Wednesday, April 21, 2010

E B A Y is ruining my life-time for a rant

I've been selling on E*bay for over 10 years. Mostly with no problems. Yes the fees are getting higher, but I can live with that. Some things just sell better on E*bay so I'm willing to pay the fees.
But lately there must be something in the water because some of my
buyers have gotten very nasty.

I bend over backwards to make people happy. I work very hard to be fair in all business practices. I pack things carefully, ship quickly, and am willing to work with folks if they need time to pay. I spell out my policies clearly in my listing and follow set payment and listing rules.

Even with all of this, I've had a rash of neg and neutral feedback over the past month. Mostly with no communication from the buyer. Just boom- it suddenly shows up in my feedback.

Now E*bay says they've reduced my seller rating!
mind you, Most of my feedback is good, but these 2 negs and 4 neutrals out of over
1000 feedbacks have brought my rating down to
"below performance standards".

I think the reason for this is the new policy that sellers cannot leave neg for buyers. Only buyers can leave neg.

I'm usually pretty easy going, but this really hacks me off. I figure if I'm getting a low rating, with all I do to "make it right" then the ratings mean nothing. What they do mean, is that buyers are getting high and mighty, not reading listings and not understanding policies that need to be in place so that we sellers
actually get paid for our items.

A few things to consider when buying on E*bay
1) It does cost money to ship an item, The post office and other freight carriers have steadily raised their rates over the past years and we have no choice but to pass these costs on to buyers. If you want to return the item fine, but we cannot be expected to refund shipping charges that we've paid to a 3rd party.
2)If you are buying used old items, expect them to be less than perfect. Especially if the listing says they are.
3) If something is damaged during transit, give me time to make it right, before leaving feedback or making threats.
4) Handling charges include cost of packaging, cost of paypal fees, and listing/selling fees. We sellers are nickle and dimed to death.
5)Communication, communication, communication is essential to a smooth transaction.
6)Read the listing fully, many issues are covered there. ie how long to pay, shipping charges etc. Ask questions before bidding.
7)If you feel you've paid too much for an item, you should not have bid that amount. It was your choice, nobody twisted your arm. Don't, just not pay for it.
8) Remember this is a business for the seller. It's not personal, just business.
9)Negative feedback hurts. For me it hurts not only my business but my feelings as well. I loose sleep, and time when I get negative. As a people pleaser by nature, it goes against everything that keeps me going. Makes me want to hang my hat and give up.
10) there are bad sellers out there, but I'm not one of them. I promise.

I will continue using e*bay and holding my nose while doing so. I guess I've got to put on the nice nice gloves when trying to collect payments and deal with folks who don't like what they bid on, so that I protect my feedback rating.

Oh and in addition, they've raised their selling fees to 10% across the board. Ouch!!!!!

Getting down from soap box now.


My Vintage Studio said...

Your blog is great.

eBay has changed so much in the past few years. I just went through a horrible selling experience...buyer said items were fake when the 'silver markings' are on all of the items. Of course, the buyer returned after telling eBay lies. He even had the nerve to keep several pieces of silver. Fees are too good bye eBay!

Wishing you luck on selling!

Autumn said...

I hate that a few bad apples have to spoil things for all of us.
I am really cautious when buying on Ebay.
I'm sure selling can be a pain...sorry!!

Love your blog.....

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I hear you, Margo! I started selling on ebay 12 years ago- I have nearly 5000 feedback- I do all my selling except for an occasional exceptional item, on etsy now. It is so much more seller friendly. Also when someone leaves you a "4" rating, they don't understand that a rating of four overall will stop you from selling on the site...And we really have no recourse, since we can't leave a negative!

afistfullofweeds* said...

Hey Margo.. I have you in my list of favorites on e-bay, and check from time to time. Its how I found your website and blog, Which I love!! I too have had a few nut cases from e-bay, but, none have left a neggie..maybe they knew they were wrong. Hang in there!! it will build back up!! Rhonda

Victorian Cottage North said...

Hi Margo: I feel your pain. I have been on eBay since 2001 and it is not what it used to be. I too am a good and conscientious seller, but etsy for me has been so hard to get much response. You lost your rating based on your stars. This whole stars things really sucks. They can say nice things in the feedback and then leave low stars. If you log on your Seller Dashboard you can see your star rating. Plus eBay is charging 12% selling fees on Buy It Now items. Don't know what we can do but a girl's gotta eat.


Marge of Emmas Nook and Granny said...

I'm sorry Ebay is being such a pain. I don't understand why they aren't more careful in protecting their long-time good sellers from the bad experiences like you had.

Vee said...

Several family members sell with EBAY and they have similar rants. It isn't fair that sellers can't comment on buyers. Some people are mentally ill and enjoy torching folks. It's a given. I'm sorry that it has become a holding-one's-nose experience for so many, including you! And a hike of ten per cent across the board is unbelievable!

Six in One Hand said...

I'm sooo sorry that happened. It has to be hard when you're doing all that you can and someone just feels all uppity and decides to give you a bad rating.

As one of your loyal customers, I know that you have superb performance!!!

Tina said...

Oh wow, It is an unfair practice when only the buyers get to comment and that seems extreme that their comments (a few neg n neutral comments compared to nearly 1000 positive.) would change your rating so drastically. I think this post should be passed on to the ebay people.
Blessings and don't sweat the negative people and certainly don't allow it to give you sleepless nights.
Blessings to you

Unknown said...

Great post Margo. I'd copy and paste it on your shop at Ebay if I were you.

I quit selling on ebay for some of the exact reasons you stated here. I had a few people that would place a bid to secure it while they thought about it, fully expecting someone to outbid them. When they weren't outbid, they made statements about the price being too high. Well, nimrod, then DON'T bid that price. I told them, YOU were the one that made the price what it was -whay are you blaming me?

Once I had one gal who bought a lot of upholstery fabric. Do you know how much that weighs?? She actually weighed it and told me I charged her more than the shipper charged me. At that point, I was already upset with ebay buyers, so my response to her was that the shipper didn't measure it, pack it, buy the box, pay all the fees, etc. WHY can buyers not understand that there are other fees associated with shipping than the frieght cost itself?

Anyway, I will NEVER go back to Ebay. Especially since they stopped allowing sellers to leave feed back. Buyers know how much power they have. And, you're right, most of them do NOT read all of the info on the post. (If they did, I'm sure that the walking cane that came with a ghost would never have sold for $36,000! That person actually left feedback for the seller that he believed the seller lied because he had not experienced any evidence of a ghost since owning the cane! And THIS kind of person had the power to leave negative feedback for the seller and ruin their ratings.)

Sorry to get off on all that, but it goes to show the ridiculous things that ebay allows to happen. To me, they've lost the integrity they started out with.

Etsy is a much friendlier place to sell. No bidding, all info is posted on the selling page, no hidden anything. the buyer knows exactly what they're getting, AND the buyer and the seller are allowed to leave feedback.

You could also check out Big Cartel. It has a layout that looks just like a webstore, and it's a flat $20 a month to sell there, up to 100 items.

lifespassion said...

Love your blog and have to add my two cents, for what it's worth. I've been on both sides - buyer and seller. As a seller, I packed and shipped the same or next day if it was a late auction. I communicated what I was doing ~ If I overcharged on shipping (which was seldom), I GAVE THE MONEY BACK! I put in a little note, wrapped it well, packaged with plenty of cushioning, had no damage claims, and yet I had LOW star ratings. I have 100% feedback but not good star ratings. What more do people want?

On the other hand, as a buyer, I recently purchased a few things. (another one, no communcation). I paid the same day the auction ended, about a week later, no communication, so I emailed the seller. All I got was, I'm shipping it out tomorrow. No sorry for the delay, no prior communication, nothing! I hate to give out neutrals or even worse, negatives, but this one got a neutral. I paid, waited a week, had to email them and then finally it was shipped! Most Ebay sellers and buyers are great, but the fees are getting prohibitive and shipping is so expensive. I also won't bid/buy when a seller charges $15.00 to ship a 3 inch flower frog either! Thanks for letting me rant.

I do love the blogs though, and on-line selling that you all do. Wish your shops were closer - all the great ones seem to be Texas, Iowa and Pennsylvania! Hang in there!

Passionate for White said...

Well said and I hope you feel better now having said it! :)

PW at Inspired Vintage Style said...

I'm sorry Margo, is this what they mean by "Ebay is Broken?" I have used it for one month and then switched to Etsy. I have a feeling the world is forgetting how to comunicate well. I list things clearly,show flaws in pictures,ask that buyers send questions. We do bend over backwards too please. I quess everyone needs too walk in the other's shoes.
Because I have less then 6months under my belt paypal holds my payments till I have delivery confirmation or positive feedback. I eat it on shipping to get it out early and the buyers sit for a while on their feedback. I have been needing to make buyers aware with emails to get a prompt response. I was very discouraged and almost gave up. I go to Etsy first to do my buying now,its so much friendler and you feel like you made a new friend with every transaction!

It is what it is,feel free anytime to vent with us,we understand! Peggy

julie & joe said...

I'm sorry you have had rotten buyers. We had several a few years ago and quit selling. Have you tried Etsy? They have a vintage area.....the buyers are nice there.

Unknown said...

I totally AGREE with you. I just started selling on ebay about 5 months ago, had only bought things on there prior to that. And the SAME THING has happened to me also. When they complain about the shipping being to high, but then I look and they've bought an almost identical thing from someone else and paid the same shipping fee. They know exactly what I'm asking for shipping/handling before they start bidding. I've gotten a negative feedback and a neutral from people that didn't even tell me that something was broken. I package items very well, but I cannot control how USPS handles the packages once they leave my hands. And now we can't even ask the buyer to pay for insurance. It has to be included in the fees we charge from the start. I asked one lady to send me photos of the broken item and I would work with her on it. She left nasty feedback after I asked for the photos several times and never got them. That was back when insurance could have been purchased by her, and she opted not to purchase it for depression glass. The only thing we can do is REPLY to the feedback they left for US. One other lady couldn't understand why I didn't reimburse her when she did buy insurance on the item and one antique plate out of 7 broke. The post office is where it's insured through, that's why they get the extra money for insurance. Most of the items I sell start with $.99 starting price and they usually get the items for much less than they are worth to begin with...sometimes even $.99. We cannot leave negative feedback, etc. even if the person doesn't communicate well with us, takes forever to pay when I ask in my listing for payment within 5 days. I rec'd the same notices from ebay that my score had dropped although I have 99.5% but they don't like that. Heck I've seen some items on there that could be shipped for little or nothing and the seller asks for $29.95 for shipping, etc. I don't get it! Sorry to vent also, but you're right on the money in everything you said in your blog!

Take care & Good luck

Tolentreasures said...

I quit Ebay quite awhile ago. It just was getting to be too much of a pain and I realized that for me it was starting to not be profitable any more. What a shame, when I started it was great, but the same thing, negative feedback and crazies!
Good luck.

Unknown said...

Margo, have you thought about using Etsy?

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