Monday, November 24, 2008

The Impact of Seller Restrictions

Now that eBay is restricting sellers who have at least one DSR of 4.3 or below, many sellers are disappearing or are registering new accounts in order to continue. It is affecting series book sellers.

There is a site in which a seller's user ID can be entered, and the site will reveal the 30-day DSR ratings of that seller.

In a recent post, I mentioned some sellers who have been posting many multi-book lots on eBay. One of these sellers is bookstalker2. Bookstalker2 now has only two listings left. I just noticed that he is now beginning to list on another ID, bookstalker4, and has 30 listings on that new ID. I checked his regular ID, bookstalker2, and he has a 30-day DSR of 4.3. He must be restricted.

I have entered the IDs of several regular series book sellers, and some of them are in grave danger of losing their selling privileges. I have found one who has a 30-day DSR of below 4.3 and will certainly face restriction shortly. I am not going to reveal that ID since there are no obvious signs of restriction yet.

The DSRs are a good idea, but eBay has them labeled wrong. I used to leave threes because I thought that a three was for an ordinary transaction. I now leave fives because I know that a 4.3 average is failing. If eBay would label the damn things differently, then we would not have this problem.

I should be the one to decide whether to buy from certain sellers. Most people who are getting restricted do have some problems with shipping time or with shipping prices, so there is cause for the restrictions. As I buyer, I want to be the one to make that decision. I have bought many fine books from people who are borderline sellers. I resent that eBay has taken that decision away from me!

The selection on eBay is pitiful, and it is all eBay's fault! The current recession is certainly part of the problem. But the recession has not affected Wal-Mart; people are flocking to Wal-Mart for their Everyday Low Prices. The same should be happening to eBay, where tremendous bargains are to be had. EBay's failure is more because of eBay's faulty policies and numerous glitches than because of the economy.

Ina Steiner's blog at AuctionBytes is worth visiting:

This link is to her discussion of the huge drop in page views on eBay in October. Steiner writes, "eBay has seen a steady decline in page views throughout 2008, and in October suffered a precipitous drop of over 30% compared to the same period last year, according to data provided by Nielsen Online." It is a shocking drop in page views. Some people are trying to spin it as only because of the economy, but I feel that eBay's policies are largely to blame.

I went to and entered the URLs for eBay and Amazon and compared their traffic. Both sites saw a drop in October, but eBay's drop was much steeper. People are leaving eBay, and some of them because they have no choice due to seller restrictions.

I am not selling at all on eBay, but for me, it is largely because of personal circumstance. I have no 30-day DSRs and my one-year DSRs are fine, so restrictions are not a problem. Even if I were restricted, I do have my secondary ID I could use. I am not listing only because my work schedule is quite heavy right now, so I do not have the energy to mess with listings. I have almost decided to list my extra complete set of Nancy Drew books several times, but I keep reconsidering and will likely wait until late December or January. I hope eBay will still exist when I finally decide to sell again . . .

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

The DSR's are a pitiful joke.

They are capricious, subjective and meaningless. People are not being told how they might improve.

The numbers are left anonymously which makes their so-called intended purpose "improvement" a moot point.

I, for one, do not object to polite suggestions from buyers.

Now Math is NOT my forté.

However, an average rating on four areas of 4.7 is 94 which is still an "A"!