Monday, January 13, 2014

Why I Don't Want to Sell Certain Books on eBay

Scattered throughout various blog posts and comments made on my Facebook page, I have shared why I don't want to sell certain series books on eBay.  It all has to do with avoiding a specific buyer.

This is someone who sells series books on eBay and uses another ID on eBay to purchase those books.  There are probably at least two dozen people who sell series books on eBay and who also purchase their books on eBay, so it's not like you are going to be able to guess who this is.  Obviously, I am not going to give enough information here for you to figure it out.  Just remember if you sell series books on eBay, look at your buyers' feedback left for others by running the IDs through has all the tools you need to sleuth out the solution to the mystery.

Here is a statement I made in "eBay Store Update, DSRs, and Facebook Promotion" on July 22, 2013.
Last year at this time, all four of my DSRs were taking a nosedive.  I had one repeat buyer, and I used eBay's tool to figure out that he was giving me a four on all four DSRs.  This should not have been a problem, except that he alone was 30% to 40% of my transactions.  Even fours drag a seller's average down quickly.
It was after that buyer pulled down my DSRs just by leaving one four after another that I began to follow him more closely.  I learned his selling ID, which wasn't hard, because I noticed the books I had sold him up for sale by the selling ID.  I ran both IDs through, and I saw the big picture.  That's why I blocked him.

I'm not going to connect all the dots here, because I want to leave the IDs a mystery in order to protect myself.  However, I do have some screen captures to show you.  First, though, I want to avoid confusion.  Let's call my blocked buyer "eBay Seller #1," since I am going to mention some other sellers.

The above image shows the DSRs for eBay Seller #2 from whom my blocked buyer (eBay Seller #1) has purchased.  The blocked buyer is still leaving fours for all DSRs for all sellers who receive positive feedback.  The above seller has bad average DSRs as a result of receiving many feedback ratings from the one buyer who has purchased many lots from this seller, just like what was done to me in 2012.

Some of you are thinking that DSRs of 4.7 and 4.8 are not bad.  They shouldn't be, but eBay sees them as bad.  I have read many reports of sellers getting permanently suspended from selling because one DSR had gone down to 4.6.  While 4.6 is a 92% rating, eBay views it as failing and kicks sellers off.  So a buyer leaving fours for all DSRs and buying dozens of items from a seller can single-handedly get that seller removed from eBay.  That's dangerous.

Now check this out.  The following image shows the negative feedback that my blocked buyer left for eBay Seller #3 above the pertinent information from eBay Seller #3's item description.

Notice that the buyer complained about a shipping delay and a handling fee of $4.  Both points were addressed in the listing, and when the buyer purchased the item, he agreed to the seller's terms.  Yet he left the seller negative feedback.

Even one negative or neutral feedback rating can destroy a seller.  Another seller, eBay Seller #4, is trying to recover from bad feedback.  eBay Seller #4 used to be the top seller of series books on eBay, in my opinion.  This person has always been very popular.  This person has received a few negative and neutral feedback ratings in the last year.  This person used to be a top-rated seller and lost it because of those feedback ratings.  This person's sales have declined significantly.  Whenever a seller receives a bad feedback rating, even one, eBay demotes that seller's items in search, and that seller will be unable to recover until an entire year has passed.  That's huge.  That's harsh.

Going back to eBay Seller #3, I love his response to the negative feedback rating:  "did you READ the auction info?  no, no you didn't.  perhaps you should next time."

I know from past experience that many of the people buying books on eBay in order to resell them do not read descriptions.  They glance at the pictures, make a quick decision as to value, and either make the purchase or place a bid.  That can make them very difficult buyers.  I had a buyer from years ago who I will call eBay Seller #5, who purchased a book in which I stated that the top corner of the front free endpaper had been cut off.  As soon as he received the book, he complained that the front free endpaper was not price-clipped and that the corner was gone.  Right, that's why I said the corner was cut off.  I agreed to accept a return while making a pointed remark about how the description mentioned the flaw, then I added him to my blocked buyer list.

Since the current problematic buyer loves to purchase certain series books, I am trying to rid myself of the types of books that he purchases.


Homeschool Mom said...

Good grief! I cannot understand what motivates people to act in this way. You're much more savvy than I would be in selling on ebay.

seriouslybookin said...

I love seeing George Wallace's show when I go to Vegas.