May 2 2007

eBay again

It was only April 13th when I last complained about eBay customers, but today, it’s all about eBay itself. They made a major change today to the feedback of sellers… a five-star rating system for four different aspects of each transaction.

Besides positive/neutral/negative, they now rate you on a 5 star system for:

“Item As Described”
“Shipping Time”
“Shipping and handling charges”

#3 and #4 are the one’s that bother me. I ship all packages within 24 hours of payment, some people still claim I’m slow. I charge very, very low shipping charges compared to other sellers in my categories and people STILL insist my shipping is too high.

This is a VERY arbitrary system and it going to lead to unwarranted low ratings for sure.

eBay’s mad desire to cater to the buyers drives me insane. The sellers are one’s paying the fee’s, but they never listen to us… ever. It’s always the buyers they always give in too and it’s frankly annoying. And this new system is going to lead to some very screwed up rankings on totally innocent situations.

I am not happy in the least with this new system.

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  • I understand why, as a seller, this may be frustrating to you but the point is to allow customers to evaluate you based on the (subjective) experiences of other customers, not to rate you relative to other sellers.

    One thing you may consider doing to help mitigate the notion that your shipping rates are too high or that you ship too slow is include a link to the USPS or other shipping service rate page.

    On the infrequent occasions when my husband and I sell something on eBay, we generally get great feedback about speed because people expect things from Japan to be incredibly slow. I guess you suffer the opposite – people think stuff from the U.S. should be incredibly fast.

  • The problem is, especially with people who pay by money order, is they lose the concept of time. I have at least a customer a week who will say “Where’s my package? I sent you a payment weeks ago!”… no, you didn’t, the auction ended five days ago.

    As opposed to the old system, which was very cut-and-dry, this new system is very arbitrary and influenced too easily by the smallest whims. I pride myself on all four of those categories, but having done mail order for 18 years now, I also know I have at least a couple people a week who will feel because I didn’t kiss their ass, that they will give me poor ratings of 2 – 3 stars, where, under the old system, at worst they would have given me a neutral.