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eBay Backs Down on Feedback Changes –Chalk up a small win for sellers

July 10th, 2008 by Skip McGrath

Lorrie Norrington announced two major changes to the eBay Feedback system.

Neutrals will no longer be calculated into a member’s feedback score and eBay will introduce a system so buyers can change negative feedback comments left for sellers.  Here are the details:

Recalculating Feedback percentages without neutrals

Effective in late August, eBay will no longer count neutral feedback as part of the Feedback percentage. eBay will  recalculate Feedback percentages retroactively for users worldwide. In the interim, eBay announced that no one will lose their PowerSeller status as a result of neutrals being included in their Feedback percentage.

Buyer/Seller Resolution Process

By the end of October, eBay will roll out a new process to help sellers resolve issues with buyers, even if, or after, the buyer has left negative feedback. eBay’s announcement stated:

“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.”

Lorrie’s announcement also stated that eBay is working aggressively to remove feedback from buyers who are involved in unpaid item disputes.  According to the announcement, eBay has removed more than 60 percent of the negative/neutral feedback left by buyers in an unpaid item (UPI) process.

Lorrie’s announcement also hinted that more changes are coming.  Last week I opined that eBay not only needs to listen better but they need to take a further step and actually involve sellers in the process of improving the buyer experience. That post, What eBay Could Learn From Boeing Aircraft, got so may hits it shut down our server for a while. (You can scroll down and read the post below if you haven’t seen it).

A lot of emotion and drama could have been avoided had eBay actually involved sellers in a collaborative process before rolling out the new Feedback and DSR system. It’s not too late for them to do so.

So this is some good news for sellers. There are still many issues revolving around DSRs that need to be fixed and I can only hope that eBay will address these next –and quickly.

Other News and Notes:

Paypal Disputes – PayPal disputes will soon be available on member’s eBay dispute console. This helps as sellers don’t have to wait until the next time they log into PayPal to learn if a dispute has been filed. You can access your dispute console from the left hand navigation links on you’re My eBay page.

External Links – I mentioned this in my last newsletter, but a lot of people aren’t getting the message. eBay no longer allows members to link to outside websites from their About Me page, Reviews and Guides or eBay blogs. If you have any links up there you need to remove them immediately. Violations can get you suspended by eBay.

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