I've held off writing about Feedback before because I'm sure I will get lots of comments calling me an idiot, but let me give you a little perspective. When I sold on eBay, for a short period in the summer of 2005, I had passed JayandMarie in Feedback. I believe it was 250,000 or something in that neighborhood (I'm sure Jay would know). I reached that level with a 99% FB rating (this was years before DSRs) I mention that to point out that I know a little bit about Feedback on eBay. GlacierBayDVD has been closed since Jan of 2006 and it is still in the top 20 all-time in feedback on eBay.
So when eBay announced that sellers will no longer be allowed to leave negative or neutral feedback for buyers, I smiled. I knew exactly what was going to happen -- sellers would revolt and would find ways to get around the system if possible.
Feedback is so ingrained in the eBay ecosystem that the announced changes in feedback are more worrisome for many sellers than fee changes themselves.
Okay, so here goes -- I welcome opposing points of view. I like the changes eBay has made to Feedback. Here's why:
- 100% feedback is not real feedback. If buyers are afraid to leave negative feedback for fear of retribution then you are not getting accurate feedback. This is why buyers began using neutrals to express their dis-satisfaction for a transaction. If you take away the fear of retribution you will allow for actual, valuable feedback.
- At GlacierBayDVD we always gave positive FB as soon as the customer had paid. In 5 years I maybe gave 100 negatives to buyers (in over 500,000 transactions)
- Sellers are concerned that if they can't retaliate, they will get more negs and they will soon see their accounts suspended. This is a valid concern and eBay needs to evaluate their suspension rules to take this into consideration becasue feedback ratings will drop across the board.
- Sure, this will finally end the reign of the 100% FB sellers but they will still rate higher than the bad sellers and isn't that what feedback was meant to do, provide transparency and increase confidence that the transaction would be completed to your satisfaction.
- Look at the ratings for DSRs, the vast majority of buyers rate 4 or better and they are anonymous and can't be retaliated against. The same thing will happen with feedback once the fear of retaliation goes away.
- Sure there are going to be crackpots, unreasonable buyers or those who try and extort concessions to avoid a negative. Let me tell you from experience. The number is very small and it won't affect you like you think. We had a customer service policy at GlacierBay that if a buyer threatened negative feedback in exchange for some concession on our part, we told them go ahead and leave the neg. Many of them did, but we survived just fine. We just added their id to our BBL (Blocked Bidder List) and moved on.
My suggestion to sellers, is to concentrate on adjusting your business to the new fee structure, Best Match and Finding 2.0 and let Feedback take care of itself. eBay will need to adjust their algorithm to account for a decrease in feedback across the board because the numbers will drop for everybody.
I may not respond to each comment left on this topic, but I do welcome your comments even if you think I'm full of it.
Just my 5 cents!