Unannounced eBay Feedback Changes Cause Confusion & Concern

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


New unannounced updates to the eBay feedback page design are causing confusion and concern for both buyers and sellers as the platform continues march to morph seller feedback into product reviews.

eBay began prompting buyers to provide star rating and comments about the product they purchased, rather than their experience with the seller, in April but at the time some users found a work around to avoid the star rating and continue to use the feedback as it was originally intended on eBay - a place to share comments about experiences with other users, rather than reviews about specific items.

eBay Seller Feedback Morphing Into Product Reviews Leaving Users Confused & Frustrated
eBay feedback changes continue to blur lines with product reviews, now requiring buyers to rate items in order to leave seller feedback.

Unfortunately it appears that workaround will no longer work as the latest update now forces the buyer to select a star rating and leave a product review in order to submit their feedback comments.

Users took to the eBay community today to share their frustration with these changes on the buyer side as well as a newly designed feedback page on the seller side that curiously leaves out some very important information.

More changes to feedback
eBay redesigned this page: https://www.ebay.com/fdbk/leave_feedback A pop-up now appears. If you had FB comments you always used you can no longer access the quick auto-fill list that browsers saved for you. I’m pretty sure is one of the sellers that liked using browser auto-fill for FB on that p…

eBay redesigned this page: https://www.ebay.com/fdbk/leave_feedback

A pop-up now appears. If you had FB comments you always used you can no longer access the quick auto-fill list that browsers saved for you.

You can no longer X items (like cancelled sales) to remove them from the list.

This is what the pop-up looks like from the seller's side:


With this page switching to a pop-up for each item, there is no longer a "quick" option for a seller to leave a lot of feedback at once unless they use automatic feedback or use bulk feedback with the same [up to 5] stored comments for every buyer from the seller hub orders page.

As a buyer I don't have any purchases waiting for FB today to confirm, but I suspect this means the work-around to avoid leaving a forced star rating product review as a buyer will no longer work

Here is how it looks from the Buyer side, using the "leave feedback" link at the bottom of my feedback page:


It appears that the "rate this item" is no longer optional.

One seller pointed out that the (for now) optional question "Did this item arrive on time?" no longer shows the original estimated delivery date - which could lead to serious problems if buyers have no point of reference for what "on time" was supposed to be.

I noticed in your screenshot "did this arrive on time" does not show the original EDD (estimated delivery date) like it used to. So buyers are now just guessing if the item arrived on time? Selecting no if the item didn't arrive fast enough for their expectations?

The switchover in language to "Tell us more about this item" a few months ago was a clear indicator of eBay shifting feedback into product reviews, reinforced by making DSRs (the part that evaluates seller/transaction) optional.

Which begs the question - if seller FB has essentially been converted to product reviews, why do we still have FB for buyers?

Edit to add: and if feedback comments are now all about product reviews then whatever feedback % a seller has is based on whether or not the buyer liked the product, not whether or not they had a good experience with the seller.

Other sellers are echoing the question about why should there still be feedback for buyers, especially given the glaring absence of buyer names or user IDs in the newly designed page where sellers can leave feedback for buyers.

Noticed another big change to that page: It says "sold by" but there's no indication of buyer ID. Sellers of MQ listings will have no clue which buyer they're leaving FB for if they use that page with the new layout.

Re: Feedback page to leave feedback changed(?) overnight - Now very user-hostile...
Yes, for those of us that tend to sell the same item over and over again, this is definitely a step backwards. I think I may refrain from leaving feedback for buyers until this is fixed because it is not worth the extra time.

...overnight some major changes to the layout have been made - I can no longer see the name of the buyer linked with the transaction - which is normally how I identify which person to give feedback to (!).

If I can't identify the transaction I don't even know if I am leaving feedback for the correct item! (If I have sold multiple of the same thing, as I do see a picture of the item)

Instead I see the seller name (my own username), which is a completely pointless information to see as a seller as I would obviously only give out selling feedback on items I have sold...

How are we supposed to know for which buyer and/or transaction we are leaving feedback for if that information is no longer displayed? I'm a bit stunned here.

Is no longer displaying the buyer ID when sellers go to leave feedback simply a technical issue that needs to be worked out or could it be working as intended and a first step toward phasing out feedback left for buyers altogether?

eBay is somewhat unique among ecommerce marketplaces with it's old school system that allows feedback to be left from both sides of a transaction, (notably most competing platforms do not allow feedback to be left for buyers) and they may be looking to move to a more "industry standard" experience.

Sellers reacted to previous news about buyers being able to upload images with feedback by voicing concerns about possible abuse and extortion, but also worried that it could signal eBay was moving more toward using feedback for product reviews as well - and obviously they were right to be concerned about eBay's intentions.

When eBay introduced a "verified purchase" badge for feedback, it became even more obvious that the lines between feedback ratings for sellers and reviews about the actual product purchased would continue to be blurred.

eBay's explanation for why they added the verified badge just reinforced the idea that feedback would eventually be used for product reviews and that this would be an important "trust factor" to let other users know the review was left by someone who had actually purchased the product in question versus competing marketplaces like Amazon which allow anyone to leave product reviews.

We’ve added this text to remove any doubt that the person leaving the feedback was involved in the transaction. Unlike eBay, other sites allow anyone to leave feedback or ratings, not just those involved in a transaction.

We understand that experienced buyers and sellers on eBay may view the additional text as unnecessary. However, before implementing this change, surveys with eBay users showed that half of them didn’t know that feedback can only be left by those involved in a purchase. This text removes any doubt.

However, by conflating the two, eBay has conveniently left out that competing marketplaces like Amazon still separate product reviews and seller feedback, with buyers able to leave one or both as they see fit and both being displayed in different areas of the site so it's clear when comments are being made about a product or about their experience with a specific seller.

eBay had an open job position posted back in February seeking a Lead Product Manager, Feedback & Trust to reimagine feedback on eBay with a specific request for someone with experience building tools for small businesses.

I think it's fair to say that drastically changing the core nature of how feedback has worked on the site for almost three decades with little to no notice or explanation is not in the best interest of small business sellers, big business sellers, or buyers.

One might also suggest if this is an intended change, including it in yesterday's Summer Seller Update, rather than a stealth launch with no communication, would have been the better tack to take - especially for a company that claims to care so much about seller engagement and transparency.

eBay Summer 2024 Seller Update
eBay’s 2024 Seller Update is here with marketing & advertising changes, reporting & payment updates, international shipping, regulations & more!

Meanwhile, as eBay transitions feedback to product reviews, they've painted themselves into a corner on feedback removal policies and enforcement as the FTC has some very strict guidelines about sites not removing product reviews that may clash with existing seller protections and expectations.

eBay increasingly come under fire for their overzealous use of AI and automation in the feedback removal process, forcing VP Global Regulatory, Trust & Monetization Andrea Stairs to acknowledge that recent changes have gone too far and often deny removal requests that should qualify under current policies in a recent seller check in event.

eBay Faces Heated Questions About Feedback Removal At Summer Seller Check In
eBay VP Andrea Stairs was in the hot seat at today’s Summer Seller Check In, facing tough questions about recent feedback removal policy changes.

Buyers and sellers are encouraged to submit comments about the new feedback experience directly to eBay via a survey link on the feedback page.

Tell us what you think about the Feedback System on eBay.

And of course, Value Added Resource would love to hear your thoughts too - leave a comment below or contact VAR!

eBaySeller Updates

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!

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