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When should an eBay seller leave feedback?

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Hi Terry,
I just bought the Auction Revolution, great stuff!

A question about feedback though.

You say you leave feedback when you ship, yet somewhere else you say you left negative feedback after a buyer complained, so that it after he has received the widget.

What exactly is your thoughts?

At the moment I am only leaving feedback after they have left positive for me.

Glasgow, Scotland

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I think that reference to leaving negatives for buyers in the Auction Revolution relates to older behaviors. During the next update, I’ll check that area to make sure it’s clearer. The Auction Revolution is updated once or twice a year to reflect eBay changes.

EBay no longer allows sellers to leave anything but positive feedback for buyers. Because I can’t leave anything except positives, there is no value in waiting. The idea with waiting was feedback extortion. By waiting until we were sure the buyer was happy, we made him hesitant to leave a negative due to fear we’d reciprocate.

I now try to leave positive feedback for everyone on Friday nights, but sometimes I get busy and skip a week.

Leaving feedback a week after the item is shipped might result in more feedback from buyers, but also results in more emails from buyers asking for feedback.

So if you have low feedback, you might do better to wait a week so you’re leaving feedback a few days after the buyer gets the package.

Years ago, back before eBay stopped allowing sellers to leave negatives for buyers, I looked at all the negative feedback on my big eBay account. Back then I was getting 1 negative for about every 2-300 positives. I don’t remember the exact number, but there were about 10 negatives.

Nine of the negative feedbacks were from buyers who hadn’t paid and then responded to the negative I left them for non payment with a negative for me. Only 1 was from an unhappy buyer, and he had expectations I couldn’t or wouldn’t meet.

Based on this, I stopped leaving negative feedback for buyers. Since then I have only had 1 negative in over 3000 eBay transactions. That was in September of 2011 and came from a buyer who bought used trains sold as is for parts or repair, and then returned them because they required more cleaning and servicing to be operational than he expected. He was upset because I didn’t refund his return shipping costs. .

I know feedback can be an emotional issue for eBay sellers, but if we deal honestly and ethically with our buyers they’ll have no reason to complain. The few people like the man above are so far out of line, that their opinions mean little.


PS. All buyers get updated versions of the Auction Revolution, and I send excerpts containing just the updates to newsletter subscribers so people don’t have to read the whole book to see what’s new.

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