I know this is just one more of many recent posts about eBay feedback... And by now, we all are aware of the changes...
But what gives?
eBay announced last January that as part of the changes in the feedback system neutral feedback would be counted as a negative in a sellers profile - going forward.
What they did not say in that announcement and what I don't think was implied... Is...
Neutral feedback from the sellers entire past history are now being converted to negatives in all sellers feedback profiles!
eBay is doing just that, changing past neutrals into negatives with a visual change from a grey mark to a red in the feedback profiles.
Tamebay's Chris Dawson sounded the warning call in this recent article posted 16 hours ago.
The forums on the exclusive PeSA members forums website are alive with activity concerning this issue. It seems these changes are occurring the Australia and the U.K. before coming home to the good ole USA.
eBay has not clarified the situation through PeSA or any other organization, some speculation has been offered which supposes this quiet merging of neutrals to negatives is eBay's way of removing the neutral option altogether.
When neutral feedback options are removed completely, if in fact this is the case, the buyer will only have two options:
- Either the seller performed as expected, which according to the DSR star ratings will earn the seller a negative feedback...
- Or the seller outperformed the buyers expectations in every conceivable way in which case eBay will instruct the buyer to leave a positive feedback, but only if they are really really sure...
We really do not know what to expect as once again eBay has not informed it's customers (the sellers) what the plan is regarding this change.
Suffice it to say, back dating past neutral feedback into negatives and suddenly showing a graphic in the feedback profile indicating a big red mark for each of those negatives, is a matter of concern for every seller.
PowerSellers with thousands of feedback ratings per year will be affected the most by this change.
In perception and in the pocketbook when the PowerSeller discounts are tabulated. Some will lose PowerSeller status when the new negative feedback post dating or revision system is brought to America.
What is the real plan here eBay?
eBay's website help section indicates the following about the feedback changes for 2008. No mention here about back dating neutral feedback and changing all neutrals to negatives...
What changes has eBay made?
eBay will remove negative and neutral Feedback left by members who are suspended.
eBay will remove negative and neutral Feedback left by members who fail to respond to the unpaid item process.
The buyer requirements options have been updated to include some new features. Sellers can set up buyer requirements through My eBay. For more information about buyer requirements, see question 6 below.
eBay has added a reporting link on the ‘Leave Feedback’ page.This makes it easier for sellers to report buyers for policy violations and unpaid items.
eBay has introduced the following restrictions when Feedback may be left:
Buyers must wait three days before leaving negative or neutral Feedback.
Buyers must wait seven days before leaving negative or neutral Feedback for active PowerSellers who have been registered for at least 12 months.
The period for buyers and sellers to leave Feedback has been reduced from 90 to 60 days after the transaction closes.
Buyers must now complete a checklist of steps taken to resolve an issue before they can leave negative or neutral Feedback. This encourages communication with sellers.
Messaging has been added to the Feedback process to remind buyers that international transactions usually take longer to complete.
Mutual feedback withdrawal will no longer be available and SquareTrade can no longer be used to mediate Feedback disputes.
Beginning in February 2008, we enabled buyers and sellers to earn up to one Feedback point per week from the same trading partner. On 12 May we will apply this change to all repeat Feedback backdated to when the system was introduced in 1996.
Members’ positive Feedback percentage will be calculated on the past 12 months’ activity (and include neutral Feedback in the calculation)
Why is eBay changing feedback?
eBay is constantly reviewing and evaluating the Feedback system to meet the community’s needs. The changes will improve the honesty of feedback and provide benefits to buyers and sellers alike.