ebay feedback

There is something that started off as slightly annoying, but has now become quite infuriating and frustrating.. people who don’t bother leaving feedback on ebay.

It may seem quite trivial and that I’m making a fuss about nothing, but take a look around the ‘net and see just how many people are feeling the same way.

Originally the idea of feedback was so that any potential buyer/seller could get a rough idea of how reliable, honest, trustworthy & such a person was before trading with them. This worked reasonably well, but gradually it all changed to a waiting game. My opinion of the way it should work is that when a transaction is completed… that is, when an auction has finished, or a BIN has been finalised and the seller has received payment, regardless of anything else the buyer has completed their end of the deal. I believe that that is the point where the seller should leave feedback. If I paid promptly then that is all I can do and the next step is down to the seller.
There have always been some sellers who wait & see what feedback the buyer leaves before deciding what to leave themselves. This is wrong of course. The buyer’s feedback should not be based on whether they left good or bad feedback for the seller. The whole point of the system is to try and encourage people to trade properly, without messing each other about and maintain some standard of quality. It is down to the buyer to pay promptly and the seller to accurately & honestly describe the item, ship promptly with adequate packaging and give some kind of reassurance that they will deal with any problems that may arise. That’s not really that difficult and if adhered to, the system works quite well.

One day, not a million years ago, ebay decided to change the system so that sellers could not leave negative feedback. I realise this is a bit weird and doesn’t make the seller feel very happy, but I think the idea was that it would help to stop this growing tendency for sellers to wait to see what they get before they decide what to leave. After all, the only responsibility the buyer has is to pay and if they don’t pay then the seller doesn’t ship the item until they do. It should also encourage sellers to make sure that they are honest with their descriptions and prompt with their shipping, but it hasn’t really helped. In fact it has a new element to it now that didn’t exist before the change.
I recently had to contact a seller and ask them if they could leave feedback for me. The response wasn’t what I expected.

Me (Buyer):
“Dear XXXXXXX,

Hi again, I recently reminded you about feedback for the item & still haven’t received any. I wondered if you were on holiday or something, but see your recent sales so that’s not the case.
Anyway, I paid immediately after I clicked the buy button. I also left positive for you…. so it would be appreciated if you could reciprocate.

Thanks.
Regards”

Them (Seller):
Dear XXXXXXX,

feedback is one sided i can only leave positive so why would i rush to do it .ill do it when i can spare the time not when u think i should . if it cant be done then its probly coz i have to reply to stupid questions like this taking upmy timeso i hav eno time to do things of no importance like feedback”

 

Nice huh?
Well needless to say I wont be ordering anything from that bloke again. So in this case his attitude says a lot more about him than his feedback. This is the reason why feedback is important. He asked why he would rush to do it, suggested my request was a stupid question that wasted his time. This is a trader? This is someone that relies on people with stupid questions to put food on his table.
I replied to him with the reasons feedback exists and why it is important, more so to him as a seller than to me a buyer and  that thanks to his attitude he has lost a potential return customer and also gained some bad publicity by word of mouth (a very powerful tool) and such things as this very blog.

So there you have it. The way it works on ebay now is that if you buy an item and pay for it immediately… if you don’t see any feedback for that item within a few days then it’s likely that you either wont receive any at all or they’ll wait until you leave some. Even though they (sellers) can’t leave negative for you, they wont leave any until you do. Tit-for-tat.
So in light of this, I now refuse to leave feedback for a seller until they leave it for me. Tit-for-tat. It seems only fair. After all, I paid & completed my side of the transaction. It’s not the best way to deal with it, but what else can you do? I wont help a seller gain reputation if they can’t be bothered to take a couple of seconds to type a few words to help me. They have more to lose than I do… a point they seem to miss.

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