Ebay is going to hell in a handcart

Ebay is a staple in many ways; when you want that hard-to-find item, when you need it cheaper than the high street, when you need to get rid of some lovely jumper your nana gave you.

But of course it is not without problems. I don’t know about you ladies, but the main problems I have had have been as a seller. I am not a powerseller of any kind, but I do occasionally sell make up, handbags and things I that I discover.

The Ebay process favours sellers terribly. I have had some awful experiences; for example where I have sold something, sent it with tracking, the buyer says they never got it and rather than wait for any type of response or compensation from the postal company, they will go ahead and file for a refund with Paypal. The funds are then frozen whilst you battle it out with the buyer and if no compromise is met, the money is returned to the buyer.

The thing is there are reasonable people and there are not so reasonable people out there. When I have had poor experiences, it has been because of a lack of communication.

When I am selling and I have tracking info etc. there isn’t much more I can do, if the buyer does not receive the item, other than file for a refund, or replace the item (which isn’t always possible). In the aforementioned experience, I had proof the buyer had signed for it! But Ebay are disinterested at best, and we were told to “sort it out” through conversation via Paypal’s dispute console. The buyer was blatently lying of course, about not receiving the item, but nevertheless, I was powerless to stop the funds from being returned to her.

So I read with surprise and a little disdain when I heard that from May 2008, Ebay seller will no longer be able to leave negative feedback for buyers.

What I have always liked about feedback (and I have 3 negatives!) is that they are like battle scars. They aren’t controlled by Ebay. They are entirely a person’s opinion, although in fairness, people aren’t always happy to leave negatives incase they have retaliatory negs, nevertheless, they aren’t governed by Ebay policies.

But now, they will be!

From the BBC website, “Critics of the changes argue that by taking away a seller’s right to complain about a problem buyer they will have very little recourse for action when a sale goes wrong.

And they complain that by still allowing buyers to leave dissenting comments about sellers, eBay has skewed the whole trading process.

When both sides have equal access and rights to leave negative comments about each other it is a well balanced trading process, they say. However, eBay counters that problem buyers can still be dealt with.

“If a buyer doesn’t pay, the seller can easily contact eBay, we will review any complaint and maybe remove the buyer,” a spokesman said.”

Mmm, in my experience, Ebay don’t give a stuff! I have complained about the same things over and over again but I’ve never had any useful help.

Has anyone ever got a response from Ebay customer care?

It is the worst example of a standardized letter.

My responses are always very very polite, but utterly irrelevant to the question I asked.

In an ideal world, any problems that arise from a sale should come through communicating. As a seller and buyer, I can see it from both angles; all it normally takes to solve a problem on both sides is a polite email. But hey not everyone is as sane as me :) Feedback should not be governed by Ebay. Seeing as sellers have to pay extortionate listing fees, final value fess, Paypal fees, the least we should be able to do it be honest about a rude, difficult or at worst, a thieving buyer!

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  1. Jaime says

    I once started the whole ”paypal get ya money back” process but have to admit I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing and the jargon is no help.
    I’d emailed the seller, got a standard ”I sent it” response and figured it was lost and should claim money back via paypal.
    I never knew about what you described, paypal seems to pretend that it’s ”insured” and so gives a false impression that you can get money back at any time.

    I got Neutral feedback the other day, I’d sold on some jeans I’d bought off ebay but were too big for me. Apparently they ”weren’t the same as described” which is odd as, ever the fan of minimalism, I’d described them (correctly) by colour, size and make.
    I think they were a new buyer and didn’t realise you’re not supposed to leave feedback based on whether or not you actually like the item when it arrives.

    I still love ebay tho :)

  2. Row says

    Hey Jaime!

    Yeah I think I will always go to Ebay to find things, esp when I need something rare.

    Neutral Feedback is extremely IRRITATING! Because I think, with Ebay you either get something that you wanted or you don’t. If it isnt quite right, by all means contact the seller and try to sort it out; if they are decent sellers they will offer a return.

    But leaving a neutral is almost like, “I tried contacting the seller but they wouldnt do anything so ho-hum, I’ll leave a neutral cos it was ok.” when in fairness, whenever I have been left a neutral the person has never ever contacted me first.

    But it does tend to be newbies that do it – definately. As u said, feedback isn’t QUITE like a comment card…I got a negative recently because a buyer said a game I sold for her console was scratched. It wasn’t – it was working to, genuine etc. etc. but she never once contacted me to complain.

    I wish buyers would read the description. It would save a lot of trouble!!

  3. Lea says

    I never had luck selling on eBay myself. Last time I posted a whole load of authentic/original clothes, they kept flagging me to remove “BCBG” and “Guess”. I know you’re not usppose to sell knock offs and mine were authentic with original tags! Geez so annoying. Anyways, I ended up owing versus what I sold after all the insertion fees as I had to remove the name brands on the titles!

    On the contrary, I have excellent luck with buying make up and odd stuff. I have a 100% postitive feedback, I guess we’re wishing more buyers can be more like us.lol

  4. Row says

    Hi Lea

    I have EXACTLY the same problem and after one year, ebay still havent sorted it. I can’t list things like Lancome, or even Shiseido, because of this problem with Keywords – but my stuff is all genuine! Very frustration.

    I am an excellent buyer :) I never keep people waiting for payment, and I give buyers a chance to reply! I know what it feels like to be a seller, sometimes you just can’t get to your PC!

  5. Vanessa says

    Ugh tell me about it girl! I absolutely HATE eBay now both as a seller and a buyer! I have bought items and the seller sent me the wrong item so I would send it back in exchange for the right one and NEVER got my money back or the item!

    And like you, I too got “nice, irrelevant responses” that pissed the hell out of me! Because the fact is my problem was still a problem with no help of a solution. Other than paypal which of course is biased!