BAM eBay Buyer Blog

Posts for eBay buyers about buying on eBay

Toolhaus Feedback Tool Suppressed Under Current eBay System

Toolhaus Feedback Tool Suppressed Under Current eBay System




Toolhaus.org has long provided a useful tool for looking at feedback of eBay members -- such as Negative/Neutral feedback left by users, a 30-Day Negs tool, to weed out where the negative feedbacks are; and an Item FB tool, which shows you user's recent feedback with the item's title, and groups feedback from Dutch Auctions into a single entry. (You can even search the item titles for specific terms). But now, according to its founder, Win Bent, on this EcommerceBytes blog entry, eBay is not allowing the tool to work with eBay's system.

In a letter to a donor, Bent says in part:

"...Then there's the "small" issue of eBay blocking Toolhaus. We're an independent site, long ago we turned down the chance to be an Authorized eBay Developer and work within their system. We'd rather do our analysis based on what anyone can see, not just people with access to inside information. But the result was that they could shut us down for any reason, and over the years they've done exactly that in big and small ways.

"A few years back, they started blocking us, but we figured out a good way to avoid the blocks, to keep eBay happy. Currently, their blocks have gotten quite big - big enough to make Toolhaus nearly useless."

One commenter on the post had this to say: "Toolhaus use to be a very desirable source of information.  But once we moved past being able to leave negative or neutral FB for buyers, it just didn't have as much importance to me.  Again, I do firmly believe Toolhaus proved a very good service back in the day, but not so much anymore with the changes in FB rules.

"Looking up a buyer just didn't always tell you the real story whether on Ebay or Toolhaus," they said.

"I'm with Rexford, looking up a buyer's FB just doesn't tell you much anymore," they continued. "However I do still look up the FB LEFT by a buyer.  Now that can still be very informative."

And one eBayer commented: "As a buyer I still use Toolhaus.org. I look for patterns in the feedback such as sellers who pack items poorly or claim an item is an original when in fact it is a cheap reproduction. There is a group on Facebook where sellers post the buyers they block and why. Recently I wanted to buy a very rare item but passed because the seller had a ton of negative feedback. I do agree ebay should bring back negative buyer feedback so sellers can block the scam artists."

What about you? Do you still use Toolhaus for vetting feedback, and has it not worked for you when you tried? Should eBay allow the Toolhaus tool to work with its system? And do you look up feedback left by buyers, and not just a buyer's feedback, when researching them? Given that sellers have for a long time not been able to leave negative feedback for buyers, what feedback tools would you like to see on eBay? Post a comment here!


What EBay's New Seller Hub Means for You

What EBay's New Seller Hub Means for You



What does eBay's recently-announced Seller Hub mean for you as a buyer, or as a seller?

Today we take a look at the new Seller Hub and see how it might tweak interactions between buyers and sellers, and help either or both.

One thing the Seller Hub does is lay out all on one screen all the tasks a seller needs to complete. This means, if you have asked a question about an item, it will show up right there in the upper left of the screen under "Answer Product Questions." Hopefully this means you have a better chance of having your question answered than you would have normally, though sellers should of course answer questions as soon as possible.

Beneath that, there's a prompt to respond to any open offers from buyers. Once again, this is another reminder for a seller that you may have an offer in, as sellers sometimes get distracted and don't always notice an offer in their email stack.

Then, of course, there is a field reminding sellers how many orders they need to process and ship.

Under Orders, they can also see all orders needing fulfillment, as well as any open returns or replacements. For example, I have an open return I am awaiting to come back to me right now, so it is good to see this reminder so I may contact the buyer and see if they need any help with the return.

Feedback: one thing I particularly like about the Seller Hub is the reminder under Orders of items that have been shipped and are awaiting to give feedback. As a busy seller, I don't always take the time to give feedback to buyers, although of course as a seller I welcome feedback.

So as a buyer, the hub gives you more chances to see feedback from sellers, if that's something you do not see for every item transaction now.

Most of the other features are seller-related with a chart of sales in the past 90 days, and an area that shows all kinds of information about Listings, including how many are active, and again how many have questions or open offers from buyers,

It also shows how many listings are ending today, and unsold ended listings.

In general, I think the new Seller Hub can only be a good thing in prompting more communication between buyers and sellers, and encouraging sellers to list more, which means more choice for buyers.

What do you think about the new seller hub, and what might you change about it if you could?