eBay's Role in the Auction Action - dummies

eBay’s Role in the Auction Action

By Marsha Collier

Throughout the process, eBay’s servers keep tabs on what’s going on. When an auction or sale is over, eBay takes a small percentage of the final selling price and instructs the seller and buyer to contact each other through e-mail. At this point, eBay’s job is pretty much over, and eBay steps aside unless a problem arises.

Most of the time, everything works great, everybody’s happy, and eBay never has to step back into the picture. But if you happen to run into trouble in paradise, eBay can help you settle the problem, whether you’re the buyer or the seller.

eBay regulates members with a detailed system of checks and balances known as feedback. The grand plan is that the community polices itself. eBay does jump in when shady activity comes to light. But the people who keep eBay most safe are the community members, the buyers and sellers who have a common stake in conducting business honestly and fairly.

Every time you sell something or buy an item, eBay members have a chance to leave a comment about you. You should do the same for them. If they’re happy, the feedback for the seller is positive; otherwise the feedback is negative. Either way, your feedback sticks to you like glue.

Building a great reputation with positive feedback ensures a long and profitable eBay career. Negative feedback has an effect like multiple convictions for grand theft auto — it’s a real turnoff for most folks and can make it hard to do future business on eBay.

If your feedback rating becomes a –4 (negative 4), eBay suspends your buying and selling privileges.

Buyers can leave positive or negative feedback for a seller, but sellers can only click “positive.” Sellers still do have the option to leave a descriptive comment so that problematic buyers don’t get off scot-free.