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Leaving Buyer Feedback on eBay (I’ll Scratch Your Back. Will You Scratch Mine?)

Every buyer and seller on eBay has the opportunity to leave feedback. The feedback process on eBay helps both the eBay buyer and seller.

Remember getting the coveted A or B on your report card?  Didn’t it feel great?  eBay has its own rating system for both buyer and seller. Your buyer will leave feedback for you once he receives the item – you hope, at least.  Some eBay buyers are great about leaving feedback, others aren’t.  Maybe they only leave feedback if there was a problem with the transaction, because they assume that trouble-free transactions ought to be the norm; maybe they just don’t see the point of feedback in the first place.  You can always ask, in the email you send with the shipping details, if the buyer will please leave you positive feedback upon delivery because it’s important to your eBay reputation… but you can’t force them to do so.

But you have feedback responsibilities, too, because buyers have eBay reputations as well as sellers.

There is a catch, though: while buyers are free to leave positive, negative or neutral feedback for sellers, eBay sellers are only permitted to leave positive feedback—including any comments—or to refrain from leaving any feedback at all for the buyer.

It may sound unfair, but there is a reason behind eBay enacting this policy in May 2008: they had done research on the feedback process and discovered that  some sellers were using the feedback system in negative, even punitive, ways – in some cases it was little better than extortion.  While buyers were also guilty of misusing feedback, the research showed far more seller misuse.
So eBay changed the policy, with the intention that buyers could leave honest feedback for sellers without fearing a retaliatory hit to their own feedback scores.  Sellers still had, and were encouraged to make full use of, the problem resolution system already in place, because sometimes there are transaction problems that originate with the buyer (non-payment, for one).

The gist of it is this: buyers can leave the full range of feedback, which a seller can dispute if she feels it’s unfair or incorrect; sellers can either leave positive feedback or, if there’s a problem on a transaction, make use of eBay’s Resolution Center and choose NOT to leave feedback for the buyer.
I won’t lie to you; this policy still generates a lot of activity on eBay’s Answer Center, which is a forum members can use to ask questions of other eBay members.  But it will probably remain in place until human nature changes enough that people will always try to resolve problems before leaving feedback, that the feedback they eventually leave will be accurate, and that no member will use the feedback process to threaten the other party in the transaction.

Wake me when it happens.

In the meantime, I personally recommend that sellers leave positive feedback for their buyers as soon as payment has cleared.  Always.  At the very least, this ensures that the buyer in a problem transaction can’t complain to eBay that you’re “holding them up” for positive feedback, a change in the final value in favor of the seller, etc.
You can leave feedback for your buyers via My eBay – the Summary page will let you know how many transactions need feedback, split between Buying Reminders and Selling Reminders.  As with shippingHealth Fitness Articles, there are some subscription services available from eBay that include the ability to automate your feedback process.  Hopefully feedback is the start of a good relationship!!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Greg Kusch has been dubbed "the eBay expert". He is the most quoted eBay expert on national news. You can ask him questions about how to make more money on eBay at http://www.AskTheEbayExpert.com.



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