Fact or Fiction? NonPaying Bidders Can Leave Negative Feedback for eBay Sellers

Posted on July 10, 2010. Filed under: eBay, Tips - for the eBay Seller | Tags: , , , , , , |

In eBay-sponsored Webinars and Radio Shows this year, various eBay employees (including John Donahoe himself) have been proud to announce that eBay is now offering sellers protection against nonpaying bidders.  eBay states that nonpaying bidders should not be allowed to leave negative feedback for sellers.    It does make for a great “story”.  However, unfortunately for sellers, it is truly a work of fiction with only a very small basis in fact.

Deadbeat bidders “should not” be allowed to leave negative feedback for sellers but, in actuality,  they can leave negative feedback in all instances except one.  And, of course, eBay does not make that clear to sellers.  And, as a matter of fact, whenever sellers call in to speak to eBay customer service they are most often told that there was some kind of glitch that allowed a particular buyer to leave negative feedback even when they didn’t pay.

Thus, I am writing this blog post to lay out the facts which are quite different from the eBay “fiction” (the nicest word I could come up with).

So, whenever an eBay bidder doesn’t pay there are basically 4 different actions that an eBay seller can take.  Below is the level of protection a seller has / doesn’t have in terms of having their reputation tarnished with negative feedback:

1. Seller Takes NO ACTION against the Buyer

Can Negative Feedback Be Left – Yes
Can Negative Feedback Once Left be Removed for Reasons of Nonpayment – No

2. Seller Files a MUTUAL CANCELLATION against Buyer

Sometimes a buyer asks a seller to cancel the transaction which would then result in the buyer not receiving any adverse action on their account.  A mutual cancellation means that the bidder does not receive a nonpaying bidder strikes and is, thus, eBay does not consider the buyer has done anything wrong.  Often times sellers will agree to a mutual cancellation because they are fearful that buyers will leave negative feedback if a seller reports them for nonpayment.  Most of the time sellers think they are “protected” from negative feedback but they are not.

Can Negative Feedback Be Left – Yes
Can Negative Feedback Once Left be Removed for Reasons of Nonpayment – No

3. Seller Files Unpaid Item Dispute MANUALLY against Buyer

Can Negative Feedback Be Left – Yes
Can Negative Feedback Once Left be Removed for Reasons of Nonpayment – Yes (at eBay’s discretion)

4. Seller Files Unpaid Item Dispute AUTOMATICALLY through Unpaid Item Assistant against Buyer

Can Negative Feedback Be Left – No (once the dispute has been opened)
Can Negative Feedback Once Left be Removed for Reasons of Nonpayment – Yes (at eBay’s discretion)

NOTE (1): If a buyer ends up paying with an electronic payment method after the UPI Assistant opens a case then the buyer can leave negative feedback.

NOTE (2): UPI Assistant works with the eBay Checkout system but not all third party vendors have systems in place that support sellers using the UPI Assistant

For any sellers who are not familiar with eBay’s UPI Assistant, there is a 2-minute video of eBay’s Jim Griffith explaining how the automated process works.  Click  HERE  for that video.

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17 Responses to “Fact or Fiction? NonPaying Bidders Can Leave Negative Feedback for eBay Sellers”

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YEP, all TRUE and grossly unfair to Sellers!

I just had it all happen not once but TWICE in 2 different ways shown above just in the last 30 & 60 days alone, and ebay basically fed me a line of crap about why they couldn’t remove it, both times hiding behind that tired old staement about how they aren’t allowed to alter FB due to ‘Free Speech’ issues. What a load of BS on their part – God, they aren’t even ballsy enough to just stand up and admit they aren’t concerned with actaully ‘fairness’ to ANYONE – most of all not to SELLERS these days!!!
This isn’t a rant from some ebay ‘newbie’ or part timer, I’ve been on there for a very long time now and have watched that whole site become nothing but a trashed out nightmare to deal on…

First time: Guy emailed about my lowering the shipping costs on a newly listed auction, I informed him that NO, I wouldn’t lower it under any circumstances. Auction had many days left when he started bidding – he won the item at a whopping .99 cents, with $19.99 shipping on a $65.00 retail value brand new in the package item.
He THEN attempted to Blackmail me about the shipping costs. I refused to budge on the issue, he didn’t pay for the item, I filed the Unpaid Item Assistant style Payment Request through ebay – He in turn NEVER PAID but then left Negative Feedback which ebay flatly refused to remove.
Next case: Buyer hadn’t paid by 4th day, I used the ebay approved Unpaid Item Payment request form to send a payment reminder – buyer immediately paid and then left a Negative ONLY & EXCLUSIVELY over the fact I had politely requested payment using ebays own payment request system.

I’ve been selling on a fairly large scale on ebay for a number of years now – it had become SO unfair and biased against the very sellers who provide it it’s very existence it’s enough to make you puke. Could I find another venue to move my product at even 1/2 the volume that rag tag site provides I’d be gone off it so fast the oxygen would leave the ‘room’ as I left and leave that entire nightmare to die in a vacuum of it’s own stupidity!

Frankly, I absolutely HATE dealing and selling on that hell hole called ebay now days!!!!

Re Example above: 4. Seller Files Unpaid Item Dispute AUTOMATICALLY through Unpaid Item Assistant against Buyer

Can Negative Feedback Be Left – No (once the dispute has been opened)
Can Negative Feedback Once Left be Removed for Reasons of Nonpayment – Yes (at eBay’s discretion)

This is TOTALLY INCORRECT and I’ve got this EXACT scenario and NEGATIVE left on one of my ebay sales sites to prove it. it with ebay!!!

Disputed the NEG. FB with crappybay but they flatly refused to remove it and feed me email after email of pure B.S. of reasons why.

Buyer bid, won, tried to blackmail me on shipping costs – I wouldn’d bend. He didn’t pay for item, I filed Non Paid through ebay’s own UIA, buyer NEVER paid for item yet left NEG. Feedback on it, they (ebay) flatly refused to remove it after many complaints and requests from me concerning it…

If I could find a class action suit going against ebay for their on again / off again attitude towards enforcing their own rules about FB I’d join it in a heartbeat.

Paul, from what you described it sounds like you used the eBay Unpaid Item Dispute Console (manual approach). The Unpaid Item Assistant is an AUTOMATIC program which files the dispute for you without you taking any action. It is a new process that hasn’t been around that long and most eBay sellers are not familiar with it even existing or how it works. If you click on the link at the bottom of the blog post you will be taken to an eBay video that explains the process.

Hi. Yes, I see your point, and I appreciate you pointing it out…

But again – doesn’t this seem to be an idiotic difference to say the 2 systems are different things when they do the EXACT same thing, same message sent to a ‘T’, same everything except the manual gives me a bit of control and who, when receives the Non Paid Payment Request?

I just mean, 1 is automated, the other manual but they do the EXACT same thing…

And in my humble opinion it’s even worse for them to (supposedly) provide different levels of seller so called ‘protection’ against unfair FB being left simply due to the way you choose to control the Unpaid Item process…

Don’t mean to beat a dead horse but as I said before – ebay has pretty much become a worthless site for honest ‘non corporate’ folks to sell on, wish like heck I could move everything to another site and be done with them once and for all, but over the last 12 years I’ve given every last new e-commerce site that came along a fair try and ebay has their foot down on internet sales sites ‘throats’ so firmly no one else stands a chance in Hades of ever catching on apparently.

Frankly I think the only option to open up the online market place to other fairer, more even handed sites is for the market to punish ebay stock holders till they are on their knees financially, then throw in a couple hundred Class Action Lawsuits concerning their misdeeds towards sellers & buyers alike just for good measure!

As things stand they can and will do whatever and anything in any manner they like while charging us through the nose for putting up with their heavy handed, ill guided and out right and obnoxious ways.

Paul, yes that is EXACTLY why I wrote this blog post. One would reasonably “assume” that it wouldn’t matter if you used the manual UPI process or the automated UPI Assistant process but it does. And I spoke at length with eBay about the issue and tried explaining that they are offering different levels of protection for the exact same process with the manual process, in my opinion, being the process that allows sellers to provide better customer service. So, in essence, eBay is forcing sellers to choose between being less customer-service friendly (by using the automated process) or not being protected (by using the manual process).

And the BIGGEST PROBLEM that I have with this entire Unpaid Item process (manual vs automatic) is that eBay has failed to communicate to sellers the details. My guess is that the protections were afforded to the automated process in order to protect the larger sellers from negative feedback since larger sellers are more likely to use the automated process. Smaller sellers, more likely to use the manual process, are not afforded the same considerations.

And rather than tell sellers this truth, eBay instead says nothing because the truth of the situation would cause people to scratch their heads and say “What an idiotic difference” just as you have said.

Ebay is full of themselves as well as other smelly things.

“What an idiotic difference”

Surely what ebay is ALL about?? Seems to me anyway that puts ebay thought in a nutshell! Idiotic differences?

The fact is that ebay has always lied, is lying now, and will always lie about nearly everything (except fees and their policies whose sole purpose is to ruin small sellers) until the entire corporate culture changes from top to bottom.

Given all the political contributions this mafiosi gang makes, ebay now must believe it’s the government. The only “free speech” infringement issue is when the government attempts to prevent or eliminate speech it doesn’t like.

Ebay can remove negative feedback just as it removes comments it doesn’t like from their discussion boards.

The word hypocrisy doesn’t even begin to cover the overt criminality of this despicable, anti-American, tax evading, job outsourcing corporation.


I keep waiting for Ebay management to all huddle in a room and thrash out some of their policies that make NO sense. This would be one of them and turning off the shipping cost star when free shipping is offered is another….but its clear its just not going to happen….not with this current regime! Instead of huddling in a room and using common sense they seem more like the Mad Hatter’s table complete with the usual round of idiots!

[…] In von eBay gesponserten Webinars und Radioshows haben in diesem Jahr verschiedene eBay-Verantwortliche (einschließlich John Donahoe selbst) stolz bekanntgegeben, dass eBay jetzt einen Verkäufer-Schutz gegen nichtzahlende Käufer anbietet. eBay stellte auch fest, dass es nichtzahlenden Bietern nicht erlaubt werden sollte, negatives Feedback für Verkäufer zu hinterlassen. Leider sieht die Wirklichkeit für Verkäufer aber anders aus, so BrewsNews. […]

Great post explaining what Ebay won’t. Thank you.

I just recently found this informative post while searching for what to do with a bidder who used “Buy it now” on one of my items and then wrote to say “I don’t want it now, just cancel it”. Heh.

I never knew about the UPI Assistant option so it was never turned on. Can I now opt in to the automatic assistant?

My question is, if I opt in now, will it work in this case where the item has already ended with a “Buy it now”?

Hey Stab. No, afraid not on the ‘retroactive’ on the guy screwing with you at the moment. If you go check the UPI page out in your Preferences page they at least make it clear that it won’t apply to previous sales before you turned it on… But here’s another laugh – I DID go turn i9t on immediately after posting this very first comment and getting the response explaining their sneakiness from brewnews here.. And guess what – since turning on the ‘Automated’ UPI feature it STILL hasn’t filed a single thing on several sales I have that are 8, 6, and 5 days old now even though I specified to file the UPI Reminder at 4 Days. (the lowest amount of days offered to wait).

So it’s starting to look like that it’s a total load of crap any way you look at it as far as ebay reminding a buyer to pay or the UPI system actually filing a Strike for you to get your FVF’s back.

Which works out perfectly for them, (ebay) since if you file it manually, then the jerk that isn’t paying/doesn’t pay for the item files a Neg. against you you arne’t going to be able to get them to remove it for any reason (even total non payment for the item) and in no time flat you’re going to lose any discounts you get for keeping a high/good rating/track record, right?

As usual, just the same old underhanded dirty tricks and slight of hand ebay is famous for…

Question: I filed manually and closed the case. Even though it’s closed can the buyer leave negative feedback? If so, is the time period the same as leaving any feedback: until the listing expires?

No response for weeks (it’s been so long since I had a NPB I waited to hash out the Assistant v. manual etc), multiple emails, now after I close it he suddenly emails to apologize and say he’s still interested.

I said I have another interested buyer but if that falls through I’m relisting.

Actually I’m lucky he was a deadbeat because he would have got it for a steal: opening bid which was too low.

So if I relist it, and I am putting him on my BBL, and he tries to bid can he then leave negative feedback?

Its like you have been slapped in the face and didnt even know it was coming. Thats there feedback system period. Its bias and unfair and Im counting the days to stop selling on their site. Almost all of my friends have left for etsy and its just not their feedback unfairness its their fees…my gosh how can you justify almost 20% …including their paypal,insertion fees and fvfs its just criminal. Im so done!

[…] I didn't know the info in this link about how to avoid a neg in an unpaid item dispute. Thought I'd post the link incase it's useful to anyone else: http://thebrewsnews.com/2010/07/10/f…-ebay-sellers/ […]

The eBay Jim Griffith video says that you can choose the number of days from a drop down list that you want the UPI Assistant to open a case. But when you actually go to set this up on your preferences, it only gives the option of 32 days. Crazy.

Was shocked to see this discussiuon still alive?! 🙂

Ming, just want to mention I’m also 1 of the biggest backers of you and a couple other of the ‘wiser’ knowing ones on ina’s site as well. (I log in there as user: “Keeping An Eye On Them ALL)”

I CAN say that I’m a little less bitter about ebay these days now since I FINALLY got off my backside and worked my butt off developing new sales sites:

Amazon http://www.autospeedzone.com
(took forever to get approval from them to sel in the Amazon Automotive Parts sales section but WELL worth the wait!)

Webstore.com – http://www.autospeedparts1.Webstore.com

Bigcommerce.com – http://www.autospeedzone1.com

Automic Mall.com http://www.autospeedzone1@yahoo.com

They are ALL very acceptable alternatives to being screwed on a daily basis by ebafia, I highly suggest EVERYONE take a look at them all booth as buyers or as a seller, right?

Ebay can go straight to HELL for all I’m concerned… I use them for ONE purpose and one reason ONLY these days and that’s to generate sales in order to get my REAL web stores sites and business card into buyers hands – THAT’S ALL THAT WORTHLESS SITE IS GOOD FOR THESE DAYS!

– It’s hard to imagine HOW this could be possible but they have actually gone even FURTHER into their Gastopo like own little world and have further trashed the site for sellers with 1 worthless site destroying change after another for the past year now… It’s really unbelievable how far from reality that crappy thyieving site can stray.


The sooner they totally destroy theirselves THE BETTER FOR ALL OF US, INTERNET AND WORLDWIDE as it will drive even more buyers to the newer, BETTER auction and sales sites and EVERYONE will be all that much happier for the move, right?! 🙂

See you in the funny papers Ming!

Peace eveyrone!

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