ebay whinging and HOW TO CONTACT ME

I have a serious case of the ass because a single buyer left me 6 neutral feedback ratings this week, commenting on each one, “Had trouble communicating with seller.”  No comment on the actual products, of course, two of which were custom and cost me a lot of saffron, which is expensive, or the shipping time, or anything else other than “trouble communicating.”  I explained to her that I had answered every email she’d ever sent, but she was dissatisfied because I didn’t answer an email I never got, inquiring about my shipping a product by a certain date (after she’s already bought it, which FYI is the wrong time to ask if I can ship it more quickly than usual).  Needless to say, these emails were sent to my personal address, karmazain@bellsouth.net, rather than my eBay message center, where they wouldn’t have been lost.

Those of you who have dealt with me for a while know that I always answer emails.  I try to answer them as quickly as possible, within 48 hours, but I get between 20-40 emails PER DAY relating to products and spiritual services between the store, this blog, another blog, a third-party website, clients who predate any of those sites, local consultations, and my own website.

PLEASE PLEASE don’t be afraid to send me a reminder if I have not responded to you within 48 hours of your email to me.  Tech glitches happen, mistakes happen, emails get lost in the aethyr, paypal doesn’t always send payment notification, blah blah blah. Shit happens.  If we seem to be having difficulty, then send me an email through My eBay — even if I don’t get a notification that you’ve emailed, I’ll see the new message when I log in. 

I have absolutely no reason to ignore any of you, my friends, customers, and clients.  I wouldn’t be in business if I made a habit of ignoring people.   I wouldn’t be in this business if I wanted to ignore people.  If I don’t answer you, don’t be shy about asking if I got the message. Sometimes I DON’T GET THE MESSAGES.  This is the internet.  Not even the post office gets it right all the time.

While I”m on this tangent, let me share a little with you about the recent changes to feedback on ebay.  Most people know that sellers can no longer leave neutral or negative feedback for buyers, essentially tying our hands when customers expect the impossible or use feedback to lodge a complaint that should have been handled otherwise.

What isn’t, perhaps, such common knowledge is that ebay has changed its default search results  I quote the most recent auctiva newsletter:

“When we were in school (just a few years ago) we remember feeling just fine about getting a grade of B or B+. To us, a B was quite a good grade. eBay has now pretty much thrown out the grade book we’re all familiar with and rewritten the rules, so that Bs are not so hot. Now, anything less than an A or A- will bump you way to the back of the classroom.”

“Many buyers simply don’t understand the meaning of the ratings from which they now can choose. Many view a 4 rating as a fine response, if they received the service they had hoped for. On a scale of 1 to 5, a 4 does seem like a good “grade.” It’s what they may give a seller, for example, if an item arrived on time and as expected. This means you can do everything right, and still not get that “wow” response many buyers save for a rating of 5. Also, because buyers have to give sellers four grades at once, they may feel uneasy about leaving all 5s, thinking they’re not being discerning enough. So again, they may leave a 4 just to show they’re really paying attention. From a seller’s viewpoint, such grades are barely passing.”

The nitty-gritty — if sellers’ DSR ratings drop below 4.8, we are penalized by appearing lower in the listings for searches AND by paying higher seller fees.  eBay considers a 4 sub-par work.

Finally, let me note that I am probably preaching to the choir, and those of you who read this — whether because you’re customers looking for shipping discounts or googlers looking for hotfoot spells — are the reason I’m doing this in the first place.  I enjoy this work. Thanks for reading.

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