February 17th, 2008
Back when Pierre first conceived the eBay idea, he decided that the community should police itself. He did not have time to mediate disputes between buyers and sellers, so he instituted “feedback.” The concept was that buyers and sellers would leave each other honest feedback, which would weed out the bad community members.
New ebayers could easily see the feedback of a seller and decide whether or not to buy from this seller. The theory was if the seller had a lot of negative feedback, the buyers would go elsewhere to bid. In other words, Pierre made the assumption that humans are able to look out for themselves.
It is my opinion this theory has been proven wrong over and over again. One only has to have seen the feedback for the now infamous seller “Bargainland” to know that people cannot look out for themselves. With feedback at 90% and many times lower, they continued to sell 100’s of items a day. Burned buyers would post to the eBay boards regularly whining that they got “taken” by Bargainland. Seasoned eBayers would ask these buyers why they didn’t heed the feedback? It’s right there, pasted in the auction, why didn’t you heed it?
Maybe for the same reason the government had to make it a law that motorists wear seatbelts, or that manufacturers of hair dryers put a warning on the cord not to use it in the bathtub. What appears to be common sense, is not always so.
Because the Feedback theory has been busted, eBay is now taking matters into their own hands, well, sorta. Sellers will no longer be able to leave negative feedback for buyers, even if the buyer threatens and harasses the seller, or files chargebacks, or doesn’t pay for the item. eBay is also stating they will “disadvantage” sellers with poor DSR’s in search. DSR’s are not even a year old, yet they are being given more importance than a sellers feedback, which in many cases has been built over many years of selling on eBay. That feedback you worked so hard to build will now basically get you nowhere, except kicked out of the Powerseller program if it falls below 98%.
So the Feedback myth is busted, and DSR’s are now the wave of the future. Since they are anonymous eBay feels they are more relevant. However, with only a 10% difference between sellers with the highest DSR’s and those with the lowest, how relevant are they?
That’s my opinion, what’s yours?
Entry Filed under: eBay