eBay Motors to Sellers: You’re Not Worthy

eBay says F-U to sellers

EBay Motors has instituted a number of new policies including “rewards and new standards” for merchants. Among them… the inability for sellers to post negative feedback against buyers. In effect, eBay is sending the message that sellers are second-class citizens, buyers are righteous and honorable.

In practical terms, sellers can no longer post negative feedback on buyers who don’t pay, won’t respond after the sale, or simply flake. The seller winds up having to re list their vehicle, which inevitably leads to depressed market enthusiasm for the item in question and consequently a lower sell price… if a sale at all. Sellers can no longer conduct their business in an equitable manner where both parties are treated as equals.

Buyers, on the other hand, are able to walk from an agreed purchase contract without fear of reprisal. Sellers wind up with no sale and an unjustified nasty X alongside their feedback score.

If any of the many vendors I’ve spoken to recently are an indication, this ludicrous policy will do more to drive sellers to alternate sites at the expense of eBay alienating the very source of its revenue stream.

What, if anything, ran through your mind Mr. New eBay CEO John Donahoe when you authorized this dumb-ass policy? No sellers, no product. No product, no eBay. Sellers take most if not all the risk. Buyers have sufficient protection over and above their supposed ability to vet merchandise and deal terms before making the purchase.

To wit, our “sold” ’93 Jeep Grand Cherokee met with an eBayer who refused to pay due to a “family emergency.” Did I post negative feedback? I could since it predated the aforementioned policy change, but I did not simply because the buyer would likely retaliate with bogus feedback smearing my rating with erroneous comments.

The eBay Feedback system is broken. Don’t punish the seller. Or either party for that matter. Every transaction will have its good and bad guys. So treat both parties equally and fairly.

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There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. WTF does that have to do with the magazine biz?

  2. Magazine advertisers are migrating to eBay Motors in order to more cost-effectively market their products and services. It is also where editorial content, once the haven of print, is shifting online including eBay’s Winding Road, web forums, webzines. Magazine publishers are losing ground to pure web content and eBay is the 500# Gorilla. This particular post is of particular relevance to automotive sellers attempting to do business with eBay buyers under a lopsided feedback policy. Publishers with an e-commerce component to their sites need to exploit every possible competitive advantage and a realistic feedback policy is just one opportunity. Bottom line: Magazine publishers benefit by continuously monitoring the activities of automotive sites such as eBay Motors when planning future print and online strategies. To suggest there’s no relationship is to deny a fundamental correlation.

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