Ok… I am no mathematician , I will be the first to admit this point… But the arithmetic eBay is using and the semantics they are expounding simply do not add up.
The image above is from one of my eBay selling accounts. Up until May 19, 2008 we had a 100% feedback rating on this account. I am a little bit saddened that we lost our 100% feedback rating simply because we had one neutral feedback in the last 12 months. But really in the scheme of things I have nothing to cry about.
I can see that my one past neutral has in effect been converted to a negative very clearly. The percentage change in the score above is a simple matter of arithmetic. 228 + 1 = 228/229 = 99.5%
1 neutral = the same factor as 1 negative
Still for me, it is no big deal, I can survive this change, I will move forward… The previous “glitch” reported from around the world with neutrals being moved from grey to red negative has not occurred in my case.
Whew, “I am safe”
Let me tell you about someone who has a different view of the recent and to some, devastating changes to the feedback system…
This story is about a man named Dan…
Dan is involved with all sorts of organizations like PeSA & ECMTA and reads up on best practices, keeps his ear to the ground concerning eCommerce trends and pretty much is an educated seller.
Dan sells unique one of a kind antiques, old medical devices, collectibles and other items and he has been doing this on eBay since 1999. Dan has a warehouse full of thousands of these items.
- Up until May 19, 2008 Dan had over 1200 of these unique items listed on eBay every day.
eBay is the perfect venue for Dan’s merchandise – or it was…
Dan operated his business the best way he knew how, listing uniques is very time intensive and he really spent most of his time getting these very interesting and eclectic items properly described and listed on eBay.
Since these items are unique and some very rare, shipping problems could cause Dan a lot of trouble with customer service. But he always worked with the buyer and the shipper to process insurance claims on items he sold.
eBay buyers are very demanding people…
Some of these buyers would not wait for a shipping insurance claim to be resolved before leaving a neutral or negative feedback. Dan always would try to resolve the negative feedbacks but he never spent much time or effort worrying about the neutrals. After all, eBay said to both the buyer and the seller that a neutral would never affect the score of the sellers or the buyers feedback.
Dan never imagined neutrals would effect his business.
- On May 19, 2008 Dan lost his eBay business.
The first day of the new changes to feedback was the last day of his 10 years on eBay.
eBay did not ask politely, they did not send a nice little warning… They just closed his account (NARU) because Dan had to many neutrals in his past feedback.
Prior to the changes Dan had the following eBay Feedback numbers.
Percentage 99.6 Positive with one Negative out of 278 transactions and an overall Feedback score of 3050
DSR’s 4.7, 4.7, 4.6, 4.6
This does not sound like a bad seller… right?
Well, now that eBay has decided to go back in time and score neutral feedback as negative feedback, Dan has become a seller guilty of “Non-Performance”.
As you can see from Dan’s new feedback information his overall Positive feedback score has dropped from a 99.6% down to 96.7% simply because Dan never worried about past neutral feedback. Lets look at some of these neutrals Dan received on the very rare and one of a kind items he sells….
We did not get screenshots of all of Dan’s neutrals but as you can see from the examples above these do not reflect as the feedback from a non-performing seller.
I asked Dan why he thinks his account was NARU’d and all of his 1200 items removed?
He said that he had two outstanding disputes in the system due to delays in recovering insurance for buyers on merchandise damaged in transit. The Shipping carriers he is dealing with have been extremely slow to respond and he is helping his buyer recover their insurance as much as he can, but these situations are not in his control. The insurance is paid by the carrier, not the seller.
eBay Trust & Safety told Dan he was removed for non-performance.
10 years and 3000+ good solid positive feedback is now a non-performing seller on eBay, at least if you have two outstanding unresolved disputes and 10 neutrals in your history.
With uniques and one of a kind items – the backbone of eBay’s entire history as his core products, Dan has gone the extra mile to perform to the best of his ability and keep his customers happy. Sometimes it just does not work out and sometimes buyers do not read descriptions or look at photos to see obvious flaws in used merchandise. This is the nature of the eBay sales business with uniques.
What purpose does it serve to toss Dan off of eBay?
Why is Dan held accountable for neutrals received in the past when those neutrals were posted by buyers who were advised they would not affect his business?
Now Dan has lost his business, his repeat customers think he has been a bad business person and he has lost an untold amount of fees and charges from the combined inventory eBay just removed from the site without warning.