Turn this; johnsmith (-5) into this, johnsmith (98659)
On the Topic of Feedback
Written by kaibacorp*
This article will introduce the reader on some of the issues regarding feedback. It is intended for use by the novice (0-49 feedback) and to the moderate user (50-499 feedback.) Concisely, it will cover; feedback left for buyer, feedback left for seller, separate eBay accounts due to feedback concerns, feedback for an NPB (non-paying bidder,) and feedback for a dispute that does not involve an NPB (such as an unclaimed item dispute, and other miscellaneous troubles.)
Feedback left for the buyer should not be automated as impersonal feedback suggests a lack of connectivity, such as that experienced when talking to a recording when phoning people. It also implies that the seller "cannot spare the hour of day" for the buyer and thus has a machine do it for him. Some larger eBay sellers such as those who sell over one hundred items per week may experience some time managing difficulties through leaving "human" feedback. This problem is overcome by simply hiring staff; surely if one can spare the money to list this many items, one can afford the cost of respectfulness to the buyer; and also this induces multiple sales as the buyer feels that he is personally attended to. Another important note for the seller when leaving feedback is to never leave feedback until the buyer has left his. One will hear many excuses for this (such as the seller knows that you have received the item by the receipt of feedback,) but as your eBay experience grows you will understand that sellers leave feedback after buyers because they can counter any negative or neutral feedback. This topic is explored further into the article.
With feedback left for the seller one must be cautious, as it is customary for the seller to leave his feedback after the buyer has left his and therefore the seller can (and most likely will) retaliate to any neutral or negative feedback left. Therefore, the author suggests separate eBay accounts when selling and buying (discussed in the following paragraph.) Only leave feedback after you have received the item. This point cannot be stressed enough, as feedback is irreversible and if you are unpleased with the item you cannot change the feedback left. Use your power as a buyer to control the seller. Most sellers are very fearful of negative feedback, especially those with one thousand feedbacks or less. Remember, your one negative feedback can stop the seller from being or becoming a Power Seller and even stop the seller from operating on eBay outright! Do not be bullied into being satisfied with an item you dislike, tell the seller you want compensation or you will leave negative feedback.
Use separate eBay accounts for buying and selling. Although, there are some positive points for using the same account (such as joint feedback,) the eBayer must be aware that the cons far out weigh the pros. It is the ability for the buyer to leave negative feedback without damaging his own selling account that attracts many to separate accounts. Sellers will, and do leave negative for negative regardless of the reason. Many buyers will bypass the items you're selling in view of your negative feedback, for instance a seller with ten feedbacks at a hundred percent positive will appear more trustworthy than a seller with twenty feedbacks with ninety five percent positive. It is due to this reason the author suggests separate eBay accounts for buying and selling.
You can leave negative for a non-paying bidder without tarnishing your own feedback score. (Note: I have just been informed by eBay that the buyer must not respond to the UID for his feedback to be withdrawn by eBay.) Yes, an excellent implement into eBay's feedback process. In this situation the seller can leave any type of feedback he likes without the fear of retribution. Once the seller has cleared a non-paying bidder dispute through eBay the buyer's feedback becomes withdrawn by eBay, but the sellers' feedback will be permanent. The author recommends all sellers leave negative feedback to non-paying bidders because it costs us (and eBay) money, we should not tolerate this kind of abuse in our community.
There are many reasons for leaving neutral or negative, but they cannot all be discussed. Let us observe the situation of verbal abuse via email from a buyer. In this example a buyer mistakenly thinks that a seller has overcharged on postage, (which happens to be an extremely common complaint) and in our case the seller has in fact charged a more than fair price for postage. Should the seller just absorb the abuse? No! Report the abuse to eBay, and make it clear to the buyer that they are confused. But, if the transaction is smooth i.e. the seller pays, do not leave negative feedback, it is not worth the retribution from the buyer, which would most likely be negative in return. This situation is what many refer to as a "hole" in eBay's policies. Abusers such as the buyer described above should not be allowed the privilege of our company. But, as the aged clearly see, there are "holes" in our society itself (such as dental treatment for the poor.) There are holes everywhere you look and they cannot be fixed overnight. Do not be surprised if you are subjected to bad treatment, eBay is a harsh place but so is the whole of Australia.
In conclusion, as a seller do not leave automated feedback, treat your buyers with respect, and never leave feedback before the buyer. Use separate accounts for buying and selling to avoid unnecessary negative feedback. Always give negative feedback for non-paying bidders to save us all time and money. Finally, use your initiative to solve problems that do not have a clear cut answer and remember eBay is not perfect, nor is anything on this Earth.
For more information please see:
Direct quote from eBay:
"It is our genuine intention for every eBay member to have a successful experience. We at eBay believe that people are basically good."