Sellers give eBay feedback by boycotting

21 Feb 2008

EBay has been treated to its own version of negative feedback from angry sellers who have pulled down their listings from the site in protest of the recent changes in both seller fees and policy.

The new fees put in place as of yesterday will actually reduce the cost of sales listings on the e-commerce site but will place more charges at the backend, essentially giving eBay more commission on sales made.

While this is part of the reason sellers are filled with rancour, it is far from the only quibble as sellers will soon be banned from leaving negative feedback on buyers, which some say means they are effectively being held to ransom for positive feedback from the buyer with no recourse if the buyer does not reciprocate.

Since Monday, several eBay sellers protested these changes by taking listings down and boycotting eBay for an entire week. Reports from say that third-party monitors estimate live auction listings on eBay had dropped 3pc by the second day of the boycott.

The site will also require new sellers, or those with a certain number of customer dissatisfaction notices, to take payments through PayPal or major credit cards, which the company says will give a higher rate of security to buyers.

“The most compelling reason we need to change feedback is so that buyers will regain their confidence on eBay and they will bid and buy more often,” said Bill Cobb, president of eBay, North America.

“We explored a number of solutions and talked to eBay’s founder Pierre Omidyar, who created the Feedback system. He agrees that bold changes are required to fix feedback on the site. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

“Here’s the biggest change, starting in May: sellers may only leave positive feedback for buyers, at the seller’s option,” said Cobb.

By Marie Boran