Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Auctionbytes Opened the Phones on Feedback!

I wrote my post about feedback earlier today and apparently my position is in the minority. I went to Auctionbytes to listen to sellers venting about the feedback changes and was amazed.

If you have 9 minutes this is very interesting. Click here for the details.


Tony P. said...

Hi Randy, I get some of the BEST info from your blog! Those phone messages let me know that I'm not alone. Oh yeah, this enabling of scam-buyers with the No-Neg ruling really pizzes me off.

Even though most of my customers are upstanding peeps, the occasional low-life does happen by, now and again. They usually want a partial refund because of something that they 'discovered' (a flaw, etc).

I offer a full refund for returned goods, as well as the postage costs, after I have inspected the goods and verified their 'discovery'. That's typically the last I hear from them. Of course, I'm holding the trump card of a Neg while all of this is going on. No longer.

Personally, I feel that this whole No-Neg ruling is what that #3 poster stated in Ina's posting: this is nothing more than a smokescreen. It will get peeps worked-up and they aren't seeing the real issues - increased fees, dismal Best Match results and dramatic paypal policy changes.

Randy Smythe said...

Hi Tony,

I think they've wanted to make this Feedback change for awhile and I know it is hard to take right now but in time the marketplace will adjust.

DSRs are not changing and they are going to be a part of the Best Match sort. eBay T&S will just have to rethink their 5% Neg and Neutral guidline as mor sellers will fall into that category in the short-term.

I know it is difficult to trust that eBay will do the right thing in this regard but I feel pretty good that they will.

Tony P. said...

"I know it is difficult to trust that eBay will do the right thing in this regard but I feel pretty good that they will."

In something as complicated as the seller-ebay relationship, there are few, if any, Black and White issues, or answers to those issues. But, in an overall sense, you are correct - ebay will 'Do the right thing'.

Therein lies the ultimate problem, in my opinion. It is just my opinion, but it is obvious to me that ebay Acts and REacts with the Aggregate view of their business.

In the aggregate, maybe 10% of the sellers will be caught-up in a situation where "their numbers" put them at a disadvantage . Unfortunately, the Bad Guys consist of only 2%, so that other 8% will be at the mercy of a responsive ebay. Responsive ebay?

If those sellers receive anything other than canned-emails... if they are perhaps PS and have a Rep... if they can get the attention of someone that actually understands the rules. Lots of IFs.

Some of those sellers will fall by the wayside and ebay will consider them to be expendable. Besides, they're just a few, a minority, a small Detail. They're not important, when looking at the Aggregate.

Randy, if you had ran your business with that "aggregate view" as a business model, your Negs would have been at 5-8%. Sure, you did accept a reasonable percentage of "hopeless loss", but you also dedicated a lot of resources to fixing any & all bad situations. You also didn't sit yourself up to needlessly ADD to the potential problems.

You took care of the Details and hoped that the aggregate would follow suit. Like most any business, you had to abide by that principle. You weren't a 900-pound gorilla - You had competition.

Ebay doesn't even consider the individual; they don't have to. As long as ebay has that attitude, the sellers will be viewed as serfs. They may beg for an audience with the King, to plead their case, but the King won't have time for all of them.

The small sellers will make up the majority of those affected, but they are simply Details. And, every time that this scenario is pointed to, the remaining small sellers are labeled, Whiners.

(sorry for the length!)

Randy Smythe said...

Tony, you are correct about eBay looking at this in the aggregate, but I have to admit with their size that is almost all they can do. In some respects Glacier Bay did the same thing.

I also agree with you that this approach doesn't make since at the individual seller level -- large or small really.

Let me give you a hypothetical situation.

A large seller is struggling and finds a buyer for their eBay business, but the transaction requires that the buyer and eBay negotiate some issues. The seller is not privy to those negotiations but is told by the buyer that the deal is off becasue the two sides can't come to agreement. The seller is left to speculate on the reason from eBay's point of view: With the large seller gone from the marketplace, the same number of wigets will be sold and eventually the market will list the same number of listings. In the aggregate the marketplace would replace the large seller so there is really no reason to negotiate. (Speculation on the sellers part)

When looking at the site in the aggregate there were always more sellers to replace the ones that left. My guess is that management seems to believe this is still the case. So not much will change for the individual seller.