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eBay Drops Media Fees, Keeps Feedback Changes

Sellers unhappy about feedback program

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The price for inserting media like books, movies, music, and video games on eBay drops in response to angry seller feedback.

Lower insertion fees for the first three tiers of media categories give sellers a little relief, as they made enough complaints to prompt eBay to move quickly on that issue. But eBay will not back off its feedback changes.

Sellers can kick and scream all they want about the new feedback system, but that isn’t going to change. The best discounts for sellers from the Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) program means sellers will have to impress buyers on several points.

One of those points directly hits sellers in their wallets. Buyers can rate shipping and handling charges as one of the DSR factors.

As pointed out on the Bits Blog, buyers have long complained about huge shipping fees. Ebay’s Lorrie Norrington, President of eBay Global Marketplace Operations, said in a message from the company the changes focus on improving buyer trust in the marketplace.

A noble statement, but Norrington left out the other part of the shipping fees issue. Sellers routinely jack up shipping fees in order to skirt eBay’s Final Value Fees, which are a percentage of the closing price.

Shipping fees are not part of the Final Value equation, and sellers quickly realized they could offer an item at a lower price and make up some profits on shipping. If you ever wondered how a $6 shipping fee for a book manifested itself as a $1.38 stamp on an envelope, in an example I’ve seen, now you know where the other $4.62 ended up: in the seller’s pocket and out of eBay’s reach.

eBay will turn buyers into a de facto shipping police force through the DSR program. If sellers price shipping as a profit center, buyers who deal with those sellers may choose to knock the shipping cost portion of the DSR down in response.

A survey at Auction Bytes found sellers consider feedback changes as having the most impact on their business. 98.3 percent said this impact would be negative.

eBay did not have much of a choice but to finally act on buyer perceptions about high shipping fees making eBay a bad deal. Norrington said they will monitor the data associated with the program, and eBay will take action if buyer trust fails to improve.

eBay Drops Media Fees, Keeps Feedback Changes
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  • Guest

    As a buyer and merchant, after being burned twice by other merchants’ abuse of the Ebay/PayPal duo’s lax dispute process and finding no significant recourse or response, I no longer plan to use either.  I do not trust organizations which allow transfer of my money with no recourse after 45 days when the merchant doesn’t ship (other than to give a poor rating which will be negged by the merchant in retaliation for your honest warning to other potential buyers).  No other bank or institution will allow time passed to invalidate a purchase contract obligation – in fact, they usually add interest and penalties to the offending party.

    It’s like going to school full of bullies and no adult security.

  • Guest

    I NEVER held a gun and forced ANYONE to bid on MY AUCTIONS, yet they bid, buy, and bitch about the S&H charges AFTER the auction.

     

    SOLUTION:  DON’T BID and DON’T BUY !!!

    • Guest

      I agree with you, when buy, think of the total cost of the product.

    • Simon

      If you sell a widget for a few dollars & charge $50 for shipping, you’re going to have to expect people to complain & probably leave negative feedacks.

      I buy on eBay too & always understand all of the costs involved, but there are always newbies that will not. If you have unprofessional business practices, you’re going to get complaints. Duh…

  • Guest

    The feedback changes are the most sensible part of the plan. If a buyer doesn’t pay then other processes can be used against them. But it’s the buyer who takes the risk, and in every real-life situation it’s the consumer who writes the reviews not the other way around. The real problem with eBay is the high fees and percentage costs they take out from the seller’s profits. But the sellers whine about everything like it’s the end of the world.

    • Simon

      Buyers have lots of protection & they can just start a new account if they get negative feedback. Maybe you’re not aware of how buyers are protected, but they have tons of protection.

      Its sellers that have their businesses on the line & take years to carefully build up positive feedback.

      A buyer can destroy a mom & pop shop’s feedback & business (read income) on a whim & sellers now have ZERO ways to prevent that.

      I’ve had buyer’s leave negative feedback because they didn’t read the frickin’ auction! As well as a bunch of other bonehead reasons too! Its sellers that have their jobs, their income, their lives at risk. Sellers can just call their credit card company & screw over the seller for any reason at anytime. And eBay & Paypal do basically nothing to protect sellers.

      Buyer’s often are extremely emotional & totally unprofessional, so I & our company who are sellers on eBay STRONGLY DISAGREE!

  • Simon

    It doesn’t make any sense. Now buyers can be as crazy, immature, unprofessional, & unreasonable as they want & the seller has no recourse. As well as other sellers will never know if some newbie is a nut!

    Buyers can ruin a company’s good reputation on a whim & nothing can be done about it unless you take it to court!

    eBay just gets worse & worse, so there is certainly a market for competition. Its too bad one of the other big guys like Yahoo or Amazon doesn’t take them on so that eBay doesn’t have a monopoly which they obviously use to bully sellers while reaping giant rip-off mega-profits.

    If there are any large corporations out there, think about it. The net is huge, there is certainly room for a better auction site. And yes, I’ve seen all of the other ones out there, but eBay advertises on TV & are a household name, so it will take some serious bucks to take them on.

    eBay has taken a huge step backwards in our company’s opinion.

  • http://mmerlinn.com Guest

    My old policy on feedback as a seller was to give feedback as soon as the buyer completed his obligations.  Occasionally I was forced to leave negative or neutral feedback, but not very often.  Fortunately, no buyer has ever had a reason to leave me negative feedback, although out of the 700+ sales I have had, I did get three neutrals, only one of which was deserved.

    With the new feedback rules, I will not be giving ANY feedback to anyone for any reason.  If I am not allowed to leave negative feedback, I see no reason why I should leave positive feedback.  I am sure that the buyers won’t like it, but I see no reason to be punished by eBay just because eBay has ALLOWED a few sellers to abuse the system.

  • Guest

    Thanks for letting us know where we can get good info on potential buyers we will use this. We have a 100% rating and don’t want to lose it over something like this. These ratings can make or break an Bay business.

  • Guest

    i think its all a  scam anyway , the only person who cares about high shipping is EBAY . cos they lose money . buyers add the total – proved by the fact you can now search incl p+p . sellers have to add on their costs of auctions into postage cos ebay forced you to years ago by preventing charging more if using paypal . a listing low priced you can make money on now . listing , listing upgrades , final value , paypal , paypal % , ITS A BIG CORPORATE RIP OFF bend over like good sellers and take it right up the ram hole you know you love the ebay pork sword . sadly its long established and the market leading auction site so we all jsut have to play their game . but the clever people are always 2 steps ahead of the ebay fascists anyway .

     

    dear buyers , add up the item and shipping , if it is good value in TOTAL , buy iy . if not dont . nobody forces you to . dear ebay , stop meddling ….if you have too much time lay off staff and reduce fees your worth billions already

     

  • boycott-ebay.net

     I urge all buyers and sellers on eBay around the world to take a stand against the greed that has set in to eBay’ headquarters.

    May 1st 2008 is the next worldwide eBay Strike day, join in and let eBay know now before it’s too late. In 5 years people will be talking about the site that was "eBay".

    eBay! What’s eBay?

    Make some NOISE!

    www.boycott-ebay.net

  • boycott-ebay.net

     I urge all buyers and sellers on eBay around the world to take a stand against the greed that has set in to eBay’ headquarters.

    May 1st 2008 is the next worldwide eBay Strike day, join in and let eBay know now before it’s too late. In 5 years people will be talking about the site that was "eBay".

    eBay! What’s eBay?

    Make some NOISE!

    www.boycott-ebay.net

  • JJ

    I stopped going to ebay ages ago.  I’ll only come back if they drop all insertion fees, fix their silly feedback system & STOP meddling.  If a seller wants to charge $80 to ship a book, why should ebay interfere?  A buyer will obviously not buy if it’s unreasonable to them but some buyers will pay higher shipping if they want the item badly enough.  Also, if a buyer chooses to send cash, use Western Union & NOT use PayPal, ebay should mind it’s own crapping business.

  • Guest

    Hi

    1.  WWW.VOX-POPULI-ONLINE.COM doesn’t seem to work

    2. I have noticed the difference the fvf charges have made to my ebay bill. I have to pay a great deal more, so I have vastly reduced my listings, from over 300 to about 60, and created my own website, which people do seem to be finding via Google. I still use ebay, it lets me advertise my site on my ‘about me’ page and I put info about it in with any mailed item I sold on Ebay, plus I still sell quite a few things via ebay, though the current recession has hit sales hard. As much as the higher fees have bitten hard and I hate them, ebay do take a lot less than an auction house would and they do proviude a worldwide shop window, so I’m still happy to use it and pay for the service, just not as much as I did before the rates went up. I also buy a lot on ebay

    3. Re the feedback changes… I have had one neg and one neutral feedback in the past year (out of 403 feedback over that year and over 1800 in total). The neutral was unfair, as the woman bought shoes and said they were too tight on her, which wasn’t my fault, and the negative was an out and out lie from a buyer. I had left her no feedback at all after she didn’t pay but, after her dishonest, neg feedback, I left her much deserved neg and blocked her. I once had one buyer demand her money back for a coat I sold her that she said had got creased in the post. It had cost her £2 and, being very heavy, a genuine £7 in postage. I told her I would refund her payment but not postage, she still returned it and it cost her £14 in postage to get her £2 back for a perfectly good coat. The creases disappeared simply by putting it on a coat hanger for an hour. Luckily she had already left me good feedback, I’m sure she would have left unwarranted neg when she later decided to become unreasonable. I would now have no redress against a buyer like that, I would be penalised by her and my reputation tarnished through no fault of my own. I can now no longer leave such a buyer their deserved neg feedback, which is worrying. Fortunately, such buyers are few and far between. I offer good, quality items, good service and friendly, helpful communications and pretty much all my buyers appreciate that. Many are return buyers too, seeking me out on ebay to buy more,  and now some also come to my site and buy there too, although my items are luxury ones and not cheap

    4. The thing that most irks me is the change to neutral feedback. It is not neutral anymore, it affects your feedback percentage, so, rather than neutral, it is detrimental. I feel it is so wrong that something called ‘neutral’ can do that. They should either not allow neutral to affect the feedback percentage or should cease to call it neutral, as the name is now a downright lie.

    5. In Japan and elsewhere in the east, they seem to prefer the Yahoo auction site to ebay but it, sadly, does not exist in UK and has been closed down in US and Canada, which is a great shame. I can’t buy on the eastern world Yahoo ones either, as I can’t understand the Japanese language they are listed in and I am sure I am missing out, as I buy a lot from Japan. I had hoped Yahoo auctions would run here in the UK but it looks like it is not to be. Such a shame, as I’m sure it would eventually become as big as ebay, who could do with some serious competition from a well known name like yahoo

  • Guest
  • Guest

    I hate the new ebay feedback system…How can sellers pay seller fees and not leave true feedback ? This is why I am moving to a free site like ebay called www.Bidtunnel.com its free and sellers can leave true feedback.

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