Friday, July 16, 2010

My Seller Dashboard(s)

I decided that it would be a good time to annoy myself. I have become so detached to eBay that I had not viewed my seller dashboard in a long time. I actually have two of them now, so I can have double the annoyance! Well, actually, one of them looks great. My low feedback ID has a very nice looking seller dashboard:

My ratings are high and look good, although they will soon go down since I've been left some lower ratings. Now for my high feedback ID:

Ouch. I knew that I had two one-star DSRs that had been left for me in the past year, but seeing confirmation in red is never pleasing. Buyers are told by eBay that the DSRs are anonymous, but I sure hope none of you actually believe that bit of propaganda. I know exactly who left me those low DSRs. How do I know? Why, because my DSRs on my feedback page dropped immediately after I was left the low DSRs. While the seller dashboard does not update regularly, the feedback page updates immediately. Any seller who is not a power seller knows exactly which buyers leave the low ratings.

The one-star shipping DSR was left earlier this year. I received that DSR because I did not offer media mail on a transaction since I did not feel that the content qualified for media mail. The one-star communication DSR was left back in the fall sometime. That one was unquestionably not deserved since I did remember to send a message to that buyer stating that the books had been shipped. I can understand a buyer not leaving a high rating for the times that I have forgotten to send a special message stating that the item has shipped, even though I know that the buyer received a shipping notice from eBay and/or PayPal. Perhaps that buyer wanted me to send two or three messages like some sellers do.

I began selling on Bonanzle for two reasons. First, eBay had demoralized me through its use of the DSRs and the seller dashboard. EBay has backed off from the hard line approach of late 2008, but that came too late for me. Second and caused by the first, I had a very low sell-through rate due to my demotion in search, and I could not justify continuing on eBay.

I was right to go to Bonanzle, because eBay has made further destructive changes such as adding store items to the core search. In my recent eBay selling experience, a majority of my items did not sell. Fortunately, I did not pay listing fees on those items. As usual, my DSRs have been volatile, since while most buyers have left high ratings, a few have left low ratings.

When a buyer leaves a four or a five, the averages tend to stay the same. When a buyer leaves a one, two, or three, the average goes down noticeably for people like me who have very few DSRs. While it takes many high values to raise an average, one low value immediately lowers it.

Depending upon what happens with the rest of the feedback I will soon receive, there is a very real chance that I may not be able to participate in eBay's next promotion. All that I need is probably one person to leave me low values, and my averages will be destroyed. If that happens, I will go to a third ID for any future selling.

When I first started selling on Bonanzle, a buyer criticized Bonanzle because she felt it was too easy to create an ID without verification of identity. That buyer was not aware that eBay also requires no verification of identity. All that is needed is an email address. For free email addresses such as Yahoo!, the user also needs a credit card. It is very easy to create as many IDs as one wants or needs, so it is futile for eBay to punish sellers the way it does. By creating a new ID, a seller can dump the old DSRs and begin anew.

I should also mention that I feel like my low feedback ID had slightly better exposure during my latest round of selling, so eBay rewards new IDs. Consider that a seller's old ID can get bad DSRs and be punished by eBay, but then that seller can create a new ID with no DSRs and be rewarded by eBay with better exposure. Does this make sense?


Jennifer said...

Maybe I've hit upon what is really going on here. Are the DSRs eBay's way of appearing to do something about fraudulent sellers? In reality, they do nothing since sellers can immediately start over with fresh IDs.

It's worth checking out this story.

eBay CEO John Donahoe

Donahoe actually stated that it is free to list on eBay and lied all over the place.

Lian said...

Ebay has made me mad with its unpaid transaction interference which I did not ask for. It just sent a notice to someone I had payment arrangements to without even asking if I wanted to do so. I checked the forums to find out what to do in the future and it told me to
1. Go to My eBay
2. Click on the Account tab
3. Choose Site Preferences
4. Scroll down to "Manage communications with buyers"
From there you can stop the extra invoices that Ebay sends out requesting payment and change the amount of time before Ebay interferes with the non pay communication or you can take it off and not use it. I took it off. I prefer to handle my own customers and then if i need Ebay I will ask for help. Did anybody else get annoyed at this?

Jennifer said...

I managed to opt out before that happened to me, but it has annoyed countless people according to eBay's message boards.

They seem to think that they need to manage every aspect of every transaction for us, like we are stupid or something. Actually, they want to be streamlined like Amazon, but eBay is not Amazon.

Brandi said...

My, my, my... how interesting that video was! I DID see him noticably cringe... I bet that they are getting FLOODED with requests for repayment for fees right now. Oddly enough, I feel sorry for that one man who the whole company's problems were being brought down on his shoulders, though. If he is like most CEOs... they are unfamliar with a lot of the company's fine details... but before they go into a big press conference... they usually take more time to get more informed. Interesting, interesting!

Jennifer said...

I have to amend my statement to say that Donahoe was not lying, but he is hopelessly misinformed about eBay.

During this interview, Donahoe stated that it is less expensive to sell on eBay than on other sites, and he stated that "listing is free and you pay only if you sell." Oh, really? When a reporter took him to task on this comment, he mentioned that the free listings are for $0.99 and cheaper items. He seemed not to understand that his blanket statement "listing is free" does not apply to the vast majority of eBay listings.

Donahoe also stated that fees are lower than they were around eight to 10 years ago. He has no idea. The fees are higher than they were a decade ago! Not only that, but our items are far less likely to sell than a decade ago.

He made what I consider to be a really odd comment. He said that in two to three years that people will quit carrying credit cards around and will use their mobile devices for all payments. He thinks that people will use their mobile devices and PayPal to pay for everything.

I find it really hard to believe that within three years all retailers like Wal-Mart will be set up to accept cardless payments a la PayPal at the registers in the stores and that no one will be using credit cards. Quite a few people still write checks as it is! Donahoe believes that no one will be writing checks, using cash, or carrying credit cards! He strikes me as a man who is in his own world separate from the rest of us.

stratomiker said...

I think he was outright lying, as most CEOs do. EBay is obviously enamored with being THE online Walmart and has left behind the old days of eBay as we knew it.

Things change. Cars are not like they were in 1996, TVs are different, computers have evolved amazingly, there are no more record stores nor 'singles' records - it's all different. And so will eBay be different.

There is no stopping this change and no going back. They want everybody to have a 'store', so they can get that monthly fare, and I'm sure auctions will be phased out even more as time goes by.

Will it work? Will eBay become what it wants to be? That remains to be seen. I think it will either self-destruct or become SO different that it will be unrecognizable.

We need to accept this and figure what we are going to do individually about our own selling. Go along with eBay and try to survive as long as we can, or sell at fifferent venues, like some have already begun to do.

Whatever the case - the old eBay days are over and no amount of complaining is going to change that.


Brandi said...

Jennifer, I don't know if you have had time to check into it lately, but it appears that Bonanzle has started to fix the problem of not being able to find a seller by name. I just recently made the freebie that you showed us how to (and thank you for referring us to that site!) and when I tried to check to see if it was working, I found a nice surprise. Try to search for your user name. It now brings up a screen that shows 0 products and one seller found! Yea!

Booth names aren't working YET, but hey, the seller name is!

I don't have too many people who have bought from me in the past, but I thought that I had probably better make a way for them to find me easier if they wanted to. What a great surprise!

What do you know!? Bonanzle listens to the 'seller surveys'! :)


Jennifer said...

Go back and read the comments for my first post "Solving the Problem for Seller Search." Read the very last comment. :) You can also go straight to the "People" page and go to Bonanzle's blog since Blake linked to it. Apparently my blog post has played a big part in their decision to work on search. I'm really thrilled!

Now as to whether the search will further get fixed to allow the booth names to be searchable is something I can't tell yet, but I'm glad to see that they are working on search.

Brandi said...

Oh, oops! I missed that one. I'm just happy they listened to the problem and fixed it! :)