The problem with this "fix" is that it misses the most fundamental of points here. The mere fact that some buyers will give a low star rating for shipping charges even when shipping is free simply proves that the star rating system doesn't work - buyers will give ratings based on all kinds of things which don't relate to what they are meant to be rating.
Example: a buyer over-bid and then suffers from bidder's remorse. Somehow, he/she has to find a scapegoat. So,the seller gets poor ratings out of the buyer's frustration at having spent too much, not because the seller did something wrong.
Or take shipping charges: we sell small and lightweight items. Often buyers complain because they think that something this small and light should practically cost nothing to ship - they ignore the reality that the post office has minimum charges, below which nothing can be shipped. Buyers tell us that "there must be a cheaper way", without ever telling us what it is - we get the blame for the post office charges.
Or shipping time: on average, we ship within 2 work hours of receiving payment - it simply can't be done any faster than that. Yet sometimes buyers give us low ratings because it took too long for the goods to arrive... like the buyer who gave us a 1 or 2 score because the goods had not arrived within 3 days of his making payment (we are located in Australia, which he knew, he is located in the US, yet somehow he expected a shipment from half-way around the world and which has pass through customs, to reach him in less than 3 or 4 days!
The point is this: the star ratings do not measure what they are meant to measure, and therefore they are less than useless, because they can be outright misleading.
No "automatic 5 stars for free shipping" can fix that basic flaw.
Quite apart from which it discriminates against buyers who sell lower-priced articles - if your margin on a product is $2, you can't give away $4 in free shipping!
Masb99 is correct. There is a fundamental flaw in the entire DSR system. It's nice to FINALLY see eBay working towards fixing a huge miscarriage of justice; however, the fact still remains, when a seller charges actual shipping, or less, it's not the seller's fault if shipping is too high. Same is true when a seller ships within a couple days, and the shipping service takes 21 days to get a package to the buyer. <p> And of course, as Masb99 said, the entire DSR system is designed to discriminate against smaller sellers. Sure, your Buy.com's, Walmarts, and multi-billion dollar a day corporations can afford to offer free shipping on packages, because they receive mega discounts on shipping, and because what they lose in dollars per sale, they make back up in volume sales. Eg., a mega corporation can afford to offer Free shipping on a product they make only $2 on, if they sell 2 billion $2 profit items in a day.
No, eBay needs to return to it's original purpose, and that is "creating a level playing field", meaning, all are charged the same, all have the same advantages or disadvantages, regardless how much you sell.
Wouldn't it make sense for "Shipping time" DSR that Ebay should change this to "Shipment Promptness" or some other wording to clarify that the DSR is to be based on when the shipper shipped the item and not on how long it takes to receive. Buyers are sent an email from USPS or UPS indicating a package has been shipped. Also, if seller sends a corresponding thank you note with shipment details, that should ward off many low "shipping time" DSR's. I have found that effective as my Shipping time DSR's are still at 5.0
Originally posted by JeanieB: Wouldn't it make sense for "Shipping time" DSR that Ebay should change this to "Shipment Promptness" or some other wording to clarify that the DSR is to be based on when the shipper shipped the item and not on how long it takes to receive. Buyers are sent an email from USPS or UPS indicating a package has been shipped. Also, if seller sends a corresponding thank you note with shipment details, that should ward off many low "shipping time" DSR's. I have found that effective as my Shipping time DSR's are still at 5.0
It would make sense if ALL of the star ratings were worded differently so that it is clear they ask for objective facts, rather than subjective opinions. I have asked eBay to do that, but didn't even get an acknowledgement of the suggestion.
But that still isn't the whole answer. We, for example, always inform buyers as soon as an article has been shipped, but that does not guarantee a 5-star rating, even though we average 2 working hours between payment received (usually by PayPal, which gives us a precise time of clearance) and shipping.
Let us not lose sight of the basic issue that was brought to light by this eBay fix - the fact that even if you charge NOTHING for shipping, some buyers will give you a low rating. This proves that no matter what the wording is, and no matter how good the service is, some buyers will give a low score.
And that, in turn, proves that star ratings are purely subjective, and almost as useless as 100% ratings for buyers who literally cannot get any rating other than 100%.
I fully agree.. My buyers use to get paypal note and one other from me that item shipped. Was getting lower ratings in communication, so now paypal sends and I sent 2. Total 3. When someone sends me 3 of same note, I am like give it a break I KNOW!!
Let's face it.. in reality ebay does not want us to get all 5 stars in every field. WHY?? YOU ask? Because then they pay out more of the 20% discounts.. so the more they encourage by their wording lower stars the less people get the discount. Sure they do not have to give discount but they do. They could even put question as something like, pls. look at postmark was item shipped in a reasonable amount of time (say 3 days).. or whatever. The system is set up for sellers to fail.
One of their people called me one day and during conversation I mentioned feedback and he said, well, yeah, it is unfair but it "only" stays on a year!!! I then said DO YOU SELL? He said yeah, I just started. I said, OK call me back in 6 months and we'll discuss this "only a year!"
Also, most ebayers unless they sell do not have any earthy idea what a 8 ounce package costs to ship and insure. Some do not even know cost of a postage stamp (not that they are stupid, but that people do things online so they do not use stamps much). I had one question ship rate on something the other day BEFORE she bought I sent detailed explanation showing figures with ship rate, delivery confirmation, insurance and expenses for envelope, etc., I was actually losing about 10 cents on shipping. (I immediately blocked her.. as I find when they are hostile and her note was that best thing to do is just block them. .period). She is still writing offering me less for shipping after detailed note.
Obviously like everyone I could go on and on with ebay feedback. I would like to see a grading system for THEM when we send in a question:
How quick did ebay respond to questions? (i am waiting on answer from about 3 weeks ago).. so Rating 1 star for that one.
How satisfied were you with our answer? the canned answer you got that totally did not relate to your question and always no matter what tells you to clear your cookies and cache.. that is solution to EVERYTHING!! Rating 1 star again.
How quickly did Ebay Respond? 3 weeks plus Rating 1 star for that one too.
How reasonable was our answer to your questions. Rating 1 star since it did not relate at all.
I think ebay would be SHOCKED if we were asked to rate them.
Auctiva.. while I have had some issues with you at times, I do have to say that 99% of the time I get reasonable answers that at least look like question was read (now I went through a short period of time that I thought they were not being read.. but that was only short period). My answers are always answered in what I consider a reasonable amount of time with auctiva.
Let's face it.. in reality ebay does not want us to get all 5 stars in every field. WHY?? YOU ask? Because then they pay out more of the 20% discounts.. so the more they encourage by their wording lower stars the less people get the discount.
I had one question ship rate on something the other day BEFORE she bought I sent detailed explanation showing figures with ship rate, delivery confirmation, insurance and expenses for envelope, etc., I was actually losing about 10 cents on shipping. (I immediately blocked her.. as I find when they are hostile and her note was that best thing to do is just block them. .period).
One of their people called me one day and during conversation I mentioned feedback and he said, well, yeah, it is unfair but it "only" stays on a year!!!
She is still writing offering me less for shipping after detailed note.
1) That 20% must be an American thing - I am not aware of any discounts being offered here in Australia based on ratings. But the pro-buyer / anti-seller attitude of eBay is still the same. I wonder where they think the buyers will come from when they alienate all the sellers.
2) I had one potential buyer send me a query asking me whether I was "smoking dope"... he arrived at the conclusion that I must be high because of our shipping charge.
At least one other seller reported us for "fee evasion", because we allegedly inflate our shipping charges.
The truth? We actually charge about 5% less than it really costs us (and make no allowances for such intangiables as labour costs, etc, all of which nevertheless have to be paid for).
So, you are completely correct - some people have no idea.
3) The things eBay representatives say are at times highly amusing. I telephoned eBay only last week about a buyer who seemed not quite right (we suspected identity theft). The eBay rep's comment was "he has a 100% rating, so he must be okay".
When I pointed out that people who are only buyers cannot have any ratings other than 100%, no matter how good or bad they are, he acted as if he had never heard of that.
4) I also love these offers we all get from buyers - like "I'll pay you $xyz including shipping" for an article that that would cost more than $xyz in postage alone...
In US we get 20% off for Kissing you know what enough. If you do not kiss enough then you loose that 20%. Hate to sound blunt but is what it really comes down to.
Your Number 4. I'll pay you xyz is exactly what this woman did. It was not much difference, but I got vibes that no matter what I did she would negative me. So blocked her. A $12.00 total sale is not worth the feedback chance.
Frustration to the max. Would love to go commerce but it is soooo far above my knowledge or patience it is unbelievable! The more I read the more I know I would be overwhelmed as it seems like mass confusion about 1/2 the time.
Has it not occured to anyone why Ebay insists on free postage? They know that if a seller offers free post the costy MUST go on the price of the goods, so Ebay get more from the final value fee, they do not take a commision from the postage charged.
The whole feedback thing is fundimentally flawed, A seller can ONLY LEAVE POSITIVE feedback, what about the many buyers who do not pay, no note is made on their public page top say what selfish and thoughtless individuals they are.
I am seriously considering leaving Ebay after 7 years. I only sell £180.00 of goods a month, but after my costs, PAYPAL charges, Ebay final value and listing fee's etc I make about £52.00. I ask you, is it worth the hassle?
Talk about shipping ratings check this...PAYAPAL requires all items over $250.00 must have delivery confirmation and signature confirmation. Now lets ship this package out of the US. Ready only one postal service works,yep, express mail. Very expensive. Buyers complain and ask for cheaper shipping like first class mail international. Big problem if the item is claimed to be lost and not delivered. No tracking,zip[-ziltch-nada. What's a seller to do? Stop selling outside the US? Ebay is all about making the buyer feel warm and cozy,sellers they just want your final value fees.
Originally posted by decoarn: Talk about shipping ratings check this...PAYAPAL requires all items over $250.00 must have delivery confirmation and signature confirmation. Now lets ship this package out of the US. Ready only one postal service works,yep, express mail. Very expensive. Buyers complain and ask for cheaper shipping like first class mail international. Big problem if the item is claimed to be lost and not delivered. No tracking,zip[-ziltch-nada. What's a seller to do? Stop selling outside the US? Ebay is all about making the buyer feel warm and cozy,sellers they just want your final value fees.
Basically ALL shipments must be made that way, because ANY shipment which a buyer claims not to have received will lead to an (almost) automatic complete refund.
This has led to a common buyers' scam now (especially from overseas): the buyer complains that shipping is too expensive and pleads with the seller to ship uninsured. The buyer promises to accept all shipping risks.
As soon as possible, the buyer then claims not to have received the package and asks for a PayPal refund. PayPal asks the seller for proof of shipment (in a form that requires a signature on receipt), but naturally, the seller doesn't have that, because the buyer requested cheaper shipping.
The seller points out to PayPal that the buyer explicitly accepted the shipping risks. "We don't care what the buyer promised" is the general meaning of the message returned by PayPal as they give the buyer all his/her money back.
We had a case where we had witnesses that a buyer received the goods (he showed them off at a club meeting, which was reported to us by other club members), yet he got his full refund...
It's already a common scam and, since sellers can't leave feedback for buyers, we can't even warn other sellers about buyers who do that sort of thing.
Great, how it's all stacked against the seller, isn't it???
I am sorry did I miss something in live ?? Nothing is free in live except for death and that cost's you life. It is clear that I agree with all in this blog about the so called D.S.R system a system worked out by bored Ebay employees just to keep their jobs and to keep us on our toes. Or could it be that Ebay's profits have gone down. ?? Has anyone even reflected over the fact that all fees for ebay sellers have gone up and we are to list and post items sell them free ship them for free only to receive a D.S.R which is misleading and incorrect and pay fees to ebay and paypal ?? The D.S.R system does not work it is based on discrimination/threats and shear intimidation against any Ebay seller/buyer. Alex
Here is a trick on how to get bad thief buyers who think that all must be free away from the site. In my 15 years in ebay I have learned one trick that always works. Lets say I sell a watch $ 120.00 plus $ 6.00 in international shipping fee. The buyer from the get go says well the shipping seems high. You agree with that person and ship the item stating the full value or base value on the Customs declaration form. Buyers who are trouble from the get go get a nice surprise when the item arrives in most countries outside the USA the Import duty can range from 7 - 25% the import tax from 20- 35% so If I add the full value on the item lets say $ 240.00 the tax for that item will turn the bad buyer off after all if you want to steal something it means you don't want to pay for it correct much less pay your local country taxes. In addition to that you get prove of shipment USPS cost is $ 1.25 once the buyer claims that he she did not get the item you present the proof of shipment together with the Customs form and file a counterclaim in paypal this will ensure a maximum 90 day processing time in which time your item comes back the buyer gets nothing besides the money he has paid for and in most cases the time to leave feedback has passed. In addition the thief buyer is turned off by this process because he/she now must present information to Paypal and also risk the fear of his local Customs Office keeping a eye on him/here for future activity. Like I said before ( " been there done that got a closet full off T-shirts from it. " ) Alex
I have to agree on with masb99 regarding this subject...
We ship all of our items the day they are purchased (or the following business day if they are purchased outside business hours) use brand new packing materials, and pack items above and beyond what would be required, just to make sure they arrive safely, all the while offering free shipping on 99% of our items.
"Which DSR are you having trouble with?" you might ask... THE SHIPPING DSR! This just reinforces what the above poster already mentioned.... customers base scores on their own set of standards, not the standards set by ebay. Thats why I believe that the entire idea is fundamentally flawed. This policy will help with the above problem, but it doesn't do anything to address the bigger issue.
There is another issue that has been overlooked so far in this discussion, and that is that DSR are not compulsory. That means that not everyone who leaves feedback also leaves star ratings.
A very large proportion of buyers leave feedback because they want to make sure that they get feedback themselves, to demonstrate what good buyers they are by having large feedback scores after their names (since the 100% rating for a buyer has become completely meaningless). So, feedback, while not compulsory, is very common.
But leaving DSR with your feedback is optional. We have watched this very closely and we have discovered that satisfied customers, particularly repeat and regular ones, rarely bother to leave star ratings - they just leave positive feedback.
But people who are unhappy about something (even if they are unhappy with themselves for having bid too much, or people who are unhappy that the post office charges too much or takes too long to deliver) will almost always leave star ratings. So, the star rating results are heavily skewed towards the less happy or unhappy buyers.
How heavily is this skewed? We calculated it out – only 35% of buyers who left us feedback over the last 12 months bothered with DSR!
What is more, if you compare our very positive feedback messages and our relatively poor performance in the star ratings, it becomes patently obvious that it is the buyers with some sort of complain who leave star ratings, while the buyers who are perfectly happy couldn’t be bothered with the stars.
Since these ratings contribute to your standings as far as the eBay search engine is concerned, and can contribute towards your status as a power seller (and, as pointed out above, can contribute towards fee advantages in some cases), it becomes even more important that they should measure what they set out to measure – yet they simply don’t!
eBay is letting its best sellers down in a major way here!
I completly agree with you in the latest post and in this matter. We have had 100% feedback for nearly 2 years no problems what so ever until we get one simple buyer who placed a order from our website called in a chargeback mind you the only one in 2 years we refunded the amount no problems at all but at the same time ask't the customer to respect our chargeback policy which states that we will not accept any further orders from the same buyer. What does this person do ?? He goes into ebay and finds the same item again buys the same item again in the same name we discover that and refund and block him/here from the acitivity we ask kindly not to buy any items from us anylonger since he/she stated that the original order never arrived we must act and respond to that well if the original order did not arrive than the next one will not arrive either. He post's a Negative feedback in our ebay page for a transaction that has nothing to do with ebay. Ever since this happend ebay has been harrasing us in emails to observe the so called DSR ratings and to better our self's freankly I am sick and tired of the harrasement and have contacted a harrasement attorney he is looking into the matter careful with other attorneys trying to find a way on how stop this madness. In the mean time our sales have dropped because of this person who posted the negative feebback I also contacted ebay and let them know that this transaction had nothing to do with ebay at all and that it was a retaliatory feedback by a person who coulden't steal more items from us. Ebay simply said well that's to bad. It destroyd our entire DSR and also feedback profile. I am quite certain that in live and all actions there are 2 alternatives Yes or No all the other things in the DSR do not make any sense at all. And I agree to 100% that repeat buyers of whom we have many since we specialize in watch parts and crystals they dont even care to leave feedback because they know that the order will arrive. I mean to say if you go to Mc Donalds 2-3 x per week and you are pleased do you burn fireworks outside the store to show you appreciation and or burn down the Mc Donalds in case a assoc. did not fulfill your order to your satisfation ?!
Getting back to Basics with a open and honest feedback system is the only way Ebay will recover from the distrust and cheating that goes on right now. To violate our freedom of speach rights in the feedback system is and I am sure a clear violation to the Constitution of the United States. Freedom of speach is one of the most treasured rights we have in this country and Ebay took it upon them slef's to take this freedom away from us by blocking the reponse feature in the feedback system for sellers. I am amazed by that and also puzzled that Ebay can gain such power in the market place.