eBay LogoIt’s about time. As a frequent eBay buyer, I can pay with Paypal seconds after winning an auction and then wait weeks for my item to arrive. At that point, I don’t dare leave negative feedback for the delayed shipping. I can’t. They’ll tag me with a negative right back. As far as I’m concerned, once payment has been made, my end of the deal is complete. Leave me feedback.

If I’m satisfied with the promptness and quality of the transaction, I’ll return the favor. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

But that’s the thing, it’s very rare for the seller to initiate the feedback.

They always wait for the buyer to leave feedback first, and then they leave feedback. It’s a flaw in the system and I’m glad eBay is doing something to fix it.

Though this will obviously open a whole other can of worms…

Online auction site eBay has said it plans to overhaul its feedback system and will ban sellers from leaving negative comments about buyers.

EBay said problems were occurring, and slowing down trade, when buyers left negative comments about sellers who then retaliated with their own views.

From May, those selling on eBay will not be able to leave unfavourable or neutral messages about buyers.

The move, which will affect users worldwide, has angered many sellers.

Sellers say it will leave them unprotected.

Tricky customers

Critics of the changes argue that by taking away a seller’s right to complain about a problem buyer they will have very little recourse for action when a sale goes wrong.

And they complain that by still allowing buyers to leave dissenting comments about sellers, eBay has skewed the whole trading process.

When both sides have equal access and rights to leave negative comments about each other it is a well balanced trading process, they say. However, eBay counters that problem buyers can still be dealt with.

“If a buyer doesn’t pay, the seller can easily contact eBay, we will review any complaint and maybe remove the buyer,” a spokesman said.

The changes aim to “improve the overall customer experience”, eBay said.

It added that many buyers would not leave negative comments for fear that sellers would retaliate.

As a result, buyers and sellers may not get a fair picture of what is actually happening between trading parties.

It maintains that the majority of transactions go “swimmingly”.

EBay says that only a minority of sellers leave negative feedback for buyers.

Here’s the link.

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