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How Do I Respond To Negative Feedback?

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Hi Terry,

I have a question about negative feedback and how I should respond (reply to feedback given). I’ve started to reply but deleted my comment (several times in

I emailed the Buyer, through Ebay, the following:

“I received your negative feedback on this item but believe you may have posted to the wrong item. The auction closed on July 25th at 3:05 pm with your payment being received July 25th at 9:19 pm. Noted on the auction is that the item will be shipped within 3 business days of close of auction. The third day falls on July 31st which is the same day your item was shipped via USPS Parcel Post which you chose over the faster delivery of Priority Shipping that was offered.

With that, all terms and conditions were adhered to so I can only assume there was an error made in our transaction. Please contact me with your course of action for removal. Thanks. Theresa”

This is his reply:

“the 25th was a wed and the item was not shipped until the following tues. wed thru tues seems like a week to me.”

I’m thinking, okay, whatever dude, and I won’t be responding to his retarded reply to my email. Also, I have not yet left feedback for him. Probably won’t bother with mutual withdrawal or Square Trade either unless initiated by the Buyer (unlikely) or suggested
otherwise – too much trouble.

Terry, I can state just the facts about the transaction which clearly show I am not at fault, blah, blah, blah… and will do so but before that I would like to hear any suggestions you may have for a witty comeback
(witty is not required but sure would be fun!).

I appreciate you taking time to read this. I just discovered and subscribed to your newsletter and will be purchasing other e-books as funds permit. I’ve grown stale in my selling the last year or so and you have given me a boost that was soooooo needed. Thank you for that!

Your newest fan and fellow Arizonian,


* * * * *
Are common eBay selling mistakes costing you money? This short quiz will help you earn more money in your eBay auctions.
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I’d just leave him a negative and move on. You politely tried to get it removed, and failed. There is nothing else you can do with this buyer.

Some people look for reasons to complain. There is nothing you can do with these whiners. Luckily, they are few and far in between. About every 300th buyer is like this.

I think it is about their miserable lives. These sorry people feel lost and left out in the real world, and act aggressive online. Remember this and in time you’ll start to feel compassion for them rather than anger.

Some tips to help you avoid these problems in the future:

Some people recommend more communication after the sale. I don’t because it adds to your work load. Some systems make this easy to do, without adding to the work.

I only send I shipped your item emails when I make a mistake. In July 2007, I mistakenly deleted an email from Paypal saying someone had paid. When I left him a non paying bidder alert, he said he’d paid, and sent me a copy of the email. I shipped his package the next time I went to the post office.

He hasn’t left a negative feedback for me due to this error. This is because he is happy with his purchase, and probably enjoys his life.

Another suggestion is not mentioning in your listing when you’ll ship. Your auction says you will usually ship within 3 business days of receiving cleared payment. I ship once a week. My buyers don’t complain about this.

Suggestion three – Pack your items well. These people are looking for something to bitch about. Packing well is one way to change their focus. If you can make them think about how nice the item is, they’ll forget to look for excuses to complain.

Here’s another way to prevent slow transit times from giving whiners a reason to complain – only offer priority mail shipping. You are using eBay’s shipping calculator and to Arizona the difference is only 80 cents. On heavier items going longer distances the difference can be a few dollars, but it’s usually not very much.

Only offering one shipping method makes it easier for you because you don’t have to pay attention to the shipping method when packing, and gets the item there faster.

I do ship by book rate when I sell books to home schoolers because they expect to wait. The cost difference is much greater, and I know they won’t complain.

As you sell more items on eBay and get more complaints you’ll see patterns. These might point out areas you can improve.

Here’s an article on the eBay Feedback Obsession, and here’s some eBay Feedback Tips.

Did this answer your question? If not, try looking at the questions and answers within the Feedback category, or do a search for other questions.
If you are unable to find an answer to your question, send me an email, and I will answer it.

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