Wednesday, June 18, 2008

eBay Feedback experiences

I recently was invited to and attended a focus group dealing with eBay's feedback, specifically their new feedback system and why it works/doesn't work. Generally it was an interesting discussion with some hardcore eBay buyers in the mix throwing down their opinions on the new eBay 5 star system.

On one side of the fence were those that didn't use it at all. This could be either they just weren't used to it, didn't see value in it, or didn't care to use it. The other side of the spectrum in our session included those that did not really care one way or another about it, or those that found it difficult to use and just filled in "5 stars" regardless.

I can imagine there will be changes in this area in the near future, based on what I heard.


Any other eBayers here notice that eBay no longer allows sellers to leave negative zingers? Yes no more negative feedback. I guess they were sick of dealing with buyers who complained they'd get a neg as retribution from a seller. Or they were noticing a lack of feedback being left in general, as a result of sellers holding out for the buyer, and buyers holding out for the seller to go first. Personally, I still think sellers should leave feedback immediately after the buyer has paid. Short of a shipping disaster, there really shouldn't be a reason for buyer to give a neg. I believe the seller should stand by the product they sold. That's why when listing an auction, they should disclose disclose disclose everything about the item, all potential problems should be brought out so there won't be any surprises later. Buyers on the other hand should realize that once the product is in transit, they can't really blame the buyer if there is a problem. The exception to that might be if the buyer took a long time to ship the item, packed the item carelessly, or fraudulently stated they shipped the item but didn't send it out. Delivery confirmation and tracking should be a no-brainer for all transactions, especially where large dollar amounts are involved.

I was mulling in the focus group that transaction dollar amounts be attached to each rating as well. A number like total and average transaction amount might be a good way to establish more trust in a particular buyer or seller, sharing more info that might make a difference to keen buyers/sellers. Although the dollar amount could be skewed rather easily with 1 or 2 large ticket items, etc. such as a car purchase. Of course eBay could calculate mean after removing high/low values. I bet they'd lose or confuse half of the US with this complicated numbers mumbo jumbo.

Anyways, back to regularly scheduled programming. Did anyone get the license plate of the truck that ran over the Lakers last night?!? DOH. :)

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