Did you know that there are 295,000 entries in Google.com under the term “eBay sucks”?
How did I know this? Because one day I got so frustrated by a bad selling experience that I googled the term and found that my anger had a lot of company.
Why are so many people (mainly sellers) angry at eBay? Because it seems like eBay’s policy changes are increasingly stacked against the seller… Now, don’t get me wrong. Selling on eBay has been great for me over the years. But recent changes to eBay’s policies make me feel as if eBay has forgotten that there are TWO sides in every transaction.
When I first heard of eBay, way back in 1988, I was totally skeptical. How could I sell something to a total stranger way across the country and expect things to go well? Remember, this way long before electronic payment services like Paypal. What would I do if someone bounced a check? I couldn’t go and hunt bad check writers down.
Surprisingly, though, eBay DID work. The feedback system allowed both sides of the transaction to leave feedback on how things went. Yes, there were/are a small number of people who would leave undeserved negative feedback for each other, but for the most part it worked. Well, a few months ago, eBay changed the feedback system so that the buyers have 100% of the power.
Now, sellers can no longer leave negative feedback for a buyer. Trust me….there are some buyers who DESERVE negative feedback. If a buyer wins one of my auctions and never responds to my emails and never pays me, I cannot let other sellers know through negative feedback. The new system allows me to open a “Dispute Console” (how wimpy is that?) and, if the buyer ultimately does not pay, they have one positive point removed. Pleeeeeeease….. What about buyers who want to buy on approval, are rude, try to say that the package never arrived or arrived broken and then refuse to send the package back or show me a photo of the broken piece? Yes, it happens.
Also, eBay has broken down seller feedback into four points (Item Description, Communication, Shipping Time, Shipping Charges). Perfection is expected of a seller. It has not caused me to do business any differently, because I already lived and died by feedback. But it’s dispiriting as hell.
In my opinion, eBay has gotten too far away from what made it work in the first place — an honor system of feedback that allowed both sides to rate the transaction.
Toilet photo courtesy of www.samiam.com. http://www.samiam.com