Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yet Another Unannounced Policy on eBay

Just when you think that eBay management have plumbed the ultimate depths of lunacy something happens to prove you wrong. It appears there is more creative interpretation and BaySpeak yet to come from eBay on the subject of Buyer Dissatisfaction.

Back in March eBay initiated a new policy known as the Safer Payments Requirement. This is the policy which implemented the infamous 21 day hold among other changes. It states:

Your payments will not be held if you meet the following requirements:

* You have been an eBay member for 6 months or more, and
* Your total Feedback score is 100 or greater, and
* Your buyer dissatisfaction percentage is less than 5%.

One of the consequences of the Buyer Can Do No Wrong Policy is that there are no penalties to the buyer who bids on an item and either does not pay for it at all or ignores the sellers stated Terms of Service (TOS) and pays if and when convenient. This has resulted in a significant increase in Non Paying Bidder (NPB) reports and Unpaid Item (UPI) disputes being filed.

If the bidder does not pay the seller has two choices, neither is good.
1. Seller can file a UPI dispute and attempt to get their Final Value Fees credited back while risking not only negative feedback but Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) bombing from an irate NPB (eBay keeps the listing fees regardless) or,
2. as recently advised by ChannelAdvisor's Scott Wingo do not file UPI and eat the loss of FVF while hopefully avoiding retaliation from the NPB.

Meanwhile, especially if the item is unique, stock is tied up, essentially on free layaway for up to 30 days and the item may not be relisted or sold. This is no big thing for a commodities seller, he has many identical items. For the seller of unique items, not necessarily cheap, think high end estate jewelry, it can be a disaster.

Here is the kicker. If your buyer does not pay, there must be a reason. Obviously they are dissatisfied in some way either with the item or the seller. Never mind that they have not actually bought the item (there is no contract without consideration) or seen the item, or even had any contact with the seller, this is a dissatisfied buyer.

Sellers, your open UPI disputes count towards the 5% buyer dissatisfaction percentage.

Punish that bad seller. Require that they offer PayPal, restrict listing until the UPI disputes close and because they are bad sellers bury their items in unfinding. Never mind that eBay's own guidelines and policies dictate the UPI process and timeline; the seller always has the option to abandon the process and leave eBay with all the FVF. * Because eBay discussion threads are prone to glitches I saved this post.

To make it easier and more convenient for scamming and deadbeat bidders to keep track of their eBay activities, eBay's Ted Fong of Buyer Experience made an announcement last week. It is a Dispute Hub! Compare this to the famed Seller Reporting Hub.

A final irony to take with you, go to eBay's help pages and search for Seller Reporting Hub.

Y'all come back!


Mitzi - The Vintage List said...

Hi Henrietta, I just found your blog a couple of weeks ago, but it has become a daily stop on my online travels - you always have the scoop! Thanks so much for this post, I had no idea that filing UPIs was hurting me - I am rethinking if they are worth it or not now, that's for sure. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I spoke with a fellow seller today who is not a Power Seller. They had two NPB and filed UPI reports. One of the bidders left a negative and it was quickly removed and the seller's feedback restored along with his DSR's. eBay has always maintained that NPBs could not and would not affect a seller's feedback. From what I have seen, they have lived up to that. Of the sellers I have talked to, all NPB feedback has been removed and with little fuss.

Anony Mouse

Anonymous said...

I went to help and searched, could not find a seller reporting hub, is that what you meant?

Anonymous said...

Q. Sigh, How did I know that there would be no seller reporting hub as soon I read your suggestion to go to help and look for it?

A. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

Henrietta said...

There is a 'Seller Hub' I put in a link to it because IT is impossible to find.

The problem is that Seller Reporting Hub' is a rather egregious example of Bayspeak, sounds really impressive but all it is is an email link.

Joke is on you sellers who fail to comprehend the Buyer Can Do No Wrong policy!

Mr Mouse: I am glad your friend is one of the 60% (eBay's figure) who's NPB failed to respond thus allowing the unwarranted neg to be removed. MY friend's NPB did respond with the words "My monkey eats bananas" so he got to keep his neg.