Rolled across this article this morning from 2008, so it was written roughly around the same time eBay removed the ability for sellers to neg (which opened the door to what we all know now). It points to a “positive feedback extortion ring” it seems a group of buyer accounts (or people???) were bidding on items then telling the seller they could buy the positives for $20 each. It takes on a threatening tone towards the end and points to the seller being on a “list” which prob means if they don’t play nice there going to get screwed.
I received a flurry of email from readers on Saturday evening about two different cases of feedback abuse. The letters indicate sellers are extremely concerned over buyer behavior resulting from eBay’s new feedback rule that prevent sellers from leaving buyers anything but positive feedback.
The first case is a seller who says she received two undeserved negative feedback ratings from a buyer who is allegedly taking aim at certain sellers on her hit list. Readers say she had indicated her intention to punish sellers in postings on the Feedback board, saying it was “now buyers turn to deal with sellers.”
The other case involves a feedback extortion ring that looks like an eBay version of the Sopranos. An eBay seller posting on the eBay discussion boards published correspondence he said he received from the winner of one of his auctions. The buyer reportedly said he and four other eBay users “are in the business of selling Positive Feedbacks to eBay Sellers for $20 each, totaling $100 for 5 Positive Feedbacks. If you purchase the 5 Positive Feedbacks for $100, you not only get to sell your items, you also receive 5 Positive Feedbacks. As you well know, Feedback is EVERYTHING to an eBay seller on whether they are successful or not. I’m sure that you want to remain successful in your eBay business. Plus, along with the 5 Positive Feedbacks, we will also Guarantee Never to contact you again and we take you off of our list.”
Whether the stories are true or not is almost beside the point. Some sellers are clearly worried they will face such threats. And despite a recent eBay Chatter blog post from Griff about eBay being proactive about abusive buyers, clearly even the thought of such threats are rattling sellers’ confidence. As one person posted on the discussion board, “Many sellers are now even afraid to file UID’s, much less report buyer extortion, for fear of getting negged and possibly getting suspended. For those who’s main source of income is Ebay, I’m sure it would be very frightening.”