Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Doing My Homework!

I'm working on a post about the anecdotal increase in UPI's (Un-Paid Item) on eBay since Feedback was changed in May. I am hearing some sellers tell me their UPI rate is as high as 10% and at least 2 analysts have told me they believe it is in the 6-7% range, but is it really increasing?

Here is what eBay has said:
  • UPI's make-up about 2-3% of all transactions. I've got an email into eBay for some clarification, but haven't heard back.
  • eBay Marketplace GM, Stephanie Tilenius told Ina Steiner the UPI rate has not increased since the feedback changes.

So for the sake of clarity I am going to use the 6-7% range, but I'm trying to work through a few things:

  • Is the difference between eBay's number and the 6-7% number because sellers do not file UID (Unpaid Item Disputes) or is eBay's number accurate. eBay can really only measure those UPI's that are disputed, otherwise the assumption is the order was paid for.
  • If the difference between the two percentages is accurate what is the estimated dollar amount eBay gets because sellers don't file disputes.

    I filed disputes automatically but have no idea how accurate that process was. I sold low ASP items back in the day when FVF were less so I just made the decision the savings wasn't worth the cost to track it all.
  • Are large sellers less likely to file dispute than small sellers -- my assumption is yes.
  • How much would this affect eBay's true GMV? Taking eBay's reported UPI number with my assumption 5% of $60 billion is $3 billion in GMV. I realize that unless you can do a comparison Y/Y the GMV angle is moot, but $3 billion sure is not a small number.
  • Just for fun, if eBay's poor seller number is 5% and eBay UPI rate is 7% are buyers worse than sellers :)

If you have some data to add color to my post please add it to the comments section or email me at rksmythe at the hoo. (hopefully you can figure out that email address)

Questions for my readers:

  • What is your UPI rate.
  • Has it increased since the feedback changes went live.
  • Are you afraid to file UIDs because of buyer negs and DSR dings?

Any help would be appreciated.

Just my 12%

13 comments: said...

My unpaid rate is about 5%, and I don't file on it, for feedback reasons and because I sell under $10 items.

Anonymous said...

I was a platinum powerseller and I never filed UPI's unless it was over $200.

I made the decision that the time it took to file UPI's wasn't worth the money I saved.

Not only that, but you'd get buyers that would leave you hanging. They'd respond to the disputes clicking the "I will pay for this item" box, and then you'd never receive payment.

David said...

I want to respond to something that I saw on tamebay about suggesting eBay change the name of the word "dispute"

Here is something you need to think about.

If eBay revamps the NPB system and makes it more "buyer friendly" and there isn't any buyer accountability then the system is useless.

They need to bring back the 3 strikes your out policy that they had.

Anonymous said...

Our current UPI rate is 12 effing percent.

It used to be around 6 percent. It has absolutely increased lately.

I am not afraid of filing any UPI's. This is war. If eBay won't remove bad buyers from the site, and sellers won't attempt to, then like a bad virus they will just grow and multiply.

"Just for fun, if eBay's poor seller number is 5% and eBay UPI rate is 7% are buyers worse than sellers :)"

Shitty buyers is a problem that eBay doesn't seem to address nor want to address. The site has an insane number of piss-poor buyers and nobody is talking about it. eBay needs to take serious action on these deadbeats or it will be a major factor in the downfall of the site.

Randy Smythe said...

Keep the info coming. This really isn't a survey just a means to get some flavor on what is happening on the site.

I also want to hear from those sellers who have no problems with UPIs

Everybody is welcome to comment here.

Anonymous said...

Randy I will say this, for really high $$$ items, I doubt the UPI disputes have dropped.

It's one thing to excuse a NPB on a $15 DVD, but if somebody buys a $3,000 item I doubt the NPB's will decrease

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify. Above I meant to say "I doubt the NPB alerts will decrease"

I will say this. The retaliatory feedback was never one sided. In the early days of eBay sellers would leave negatives a lot more often when buyers didn't pay.

In 2003 when eBay started the positive feedback percentage ratings, sellers stopped leaving negatives for buyers out of fear of retaliatory feedback.

JD said...

As a small seller (silver powerseller) my last 3 months UPI: 4.9%, 10.3% 7.7%. Before the feedback changes it would hover between 1-3%. I'm getting the feeling that buyers now feel like it's no problem to simply win an auction and not pay- just as you would abandon a shopping cart. I always file UPI and try to get the FVF back- while it does take time, that's my money and I want it back.

Anonymous said...

Metrics metrics metrics...

Here's some numbers for you feebay!!

Unpaid Items (Definitions)

March 2008 April 2008 May 2008

Unpaid Item reminders sent 43 42 87
Final Value Fee claims requested 22 29 35
Unpaid Items reported as % of sold items 3.3% 4.2% 8.6%

Anonymous said...

ebay confiscates fakes, resells them

Randy Smythe said...

Keep it coming. Tell your seller freinds and ask other to let me know.


Thanks for the tip on the counterfeits and PayPal, I've been following things but haven't quite looked at things in-depth. Ina's covering it pretty wee right now.

TheBrewsNews said...

Our UPI disputes filed are less than 2% (most of the time around 1.5%)..... BUT.... we only file UPIs after we have exhausted other methods of "collections". The UPIs have only increased slightly but the number of buyers who are taking increasingly longer to pay has increased significantly.

Our auctions are PayPal Only (and we exempt people who ask in advance to pay by money order) and we use an automated payment reminder email. If we do not receive payment in 3 days, the email is automatically sent asking if they need any additional information to pay.

If we do not receive payment in 7 days, we follow up with another (more personal and more direct email). At about day 10 we send the final email letting the buyer know that we will be filing an UPI dispute and we explain what UPI is and why we will be filing. At about day 14 we file UPI unless the buyer has communicated and we have agreed to allow more time.

We file UPI for every listing that is not paid for -- whether it is $5 or $500. We have not yet received neutral / negative for filing UPI but I am sure it will be coming soon; the last few months some buyers have hinted about the possibility of leaving unfavorable feedback because we insist on filing.

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