less likely with the new reporting system as it would just take too long to do.

    eBay needs to get tough on the people in breach of its policies and stop penalising the smaller sellers who in the main adhere to them.

  2. This reporting business was crap if you were on the receiving end of getting reported and everything about your auction was legit. The reporting tool was used by unscrupulous competitors to cut back the competition. I battled back and forth with Ebay about one of my products which they said was reported. They first said they removed it because I could not use a certain description, then they said it was for another reason. What they did in the end was force me to use Etsy instead. This I imagine happened to a lot of their sellers which is why they’re trying to revamp now and get some sellers to come back so they have a viable site again and not just a chinese made junk sale.


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