Blocked Bidders - Why We Block or Blacklist Some Members
We relate and explain why we block some eBay members, using a buyer's question as an example.
why have you blocked me as a paying customer from bidding on this item? Perhaps you could show some courtesy and expain (sic).
I believe we replied to your similar enquiry a few weeks ago about a different item. There are a number of circumstances in which we block bidders. These include
Whenever any member leaves us an unjustified negative feedback. As we try to run our business in an honest manner, with respect and courtesy for and towards our customers, and with reasonable efficiency, it is rare that any negative feedback for us would be justified.
Even though any further negative feedback from the same member would not count towards our rating, we avoid giving further opportunity for further unjustified negatives.
We take the view that if somebody feels it correct to leave negative feedback, then they should not be doing further business with that member. If they do wish to transact repeat business then the negative was probably given incorrectly, being unfair or too harsh.
We apply a similar philosophy towards unjustified neutral feedback, for similar reasons.
We also use the same principles when looking at positive feedback which contains unwarranted negative overtones or unjustified criticism.
We would also consider blocking any member who was rude, discourteous, aggressive or unreasonable to us or any of our employees.
We are not just in this business to make as much money as possible, quality of life is very important to us, and we get job satisfaction from supplying satisfied customers.
We believe we work quite hard to give good value, and good advice to our many customers, however we realise that there are a small minority of people who are going to be unhappy for some reason, no matter how hard we try. We believe that this type of "awkward customer" is better off buying elsewhere, leaving us to be free to concentrate our efforts on helping our appreciative customers.
In a direct relationship situation, we can control this more easily than via eBay. If when dealing with a potential customer, we get the impression that he or she is likely to be unreasonable, it would not be too difficult for us to deflect them elsewhere.
Unfortunately, one of the problems with eBay is that its systems encourage people to bid without direct contact with the seller, only by rather impersonal e-mails, which themselves are more time consuming than, say, a telephone call. This means we only find out about stroppy customers when it's too late.
We do not expect everything our own way, but every transaction is a two-way process. Both buyer and seller need to be happy not just about the item itself, but by its price, and also the human element of the deal. Both buyer and seller should be able to expect and receive courtesy and respect from the other party.
We took a look at why we had blocked this member.
We could only find 1 transaction, as evidenced by a (positive) feedback received dated 01-Aug-06, which read:
ITEM AS DESCRIBED but DISPATCH COULD HAVE BEEN SOONER
Without a lot of work, we cannot easily check what we sold, or other details of the transaction, but asking around our staff, its appears that this member was quite abrupt in either e-mails, or on the telephone, and was not prepared to understand our cheque clearing policy (although we do despatch many low value goods without delay, we allow 8 working days for gold bullion and other high value items, except for very well established and trusted customers). We believe that this was the main reason we decided to block this member, but the somewhat unhappy tone of the feedback comment also contributed towards our decision. Although we believe the eBay feedback system is deeply flawed, there is no point us risking an unnecessary and unwarranted negative at some point in the future.
If we block an eBay member from bidding on our items, it does not necessarily mean that we would refuse to deal direct. That way there would be a little more equality in the situation, and we could explain our cheque clearance policies in advance. If the member was not prepared to wait, he could pay by bank transfer, cash (yes, we still accept good old-fashioned cash), or he could decide to buy elsewhere.
We do state in most of our eBay listings, that telephoning us rather than e-mailing is much quicker and more efficient.
Although it probably only took this member 1 minute to ask his question, it has taken over 2 hours to write this guide, and even now it is incomplete and imperfect. We could have provided as good an answer by telephone within a few minutes. Also the telephone provides a far more interactive medium for communication than e-mails.
The item you are asking about:
2007 Proof 4 Coin Gold Set Sovereign Series Box + Cert
is one which the Royal Mint sells at £1,295; and we offer direct on our "Tax Free Gold" website at £995. It costs us about £30 in eBay selling fees to sell the same item on eBay, plus each eBay transaction requires about double the amount of time and work to process. We would be willing to bet that you would not want to buy and pay immediately for 50 of these sets, at the price we have to pay for them, then hold them in stock, for the small profit we make from them.
On this item, we also made two mistakes, one in fixing the wrong starting price (£0.99 or £999 would both be better), and we listed two similar items, although I am told this was the eBay system falsely reported that our first attempt at listing had failed, leading us to try again over one hour later when we still could not find it among our listings.
If we end up relisting these items in our "Shop Inventory", our asking price will probably be £1,025 which covers the eBay selling fees.
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Author & Copyright Notice
This page was written by Lawrence Chard of Chard Coins, and is extracted from our "Gold Sovereigns" website. We hope you find this page useful and informative, please feel free to use the information we have provided, but please note we retain copyright on all contents including both textual content and images. Please do not copy our text or images without our prior written permission.
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30 January 2007
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