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MacMuffin

How should the improved rating work?

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MacMuffin    0
MacMuffin

I am opening this thread to get feedback to assist us in improving on the current rating mechanism. I anticipate some good (and emotional/heated feedback) as it is probably one of the most discussed/complained/argued topic in all our lives here at BoB.

 

We have not decided on the specifics and we obviously value your input in what is a better way to provide ratings. I think the ratings at the moment are very subjective: "if you rate me bad, I will rate you bad". Rating abuse and revenge-rating is far too common.

 

Just looking through the forums, the help desk calls and emails we get there are so many cases where ratings are not fair. We want to try and make the rating more objective (a challenge in itself, as it is almost impossible to remove emotions from a business transaction you have just conducted).

 

I sketch the revised rating as follows (this is a draft and not cast in stone):

  • The positive, neutral, negative rating stays as it currently is.
     
     
  • We will associate an optional "category" to the comments which will allow us display graphically - something like this: attachment.php?attachmentid=606&stc=1&d=1279221644
    (don't comment on how the above looks like, think about the concept illustrated)
     
     
  • As an optional feature buyers and sellers can rate each other on a number of attributes. This is optional and should not result in geewhizz being "Ticked off", but will help the community as a whole to rate their experience with buyers and sellers on bidorbuy.
     
     
  • A buyer would rate a seller anonymously on attributes such as Accuracy of item description, Communication, Shipping Time, Shipping Costs, Quality of item (Your recommendations are needed here)
     
     
  • A seller would rate a buyer anonymously on attributes such as Communication, Payment Time (Your recommendations are needed here)
     
     
  • The anonymous rating of the buyer/seller attributes carries more weight/influence from users with higher credibility. i.e. a buyer who has a few hundred positive ratings will carry more weight on the seller's attributes than a first-time buyer.

 

While the stars will still remain, you as a seller will be able to see from a buyers ratings if the buyer is a reliable payer or not. A buyer will be able to see if a seller has high shipping costs or does not deliver on time.

 

While those attributes are optional to rate, it is in the buyers and sellers interest to rate on those to properly present the behaviour of a user.

 

As said, we have not formally started with this initiative and are still "think-tanking" on the most appropriate way of doing this. We do strongly believe that a more fine-grained rating mechanism will improve the overall user-experience and will especially assist first time buyers.

 

If for example a seller gets good/neutral ratings but is rated poorly on Shipping Costs or Shipping Time, this should really come as a wake-up call to improve or at least try to understand why this is so. The same applies to the buyers if they for example are rated for poor payments.

 

The above will also allow BoB's customer care team to pull reports on buyer/seller behaviour where certain ratings are not at acceptable levels and then assist users to improve by offering seminars or advice. We also hope that this will allow us to "trend" a user and automatically identify if a user goes "bad" - at the moment we have no automatic way of doing this and heavily rely on the community.

 

After all, even current ratings are based on the experience and interaction between buyer and seller and there are ways to turn those negatives and neutrals into positives.

 

Let us know what you think about and give us constructive feedback here...

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dstorm    10
dstorm

Hello Mac

Thanks for the hard work.

The “shipping time” bothers me though (look at my ratings and you will see that I am fairly fast). But, sometimes a buyer might pay after only eight days or more, with payment say reflecting on a Saturday morning. They will then want to know why the item was not shipped the day after they have paid (could have been on the Thursday afternoon. So the system is still be open to abuse.

Thanks again and regards

Jacques

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Little Miss Muffet    20
Little Miss Muffet

This will not change my gripe that buyers who do not rate a seller leave the transaction"In the air" and the seller is left wondering if the item has arrived.

 

Personally I think this will open the system to more abuse because if a seller rates a buyer low on the time it took the buyer to pay the buyer may just do likewise to the time it took the seller to send the item.

Revenge rating is too common and as I say "4 or 5 ticks " is worse they 1--seriously

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MacMuffin    0
MacMuffin
The “shipping time” bothers me though (look at my ratings and you will see that I am fairly fast). But, sometimes a buyer might pay after only eight days or more, with payment say reflecting on a Saturday morning. They will then want to know why the item was not shipped the day after they have paid (could have been on the Thursday afternoon. So the system is still be open to abuse.

 

I forgot to mention one more important aspect and have updated the original post - The detailed rating is anonymous (BoB will know who provided what ratings). If a user wants to contest detailed ratings, BoB will review the ratings and delete unfair ratings.

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Little Miss Muffet    20
Little Miss Muffet

Annon!!Amen!!

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RAG Auctioneers    10
RAG Auctioneers

Macmuffin,

 

Very nice thoughts, however dont you think as long as the Positive, neutral and negative ratings stay, rating abuse and emotions are here to stay too?

 

A very crazy idea:

 

What about working the ratings on a scale, rather than the well defined "Positive" or "Negative". You can rate on sliding scale, Red to blue, or 1 to 10. Blue is a extremely good overall experience, red is a extremely bad overall experience. If you are rated from 0 - 4 (red), it will minus a rating (as per the current system). If you are rated 6 -10 (blue), it will add a rating. 5 will not add or minus a rating. (Equivalent to a neutral)

 

The problem with the current system, is that a negative rating is believed to be the devil. It is dreaded, and hated - it will always be unfair (according to who gets it). When a seller gets a negative, it feels like his life has just ended. He will rate the buyer back negative.

 

A sliding scale will take the emotion (at least most of it), out of that dreaded negative. Instead of getting that definite "Positive", or "Negative", you get rated on a scale. This idea, along with the optional "category" rating you have explained above, and the comment space, I think it may work nicely?

 

Rich.

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Vinyl Lady Decals    10
Vinyl Lady Decals

I'm concerned that so many buyers that currently don't rate, will still not rate as they will see this as more "work".

We might also end up with even fewer buyers rating as a result of this extra "work"

 

Would the current criteria that are used to remove unfair ratings still apply?

An example would be: If a buyer doesn't read the listing properly - which is very common - and then gives a bad rating as a result - would this be removed?

Would only the comment be removed or the actual score or whatever it is as well? Removing the comment only would be unfair if as in this example, the buyer did not read the listing properly. I've seen problems (discussed on the forum) with crazy auctions where the buyer doesn't read the shipping and then expects not to pay shipping at all. Such a buyer would give a poor shipping score despite the fact that they did not read the listing properly. If only the comment was removed and not the score as well, this would give a poor impression of the seller, even though the seller was not at fault.

 

Regarding the anonymous part, would this apply to the rating only and would the buyer / seller still see who gave them the rating and the rest of BoB not see who gave it?

If it is totally anonymous, BoB might end up with even more queries as buyers and sellers won't be able to identify which buyer / seller gave them the bad rating.

 

Anonymity might also lead to more abuse as buyers/sellers as they will feel they can do whatever they want as other Bobbers won't know who they are. This includes deliberately trying to sabotage another's ratings for fun which I have had personal experience with. A buyer told me that sellers rely on ratings much more than buyers do, so he would do whatever he liked as it didn't matter to him. He has a point as many buyers do not develop a relationship with BoB as sellers do. The sellers depend on their ratings and buyers are more casual about it. If they get blacklisted, they either choose not to visit BoB anymore or re-register with other details and start again. There is already a serious problem with this happening. The famous "Smiths" of the USA come to mind. They keep re-registering no matter how many times they are blacklisted.

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JPBon    10
JPBon

Honestly I think the anonymous bit is not that good, I sometimes look to see who has rated if i see trusted names then I know it id safe.. I reckon it will lead to rating abuse of the troll kind

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brands online    10
brands online

I agree 100% with Tananka. All this new rating system will do is put more power in the hands of abusers. Revenge ratings do hurt a seller more but this system might actually be worse. And let's face it, sellers don't have the time to constantly be disputing ratings. Further, if the ratings are anonymous, then that desn't exactly work for all sellers either.

If a seller sells one item, gets a positive rating on the item and negatives on all else persay, how anonymous is that?

 

Would also like to know what criterion would apply. If a seller displays everythng with his isting inc. shipping costs and the buyer accepts the conditions by bidding/buying, then surely they can't complain on things like shipping costs afterward?

 

Buyers aren't required to include things like bank accounts or id no.'s when registering as this process would discourage rather than encourage them to continue.This is BOB lookng first at their interests and wanting to expand. Nothing wrong with that. But this is the main reason for revenge ratings, buyers re-registering all the time etc. Not the rating system. If buyers were forced to look after their names as sellers are obliged to do ethically and on the site, surely that would be the better answer in the long term.

 

Oh, another little thing. Why do threads from BOB always start " How should this work, or how should that work?" Why not ever, "What do you guys who use bOB everyday think about this or that?"- Just a thought

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MacMuffin    0
MacMuffin

When I said anonymously, I meant only the rating on the extra criteria such as Shipping Cost, Shipping Time etc. The comment rating and the positive/neutral/negative would not be anonymous.

 

Oh, another little thing. Why do threads from BOB always start " How should this work, or how should that work?" Why not ever, "What do you guys who use bOB everyday think about this or that?"- Just a thought

 

Perhaps a misleading thread-title, but I did ask as the closing of the original post for comments and how people think about that. I will keep this in mind for the next thread though.

 

Nonetheless - it's good to get feedback this way and great to see the recommendations/concerns coming through...

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Little Miss Muffet    20
Little Miss Muffet

I typed out a reply and it disappeared.

Briefly after a rethink annoyomous ratings would only make one wonder who is unhappy.We cant sort out a problem with someone if we dont know who is unhappy.

 

I dont know why Bidorbuy dont draft an email to buyers and sellers on the rating system and how it should be used even if it is already on Bob.

It needs to be reinforced as to how the 3 ratings should be used.

 

Communication between buyers and sellers is so important.

 

If I dont rate a buyer when he pays how would he know where he stands?

It is the same with the buyer not rating the seller.It always leaves the transaction incomplete and " in the air"

Loosing a rating does not concern me it is just knowing that the buyer has received the item that concerns me.

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brands online    10
brands online

geewhizz, if a buyer didn't receive their item, I can almost guarantee you'll know :D

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Little Miss Muffet    20
Little Miss Muffet

Maybe I should just ignore it then. Not so sure.Some buyers buy a number of items and believe me I have had cases where I have followed up a buyer who has not rated me and the parcel has been at the post office for 2 to 3 weeks.

 

I have even had cases where a parcel is returned after more than a month and no inquiry has been made by the buyer.

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kebs    10
kebs

I like the idea.. But can you put something on for dropshippers please? Something like "delivered within the stated timeframe if ordered from supplier" or something to that effect. I'm concerned that although a listing may state 3-5 weeks for delivery, a buyer may still rate low for delivery time..

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Hands on Diy    10
Hands on Diy

I personally i don't like the idea of annoyomous as one wants to know who rated what and sort out the problem (if one) with that person first before running to mom & dad (BOB). Personally it should be commom curticy to give ratings as soon as payments made or items recieved and mybe a name and shame system will help GEEWHIZZ in his problem i.e. if you have done say 10 transactions but only rated on say 6 of them you will have a 60% ratings given next to your name. mybe this will compell people to rate. I do like the rating options in the example as it gives a more indepth description of the person you are dealing with although some of the options their aren't nessesary.

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

I'm also not in favour of anonymous ratings!

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Little Miss Muffet    20
Little Miss Muffet

How can we defend a rating---i.e. the "Tick" rating if we dont know who rated us thus.

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MacMuffin    0
MacMuffin
How can we defend a rating---i.e. the "Tick" rating if we dont know who rated us thus.

 

Although the "tick" rating against one of your attributes (such as Shipping costs) is anonymous, a raters history with BoB will have an influence on the weighting of such rating.

 

If for example a buyer,

  • has been with BoB for a considerable time,
  • has transacted X number of transactions
  • has purchased over XX rands (this will avoid the rating-builiding by buying cheap products)
  • has received XX % ratings

rates a seller, it will carry more weight than a buyer who signed up with BoB a week ago and purchased 20 e-Books at R 2 each.

 

With this in place, we don't think that a seller needs to know the detailed, anonymous rating (this would reflect anyway in the normal comment rating, and there you would see who posted the comment - the same way it currently is).

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Mrs brett2243    10
Mrs brett2243

Hi everybody,

What about if BoB leaves the ratings system as it is now AND add on theyr system that after say 4 weeks from sale if buyer/seller has not received a rating, BoB automaticaly rate the buyer/seller positive. The "new system" is too impersonal for me. If someone has for eg a negative rating, i would like to know why and the same with neatral & positive. Then you know exactly what type of person you are dealing with. Buyers are not just buyers, sellers are not just sellers, you get to know each other in a way if you know what i mean.

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sungems    10
sungems

Ratings are and will always be a very tricky aspect

 

Shipment amount: IS SHIPMENT REASONABLE is not a fair question. Expensive or not, this is not a rating issue. The buyer do get the amount they need to pay before they decide to buy or bid on a sellers items (combining amounts as well) If it is to much then they simply should not buy or bid on that sellers items. It is the buyer’s choice and if they do choose to bid or buy, then they should not complain afterwards or give you other than positive if they did pay what were provided them in advance.

You may report them to Bidorbuy as an excessive shipment charger as totally separately issue, but if you do click on that buying button you committed yourself to accepting this shipment amount. The only question that can be asked is: Did you pay what were provided?

 

Speed of delivery? Again you should ask are the items shipped in the time frame the seller advertised it will be shipped.

We do not post on payment notifications, this can easily be counterfeited. We advertise we only ship when payment REFLECT in our bank account (Therefore already starting with a time delay of average two days since payment date) We also state we only ship twice a week. If the buyer made payment on a Saturday or Sunday and it do not reflect on the Monday’s statement it will only be posted on the Friday. This might sound cruel or sloppy but we provided the information to the buyer before the time and again if they are not satisfied with it DO NOT BUY OR BID on that sellers items, but if you do, you do not have the right to complain afterwards.

 

The item can be posted but the post office delivery in 99% of the time is not within a week and 40% not even in two weeks. How can you ask the buyer to provide feedback of the speed of delivery when outside elements play a very important role as well? The only question that can be asked in this aspect is: Did the buyer POST your parcel in the TIME FRAME they advertised, irrespective of when it was delivered?

 

I suggest you provide a static space (like the shipment amount and payment methods space) where the seller gives detailed feedback/info when the buyer can expect the parcel to be posted, This should be displayed on all auction/buy now’s same as the shipment payment amounts Maybe just introduce an additional section in the new shipment calculation table that will be displayed with the shipment methodand fees. We currently incorporate it in the payment option section but not all sellers do that.

 

Then the rating can only be: Did the seller keep to its time frame provided.

 

Quality of item: Again the question should be: Did you receive what were described in the sales description. Buyers when buying small items like our items, read the size provided on the description and do not realize how big/small it is. When arriving they are disappointed in the size and blame it on the seller, therefore rate him according to his feelings not to what he got in comparison to what were advertised. If it were poorly described again you can not blame the seller. Just don’t buy it if you do not have enough info of the product or ask the seller a question in advance, and if it were provided and it is as described you can not blame the seller if in your mind you imagine it a little bigger or different.

 

 

 

*****************

This said we do realize that there a hell of a lot of sellers who are taking the buyers for a ride and the legit and honest sellers would like those to be exposed for their benefit as well as the overall site (BOB’s) reputation.

 

My suggestion is to have an arbitrator like the SNC system. If rating is freedom of speech you will ALWAYS have revenge ratings. Ending up with buyers with legit reason to rate the seller negative not to do so as he is afraid of a revenge return negative on him. AND still have the bad sellers with good ratings.

 

The seller will mostly only give negative ratings when no payment is received and sometimes even if payment is received to extremely difficult buyers that will never be satisfied.

 

When no payment is received the situation is already under control as a SNC will be filed and the buyer can not give a revenge rating after the SNC is finalised. A scale from 1 to any amount is still not really the answer. I for one if asked to judge something from 1-10 ALMOST NEVER give a 10 as no one and nothing is perfect. I still think it should be satisfied or dissatisfied (as advertised or not as advertised) and maybe a undecided neutral rating.

 

The buyer is normally the first to give the seller a negative rating and I suggest (if you want a fare rating system) that for every not satisfied (even if it is on a scale basis) the one giving that negative rating should provide proof or explain their dissatisfaction and an explanation like “this is crap or junk” will be an unacceptable explanation. If the seller advertises a gemstone for 3mm, London blue, and VVS and the buyer receive either a sky blue or a 2.5mm or a included gem (AND the seller do not want to accept it back for a refund) it should be explained in detail and proven to be the case. The one who receive the negative rating should have the change to appeal and provide his/her side of the story or if the negative is unfair provide proof thereof, once the arbitrator accept that the negative is a correct rating, the party who received the negative rating losses it right to rate the other party negative accept, if been proven that the other party do have a valid reason to be rated negative as well. I think in this instance the arbitrator or the system should automatically then place a positive on the giver of the negative profile as the person receiving the negative will not itself rate the other user positive.

 

I actually think that if no rating is received by any party after a certain period egg. 3 months, the system should automatically give that user a positive. This will eliminate those buyers that do not bother to take the time to rate a seller, and visa versa.

 

Something like this is the only way to get emotions out of the way and eliminate revenge rating. It will have a lot more work for BOB but to introduce another system that work in the same principle as currently only in another appearance will change nothing. If you want to change it, change it something that will work.

 

AND anonymous ratings will only have the disadvantage of the user who uses their emotion to rate can now get away with it and the other party can not counteract the remarks made.

 

Currently a great deal of negative ratings on all users is unfair and those who deserve a negative do not get it as the other party are afraid of a return negative.

 

I also realise that sellers will crucify me but if you are legit and your products and service are what you advertised you do not have anything to be worried about this type of rating system as proposed

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Mrs brett2243    10
Mrs brett2243

I Agree with you geewhizz 1000%!!

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

From the beak ... if newcomers to BoB are already having problems with rating sellers (and vice versa), why complicate matters even further? To my mind there is really nothing wrong with the present rating system at all! If sellers are over-charging on shipping, CW can be advised via the advert. And shipping times are NOT always the seller's fault - the PO is usually to blame so why should sellers be rated on this? Am I missing the point somewhere ...? :confused:

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Little Miss Muffet    20
Little Miss Muffet
Although the "tick" rating against one of your attributes (such as Shipping costs) is anonymous, a raters history with BoB will have an influence on the weighting of such rating.

 

If for example a buyer,

  • has been with BoB for a considerable time,
  • has transacted X number of transactions
  • has purchased over XX rands (this will avoid the rating-builiding by buying cheap products)
  • has received XX % ratings

rates a seller, it will carry more weight than a buyer who signed up with BoB a week ago and purchased 20 e-Books at R 2 each.

 

With this in place, we don't think that a seller needs to know the detailed, anonymous rating (this would reflect anyway in the normal comment rating, and there you would see who posted the comment - the same way it currently is).

 

If I Get a 3 good ticks for communication good, product good,item description good but a lower rating for posting of the article but it so happens I posted it the day after it was paid and it was a post office delay or a user not taking note of a tracking number.

This happens too often. We all have proof of the date it was posted and can appeal the rating with proof but this is going to create far more work than is neccessary for Bidorbuy and the user concerned.

 

 

I really think as someone said on the blocking issue,when a negative rating is given it may be a good idea to flash a comment "Have you emailed or phoned the seller or buyer before giving a neg rating"? It might help users to think twice.

 

Ebay has this "Tick" system. Why did they introduce it? How does it work for them?

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Asha Craft Jewellery    10
Asha Craft Jewellery

i love the flash comment idea. It will make the buyer think twice before rating negative, and provide the seller the possibility of communiction before accepting his/her fate. If any change to the rating system, I would vote for this!

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RAG Auctioneers    10
RAG Auctioneers

Maybe negatives should be similar to SNCs. Instead of showing straight sway, it emails all parties and if there is no response after a week, the negative is given. You can appeal the negative, similar to the SNC process.....This however may create more work for BOB.

 

I still stick to my scale idea. I know Sumgems said he never would rate someone 10, BUT anywhere between 6 to 10 would be equivalent to a positive.

 

We got our first negative yesterday, after 1 year and 4000 sales later. And guess what the buyer comment was? He admitted that he didnt read the description????? I am definitely gonna appeal this negative, hence creating more work for BOB.

If the buyer had rated us on a scale, I would have not been emotional as I am, and would not email BOB - hence less email for them. Is this not the goal of the new system??? :confused:

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