We all know we should read the feedback of a person we are thinking of dealing with.The trouble is that if you don't do it thoroughly, you miss a lot of useful information that could be a real help to you.
Just looking at a bare figure like 98% positive can be outright misleading. Let me give some examples.
When I was planning a purchase, the seller had 98% feedback, so I scrolled through the first 5 pages, READING EACH COMMENT. Surprise, surprise!! There had been a lot of negs. that had been withdrawn after discussion between the parties. Now I can't predict what YOU want, but I surely don't want to do verbal battle with a buyer before I get what I feel I'm entitled to. And by the way, 98% feedback for a seller over 10000 is not terribly good. Any trader can get the occasional sore-head who wants to blackmail them with negs, but not dozens.
The other interesting thing about reading feedback is the amount of "positive" feedback that sounds a bit like criticism."Not what I expected but I suppose it's okay" is not a ringing endorsement. Similarly, "took a long time to arrive but got here in the end!" is a bit of a worry.
One of the features that is very handy is the fact that you can get into the details of the item purchased through the "read feedback " page-if the item number is in blue it's still "alive", so you can get an idea of how long from auction end to receipt of item, and what claims the seller made- tho of course you can't tell WHEN the buyer paid! I find it interesting enough that I often "browse" that feature.
Just raw feedback numbers tells you some stuff, but not enough. For instance, at present I have 146 positive feedback- as a buyer! So what would I be like as a seller? After all, if you are buying you want to know how the person performs as a seller. So look at their feedback"from Buyers" via the tab at the top of the page. It may tell adifferent story from the overall impression.
When I was in the market for a mobile phone I was interested in one that a guy with fairly good feedback was selling. He had bought it for his mother, who had used it very little. But when I looked through his feedback at the items he had sold in the previous 12 weeks, he had apparently bought his mum a lot of phones!!! He was obviously dealing: he had also BOUGHT a lot of defective phones and put new cases on them. Now I have no problems with dealers: I ended up buying from a dealer, but this was an up-front dealer who did not pretend to be something else.
Always read the fine print, the return policy, always be sure how much postage you will pay and how the package will travel-surface from the USA can take 3 months. Ask questions-if you don't get aclear unequivocal answer don't do the deal.
I certainly wouldn't send a lot of money to anyone I hadn't checked very thoroughly.