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Thread: Ebat Feedback Experiment - wordy, but hopefully insightful.

  1. #1
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    Ebat Feedback Experiment - wordy, but hopefully insightful.

    I read yet another thread about woes with ebay and one of the comments was complaining that buyers don't leave feedback, which is a fairly common compliant. After being a member for just under 19 years now, I have my own personal policies regarding feedback and feel I have honed it to about the best win-win situation for both me and my sellers. I take into consideration all of the obligations each party assumes within the transaction(s), time spent for leaving feedback and how the system registers the scores.

    Unless it has changed yet again, my understanding is that you can leave 100 feedback comments for a seller (or buyer), but only 1 will count to increase (or decrease) their overall score per transaction. So, if I win 75 auctions from seller A with a feedback score of 825 and leave him 75 positive comments, his score, the one everyone sees displayed, will then be 826. His overall feedback score however will be 900, which includes multiple feedback from same buyers. If I leave him just 1 positive feedback comment, his score is 826 and his overall score will also be 826. I'm not sure about how everyone else feels, but I only pay attention to the displayed feedback score (826 in this case, no matter how you proceed). It makes absolutely no sense to me to spend the time leaving 75 comments when it does nothing to the displayed score. Now here is where my understanding may be skewed. Perhaps the overall score may factor in somewhere, that as a buyer I do not see or understand, but for my personal stake in the system, I see the effort to leave multiple feedback for the same party to be an extreme waste of time. On the flip side, I have to assume that there is a tool that allows sellers to quickly leave feedback for buyers that requires little to no effort on the part of the buyer. I say this because I buy a lot of multiple unique items from several sellers and they usually leave me feedback for every single item. I know they are not taking the time to do it one at a time, or even 25 at a time. They all hit immediately after I pay!

    It is my policy to leave feedback for the seller when my item arrives. That method takes maybe 20 seconds when I do it that way, but it is one item at a time only. That said, I just did an experiment tonight to see how long it would take me to leave multiple feedback. I went to my feedback page, selected "leave feedback" at the bottom and my list of pending transactions showed up. Each page displays 25 transactions. I just stuck with page 1 and did the following:

    I selected the positive bubble for each transaction.

    I added the comment "SMOOTH". Mostly, it autofilled, but in some cases it didn't and I had to retype it.

    On a couple transactions, it asked me if the item arrived by a certain date, which I answered "yes" to.

    I scored ALL of the star ratings, mostly 5's.


    I did all of this in the shortest amount of time I was capable of doing, as fast as I could move the cursor and type. It is as generic as you can get, no thought needed, no personalization, just sheer data entry. I used a stop watch and measured the time from when I clicked onto the feedback page until the page refreshed and told me that I has led 22 positive feedbacks (more on that shortly). Total time….

    4 minutes, 19 seconds!

    At this time, I have 26 pages (at 25 transactions) left to leave, should I choose to move forward and complete this task for every transaction. Note that some items have not yet arrived, so it would be fewer than 625 feedback to leave, but I would have to repeat the exercise above roughly 20-25 times (once per page) to burn through my list. That is about 1 1/3 hours to do this at the rate I measured. There used to be an option to add more feedback to each page, thus allowing you to leave more feedback per "turn", but not once did it ever work for me. It would look like the page was updating and after a few minutes would come back with an error message. The point being, I can leave no more than 25 feedback at a time, period!

    Lastly, I'll touch on the fact that I only leave feedback for sellers who leave it for me first. I have shared my thoughts on this numerous times in feedback discussion threads and for the sake of clarity, I will give you the condensed version. A transaction has 2 parties, buyer and seller. Each party has certain specific obligations to meet in order to complete their end of the transaction. Buyer needs to pay promptly. End of obligations. Seller needs to deliver the item sold, in a timely manner and in the condition it was described. End of obligation. For the system to truly work, each party SHOULD feel obligated to leave feedback for the other once the trading partners individual obligations have been met. Simple as that: Buyer pays, sellers leaves feedback. Seller delivers as promised, buyer leaves feedback. Transaction 100% complete. Of course this obviously ignores problems and problem members on both sides of a transaction, but that is the small minority.

    In conclusion, I believe that if sellers were to consistently leave prompt feedback upon payment for at least 1 (or more) items, the buyer is much more likely to leave at least 1 return feedback for the seller, which is what so many buyers seek yet complain so loudly about when they don't get it. Unfortunately, it will never be a 1:1 exchange across the board, but I believe this way of thinking would increase the odds of a positive feedback trade occurring more often. It is interesting though to see that many of those complaining sellers refuse to leave their buyers feedback first for one of many reasons, which immediately breaks down the process and often leads to a negative result for the seller (no feedback), the very complaint that started it all.

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    You have put more time and thought into this than I have. But I agree there is a problem and feel that the mobile app is the cause of most of it. If I buy, I never remember to go to the app and leave feedback. If I sell, 80% of the time there is no feedback left. I have a thought that could cure both. As a seller, I allow 2 weeks for returns. I upload all tracking through eBay.

    I think that eBay should automatically leave positive feedback if there are no questions asked, returns requested or cases opened. I know they can tell when tracking is uploaded and packages delivered bc the buyer gets notice and it is one of the tools they use to rate you as a seller.

    As a buyer this would help me bc I no longer have to leave feedback. As a seller, I would be getting the positive feedback that I deserve, which is also used to rate me as a seller. All which can determine your discounts.

    Just my $.02 worth

    Sent from my XT1650 using Freedom Card Board mobile app

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    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    That is not a bad idea. Manual feedback could still be allowed if there are hiccups to a deal, but otherwise an automatic feedback is left for both parties (transaction completed, for example) after an acceptable amount of time.

    I have done very little selling online, so I have never really had a big stake in the feedback process (after 50 feedback for example, but as few as 10 in some cases, a buyer doesn't need more feedback and would be considered a non-threatening buyer to most sellers), but it amuses me how passionate some sellers get about it, while still holding back from their buyers. I imagine many of these sellers were burned by a buyer at some point, so I get it, but I still believe that the bad transactions can only be a very, very small percentage of all deals for most users. Not enough to warrant adjusting your policies to punish the majority, but it happens quite often anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by tenballer View Post
    I think that eBay should automatically leave positive feedback if there are no questions asked, returns requested or cases opened.

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    The mobile app has caused me more problems with selling too. People don't take the time to read the item description. And then they don't take time to contact me and just leave a dumb comment or less than 5 stars.

    I leave feedback every couple weeks. I've had buyers actually hold my positive feedback hostage until I left theirs. I don't do mine like you. My batch feedback as a seller is quick and easy so I do multiples every time.

    Sent from my XT1650 using Freedom Card Board mobile app

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