I'm coming to the end of my ridiculous ebay buying ban for daring to leave honest feedback.
Will I be buying again from ebay once its lifted? Well, no. And for very good reasons...
For those who don't know, here's how I got banned from buying on ebay (I could still sell, because that, of course, is where ebay fleeces you of your hard earned!)
What I did
- bought an item of cheap jewellery (less than a fiver)
- paid for the item almost instantly, in full with paypal
- waited for item until after ebays expected delivery date (8days)
- contacted seller to ask if it was posted yet
- seller says he doesn't have the item
- erm... OK, asked seller for a refund (as he didn't offer...) (rolls eyes)
- seller says no money in paypal, so it can't go thru till Friday (It was monday)
- After Friday comes and goes, contact seller again the following Monday
- seller says paypal is "messing him about" and it will be at least another week for refund
- I start a paypal claim
- I get my refund in 3 hrs
- I leave neutral feedback
- I GET AN EMAIL THE NEXT DAY SAYING I'M BANNED FROM BUYING!!
- ebay also remove all feedback I've left for the last month.
What he did
- didn't have the item he had listed
- didn't inform his buyer
- didn't offer a refund
- moved the buyers payment out of paypal, even though he knew he didn't have the item
- complained to ebay about the neutral feedback
- had feedback removed
- was allowed to continue selling on ebay without a care.
So, now they want to know if I will be recommending ebay to a friend.
Here's my answer
Oddly, no ebay. I don't think I will be recommending ebay to any other buyers. Despite your seeming to offer protection to buyers, your system of made up rules favours sellers to a ridiculous degree, since that is where you make your extortionate amount of cash - over 10% of every sale!.
Buyers who have problems should NOT complain or leave honest feedback, since if a seller is unhappy with that feedback and has EVENTUALLY refunded, ebay will find in their favour. Under their system, the "dispute" was resolved. Regardless of it being the sellers fault. Regardless of it taking several emails to get to the refund. Regardless of the seller stalling at every stage and NOT having items to sell. Reghardless of the seller moving the money paid out of their paypal, even though they did not have the item to sell. As long as eventually they refund, they are in the clear. Buyers should NOT try to leave feedback which tells other buyers about a negative or neutral experience as that seller has, in effect, said their Hail Mary's and been completely absolved of all their sins.
Also, if you do sell your own stuff on ebay, be aware that this means your feedback takes on a whole new meaning in the eyes of the ebay police
- I was informed that because the item feedback I was "reported" for was in a category I had previously sold stuff in - Jewellery - I was, in fact, acting to "damage my competition" by leaving the negative or neutral feedback. I actually buy more jewellery than I sell, and sell items every once in a while so that I can make room to buy more. I sell maybe 10 items every three months or so. Hardly a massive business with strategies to damage my competition.
Finally - you need to know that should anyone make a complaint about your feedback, ebay will then check ALL feedback left and if they find more than their arbitrary amount of negative feedback (This is in the detailed ratings mind, not the main feedback ) they will give you a ban without any contact with you whatsoever to state your side.
I have actually NEVER left a negative rating in my 12 years on ebay and 500 odd transactions. I have NEVER recieved a negative either, and my detailed seller ratings are 4.9 and above across the board. Maybe because I've also never ever ever...
- not had an item I was selling, I always get them out to photograph and then put them in a safe place
- not offered a refund if anything happened to an item beyond my control (never happened)
- removed a buyers money from my account before I've posted an item safely and had feedback to say it has arrived.
So, in conclusion, ebay's systems in place to protect sellers are stupidly and misguidedly strong, because they want sellers money.
As buyers, you seem to have protection, but it is a facade. The phrase Caveat Emptor was never more true as it is when buying on Ebay.
Watch your backs, people.