Feedback is one of the things that makes eBay® successful. It establishes trust within the eBay® community & it helps differentiate good members from bad members. So how does feedback system work, who should leave it first, what kind of rating should you leave, and what comments should you write?
How Feedback Works
On eBay®, you have the option to leave either a positive, negative, or neutral feedback rating (or none at all) for every transaction. If you receive a positive feedback, it will increase your rating by 1. If you receive a neutral feedback, it will not change your rating, If you receive a negative feedback, it will decrease your feedback rating by 1. Multiple Feedbacks left by the same buyer will only increase or decrease your score once.
Your feedback percentage is based on how many positives & negative you have on your account. It is calculated by taking your total positive feedbacks received & dividing by your total feedback. For example, lets say you have 51 positive feedbacks, and 1 negative feedback. Your overall feedback score would be 50, and your percentage would be 98% (50/51).
Who Should Leave Feedback First?
Most people agree that the buyer should always be the first one to leave a positive feedback (although some argue that it should be the seller). It is the buyer’s responsibility to leave it first because this indicates that the items have been received, and that the transaction went smoothly. The seller should never leave feedback first, just in case there is a dishonest buyer or problem with the transaction.
Once the buyer has left a feedback, the seller should always leave one in return. Again, this indicates to other eBay® members that the transaction went smoothly.
Leave a Negative, Positive, or Neutral?
Positive feedback: Positive feedback should be left for any transaction that goes well. As long as the seller delivered the goods within a reasonable amount of time and as advertised or the buyer paid within a reasonable time. Even if there is a small problem or you weren’t completely satisfied, I would recommend leaving a Positive anyways. As long as the transaction went “ok.” Besides, this will ensure that you receive a positive in return. Remember, if you get an item & didn’t like it, it is not always the seller’s fault. Don’t rate the seller or product, rate the transaction.
To summarize, a buyer should generally always leave a positive if these 3 things occurred:
1. The seller delivered the product. 2. It was mailed or delivered in a reasonable amount of time. 3. You got the correct item you purchased.
Neutral feedback: In most instances, a neutral feedback is unnecessary. Either a transaction should get a positive or negative comment. Not only do neutrals not effect the overall rating, but a buyer risks getting a negative feedback in return for leaving a neutral. Even if you feel the transaction doesn’t deserve a positive, it would be better to not leave anything than to leave a neutral feedback.
Negative feedback: Negative feedback should only be used in extreme circumstances. For instance, you never received a product & you were not able to contact the seller. Or, the seller delivered the wrong product & will not correct the situation. Or the seller is selling fake or illegal items, etc (selling a gold necklace that is really fake gold). Also, if a buyer never pays or responds to the eBay® non-paying bidder complaint, a negative should be left.
In most cases, it should be rare to leave a negative feedback. Again, you will likely get a negative in return. So it is strongly recommended that you only leave a negative if the transaction went terribly wrong. Also, before ever leaving a negative feedback, always contact the seller first with any concerns or issues. In most cases, the seller will probably have made an honest mistake & he or she will be happy to correct it.
Again, many don’t understand the feedback system. It is meant to show whether or not transactions are being conducted properly. Although it is tempting to leave a bad feedback for some instances, it is better to only leave negatives for truly bad situations. As long as the seller followed through (or buyer) a positive feedback should be left- or none at all.
To summarize, a buyer (or seller) should only leave a negative if the following occurred & ONLY after the buyer/seller has been contacted about the issue FIRST.
1. The buyer never received the item (or if the seller never paid). 2. The buyer received the wrong product & the seller will not correct the situation. 3. The item was totally different than described (i.e. you order a gold watch, and you receive a silver one & the seller will not correct it).
What Kind of Comment Should You Leave?
When leaving your feedback comments, only rate the transaction. Don’t rate the individual product or seller. For instance, if you buy a DVD, don’t leave a comment like “movie was boring.” That is rating the product and it does not give others insight on how the transaction went. Even if the seller is selling a product that he or she created (like an e-Book), rate the transaction, not the product.
Also, don’t leave detailed “picky” types of comments. These comments are usually left by inexperienced (or new) eBayers. Instead, stick to factual, general types of comments that give a good interpretation of the overall transaction. For instance, if a transaction went well simply write: “Great Transaction, Thank You AA++.” Or something similar. You can include details like “Fast Shipping” or “product as advertised.”
Don’t be too picky or detailed like “received product, it was a little wrinkled, got here in about 8 days, could have been quicker, but good condition.” Another example of an inappropriate feedback would be “I bought this for my mother-in-law. I hope they fit.” These comments are unnecessary and do not give accurate insight of the overall transaction.
Again, if the need arises to leave a negative feedback because a buyer didn’t pay or a seller never delivered the product, always contact the seller (or buyer) first. Then (but only if necessary) leave something accurate like “buyer never sent payment or responded” or “Seller never shipped item or responded.”
If you follow these basic tips, then you should not have any major issues with maintaining a good feedback rating!
eBay Makes Changes to Feedback, Seller Fees, and More (Update)
Oh NO!! eBay has done it again! Now the Gigantic auction site is changing its fee structure, feedback policy, & more. What does this mean for us online sellers???
I received a message from eBay today about the new pending changes that will be taking place soon in February. Now, sellers will get free gallery pictures, and be charged less for insertion fees. This seems great!
Don’t get too excited, however, because it appears sellers will end up paying a higher final value fee. It seems like it will raise your total selling fees slightly by a few cents to a few dollars depending on the price of your auctions….OUCH!! So actually it will end up increasing fees overall.
There is also good news if you are a PowerSeller. Now, you will have the opportunity to save money on your eBay final value fees by keeping your DSR’s (detailed seller ratings) high.
This means that if your stars on your feedback score remain a certain level (around 4.6 or higher), you can enjoy discounts on your fees. ME LIKEY…A lot! Now here comes the bad news…
Another good note is that it appears Paypal will finally be extending confirmed addresses. Soon PowerSellers will be covered by Paypal Seller Protection policy even if the address is unconfirmed. So essentially all addresses will become confirmed.
Apparently, they have decided to alter the feedback system. They will change the way they count feedback scores, and more. This change is going from bad to worse! The results could literally put some eBayers out of business.
Now it seems that a seller can only leave a positive feedback for the buyer, but the buyer will still be able to leave any type of feedback they want (positive, neutral, negative). Something that seems totally unfair to the seller.
Now, I will be the first to admit that the feedback system is not perfect & needs a lot of work. But I feel this is a step in the wrong direction. Sure, it will fix the problem of honest buyer’s having to live in fear of negative retaliatory feedback when they buy from a bad seller.
But at the same time it gives the buyer a power that can easily be abused. I can almost guarantee that they will nitpick every little detail about everything.
For all of us honest sellers out there, we will be even more vulnerable to scammers, thieves, and dishonest individuals. So now I guess if someone scams us, we will be forced to leave a positive feedback that reads:
*Complete Scam Artist, Ripped me Off, Fraud…and oh yeah I almost forget AAA++*
Sellers on blogs, websites, & more are already voicing their frustrations over the increased prices & change in the feedback system. So far it seems most sellers dislike most of the changes. Especially the fact that fees are increasing & buyers can only receive positive feedback.
If you want to see all of the details of the changes, pricing structures, & more, you can visit eBay’s Announcement Page.
So in conclusion…
Free Gallery & Lower Insertion Fees….Great
New Protection & Incentives for PowerSellers…Great
Higher Final Value Fees……..BAD
Change in Feedback Policy……TERRIBLE
What eBay Should Have Done:
eBay should have offered the discounts & incentives a long time ago. Gallery should have been free as well.
To recoup their costs & to keep up with inflation, they should have looked for other ways to make money, instead of raising fees to the people who pay them money (the sellers).
For example, they should have increased their ad coverage to be displayed on every page, and even in the “My eBay” section. I would much rather look at advertisements all day than pay extra money.
I love eBay. It provides us entrepreneurs with some good opportunities to make extra money. But at the same time I can’t help but feel that they are making some big time mistakes. Mistakes that could really hurt the life expectancy of the company. Especially if Google ever decides to throw their hat in the auction arena.
A good saying…Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Sellers already operate on a tight margin when you add in all the fees, shipping, etc. If sellers can’t make enough money on eBay, they will look for other opportunities.