eBay’s Nonpaying Bidders: Recent Trends and Predictions for the Future

Posted on August 22, 2008. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , , , , |


Nonpaying bidders have always been a painful subject for eBay sellers.  The frustration of having to beg and harass buyers to pay for their items, along with having inventory tied up possibly for weeks without being able to offer the item to anyone else while going through the Unpaid Item Process (UPI), is known as a “cost of doing business on eBay”.  Recently, eBay has implemented changes that, initially, have made it tougher for sellers to deal with nonpaying bidders.  However, in my opinion, eBay has also announced other changes which likely cause the instances of nonpaying bidders to decrease significantly.      


Trend #1: May 19, 2008: Sellers unable to leave negative feedback for nonpaying bidders  

Many sellers have expressed extreme frustration over their inability to leave negative feedback to “warn” other sellers.  Sellers I have spoken to felt powerless to stop the abuse of nonpaying bidders.      


Trend #2: May 2008 and beyond: Increase in slow paying and nonpaying bidders  

We personally began experiencing a heavy increase in slow paying bidders about 45 days ago and it has become more difficult recently to “encourage” people to pay timely.  From the emails I have received from other sellers and what I am reading on the boards, there does seem to be an increase in slow paying and nonpaying bidders as buyers realize they will not receive negative feedback from sellers for nonpayment.      


Trend #3: July-August 2008: Individual Seller’s New Bidder Requirements End up Blocking Nonpaying Bidders  

We use eBay’s new Bidder Requirements which block any buyer who has had more than 2 unpaid items in the last 12 months.  Most buyers are not aware of the new Bidder Requirements option that sellers can use.  As a result, we have been overwhelmed lately with emails from “potential” buyers who are surprised to find they are unable to purchase our items and who are trying to convince us to exempt them from the requirement.  They ask us to look at their great feedback (which many times is not so great) and they take great pains to explain why they didn’t pay the other sellers who reported them for nonpayment.  I think that nonpaying buyers are just now realizing that there are some consequences to their actions and it is causing some frustration for them.        


Trend #4: July-August 2008: eBay becomes proactive in removing negative feedback left by nonpaying bidders  

Some buyers become angry over being reported by sellers for nonpayment and are responding with negative feedback for sellers.  Prior to May 19th, feedback removal was not possible for nonpayment and even during the months following May 19th, eBay Trust and Safety was not removing negative feedback when buyers expressed their desire to pay but with a different payment method than the seller offered.  From what I am being told and from the many emails that sellers are sending me, I am confident that eBay is now removing negative feedback from buyers who are not paying with the seller’s stated payment options if that is the reason for the nonpayment.  In many cases, sellers are telling me that eBay is actually proactive in removing negative feedback from nonpaying bidders even before the dispute process is complete.      


Future #1: September 2008 (future): Fee changes where FVF are a larger percentage of overall seller fees means that eBay has an increased stake in preventing nonpaying bidders   

Because the fee changes coming next month will more closely align eBay’s interests with seller’s interests, I think we’ll be seeing eBay take a more active role in preventing nonpaying bidders.  If eBay has to credit back large amounts of final value fees to sellers, they are not going to be pleased.        


Future #2:. October 2008 (future): Paperless payments will provide eBay with the evidence needed to evaluate buyers and hold them accountable, making it easier to identify chronic nonpaying bidders  

Because eBay will be able to more easily identify chronic nonpaying bidders, I think we’ll see more bidders who will be suspended for nonpayment.      


Although I can foresee many changes on eBay that will not result in good outcomes (and I’ll blog about those soon), I must say that I predict sellers will get some relief from nonpaying bidders by the end of this year or early next year and that is good news.


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11 Responses to “eBay’s Nonpaying Bidders: Recent Trends and Predictions for the Future”

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I don’t think nonpaying bidders are going any where. I don’t think it is eBay’s best interest with the frequency of sellers not reporting NPB – if the buyer is here to commit eBay gets the insertion fee and another for the relist and the bonus of the FVFs from the massive number of eBay sellers who are terrified to report the NPB.

It is to eBay’s advantage to foster NPB- they don’t give a damn about its effect on us. Of course this is also why they refuse to adjust the rule to say NPB cannot leave feedback.

Don’t hold your breath on relief from eBay to do anything about NPB- they’ll lose money if they get rid of them

I don’t think eBay considers it in their best interest. Anyone with ethics would do what we all know is right

I am getting extremely sick of ebay…out of the last 10 items I “sold” on ebay, only 6 paid. This was not the case before the feedback changes. Like you said as well, I received negative feedback as a seller because I would not allow a local pickup, which I have clearly stated on my auctions…ebay did nothing.

What ever changes ebay intend to implement they had better do it fast!

Since the removal of my right as a seller to leave neg feedback I have had a massive run of non paying bidders or bidders to take weeks and weeks to pay up!

I have had threats of neg feedback if I don’t thrown in extras or conform to buyers demands and ebay will do nothing to protect me as a seller!

This month alone due to time sensitive sales non paying bidders have cost me over $200.

Thank goodness ebay is only about 30-40% of my business – but I’m already looking for alternatives for those sales.

Im a good seller who takes care of my paying clients and I am tired of ebay treating me like I am the one doing something wrong.

Without sellers there are no buyers!

I’m a casual ebay seller. I have been slammed lately with non-paying bidders. I joined ebay in 2001, up to 2008 I had one, maybe two non-paying bidders. In the past two months I have had three! It’s about 50% of my recent listings. I am very frustrated that my item is tied up for two weeks to go through the Ebay process.

I have been on eBay for over 14 years with the last 9 being a power seller… all of the above I agree with totally… so I am doing something about it… I have started an innovative boutique shop selling and auctioning format geared to the smaller seller with one of a kind stuff… check out http://www.vbmshops.com. we are just finishing up the customized program to meet everyone’s needs. It will be the body and bones of eBay but the heart and soul of a company who truly cares about both sellers and buyers. Keep watching as things change over the next couple months, Thanks Candy

I’ve been on eBay since 1998 and I’m sick of non paying bidders. eBay takes fees asap and then the whole deal has to be reversed taking time and stress. eBay argues that there aren’t “enough sellers” so we have to “accommodate”. Bull.

As long as you have government sanctioned monopolies like microsoft and ebay you will never see any changes, no real competition, its a shame.

There should be a published list of ebays non paying bidders id’s .. I’d have many to add!!

Just add the non paying bidders name to your future auctions for everyome else to see!

Uh no. Non-paying bidders are still rampant and not going anywhere on ebay. Ebay is simply a waste of time for private sellers. Only “power sellers” using ebay as a store front are welcome. Just the way ebay wants it – high volume seller fees.

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