Tamebay Comment: eBay UK changes are a step in the right direction

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Who would have thought that when eBay made announcements over a week ago to dramatically reform the punitive and illogical Defects system, that some readers here on Tamebay would mourn their passing?

But some did.

You might have missed the massive slew of changes that they announced. We reported them on Tamebay and they are well worth digesting. Here are the key changes:

eBay UK Seller Release: Objective Standards – instead of subjective buyer inputs, eBay will measure you on objective data making it easier for you to avoid defects.

eBay UK Seller Release: New Returns Experience – An improved Returns flow for buyers with more flexibility for sellers.

eBay UK Seller Release: Integrated Tracking – Making it easier to avoid delivery defects when you use tracking.

eBay’s New Seller Hub Coming in 2016 – an improved seller dashboard. Long overdue!

There was never any question of eBay sorting out everything on the seller wish list in one attempt. There’s a lot that needs doing, for starters. And eBay has always favoured evolutionary rather revolutionary change. But what we were looking out for were bold changes. And we got that. There can be no argument that the direction of travel is entirely correct and encouraging.

The one concern we do have is about timing. These things have been announced but most will not come into force until 2016. Some could be even as much as 6 months away. It is a concern that eBay doesn’t seem able to introduce its own reforms more quickly and that means sellers will be facing another peak Christmas selling period under the old regime. In 2015, we would expect even the grand old dame of ecommerce to be more nimble than that.

And we had hoped for some movement on fees. But maybe that’s coming?

So it’s two cheers for the 2015 eBay UK Autumn seller release. And it would have been 3 cheers if the changes could happen sooner.

25 Responses

  1. Good news for many sellers I would imagine, though as a seller of low value items unsuitable for tracking, never having had a managed return, with no negative feedback and a negligible defect rate, I guess I only have the new seller hub to look forward to.

  2. this is like saying thank you to someone who has just stopped kicking you in the bollocks, it should never of happened in the first place

  3. i’m wholeheartedly behind the changes; and i’d rather they left any major overhaul like this until after peak.

    just like when they started hammering us with the defects, this does require some kind of crossover period; where sellers can see their performance under the new system, while still being rated under the old system, and make any changes as required during this time, before it becomes the standard.

  4. How many u-turns can eBay make? Frankly this will open up eBay as the land of Dell Boys where a thousand complaints can be rewarded with Top Rated Seller status. Product discription, quality and and after sales service will count for nothing on eBay.
    So whats the value of my 100% positive feedback?

  5. That’s still a minuscule number of buyers more than my competitors with less than 100%.

    I suspect it’s more.


  6. I think it is still a case of, “Be careful what you wish for”.

    A more relaxed way of measuring sellers’ performances may just let more competition in. All the bad sellers who couldn’t cope with the old system will now be ready to start flooding eBay with their tat and will be immune from eBay sanctions aimed for bad sellers so long as they fulfill the basic obligations.

    Although I hated the old defect system, it did removed a lot of the chancers from my very specialised category, and made it easier for me to operate.

  7. Can anybody on these boards explain why it should be a defect for the Ebay seller when a courier / Royal Mail delivers late?

    For small items it’s hobson’s choice – Royal Mail.

    For bigger items, you can switch to courier A, B, then C and back to A again.

    As most late deliveries are random events, there is nothing a seller could do to predict or prevent these.

    Why doesn’t Tamebay campaign for an end on Ebay to the unfair defect nonsense for late delivery?

    The only valid reason to penalise a seller would be for not sending or late despatch.

    Otherwise it’s completely beyond.

    Buyers are already protected from non-receipt by Ebay / Paypal rules and distance selling laws.

    Enlighten me, someone, do.

  8. The penultimate sentence in the original post is intriguing:

    “And we had hoped for some movement on fees. But maybe that’s coming?”

    Anybody have any thoughts / theories on what such movement might involve in practice?

  9. Ok yes its a step I the rite direction. However it will need tweeked.

    As a seller we are still being ripped off by buyers. INR claims are growing and even if a buyer is blatant ebay does nothing.

    We could also do with the throttling of sales to be stopped.

    As someone else has said the defect system should never have existed. Ebay is not a fledgling company things should change for the better.

  10. I’m not sure I’m seeing another area that may cause confusion, if not conflict, in the future and that is “tracking”. eBay would seem to hope this becomes compulsory and, upon face value, who could say they are wrong?

    But about a month or so ago I got pilloried on here on a post relating to “eBay feedback” as I stuck to principles on the definitions between “despatch” (as mentioned in feedback) and “delivered” (as most seemed to think feedback should be given on) and it clearly showed this part of eBay feedback wasn’t being used correctly.

    For several weeks now I’ve seen a growing trend in my purchases, I’m getting very quick “eBay messages” saying my “goods are despatched” and quoting a tracking reference. Yet clicking on that tracking reference simply shows that the goods have been notified to the courier, awaiting delivery to a collection point or similar. In truth my “despatched” goods are still sitting with the Seller . . . yet he could now claim he “immediately despatched the goods”.

    Despatched means it’s left the sellers premises, after that it’s “en-route”, so this zeal to appease eBay is a false statement . . .

    . . . and if sellers treat “tracking” that way in large numbers then it’ll undermine much of the reason why it’s a good thing.

  11. What a strange article.

    Considering Tamebay exists as a resource for small to medium sized online retailers, it seems bizarre to me that Tamebay could write such a positive post about the changes.

    While there are planned improvements to the current defect system, these improvements could be completely wiped out by the dispatch/delivery monitoring they plan to implement and the restrictions they will place on sellers who do not meet the new standards.

    Worry times for small/medium eBay traders.


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