Feedback is the meaningful information received as a response to the quality of a product, performance of an individual, group or organization. The purpose behind any feedback system is to record the response to existing events and make improvement in the light of the response received.
Feedback system not only helps to maintain the existing quality and performance, it is crucial to take things forward for consistent improvement. A sound feedback system is an excellent way to keep any organization on track.
eBay feedback system is no different. It is a cornerstone achievement of eBay to help buyers and sellers make the site a best place to trade and make the shopping experience as pleasant as possible.
eBay’s feedback system is associated with the each user’s ID. Each user, whether a buyer or seller can leave feedback for the times they buy or sell.
Sellers can only leave feedback for the item they sell. Once the sellers receive payment for the item sold, they are supposed to leave positive feedback for the buyer.
In the early years, a seller could leave positive, negative as well as neutral feedback for customers. This rule, however, has now been changed. Sellers now can only leave positive feedback which means they cannot leave neutral or negative feedback for the buyer.
Many sellers objected to this change and termed eBay to be biased towards buyers. Many online auction marketer even hold this view that by banning seller to leave any negative feedback, eBay has sided with the buyer against seller.
I personally do not agree with this viewpoint. It is true that there are some unscrupulous buyers who will misuse or abuse the new system. However, the overall benefit of the new system is greater than the small harm.
The new feedback system discourages scam sellers. It also leaves no room for sellers who do not take their business and custom seriously. The new system has improved the performance of the seller which in turn has increased confidence among buyers resulting in more buying activity.
Buyers are able to leave either positive, neutral or negative feedback.
When a transaction goes smooth and the buyer is happy after receipt of the item, a buyer leaves negative feedback.
If something goes wrong and the buyer is not happy, they may leave negative feedback.
Neutral feedback is normally left when all else is ok except some minor issue.
A positive feedback add one to the overall feedback score. A neutral has no effect on the overall score whereas a negative feedback subtracts one from the overall score.
When leaving feedback, you will be given an option to leave a short comment. This is an excellent opportunity to describe your experience. Sellers normally praise their buyers for quick payments.
In case of negative feedback, buyers complain against the issues with the seller and alerts other buyers to beware. Positive feedback comments appreciate the sellers promptness, quality of the product, communication etc. Neutral feedback often reminds where seller could have made some further improvement.
As you can see in the above positive feedback, buyers are happy to appreciate:
- Fast delivery
- Quality product
- Repeat Visits
Positive feedback indicated happiness with the purchase as well as repeat visitors and recommendation to others.
In the negative feedback most complaints are about item as not described, no communication, help not available, low quality product and the customer anger never to buy again and not to recommend to others.
The neutral feedback deals with minor issues. In the following image we see that the customer is not happy because of slow delivery, color variations and other minor issues.
eBay allows 60 days from the end of listing to leave feedback. Sellers should leave feedback as soon as they receive payment. This sends a positive message to the buyer about the seller being prompt and professional.
Most buyers leave feedback as soon as they receive the item and find it ok. However, some buyers wait and would come for a comment only after they have used the item.
Stars and Feedback
eBay issues different types of stars which are shown with eBay user ID.
When your feedback score reaches 10, you earn a yellow star and it keeps on changing with the increase in total score. The highest is a silver shooting star for a score above one million.
The following table shows the color of the star and the number of ratings which you have to achieve to get the star displayed next to your eBay id.
How is the Feedback Percentage Calculated?
The feedback percentage score is calculated by the following formula:
Total positive + total negative
The percentage score is computed for the last 12 months only. If you did not receive any negative feedback for the last 12 months, your percentage will be shown 100% irrespective of the fact that you might have received any negative feedback before that.
Sellers who sell a lot of times, a few negative feedback will not bring the percentage very low. However, for low volume seller even a single negative feedback may affect the percentage badly.
Why Do You Need to Build a Feedback?
For sellers it is absolutely critical to build up a good feedback. Most buyers check the sellers feedback before they buy anything. Buyers trust only those sellers who have a pleasant shopping experience with their customers.
If you plan to sell on eBay, you must plan to build up your feedback before you start selling. It is recommended that you must have score between 50 to 100 before you seriously start selling.
One way to improve your score for selling is to buy your stuff from eBay sellers and receive feedback from the item you bought. This way you can easily build up your feedback score quickly.
In the beginning, you may also like to sell some low priced item. Low priced items sell quickly and it is easy to keep the customer happy in case anything goes wrong.
You can further analyze feedback score by clicking on each tab. eBay currently provides four tabs.
Feedback as a seller
When you click this tab, it will show only feedback you received from your buyers.
Feedback as a Buyer: Click this table will reveal only feedback received from sellers after your bought anything off them.
All feedback is the total feedback combined both from sellers and buyers.
Feedback Left for others
This tab shows the total feedback left for other eBay users either as a seller or a buyer or both.
The following image shows all the four tabs.
Types of Feedback
There are three types of feedback a buyer can leave depending upon his shopping experience.
1. Positive Feedback
When the buyer receives the goods and is happy, the seller receives positive feedback. This is an appreciation, trust and indication to other members of the community that the seller is genuine, honest and trustworthy. Here are a few examples of positive feedback.
A positive feedback adds one point to your all score. Several positive feedbacks from the same buyer for the same product is counted only once towards the overall score regardless of the numbers of item bought. However, the buyer can leave positive comment for each item bought.
2. Negative Feedback
When buyers are not happy for their purchases and are unable to reach to a solution, they normally resort to negative feedback. Buyers normally leave negative feedback for non-delivery, extreme delays, wrong item description, damaged items, faulty items, defects not mentioned etc.
Each negative feedback brings down the overall score by one point.
Here are some examples of negative feedback.
3. Neutral Feedback
When buyers receive item with some negligible issues or the seller falls slightly short of their expectations, they may leave neutral feedback. Examples are wrong color, slight delay, confusing terms, delayed responses etc. Neutral feedback neither adds nor subtracts to the overall score.
Detailed Seller Rating (DSR)
Detailed seller rating is a part of feedback which appears on the dashboard of the seller. It provides a more complete picture of the performance of the a seller.
The detailed seller rating consist of four areas.
- Item description
- Shipping Time
- Shipping and Handling Charges
The DSR system is based on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the lowest and 5 is the highest.
If your DSR rating is below a certain score, you may not be eligible for top rated seller status.
In order to enjoy some of the benefits, you must maintain a good DSR at all time.
The biggest impact of DSR is on the shipping charges. Sellers used to charge some exorbitant prices on shipping. These far higher than the actual shipping and handling charges. Since the introduction of DSR, sellers must charge only actual fees or offer free shipping. Sellers who charge more than the actual charges receive low DSR for S&H. their get lower DSR which negatively affect their rating and…
How to Avoid Negative Feedback?
For a starter seller, it is absolutely important to avoid any negative feedback. Receiving even a single negative can affect the business in a negative way.
Here a few steps that can help you to maintain your feedback percentage as high as possible.
1. Honest and Accurate Item Descriptions
Do not try to exaggerate any part of the listing that describe your item. Describe the item as honestly as you can. Buyers hate dishonest description and if they receive items which do not match your description, there are high chances that they will immediately leave negative feedback.
Mention any defects or shortcomings in the item. This builds trust with buyers. They appreciate honest sellers by not only mentioning all the great things about their product but also any defects.
If you think that words cannot describe your product accurately, take good pictures and highlight those parts that describe any shortcomings.
2. Stick to Your Shipping Policy
Buyers expect that you honor your own polices. For instance, your shipping policy describes that you ship items the same day, do not delay them. If you have genuine reasons to delay, let your buyer know. Most buyers will understand and even appreciated your communication.
Similarly, if you stipulate any service such as next day delivery, tracking service etc. make sure you stick to it. Do not substitute it for cheaper services if already stipulated by you.
3. Prompt Response
When the buyer receives an item and contact you about any issue, quickly respond. This tells the buyer that you are a genuine and professional seller and that you care about your customer. Offer them sincere help in case they need any.
Most problems are sorted out without any need of leaving negative feedback.
4. Be a Problem Solver
Buyers do not buy items, they buy solutions for their problem. If you are unable to solve the problem, you fail to deliver.
When buyer approach you with any problem, try to solve the issues by giving advice.
5. Be Generous
Sometimes a small generosity can go a long way in diffusing the tension of angry buyers. For instance, offering a 10% discount or partial refund make them happier than returning the item.
6. Be Courteous
Remember the customer is always right even if he or she is wrong. You are not doing any favor to the customer, it is the customer who is doing you a favor by giving you the opportunity.
Apologize to customers who are not happy; it works wonders. This let them see you in a professional light rather than a casual rip off seller.
Can eBay Remove Negative Feedback?
It hurts a lot when you receive negative feedback that you don’t deserve. However, under certain condition, you can approach eBay to remove the negative feedback.
- Unpaid Item
- Feedback Extortion
- Feedback Abuse
- Malicious Buying
You may also contact the buyer to sort out any outstanding issues. Once these issues have been sorted out and the buyer is happy, you may ask for revising the feedback comment left. Once the buyer agrees, you visit the feedback revised page and follow the instructions.