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Old 01-29-08, 01:18 PM   #1
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Changes coming to Ebay

eBay unveils lower fees, tighter seller standards

Some welcome news...a few highlights:
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Donahoe announced that eBay will introduce an insertion fee reduction in the U.S. Feb. 20 by cutting the cost of listing items by 25 percent to 50 percent. By reducing the impact of items that don’t sell, eBay hopes merchants will list more products.
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eBay will also do away with fees it charges U.S. merchants for its “gallery” option, in order to encourage merchants to include more photos with their listings. Fee changes will vary by country.
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In addition, eBay will alter its search engine so that merchants with lower rates of customer satisfaction get less exposure on search results. Meanwhile, sellers with higher buyer satisfaction ratings will get better exposure in search results.

In particular, eBay wants to penalize sellers that charge excessive fees for shipping and handling, which the company has found is a major turnoff for buyers, said Bill Cobb, president of eBay North America, who spoke after Donahoe.
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eBay will also require a “safe payment option,” such as PayPal or a major credit card, from merchants with lower customer satisfaction and from those in product categories that generate many buyer complaints.
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eBay will also revamp its feedback system, in particular to curb what Cobb called “a disturbing trend” of sellers using it to retaliate against buyers by giving them low ratings. This discourages buyers from leaving honest feedback and drives many of them away from eBay.
(I posted here since this is where I hang out...stan.)
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Old 01-29-08, 01:31 PM   #2
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very good news indeed. thanks for sharing
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Old 01-29-08, 01:33 PM   #3
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Sounds promising, but keep in mind that jerks always have the advantage in any battle since they are willing to bend or break rules to their advantage (this is the prime characteristic of being a jerk, afterall). So I am not holding my breath that any workable system of feedback can protect me from using that system against me.

But, I will try to keep an open mind.

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Old 01-29-08, 02:43 PM   #4
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So I am not holding my breath that any workable system of feedback can protect me from using that system against me.
jim
Well, dude, as Honest Abe once said, "An emptor divided against himself ... "
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Old 01-29-08, 02:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by family_belly View Post

In particular, eBay wants to penalize sellers that charge excessive fees for shipping and handling, which the company has found is a major turnoff for buyers,
eBay wants to penalize sellers who charge excessive fees for shipping and handling because eBay doesn't get a cut of those fees.
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Old 01-29-08, 02:54 PM   #6
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eBay wants to penalize sellers who charge excessive fees for shipping and handling because eBay doesn't get a cut of those fees.
I've been dinged on feedback for my seller fees, and I charge my cost, refund any excess, and don't charge for "handling" or materials. I decided I need to offer more shipping options, including some cheaper ones, but that's a hassle in itself, and can result in exposing items to problems en route. Not long ago, I shipped a wheelset, carefully packed in a wheelbox, via Parcel Post at the buyer's request. All the documentation was correct. A month later, the box arrived with one wheel missing and apparently no sign of damage or pilfering - though you can be darn sure it was messed with. If I recall correctly, I wound up refunding the full amount. Buyers can't always see things from the seller's perspective if they don't sell themselves, though I perfectly well understand the problem of seller's using shipping as a profit center. But there's a simple solution - get the shipping cost before bidding and don't bid if it's too high. The problem takes care of itself that way. Buyers sometimes treat eBay transactions like they're buying from a retailer instead of someone with a wife, a job, and a 3-year-old.
Here ends the sermon.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:17 PM   #7
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I hope the feedback system change will work. I have not left feedback in fear of a retaliation. I have also read some ads that said they will give feedback after the buyer leaves feedback.

One thing I wish eBay would do is enforce its rules. I report people that place items in the wrong category. There is one guy that constantly puts cycling clothes in the "Complete Bicycles and Frames" category. I have reported this guy at least 100 times, but eBay won't do anything. I really hate it when I am browsing through the complete collectible bicycles and there are tons of parts, print ads and clothing listed in that category.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:33 PM   #8
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IOne thing I wish eBay would do is enforce its rules. I report people that place items in the wrong category. There is one guy that constantly puts cycling clothes in the "Complete Bicycles and Frames" category. I have reported this guy at least 100 times, but eBay won't do anything. I really hate it when I am browsing through the complete collectible bicycles and there are tons of parts, print ads and clothing listed in that category.
eBay won't do anything because with fraud rampant, they have much bigger fish to fry. They can't even get bogus listings off there half the time. I'm sure people listing clothing under complete bikes and frames falls pretty far down their list of issues to deal with.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:35 PM   #9
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As soon as I flipped back to AOL to check my mail after posting, the headline that met my eyes read: "Stolen Artifacts Sold on Ebay."
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Old 01-29-08, 03:38 PM   #10
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I've been dinged on feedback for my seller fees, and I charge my cost, refund any excess, and don't charge for "handling" or materials. I decided I need to offer more shipping options, including some cheaper ones, but that's a hassle in itself, and can result in exposing items to problems en route. Not long ago, I shipped a wheelset, carefully packed in a wheelbox, via Parcel Post at the buyer's request. All the documentation was correct. A month later, the box arrived with one wheel missing and apparently no sign of damage or pilfering - though you can be darn sure it was messed with. If I recall correctly, I wound up refunding the full amount. Buyers can't always see things from the seller's perspective if they don't sell themselves, though I perfectly well understand the problem of seller's using shipping as a profit center. But there's a simple solution - get the shipping cost before bidding and don't bid if it's too high. The problem takes care of itself that way. Buyers sometimes treat eBay transactions like they're buying from a retailer instead of someone with a wife, a job, and a 3-year-old.
Here ends the sermon.
amen.

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I hope the feedback system change will work. I have not left feedback in fear of a retaliation. I have also read some ads that said they will give feedback after the buyer leaves feedback.
This is reasonable, I subscribe to this practice. You need confirmation that the buyer is pleased. If they pay up and you send them their item and happily leave feedback, they could get it and be upset with it and then they have you at sword point because you already left your feedback so they have nothing to fear in leaving negative feedback for you. If the buyer leaves positive feedback you know they are happy, you sold your item and got your money, what more do you want, then you can leave positive feedback.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:53 PM   #11
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I've been on ebay for a long time...... these are good some good changes and it is about time. But my major complaint over the past few years is that they are starting to treat the 'Average Joe' like we are some sort of retail establishment and that we have to act like one. It's gotten to a point where I will just buy and no-longer sell as the cost has gotten to high and dealing with all the smucks out there just makes it a pain.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:00 PM   #12
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I've been on ebay for a long time...... these are good some good changes and it is about time. But my major complaint over the past few years is that they are starting to treat the 'Average Joe' like we are some sort of retail establishment and that we have to act like one. It's gotten to a point where I will just buy and no-longer sell as the cost has gotten to high and dealing with all the smucks out there just makes it a pain.
I'm with you. I mean, literally, since we apparently are in the same geographical area. But also, I'm taking my selling on the road this year - Westminster, Cirque, Trexlertown, and bypassing eBay for the most part. Plenty of good deals to be had at my table, just to avoid the hassles. Used to be the redeeming feature of selling vintage bike stuff on eBay was that it was small community that kept one another in line to some extent. You usually knew the person you were selling to, and were likely to interact with them at some point in some other way. But with the expansion of the hobby, that seems to be less and less the case.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:05 PM   #13
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The excessive S&H fee detail is bogus. If you don't like how much it will cost to ship, don't bid. Or, if there isn't a shipping cost listed, email the seller and find out what it will be. Easy. I sold a book and the listing stated S&H fee within CONUS, and specifically requested that any foreign bidders contact me regarding shipping costs. A canadian won the auction but didn't like my S&H fees so she left negative feedback. No email beforehand, no request for a specific method of shipping, just complaints and then negative feedback. Not like there's much way to deal with it now, but from what I guess, I'd be even worse off if they are supposedly cracking down on sellers...
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Old 01-29-08, 04:08 PM   #14
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This is reasonable, I subscribe to this practice. You need confirmation that the buyer is pleased. If they pay up and you send them their item and happily leave feedback, they could get it and be upset with it and then they have you at sword point because you already left your feedback so they have nothing to fear in leaving negative feedback for you. If the buyer leaves positive feedback you know they are happy, you sold your item and got your money, what more do you want, then you can leave positive feedback.

This is a bullsh!t practice and you know it. I can't believe you have the cajones to announce that to us.

As a buyer, if I pay you promptly with clear funds, a valid shipping address and enough information for you to connect the payment to the product, then my obligation to you has been completed and I deserve positive feedback. No ifs ands or buts about it. This is non-negotiable.

As a seller , your obligation to me is to promptly and securely pack the item I just paid you for and deliver it to the proper transfer agent for cartage to my domicile. When I receive the aforementioned package, if the product is in as advertised condition, this is when you the seller get your attaboy.

If you've done you job correctly there is no swordpoint to be held with.

I refuse to do business with any seller who advertizes that they hold my feedback hostage.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:09 PM   #15
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I'm with you. I mean, literally, since we apparently are in the same geographical area. But also, I'm taking my selling on the road this year - Westminster, Cirque, Trexlertown, and bypassing eBay for the most part. Plenty of good deals to be had at my table, just to avoid the hassles. Used to be the redeeming feature of selling vintage bike stuff on eBay was that it was small community that kept one another in line to some extent. You usually knew the person you were selling to, and were likely to interact with them at some point in some other way. But with the expansion of the hobby, that seems to be less and less the case.
The other thing is that people expect something used to be almost as good as new. I mean this is supposed to be an auction site not Amazon.com. I think you right about going to T-town and some of the other places. Now that community is nolonger small..... and it only takes dealing with a few bad eggs on ebay to ruin you reputation.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:46 PM   #16
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The excessive S&H fee detail is bogus. If you don't like how much it will cost to ship, don't bid. Or, if there isn't a shipping cost listed, email the seller and find out what it will be. ...
It's not bogus. It's a way for the seller to charge more without paying the eBay fee, and it's a way of retaining more of the money in the event of a returned item.




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As a buyer, if I pay you promptly with clear funds, a valid shipping address and enough information for you to connect the payment to the product, then my obligation to you has been completed and I deserve positive feedback.
The seller has a right to verify you're not going to return the item for some contrived BS reason (really buyer's remorse) before giving you feedback. Just because you pay quickly doesn't mean you're a good customer.

I have ONE negative feedback from a whacko nutjob seller. The item I bought never came. She had a tracking number but the number never showed up in USPS (I think that means that she had printed a label). There was no proof the item actually shipped. E-mails were exchanged without resolution - I left her a neutral, she retaliated with vitriol. It wasn't worth it, only a $6 item.... I'll be more careful from now on.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:52 PM   #17
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If the fees get lowered that would be great, but I will have to wait and see. With some of my last round of Ebay auctions a number of items sold for $20 with like $3 in Ebay/paypal fees. This is too much for Ebay to take IMHO. I won't lie I tend to pad my shipping fees a little. For small items I normally say $6 shipping (when actual cost is ~$5 or so), but in my case I live out in the sticks and have to drive into town to drop off at the post office. I put the fees in the listing so they know what they are paying beforehand. For international bidders they pay actual shipping cost which for even small items is $20+ most of the time. If you don't like it don't bid, simple as that.

For me selling even parts on CL is way easier. They come to me, and no one takes a cut. But, I have had zero luck selling high end vintage parts/bikes on CL. For those Ebay is the only way for me to sell those items.
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Old 01-29-08, 05:06 PM   #18
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It's not bogus. It's a way for the seller to charge more without paying the eBay fee, and it's a way of retaining more of the money in the event of a returned item.






The seller has a right to verify you're not going to return the item for some contrived BS reason (really buyer's remorse) before giving you feedback. Just because you pay quickly doesn't mean you're a good customer.

I have ONE negative feedback from a whacko nutjob seller. The item I bought never came. She had a tracking number but the number never showed up in USPS (I think that means that she had printed a label). There was no proof the item actually shipped. E-mails were exchanged without resolution - I left her a neutral, she retaliated with vitriol. It wasn't worth it, only a $6 item.... I'll be more careful from now on.
What's wrong with having returns? You pay the shipping back, I'll let you return your mom if you want. Nome sane? You still deserve feedback. I'm not a suspicious person, I don't scam people either.

Everyone is going to get neg'd. It's like losing your virginity... The first time is devastating, the next time is easier. We stopped selling about 2 years ago with over 10,000 unique feedback and a 99.9% feedback rating. Every single customer got their feedback within 24 hours of us receiving payment.

Better yet... We'd ship on an uncleared personal check, and we never had one bounce.
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Old 01-29-08, 05:09 PM   #19
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If the fees get lowered that would be great, but I will have to wait and see. With some of my last round of Ebay auctions a number of items sold for $20 with like $3 in Ebay/paypal fees. This is too much for Ebay to take IMHO. I won't lie I tend to pad my shipping fees a little. For small items I normally say $6 shipping (when actual cost is ~$5 or so), but in my case I live out in the sticks and have to drive into town to drop off at the post office. I put the fees in the listing so they know what they are paying beforehand. For international bidders they pay actual shipping cost which for even small items is $20+ most of the time. If you don't like it don't bid, simple as that.

For me selling even parts on CL is way easier. They come to me, and no one takes a cut. But, I have had zero luck selling high end vintage parts/bikes on CL. For those Ebay is the only way for me to sell those items.
I agree. Shipping isn't the price of the postage meter. Add to that bubble wrap, peanuts, tape, paper, toner etc. We'd pad our shipping by 10% and our customers loved us.
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Old 01-29-08, 05:17 PM   #20
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Interesting.

Will the customer satisfaction rates kick in at pre-determined feedback levels? I've seen loads of sellers with 98% positive feedback on 15 or less transactions, and a lot with 95% pos. and over 1000 items sold. Who you gonna trust more there? Sellers do their bit, pack it and send once buyer pays, feedback time. Buyer leaves feedback once item arrives. Sellers shouldnt have to wait for buyers to leave feedback to avoid the negative thing. Some of it is just people using the anonymity of ebay to get all snarky and put a black mark against some poor seller cause they didnt like the box they used.

I'd guess many problems relating to shipping come via international transactions. I have bought a few items from US and Hong Kong, always at rock bottom price, with big postage. But, I should point out, postage I checked first and was prepared to pay. Sure, the item costs you $6, but the shipping cost you 3x that, and I'll bet its not costing that much to actually send. The old days of companies charging "postage and handling" are gone I'm afraid, and with ebay the p&h is having its grave trodden on.

I think the opposite of what some people have said may be true, and that many buyers see ebay as a place amateurs make cash on the side, so why should you pay for someone's time in 'handling'?

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Old 01-29-08, 06:08 PM   #21
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I too don't like those who refuse to leave feedback until they have received feedback. I will always avoid dealing with these people where I have the choice (for example two people offering the same item). If I am also somewhat leery about dealing with somebody for some other reason, I always check what their feedback pattern is like. If they have a habit of leaving feedback immediately after receipt of payment, I will always give them the benefit of the doubt.

As far as shipping costs go, I don't believe that 10% extra above and beyond net postal costs on small items is wrong. This notwithstanding that it is now possible for almost anybody to ship items directly from their home without ever needing to go to the post office. I pay my USPS postage online and arrange for pick-up for free. USPS even supply the boxes that I ship in for free.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:13 PM   #22
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Interesting.

I think the opposite of what some people have said may be true, and that many buyers see ebay as a place amateurs make cash on the side, so why should you pay for someone's time in 'handling'?
I would not say that I think big business has invaded ebay (At least not the cycling world), but there does seems to be alot of small to mid size businesses or an extension for 'Bricks and Mortar' establishments. But as it has become more of a business for alot of people, it has become less fun.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:24 PM   #23
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I agree with Stacey on the feedback issue.

As a buyer, why should I be the one at the highest risk in every aspect of the sale? Feedback is not contingent on how the other person feels about the transaction, it is how I feel about getting my money or merchandise.

In the past 2 years, I have had to come to understand that instead of getting immediate feedback I must wait for the potentially shady person selling potentially stolen merchandise to give me feedback until I kiss his/her @$$ with positive feedback.

If I am not happy with a transaction when I buy from you, then frankly you other sellers need to man up, or woman up as the case may be.

This pettiness over feedback is like a retailer refusing to say "Thanks for shopping with us" until after 30 days pass without returning the faulty product. Of course, it is just a reflection of the current lack of respect from retailers as well...

When I sell (which isn't as often as some people here) I always post feedback immediately after I receive the funds (which is what I get out of the deal) and get feedback from the buyer when they get the item(s) (which is what they get out of the deal).

To hold your feedback as a way to protect yourself from negative feedback frankly shows that you have no confidence in your ability to please customers.

There is nothing you can do to keep scum bags from posting negatives, so why punish people who might legitimately be unhappy? You can post a response to feedback. THAT is your mechanism to protect yourself from the few bad customers out there. Give your feedback when you get the money!

Sellers already have the upper hand by getting money while the buyer waits for the item they bought, sometimes for weeks. Enjoy that power when selling if you want, but quit being petty about feedback.

Darwin now steps off the soap box.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:37 PM   #24
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Has anybody else tried their new format that's in beta? I did and couldn't find my way back to the old, current format fast enough.

I'm a buyer on eBay and for items that aren't worth a king's ransom I'm simply going to pass on those with excessive shipping costs. A $10 frame with $85 shipping is just ridiculous. Especially when the next frame is $12 with $25 shipping.

I remember when Trader Village of Arlington, Texas was a place for duffers to sell most any kind of junk, collectible, antique, etc. Now, everyone and their dog is selling crap, that's CRAP they import from God knows where. No fun to visit at all. Same for most of the previous antique malls here in the Heart of Dixie.

Last edited by bbattle; 01-29-08 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 01-29-08, 07:00 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
I agree with Stacey on the feedback issue.

As a buyer, why should I be the one at the highest risk in every aspect of the sale? Feedback is not contingent on how the other person feels about the transaction, it is how I feel about getting my money or merchandise.

In the past 2 years, I have had to come to understand that instead of getting immediate feedback I must wait for the potentially shady person selling potentially stolen merchandise to give me feedback until I kiss his/her @$$ with positive feedback.

If I am not happy with a transaction when I buy from you, then frankly you other sellers need to man up, or woman up as the case may be.

This pettiness over feedback is like a retailer refusing to say "Thanks for shopping with us" until after 30 days pass without returning the faulty product. Of course, it is just a reflection of the current lack of respect from retailers as well...

When I sell (which isn't as often as some people here) I always post feedback immediately after I receive the funds (which is what I get out of the deal) and get feedback from the buyer when they get the item(s) (which is what they get out of the deal).

To hold your feedback as a way to protect yourself from negative feedback frankly shows that you have no confidence in your ability to please customers.

There is nothing you can do to keep scum bags from posting negatives, so why punish people who might legitimately be unhappy? You can post a response to feedback. THAT is your mechanism to protect yourself from the few bad customers out there. Give your feedback when you get the money!

Sellers already have the upper hand by getting money while the buyer waits for the item they bought, sometimes for weeks. Enjoy that power when selling if you want, but quit being petty about feedback.

Darwin now steps off the soap box.
I would agree with you in principle, but anymore if you get to many negative feed backs as a seller from the deadbeats of the world, Ebay will strip you of your selling account. So you get enough 'scum bags' leaving negative feedback for no real reason... you are still screwed. Heck I had one person leave netural feedback bacause I did not accept paypal ..... and another because I waited for his check to clear before I sent the item out. Posting a response to the feedback does not stop ebay from flaging your account anymore.
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