Author Topic: eBay does away with negative/neutral feedback against buyers  (Read 957 times)

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Offline Radien

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eBay does away with negative/neutral feedback against buyers
« on: August 01, 2008, 12:55:33 am »
Hunh. Something interesting has happened. eBay has taken away the seller's ability to leave neutral and negative feedback for buyers.

Now, this may sound harebrained to start off with, but bear with me: this may in fact address some deeply-seeded problems with buying on eBay. You see, here's the problem: a lot of sellers, specifically those who deal in bulk, have been holding buyers hostage by abstaining from leaving positive feedback until the buyer first leaves positive feedback on the seller.  Buyers who leave negative feedback may see the seller do the same.  After that, the buyer may be forced to agree to mutually withdraw negative feedback.  Sellers can afford to do this, because one negative response hurts a small-time buyer MUCH more than it hurts a high-volume seller.

This came up recently in a discussion about eBay cosplay retailers.  While eBay is a good place to buy a decent anime costume on a budget, it is awash with overseas sellers who deal with high volumes of merchandise -- usually made or stored in Hong Kong -- and use the above technique to attain very high feedback numbers. Their numbers look good at first, but you only see the mutually withdrawn feedback if you search through hundreds of responses. This makes it difficult to differentiate the good bulk Hong Kong dealers from the bad ones.

eBay has resolved to keep buyers accountable through other means, such as carefully tracking unpaid item conflicts. Whether or not this works will has yet to be seen, but now it's the sellers who are trying to be protected, rather than the buyers.

One downside of this is that they are using it to push Paypal payment. Why is this a bad thing? Well, eBay has a monopoly of sorts between their marketplace and their control of credit/debit card cashflow. :P Online payment is good, but they basically have no notable competitors. Not even Google offers a universal online payment system where anybody can send or accept debit/credit card payments (theirs is geared towards casual buyers, but only offers payment-receiving tools to sellers who have established stores).

Here's a copy of the new policy, specifically the buyer side of it.

What do you guys think?  On the plus side, this might improve the quality of cosplay items on eBay, if nothing else...
« Last Edit: August 01, 2008, 01:03:00 am by Radien »
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