The reason for this rant is that it’s time crucial. I need to get it out there because by next week I may very well be in an establishment that specialises in padded rooms. They may not have the interweb…
I’m not normally an irrational person, I’m actually quite measured. I try to think of everything from other points of view. I like to think of the bigger picture. Even if the bigger picture does not benefit me. So… Every time Ebay make changes I search very hard for that other point of view. I scan for the bigger picture. Then I have to admit defeat. Because basically if you are a lowly seller on Ebay you are worthless. You are a virtual piñata to be beaten at regular intervals with a virtual stick. No mind is paid to the fact that the sellers are paying Ebay to sell. It’s all ‘buyercentric’. We as sellers, like being buyercentric, but Ebay shouldn’t be, in my humble opinion.
I started to worry about the changes being made when Ebay stopped sellers being able to leave negative feedback for buyers. Doesn’t sound like such a big deal? Leaving negative feedback for a buyer, for us was a last resort when a buyer didn’t pay. They hit ‘buy it now’ but didn’t pay. So negative feedback was left as a ‘warning’ for other sellers. We can no longer leave negative feedback for sellers. So buyers now have free reign to run around ebay behaving badly, with absolutely no consequences. A buyer could be the worst buyer in the world but a seller will never know by looking at their feedback.
When I brought this up with Ebay they replied “well you can’t leave negative feedback for a buyer on Amazon.” WHAT?!?!? ON AMAZON YOU CAN’T ORDER SOMETHING THEN NOT PAY FOR IT!?!?! Every time someone hits that ‘buy’ button we are charged. & it’s a pain trying to get fees back.
It’s the latest changes that are the best yet though. Imagine communicating with your customer personally if they need anything. Imagine everything being civilised and as painless as possible. Yeah, well it’s not like that.
For almost any reason a buyer needs to get in touch with you about an item, a ‘case’ is opened, sometimes without them meaning to. – We’ll get emails apologising for opening said case because ‘they didn’t mean to’. It’s as if people are being led down a path they don’t want to go down – The whole situation is immediately antagonistic. Mini battles being started all over Ebay. Everyone’s hackles are up. We’ll forget that most of the time when a ‘case’ is opened for ‘item not as described’ it’s because they’ve ordered the wrong item after ignoring the BIG RED LETTERS on the listing, because that’s not the point. The point is that the ‘case’ is unnecessary. If Ebay lets us, we will solve any problems all on our own, as we have done for many years.
Now, we aren’t bad sellers, whinging about being policed. We are good sellers. We will bend over backwards to make sure our customers are happy. Even the buyers that order the wrong thing, which happens a lot. We sell very specialised units. A good analogy I could use for the incorrect item being purchased is ‘buying an air filter for a mini as it’s cheaper than the air filter for the BMW you own’. People order the wrong thing. A lot. But we still want to help. We have a feedback score of 12k ish and 100% positive. & we have been selling for many years. We are a small business. We like to think we have that personal touch. But this personal touch is being eroded by Ebay. A recent incident has made it almost impossible for us to follow through with proper customer care. A buyer supposedly bought the wrong item. A case was opened. Through Ebay, we said we would send him a slightly different item in the hope that would fix the problem. We did. He said it didn’t work. He wants to return both for a refund. Fine we say. Ebay in the meanwhile say “Don’t issue refund until items are checked.” (Well.. DUH…) He sends only ONE item back, tracked, and because it is tracked Ebay refund his money without consent. And they refund said money the day before we get the ONE item back in the shop. So now we are down the money and an item. Ho hum.
So. Now? Sorry buyers, we can’t help. We’ll just have to refund you, even though C knows his stuff about the items we sell. We cannot help you get the thing you need if you do it wrong. We cannot help you get the thing you need, to fix the thing that is sitting broken in your home. Sorry again.
And to the Ebay support member who said “Don’t take it so personally…” We do. We can’t help but take it personally. That’s what happens when you do your utmost to make sure everyone else is happy but still get considered incapable of doing the right thing.