Monday, February 4, 2008

EBay Suppresses Information

EBay will no longer allow sellers to give negative feedback on buyers. I understand their stated rationale—that buyers will give more honest feedback if sellers can't retaliate by giving bad feedback to critical buyers—and it may well be the case that eBay is making a logical decision from a business standpoint. (Far be it from me to be too critical of the business logic of a company that's raking in billions of dollars a year!) But from a librarian's perspective, I find it unfortunate: sellers have a legitimate need for information about potential buyers, and eBay is about to take away the method that sellers have been using to fulfill that information need.

Of course, I also suspect that it will take about a week for the sellers to band together and start an independent site where they will share notes on bad buyers. Information has a habit of being difficult to suppress....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

E-bay did put out a news release on 1/29/2008 regarding this:

The fact that a buyer can leave negative feedback without ever so much as contacting the seller regarding any issue is what is astounding. Now e-bay states the new process will take three days.

In addition, if PayPal (e-bay's online bank) determines that a purchase is "at risk" with buyer or seller, PayPal will HOLD the buyer's payment until a positive feedback has been left.

There are other issues and even at you can now bring up seller's that are uniting towards a strike to enforce much needed goals.

Some sellers have shut down their e-bay stores and have moved to new sites on the internet that do not have the outrageous combined fee's (one quarter of what you earn) such as and

While seller's may not be able to leave a "negative" on a buyer, we are certainly able to block troublesome buyers from making purchase and in the area where we write our feedback we are able to leave statements such as:

PayPal held 21 days (letting other sellers know this person does not leave feedback at all); or providing other information that sellers will be able to use to stop that buyer from making any purchase.

One of the problems with many e-bay buyer's is that they do not "read" prior to going to make that first sell. Would you honestly buy something from a man on the street without talking to him or finding out about the item - unless it was a garage / tag sale? Why would you make any purchase from someone on e-bay without writing to them first about any concerns, combined shipping, how much their handling fee is, etc.?

Lu McInturff
NDN Fabrics Co-operative