Rant Time- Minimum required Category-scores????

Discussion in 'Transformers On Ebay' started by destrongerlupus, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Well I missed the memo on this one.

    Evidently if any of your feedback sub-categories (Shipping, communication, etc.) slips below 4.3 (On a 5 point scale!!!) you get penalized in your listing priorities.

    If anything falls below 4.1 you can't list at all!

    BUT, since there's no way to see which transactions contributed to positively or negatively to your scores, it's pretty much a blind-side if something goes wrong.

    I've generally done a very good job pleasing my customers, but SOMEBODY in the last batch got annoyed, evidently. I suspect it was a buyer whose package got mis-routed by the PO and took a while to arrive.

    Out of my hands, and I PROVIDED FREE SHIPPING on the entire last batch of auctions (and took a bath doing it!)

    So my already not-likely-big-ticket batch of auctions I'm putting up now (it's a bunch of BW stuff, if anyone's interested), is likely to WAY under perform, as my listings are going to be slotted to the bottom of the pile.

    Great.

    Hope no one else gets annoyed and decides not to resolve it with me!
    D/L
     
  2. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ebay:
    I can't find this anywhere in ebay FAQs. Link?

    Doesn't this sort of negate the usefulness of a 5-tier rating system? I mean, it's essentially pass/fail at this point. This is just another reason I don't sell things on ebay, and I try to be firm yet forgiving with sellers.
     
  3. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    I have NO idea where it's listed, I just get a big penalty-box warning every time I list something now :/

    And you EXACTLY see my point! 5-star system is great, I know I have 99% positive feedback, but many of my customers wished I shipped faster or used more complete descriptions (For instance, not reflective of my tallies). That's useful information!

    But given that users are not REQUIRED to fill out the detailed-feedback, all it takes is a bunch of lazy-customers and one disgruntled one to make a seller with 100% feedback now INCAPABLE of selling!

    I more-or-less understand where Ebay is coming from, the buyers are (more or less) the ones at risk, and their corporate philosophy is to make it a "safe" place to buy stuff, so they're aggressively trying to weed out the bad-eggs, but this is just draconian.

    4.3 out of 5 on ONE category puts you on probation, and a SINGLE 4.1 bans you?

    That's like saying B-students are automatically dropped from the academic rolls, and anyone with a single A- is put on warning.

    CRAZY

    *sigh*

    I've been ebaying so long though (pretty much since day-1, and news-group-auctions before that), that I don't know how else to do this efficiently.

    This might finally drive me out though
    D/L
     
  4. Bgrngod

    Bgrngod Autocon

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    I bolded the part that I found interesting about your complaint here. The fact is takes many "lazy" or "disgruntled" customers to bring your score down under a 4.1 if you already had an established 4.5 or whatever with your other sales.

    Maybe they aren't lazy at all. Maybe you did something to upset them? You say you have been doing this for years, so how many do you think you ACTUALLY upset to knock yourself out of listing? You can't argue against statistics. An average of 4.1 means a lot of upset customers, or at least a high percentage of them.

    I've been doing this for years too and I'm at 4.9/4.9/5.0/4.8. The lowest, of course, being the shipping charges category.

    Sounds like the system is working just fine to me.
     
  5. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Well in fairness the star-system has only been around for a year or two.

    And you're right, statistics don't lie, but the star-system is an entirely voluntary opt-in system. Speaking from my own behavior as a buyer, I know I don't always give any detailed feedback, and in fact, looking back, I've given LOTS of "Average" ratings to sellers (3/4) if they'd simply done nothing above-and-beyond.

    And, again, since it's entirely voluntary.

    If I have 10 customers

    1 gives me a "5"
    8 don't bother to give me any detailed feedback
    1 gives me a "1"

    My average is 3.

    The same principle scales-up, and the standard "opt-in" statistical bias applies: People will choose to participate if they have a strong reason to. With negative-reasons tending to outweigh positive ones. Which is to say a person with an axe to grind is more likely to put the extra effort in than the satisfied customers.

    As we say in my business when doing performance appraisals "Not everyone can be an Outstanding(5), and being a 'good' (3) is good."

    I'm a very casual ebayer, and I think I do a good job on descriptions, and turn-around-time, and I try to be outstanding on pricing (Free of cheap-shipping has always been my goal). But, no, I'm probably not "power seller" material, never claimed to be, or wanted to be. But I'm not screwing anyone, and I never have.

    But I guess being honest and trying to price fairly for goods and services isn't good ENOUGH anymore to sell in the Internet-yard-sale.

    If I could SEE who was giving me the lower-ratings, I could make an assessment about what happened, and try to fix the issue, whatever it may have been.

    But whatever

    D/L
     
  6. Bgrngod

    Bgrngod Autocon

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    You are basing your 1/8/1 scenario off your own behavior for leaving feedback and assuming that others do the same. I always leave star feedback with every single purchase I make. Does that mean that all buyers do? No, but to assume either way is a mistake.

    The fact is you CAN see how many buyers left you star rated feedback. If you only had two so far, with a 4.1, I'd see your argument. But, as you said you've been doing this awhile and your average is 4.1. How many left you star rated feedback that caused this average?

    If you are trying to make the argument that all of the buyers who would have left you 5 stars didn't leave feedback, then again you are making a mistake. Feedback on Ebay is not a "complaint line" that is only used by those that want to complain. If it was, then I wouldn't have a 4.9 average. I'd have no score at all. Your "opt-in" statistical bias does not apply here as strongly as you are assuming. The feedback on Ebay is front and center and is a pivotal part of how the site functions to maintain trust with sellers and buyers.

    And, if you hadn't upset anyone, you wouldn't have this problem to begin with. If you had tried to work it out with that one single person that gave you a 1 (based on your scenario), then maybe they would have given you a 5 when it came time to provide feedback for you.

    I've only had a few little problems here and there over the 8 years I've been using Ebay, and they've all been worked out enough to keep my feedback at 100%. You should try making adjustments with how you use the site.
     
  7. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Well anyway, my main point was not whether or not I deserved the ratings I have, I probably do give or take a decimal-point.

    My point is that it's crazy that Ebay is now demanding that you're either maintain a 4.3-5.0 GPA, or you get the hell out.

    I'm glad Process sees my point at least :/

    Anyway, I'm not booted, my average IS NOT 4.1 (hypothetical numbers vs. my actual scenario...), and I'll just have to hope my next string of customers sees fit to give me some positive star-ratings

    D/L
     
  8. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ebay:
    I think the issue here is more complex:

    1. The 5 star system is highly subjective. I can't image anyone puts down 4 stars because a transaction was terrible. Additionally, I suspect there are very few buyers who are actually aware of this 4.1 score threshold, and how a sub-4-star score can affect a seller.

    2. It could also be that most buyers simply don't pay much attention to the stars. I know I, more often than not, quickly 5-star each catagory unless something really stood out. Even the item I bought that took 2 weeks to ship despite the "next day shipment" claim only received 4-stars from me. I'm sure there are people out there who aren't as lenient, and maybe rightfully so.

    Although, these points could be moot if:

    3. This 4.1 score, instead of being arbitrary (which is what I primarily would have a problem with), could be a dynamic average or something, based on global feedback. Which means ebay would realize that the overwhelming majority of ratings are 5 star, and that a poor transaction has most likely occurred if a seller receives a sub-4-star rating. For better or worse, this would give the impression of a pass/fail system as a product of the feedback system. My followup questions would be: are the subcatagory scores ultimately any more useful than the overall % score? Does the naturally weighted average of 4+ scores defeat the purpose of nuance, in that, does the average buying know the difference between a 4.3 and a 4.7?

    4. As Bgrngd said, every transaction serves to cement your average score. If anything, this stars business really only affects new sellers. If you've been selling for a long time with 4+ scores, it would take a long string of poor ratings to bring down your average. In the long term, you don't have much to worry about as long as the quality of service you provide is consistently good.


    I just wish ebay was a little more transparent about these things. At best, their HELP page is perilous to navigate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  9. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Thank you again, Process, for bringing clarity to to my rage-and-head-cold-addled point :) 

    Transparency is HUGE, as annoyed as I am about my own listings being suppressed, I'm now feeling like a jerk for not giving out all-5's on all but the worst ebay transactions.

    Seriously, on a 5-point scale, 3 SHOULD be dead-average. Dead-average, while nothing to write home about, SHOULDN'T get you kicked off of ebay.

    Its just random and crazy.

    D/L
     
  10. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ebay:
    As I understand the situation, it basically comes down to this: ebay is taking qualitative feedback scores, converting them to a quantitative index, without telling anyone why or how.
     

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