Non-Paying BiddersUPDATE : At last, sellers have more power against non-paying bidders - now we only have to wait 4 days before opeing an unpaid item dispute, and 4 further days before we can close and reclaim our fees - buyers beware - pay promptly or get an unpaid item strike!
Original Article :
As a seller, the biggest pain of my eBay experience is that of the non-paying bidder. I have had far more than my fair share of these and yet there seems very little you can do about them. If you have a non-paying bidder, it will be a minimum of 15 days before you can a) reclaim your final value fees, b) issue an unpaid item strike and c) re-list your item. That is because you have to wait until exactly the 7 day anniversary of the auction end before you can raise a dispute, then once done, wait another 8 days for the buyer to respond before you can close and reclaim your fees etc. We are told at this stage the buyer may get an unpaid item strike (notice the ‘may’) – there is no indication to you as the aggrieved seller that any such action has been taken and certainly anyone with unpaid item strikes do not show up when they bid on your auctions.
For a long time now I have asked eBay to introduce DETAILED BUYER RATINGS to counteract the detailed sellers ratings already in place. The item that buyers should be rated on is ‘ timelines of payment’, getting good ratings for instant or same day payments and lower ratings for delayed payments. And I believe unpaid item strikes should be visible to sellers so that we are warned.
Remember, the only feedback you can leave a buyer has to be positive feedback, whether they pay instantly or take 10 days to pay. Therefore detailed buyer ratings are extremely important for sellers to be able to indicate to other sellers that although they paid, they were tardy in doing so. With such ratings, buyers would be encouraged in the same way as sellers to maintain high ratings. At the moment, the eBay site is biased in favour of buyers whether good or bad, yet for the site to work successfully, it needs both good buyers and good sellers.
Non-paying bidders need to be dealt with more severely. Placing a bid on an auction constitutes a contract that is legally binding in most countries, and by not paying they are in breach of that contract. In addition, they are creating an unnecessary amount of work for the seller to ensure he/she does not lose their final value fee and can re-list their item. This is unacceptable.
It is also important that all sellers make sure they add all non-paying bidders encountered to their blocked bidders list. This is a facility available to all ebay sellers which can have up to 5000 user IDs or email addresses on it (surely enough). Any bidder listed on your blocked bidders list will not be able to bid on any of your auctions in the future.