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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