Tuesday, February 5, 2008

EBay to ban negative seller views

It seems eBay is planning to change the rules of the game...it plans to ban sellers from leaving negative comments about buyers...but how would that affect trust and transparency, which eBay rely on? Would you still bid on eBay, if you knew that seller’s rating did not reflect the real one? Do you think eBay’s plan is acceptable when more openness and transparency are required in the online world? Or Should eBay re-consider its decision?...


Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 17:20 GMT

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.

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.