Guide to buying Herbs and Spice online! BUYER FEEDBACK EXTORTION - A SELLERS PERSPECTIVE!
Welcome to my next guide - BUYER FEEDBACK EXTORTION - A SELLERS PERSPECTIVE!. In this guide I will cover what is feedback extortion, why buyers do it, what you as a seller can do and protecting yourself(as much as possible without losing genuine customers).
This may be one of the most important reviews that you’ll read in regards to feedback extortion apart from going through Ebays own literature. I was recently at the receiving end of some extortion. It was very unpleasant and disheartening not knowing what to do. If you’re a seller reading this and thinking to yourself – this sounds hauntingly familiar – then you most likely were in the same boat as me. Here is a typical scenario that was played out: A customer purchased an item from me and paid for it with paypal. Ok all of my items offered postage that was cheap but not registered unless someone specifically asked for it. I thought I’d be a good Samaritan and try to save my customers money on postage. I packed the item and posted it, emailed the customer that it has been sent and flagged it as posted on Ebay. The shipping address was only a 1-2 day delivery time as it was in the same state and still considered metro area. 2 weeks later I receive an email that goes something like this:
“I still haven’t received my item. Refund me and I won’t mention it in feedback”
This left me a little aghast on 2 accounts. 1. Usually when a parcel doesn’t arrive customers ask me where is it? And 2. This felt like being mugged on the street with someone telling you give me your wallet whilst holding a gun to your head(feedback gun). Not to mention that it took them 2 weeks to contact me.
Now in one of my previous guides I mentioned feedback and how useful it is. Well here is where some due diligence paid off. I had a look at the buyers “feedback left for others” and then it became clear that this buyer has been doing this sort of scam to 3 other people where they’ve extorted a refund from sellers with the threat of negative feedback. Lightning doesn’t strike twice is what I say and when it strikes 4 times then something’s fishy. I contacted Ebay and they investigated the circumstances and suspended the buyers account.
As it turns out this is a very seasoned Ebayer with a high feedback and knows their way around. They know the item wasn’t registered and that Paypal will refund their money unless you as the seller provide a tracking number. They lodged a dispute with paypal and subsequent claim and of course paypal ruled in their favour as there was no tracking number. The moral of this story is:
1. Only offer tracked postage options when customers pay with Paypal – this is more expensive but at least you can submit it to paypal.
2. If they want to pay with bank account then send it how you like(unregistered) as it is at your discretion to offer a refund.
3. Regardless of how high or low the buyers feedback is check their “Feedback left for others” for funny stuff like negative feedback about item not received, refunds, etc.
4. Report all suspicious activity as described above to Ebay.
5. Never accept bids from people with private feedbacks, they have something to hide from you.
Hope this helps. If you end up in the same situation just remember: you are not alone and not the first one in this situation. Other sellers have been stung by these unscrupulous scum. And I wish them indigestion from their freebie.
If you liked this guide then please vote for it. I will be writing a little series of these guides to hopefully enhance your purchasing experience particularly in the herb and spice categories.