Feedback for sellers is vitally important, it is a measure of their honesty and efficiency. For on-line trading it is the sole determining factor of their reputation and means the success or failure of their business. Buyers leave feedback for sellers when they receive their parcels, usually within a week or so depending on how often they visit eBay. Sellers love to read the comments and monitor their star ratings to ascertain that they are not only providing the service that their customers expect but are perceived by them to be doing so to a high level of satisfaction.
The level of satisfaction required for on-line trading is far higher than is required in a face to face environment. Good sellers who see their star ratings drop will make changes to satisfy their buyer's expectations if at all possible. The challenge is to remain viable. Sellers who don't acquiesce to market expectations will soon see their business suffer and if a 95% level of satisfaction is not achieved, will have their trading restricted by eBay.
The timing for leaving feedback is virtually irrelevant for very good sellers in the grand scheme of things, because for very satisfied customers it simply isn't perceived as an issue. It is only when sellers gravitate towards a barely acceptable (or lower) standard of satisfaction that the perception of feedback coercion and the negative implications that may conjure up, enters the minds of customers. This is when the (sometimes imagined) threat of retaliatory feedback becomes an issue.
Good sellers are unable to leave negative and neutral feedback now in those rare cases where it is warranted.
Shame really? I guess if a group of people are ruining the systems in place then eBay has to make a stand and have a rule that best suits the majority, and I agree with them.