Feedback

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Feedback is an indication of how other eBay members have judged another member's handling of a transaction. For the first decade of eBay, sellers and buyers could leave positive or negative feedback for each other. But that all changed in 2008, when eBay revamped its feedback system to curb what the company referred to as "a disturbing trend of sellers using it to retaliate against buyers by giving them low ratings." eBay claimed that this discouraged buyers from leaving honest feedback and ultimately drove many of them away from eBay.

In May, 2008, eBay instituted a new system: sellers can only leave positive feedback for buyers. In other words, a seller cannot leave negative feedback about a buyers. To counterbalance this change, eBay plans to continue and enhance some existing protections for sellers against inaccurate feedback from buyers, such as removing negative and neutral feedback when a buyer fails to respond to an "unpaid item" inquiry. In addition, eBay will remove all the negative and neutral feedback from buyers who are suspended.

Still, beware that unscrupulous buyers may abuse the feedback system by threatening to leave negative feedback about you if you complain about their handling of a transaction. If this occurs, refer to the feedback resolution and abuse procedures described above.

In addition to the "no negative feedback against buyers" rule, eBay instituted the following additional changes:

  • Positive repeat customer feedback will count (up to 1 Feedback from the same buyer per week.)

  • Feedback more than 12-months old won't count towards a seller's feedback percentage.

  • When a buyer doesn't respond to the Unpaid Item (UPI) process the negative or neutral feedback they have left for that transaction will be removed.

  • When a member is suspended, all their negative and neutral feedback will be removed.

  • Buyers must wait 3 days before leaving negative or neutral feedback for sellers with an established track record, to encourage communication.

  • All feedback must be left within 60 days (compared to 90 days perviously) of listing end to encourage timely feedback and discourage abuse.

  • Buyers will be held more accountable when sellers report an unpaid item or commit other policy violations.

Below is an example of how feedback is presented in an item's listing, with a summary score and detailed comments accessible to buyers through the link "See detailed feedback."

Buy Safely

Entering feedback is fairly straightforward. You can do so by first clicking the ”My eBay” tab and then clicking the “Leave Feedback” tab.

My eBay

Feedback may also be entered on the item’s auction page or the member’s feedback page. Once on the page, choose whether your comment is positive, negative, or neutral; write in your thoughts and click “Leave Feedback.”

While the process of writing comments is easy, what you say and when you say it may require more thought. Some tips to remember about feedback are listed below:

  • Have patience. An eBay member may have suffered a personal setback and cannot complete of the transaction right away. Always try to resolve misunderstandings before posting negative feedback. If you’re really angry, always wait 24 hours before posting negative feedback.

  • Read what others are saying about a member before posting negative comments. If your experience differs drastically from what others are saying, perhaps you should make another attempt at resolving the matter.

  • Be as specific as possible in your comments about what you liked (or did not like). Generic statements such as “Great Deal” or “A Plus Seller” (or any posting with an abundance of exclamation points) does not help others learn about the eBay member.

  • Keep it short. If you had a problem, summarize it in two sentences. Do not exaggerate. Be professional. Do not make personal attacks.

You are not required to leave feedback. However, the eBay community expects it, as feedback helps other members and the effectiveness of the eBay process. The trick is to make your feedback suitable, succinct, and honest. Keep in mind one important rule: It is extremely difficult to change feedback once it’s posted. While some feedback may be removed by eBay or by mutual agreement of members, generally, feedback that is posted on eBay, stays on eBay.

My eBay

eBay assembles the feedback given for a particular member to create a feedback rating. That rating is visible by a member’s name whenever that member posts or bids on items. Every positive rating is worth one point; for instance, the 93 shown above indicates that the member has had at least 93 positive ratings. A neutral rating earns zero points and a negative comment takes a point away. A user with a rating of minus-four is terminated.

The star icon next to the feedback rating is a color-coded classification of your feedback rating; you get your first star (a yellow one) after achieving a rating of 10. As the number increases, the color of the star changes until you receive a rating over 100,000 (a red shooting star).

You can make your feedback profile private instead of public, but that will not endear you to buyers or sellers, who will be suspicious of your reasons for doing so.

To evaluate another member’s reputation, click on the member’s User ID or the number in parentheses next to it, which will bring up the member’s feedback page. The page lists comments about the member over various time periods. For additional insight on the information, see eBay’s guide for evaluating a member’s reputation.

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