Saturday, June 5, 2010

eBay's Survey on Ease of Use of Site

EBay sent my low-feedback ID a survey on how easy it is to use eBay. It was awesome. This question was asked:

During the past month, was there anything you experienced in each of the areas below that you felt was FRUSTRATING? If so, please use the space below to explain.

Without having to think, I was immediately able to give a complaint for every section! I saved the questions and my responses before submitting. Here they are for your reading pleasure.

Visiting My eBay to view my selling activity:

My answer: Yes, eBay makes it hard to find the link when I have to send a second invoice. The link should be visible on the order details page as well, and that link is not present when eBay has already sent an automatic end of auction notice to the buyer. I had a buyer make an invoice request after eBay sent the automatic one, and I had to look everywhere before finding the link.

Answered questions from buyers about an item I was selling or had sold:

My answer: When I answer a question, eBay continues to tell me that I have an unanswered question for up to 24 hours after the question has been answered. When that notice is clicked, eBay says that I have no items for sale. This problem has existed for many months and needs to be fixed.

Researching pricing or other aspects of an item on eBay (before listing it):

My answer: We can only see the last 15 days, which is totally useless since so few sellers of collectibles are still listing on eBay. I no longer have any idea what the true selling prices of collectibles are on eBay. The only way I can get this information is to pay a prohibitive price, which I cannot do when selling only a few items. Therefore, 99% of eBay's sellers of collectibles have no access to this information.

Listing an item using the “Sell Your Item” form on the eBay site:

My answer: I have no trouble listing a handling charge to be added to the postage amount so long as I am only selling to the United States. When I also select an international shipping option, I have a prompt where I can enter the *international handling charge* and no place to enter the United States handling fee. As a result, my U.S. postage is too low and my international postage is just right. Or, I can raise the weight of the package by a few pounds so that the U.S. postage is correct and the international postage is too high. Either way, one of the two options does not have the correct postage amount displaying in the listing.

Receiving payment from a buyer for your item that sold:

My answer: I had one buyer wait for 1 1/2 weeks to pay with no communication about the delay. Since sellers cannot leave anything other than positive feedback for buyers, buyers can do whatever they want.

Packaging & shipping an item to a buyer:

My answer: PayPal shipping is glitchy and has given me multiple error messages recently. This needs to be fixed.

During the past month, was there anything you experienced in each of the areas below that you felt was IMPROVED compared to before? If so, please use the space below to explain.
Please be as specific as possible (and skip any that are not applicable)

The choices for this section were identical to the ones listed above. I had to leave every option blank, which is no surprise. Nothing is easier to use than in the past.

I was also asked this question:

Please indicate how satisfied you are with each of the following aspects of selling an item on eBay, based on your experiences in the past month or so.

Editing and revising multiple listings at a time, in bulk

I selected "extremely dissatisfied."

Editing and revising a single listing at a time

I selected "fairly dissatisfied."

I was not exaggerating my opinions. I find eBay to be infinitely harder to use than Bonanzle. It is so easy to batch edit items on Bonanzle. I can change prices quickly through multiple methods. I can change postage costs, correct typos, and anything else that needs to be fixed without having to jump through hoops.

I will not be relisting my unsold items on eBay. I only listed those items to take advantage of the free listings. The unsold items are all returning to Bonanzle. So long, eBay, it was nice using you for about a week. By "using," I mean "take advantage of."

EDITED TO ADD: Go to my Facebook page to read a recent exchange between two of us about problems with eBay.


Lauren said...

Ebay loves to send surveys and perks to my husband's ebay acct, which has low feedbacks but never anything to me (longstanding member with a lot of feedback.)

That always strikes me as weird, why don't they care what the older members think?

I also wanted to ask you, have you ever had a bidder who bids and then cancels their bid repeatedly?

I've run into that just this week and my query to ebay went totally ignored. Someone bid on my item (which had a reserve) then retracted it claiming that they'd put the wrong amount in.

Then they bid again with a HIGHER amount and cancelled it again citing the same reason. It seems fishy to me but I don't know what to do about it.

Jennifer White said...

One reason someone would bid more than once on a reserve auction is to find out the reserve. There would be no reason to retract the bid, however, if it did not meet the reserve. If the bid did meet the reserve, it would be against eBay policy to retract the bid. It does seem odd that the bidder retracted the bid, placed another bid, and retracted again.

I have not ever had anyone bid more than once and retract, but I have had people retract bids. I have had several of them contact me wanting me to cancel their bids. That always annoys me, since I think they should retract so that it will count on their records, not that eBay really cares.

Lauren said...

That's the weird part, the first bid was over the reserve by $5, the second one was over by $15.

So they already could have guessed the reserve since ebay displays the lowest possible price of the max bid.

I should also state that this person is "new" (in quotes because at this point, I've become suspicious of people who could well be banned users back again.), they show up with the "less than 30 days" icon behind their name.

I'm nearly positive that this person IS violating ebay rules, but I have no faith that ebay will give a crap.

There are certain rule changes of ebay's that I agreed with (such as the retrieved negative feedback feature, since it was so easy to get burned by clueless newbies who left feedback first and got the facts second.) But they take each step too far, ala the "no negative feedbacks for buyers" which is simply assinine. It's just as likely for a buyer to be fraudelent as it is a seller!

Same with this retractable bid thing. Part of ebay was ALWAYS that you might bid high on something only to find it offered cheaper next week. It was part of the gamble and both buyer and seller implicitly agreed to that.

Sometimes you'd get a great deal, sometimes you grossly overpay, but it was always known that you take that chance when you place your bid.

I honestly just don't understand the changes they've been making, they completely undermine the spirit of what the site was.

Jennifer White said...

I've read reports of users who have 50 to 60 bid retractions showing on their feedback page, and they are still registered users. It is against eBay policy to retract too many bids, but eBay does nothing about it.

Maybe your bidder was messing around "just for fun" which is against eBay policy.

I think it is a good idea to keep brand-new users from haphazardly leaving negatives with no communication, but eBay has stacked the deck against sellers. I have seen a few cases where buyers of Nancy Drew books have left harsh negatives for sellers when the books could clearly be seen as being in rough condition from the photos and in the descriptions. People like that should not be allowed to leave negatives so easily.

I have read that eBay has removed the cautionary page that buyers used to see when they submitted negative or neutral feedback. That page would warn them if they were sure they wanted to leave the negative or neutral feedback. If this page is gone, then it makes it that much easier for buyers to leave thoughtless negative feedback.