The Ebay Rag Mag

September 7, 2008

eBay Plans To Force Small Sellers Out of Business

Written by By: Ina Steiner
Sat Sept 6 2008 21:29:36

Points highlighted and tweeked by eBay Rag Mag

eBay announced a Diamond-level PowerSeller tier in June, and as I blogged in mid-August, more corporate size companies will be joining Buy.com and be allowed to list on the site for free. Now I’m hearing that eBay is introducing a pilot program next month in which a number of manufacturer and big-box retailer catalogs will be launched to eBay. Third-party vendors will work with these sellers to get them onto the eBay platform – no small feat given the quantity of product SKUs in their catalogs.

These Diamond PowerSellers will be given special privileges. Commission (FVF) fees will be negotiated individually, and it’s my understanding that participants in this pilot will not be charged listing fees, nor will they have to meet eBay’s seller standards during the 90-day pilot program, which I’ve dubbed Operation Catalog.

The potential Gross Merchandise Volume of these sellers is enormous, and it fills out eBay’s product line and helps it move toward providing a more uniform buying experience on the site, or so it hopes.

The flood of inventory onto the site in October could have a major impact on certain sellers in categories affected. As I write in tomorrow’s editorial in AuctionBytes-Update, not only will some sellers find themselves competing with the manufacturer of the product they sell, but that competitor is getting free listings and better exposure.

If Operation Catalog does roll out in October as expected, sellers will find themselves going up against competition they never knew existed, with no time to adjust their selling strategy during the all-important holiday shopping season.

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The general consensus among eBay power sellers is that this prospective change might explain…

Limits on listing certain brand-name items
Crackdown on trademark violations
Crackdown on MSRP and MAP on certain brand names
Elimination of Ebay Express
Reverting neutral feedback back to neutral
No more negative feedback for buyers
Limits on shipping charges (to raise item price)
Pushing free shipping (to raise item price)
30-day FP listings (if you sell just 1 you can’t adjust the price)

Looks like the big guys don’t want any “unfair” competition!

Ware all wondering if this is also the reason behind the new payment recieving policies  being that of Pay Pal only.  These larger sellers are not going to be using paypal, so naturally the stay at home moms and single mothers will be the ones to pick up the tabs that the major corporations are building up.

August 26, 2008

The Ebay Rag Mag › Edit — WordPress

The Ebay Rag Mag › Edit — WordPress.

Class action law suit: Unwelcome & Malicious bidding policy

An anonymous powerseller is seeking other eBay sellers whose business reputation has been damaged by lack of enforcement of eBays’ Unwelcome & Malicious bidding policy.

This policy states that sellers may exclude buyers at any time prior to the listing close and are free to cancel unwelcome bids.  After a seller has cancelled a bid, the bidder may not place a new bid without the seller’s permission.  Buyers who do not meet the seller’s terms as outlined in the item listing also are not permitted to bid on or buy the item.

Additionally, members are prohibited from bidding on or purchasing an item to disrupt or to leave non-positive Feedback or Detailed Seller Ratings for the seller, with no intention of completing the transaction.

Sellers are permitted to exclude bidders at any time prior to the listing close and are free to cancel unwelcome bids.  After a seller has cancelled a bid, the bidder may not place a new bid without the seller’s permission.

Failure to meet a seller’s terms

Examples:

  • Seller states item will only be shipped domestically. Buyer is registered outside the shipping area.
  • Seller states that buyers with negative feedback comments are not permitted to bid. The buyer has negative feedback.

Buying with the intent to disrupt a listing Examples:

  • Buyer places a bid that greatly exceeds the value of the item in order to prevent a sale.
  • Buyer bids on multiple items listed by a seller without intent to complete the sale.
  • Buyer attempts to purchase an item after having been placed on a seller’s blocked bidders list.

The policy sites violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:

  • Listing cancellation
  • Limits on account privileges
  • Account suspension
  • Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
  • Loss of PowerSeller status
  •  

  • Why does eBay have this policy?

    This policy is intended to protect the integrity of the eBay marketplace by prohibiting conduct that would interfere with the completion or performance of eBay transactions.

  • Point 1:  eBay is choosing to look the other way when bidders violate this policy.  eBay refuses to cancel the listing thus allowing the Unwelcome & Malicious bidders to participate in the feedback process including the Detailed Seller Ratings portion of the feedback system.  eBays’ stance on the matter (in writing) is feedback removal is not an option even though the bidder has violated site wide policy.

    Point 2:  Policy wording in the range of action portion is not addressing bidding activity, it is addressing seller activity.  A seller is not doing the bidding, a bidder is doing the bidding.

    Point 3:  By lack of enforcement of this policy eBay is sending the message that Unwelcome & Malicious bidding is encouraged and it is acceptable to committ libelous acts on their site .  Unwelcome and Malicious bidders may be unaware of the policy or they may be a scorned buyer or even a ruthless competitor.

    Point 4:  Sellers are being denied their appropriate search standing, and their appropriate selling fee discounts thus causing financial hardships.

    Point 5: Sellers are losing their accounts causing financial hardships, undue stress and damage to their business reputations.

    The anonymous seller has attempted to address this issue through appropriate channels at ebay, first starting with the Safe Harbour Department, the Feedback department and Powerseller e-mail & phone support.  The anonymous seller escalated the issue to eBays’ office of the President who acknowledges that the actions displayed by their site  staff  is inconsistent and unfair, yet refuse to make the necessary changes and maintain that the bids of any unwelcome and (or) malicious bidder will stand and the transaction will remain valid.  eBay representatives also maintain that although it has been determined that the bidder has violated policy and should not have been allowed to place their bid, all feedback they leave will stand.

    We have discovered a live recording from Griffs call-in radio show where he is in full agreement that the actions of eBay staff is condradictory in nature and the policy needs to be revisited.  Unfortunately, as griff states, he is not God, and even Griff was unable to convince ebay executives to understand that they are out of line.  Griff  is the “eBay Ambassador”. He is the most visible and well know eBay media spokesperson and claims to be an advocate for buyers and sellers when they have encountered inappopriate behavior committed by eBays’ staff.  Griff also functions as Dean of eBay Education.

    Lack of enforcement of this policy destroys the integrity of the eBay marketplace by permitting conduct that would interfere with the completion or performance of eBay transactions.

    August 12, 2008

    Ebay Continues To Welcome Malicious Bidding.

    Despite complaints from it’s sellers, ebay refuses to update the Unwelcome and Malicious Buying policy which states that sellers may exclude buyers at any time prior to the listing close and are free to cancel unwelcome bids.  After a seller has cancelled a bid, the bidder may not place a new bid without the seller’s permission.  Buyers who do not meet the seller’s terms as outlined in the item listing also are not permitted to bid on or buy the item.

    In response to the new feedback system, sellers who are no longer allowed to leave negative or neutral feedback for bad buyers, have been altering their auction policies to incorporate the Unwelcome and Malicious Buying policy only to find that it is an ineffective policy where it comes to seller protection.

    Ebay acknowledges these transactions as valid and rewards the malicious bidder by allowing them full access to the sellers’ feedback profile, including the Detailed Seller Ratings portion.

    DSR’s: FAILING policy compliance

    An Ebay Powerseller with a feedback number of 1784 and a 100% feedback percentage writes:  I was wondering if anybody else experienced this after the DSR problem was fixed this past weekend. I have been showing as PASSING policy compliance since the dashboard was implemented and now it says FAILING. I had one policy violation with the date shown of 11/24/07. That is still the only violation that I am aware of or have been notified of and shows up under that section. I thought they rolled off after 90 days? And why all of a sudden the failing? I sent an email but haven’t heard back yet. Anybody else have this problem?

    The responses? 

    Hundreds of ebays top 10% sellers are being told that they are failing despite the fact that most of them don’t have any violations and never did.

    The miscalculations, the undeserved punishments and falsely placed disadvantages on undeserving sellers  continues as does the loss of thousands of dollars in daily sales.

    August 3, 2008

    Possible Upcoming Policy Revision: Feedback

    Filed under: Policy Watch — ebaygossip @ 7:44 pm
    Tags:

    Feedback Removal Policy:  Unpaid Item Disputes

    Currently, if a non-paying bidder leaves negative feedback after responding to an unpaid item dispute which is opened by the seller,  the feedback can possibly be removed if the response is not directly related to the seller’s performance, however, several sellers are experiencing problems getting this type of feedback removed from their profiles.

    For example:  A seller opens an UnPaid Item dispute.  The bidder responds to the dispute that he no longer wants the item.  Accepting this as the final response from the buyer, the seller closes the Unpaid item dispute which in turns leaves the offending bidder with a strike against his account.

    The bidder, not liking the fact the he recieved a strike against his account, leaves and undeserved negative comment on that sellers’ feedback profile.

    According to the current Ebay policy this type of retaliatory feedback should be removed from the sellers feedback profile, unfortunately, sellers are saying that Ebay has not been complying with their new policy and has been making their sellers jump through hoops to get them to honor their policies, only to be left out in the cold by the Feedback Removal department.

    Michael Smith,  Ebays’ Office of The President, Feedback Specialist, states that this policy will be revisited on Mondays (August 4, 2008) weekly policy meeting.

    Feedback Removal Policy:  Buyers Who Violate Ebay Policy

    As it stands,  there is no provision in the current Feedback Removal Policy to protect seller reputation in the event that a bidder to place a bid to prevent a sale, to block a sale, to harrass a seller or to wage an attack on the seller feedback profile. 

    This is a loophole that malicious bidders are using as a way to punish a seller for unfounded reasons i.e. competitor interference, past transactions gone bad, interpersonal disputes, etc.

    Michael Smith,  Ebays’ Office of The President, Feedback Specialist, states that this loophole will be introduced on Mondays (August 4, 2008) weekly policy meeting.

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