back to article eBay gets negative feedback about ban on negative feedback

Online tat-house eBay has enraged some of its regular users by banning negative feedback about buyers and a demand that anyone flogging more than a certain amount from the UK must register as a business. So called "PowerSellers" will be targeted first and must register business accounts by the end of the month. eBay will also …

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  1. Tim Seely
    Unhappy

    Only formalising the status quo...

    I have been using the site site to offload tat, I mean sell of surplus quality items a bit more recently as well as buying bit and pieces too. Ebay has always favoured the seller and this is only them blatantly saying 'caveat emptor' formally.

    I had a dispute raised against me by a seller who sent out the invoice with a misspelled email address therefore meaning I couldn't pay them. When it was finally resolved I got a snotty note form ebay saying something along the lines of "Although we have graciously decided not to pemailse you this time we reserve the right to treat you like a fool/criminal in future. Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave!" or something.

    Will probably try gumtree.com instead!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is about time.

    Radical changes were long due to clean eBay from scammers and dubious sellers who use FB mechanism as a bargaining chip/revenge sword. A step in the right direction and long overdue. Well done.

  3. Tim Blair
    Unhappy

    bye bye

    looks like ebay's heading down the pan

  4. Daniel Silver badge
    Happy

    I agree

    It's about time. A business is a business is a business, whether bricks and mortar, a company website or via eBay, and customers should be protected whichever medium they choose. For too long eBay powersellers have been enjoying the flexibility offered to private sellers (with the accompanying lack of accountability), whilst running a business in everything but name.

    One wonders when the Inland Revenue will get in on the act too?

  5. Mark
    Boffin

    What a great idea on the addresses....

    I'm all for e-bay requiring a fixed non PO-Box address for all power sellers but less happy that it would have to be displayed so prominently. All those people running businesses out of their own homes would be put at risk because thieves could see exactly what is likely to be available if they were to go and burgle the house. Seems to me to be a bit of overkill to show it to just anyone who looks at the item, perhaps having a flag saying e-bay verified address linked to this account.

    I'm all for requiring said address to be shown to a winning bidder in an auction so they have a verified contact address.

    It would then be up to ebay to ensure that said address is verified by some means, perhaps bank statements or utility bills for the initial registration and then e-bay would contact that address on a random basis to ensure it is still valid.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    "The changes are required by European Union ecommerce law."

    ...so people get pissed at eBay?

    People get pissed at eBay when it regulates too little, leading to disputes, and people get pissed when it follows the rules where it's operating. Exactly what do people wish eBay to do?

    I'm not a *huge* fan of eBay, but I've gotten plenty of good stuff without hassles. Why you be hatin', brothas? Why you be hatin'?

  7. Rich

    Not all ebay's fault

    Regarding the business account thing for high volume sellers, is this unreasonable? If you are selling stuff on a very regular basis then clearly you must be buying it from somewhere too (unless you happen to have a huge mansion that you're clearing out). Therefore, you are running a business.

    I can see why ebay are making this change, and I see why the EU have a rule saying that they must. And even if the EU hadn't made such a rule, I bet HMRC would be pretty keen to demand it instead! Just think; all those people running businesses and not paying any tax on their profit because they are not actually registered as a business, and unless you subpoena ebay, you probably don't even know who they are or where they live (and there's no guarantee that ebay know either!)

    Running a business on ebay is no different to running a business from a bespoke e-commerce web site and I see no reason why they should not be bound by the same rules. And this includes publishing a bricks-and-mortar address, and not just a PO box number (again, a standard requirement of any business but one that seems to get flouted on the web, even my some very large companies), and being bound by the normal distance selling regulations. If you look at the DTI and the OFT websites, you will find all the rules on this sort of thing clearly laid out.

    As for the feedback issue, this is a tough one. I can see both sides of the argument - On one side you have some sellers holding buyers to ransom (I'll give you bad feedback if you don't give me good feedback), and on the other side you have bad buyers that sellers would like to give (genuine) bad feedback for. It's a toughie, and I don't know what the answer is. An escrow system of feedback (very expensive and time consuming to administer), scrap ALL feedback (you don't get "feedback" in Exchange And Mart or Autotrader etc., and they seem to do ok).

  8. Me

    about time

    Its about time they did this everyone know's ebay's rateings are a joke

    you have to be realy realy bad to get bad rateings

    as people dont want to risk being rated badly by the seller

  9. Les Matthew

    I'm sure this has nothing to do

    with HMRC's recent interest in eBay traders.

  10. Mark Adamson

    @ Mark

    "I'm all for requiring said address to be shown to a winning bidder in an auction so they have a verified contact address."

    The obvious concern is that even if this is done, a criminal can look at an address for a seller with, say 3 Wiis or whatever, bid, win, get the address and either use the information they receive and cancel their bid under the cooling off period, or even pay and pop 'round and rob the seller before they're shipped.

  11. Shabble
    Happy

    Tat-tax

    The government said a while back that there were too many businesses pretending to be normal punters and making a tax-free living off of eBay. Other on-line retailers have to pay tax, and there is no difference why eBay should

    As for negative feeback - I would never buy anything from eBay that costs more than £20 and actually needs to be good quality. This is mostly second hand or grey import stuff after all. If consumers have problems, they should report them directly to eBay. If eBay get a reputation for supporting dishonest sellers, then their long-term prospects will not be good.

  12. Paul Charters

    Good and bad...

    Seems to me that making people who trade alot register properly is a good idea. A bit of safety for the consumer should be something that traders are in favour of - after all, someone who is comfortable and feels secure is more likely to buy stuff. I don't see why the addresses need to be advertised from the start, but it should be automatically shown to a customer upon sending payment.

    The ratings thing seems a bit daft - you just set it so both sides of the transaction leave feedback and neither is live until they are both published. You then don't let a response be sent - it's feedback, not a forum.

    Not being able to leave negative feedback just smacks of overdoing it, like employment references legally being forced to not allow anything bad to be said....

  13. martin burns
    Unhappy

    Smiley Happy People on eBay

    So if you can only be smiley and happy about people you do business with, what's the sodding point of *having* feedback?

    Why not pre-fill feedback for every transaction with "A++ eBayer!!!!!!!!! Kthxbai!!" and be done with it? Gold Stars All Round.

    Nah, the only sensible thing to do is only take feedback from buyers - sellers don't send goods until they get the cash, so if the transaction completes, they're fine anyway. But there is a huge range for experience to the buyer, from speed of dispatch to item matching description and condition.

  14. Hedley Phillips

    Fantastic news

    I have been subjected to tit for tat feedback by sellers when their items didn't work, and they wouldn't accept a return and just refused to deal with me after they had my money.

    After exhausting the process of trying to get my money back, I leave negative feedback and then get it slapped on my account for no reason other than spite.

    Well done Ebay.

  15. Jaster
    Thumb Up

    Business address

    Most businesses do not display their address on their website! and the only address they are forced to publish is their registered address, this is mostly their accountants address

    So why do they require your address, *an* address is fine ...

  16. Rich

    Re: What a great idea on the addresses....

    If you are a business selling to the public, you MUST give a bricks and mortar address, and not just a PO address. This is not some silly ebay rule. It is English law (and probably Scottish law and (I'm guessing) probably the law in most of Europe).

    A further though occurs to me about the feedback issue though. If you are running a proper business (as you must if you are selling in volume) then the buyer is protected by consumer law. This should comfort and appease any buyers. As a business, as long as your buyer pays for the stuff (and lets face it, you're not going to post the gear until he/she does), why do you care if they are a "bad buyer". In the business world, what IS a "bad buyer"? Someone who says they will buy something but doesn't. Woopie! Welcome to the real business world - get over it. So, the conclusion is to get rid of ALL feedback - it's not really needed.

    Of course, this doesn't address the feedback issue for small sellers. Bugger... and I was doing SO well.....

  17. Nick L

    Good.

    As a buyer and occasional seller, this is great! I've recently bought a DVD that turned out to be counterfeit, and had to leave positive feedback in order to avoid negative feedback... Bloody daft situation, and this sorts that out!

  18. caffeine addict Silver badge

    [this space left blank]

    Wouldn't it just be easier to hide feedback ratings until both buyer and seller had left feedback?

    Everyone stays happy that way.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Address...

    It's a real sh't forcing all sellers to display physical addresses, maybe if it only displayed PO box's it'd be okay, but as someone else mentioned eBay is full of people who sell odds and ends out of their home, it is without a doubt / great certainty that criminals will now target eBay as a source of where to find places to break in to, and if it's a home, people may be killed as a side product of the break in.

  20. Andy Davies

    Looks like they don't understand PO Boxes...

    If someone want's to know the address behind a PO Box you only have to ask Royal Mail!

  21. Liam O'Flaherty
    Thumb Down

    What a load of nonsense!

    So if you have experienced a terrible transaction you can't tell other potential customers about it? Seems a bit odd to me!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Shome mishtake shurely?

    "From May sellers will not be able to leave negative or neutral comments about buyers. The changes are designed to make life easier for sellers. "

    Surely they must mean "fraudsters"?

    Meanwhile, in other news, eBay reported a rise in buyer satisfaction to 100%. A spokesman said "Since we instituted our new 'I-can't-hear-you-la-la-la-la-lala' policy, complaints have fallen to zero".

  23. Keith Oborn

    Ebay itself is the biggest offender

    So they are requiring "businesses" to provide full contact details. Perhaps they'd care to apply that to themselves? I once tried to trace any postal address or phone number for any Ebay business - and there are several UK companies registered. Nothing in Europe. I was about to write to the only listed address (corporate headquarters) to take them to task about their utterly obfuscated "dispute" process, but decided life is too short.

    This outfit (via PayPal) operates a financial service that has been the subject of attention from various financial authorities - and they still don't provide contract addresses.

    I use Ebay, but only for small value items and *never* accept Paypal payment.

    Compare with the likes of Amazon or (say) Egg: you can talk to humans at the drop of a hat, and they will help.

  24. Jon Brunson
    Thumb Up

    Re: caffeine addict

    Exactly what I've been thinking about this whole issue!

  25. Luke Wells
    Thumb Down

    No negative feedback

    Argh stupid rule changes

    So now, if you want to sell certain types of stuff (like videogame related stuff)..... you HAVE to accept paypal.... and also paypal will hold onto the money and not release it to you for x number of days. So the buyer can receive the item, decide they don't like it, neg you, claim the money back from paypal (which hasn't arrived in your account yet) and all you have the right to do is leave them positive feedback. WTF?

    I really hope these changes cripple ebay and give someone like google an opening (why the hell has google not entered the auction market yet?)

    ebay has become way too greedy and its about time there was some serious competition.

  26. john doe

    @AC

    "...It's a real sh't forcing all sellers to display physical addresses, ..."

    Not all sellers. Business sellers only. If you are really selling odds and ends only the winning bidder will see your address, otherwise... welcome to the business world. Next you will start paying Taxes as well, rightly so.

  27. Jbhoy

    Good and Bad !

    Its a mix really,something had to be done about the FB system and for a while i thought something needed to be done with regard sellers.However to me it seems it would have been far better just not publishing FB until both parties had left it thus decreasing the blackmailing tactics of some sellers.Surely ebay must know there will be a backlash over blocking one party over feedback ! Its stupid but then again at times it seems some of the powers that be at ebay dont seem to have their finger on the pulse of their users....to busy down at the bank for that!

    With regard to powersellers its been on the cards a long time . Lets face it if you are selling 10,000 items a year you must be doing some kind of trading for stock,therfore its a business!And if its a business you have to pay tax! In a way ebay was not meant as a business hosting site,it was meant as a small scale buy and sell emporium so lets fax it the big sellers knew it would happen sooner or later!

    But on another side,with all the power selling etc and possible tax implications does this mean ebay will start to finally block all the Hong Kong items ?

  28. Rob
    Boffin

    @ Mark

    "It would then be up to ebay to ensure that said address is verified by some means, perhaps bank statements or utility bills for the initial registration and then e-bay would contact that address on a random basis to ensure it is still valid."

    Sounds like you're talking about seller verification. Scary stuff - just imagine, if they got that working then the low-lives selling snide gear wouldn't be able to re-register with yet another bogus address whenever they were (rightly) kicked off for selling fakes.

    So, how likely do we think that that is then?

    Icon because I've heard that one needs a PhD to understand this stuff....

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It's OK - eBay will sort out the feedback

    I agree that the feedback is not that useful, but I'm not sure eBay's new way of dealing with it is much cop either

    From the BBC news site

    "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.

    eBay customer support is less than helpful in most cases and have refused to remove even proven scammers from the site, so having them arbitrate buyer/seller disputes does not bode well.

    'Thankyou for your complaint, please contact the seller directly with issues'

  30. Simon Brown
    Unhappy

    bad buyers

    What's a bad buyer - someone who says they're going to buy then doesn't? Ebay bids are supposed to be binding. If you bid and win you have to pay. Don't pay and you're a bad buyer. Black and white?

    Not really.

    What about the buyer who "pays" but uses a faked paypal email and you post the item before checking? More fool you?

    OK, what about the buyer who hijacks a paypal account and pays with a stolen credit card? You send goods, chargeback is made by credit card company and whoops the goods are gone and you can't leave the feedback.

    Or the buyer who recalls their cheque because - hey they can, nothing's there to stop them.

    What about the buyer who pays, but doesn't pay postage "ah well I'll collect" and then expects you to post it to them, or the buyer overseas who somehow has a UK account and is able to pay just UK postage. Or the buyer who leaves a neg because they didn't realise they'd have to pay customs import charges. Or the buyer who leaves a neg even though they didn't try to get in touch or launch a dispute or anything - just a random neg out of nowhere with claims that you're a scammer even if you're not. In distance selling reputation is everything. Whatabout the buyer who leaves a neg because your postage charges are too high even though they're published in the auction, the item weighs 2kg and there's no cheaper way to post it?

    There are idiot ebay buyers out there who don't engage their only brain cell before buying then baulk at reasonable postage costs.

    And yes, what about the buyer who just doesn't pay, just doesn't respond to emails, phone calls, texts, any kind of contact. Can we leave a neutral? "useless idiot took a month to pay" - neutral?

    unsmiley because although it will reduce the tit-for-tat feedback the idea is as poorly thought-through and no doubt as poorly executed as much else of the ebay site.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @Rich

    > what IS a "bad buyer"? Someone who says they will buy something but doesn't.

    > Woopie! Welcome to the real business world - get over it.

    i'd say a bad buyer is somebody who demands a refund or more (and to keep the item) under the threat of leaving negative feedback

    try speaking to ebay, good luck getting a relevant answer from their automated help system

    good luck speaking to the police,

    "yes they're threatening to leave negative feedback..."

    "negative what? look stop wasting our time, unless theres a fine involved"

    and good luck trying to sell anything in future when you get feedback saying you sell counterfeit goods

  32. Mike Richards

    @caffeine addict

    Brilliant idea! You should patent that (you never know, 1 Click helped make Amazon rich)

  33. Mark Fenton

    Wouldn't it be better and easier...

    ..if neither the buyer nor the seller could see the feedback till both had left feedback? This would stop tit for tat feedback.

    Or is that just too obvious?

    Or......seeing as the buyer's commitments are done when he/she has paid for the item, the seller should really leave feedback at that point - so hows about making it so that the buyer can't leave feedback till the seller does?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Long overdue

    Come on.. it may not be the best solution! but one was needed. so many sellers dont leave feedback until the buyer has. so that should negative be left they can do the mutual withdraw!

    Im sorry if i pay for somthing up front then i have kept my side of the deal! buyer has feedback first. then buyer can leave seller feedback when done..

    But this just dont happen! if the sellers goods are as described they should have nothing to worry about..

    For reference im a seller! and i leave feedback for customers when their payment is cleared. i then await for theirs.. its the way it is inteded and its the way Ebay should enforcing!

  35. Colin
    Thumb Up

    caffeine addict - exactly

    Like you say, I've been thinking they should do this for ages... until both parties have left feedback, it's not shown at all... after a fixed period of time (say 2 weeks) if one party hasn't left feedback, then they lose the opportunity to, and the other is published.

  36. Rich

    Re: Address...

    "It's a real sh't forcing all sellers to display physical addresses, maybe if it only displayed PO box's it'd be okay"

    Nope, you're still not getting it... It's the law. As a business (and this applied ONLY to businesses), you MUST publish a proper postal address. A PO box is NOT acceptable. If you have security concerns about this then either get some business premises or stop selling stuff.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Hysteria

    The idea that displaying a company address is bad news because of the "risk of burglary" is nothing more than hysteria. It won't affect a member of the public selling some old stuff from the loft or an unwanted gift. But those who operate a business selling should display this information, and that's a legal requirement. In any case a bonafide business would take measures to secure and protect their premises not to mention cover themselves with insurance.

    I also support the idea of the negative feedback ban in this situation, having bought a pile of crap off Ebay once before, I felt unwilling to leave a negative comment for fear of my own 100% record being tarnished.

  38. Kyle

    Excellent thinking folks

    I love the "against" attitude expressed here:

    eBay tries to force high-volume sellers to provide information normal RealWorld 2.0 businessses are required to provide

    world+dog complains that this makes them vulnerable as they are running a business out of their home

    Here's a tip - if you're running a business out of your home, and have goods of enough worth to make you fear burglary more than the average Terrified Citizen, *invest in home security*. Other businesses have to do this; why should you be exempt from displaying an address and thus being "vulnerable" just because you don't have a high street shop?

    (Given the lack of concrete information on what the cut-off point is, I'm inclined against believing that Granny Goodness who sells two embroidered doilies a year via eBay will end up assaulted and burgled because of the nasty new policy, but that's just me and my cynical ways...)

  39. Alastair Campbell
    Paris Hilton

    Erm...Registered Office address

    Why not do what many sellers do and simply pay for a registered office service at a lawyer, accountant or company formation agent - it's cheap and private.

    I use one for my web business and it means I look more professional but don't risk some scrote banging down the door because they think I have stock at home.

    Paris - because sometimes the answer is simple.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Address by AC

    Read the article. It says registered businesses should display a physical address not all sellers.

    It's damn obvious that powersellers are businesses and should rightly have a business address. However not all businesses are registered and I believe you can still trade in the UK as a sole trader, in these cases the business address is likely the home address but I don't see a problem with that. What's the difference between knowing that Joe Bloggs has three playstations when it's plainly obvious that Dixons have hundreds? As for registered addresses being an accountants address, if the business is registered then yes it maybe and your accountant will nail you for it. However, I believe the rules about needing a chartered accountant to file business tax returns changed a while back and up to a certain turnover you can basically do your own. I wonder what yur average powerseller would declare as being their turnover? There seem to be a few touchy people about lately so I'll make it obvious and say that was a rhetorical question. Whatever a powersellers particular circumstances are they are running a business and yes they should display an address, it's their choice to sell on ebay and if they don't like it they can stick to car boot sales.

  41. jaegar

    Never mind that

    When are they going to start enforcing decent punctuation and grammar?

  42. Luke Wells
    Thumb Down

    how do you know a bad buyer now?

    As an occasional seller, I like to weed through the bidders and cancel bids from anyone who has a high number of negative feedback.

    If buyers can no longer get negative feedback at all...... how do you spot a bad buyer that you wouldn't want to deal with?

    I've bought over 1000 items on ebay since being a member and I have only managed to get 2 negatives in those 8 years as a buyer, so how is there a problem with buyers getting negative feedack? What are they trying to protect the users from? I don't have loads of unjustified negatives from sellers. (though the 2 I have were actually unjustified - I can live with an average of 1 negative per 4 years)

  43. Rich

    @Anon

    "i'd say a bad buyer is somebody who demands a refund or more (and to keep the item) under the threat of leaving negative feedback...

    ...good luck speaking to the police...

    ...and good luck trying to sell anything in future when you get feedback saying you sell counterfeit goods"

    Well, that just highlights why the whole "feedback" thing should probably be scrapped completely. I've sold stuff on the web (as a proper business, and no, not through ebay), and I've never had a customer come back to me and demand his money back under threat that they will tell tales on me if I don't!

    And are you seriously telling me that the police should be interested in someone leaving you unjustified negative feedback on ebay? You ARE having a laugh, no? Oooo.... tell him - he's telling fibs about me. I'll get my dad on you!!

    if you are running a business (on ebay or anywhere else) then I'm afraid you need to get a bit tougher and introduce yourself to the real world (and yes, I've worded this politely!).

  44. Gareth
    Thumb Down

    Protection against fraudulent buyers?

    As both a regular seller and buyer on eBay, there seems to be far more problem with fraudulent buyers than fraudulent sellers... selling laptops or other high-value, hard to trace small electronics is next to impossible now (even without considering fees which mean the lion's share of the profit goes to eBay/Paypal anyway). I think my last laptop sale had about half a dozen false-starts with Nigerians and Indonesians doing "Buy It Now" and offering fake money orders/magic beans within half an hour of listing.

    Recently we sold an expensive point of sale system and the buyer held the money up for months with Paypal as she decided she wanted a refund as she couldn't figure out how to use it. She claimed the item was broken and got her money back - worked perfectly when it got back here but Paypal don't want to hear it. So much for caveat emptor.

    Compared this to buying, where I've had maybe one or two problems with sellers in 5 years of trading. I'm careful with buying from high-feedback, local traders though (and will go and collect an item if the cost of travel is less than 20% of the value of the item).

    eBay seems to be trying to shift away from it's tat-market image and become some kind of small-biz eCommerce platform. Problem with that is the only advantage eBay offers is the commodification of nearly everything - the only reason to shop there is that it's very easy to find the cheapest option.

    However, a lot of items (especially in low-margin industries like electronics) are now more expensive on eBay than retail sites due to eBay/Paypal fee hikes wiping out seller profits, meaning that I find more and more of my purchases are made at traditional retailers as eBay's only advantage (price) is gone.

    The market is ripe for a competitor - both in auctions and micropayments.

    PS. I set my auctions so no-one with feedback of under -1 can bid. Now no-one can give negative feedback to fraudulent bidders, how can sellers block the bidders who sign up for an account with a dodgy card and go around buying up as many high-value items as they can before the account gets shut down?

  45. Dan S
    Thumb Down

    Feedback

    I run an Ebay business and agree there is a legitimate concern about sellers giving retaliatory -ve feedback. However buyer feedback is going to be meaningless under this new system. Why not simply give sellers access to relatively objective stats like the number of purchases made and the number of non-payment strikes against the seller?

    IMHO the bigger story about the price changes has been obscured. There will be reductions for powersellers who get good feedback, unfortunately this is counterbalanced by a fee increase for non-powersellers no matter how good their feedback.

  46. Mike Moyle Silver badge
    Coat

    Positive feedback

    It's all in how you word it:

    "I cannot praise this seller too highly!"

    "This is the best counterfeit xxxx I ever bought!"

    "Since I really wasn't expecting this xxxx to work, it FULLY MET MY EVERY EXPECTATION!"

    "If you can purchase xxxx from this seller, you should consider yourself extremely fortunate."

    What...? It's all positive...!

  47. Dave Mundt
    Joke

    Ebay's feedback system...

    I stirred the pot a couple of years ago, trying to get some momentum to change the feedback system. Although I got a lot of positive remarks on forums from buyers and a lot of negative arguments from sellers, nothing seemed to happen. Then, suddenly, Ebay adds the multiple star ratings to feedback - amazingly similar to what I had proposed.

    At least I can have a good feeling that I was right, and that it DID need to happen, even if I did not get even a thank you from corporate for suggesting it.

    Now, as for not being able to leave negative feedback for buyers. I Don't support that, as I think that the field should be pretty open. The fact that Ebay splits up feedback between selling and buying now allows a buyer to determine if a given vendor is a more or less safe bet. Feedback for buyers has been useful to me, though, as it has helped me understand the reason for negative feedback for a given seller.

    I am not sure that I am happy that they are going to "age off" feedback. I fear that this will allow a bad seller to simply play nice for a bit, then, get to a point that they look good, and can hook in a bunch of buyers before sticking it to them.

    I don't just look at the numbers of positive/negative feedbacks, but, rather check how they are distributed, and, look at what percentages of the total mass are negative and positive. Alas, it is true enough that there are some folks that are impossible to please, and, one way or another a seller will end up with a negative feedback from them. However, if that seller has 95% positive feedbacks, and, there seems to be reasonable explanations on the negative feedback exchange, that does not mean I will not buy from that vendor.

    I do like very much sellers that give feedback when they ship the package out. That seems an appropriate time for them to do it. The only negative I have gotten so far was retalitory, in that I negged a guy for not following through on a sale, and, he negged me with false claims about bouncing an E-check on him. My feeling was that he got a better offer on the item I was purchasing, so blew off my bid, and sold it to someone else.

    By the by...speaking of E-checks and such, that brings to mind Paypal. which was mentioned earlier too. In terms of payments and such, remember that Ebay, which owns Paypal, is making a truckload of money every day on the "float" on payments, so, they are unlikely to EVER cut down on the four or five days it takes to credit a payment to a seller. They pull the funds out of my bank account by midnight of the day I make the payment, and hold onto them for at least four full days before crediting them to the seller. What do they do with that cash in that time? Believe me, it does not go into a big piggy bank somewhere in the Midwest of America! They are likely investing it in overnight and very short term loans with relatively high interest rates, and keeping that income for management and stockholders. On top of that, they ding the sellers for fees!

    While the overnight interest on a US$40 transaction is not much at all, remember that they are collecting over a million payments a DAY, and THAT starts to mount up to a decent pile of cash.

    I could go on, but, there are only terabytes of storage out there, so I probably should leave a bit of space for other, wiser folks...

    Thanks for listening.

    Dave Mundt

  48. Jack

    PHB's firmly in charge at e-bay...

    Ah, what an excellent move, and a sure sign that the PHB's are firmly in charge at e-bay.

    Problem: We're losing transaction fees because people are refusing to do business with the scammers who get bad ratings.

    PHB solution: Eliminate feedback, so people won't be able to see who the scammers are, and thus will trust *everybody*!

    Yeah, *that'll* work.

    I never did care for e-bay itself, but I did do a lot of business with half.com (An e-bay subsidiary that sells books and the like at fixed prices.) which is owned by e-bay and uses their rating system.

    Fortunately, Amazon.com has a similar system for the things that I'm interested in *and* still allows actual feedback, including negative comments. I suspect that their business will be picking up quite a bit over the next few months as people look for an alternative to e-bay's new PHB inspired, "Trust *everyone* sight unseen!" policy.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    About time this was looked at. I get 'cheesed off by' sellers who deliberately sit on their large recommendation figure, waiting for you, the buyer, to comment on them before they comment on you. Even though you have already proved to be an exemplary buyer, whereas they may or may not have been a good seller.

    They know it just adds pressure on the buyer to lie and say the seller is fine, even when the buyer has a genuine gripe.

  50. Steve

    What feedback really needs...

    ...is no ratings. You just leave feeback. You don't get to pick Positive, Neutral or Negative you just have to write something.

    Then, the onus is on the seller or buyer to actually read what's been written rather than rely on arbitrary numbers.

  51. David Willis
    Flame

    Boo Hoo E-Bay

    Pubilishing your business address on all material (letterheads, business cards, advertising, websites & even in your e-mail headers !!) is a legal requirement that kicked off on 30th Jan 2007. E-bay is quite late falling into line.

    All powersellers or "high volume" sellers being registered as businesses will be e-bays answer to HMG demanding tax from high volume e-bay sellers - they are simply identifying them for HMG (cheers e-bay)

    Banning negative feedback.. what a f@c@ing stupid idea. Just because you can't be as@ed policing it.

    So you don't get your goods.. claim on the insurance..

    so the seller takes you for a ride.. claim on the insurance.

    Surely it makes more sense to know if sellers and buyers are good or bad, enter a transaction with this information and only claim if you have to..

    Otherwise at some point in the near future the insurance will become unclaimable.

    As for tit for tat bad feedback.. THIS IS WHERE EBAY FAILS MISERABLY.. but at the end of the day somebody who has been trading for several years can expect a small amount of negative feedback, somebody who has been trading for several weeks should NOT have large amounts of negative feedback. Its how those of us who trade make intelligent decisions to do so!

    Like most large American IT companies E-bay want to be fat, well paid AND Lazy..

    Well as a buyer and seller for a long time I for one will not be using e-bay if they get rid of customer feedback.

    There are plenty of other internet auction sites.

  52. RW
    Coat

    @ Keith Oborn

    "I once tried to trace any postal address or phone number for any Ebay business... Nothing in Europe... This outfit (via PayPal) operates a financial service ... and they still don't provide contract addresses."

    From time to time I've wanted to point out to Ebay technical shortcomings of their site, the usual crap of assuming that everyone has the latest and greatest PC running the latest and greatest version of Windows via a l&g monitor the size of a Times Square billboard, with all plug-ins present and fully enabled.

    Or more elementary mistakes like web pages that don't reflow properly when you tell your browser to enlarge all fonts. Or webpages that, knowing full well I'm in Canada, assume I'm in the US when they display prices.

    Presumably, they'd *like* to hear about these matters.

    But, no, evidently they don't. I spent a long time wandering through the thickets of Ebay webpages and never could find a simple email address to which such problems could be reported. Nor an online form for the same purpose.

    I'm reminded of the amusing photograph of a cat with small candy boxes over its ears, captioned "Can't hear you...can't hear you..." ("Bad Cats" from Workman Publishing)

    It seems to me that Ebay has fallen into the trap that Microsoft pioneered so splendidly, assuming that they know what the customer wants (needs?) without bothering to ask. [At this point readers can insert the anti-MS rant of their choice.]

    It faintly amuses me to visualize these huge dinosaurian corporations writhing in pain after falling on the sharpened bamboo stakes at the bottom of the pitfall. But, alas, so far no such thing has eventuated.

    Coat'n'hat because I've rambled and the moderator is going to get on my case if I don't clean up my act Real Soon Now.

  53. Matthew
    Happy

    My £0.02

    What ebay needs is for sellers to leave their feedback first - as they have been paid by that point - and they don't get reciprocal feedback until they do.

    This solves the main problem of dodgy sellers on the site. As others have said, the odd negative from a nutty buyer is annoying but not likely to affect a high volume seller as their rating will quickly recover.

    As a victim of retaliatory negative feedback I was really disillusioned by the pathetic disputes procedure. I got a full refund but am stuck with that feedback.

    What we should have is a system where *either* party can mark feedback as retaliation. If this was less than, say 2% of transactions, it would be disregarded. That way feedback would work as it should...

  54. Rob Strzelecki

    @Mark Fenton

    Forcing the seller to leave feedback before the buyer can leave feedback for them has always seemed the logical approach to me as well. After all the buyer completes their side of the deal first as soon as they have paid so it only seems fair.

  55. This post has been deleted by its author

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Paypal, just the limit....

    I agree with most of the comments regarding sellers feedback, I've always done it this way ie left feedback upon despatch/collection, what I find disturbing is the limits being introduced on the amount of money that you can recieve from paypal £1,700pa is a bit of a joke especially if you sell your old highend hi-fi equipment (due to lack of a proper job,in my case), god help you if you sell your car, I can see many legitimate sellers recieving a visit from HMRC, just to filch some more tax into Darling's coffers, just because his Master made such a mess when he controlled the purse strings..

    I've just had to jump through paypal's hoops just to prove that I'm not a business, or a money launderer, but I'll just use my wife's account to spread the load around, as £6ph just doesn't keep the wolf from the door anymore, especially with prices of everyday items(food, fuel, local taxes) rising astronomically...

  57. p

    Good thing !

    Nothing is wrong with this. I wish, they had done the same for US users.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    looking at all the comments here

    the article title would be more appropriate if it was "eBay gets positive feedback about ban on negative feedback".

    I agree with the majority here that last few decisions from new eBay management seem to be steps in the right direction, i.e. penalize excessive postage, VAT inclusive final price, concrete addresses for business sellers, end of feedback extortion. Well done.

  59. Ed

    @ AC

    "and good luck trying to sell anything in future when you get feedback saying you sell counterfeit goods"

    That's libel. If someone tried to pull a stunt like that with me, they'd be a defendant in a lawsuit as fast as I could get it filed.

  60. Phil

    not perfect, but a step in the right direction

    The address thing is fine. If your not a business then you wont be displaying your address, if you are, then like the majority of other businesses, get insurance against being burgled. I suspect a lot of the power sellers don't even keep stock but simply act as the middle man and order it when it's sold. Some people wont be happy, but those will be people that are using ebay to run a home business without wanting to admit to it to the tax man/benefit office etc

    With regards to feedback, I like the idea suggested in above posts for the seller to leave feedback before the buyer. The current system doesn't work. Yesterday I looked at 4 items from different power sellers, all had 97+ feedback. I checked the negative feedbacks, all fair comments in my opinion (no business pleases all it's customers) but I then looked at the feedback of people that had left the bad feedback, ALL of them had perfect ratings except for one negative, you've guessed it, a negative from the power sellers saying things like "avoid at all costs". Although this had the effect on me of not wishing to deal with a power seller that couldn't handle a complaint without being childish.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Online Tat Bazzaar

    Who even uses this service?

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Good for tat.

    Personally, the feedback is next to useless. Buyers occasionally have very unrealistic expectations -- don't read the description, don't read the terms, don't talk to the seller when not happy, or somehow think the seller is their rich uncle and will happily foot the bill for the return postage when they don't want what they bought. Tit for tat feedback is the seller's only defense against an absurd quirk of the ratings system where bad buyers have too much power. "Cooling off" periods are just plain stupid. If you don't think about your purchase before you bought it, then it isn't the seller's responsibility to wipe your arse for you.

    I'm a power seller, but I can tell you that all of the handful of negative feedbacks I've gotten over the past 6 years (a total of 3 out of several thousand feedbacks) were from people who it is simply not possible to please. If they could rate me badly without repercussion, more would take advantage of the situation. It's just a negotiation tactic, then. I do my best to be fair and treat people right, describing my auctions as accurately as possible, and offering the fairest possible terms. The way I see it is, if they're happy, then I'm happy, but if they're not happy and want to take a dump in my back yard before trying to work things out, then two can play that game.

    I'd say the vast majority of fraud on ebay originates from people who happen to be stupid. It's mostly either not being cautious enough to investigate the item and its description and buying something that anybody can see is garbage, or volunteering to send money to a 'second chance' offering that isn't real. Generally, I report the second chancers to ebay and let ebay drop their accounts. However, greed and thinking with the lower brain takes some people over, and they'll mail off their money to the wild blue yonder.

    PH, because tat isn't particular.

  63. Sarah Baucom
    Thumb Down

    Stupid Idea

    Well, I'll never be selling anything on eBay again. I've been a member since 1999, and have about a 50/50 buy/sell ratio. The only time I've ever had to give negative feedback is for buyers who didn't pay. What's to stop people from bidding on multiple auctions, and then only paying for the one that ended up having the lowest ending price?

    Couldn't they just as easily make it so either a buyer or seller can't leave negative feedback after the other has already left negative feedback for them? That seems much more sensible.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too little, but a start

    Ebay to me long ago quit being a site to get kewl stuff and more a place I use because I have to, there's simply no other auction site that is worth the effort. I only use it now for old/hard to find items, and often wish it would return to it's roots as on online garage sale for hobbyists rather than a bazaar for the gray/surplus/whatever markets.

    My worst experiences have been with those power sellers doing business out of their living room, and over surprisingly trivial items--hence the reason I just buy the cheap stuff today from real stores and not these losers.

    With one power seller in particular I had won several auctions from him at once, but on one he sent me the wrong item and didn't reply for over a week until I finally left him negative feedback, where he suddenly "came back from vacation." He then refused to send me the correct item unless I withdrew my feedback, which didn't sit well with me. The result was I got negative feedback on all the items I had bought from him.

    In the private flame fest that followed the power seller told me he knew whatever I'd had to say would be lost in his thousands of feedbacks, while he had severely damaged my reputation since I had under one hundred. So I say go for it, take out the crutch from these power sellers and make them learn real customer service, and register as a business and pay their taxes.

  65. Harris Upham
    Stop

    I remember ebay...

    My ebay login is about to hit its 10th birthday in May, and has seen very, very little use in recent years. The site/phenomenon/culture has just become so big and so complex that I feel left out. I've lost count of how many questions must be answered when listing an item for sale, and it seems like there are so many more things to keep track of and be vigilant for when buying. It doesn't help that it always feels like ebay is desperate to get you to use their other services (paypal for example) in the course of doing something quick and simple.

    I always looked at feedback as a minor, optional activity. Sure, nice to read it and get some sense of who I'm dealing with, but I never thought it was a big deal if I forgot to leave it for anyone, and vice versa.

    Of course, much of this is easier when dealing in person as I can use all of my senses and intuitions to decide whether or not to make a deal, but on ebay I'm still only given text, images and a cursor to interact with. The workload has increased while the power of the toolset has remained constant, and that leaves me disinclined to shop or list on ebay anymore. The tools only half-work. Ever try and find items offered by non-power sellers who accept payment other than paypal? How do you even search for that?

    Something that was fun and interesting (albeit potentially risky) when it was all rolled up into blind trust has now become a chore with far, far too many checkboxes and no real, open automation support to help clear through the clutter. Now we haven't got the same sense of trust anymore, and we still haven't got clear access to live help resources in the event that anything goes wrong.

    No thanks! Just not a deal worth doing anymore- I'll let the powersellers keep peddling to each other, and find some other marketplace that operates without as much hassle.

  66. Alex Read
    Dead Vulture

    Bleedin stupid

    I agree with Liam O'Flaherty among others there. This will just open the doors to a new wave of rogue traders who're currently rubbing their hands together at the prospect of ripping off hundreds of buyers who now can't view any comments about the trader's previous sales.

    If I bought a computer from a local retail store and was told they'd taken my money but "don't sell this model any more and tough luck, bye", you can be damned sure I'd be writing to the local papers and news sites and even standing outside with banner & mic in true hippy style to warn others not to go near the store. Seller protection? What about the buyer protection???

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Not sure about the feedback change

    Why is it just sellers that won't be able to leave negative feedback?

    I had a nasty surprise a couple of years ago when I was selling a bunch of books. Quite a few went unsold, but the winner of one of my books contacted me and pretty much demanded that I sell him a few of the unsold books. I told him I was just going to relist the books and the deal suddenly went sour. He said that he only bid on the one book because he assumed I'd sell him the unsold books and that he'd save on shipping. So in the end he pulled out of the deal.

    Now who deserves negative feedback there? Him, surely. Of course, I didn't have a single negative feedback and was quite keen to keep it that way. So I let him pull out gracefully without kicking up a fuss. And what did he do? Apparently set himself a task to log back in three months later--just at the limit of leaving feedback--and leave me negative feedback. When I logged back in to eBay a few months after that, it was too late for me to do the 'retaliation' thing eBay is trying to eliminate. I don't sell often, but have bought and sold a number of items over the years since. My feedback rating is about 145 with still just the one negative.

    So what's this show? Negative feedback can be abused by buyers just as easily as sellers. And sellers risk more. Buyers can close and reopen a new account. They a high positive feedback rating isn't that important to them, but for sellers it's imperative, especially if they're selling items where of high price or where their condition makes a difference.

    So why is eBay treating the feedback system as if only sellers abuse it?

  68. Jbhoy

    @Ed

    ""and good luck trying to sell anything in future when you get feedback saying you sell counterfeit goods"

    That's libel. If someone tried to pull a stunt like that with me, they'd be a defendant in a lawsuit as fast as I could get it filed."

    Luckily the little fella in HK that i bought the GENUINE Gucci watch for £7.99 from for a lady friend at xmas has yet to take me to court!Lets face it theres still loads of counterfeit stuff on there which you can spot a mile away and the sellers are still happily getting away with it.Im off to have my genuine watch revalued and then off to sothebys with it.....im putting a reserve of £8.50 on it! ;-)

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Good for tat by AC

    "If they could rate me badly without repercussion, more would take advantage of the situation."

    So basically you are saying that the only reason you get good feedback is the fear the buyer has of receiveing negative feedback from you.You've just given the best argument in favour of taking this stick away from sellers.

    Good job you remained anonymous because with an attitude like that I doubt anybody would ever want to buy from you.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    EBAY Ministry?

    So when did Ebay become a branch of the government and get to decide what is and what is not a business?

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @Rich2

    Sorry i just use ebay to unload unwanted stuff every so often, so calling it a business is probably a bit much. But anyhow heres some of the key emails, it was for a record value around £20

    "Received the record, i don't like it return my money immediately or i'll say you sell fake broken goods"

    "Ok, i dont normally do refunds but if you send it back i'll refund the bid amount"

    <thinking it's better just to sell it to one of the other people who bid>

    "F**k you, i want all the the money back and if you want the f**king thing back you better send me £20 for the f**king postage and hassle of me having to have s**t stuff from you"

    "No, sorry if you want the bid amount back you can"

    "I know where you f**king live and i will come round a f**king burn you house down and f**king kill you"

    and a few more like that with harsher language, he apparently lived fairly locally (found out the address was actually a B&B), half an hour away, which probably explains how he sent a picture of my house

    anyhow that kind of thing, although he probably was an ascii bandit, does kind of take the shine off ebay

    but positive feedback all round

    "A++++ great buyer, although threatened to kill sellers family"

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The Business on Business

    "eBay is full of people who sell odds and ends out of their home"

    Such people are NOT being asked to display their address.

    However, ebay is even more full of people who insist blind that they are not running a business, despite it being extremely obvious to anybody who cares to look that the 35 sandisk cards they put up for sale every week aren't unwanted presents or used family possessions.

    Anybody who makes or buys to sell *is* by definition running a business, and the laws relating to business quite rightly don't exempt "sole traders" working from home from disclosing that they are business and displaying the business address.

    Nobody forces anybody to become a sole trader, but those who do need to KNOW they are doing so, that they have legal responsibilities (under SOGA etc) for the fitness of their goods and people like trading standards need to be able to track them down.

    For once, what ebay is doing is right -- though it is confusing the situation slightly by implying that only high volume sellers need to register as a business. Everybody who makes or buys to sell, however occasionally they do it, has legal responsibilities and if they CHOOSE to operate a business activity they have to accept the legal requirements, including displaying an address.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    A thought for the Faults

    "From time to time I've wanted to point out to Ebay technical shortcomings of their site"

    Can be done at the bottom of the page: http://cgi1.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?SiteMessageSummary&category=5

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    cooling off period ??

    WTF. I thought ebay was an AUCTION site.

    There is no such thing as a colling off period in an auction - once you win you are committed to buy.

  75. Chris McFaul
    Stop

    have you ever actually USED ebay??

    what a complete load of crap.

    people saying obvoiusly the seller is ok - they dont send out goods until you have the money.

    evidently they have never had a paypal dispute. i have had paypal REMOVE money from my paypal account, because they decided the buyers was in the right (apparenlty they claimed their account was hijacked) - AFTER i had already transferred the money out of paypal - thereby sending my paypal account WAY WAY into the red!!! (of course paypal woudl have just resorted to legal action/debt collectors to get my account back to zero)

    as for whether you are a business or not - i thiknt hey rules governing whether the distance selling legislation applies to you or not are something along the lines of "if you are selling multiple copies of the same item - and for a profit - then you are a business and Distance selling regulations apply"

    so *I* was out of pocket - even tho as several morons on here state "you already have the money"

    the ONLY negative feedback i have receieved was from a buyer - who it turned out i was unable to contact because his REGISTERED ebay e-mail address (AND paypal address) - he no longer owned!!!! when i phones him (mobile only!) to ask him to verify his actual address in some way - he refused adn started demmanding a refund - at which point i explained he had legally bought the goods, and as soon as he supplied me with evidence of his address i was very happy to despatch them

  76. glenn
    Thumb Up

    It's all a storm in a teacup!

    An Ebay seller doesn't really have much choice in who buys the items that they are offering, they list it and someone buys it, deal done!

    A buyer on the other hand has a choice who to purchase from and will probably steer clear of low feedback rated sellers.

    A seller leaving negative feedback is a pretty useless exercise TBH, it doesn't make any real difference to the buyer as they can still go and purchase from whoever they like in future, and it makes no difference to other sellers as they have virtually no control over who buys from them, thus making it virtually pointless for a seller to leave negative feedback.

    Surely a good seller will receive good feedback, which is important as it attracts more customers for them. Leaving negative feedback for their customers doesn't have any benefits for them, but receiving it is bad for business and so should discourage dodgy sellers.

    Also, it's about time high volume sellers started paying tax!!!! i don't see why power sellers should be able to make a tax free living when they are trading as a business in all but name. I have to pay my dues, so should they.

    Cough it up you bloody tight fisted tax dodgers !!!!!

  77. Paul Maxwell

    Negative ratings - worth more than positive ones

    eBay need to work out what's more important to them - having 100% positive ratings or acting as a selling medium. I have bought on ebay many times and ALWAYS check the sellers ratings. Not perfect but if there are reasonable negative comments, gives an indication of their status.

    However, I do think that ratings should be changed. As has already been said either hide until both have been entered or make the seller add first. As a buyer, I always pay in good time so from a sellers perspective, am a good customer. Nobody rates a seller until the goods are received & tested and if they are faulty, will be come obvious quickly. Any disputes after shipping / receipt should be dealt with outside the ratings as these are there to comment on your reliability as a buyer / seller, not necessarily the goods.

  78. Martin Walker
    Thumb Up

    I agree with ebay

    I both buy and sell and would recently have left negative feedback on an item I bought, if I had not been bothered about getting a negative myself.

    Symmetry in the feedback system is flawed, customers need to know more about sellers and hence the new system will help.

    Okay it means a lot of sellers will see their ratings fall, but buyers will have to get used to a lower % rating not being as bad a sign as it was before, and sellers will still be able to comment on the negatives they get which will still allow the customer to apply judgment.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Caffine Addict

    Been there, done that.

    I suggested this in the Powerseller forums last week, after 3 pages of abuse about my wifes username it turns out it's been suggested many times before and eBay aren't listening. You're right though, this would be the best solution to the problem, ensuring honest feedback.

    Oh well... eBid it is from here on then, luckily created a lifetime membership with ebid for 25p about 2 years ago, time to use it I guess.

  80. Bhavin Desai
    Linux

    There are easier ways to find physical addresses!!!

    Physical addresses of businesses and companies are freely available in local newspapers, Yellow Pages, The Phone Book, Companies House website, and many other sources. Is there anything particularly special about eBay requiring companies to display their physical address?

    What exactly is the problem?

  81. jeremyduffy.com
    Thumb Down

    This is a stupid idea

    The positive comments are about as useful as most positive product reviews. They don't give you the real story. It's only the negative comments that give you vital information like "He forgot to mention an $8 shipping fee if you live in Canada" etc. Besides, when you do get scammed by someone and eBay refuses to do something about it, what else are you supposed to do? Leave everyone else to continue getting scammed?

    example:

    http://www.jeremyduffy.com/computers-internet/high-density-ram/

  82. Jim Adams
    Thumb Down

    Where is Google Checkout ?

    As always at a time like this when a business wants to commit suicide its the time for a rival to submit its appeal to the public for more business Nudge and wink towards Google Checkout

    Obviously any online business is not without its own Risk ebay is not an online Shopping mall its an online auction house (rule 1 buyer beware)

    and good sellers prosper

    If you think that constantly allowing nearly annonymous bidders to leave Impossible to remain annonymous sellers negetive feedback is fair then your as crazy as the idea of fraustrating the sellers on a site where only the sellers make you money.

    IMO I think Google Checkout need to bring out its Auction House and i am sure we will see serious changes to eBays attitudes towards its main money makers the good sellers trying to make a fast buck

    The Tax man should consider people like the Chelsea owners to ask for serious tax or hedge funders people who are making serious wedge and rubbing tax mans noses in it

    I Hate people who think ebay sellers are here to get away with Tax payers money obvious they are small minded people stuck in a small corner office hating on anyone making money not Stuck in a small corner office too

  83. glenn
    Stop

    @Jim Adams

    If you are trading on Ebay and have Powerseller status then you must be selling quite a bit of kit in a manner akin to a business, not just selling on a couple of surplus belongings.

    You are getting away without declaring income to the tax man and I don't see why anyone should be able to make a living tax free while the rest of us have to pay up!!!

  84. Jim Adams
    Thumb Down

    Making a petition to Google

    I have today made a http://gauctions.wordpress.com/

    where people can go and make a comment and when i get a total number in the next two weeks i will send it to Google HQ so their guys can start considering if they think this market that needs a Big Competitor needs their input

  85. Jim Adams
    Gates Horns

    @ glenn

    Actually glenn thats where your wrong if you sell items totalling more than a couple of hundreds you qualify for powerseller status

    Example you sell your car after selling a couple of Unlocking for mobile phones does that make you a business ?

    Its people like you glenn that make these rules we are all moaning about they take an angle and abuse it so much you start to think if there isnt another angle at all

    if you sell 1 £5000 car and 10 mobile phone unlocks you are instantly a power seller cause you will qualify for total spend over 3 months just by the one sale

    Please go and read ebay terms and conditions to powersellers before trying to be mad at powersellers cause you dont know alot of information about it

    Also why do people from abroad bid on your auction try to scam you and many times eBay refuse to give you your listing fees back

    When i listed my watch on ebay an african scammer won it and was never going to pay me i contacted ebay for my fees and they told me to file a non payment dispute which would only give me my final valuation fees not the near £100 listing fee

    Glenn you need much more expericence on ebay before you will understand why so many are actually upset from the outside looking in you dont have a clue yet

  86. Someone

    Going out with a bang

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140205210628

    Read from the “payments” section onwards.

  87. adnim Silver badge

    @someone:Going out with a bang

    Wonderful, thank you. Being an honest man this kind of thing never crossed my mind.

    After all these wonderful tips, I am now going to bid on all sorts of high value electronics and make myself very, very rich indeed.

    Please post me your bank details: card number, account number, sort code, security code on back of card, full name and address, the maiden name of your mother and the names and ages of your children if any so that I can share my riches with you.

    Thanks in advance

    adnim

    For those who maybe reading with an IQ significantly below average I am joking. Honesty and integrity to me are far more important than money. Money does not make for true happiness, it is just provides a temporary distraction from the misery of the consumer based, market driven economy in which we live.

  88. Peter Dillon-Parkin
    Thumb Down

    Straw, camel's back

    As a seller and buyer on eBay I've had more grief from buyers from me than sellers to me. I've had buyers tell lies to get refunds and keep the goods and a virtual flame war from a buyer not willing to wait a few days for a proof of delivery - a scam that from his feedback he had performed tens of times.

    How are sellers supposed to spot these people now?

    Those of you who think sellers hold feedback 'hostage' until your feedback is left - I started doing this after I got negative feedback from a buyer whose goods had not turned up. At no point did it occur to him to let me know this so I could offer a refund.

    Sadly many of the people buying on eBay are lacking basic intelligence: frankly otherwise they wouldn't buy most of what is on eBay, as you can buy much of it online, new, for less.

  89. Jim Adams
    Flame

    Real Problem

    The real problem is rather than sort out this gathering of bad buyers eBay wants to silence the betrayed Sellers by gagging them

    I blame all this on BBC Watchdog show and if you look into it you will find that it was after they did that show eBay scraped it's Jury program

    IMO eBay has long been top of this auction trade as there is no proper named competitor the minute one comes out i am certain its Goodbye eBay

    Please Visit the Blog make your verbal donation so that google knows we are all really tired of eBay and they try to act

    Another thing anyone else noticed how you now a days cant list an item with out selecting Paypal as the only payment method i think this is really Unfair to people who dont really wanna use paypal or have boycotted paypal since being scammed they are now forced to return to the site

    I am also certain that is abusing the Monopoly rules or somthing as eBay is now stopping payment for items unless its via Paypal

    http://gauctions.wordpress.com Register your opinion to get an eBay alternative remember if you dont say anything we might as well give up and sign up to eBay now

  90. Rob Moir
    Thumb Down

    Burgle the goods from the seller?

    Lots of comments along the lines of "The obvious concern is that even if this is done, a criminal can look at an address for a seller with, say 3 Wiis or whatever, bid, win, get the address and either use the information they receive and cancel their bid under the cooling off period, or even pay and pop 'round and rob the seller before they're shipped."

    As this rule change applies to businesses (and lets be honest, once you start moving a certain amount of goods on a regular basis you *are* a business whether you like it or not), I don't see what the concerns are here; you can look in a shop while it is open and return once it is closed to steal things. You can also find lots of people who run 'traditional' businesses from home where you could do the same.

    So this has been possible for years yet some people seem to think it's magically become a new and scary thing because someone's figured out how to tie teh internets to the problem? hrmph!

  91. Jim Adams
    Flame

    @Rob

    You do know that its not for Business only this rule applies in the following way

    If you sell a Car and 5 other items within a space of 3 months you qualify for a powerseller

    this means you now have people not even doing business with you that will get your address and details

    Now i will worry for anyone selling High Value goods from time to time and is actually not a Business and doesnt have good security

    Cause your details will be available on eBay as if you were typing it here

    its not like the person would even need to enter a transaction with you

    I think when this change comes to effect there will be many people looking for the alternative Big time

    Even big companies that sell on ebay and dont really wanna pay taxes will move on too

    You have to be crazy to think all the tax dodgers will stay on ebay when their details become visible to all.

    Dont forget realistically the people that will pay for all these changes is the Buyer as item prices will go up as less people will sell on eBay

    IMO BBC watchdog should now be very happy with itself after all it was actually going to be a jury program for unfair feedback till BBC went and did that very One sided show No doubt bbc doesnt sell anything on ebay to begin with but of course they would buy loads on their just to give the site a bad name and ebay deciding to buckle have taken the U turn and are now missing what is important THE SELLERS

    http://gauctions.wordpress.com Register your opinion to get an eBay alternative remember if you dont say anything we might as well give up and sign up to eBay now

  92. Trix Bronze badge
    Black Helicopters

    Bunch of wimps

    I agree that leaving feedback hidden until both parties have posted it would solve a lot of woes.

    As for the people who are whining here that their "perfect" record of selling hundreds of items was "ruined" by some nasty nasty person leaving feedback, or that they were "scared" to leave negative feedback in case they got negative in return, please grow a pair.

    That 1% or less of nutters who give you negative feedback for no reason are not going to impair your overall ability to buy or sell. Of course, if 50% of your feedback is negative (and you've bought/sold more than 2 items), that's not going to be too promising.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Feedback problem easy to solve

    I don't see why Feedback should be such an issue. Allow both seller and buyer to leave feedback - whether negative, neutral or positive. But until both seller and buyer have left their feedback, don't display either, or add them to totals.

    After a determined cut off period, if either party has not left feedback, then they lose the option, while the other's feedback is implemented.

    This makes it impossible to leave negative feedback in retaliation.

  94. N Silver badge

    Ebay - PIA

    Unfortunately its been screwed up by E-bay & its partner in crime (fraud?) PayPal, who seem to have made things ridiculously easy for a fraudulent operator & ignore the legitimate traders.

    So Im dumping my account.

  95. Crash Override
    Paris Hilton

    power sellers != businesses

    Let's take for example a university graduate, one who has accumulated 4 years of text books but no longer has a use for say, 100 of them, these books sell new for 70 - 80 each, assume 50% value for 2nd hand sales, so that's 4000 they could net, they also want to sell their old car as their new job comes with one, this may have a value of 2000.

    This would make them a power seller, and force them to register as a business. No problem you may think. However, their new job involves marketing and sales strategies and their contract includes a clause which specifically prohibits them from operating a business while in the employ of the company. Bang, by trying to recycle goods they no longer have a use for, and pay off some of their student debt they can be dismissed from the company for running a 'business' simply because ebay demand that powersellers become businesses.

    If they were to sell the same items via loot or another classified ad system, they would not in any way, shape, or form be classed as a business, why should ebay be any different?

    Paris? because only she would be dumb enough to think of this idea for ebay. Or conceive of a way to stop people from saying 'this buyer kept me waiting for 2 weeks for payment by saying 'the check is in the post, haven't you received it yet?' before leaving negative feedback for me not shipping the goods'

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