Wednesday, February 20, 2008

And So it Begins!

A friend of mine forwarded a new website link to me, thinking I might find it interesting and he was right. The website is called BidBlocker and many of my readers who are eBay sellers will easily identify what the site is about from its name.

BidBlocker is a site for eBay sellers to share their Blocked Bidder lists. Here is what the homepage says:

"You have all heard about the changes occuring on Ebay. Sellers will no longer be able to provide negative feedback to buyers.

The only way sellers can protect themselves from unwarranted negative feedback is to block problematic Ebay customers. Customers who have left negative feedback in the past are more likely to do so in the future.

How does it work?
  • Ebay sellers add buyers to BidBlocker's database.
  • BidBlocker looks at all feedback left by the buyer.
  • BidBlocker calculates a Buyer Feedback Rating - a statistic not listed on Ebay.
  • Registered BidBlocker users can then copy the list of buyers into their blocked bidder list based on their definition of an "acceptable" Buyer Feedback Rating."

I thought "Blacklisting" went out in the 50's.

This website is a perfect example of why eBay will have a tough time making changes to the site. Have you heard the saying, "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction"? Blocking buyers, who leave negatives for sellers, defeats the purpose of eBay's feedback changes. Buyers who leave negs, will soon find that they can't buy from a large number of sellers. How will this improve their customer experience?

At first, I thought this site wouldn’t get much traction, but after seeing so much anger about the feedback changes, the "network effect" might give this site a shot. Sellers are always trying to find ways to game the system and this is a perfect example.

Update: Apparently, the point of this post was not clear. I am not suggesting this is a good idea, but is an example of what sellers will do, to get around eBay's rules. That's all folks!

Just my 12%


Cliff Aliperti said...

Well, they can keep on buying from me, at least until they do me wrong. I use my blocked bidder list, but only for those I report as NPB, so I've got a list of about 12-15 IDs over 8 years (wonder how many of them are even still registered).

Randy Smythe said...


At Glacier Bay we never even reached our 1K limit on our blocked bidder list after nearly 700,000 transactions but with BidBlocker sellers can update their BBL (with a new 5K limit)and keep the nasties away.

Chris said...

Randy you've gotta be joking with this one! No serious seller in their right mind will use it.

1) You nightmade customer might be my dream buyer

2) Some sellers (sadly) deserve negative feedback. Why should I worry? I give good service!

3) If they pay that's all I'm interested in. If they neg for poor service that goes with the territory.

4) Do they not know how many millions of buyers there are? As the lists grow are they going to maintain them and remove NARU buyers? Also when there are so many buyers added that the list at say 50% is over 5000 per category what they gonna do? If it grows one day you'll only be able to block people that leave 90% negatives.

Words fail me! Randy I'm surprised you even gave it space on your blog!

Gary said...

Absolutely assinine!

If I were to start a "Sellers From Hell" site where buyers could submit lists of sellers they were unhappy with, I wonder how many registered members of BidBlocker would show up in my database?

I wonder what their reaction would be?

My guess - most of them.

Randy Smythe said...

Chris, hold on there big fella.

Perhaps I wasn't clear anough in my post.

I guess by writing about it, I was in essense promoting it but that is not my intent.

I was interested in it as a way of demonstrating what sellers will do to work around eBay's rules.

Didn't put much thought into if it would work or not.

Maybe I need to reread my stuff.

Randy Smythe said...


Wow, I wasn't expecting this reponse. Did I say it was a good idea? I'm going to update the post to make my self more clear.

Chris said...

Hey Randy, I just feel stuff like this is a bit sad :-(

Sellers that start off worrying about getting negged or having awkward buyers are quite often self-fulfilling prophecies.

Any decent seller with a considered use of eBay Buyer Requirements and post sales credit control (unfashionable for eBay sellers... but get real, it's a business) using the UPI console won't have too many problems.

I don't think sellers trying to work their way around the rules will survive long. There'll always be customers that aren't on their blocked bidders list that will rate them accurately and fairly. If the service isn't there it'll show. If they give great service that'll show too :-)

Gary said...


My comments were in reaction to BidBlocker, not to the content of your post.

I understood what you were trying to say. Apparently It was me who didn't word things quite right.

Randy Smythe said...

Chris, I agree. The good sellers don't have anything to worry about.

Randy Smythe said...

Gary, isn't communication funny. We were all saying the same thing but it looked like we were at odds.

Imagine what eBay has to deal with in communicating to sellers. BTW, I liked your post on Amazon vs. eBay being "what you sell".

P.B. said...

I hope they have good attorneys or have at least consulted an attorney. If I EVER saw my eBay ID (buyer AND seller) on a site like that and published publicly, I'd start legal proceedings ASAP. I wish people would THINK before they do things like this. What are or will be the ramifications of this peculiar pre-emptive witch hunt? Who are these people? Do they write public policy? Do they enforce and interpret internet retailing law? Are they the thought police? This must be a joke?

Randy Smythe said...


I can't imagine that they consulted an attorney before creating this but since user ID's and feedback are public I'm not sure they would have a problem.

Apparently each registered user can select blocked bidders based on some criteria.

The problem is, there are more than 5,000 bidders who leave negatives and out of eBay's 80 million users, what are the odds that one of those 5,000 in the master list will be buying from you?

Its near impossible to make work.