Ebay has raised its fees and changed its feedback structure. The feedback system used to allow sellers to leave negative feedback to warn other sellers against non-paying bidders or buyers who are difficult to work with. Ebay has taken the power to leave negative feedback away from the seller.
As a buyer, this change has been nice, because dishonest sellers no longer leave me negative feedback for reporting their bad business practices.
As a seller, however, the feedback change has been awful, since I no longer get fair warning from feedback when I’m dealing with a buyer who is a complete jackass.
I have a job and a life, and I am in no way a full-time Ebayer; in fact, I only list occasionally. Every two or three months, I have a few items to list on Ebay which I use around the house. No big deal, right?
Unfortunately, I have been dealing with an increasing number of buyers who don’t understand the auction terms, don’t understand the shipping terms, and don’t understand the payment system. In fact, about a third of the time, it becomes clear that the buyer never read a single word of the auction.
Other options to Ebay are available
There are a few other auction companies available online, such as Ubid, Ebid and Overstock.com. I have purchased from Ubid and Overstock.com and was pretty happy with the purchase experience, so I am going to give those sites a try. I can no longer accept the high fees and abusive customers which Ebay has been harboring lately.
Ebay needs to realize their consumers are now operating at a middle school level
Ebay needs to address the fact that the attention span and reading comprehension level of their average consumer has hit a new low. They need to require the use of some tutorials, probably written at an 8th grade level, so the new users can have a fighting chance at understanding how Ebay works.
Prior to the change, Ebay operated mainly on the pocket money of web-savvyish people who were at least reasonably cognizant enough to understand the system. Now, with the new feedback system and the less-educated customers brought in by television advertising campaigns, they have brought in a new type of consumer who wants something for nothing.
Nothing means nothing: no money, no reading, no thinking.
EBay’s new feedback system has screwed its small sellers
In order to curb retalliatory negative feedback on buyers’ accounts by unsavory sellers, Ebay switched its feedback system over to stop sellers from leaving negative feedback for buyers at all. The result has come through; a flood of new, inexperienced and unethical buyers are taking over Ebay, abusing sellers and making bids they don’t intend to pay for.
By changing the feedback system to protect buyers against unsavory sellers, Ebay has all but guaranteed that the unsavory sellers and sellers who list in bulk are the only people who will make money selling on Ebay. Smaller sellers are more wounded by non-paying bidders and undeserved negative feedback than bulk sellers who move a lot of items, and there is nothing the sellers can do to have false feedback removed.
I am a great seller on Ebay; my feedback is very high, I list with extreme accuracy, and I never ship an item more than 2 days after it’s paid for. I state my auction terms in under 6 sentences, but it doesn’t seem that these new users want to read anything. The most abusive emails are from buyers who simply don’t understand that you don’t get express shipping when you pay for ground.
Profits lost in high fees, non-paying bidders and time spent re-explaining auctions to jackasses
In addition to the feedback problem, any honest sellers who respond to their customers and take the time to ship things as described will whittle away their profits in the time spent in careful packing and painstakingly re-explaining the auction terms to buyers who send abusive emails because they didn’t read the auction before they bought the item.
Ebay customer emails are becoming increasingly abusive.
I have been startled to notice that the emails that I get from customers are now openly abusive, and honestly, I don’t make enough money on the items I sell on Ebay to deal with abuse from customers. Since my auctions are very clear, I can only assume that they are confused because of Ebay.
Ebay has opened the floodgates for a slew of new buyers who don’t read the auctions, don’t understand bidding, and don’t have a clue how to work the system. These users demand responses to their emails within a few hours or begin threatening to take action and leave negative feedback. With my schedule, I simply cannot afford to jump up from my desk to answer a rude email from a buyer who didn’t read the auction shipping terms on a seven dollar item.
It’s time to seek greener pastures.
As for me, I’m sick of the customer abuse and high fees, and I will be looking elsewhere for greener pastures. Selling on Ebay used to be a fun experience that allowed me to connect with a buyer who was often interested in the same products I am. With the abuse I’m receiving from customers lately, it’s not fun, and the high fees render a large sale barely profitable.