Thursday, July 10, 2008

eBay Announces Further Feedback Changes

And I was going to take the day off, well I just found out that eBay is preparing to announce additional changes to the eBay Feedback system.

Here is what I have seen so far:

"Recalculating Feedback percentages without neutrals: Effective in late August, neutrals will no longer be counted as part of the Feedback percentage. This means we will be recalculating Feedback percentages retroactively for users worldwide. In the interim, no one will lose their PowerSeller status as a result of neutrals being included in their Feedback percentage."

Helping you resolve issues and satisfy buyers: By the end of October, we will roll out a new process to help you resolve issues with buyers, even after the buyer has left negative feedback. Everybody makes mistakes – buyers and sellers alike, and buyers should have a mechanism to change feedback if they make a mistake or if the seller rectifies an issue in a timely manner. Unlike with our previous Mutual Feedback Withdrawal system, our new process will enable buyers to change their feedback of the seller, not just withdraw the rating. We’ll provide more details of this new process in the fall.
"

The information I have quoted above may not be the final announcement, but it will be close. I expect the complete announcement to come via the eBay Announcement board shortly.

I'll update this with the complete announcement as soon as it is available.

Update: Wow, that was fast. Here is the link to the official announcement.

RBH also has a good post about this over at eBayInk

I really liked this section from Richard's Post.

"Finally, even though it’s good to hear that “we have removed more than 60 percent of the negative/neutral feedback left by buyers in an unpaid item (UPI) process”, I’d also like to find out why a buyer, who doesn’t pay for an item, is still able to leave feedback at all (positive, negative or otherwise)." (bold is mine)

The recalculation of Feedback, removing neutrals, is a good move, and as they say better late than never. I'll have to see what the final changes are for Feedback removal/change in Oct., before I have any opinion on those changes.

Just my 12%

21 comments:

Cel mai misto tip din Romania said...

ebay is most vulnerable. hackers are ingenious

nadine said...

Just listed to Scott Wingo's June 25 webinar on helping Channeladvisor's customers cope with the Ebay changes.

His tone was very professional and determined to be as helpful as possible, but he couldn't hide the fact that large parts of Ebay were broken (like shipping calcultion) and get even more broken with the changes (like 3rd party checkout).

The whole thing has an air of blind man's bluff because Ebay simply has no earthly clue what their largest customers do for a living. I think it really is that simple.

So now we have Scott advising his customers to improve their shipping DSRs by selling more light stuff and stopping all international shipping. Um, was this really what Ebay wanted to accomplish 'to improve the buyer experience'? If so, they should be happy now.

Reading between the lines, the message is that every seller, large and small, should move as much of their inventory to Amazon and their own websites as possible, where their valuable time and money won't be wasted in more of this non-revenue-producing nonsense.

David said...

Finally eBay has made a positive change.

I think a lot of sellers were just in fear that if they fuck up once, their account is gone.

nadine said...

I think 'neutrals as negatives' were conceived of as a bargaining chip in the first place. Now they can get the 'noise' to pipe down without giving an inch off the way shipping DSRs are killing sellers who ship heavy items and/or ship internationally, through absolutely no fault of their own.

Randy Smythe said...

Nadine, if they want to win back sellers they will need to give back more than this but it is a start.

The reality is they didn't make the change because sellers spoke out, they did it because the metrics demanded it. It was just a nice coincidence that they would get credit for listening.

That being said, I like the change, now just keep NPB's from leaving any feedback until they pays and refund the listing fees and FVF to the sellers affected and me might be on to something.

David said...

The real question though which they didn't address is seller dashboard.

As I've learned since they launched seller dashboard. You can have a 100% positive feedback rating and still have your dashboard read "Needs Work"

They say you need a 98% feedback and 4.7 DSR's to get "raised" standing

Are neutrals counted in your buyer satisfaction rating?

Will they start restricted people's accounts that don't have any negatives because they got too many 1's and neutrals?

That's the question.

David said...

Just to add.

Say 10 people leave you a positive, but out of those 10 people somebody leaves you a 1 or a 2 on your Shipping Charges or Shipping Time.

Does that mean you are at risk of being suspended?

I think this is the type of fear that I don't think is healthy for the eBay community.

My friend who is a titanium powerseller does about 30 transactions a month but the value of his merchandise is between $5,000 and $10,000.

He got 1 neutral and 17 positives last month and he told me his buyer satisfaction rating in the seller dashboard read "Poor"

Anonymous said...

How will the recalculation of netural affect the buyer satisfaction rating used to calculate best match standing?

Will a neutral no longer count as an unsatisfied buyer?

I really could care less about the percentage, I'm just trying to stay in good standing in search.

If its merely a recalculation on the feedback page then this is a worthless announcement.

Randy Smythe said...

David, they are already holding 1s and 2s against sellers, regardless of their feedback

Too many 1s and 2s will get you lowered in search

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous, this move just affects the % and means that thousands of sellers will not lose thier Power Seller status

It also will help sellers from falling into the 5% non-performing seller ranking

It has nothing to do with DSRs so it has nothing to do with search, unless you were going to lose Power Seller status.

They just looked at the number and realized that too many top sellers were going to lose PS status so they made the change.

David said...

"It also will help sellers from falling into the 5% non-performing seller ranking"

If they include neutrals in the 5% non performing seller calculations, then the only thing that helps is mutual feedback withdraw.

I find it interesting that you can change feedbacks. I wonder if buyers can at the last minute change a positive to a negative. That could be pretty dangerous.

Randy Smythe said...

David,

That is certainly something to cautious about. eBay needs to think this thing through before they create another mess.

Amy said...

I think the whole thing with feedback percentages has also spooked a lot of buyers. Personally, in the days before the changes, I used to think twice before buying anything from a seller with less than 99.7% positive feedback. If I really wanted to buy something from a seller who had less, I would usually read through all their feedback to see what the real scoop was. If it looked like they had a lot of retaliatory negs from NPB's then I would still buy anyway. If it looked like perhaps the negs were deserved, I would pass on bidding. But I only expended the effort if it was something I really really wanted.

After the changes, most of my favorite sellers dropped below 99.7%, so I am pretty sure that I'd have to re-evaluate my standards. But I have no idea what my new standards should be at this point. No doubt other buyers are in the same boat. Some buyers might not even have realized that things changed so drastically.

It's a moot issue for me anyway because I stopped buying on ebay. But if I were still buying, I'd really be aggravated right now because their changes have made it impossible to figure out what a seller's real feedback profile looks like (without investing a lot of effort, that is). At this point I almost feel like I'd have to read through an entire feedback profile if I wanted to buy anything, and I am not about to do that!

I don't really care what they change at this point. Short of them changing the site back to what it looked like in 2000, I've pretty much lost interest in either buying or selling there.

dimes said...

Punishing sellers by "reducing" their visibility in search is a joke.

If buyers can't find what they're looking for because eBay decided to smack a seller for no good reason, they're not going to buy.

Someone looking for silverware does not want to see silver jewelry just because eBay is happy with the people who are selling it.

David said...

Agreed. Say I'm searching for a 1952 topps Mickey Mantle baseball card.

Does it "improve" the buying experience if a T shirt with a picture of the Mickey Mantle 1952 topps baseball card is on the top of the searches and the card itself is on the bottom?

Tony P. said...

"The reality is they didn't make the change because sellers spoke out, they did it because the metrics demanded it. It was just a nice coincidence that they would get credit for listening."

"They just looked at the number and realized that too many top sellers were going to lose PS status so they made the change."


Randy, just one more statement and you'll have completed the entire reason behind this move. Here, let me help ya out. Why would ebay give a damn if huge amounts of Power Sellers lost their status and ended up paying More fees and possibly being suspended?

Anonymous said...

From my TSAM:

Thanks for sending me your question.

The new feedback policy will not change how the best match works. The
neutrals will still count against an accounts buyer satisfaction rating.
The big change is the feedback percentage and how the rating affects
powerseller status. The policy is supposed to change sometime in late
August.

nadine said...

Randy, I think you're right that this is about protecting powerseller status for certain powersellers.

As evidence, Buy.com's current feedback percentage is 99.02%, which is not high enough to qualify. Under the new scheme, it will rise to 99.56%, which is.

David said...

anonymous according to auction bytes neutrals nolonger count with the SNP policy

David said...

http://blog.auctionbytes.com/cgi-bin/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2008/7/1215742317.html

eBay spokesperson Usher Lieberman confirmed that the company would no longer consider neutrals in its Seller Non Performance (SNP) policy, though the timing of this change has not yet been determined. In February, I wrote about eBay's decision last year to use neutrals in addition to negatives and other factors in a formula for measuring a seller's Buyer Dissatisfaction Rate (BDR)

Today, eBay posted on the Announcement Board that it would no longer count neutrals as part of the Feedback Percentage Score, a change taking effect in late August. However, the timing of the change in which neutrals will no longer affect SNP may not coincide with the August Feedback Percentage Score change. Lieberman said eBay has not committed to a timeframe.

In reading sellers' reaction to this afternoon's announcement, it appears that many sellers are happy that eBay is not counting neutrals in the feedback percentage score, a practice they said made neutrals count as negatives. But a minority of sellers said they are unhappy about today's announcement because they wanted to differentiate themselves as higher-quality sellers.

Lieberman said buyers have a number of tools to discern quality sellers, including Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs). In moving forward, feedback will be more reflective of how buyers feel about sellers as they are more likely to leave a negative if warranted, he said.

"Since we took away a seller's ability to leave a negative or neutral, the number of neutrals that have been left has dropped precipitously, which supports our hypothesis that neutrals were indeed a proxy for negatives."

nadine said...

Today, eBay posted on the Announcement Board that it would no longer count neutrals as part of the Feedback Percentage Score, a change taking effect in late August. However, the timing of the change in which neutrals will no longer affect SNP may not coincide with the August Feedback Percentage Score change. Lieberman said eBay has not committed to a timeframe.


Just another piece of evidence in the growing pile to show that the phrases "Ebay management" and "thought through changes" have become opposites in meaning. Any normal corporation would be deeply embarassed to so obviously not have its act together.