[NTLK] OT - Off Topic - eBay feedback rating

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 25 10:37:49 EST 2012


>Of course, he could improve things by randomly purchasing items that are
>available for one Euro and paying immediately, which would usually result in
>positive feedback. Five of these auctions might set him back less than 10
>bucks and would improve his current feedback rating by 10%.

Is feedback an eBay member receives as a buyer and feedback a member receives as 
a seller weighted the same by eBay?  

I agree that eBay feedback is gameable, but I'm not 100% clear if it's gameable 
in the exact manner described.  I have a member's feedback pulled up right now 
and I see that there are separate tabs for "Feedback as a seller" and "Feedback 
as a buyer."  However, I don't see the point in eBay differentiating between the 
two types of feedback like that if both are thrown into the same pot and given 
equal weight for sellers.  Am I missing something?  It has, after all, been a 
long night. @_@

For me, the most glaring deficiency in eBay's feedback system was that, until 
relatively recently, neutral and negative feedback was not zoomable.  As near as 
I can make out, this is a feature that eBay has only implemented in the past 
year or so (late 2010/early 2011, I believe, but I would be grateful if someone 
who was paying close attention could furnish the exact month and year, just as a 
data point).  

Before eBay finally got off its collective ass and made that happen, a member 
was stuck having to sort through page after page of feedback in order to get to 
a seller's neutrals and negatives.  In fact, giving hapless eBay members a way 
to zoom in on neutral/negative feedback was toolhaus.org's entire raison d'être 
for a good half-decade, at least (Toolhaus sprung into existence Q1 of 2005 or 

The ability to zoom in on a seller's neutral and negative feedback was and is a 
valuable ability, IMO.  Based on my own experience, I would say that a seller's 
true nature does not reveal itself when things go smoothly: it reveals itself 
when there's a problem of some kind.  

Back when feedback was a two-way street, some sellers would retaliate with some 
of the most vitriolic comments I've ever seen outside of Usenet when faced with 
the mildest of criticisms.  There were times where you'd view page after page of 
a seller's feedback, with everything going just swell, then you'd see a neutral 
or a negative feedback rating from a buyer accompanied by a fairly innocuous 
remark, no big deal, and suddenly the seller would react in such a way that you 
found yourself wondering if Norman Bates was really a fictional character after 
all.  I mean, they'd just go bananas.

Sure, eBay finally got around to implementing this badly-needed feature, but 
unless there's an angle I'm overlooking, it took them much longer than it really 
should have to do so.  While I was grateful that Toolhaus was able to step into 
the breach and give people what they needed, I was also embarrassed for eBay 
that they wouldn't take care of it.


James Fraser

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