New seller tools: transaction impressions and auto-crop

Tonight we launched two new features to help our sellers be more effective, and to save the time.  Here's the skinny!

Transaction Impressions

It is a well-documented problem that a simple "positive," "negative," "neutral" rating often does little to help a seller know whether they made their buyer satisfied.  Basically, as long as a buyer is left closer to "satisfied" than "furious," they are probably going to leave "positive" feedback, and a learning opportunity is lost for the seller. 

We wanted to fix this, so our sellers can have access to more meaningful insights on how to keep their customers happy.  Thus we have launched a new feature we're calling "Transaction Impressions."  After a buyer leaves their standard pos/neu/negative feedback, here's what they'll now see:

What we want to do is to give them an opportunity to provide more details about their satisfaction with the transaction.  For example, if a seller is shipping their items from Thailand but hasn't mentioned it prominently in their description, their Transaction Impressions will help them notice a pattern of buyers whose expectations weren't met.  Below is how the seller would see the above information:

Of course, we've listened carefully to our seller community and understand that some sellers are wary of feedback systems that can be used against them unfairly.  Specifically, we know that there is a segment of our sellers that would not want Bonanza to introduce a system akin to eBay's "DSR" system, because said system allows buyers to leave feedback that in some cases is beyond the seller's control (i.e., how long it takes USPS to deliver), and in some cases, is graded on a curve that ultimately weeds out great sellers.

Rather than using this detailed information to punish our good sellers, we are using it to provide them detailed feedback -- feedback that is only visible to the seller themselves -- so that they can basically take a free walk in the shoes of their buyer.  Unlike DSRs, these ratings do not factor into Bonanza search, nor are they used to evict sellers that do not meet a certain threshold (though, as always, a history of repeated negative feedback may become grounds to remove a seller from Bonanza). 

We think the net result here is that you get all of the good with none of the bad.  You can hear when customers are satisfied, you can start a dialog with them if they aren't, or you can even ignore the Transaction Impressions if you feel that you're dealing with an unreasonable buyer.  As a business, we have found that our best improvements come when we listen to our community, and get specific feedback on what they want improved.  Thus, it only made sense that we should give our sellers access to the same kind of feedback (except in their case, from their buyers) that we've relied to build Bonanza to what it is today.

Again, to be perfectly clear, the "Transaction Impressions" left by buyers are completely separate from standard feedback (the buyer can't leave it until they've left standard feedback), and they do not affect your standing in search in any way.  They can only be seen by the seller themselves.  And what you choose to do with their data is ultimately up to you.

Image Auto-Cropping

Speaking of improvements that we've made by listening to the community, today also marks the launch of a new experimental feature we're calling "Crop to the Whole Image," (when we don't call ilt "Keep Entire Image in Crop," or something else).  I think that it's probably been about two years now since this feature was first requested, and in our recent forum thread asking for feature suggestions, this was one that came up time and time again. 

So here you have it!   Now, if you have experimental features enabled and you go to your advanced booth settings, you can choose an option to automatically keep your entire image in the thumbnail that gets shown in your booth.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, take a look at this help page.  The first picture (where the giraffe's head and legs are cut off) is what will happen by default if you upload a tall picture to your booth.  But if you enable the "Keep Entire Image in Crop" option, you will get the bottom picture on that help page (the one where you can see the whole giraffe, but there is gray on the left and right of it). 

Apparently, judging by the forum thread, this is going to save a lot of people a lof of time.  We can only hope that you will use that time to go sell some lemonade or brownies to save enough money to come hang out with us in Vegas in June.  What's fair is fair, right?

74 responses to New seller tools: transaction impressions and auto-crop

  • Img 2879062 1471214950 thumb128
    ccmom says:
    05/20/11 at 03:53:38

    think many were trying to get away from the ebay system

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    samiamsxa says:
    05/20/11 at 05:05:50

    “Rather than using this detailed information to punish our good sellers, we are using it to provide them detailed feedback — feedback that is only visible to the seller themselves — so that they can basically take a free walk in the shoes of their buyer. Unlike DSRs, these ratings do not factor into Bonanza search, nor are they used to evict sellers that do not meet a certain threshold (though, as always, a history of repeated negative feedback may become grounds to remove a seller from Bonanza). "

  • June avatar thumb128
    BeewitchingItems says:
    05/20/11 at 05:12:02

    I don’t know???????

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    jamiro says:
    05/20/11 at 05:27:31

    Sellers who don’t care about such things will ignore this additional feedback. Sellers who do care about being good sellers will feel punished no matter how you describe this new form of critique, simply because some buyers will always leave nasty comments even for a great seller. Even if buyers can’t see it, the people who work hard and try to do a good job can and that seems counter productive. Or am I missing something?

  • Qm halloween hat thumb128
    Queenmum says:
    05/20/11 at 05:35:55

    Could be a good thing, IF you have a client that takes time to “fill in the blanks.”

    Sadly, feedback here is iffy at best, as I’ve made many sales where there’s been NO feedback left by the clients.

    The photo auto crop to full image feature sounds like a good thing.
    No more headless horsemen

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    CindyBear says:
    05/20/11 at 05:44:55

    I have some very nice comments from buyers…bonz_buyers usually send very complimentary emails but do not find their way back here to leave FB…I don’t have the option to send reminders to them set in my Account settings and truthfully, I do not like getting the reminders…yes it may slip my mind, but I do eventually give feedback for my purchases…when I get the reminder…it tempts me to be a bit snippy…and the longer the question/answer survey I also tend to get snippy

  • Wecandoitsc thumb128
    cdvdmart says:
    05/20/11 at 06:12:32

    Very cool! Thank you!

  • Jsgavatar thumb128
    jsgeare says:
    05/20/11 at 06:19:46

    The private feedback system does appear to potentially provide useful information for the seller, with none of the threat of bad mojo if used as a “weapon.”

    My suggestion would be that every category carry an open comment box for an optional entry at buyer’s discretion. The stars give some fuzzy idea of user satisfaction, but they don’t say how to make improvements. The comment box would allow for that.

    That picture thing? PERFECT.

  • Closed thumb128
    pennipete says:
    05/20/11 at 07:08:26

    There IS the threat of bad mojo. If it comes to the point where a judgment call has to be made about keeping a seller or getting rid of them, for whatever reason, those stars can become a tipping point. Example: A jury can be told to disregard evidence in a trial but, it’s still in their minds and it has influence.

    Yay on the cropping tool.

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    bogcandle says:
    05/20/11 at 07:14:54

    My first thought upon seeing Transaction Impressions was, ‘well, darn it, here we go again, copying the site that shall not be named." I’m honestly lukewarm on it as a seller.

    On the other side of the coin, as a buyer I’ve come to really dislike sites constantly asking me to fill out a short form rating my transaction with a seller. I just don’t do it anymore and would like the option to turn off that feature whenever I make a purchase.

  • Av2f thumb128
    ArtsnEnds says:
    05/20/11 at 07:39:12

    I am excited about both new features. The photograph crop is fabulous. Thank you so much. So very anxious to try that one out.

    I see no down side to the feedback. First even getting someone to leave you feedback here is difficult unless you are already a registered user. I don’t see any threat. Bill said only the seller would see it. As a seller it should just be an atta boy.

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    Indizona says:
    05/20/11 at 07:53:48

    As long as you don’t start making them the main thing and out there for all to see, I guess I can live with it. A lot of buyers don’t leave feedback anyway. As a buyer, I know I don’t care about the star ratings, I care about the feedback comments. You can leave positive feedback in a negative way and you can write something positive even when leaving a negative. So I pay more attention to what buyers and sellers say in their comments than anything else when I’m choosing a seller to buy from.

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    sofyblu2 says:
    05/20/11 at 08:03:59

    I like this.."Rather than using this detailed information to punish our good sellers, we are using it to provide them detailed feedback — feedback that is only visible to the seller themselves — so that they can basically take a free walk in the shoes of their buyer. Unlike DSRs, these ratings do not factor into Bonanza search, nor are they used to evict sellers that do not meet a certain threshold (though, as always, a history of repeated negative feedback may become grounds to remove a seller from Bonanza). "

  • Av2f thumb128
    ArtsnEnds says:
    05/20/11 at 08:07:04

    Oops I am back! Already tried out the picture crop and we have a problem Houston! Assuming we are getting our ducks in a row? It will allow you to do nothing. Will be back later to retest it!

  • Barntiques closed thumb128
    BARNTIQUES859 says:
    05/20/11 at 08:18:10

    why? why bother. what’s wrong with the other? isn’t there enough to do or fix around here. most won’t leave feedback because it’s a pain in the rump; now it’ll be a bigger pain in the rump. I just think time and resources should be concentrated it better utilized areas of need. ie: recruiting buyers

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    BargainBasement says:
    05/20/11 at 09:01:07

    Ditto the *why?" posted by Paula ^ above and her suggestion that time and resources would be better spent figuring out how to recruit more buyers.

    As a buyer, I never waste my time filling out things like that and I do not expect any buyer to waste their time either. I like to think that my buyers’ and my time are both more valuable than that.

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    GrandmasPantry says:
    05/20/11 at 09:15:31

    hmmmmm….. morale buster or what?

    If the feedback threshold is 55.6% like I saw a seller have last week, then I guess we haven’t anything to worry about (they had carried that low feedback score for quite some time for non-delivery before they were removed).

    Agree with Barntiques about concentrating on things we truly need, like recruiting buyers.

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    paws4critters says:
    05/20/11 at 09:36:22

    So time was wasted doodling with stars cuz rarely does one leave feedback anyway instead of using resources to bringing buyers & make some name recognition. Personally, I couldn’t care less abt feedback, as I don’t usually get it when and if I ever get a sale.

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    permacrisis says:
    05/20/11 at 10:05:47

    Shoulda used birthday cakes or smileys; I told you not to use stars!

    If you’re trying to build a Craigslist with shipping, then you don’t need such a feature; more importantly, if you are trying to build a “The Good Site” that people can run to from “The Bad Site” then it behooves you not to let it resemble that bad site, even superficially!

    Far better would have been 75 additional characters in the comment field. Ever notice how when buyers rave about a great seller, they get cut off? It’s because that box lets you keep on typing past the lim

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    AtticCollection says:
    05/20/11 at 10:15:27

    Why is a good question. Some I know depend on it for what I dont know. You should know yourself if your customer service is good or bad and what needs improving without buyers telling you with feedback. I get more personal emails because it is easier.

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    Vintagemaven says:
    05/20/11 at 10:17:51

    I agree with what Paula said.

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    chill02wolfart says:
    05/20/11 at 10:36:42

    Bill, if we DON’T have our settings enabled for Experimental Features, does this mean the Auto Crop for the Thumbnail Pic will not apply? (this is my understanding).
    And if so, when this Feature is no longer “experimental” (but becomes permanent), will the Auto Crop be something which will occur “on its own”? (hope I worded this in a way that makes sense )

    Secondly, I’m not sure how I feel re: the Star System. I do like the fact it will only be visible to us (and not others). And I certainly have no problem with FAIR constructive criticism. But I can see where this may have the potential to create issues where the Buyer may not be completely honest (reminiscent of “E”). If that sort of thing occurs (even though the Seller is the only one who can see the Star Rating), it could cause hard feelings (only in a situation where a Rating is UNJUST).

    There was one occasion (obviously not here), where I received a 4.9 for Shipping (the Customer’s Shipping Cost was MUCH LOWER than the Actual Shipping Cost). I politely wrote the Buyer, inquiring why the 4.9. She stated she gave me a perfect score. But that was not so; as there were no other Customers coming in at that time for Feedback (so, I knew exactly where it came from).
    In my email to her, I politely “reminded” her exactly what she paid for shipping (and the fact that it was much lower than the actual shipping). I also recommended that (in the future), please grade other Sellers fairly and accordingly. There were no hard feelings during all correspondence.

    Other than that, I’ve always received 5 stars. But this is the type of thing I’m talking about; I can see the potential for abuse (we don’t want to think that would occur); however, the fact remains that it can.

    Added Note: I had quite a few Customers who told me they detested the Star System; and wouldn’t even take the time to fill it out.

    Pardon the long-winded response. Due to that, please remember my question re: the Auto Crop and Experimental Feature Settings.

    Thank you in advance.


  • Bonz profile thumb128
    bharding says:
    05/20/11 at 10:56:29

    Thanks for the comments all! A couple specific answers:

    @barntiques (and others who ask why): The reason “why” is that it’s a lot easier to keep an existing buyer than to recruit a new one. Every time a buyer has a negative experience, that is a buyer that will probably never return to Bonanza again. In addition to spending money to recruit buyers, features like this will help us to keep the buyers we already have (by giving sellers feedback that let them keep their buyers satisfied).

    @pugs: Well, I guess we can’t win em all. But I’m sure you’ll be excited for whatever we change next.

    @perma: LOL on using smiley faces or cakes. I guess that we’re going out on a limb here that people will be able to tell the difference between two systems that seem superficially similar but function in completely different ways. Could it possibly be?

    @chill: Right now, auto crop is only available for those with experimental features enabled. And you’re right that unjust feedback is and will always be a tricky situation to deal with. But I think that 90-95% of the time we are dealing with reasonable people, and as you say, there is nothing bad that can come from getting constructive feedback to improve. That is, after all, the strategy that we’ve used to go from serving a couple hundred people per day to many thousands….

  • Pug thumb128
    pugs says:
    05/20/11 at 10:57:30

    great points..Perma.. I agree

    yeah.. I can’t wait

  • Pug thumb128
    pugs says:
    05/20/11 at 10:59:29

    If a buyer has a negative experience .. I really don’t think filling out stars will help at all let alone help keep them

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    CritterCreekRanch says:
    05/20/11 at 11:03:25

    I just left feedback for a seller, I filled out all the star thingys and personally if I have an issue with there service I will bmail them or not shop with them again, the form is too long takes to much time and is a bit confusing, example someone left me a fb on the new star thingy today and even thought they left great fb they rated 4 stars instead of 5 so it makes me wonder what or why just 4, anyway I wish we could have the option to turn it off I dont want my customers thinking they have to spend an extra 5 minutes filling out fb forms. jmho and cropping is not working for me tried to crop a photo and it wont crop

  • Bonz profile thumb128
    bharding says:
    05/20/11 at 11:04:46

    @pugs: Yes, but it will help the seller understand why the buyer had a negative experience. This will give them the opportunity to improve (when they might otherwise not even know that the buyer was unhappy), and repeating the same pattern in the future, causing more buyers to leave unhappy.

    @crittercreek: Could you send detailed repro steps of what you tried to support so we can see if we can get it to happen over here? Once we can reproduce a cropping problem we can fix it.

    Also, you bring up a good point WRT the Transaction Impressions, I’ll change it to specifically mention that it is optional and give the buyer a link to close it.

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    Laboutiquefrancais says:
    05/20/11 at 11:19:26

    Totally hate the star system, it will remind everyone, buyers & sellers, of eBay. Hello, IF anyone has a negative experience, I hope they would just TELL me, and I would, of course, do everything/ anything to make it right. Stars are not a good way of communicating…ugh…can we opt out? HATE HATE HATE this…just sayin’

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    Eliray says:
    05/20/11 at 11:24:56

    The feedback (on a quick glance) looks like ebay. Not good!

    But, I am having issues with cropping my photos and wondering if this new gizmo may be why…

    My husband is out of work and we don’t know when he will be released to return. My business is the ONLY income we have! I don’t have time for new gizmos! HELP!

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    twysp2 says:
    05/20/11 at 11:27:20

    Being a eBay seller who has to protect my stars DSR’s…I write a long colorful letter and enclose it with my pkgs to the buyer saying what I think of stars and offer them a discount to follow me to my other site where it is more wonderful. Now I guess I have some more work to do.

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    AutumnLeaves says:
    05/20/11 at 11:35:10

    My first thought was as others about the star thing, think any symbol might have not got so many undies in a bunch.
    (Nice to see you Bill) However it seems to me that there may be much ado about nothing, if the seller does not wish to bother with it, then they need not.

    Can’t wait to try the picture crop, just to try it. LOL

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    jamiro says:
    05/20/11 at 11:38:53

    I should think that if I were NOT a good seller my feedback would NOT be 100% with long lovely comments raving about my service etc etc… I would think if a buyer was really really unhappy with me they would let me know with a NEG and a nasty comment or email. I’m sorry but what part of I’m a good seller does my PUBLIC RECORD not show? What improvement is it that you think I need? Read my endorsements, read my feedback… I’m offended at an additional method forced on me supposedly for me to “improve” cause I’d doing a great job now. Ditto Perma

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    teapotgallery says:
    05/20/11 at 11:41:28

    I don’t see how that will help. If there are no sales, how can we get stars.

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    ILoveRecycling2 says:
    05/20/11 at 11:43:57

    I’m not too keen on this. Lots of buyers think they’re being kind when they give sellers 3 stars for average performance.

    But since Bonanza will probably implement this anyway, kindly fix the ff:

    “Sellers communication was helpful & friendly”
    please add an apostrophe “Seller’s communication…”

    “Shipping time my met expectations”
    switch “my” and “met” to “Shipping time met my exp…”

  • Av2f thumb128
    ArtsnEnds says:
    05/20/11 at 11:44:38

    Once more: This is for your eyes only! No one else will see them.

    Bill: Crop is not working. I have experimental features and checked the tab in Advanced setting. You can not crop your pictures! Please check it out.

    Stars: Everywhere you go on the net today services are rated in stars. Not just eBay. If I want to make a reservation at a resort it has star ratings. If I want to purchase services or find a gas station it is star rated on the internet. Everyone in today’s world is star rated. This star rating does not stop me from booking at a resort, or going to the gas station. There are always mean spirited people out there who can’t wait to say something negative. It is a fact on the internet. We are not blazing a new trail we are coming in line with all of the other sites.

    In my humble opinion spending dollars, running ads and driving buyers to this site should be the number one priority. While tinkering and fixing and upgrading the site is an ongoing issue that will be with us forever. All the other sites continally tinker and upgrade as well. New looks, new forms and keeping current with technology is just the name of the game.

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    chill02wolfart says:
    05/20/11 at 11:48:47

    Bill, Thank you for your Reply. I stated how I truly felt re: the Star Rating System. However, as you replied to CritterCreek, if you’re going to have it, I believe it is good to make it an OPTIONAL thing for the Buyer.

    As I said above, I had many past Buyers tell me they didn’t want to deal with filling out the Star System. For them; they felt it was inconvenient; and that a straight Positive, Negative or Neutral was appropriate to convey their Feedback (along with the ability to leave Comments). *Also, (as we know, and was stated earlier), some Buyers don’t leave Feedback at all.

    In Summary, the fact that it will be Optional for Buyers is good; but for the reasons I stated in the above post, I have concerns over the Star System in general.

    Thank you.

  • Psquare thumb128
    permacrisis says:
    05/20/11 at 11:57:15

    You are dealing with a traumatized populace. My point was stars are just too close for comfort. Stars provoke and remind of that time.

    I do appreciate what you are trying to do. If Repatoo didn’t suck so much, I’d suggest that.

    Someday, someone will build a universal feedback aggregator, perhaps it will be part of Visa’s new PayPal alternative, who knows. I hope you will participate in integrating such an aggregator into your site should one ever become the gold standard.


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    txskys4ever says:
    05/20/11 at 12:00:19

    It just LOOKS like the Stars on the other site, but its not really. sighing. If it looks like a duck………….

    I think there should be a Star Rating to rate this feature. How about it?…………….

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    Paceset9999 says:
    05/20/11 at 12:44:04

    I just read the stars and feedback on a church that I’ve been to but just thought I’d read it because it was IN MY FACE when trying to get the directions and you know what? The 3 reviews were all rude and tasteless and opinions that were so one sided it was obvious what kind of people wrote them-mean spirited people. I found them to be unfair and felt sad that the church or pastor wasn’t given a chance to respond. I felt embarassed for our kind of society that would put that kind of unjust stuff on the internet. It reminded me of all the political media attacks…

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    coolstuff2cheap says:
    05/20/11 at 12:50:12

    I find that hardly anyone leaves feedback here…maybe this will encourage them to do so.

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    alexwberg says:
    05/20/11 at 13:02:15

    Hi everyone. There’s a specific thread on the image cropper that you can find here.

  • thumb128
    BargainBasement says:
    05/20/11 at 13:13:21

    Same link, but clickable:

  • Alex 2b thumb128
    alexwberg says:
    05/20/11 at 13:29:51

    @BargainBasement – thanks! Helpful. ; )

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    purpleiris says:
    05/20/11 at 13:39:26

    Actually, now that I’ve read the entire blog, I think the feedback system would be of a great help to sellers. Buyers aren’t given the option to leave this extra feedback until after they submit the regular feedback. Plus it doesn’t factor into the actual feedback rating and a seller can’t see the info until after they leave feedback for the buyer.

    So the regular feedback won’t be effected for either buyer or seller. Plus it’s only visible to the seller. While my buyers rarely leave feedback, if they ever do, it would be nice to see specific feedback on any aspect of the service I provide. It would help me to improve where necessary.

    As for the image cropper, I’m glad we have this option now. I usually crop my pictures, anyway, but there are times when this feature will come in handy.

    Thanks Bonz team!!

  • Bonz profile thumb128
    bharding says:
    05/20/11 at 13:56:01

    @purpleiris: Appreciate your support — but before you officially endorse it, you should probably understand that the new feedback system does involve the use of stars.

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    CrystalBlueAttitude says:
    05/20/11 at 14:17:11

    OMG. The only good thing about this is that most buyers don’t leave feedback. I don’t NEED stars to tell me how I’m doing. And I sure as heck don’t want them.

    I’m sorry but this site is getting to be more and more ordinary every day. Sheesh. Where is the innovation? Where is the push to make Bonz stand out from the crowd? Why the desire to be an eBay clone?

  • Gpavitar thumb128
    GrandmasPantry says:
    05/20/11 at 14:20:00

    What’s to stop Bonanza from using this feedback star stuff against sellers in the future?

    Just like everythig else here, I am sure it will morph and could likely be even more detested than it is now.

    I find it hard to believe that there aren’t some future plans for this “seller help” that we are not being apprised of at this time.

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    froggieb says:
    05/20/11 at 14:33:41

    I have never been in favor of the feedback. Nobody other than our sellers even leave it for me for the most part. Got a great phone call on one buyer’s dime raving about her satisfaction but no feedback from her. I think of the feedback as a bay thing and don’t see it on any of the other selling sites. Waste of time like barns said.

    We have been begging for a better cropper but if Tobys is right and it won’t let you do anything then that is not gonna cut it either!

    I really try to be positive about the changes that are going on but its getting really hard anymore. Can’t sell well when everything is broken!

  • Logo   purple thumb128
    purpleiris says:
    05/20/11 at 14:39:36

    @Bill…I’m not sure I understand how this will work. Looking at my main booth and feedback pages, I’m not seeing any star rating. Of course, no one has done one for my booth, yet. So will there be a star rating that appears somewhere for viewers to see?

    Also, how would it effect our feedback rating? If they’re leaving a positive feedback before doing the survey, how is the star rating factored into the overall feedback rating? If the star rating is, in fact, factored into the overall rating, then I’m not liking the idea. LOL I would prefer it to be completely separate and for the seller’s use only.

    I do also have to respectfully agree that everything should be functioning properly before adding new features. I’m not sure how things are working for customers, but I’ve fortunately made two sales this past week. I just hope I didn’t lose sales because a customer was having problems with the site.

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    McGester says:
    05/20/11 at 14:47:15

    Really??? Is this Transaction Impressions thingy really necessary? It seems buyers from outside Bonz rarely come back to the site just to leave Feedback anyway. I think most Sellers know whether they’re doing a good job without having to bother their customers with a survey every time they buy something. Instead, how about questions to rate Bonanza itself … did the checkout process work smoothly? was the site easy to navigate? was communication from Management professional? how did you hear about Bonanza? etc. etc.?
    And with those results being shared with all the Sellers, now that would be useful.
    Just curious, wonder why these kind of changes are never announced in the Bonanza Announcements box on the My Bonanza page.

  • Logo   purple thumb128
    purpleiris says:
    05/20/11 at 14:57:42

    I mentioned in the forum thread about some sellers having third parties involved in the transaction. For those who have to rely on suppliers to ship items to customers, this could be useful to see how one’s suppliers are serving their customers. Of course, a buyer has to leave feedback first, which rarely happens unless it’s another seller. LOL

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    froggieb says:
    05/20/11 at 15:06:48

    >>The reason “why” is that it’s a lot easier to keep an existing buyer than to recruit a new one. Every time a buyer has a negative experience, that is a buyer that will probably never return to Bonanza again.<<

    I don’t understand this! How is filling out stars gonna help keep an unsatisfied customer? You already lost him when you disappointed him! So we work hard to keep our current customers and as they leave then you have even less! The people who are giving satisfactory service are already building a client base. Most who don’t give good customer service don’t really care and feedback ratings won’t change that. It didn’t in the other place either!

    >>In addition to spending money to recruit buyers, features like this will help us to keep the buyers we already have (by giving sellers feedback that let them keep their buyers satisfied).<<

    Does this mean you are gearing up to spend some advertising dollars? (she says hoping)

    We need buyers so we can see stars!

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    DMedicineWoman says:
    05/20/11 at 15:07:53

    I agree that the idea of additional ratings for a seller will hardly be worth the trouble. Most of my buyers, except for a few, don’t leave a feedback. My best feedback is when they come back and buy another item. It tells me they’re happy. The other thing with adding “more stuff” to the site is that many of my clients are not ‘puter literate. They can check their emails and maybe shop, but that’s it. So the more you add to the site, the more confused they are. Try to keep EZ-PZ in mind for the buyers.

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    EuropeanGoodies says:
    05/20/11 at 15:12:51

    And there is a typo too:
    Shipping time my met expectations ??? Or do I miss some English here?

    I do not like it too much from a buyer’s side …
    they don’t give FB anyway because they can’t find their way back to do it – and to skip the rating thingy, I had to leave the entire page. Should be enabled to click off.

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    gseclecticattic says:
    05/20/11 at 15:25:01

    From a buyers standpoint I don’t like the new star system at all. It’s added time for the buyers to take not to mention most buyers do tend to let a seller know what is wrong with a transaction anyway if there is a problem. Those that don’t probably aren’t going to use these stars to do so especially with seeing that little phrase in there saying the seller is going to see what they’ve left for stars. As for me, don’t expect to see any sellers get feedback if I have to use this now every time I go to leave it. I won’t fill it out anymore. I’ll keep making my purchases and if I need to I’ll leave my comments for a positive purchase by giving them a personal endorsement from here on in. If there’s a problem with the transaction I’ll let the seller know, which by the way I’ve always done in the past. 99.999% of the sellers are great anyway. at least the ones I’ve dealt with here on Bonz. Why fix something AGAIN that ain’t broke?!

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    bharding says:
    05/20/11 at 15:30:19

    To summarize the most common sentiments from folks who don’t care for the transaction impressions:

    1. Why does it help / it isn’t necessary. It’s true that getting more detailed feedback won’t be helpful to all sellers, but for those that are deeply interested in providing the best buying experience, this data can only be helpful or neutral. Saying that “detailed feedback isn’t necessary” is sort of like saying “blog comments aren’t necessary.” It’s true that we could turn off blog commenting and just assume we’re doing a great job because our sales and traffic keep growing. But by carefully listening and considering our customers POV, we ultimately come away with a product that balances the best interests of multiple parties.

    In that vein, Transaction Impressions will give sellers an opportunity to spot opportunities for improvement (e.g., dropping buyers a note when the item has shipped, being more clear about shipping times, etc.) and leave the happiest possible buyers. Of course, nothing we do can force all sellers to care about leaving happy buyers, but for those that do, this is a tool that will provide data that makes that goal more attainable.

    2. You’re becoming eBay! We’ve never bought into the argument that, because eBay has done something similar, it must inherently be wrong. eBay has done some things wrong, but has also done a lot of things right. And it’s not like eBay invented the idea to improve by listening to customer feedback, anyways — I think Al Gore invented that.

    Also, for those that might not have read all of the blog post, allow me to restate a couple key points:

    @ Transaction Impressions are completely optional for buyers. Buyers will only see Transaction Impressions after they have finished leaving standard feedback. If they don’t want to provide more information, they can leave the page or click “no thanks” (coming next site update, per an idea above) and they are done.

    @ Sellers can disregard this detailed information if they feel like it isn’t applicable or relevant to them. It does not affect search results or show up to other buyers.

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    johngermaine says:
    05/20/11 at 15:34:15

    Hello Boyz,
    Feedback gets left for 2 reasons. 1. the product was way better than expected or 2. it was garbage and the buyer is ticked off. No other reason would get someone to take EXTRA time to do it. Get real here, and stop acting like you are taking lessons from The Dark Side. It’s getting strange here. AND I so agree with Tricia’s Treasures, you are once more fixing something that ain’t broke as they saying goes. Did any of you study any part of sales when you were in college or just computer programming? You seem to be totally clueless to how retail works.

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    loristhisandthat says:
    05/20/11 at 15:36:36

    Oh my Bill you just turned into Fruit!

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    bharding says:
    05/20/11 at 15:37:46

    @loris: I know, it’s awful, right? Christopher made me this profile icon and told me I had to use it. Please file your complaint with him so that I can get back to my usual human form.

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    shellbysbooth says:
    05/20/11 at 15:42:26

    This is micro managing. And micro managing is bad bad bad.

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    CrystalBlueAttitude says:
    05/20/11 at 16:00:53

    I am beginning to feel like we are being treated as if we were children. I was in retail probably before any of the Boyz were born and I don’t need gold stars on my homework. I know what I am doing.

    I also know that eBay has buyers already trained in the star system. If we get buyers who are also eBay buyers, plan on stars being dinged even by satisfied customers. Then we can all sit around wondering what more we could have done when the answer is ‘nothing.’

    What is the point of this unless the PTB think we need Retail 101 instruction? I could teach that class. I don’t need it.

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    Indizona says:
    05/20/11 at 16:04:57

    I need to clarify my earlier post. I said that I suppose I can live with it, but that does NOT mean that I like it or think it’s a good idea. My head was spinning as I opened up this blog for the first time this morning. I could not believe what I was reading.

    I haven’t bought anything to leave feedback for and don’t know what a pain it’s going to be. But as others have mentioned, and I stated before, most sellers don’t leave feedback anyway and I don’t see how this is going to get more of them to do it.

    I can’t imagine why you would implement a system where you are trying to get buyers to complain about something. Why not ENCOURAGE them to write testimonials for our profiles instead of encouraging them to find something to complain about??? There is sufficient space in the comment space to write a good complaint or a good review.

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    bharding says:
    05/20/11 at 16:06:26

    @cba: But whereas you might already know everything there is to know about serving customers, you can probably imagine that there are other, less experienced, sellers who could still benefit from hearing back from their customers.

    As per my example above, Bonanza’s numbers continue to grow every month, which could lead us to presume that we have nothing more to learn. But we’d rather hear as much as possible from our customers to ensure that we’re not missing opportunities. If listening to our customers viewpoints means “we’re being like children,” then I guess at least we are keeping company with those who have open minds.

    @Indizona: I’m not sure I understand how we’re encouraging complaining? The only reason a buyer would express dissatisfaction would be if they had something that had left them dissatisfied. If they were served well (as is the case in 99% of Bonz transactions), then what you will hear is that your customers love you. Nothing wrong with that!

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    CrystalBlueAttitude says:
    05/20/11 at 16:14:04

    Bill, I didn’t say you (bonz) were being like children. I said it feels like the sellers are being treated like children.

    If this is the result of listening to the sellers, I have to wonder which sellers asked for it. And, sorry, but it seems there are many lost opportunities here.

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    pennipete says:
    05/20/11 at 16:31:19

    Buyers are the seller’s customers.

    Sellers are Bonanza’s customers.

    “Of course, we’ve listened carefully to our seller community…” Respectfully, that doesn’t seem to be evidenced today or lately. Of course it is your site and you will implement changes as you see fit. But, please don’t attribute changes to listening to your community.

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    shellbysbooth says:
    05/20/11 at 16:33:47

    well said, pennepete !

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    bogcandle says:
    05/20/11 at 16:44:17

    Bill, I don’t understand this: If 99% of Bonz transactions meant that buyers were served well as stated above, then there should be no need to worry about keeping existing buyers.

    Because I’m a niche seller I do get repeat buyers, but sellers who sell a variety of items are unlikely to get a lot of repeat buyers. People buy stuff and the only reason to return to a site is if it functions smoothly, checkout is easy, search works well, and they are happy. Obviously if 99% of transactions are good then star ratings are pointless. It’s just another layer that invites discontent from people who are sick and tired of being asked endless questions about a simple transaction.

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    sparklemotion says:
    05/20/11 at 16:45:56

    Well, I like the idea of a private, optional, detailed feedback mechanism but considering how few people leave fb here the sample size will probably be too small to be representative.

    The more hoops there are to jump through to leave fb the less likely people probably are to do it and (IMHO)the biggest problem with feedback is that most buyers don’t leave any.

    Taking together this feature and the progress bar on the listing form it seems there’s an initiative to increase seller performance on the site through self-directed methods. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

    Bill is right, and everyone should probably recognize, that some sellers need a little help.

    It would be cool if this was an optional feature. That way if sellers find it too meddlesome or if they don’t want their buyers burdened with it they could turn it off.

    As for the crop tool—it sounds great! I only wish it was the default!

  • Indizona logo avatar for ebay thumb128
    Indizona says:
    05/20/11 at 17:05:11

    @Bill, I don’t know…. It’s like after you leave your feedback then you are being asked to think about things, one question at a time, and that is what I meant by encouraging a complaint. If there was anything positive, neutral or negative that stood out in the buyer’s mind, they would have stated it in the feedback. Like I said, I suppose I will be able to live with it as long as the stars don’t take over and become the main focus. Still don’t believe that I like it. I’ll have to make a purchase and go through the process first to know for certain what I think of it though. I was searching for something earlier today, but there are none here to buy.

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    sewandsew says:
    05/20/11 at 17:21:34

    The idea of the cropper – EXCELLENT!!!

    The stars – not so much…..I am one of the “good sellers”…I know that because I know how I run my business….I hate star ratings..I leave them all blank no matter where I shop or eat…And no matter hoe you paint it,rename it,explain it -- IT STILL SUCKS!

    I have nothing but respect for the Bonz Boyz and Gurlz…I am just not understanding the true need for some of our bells and whistles…What happened to simplicity?

  • Bannerfans 2037349 thumb128
    sewandsew says:
    05/20/11 at 17:26:32

    How did I get a strike through in my post?

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    bharding says:
    05/20/11 at 17:46:47

    @sew: if you put words between double dashes, the text formatter interprets that as you wanting strikethrough

    @pennipete: After running Bonz as long as we have, we’ve eventually gotten used to the fact that no matter what we do and how much you listen, there will always be some folks who don’t like change, and they will be the most vocal. Our objective is just to keep listening to different points of view, so long as they’re constructively expressed, to ensure that we’ve done our best job to incorporate all possible good ideas into our service. Whether one’s customers are sellers (in our case) or buyers (in yours), you can’t make everyone happy, but that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t listen and make every reasonable effort to improve.

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    MiscClocks says:
    05/20/11 at 17:55:06

    Relentless Simplicity – The Bonanza Blog
    You need to change the name of this blog.
    In the sample table given here, seller would instantly lose TRS.
    Which seller community asked for stars?
    Only bonanza will be looking at these and storing for future use.
    Thumbs down!

  • Bonz profile thumb128
    bharding says:
    05/20/11 at 17:56:25

    Thanks for the feedback everyone — given that it is now Friday night PST and I won’t be available to monitor the blog for the rest of the evening, I’m going to close it down for now. If you have any additional thoughts on how we can improve either of these new features, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line in support. As I mentioned, we will be making it more clear to buyers that the extra feedback is optional, that will probably be online Sunday night. We’ll also be fixing the typos kindly pointed out by a couple commenters. Have a good weekend everyone!

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