eBay, it’s time for a level playing field on my metrics please

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Jane is the eBay Anorak and has discovered that not all eBay metrics are measured in the same way:

We often hear the phrase ‘level playing field’ when referring to eBay for one reason or another but I’d like to request said field within my own account please.

The not so new metrics are worked out on a percentage of defects over either 12 or 3 months according to the volume of transactions you have. So if you have 400 or more orders over a 3 month period the metrics are worked out over a 3 month period and less volume will be a percentage over 12 months.

The problem being those who sell smaller volumes, as you can see in the screenshot below, both the Transaction Defect Rate and the Cases Closed without Seller Resolution are calculated on a 12 month transactional basis but the Late Delivery metric is calculated over a 3 month period.

The Late Delivery metric should be calculated over a 12 month period as are the other two metrics, this calculation is detrimental to low volume sellers who are therefore more likely to lose TRS as a result.

Come on eBay let’s do the decent thing and sort this out!

Has anyone else lost TRS on lower volume sales because of this?

36 Responses

  1. Somebody correct me here, but my understanding is that from the numbers above, of the 237 transactions, only 87 buyers answered the “received by question” and of the 87, 6 decided to answer negatively, giving the 3 month delivery defect rate of 6.9%. 81 said it arrived by the date and the remaining 150 failed to answer the question.
    My understanding is that all the numbers cover the same period, just that the difference is the number who chose to answer the delivery question, which is not a mandatory question.

  2. Either way (and the transactions for the last 3 months added up to 87) they should be on all transactions in the same period not just those who decide to answer, no?

    Just to add, the feedback left over the previous 12 months was 113. Would that also not be a fairer figure to use?

  3. ebay will always use whatever figures work out best for ebay.
    they “protected” you while they couldnt figure out how to monitor and adequeately beat you up for RM’s failures, now that they’ve stopped that protection, they wont be effectively back-dating it by factoring in a year where you were covered.
    the only “level playing field” on ebay is a second-hand wonky subutteo table.

  4. I have to admit as a regular buyer on ebay although I always leave feedback I never fill out the did your item arrive by x date part. It takes long enough to leave feedback so I ignore that, I generally leave it for a month or so and then do a mass feedback for a couple of dozen or so items.

  5. But surely eBay run an opt in ‘protection racket’ that any seller can subscribe to? Just upgrade the postage to tracked and get the acceptance scan on time and all problems disappear. Silver bullet style.

    Mind you the customer will have to pay for that in the end. Might even drive them to the High Street.

  6. to mw above. i could not disagree more. I have several friends that i help with their ebay business as well as having my own ebay shops.

    “It’s their way of de-cluttering the site for buyers and also maximising their return & growth” you say.

    Absolute non-sense. This is not how ebay operate. What would be the advantage to them for doing this? How would it be in any way more profitable for them to give preference to the volume and inventory sellers.

    Example:

    Are you aware of the ebay concierge team that was set up back in September? Set up at considerable cost by ebay. The very factor that was NOT considered was volume of sales. They didn’t necessary want high volume sellers in the programme. One of the criteria for the invite was “potential to grow” and ebay profitability and volume of sales were not a priority whats-so-ever. One of my shops that sells only a handful of items per day got an invite while a colleague of mine who dispatches over 400 items per day did not. There were many criteria for this special support but volume was in NO WAY a priority. I use this example only to illustrate my point above.

    I believe that you THINK you are correct but your conclusions must be wrong. Please also consider that ebay generate less profit on a TRS member because a percentage as the selling fees are discounted.

    Buyers are asked a straight forward question – did the item arrive on time? If they answer honestly sellers should not be “following this up” with the buyer and making them feel bad or even making them aware of any consequences. If their item arrived on time the vast vast majority will not put “no”. As a matter of fact you can avoid them even being asked the question providing you upload the tracking information (i appreciate it is not always viable for cheaper items to be sent tracked) within your estimated dispatch time – that way they don’t even get the opportunity to answer “no”.

    As you probably guessed from my post here i think the system is very fair and far superior to what we have had in the past. The old “power seller support” was based on volume but this system is long dead. ebay are constantly striving to improve. they don’t always get it right but they do try. They are not this “sinister” manipulative company that they are often made out to be.

    As for the subject of this thread. ebay have always said that the late delivery metric would be assessed over the 3 month period – this was deliberate. If you think about it you will (hopefully) see why this particular metric needs to be more current than the rest – it makes sense. Please also consider that in certain circumstances it can be an advantage as defects that would “hang around” effecting you for 12 months drop off after 3 months. Its not all bad.

    Too many sellers criticising the ebay system to the point of making ebay sound like “crooks”. Its a good system – learn it, comply and as another seller said above “all problems disappear”.

    Rather than pointing out the “plight” of sellers if the buyers say “no” simply try and get more buyers to answer the question “yes”. “Look at the doughnut and not the hole”. Remember the figure is a RATIO – that means the more “yes” you get – the less the “no’s” effect.

  7. I am a high volume seller and closed my shop saying I was away due to a small operation. Buyers did not see the small print saying I was away and my late postage dropped from 2% to 3.8%
    How is that fair ? when you are in hospital and you have clearly said you are away?

  8. I disagree to the “stop judging a business on their carrier’s performance” – you as a business owner are responsible for the companies / people that you employ / contract services to.

    If the carrier you are using is not up to the job, change to a better service, it is your responsibility to make sure you offer the best service.

    Should you not wish to change dues to price or other reason then set your delivery times accordingly

  9. I, like many dispatch same day Royal Mail first class even on a Saturday. As a business I do my utmost to get my order out of the door as soon as possible. If Royal Mail do not deliver in the time they say I have to add processing time to my orders and still post out as usual. Lowering my search position due to the added processing time.

    I agree with what you say to some extent but I also stand by that an acceptance scan should be used to measure my performance as a seller on eBay and over the same number of transactions as all the other metrics for the service I provide, if Royal Mail don’t deliver on time, I couldn’t possible change to 24 hour courier due to the size and cost of my items.

    What is there isn’t a better service available than the one I offer? And why should I be judged on the service I opt for not being fulfilled by Royal Mail even with an extra day of processing time added?

    We will have to agree to disagree here, I provide the best service possible and should be measured on that of the scan on dispatch not delivery time by Royal Mail. 🙂

  10. Here’s another reason for “late deliveries”

    The buyer. Not Royal Mail. Not the courier. Not the seller. The Buyer!

    Here is a classic example:

    I looked at 2 items reported as late by 1 buyer. They were ordered late evening on 5th Dec. Both were shipped together in the 1 package on 6th Dec. Royal Mail attempted delivery 7th. Buyer was out, card left, to rearrange or collect from sorting office.

    The estimated delivery date on ebay was the 8th. The buyer chose to go and collect the parcel from the sorting office (tracking doesn’t say when this was, but lets guess it was after the 8th, perhaps at the weekend) so he fills it in as not received by 8th.

    Technically this is true, but it also shows how utterly flawed the late delivery rating system is. How can a seller deliver safely and securely (ie don’t leave it in the bin/shed/with a neighbour who won’t tell you) by the estimated delivery date, if the buyer is not in to receive the parcel?

    Aside from Father Christmas, there is no carrier that can do this. And yet, if a buyer fills it in without thinking, “well duh, it was attempted on time but I wasn’t in, so that’s down to me” it counts against the seller.

    These are not one offs. I can see it time and again in my reports. Not in. Rearrange delivery. Count it as late.

  11. What does a seller do when the only option is Royal Mail? There is no economical alternative for small items. I have had several late deliveries due to Royal Mail’s underperformance. I had one marked late simply because the buyer was in when they tried to deliver & was upset he had to go all the way to the Depot. He was absolutely horrified to hear about eBay’s system of “defects” dished out to sellers & immediately wanted to remove it, which is a common reaction. I tried an experiment & asked eBay to remove it on the basis of the buyers expressed distaste. They refused to remove the late delivery defect even though the seller hed expressed his horror thorough eBay messaging. Top rated support may have had the IQ to see sense but now we are stuck with poorly trained support from the Philippines all comon sense has disappeared. When I revealed the tracking number they immediately used the date it was dispatched to prove it was dispatched on time. Any receipt from the PO would also prove when it was dispatched. We also have a DSR metric called “dispatch time” which is measured as delivery time. It should be eBay’s priority to back up the seller & educate buyers on the defects they are unwittingly dishing out. They think they are rating the local postmen! Well they are actually….but it’s the seller who gets punished! How is that a good trading experience? The problem continues to disrupt business on flawed metrics. eBay is asking the buyer to remember if it arrived early or late up to 8 weeks after they purchased! It is as flawed as human memory & not fit for purpose. Human’s are not robots but eBay expects robotic memory where it does not exist & damages businesses in the process. It is just plain lazy programming….just as lazy as them ignoring a single currency/slug speed shopping cart for over 5 years. It’s so embarrassing for them that they have not mentioned it for years.

  12. Here’s another example of a buyer causing incorrect late delivery defects:

    Ebay estimated delivery date 16/01/17

    Signed for 14/01/17!

    Reported it as a late delivery!

    What goes on in their tiny little minds?

  13. I am a high volume seller over 400 a month and my metrics are calculated over 3 months period but i feel that the ” late delivery rate ” is not on a level playing field as according to e bay they send out surveys to all the buyers and the rate is calculated on the number of respondents to this survey. So the ones who did not respond are not included in the rate which i feel is not a level playing field , if they do not respond than they are deemed to have received their order on time and this should be accounted for.
    Even Royal Mail do not guarantee that all their parcels are delivered on time and it is impossible to track small value items as this would become expensive and impossible to sell due to high competition .

  14. I see we have the usual “trolls”…

    Who is the most perfect carrier? I have no idea, I only use RM, many times on Tamebay I have seen them being slated, but I have yet to see any of those people saying “???” are far better, I use them all the time.

    Unfortunately with all changes in systems, some people win and others lose out.

    If you offer a service and fail to deliver on that promise, then you have to re evaluate what you are doing or how you are doing it.

    As a buyer if I was ordering a product with next day delivery and it did not turn up then I would be a little frustrated. And yes, as a customer I would blame you as it was you I had the contract with, not your courier.

    Customers are also a problem as they do not always seem to know what they are doing.

  15. What does a seller do when the only option is Royal Mail? There is no economical alternative for small items. I have had several late deliveries due to Royal Mail’s underperformance. I had one marked late simply because the buyer was in when they tried to deliver & was upset he had to go all the way to the Depot. He was absolutely horrified to hear about eBay’s system of “defects” dished out to sellers & immediately wanted to remove it, which is a common reaction. I tried an experiment & asked eBay to remove it on the basis of the buyers expressed distaste. They refused to remove the late delivery defect even though the seller hed expressed his horror thorough eBay messaging. Top rated support may have had the IQ to see sense but now we are stuck with poorly trained support from the Philippines all comon sense has disappeared. When I revealed the tracking number they immediately used the date it was dispatched to prove it was dispatched on time. Any receipt from the PO would also prove when it was dispatched. We also have a DSR metric called “dispatch time” which is measured as delivery time. It should be eBay’s priority to back up the seller & educate buyers on the defects they are unwittingly dishing out. They think they are rating the local postmen! Well they are actually….but it’s the seller who gets punished! How is that a good trading experience? The problem continues to disrupt business on flawed metrics. eBay is asking the buyer to remember if it arrived early or late up to 8 weeks after they purchased! It is as flawed as human memory & not fit for purpose. Human’s are not robots but eBay expects robotic memory where it does not exist & damages businesses in the process. It is just plain lazy programming….just as lazy as them ignoring a single currency/slug speed shopping cart for over 5 years. It’s so embarrassing for them that they have not mentioned it for years.

  16. So if they sorted the acceptance scan debacle then non of these would matter, this really is the point, if they are going to go on ‘delivery’ then it should be over all transactions as the rest are OR sort out the acceptance scan they were putting in last year.

  17. Unfortunately any system that relies on human interaction is flawed, so delivery times should only be judged on real data by a third party.

    This would be the same with despatch time, as it would be easy for sellers to mark an item as despatched and then blame the poor old postman.

    I was told by Ebay support that even if your late delivery rate goes up above their limits they do not judge you solely on that as they also take into consideration other score factors. Not sure how that works in practice as many of these things are automated systems.

  18. high tide mark, ocean currents,
    phase of the moon ,el nino effect ,sun burst ,cosmic storms, wind direction, jet stream ,
    weather bombs, thunder snow,
    blah blah blah,
    we dont care, we just sell

  19. Hi,

    when are sellers going to get an automatic positive feedback if the buyer fails to leave feedback/resolves a problem by the end of the time limit?

    Thanks

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