Selling on Ebay used to be fun. Now it is more stressful due to the new Ebay feedback system.
The most unfair part of the system is that sellers can no longer leave negatives for buyers (not that many did that unless there were deadbeats who refused to pay for items that were already shipped.) I got my first negative feedback out of over 2,300 positive feedbacks from a buyer in the UK. The buyer's comment was that I hadn't responded to his emails and that it had been 14 days and they still didn't have their product.
First of all, I have all of the responses to his emails stored on Ebay. He only had 4 feedback so he probably didn't know to check his spam folder. He had my direct email address. He could have emailed me to say he didn't hear back from me through Ebay. Funny thing though, the same day he gave me the negative feedback, he sent me an email telling me that he got his item that day. All I could do was say in my comment that it was not true and international shipments take longer. Of course, I had already put a large paragraph on my auction saying that international buyers should expect shipments to take 14-30 days.
I thought I would appeal to him and asked him to remove my negative feedback since he did get his item. No go. He never responded.
The second really bad part of the Ebay feedback system is the fact that they made 4 separate criteria on which the seller needs to be judged. Duh. Everyone loves to pay handling charges, don't you? The biggest complaint among sellers is about the shipping and handling section. I personally ship my items within 24 to at the very very most, 48 hours. If the post office decides to take 10 days to deliver it or there is a massive snow storm, tornado, hurricane, or other Act of God, it's not our fault! The buyers don't seem to grasp this concept. That's where my 100% rating went from 100% down to 99.9%. No one likes to pay handling charges. My Ebay and Paypal fees are so high that I lose money on shipping every time. I don't pad the cost of my products, nor do I pad my handling fees (which average $2-3 depending on the cost of what Ebay is charging me), yet sellers are getting penalized because buyers don't understand what the ratings do to the sellers.
I still sell on Ebay and will continue to for awhile. I've recently listed things on Bonanzle and so far with three new sales, my fee has been a whopping 50 cents. There are some pretty cool things on the site so you may want to check it out.
I have more stories about the Ebay feedback system. Maybe I'll share another one in another blog. I don't think Ebay cares enough to change their policy back to protect the sellers as well. They are losing many sellers because of their high fees and their policy changes, but some of us are still hanging in there to see if Ebay will go back to the fun place it used to be.
By the way, if you are looking to start selling on Ebay, click here for an excellent resource to find products to sell and brainstorm for ideas.