Friday, July 11, 2008

Maybe Neutral is not Negative After All

The Moon is a symbol of
deception & danger

A major alteration to the Bayspeak dictionary is on the horizon, again. Lorrie Norrington announced two new changes yesterday. First, Neutral feedback, which became Negative retroactively this spring, will become Neutral again retroactively this fall, maybe. I have heard that it will be done by late August, no October, no late October, and, 'this is so complex it will not happen until early 2009.'

It seems strange that for eBay to change this one mistake could take so long. Sellers have made change after change to millions of listings this year, many with little to no lead time. Most of the eBay mandated changes had to be done manually one listing at a time because the 'tools' eBay provides for bulk editing do not bulk edit the changes eBay demands.

While sellers have been "pleased and delighted" by the first proposal, the second part may do more harm than good.

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.

At first glance this looks like an extortionists dream.

Here is how it works.
Buyer leaves positive feedback, emails seller, this is nice but I paid a bit more than I think it is worth. No demands, just a simple statement. If seller does not respond appropriately the feedback will change to negative. Alternately buyer leaves negative and tells seller "I could be persuaded to change my feedback to positive."

Amazon allows buyers to remove feedback, but not alter it, for precisely this reason.

One hesitates to offer advice to such keen business brains as the decision making executives at eBay because their brains operate on a totally different wavelength from the brains of sellers. Sellers are only simple retailers who understand the complexities of creating, growing and running a retail business.

For most retailers August through late December is the golden season.

This is the time we make most of our sales. "Back to School" through Christmas, Hanukkah. Kwanzaa, you know, all that. You want us to implement changes to our listings, collectively, every listing on eBay, (millions of listings,) while simultaneously providing customer service to our buyers at a level 20% higher than the leaders in the retail industry at the busiest time of the year.

Please reconsider asking sellers to implement changes in the fourth quarter. This together with the extortionists dream above could be the final straw that breaks the sellers' backs.

Y'all come back!


Anonymous said...

It has just about literally become impossible for me to say anything sensible concerning eBay without wanting to go throw-up.

An old military slang expression comes to mind regarding the eBay management team: SNAFU

(Please forgive the crude lanuage)

Anonymous said...

Why is Lorroe Norrington even still there?
She has been exposed as a liar and a hypocrite.
How can anyone ever believe a word she says?
She speaks about all these high-falooting values blah blah at in announcements and all the ebay live videos, they will remove deadbeats and those who leave unjust negs too, but look at her very own feedback on toolhaus for given & received.
Then I saw one video about some shoes she was selling.
(in her own words here)
"But I hope that you never question my personal commitment to doing what's right"...

The right thing to do is to resign, because she represents everything that is wrong with ebay and none of what is or ever was right with it.