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eBay Feedback Revision Coming Next Week

October 14th, 2008 by Skip McGrath

eBay will roll out the feedback and DSR revision program it tested in Australia.

Brian Burke, Director of Global Feedback Policy (don’t you love those titles at eBay) announced that eBay will roll out feedback revision on October 20th.  All of the details are not known, but eBay did reveal the basics.

If you receive a negative feedback or a low DSR you can contact the buyer and attempt to work out a solution. For example, you could tell the buyer that if they return the product you will give them a full refund in return for them agreeing to remove the negative feedback. Once you and the buyer have worked out your issues, you would send them a feedback revision request through eBay. If they agree, then the feedback is removed.

This is a far from perfect system, but it is certainly better than before. One thought that occurs to me is that unscrupulous buyers, knowing how the system works, will basically use it to hold up honest eBay sellers. They will get an item, say they don’t like it or some other spurious complaint, leave negative feedback and then hold you up for a discount if they agree to remove it.  Fortunately there types of buyers are rare –but they are out there.  I hope as part of this program, eBay will watch to see if certain buyers are leaving and revising feedback.  That would be pretty easy to spot if eBay wants to do it.

But, as I said above, this is an improvement over the current system, so we can be grateful for that.  The other part of this that I like is that eBay will also include the ability to revise not only feedback, but a poor DSR score too.

Other Bits and Bytes from the world of eBay

Sellers are still stressing out over the new electronic payment rules. Frankly I don’t have a problem with this one. We do about 150-175 sales per month and we only get the occasional check or money order. The larger issue is with those who sell very expensive goods. But in all honesty, if most of your products are under $300-$500 range, I don’t think this is a huge issue and I don’t really see sellers losing much business because of it. And it gets rid of the counterfeit certified check scam that has been prevalent on eBay. This scam has collectively cost sellers millions of dollars over the past few years.

Buyers leaving DSRs will get Free Shipping Reminders.

eBay also announced a new facility whereby if you offered free shipping and a buyer is about to leave you a DSR about the shipping cost, a message will pop up reminding them that you offered free shipping.

eBay Return Policy and handling time Policy delayed.

eBay announced that they will delay enforcing the requirement that all sellers state a return policy and a handling time policy until after the holidays.  Sellers who use automated launching software and online systems were struggling to implement the policy so eBay gave them a short reprieve.

Washington State joins other states in screwing online sellers.

This was the first quarter where online sellers in Washington State were forced to track and calculate sales tax by city and county. Prior to this, WA you filed your sales tax at the rate in the community where you did business.  Different counties in WA (and other states) have different sales tax rates.  So in the last quarter we sold 580 items, but only 16 of them were delivered to WA state residents. It took my wife Karen, over 7 hours on the computer to research, calculate and fill out the tax forms. Seven hours of work for 16 transactions and a total payment of $25.63 in sales tax sent to the state.  It will probably cost the State of WA at least that much to process the data and send the tax payment to the communities. For example, one of the payment went to Pierce county in the amount of 32-cents.  How much will it cost the government to get that 32-cents to Pierce County? There is a movement by the states to make this a national policy. Can you imagine what that would do to online sellers.

eBay Implements Fixed Shipping for Books, Music, Movies and DVDs

We are knew this was coming, but the rates don’t really make sense. For example, the rate for textbooks is $4.00 –the same as an audiobook. But the typical text book is heavy –2 to 4 lbs., whereas a an audiobook or a DVD weighs less than 8-ounces but ships for the same price.

That’s all for now,

Skip McGrath

www.skipmcgrath.com

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