ED Magedson – Founder
Ebay Inc.San Jose, California United States of America
I opened my company in 2004 and started selling on Ebay shortly afterwards. I worked really hard by answering emails night and day and shipping out immediately and quickly became a high ranked powerseller. For the next 4 years my company continued to grow and it's sales increased as well. I started using the Featured Listing option for many of my listings which really helped out in the category I list in. During this time I managed to keep 100% Feedback and everything was going perfect.
Then one day in early 2008 I received an email from Ebay about important Feedback Policy changes that were going to be coming soon. As I read more of this email I discovered that Sellers would no longer be able to leave Negative Feedback for a buyer, regardless of what the buyer does or does not do. My first thought was, great, now Feedback Extortion is going to go through the roof.
There were many sellers that left Ebay over this policy change, as it just made no sense to most sellers including me. But I decided to stick it out as I had became dependant on Ebay because of all the time, effort and money spent building up my Ebay Store and great Feedback Rating. I was thinking, OK, as long as I keep doing things the way I have then there will be no issues. Right?
Wrong - Within a month I had receioved my first Negative Feedback, if I recall correctly it was because a Buyer had purchased an item and they could not pay through Paypal. It was some sort of address issue because of them having an APO box as a shipping address. So since Paypal rejected their payment they just left me my first Negative Feedback. Oh, my total Feedbacks that were 100% positive before - over 12,000.
From mid 2008 to mid 2009 I had received some 50 negative feedbacks. Not every one was without merit but before the change these would have been worked out with the Buyer being satisfied in the end. But now it seems that many buyers Jump the gun and Leave Negative Feedbacks before a seller has a chance to help out.
Also during this time when I logged into my Ebay MyAccount page I would occasionally see my Powerseller Discount dropping because of the new DSR system. But since I have know way of knowing who left which rating then it is hard to pin point what went wrong that deserved a lower rating. I was offering Free Shipping but my DSR rating on shipping costs had dropped to 4.7. FREE = 4.7? I feel that Ebay could easily manipulate this number so they could reduce the discount that I would receive but again how would I know since I cant see this info?
During this time my sales had steadily dropped. I was down to around 50% or less in sales from the previous year during the same period. I was still using the Featured Listing option which really helped out my sales. It not only helped sell the item that was featured but also helped buyers find my store on Ebay since Ebay had made it so those with low DSR's listings would drop lower than other listings in the same category.
I'd received many emails from Buyers that would state things like - "You didn't say this item was black and if you dont pay for me to return this one and ship me a blue one for free then it will show on the feedback I leave you". This was from a listing that stated SEVERAL times throughout that the item color would vary depending on availability and the item photo was red. I said I would replace it free of charge if he would return it to me unopened and I would even pay for the reshipping fee. Resulted in NEGATIVE FEEDBACK. I emailed Ebay because of their Policy on Feedback Extortion and asked that the Negative be removed. They basically said we cant remove it.
This is how many of my requests for Feedback Removal went. The only time they actually removed a comment was because it was from an International buyer who never paid and left a neg feedback.
I had also created another Ebay account that I would use for buying items and decided to start using it to sell with as well. Since this one had 100% feedback. But it was only at 1000 feedbacks so the sales were not near as strong on this account.
This year Ebay decided to make more Changes. They decided that Sellers who do not meet the TOP SELLER criteria could no longer PAY to use the FEATURED LISTING option. This is the option that you can use to Feature your listing at the top of the category and Search results on Ebay. This change took effect in mid to late 2009.
After this change took place my sales took a NOSEDIVE. I was down about 80 to 90% over the previous year and could see the Huge Impact this had on my business. I called my Ebay account manager and he said that I could use this option again until I had met the new criteria.
Well things kept going down hill from there. Since my sales were dying, any new DSR or Feedback left was given much more weight and drove down the overall percentage making it impossible to recover. I had tried many different approaches but none were working.
My sales had declined so much because of all of this that I had not paid my Ebay Account balance. I would plan on paying the following month but when the time came I didn't have the cash because of the huge slump in sales. So I had to put it off another month. At month 2 I called my account manager and he said there wasn't anything he could do at that time. If my account had been suspended he could have helped.
Well, another month goes by and Ebay sends me a notice that my main account had been suspened and that all listings had been removed. I wanted to pay to get it restored but I just did not have the money. By this time I was behind on all my bills and Repo guys were looking for me to pick up my car, my electric got shut off and it was a scary time. This is my only income and I had no way to borrow money to pay the account off.
So I just continued to use the other account I created on Ebay as my seller account. I had been working 12 to 18 hours a day relisting items and preparing for Thanksgiving sales and Black Friday sales. I was hoping that the sales from Black Friday and the weekend after would be enough to bring my other account current.
This account never has sold as well as the other and the week of Thanksgiving (SUN to THURS) I ended up with a total of $500 in sales. TOTAL. Last year I had over $20,000 the same 4 days. OK, I thought I could make up for this on Black Friday and that weekend. Thought people were holding off until then maybe?
BLACK FRIDAY comes along and I receive an Email from Ebay. It says that due to my account being suspended for non payment that they had now Suspended all of my accounts on Ebay!!!!! On Black Friday, on the weekend after Thanksgiving! I freaked out and emailed and called Ebay asking if there was ANYTHING I could do. They said I would have to pay the ENTIRE balance to reopen my accounts. I told them I couldn't and asked if I could pay this in payments and just have the secondary account reopened. They said no.
Christmas is approaching, I am near broke, my car is being repoed, everything is going south. I have 3 children that didn't have presents yet for christmas. I was worried the electric would get shut off again as well so I decided to plead. No one at Ebay on the phone would ever help out. So I emailed customer support.
I stated that I had been a Powerseller in good standing for over 4 years. Never missed a payment before. I had paid them roughly $500,000 to $1,000,000 in Ebay fees alone during that time. I told them the effect their policy changes had on my business and that I promised I would take care of this as fast as I could.
I actually got a reply back stating that if I would agree to a Payment plan that they would reopen the secondary account. But if I missed a payment they would close it again until the entire balance was paid in full. I agreed, I made my first payment this month. I plan on making my next payment as well.
BUT - This week I received a call from a company called IC Systems out of Minnesota. I told them that I already have a payment arrangement with Ebay and have not missed any payments. I gave them the total due, the payment amount and so on. They said that the person that made the arrangements did not have the authority to do so and that if I dont set up payments with them that they would report this to Ebay and that the accounts would be suspended. I told them I neededd to call Ebay before I did anything to verify they were a real company, they laughed at me and said they are real. They said they had ALL of my ACCOUNT info and could verify anything for me.
I'm now almost bankrupt, my credit is ruined and even though I made arrangements with an Ebay CS Agent, I find out my accounts are still in danger of being suspended. Plus IC now has all of my Ebay account info to look through. I'm not sure what I can do now but this doesn't seem right.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/21/2009 07:00 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ebay-inc/san-jose-california-/ebay-inc-ebay-policy-changes-drove-me-near-bankruptcy-suspended-account-and-gave-all-a-543357. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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