Feedback star management ideas...

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  1. #1 Feb 2, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
    I am trying to work out how the detailed seller feedback stars can be managed better. My goal is to see if there are any patterns of problems with stars that are common to many people. If there are patterns, then there is potential to ask eBay for a policy change or adjustment. For those of you who are buyers but not sellers, as a Powerseller, I have to maintain high star levels and not get any low ratings. So in effect, as my stars are usually 4.9 on most ratings, if someone leaves me a 4 they drop and if they leave me a 5, it pretty much stays the same.

    Because I am one of those sellers who chooses not to mark things as a gift and declares the value, I am often at risk of losing points on the Shipping Star values. Customs duty is a fact of life - we have just seen this play out in an incident involving the Australian Customs office and now the USA as well. So this is not about the ups and downs of customs Duty, but how to manage the stars.

    Often what happens when a buyer is surprised by Customs Duty, they tend to get upset, then rate the item down across all stars, but particularly shipping. I have sold almost identical items in various continents and seen the difference in buyer behaviour where customs duty is rarely charged compared to when it is nearly always charged. I don't think that buyers should be surprised by the way because it is mentioned prominently in my listings and in the top half of the description as required by eBay.

    For info, I am a fast shipper (usually 1 day unless there's a weekend involved), I pack well, have a zillion photos, send updates on postage etc and ship at cost price.

    I check stars regularly. Just now I looked at my 12 month averages and found no low stars over a 12 month period - yipee! But when I clicked on the powerseller dashboard, then checked the new April 2010 condition, suddenly I had 4 1's appear which is horrific. No ratings of 1 show up anywhere else that I can find on any other views or reports that I ran.

    All my feedback is positive except for one which was an unethical person who accused me of selling a fake which they never returned early last year. When I say my feedback is positive, I mean that the words are positive and the marking is green. Can't tell what the individual scores are.

    So. As none of my feedback is eligible for revision, how do I deal with the 1's? I can't ask the buyer to change their feedback. Can't identify which buyer it was.

    I did report one person who left me positive feedback but complained about Parcelforce (customs duty) even though we exchanged several emails in advance that it was likely and they directed me to use Parcelforce for shipping. But eBay haven't removed their comments (or stars I suspect), so there is some system failure because a written reference to customs duty left by a buyer technically should be removed. But as I have had excellent customer service from eBay on everything else, this is the only area of complaint I have with them.

    So now the questions.

    1. Can someone else try viewing their dashboard and see if they get any strange results like this please - dashboard, powerseller status, view new April 10 conditions. This will bring up a global figure, not your home Powerseller program country.
    2. Has anyone ever asked a buyer to modify their DSRs? If so, what was the outcome? How did you raise the topic?
    3. Has anyone had feedback removed by eBay? What were the conditions?

    Any comments would be appreciated.:smile: Sorry it's long, but I have been thinking this over for weeks and trying to capture lots of angles here.
  2. :search:
  3. I have been an avid supporter of eBay for many years, but the past two have truly shaken my trust in the site. As a PowerSeller I would maintain high 4.9 to 5.0 until it came to calculate my discount and then suddenly I would drop below on my DSR. Within a week of calculations, I was back up in the 4.9 -5.9 range. Draw your own conclusions.

    I called several times to argue the fact that I could not improve my scores if I did not know what transaction had caused the problem, since all my feedback was 100% positive. They claimed to not have any way to know themselves. In today’s world I was afraid I could not buy that..

    We ask for them to contact us if they can not give us 5’s in every category. So far, no one has ever contacted us

    DSR’s can not be changed to my knowledge. Negatives can be appealed both to the buyer and eBay under certain conditions. We had one negative 6 years ago for something that was apparently stolen from the customer. We had proof of deliver and the negative was removed.
  4. You can ask buyers to officially revise feedback that they left for you through eBay. You can also have feedback removed by eBay for feedback abuse violations, such as leaving a positive rating but a negative comment, including personal information in the comment, referring to unrelated transactions, etc.
  5. Thanks for the responses eBayguy and blackonmaroon.

    The only negative I did have I can't get fixed because the person refused to take back their claim that the item was not authentic. Interestingly, they have just sold the same thing months later as authentic... Which is annoying, but doesn't qualify for feedback removal.

    I guess what I am fishing for here is, what protection should be available for sellers when there are nice words but low scores. This is like a false positive. If there is a positive feedback but the DSR left is a 1 or 2 for example, should the system trigger a warning to eBay to check it.

    Feedback revisions are only allowed when there is a negative or a neutral. But the star values are in play, so surely they should be revisable. I am certain I found an eBay link saying that buyers can modify the stars. It was only recently though and I forgot to bookmark the page - I remember being surprised to see it in there.

    I think that there should also be an algorithm which matches international transactions and monitors the shipping cost DSR against normal DSR patterns. What is annoying is having a High High High Low pattern when the actual shipping costs are low. This pattern only matches high customs duty countries. SO therefore, it's pretty clear to see that it is a buyer education issue (buyers are not aware that they really are actually legally obliged to pay customs duty as prescribed by their home country, and feel that they should let the seller know that they don't like customs duty via the stars).

    Personally, I would like to see a prompt appear when the person is rating the shipping cost, much like the international shipping warning about delivery time. Something should remind the buyer at that point about the actual charge levied for shipping and that they should not rate the seller on customs duty fees. How you express this really simply would be a matter for a good writer.

    Any comments or other ideas here?
  6. I am not aware that star ratings are adjustable, but will check further.

    Your suggestion about an extra pop-up to remind the buyer that they are rating the seller, not the shipping firm nor their customs laws is great. eBay tells us that international DSR's do not count toward the TRS program but they never confirmed that it does not count against the discount for PowerSellers.

    I checked my dashboard, (which I rarely do to keep my blood pressure down) and found those 1's you talked about. A 1 would imply to me a rather disatisfied customer, but we have no feedbacks implying that. I find them suspect, as I mentioned previously.

    I believe you made another excellent point about BUYER education. In classes I teach, I ask how the students evaluate the DSR system. Most do not understand what they are rating, nor do they understand the ramifications to the seller. eBay tries to describe it, but I think they could do more. (much more)
  7. Thanks eBayguy. Sorry to have you find your wonderful surprise 1's hidden in there, with no corresponding negative or unpleasant wording to explain it. Bit of a mystery isn't it? Mine is exactly the same. No obvious cause.

    I wonder if buyers can leave stars but no actual rating? I also have one mystery 1 for shipping time, so that's my quota almost blown already. But I ship really fast and have had no extended delays at all. I also use the PayPal tracking details function, and now the eBay one, so from here on, I'll have cast iron evidence of delay or no delay.

    I wonder if anyone else has these mystery 1 ratings. Was this when you checked your performance against the 2010 conditions? Is it possible there is a system glitch? We'd need other people to check.
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