Fix some eBay feedback problems


Like many, I am interested in reputation systems, and eBay has built the largest public reputation system. Many have noted how feedback on eBay is overwhelmingly positive -- a 97% positive rating would be a reason to be wary of a seller.

It's also noted that people do this because they are scared of revenge feedback -- I give you a negative, you do it back to me. One would think that since the buyer's only real duty is to send the money that the seller should provide positive feedback immediately upon receipt of that money, but they don't.

Some fixes have been proposed, including:

  • letting you see the count of total auctions the party has been buyer or seller in, so you can see how many resulted in no feedback at all. Right now only eBay knows how large that number is.
  • double-blind feedback. That is to say that feedback is not revealed until both parties have entered it, or if only one party enters it, after the feedback period has expired.
  • Marking revenge feedback, ie. putting a mark next to negatives that were a response to an outgoing negative.

Thus you could have very low fear of revenge feedback and there would be no argument about who should go first.

This idea's fairly obvious, so like many other obvious ideas about eBay one wonders if eBay doesn't feel some benefit to themselves from not doing it, though it's hard to see. I'm also curious as to why eBay doesn't offer a "going, going, gone" auction where the auction closes only after 5 minutes with no bidding. That seems to be in the interests of sellers (and eBay which gets a cut of the selling price) and it's certainly not something they are unaware of.

The only proposition I've heard is that eBay has decided that there is a positive value to itself (and possibly sellers) from bid-sniping, the process of bidding preemptively in the last minute of an auction to not give other live bidders (who didn't use the automatic rebidder) a chance to come in with more. The only way this could be good woudl be if Snipers deliberately overbid in order to trump anything. Any research or thoughts on this? It may also be the case that the sniped auctions are more "fun," or more of a contest. And finally having fixed closing times does facilitate participating in multiple auctions for the same thing.

I have also posted updated eBay thoughts and an even simpler system which eliminates revenge and in fact now have an eBay tag for all eBay related posts, including thoughts on eBay's solution to all this.

Please Note: This thread is for discussion of philosophical or abstract aspects of the feedback system. Please do not post stories of your own particular problems from a particular seller or transaction. Keep it abstract.


But I as the seller and maybe you can view this from the seller's eyes and see a whole different story.
I had a guy buy an item from me that he needed by the weekend and he said he'd pay for it with PayPal right away after the auction ended and he did...the problem was the payment came to me UNCLEARED. Not all payments clear right away via Paypal. Sometimes PayPal puts a hold on the payment especially if it is coming from your checking account and then it clears later. This guy like you was upset with me because I did not send the item that day as I told him I could...because the payment didn't clear. That promise is on the assumption that I got PAID, not an unclear payment. I'm guessing you two ran into the same issue and he didn't send it because it hadn't cleared yet and you're there waiting on your end thinking it was paid when in fact it wasn't. Unfortunately, buyers like you raise hell about this and you don't get that sometimes this happens and that uncleared payment NEVER CLEARS...this is known as a SCAM which appens a lot on eBay...PayPal is very clear that you should not send ANY item until the payment clears and maybe you should have been more considerate and checked with PayPal until you hammered this person.

By the way, I know you're all about feeling good for your tenacity in calling PayPal and eBAy, but the fact is, that is NOT by any means why you won your case with Paypal. It is very simple, you paid for the item and the guy since he hadn't sent it had no tracking to show you received it, so they simply gave you your money back. EVERYONE and ANYONE can do the same thing without making a phone call.

None of that means you were scammed. Most sellers on eBay are very knowledgeable that all you have to do is file a claim and get your money back regardless if there is no proof an item has been sent, so the idea that someone would waste their time in an effort to scam you seems very implausible.

I had a guy 3 days after payment of an item leave negative feedback calling me a scammer - at the time I had 1000+ positive feedbacks and NO negatives...3 days...the item said 'ships in 2 days or more' and media mail was his choice of delivery which can take a few weeks, but 3 days later I was called a scammer with negative feedback because he hadnt' gotten it yet....erratic behavior from buyers have a LOT to do with excessive negative feedback.

First off. What the hell are you people buying? It sounds to me like all you are worried about is buying feedback? Listen to yourselves. whaaaa, I want "my" feedback now! Sounds like I want my oompa loompa now! Feedback is VOLUNTARY. I personally only care about the item I purchase or sell and could care less if someone leaves me feedback. I am not in 1st grade and dont need anyone to pat me on the back and tell me what a good boy I am because I paid. Well Duh, if you want the item then you gotta pay for it.
Now that thats outta the way. Feedback (if you choose to leave it) is your opinion of the COMPLETE transaction. NOT because you paid!!! Buyers obligation is NOT done once paid. NOT DONE!!! Buyer is obligated to not be a con, theif or scam artist and to NOT pay with STOLEN credit cards, steal parts out of items, KNOW what they are buying and not be a complete idiot. Know how to read. Not buy something if they dont agree with a sellers terms. People whining about having to pay to ship something back (was it in the sellers terms? If so YOU agreed! Dont snivel now!). You have a choice! The BACKBUTTON is your friend, learn it, love it, USE it if you dont agree to a sellers terms. NO ONE is forcing you to bid/buy.
So Buyer pays, Seller ships, Buyer receives, Buyer removes the part they need and puts their BROKEN part inside item they purchased and then sends back claiming item bad. Buyer still thinks Seller should have left positive feedback because Buyer paid. Thats cute. Fact is, there are MORE unscrupulous BUYERS on ebay than sellers. We have bought thousands of items off of ebay in the last nine years and have had 2 problems. Conversely, we have also sold thousands of items and let me tell you, there are some REAL knitwits out there.
I remember selling a laptop one time that was beautiful and worked perfectly. Shipped it out, buyer received and said it was DEAD. Wont work. Wont turn on. Nothing. I sold her JUNK! I had her return it (yes she had to pay to return it) and when it came back I opened the box and turned it on, booted right up. Worked perfectly. So I called the lady and told her it came back just 5 minutes ago and turned on with no problem. She said "really? How`d you turn it on?" I replied, "by pushing the power button". She said, "where is that?" I said "right on the laptop just above the keyboard where it says Power On/Off." She said "Oh, we couldnt find it". HELLOOOO?!?!?!?! So because she couldnt find the power button this laptop was dead? Are you kidding me? Guess what, she had to pay shipping again to get it back!
I have had people open stuff up and take parts out (even cutting our void stickers on cases and thinking we wouldnt notice that our sticker with MY initials on it was sliced in half).
How bout the SCAMMER buyer who bought tons of stuff from us then resold it all on ebay (good for him, thats cool, I have no problem with that he made a good profit too) and 10 MONTHS later tried to do a chargback on his credit card for ALL of the items he purchased from us and resold!!!
Yeah buyers are such "victims".
Quit whining, quit blaming others and protect YOURSELVES!! If you need ebay to hold your friggin hand then maybe you shouldnt play on your computer.
I make buyers pay return shipping. However, what I dont tell them is that when I get something back and inspect it and find it was an error on my part, I send a COMPLETE refund and reimburse them for the return shipping. But if I get something back and find I made an error (an the buyer wasnt a jerk about it since we are ALL human) I dont think they should suffer.
Heck, I sent a printer once that was large and heavy. I mistakenly described its functions as the next model up since we had just sold the other model and they looked identical I didnt realize it was the next model down. Buyer received and politely emailed me of the error. I was able to verify this through my own paperwork (not some bogus photos or switcheroo from the buyer), I refunded his complete payment and told him to keep the printer. It was a $140 sale. He said No, that he agreed to my terms in the listing and would send it back at his expense so I knew he was being honest but I wouldnt let him. I told him if he didnt want it he could give it to someone, sell it on ebay or use it for target practice. That was almost five years ago. To this day he buys stuff from us at least once a month.
So there are good BUYERS and good SELLERS out there. You just have to protect yourself the best you can and not expect ebay to babysit you. If you arent willing to take the risk then dont make a deal.

Thank you! I could not have said it better myself.

Your statement was ALMOST PERFECT, but one thing I think you could have included in this awesome rant of STFU to whining buyers is a take on the s/h...I constantly hear buyers complaining that someone has overpriced shipping AND HANDLING costs...yet the costs are listed prior to them bidding!!! Are buyers THAT LAZY they can't review the s/h cost and add it to their desired bid to figure out what they'd be paying for an item? Can they not read the auction or email and ask if someone combines s/h costs? This goes along the lines of a sellers policies that buyers ignore until time comes to bitch and complain. I just wanted to point out how awesome your rant was and how much I enjoyed it as a Silver Power Seller who is quitting on eBay due to their newdumbland policy...but mentioning s/h costs goes along what you've already mentioned so aggressively. Thanks!

I once put a Keyboard switch up for auction. I listed it with a no reserve price of $10. I said it had been sitting around in my lab for 1 year, I had not used it, I just wanted to clear it out and it was being sold AS IS! The item sold for $170! I shipped the item and gave the buyer postive feed back. When the buyer got it, he said one of the ports did not work. I said okay, if he would send it back to me, I would either get it repaired or refund his money. This included the original shipping, but not his shipping it back to me. It included my shipping it back to him. He didn't want to pay for shipping it back to me. I offered to go to arbitration and split the cost. He did not want to pay half. I explained to him it was an AS IS auction. He said it should have worked. I explained what AS IS meant again. After going around for 3 weeks, he said he would get it fixed, but he wanted some funds back. I said I would refund $25 via paypal. He did not want to pay the paypal fee for me giving him funds via Paypal (He originally paid via Paypal). I said, I won't pay anything more than I had offered. Not $.01. I figured I was getting a negative anyway at that point. I refunded the $25. He gave me a positive. If I had not given him a positive, at least I could have informed others about what happened had he given a negative.

I have since stopped giving feedback unless I receive the same.

I have done a lot of buying on Ebay and just received retaliatory negative feedback from a seller for the neutral that I left them. I agree the feedback system is flawed and needs to be revised. Until that happens I've decided to take the matter into my own hands and post the accurate details of the transaction at I know it won't change much but it does make me feel better knowing that the truth is there for all to see.

I have to ask a few questions about this...
1. When you got what you paid for, was the product OK?
2. I realize getting it that late is an issue, but honestly, buy the emails, the guy had been telling you he was sick and unable to leave the house - we can't verify that and can only assume different - I didn't really look into it, but he seems to otherwise have great feedback...I just wondered what you had to actually gain leaving a poor feedback?
The reason I ask is that I get people who take 3 or 4 weeks to pay, some nearly a month after NPB was filed and everything...and I NEVER leave them negative feedback. Retaliatory feedback works both ways.
3. I wanted to point out that it seemed more of an effort on your part to create an entire web page and talk about it on here than it was to deal with the problem...I guess if I had the same problem, I'd simply have filed a PayPal claim and moved on after 3 weeks...I don't really find the need to leave those types of feedbacks. They never resolve anything.
4. What if you had never emailed and asked about the item and 4 days later after payment left a negative? WOuld that be fair? Happened to me. Just making a point that it goes both ways...I honestly don't think this guy should have left you a negative though.

Duplicate comment deleted. Don't post it again.

The forum in Ebay right now has employees working and pretending to be regular folks. The message is very clear on Ebay that the seller should wait for the feedback from the buyer no matter what the circumstance. There is a group of people that are on the Ebay forums that will insult, and be agressive and abusive to anyone that offers any other opinion other than that the seller is to receive feedback first. They also promote the use of feedback retaliation. This is being fed by Ebay, from Ebay employees. This group will go to any post that offers anything but this information and will vote that "NO". The more no votes a person gets the more it hurts his history on the forums. It is deliberate, and condoned by EBAY. I copied the core values from Ebay and made a case for each and every one of the values and facts about how Ebay has not lived up to their value statements. The post was removed.

Ebay gets involved with posts on the Community sections with many employees working at censoring out any real factual information that puts Ebay into a less than sunny and charming view. How is it that Ebay hides behind section 230 of the communications act when it comes to feedback and trading when they are actively involved in agressively censoring feedback.

Look Ebay gets paid through fraud transactions. The vast majority of the designer items are fake. They arent getting sued by designer brands because they are assisting the designer brand companies to remove the items.

Ebay is also now in the porn business. I saw no less than 24000 items that would be considered hard porn that were active at one time.

The proliferation of all the vagauries of illegal activities has been welcomed by Ebay with open arms. It is a cash flow decision. They could easily minimize the amount of fraud that takes place but they do not because in that same process they would eliminate some people that do not want to leave and verify their accounts and still do trade on Ebay. The nickels and dimes is what they are about. They don't realize that their actions keep promoting all that is bad about internet ecommerce.

Is it any wonder why hackers love to go onto Ebay?
Is it any wonder why people love Ebay to commit fraud?
Is it any wonder why bad sellers flourish on Ebay?
Is it any wonder why feedback retaliation is to be expected?
Is it any wonder why ebay is becoming a lemon marketplace?
Is it too late for management to do anything to clean up Ebay?
Is it any wonder why 25% of the power sellers left Ebay for other sales channels in the last two quarters?
Should shareholders demand that with the security breaches and the lies about it and their be a change in management to steer Ebay into a more mainstream responsible corporation that will take the necessary steps to keep Ebay from sinking into every cesspool possible and getting comfortable making a profit wading and actually promoting all the crap. People arent fooled any longer by the value statements and other hyperbole. There is too much information on how Ebay handles,, mishandles their responsibility. It is a ripe time for other companies to step up and take over an auction business that will work and one that you don't feel "dirty" using.

Is it any wonder why 25% of the power sellers left Ebay for other sales channels in the last two quarters?

It's ironic that you would ask that while bashing eBay for other things among them 'feedback retaliation' The reason most quoted for those leaving eBay over that time period and the reason I am personally leaving eBay (Silver Power Seller) mostly relates to their new feedback policy that PREVENTS retaliatory feedback. The fact is, retaliatory feedback works both ways and now you'll only see it working one way and sellers aren't staying around to enjoy that mess.

Yes, the buyer was totally within his rights to leave negative FB for us. That's not the issue. The puzzle to the whole thing is that the buyer told the community how horrible we are, then wanted something else from our store. So, we promptly refunded the buyer in full with our apologies, both in our FB response and on feedback left for buyer. Buyer left neg., we left neutral.

Word of advice to buyers: if you are going to leave negative FB for a seller, that is essentially telling the community that the seller is no good. Just know, however, that doing that before giving the seller a chance to fix what could very well may be a genuine error, still hurts the PERSON--yes I said the dreaded "P" word--and really does not give them confidence that they will satisfy you by sending you something else. After all, you just told everyone how much you hate the way the seller does business. Do you buy something from the store, find out it's not what you thought you were buying when you got home, decide to file a lawsuit against the grocery store, THEN ask the store to exchange your item and expect them to not be scared shitless to deal with you again? Cool off before you touch that keyboard.

Both sides--sellers and buyers--seem to have the same problem: sense of entitlement. That ruins the trust that should be between buyers and sellers in general. If neither buyers nor sellers let themselves get caught up in a flaming war through feedback, then individuals in the ebay community can stop perverbrally "shooting themselves in the foot" and do business like the adults they think they are.

My experience has told me that having a buyer leave feedback first is best. When I buy something I leave feedback, think about it, it's called feedback! It really isn't a real rating system, ebay has one of those separate from feedback. I am not a big ebay buyer or seller and have only done a few hundred transactions but, to be quite frank I don't give a crap about feedback. If I find something I want; I check out the item, ask questions and review the feedback sensibly. Like wise if I am selling some thing, I expect people to do the same. The experience I had was that I sold a book, the buyer left a totally false feedback based on something totally wild and unrelated to the sale and that was the buyer's choice,they did not contact me first I didn't get mad or upset, I just left feedback for everyone to see what happened and I followed up on the feedback they left. They did not follow up on my feedback. Simple. I don't care what anyone says; if I sell you something, I'm gonna wait for you to say so in the feedback section of ebay before I leave it for you. That really is the buyers incentive for contacting me first if they have some issue. I must confess I really like reading negative feedback, it is really funny sometimes and if someone has a lot of negs I probably won't buy from them but I will get some entertainment from reading the comments!!!
I guess the arguments can go back in forth for years as it has here, I say don't worry about it ! Just buy and sell joyfully and be honest and leave feedback whenever you want. This is a good subject, I enjoyed reading your comments!!

I have one question. This is for buyers/sellers. I would like to ask if a feedback is not returned should you make contact and send a note asking if they got their package and that you left FB and would kindly appreciate the return.

So now buyers (or shall we say wanna-be buyers) have been granted their wish by the eBay genie & can now hold any transaction hostage to their slightest whim and desire.
I say wanna-be buyers because there won't be many
sellers left on eBay now that they have won their petty "who leaves
feedback first" battle. The only problem you will have is finding someone willing to sell to you as most of the good sellers are going elsewhere and I am certain they will not be emailing those of you who feel your only obligation with a trading partner is the initial payment.
eBay's new policy just announced now prohibits sellers from leaving anything other than positive feedback for ALL buyers. How special do you feel now? You will be rated just like the scum sellers have been trying to protect themselves from - as absolutely perfect in every way.
As for all the paranoia and outright slander about how EVERY damage is the seller's responsibility because you don't want insurance--you have clearly never watched the various shippers load their trucks. They will take that box and throw it from the dock to the back of the truck. Then they will stack 10,000 pounds on top of it. And the seller is responsible for this why? The insurance does not cover shipping charges, only the value of the contents of the package -
so when a seller opts to self-insure, knowing that no matter how
well they pack an item a certain number or percentage will be damaged. They put that money in a pool so that when the damage does occur you actually get a better deal because most of them will refund shipping & items charges when they are controlling the situation. I recently had a feedback that read like this; "wonderful, wonderful packing...item arrived with box crushed on two sides - items intact". I did my job with plenty of bubble wrap and cushioned the extremely old and fragile porcelain antique set in the center, protected on top, bottom and all sides with peanuts. However,that could easily have been the damaged one. Those shipping supplies cost me over $10 and I charge a $1 handling fee plus ACTUAL postage. So was I supposed to leave feedback first and take the chance of someone being upset because the BOX was damaged? Or because they didn't see insurance on the package? Please!
Most of my customers are super people, I do not "withhold" feedback--I want to know if they are satisfied or not. They can leave positive feedback to let me know that or they can email me saying it arrived and all is well. Either way I will THEN leave feedback for them - positive. I clearly state that in my listings and if that is a problem WHY ON EARTH would they bid on my items? If you don't like how an individual seller does business, do not do business with them. So simple.
Too bad though, because you have gotten your wish. Now single moms, handicapped veterans and a host of other nice and honest people who depended on eBay to supplement their meager incomes and truly TRY to satisfy every buyer that comes their way are put in the same pot as the dishonest sellers. Bad sellers AND buyers will still be on eBay
for you to bash, so don't get too upset.
The difference is that the good sellers won't stick around and be forced to LIE and say that an experience was positive when actually it was a nightmare that cost them their grocery money.
Bye, bye. I hope those of you with the stinkin thinkin never find my new auction site.

I've got 7300 positive feedbacks and Ebay have suspended my account as one of my smaller items has a trademark question and they have removed ALL my listings

Bye Bye Ebay - gonna spend my ad money elsewhere you greddy b*****rds


Well Ebay knows when the buyer pays for an item. So based on that Ebay can leave an automatic feeback as to the buyer paying on time!

Also I think all questions and answers regarding big ticket items like Cars should be posted to the post automatically. Does the car have paint work? Has it been wrecked. Lots of dealers on EBay claim the carfax or Autocheck is Ok, but they only target car that are frame damage or Unibody repaired.

The solution is so simple : Sellers should not be able to receive a feedback before leaving his feedback to the buyers. It should be like this. As a buyer, If i buy an item and pay right away, I should receive my positive feedback from the seller right now. This way sellers will NEED to leave a feedback if they want to receive one and we will also make sure feedbacks are well deserved.


If only it was that simple.

I'd say that 50% of my feedback is as a seller and 50% is as a buyer. I currently have about 500 bits of feedback and have a 100% rating.

I always ship the next business day. I always use tracking. I always accurately describe my items (I primarily sell vinyl records so condition is very important). However, I will not leave feedback until after a seller does. This is because I do not trust my buyers because Ebay buyers are not trustworthy. They will extort, they will complain, they will deny receiving an item despite delivery confirmation, they will complain about shipping cost despite charging cost plus $0.50 for a $0.50 record mailer.

The correct way for Ebay to solve this issue is to have a sliding scale for Ebay buyers and sellers in that the more you historically spend buying or selling without complaint gives you more weight to your feedback. This scale would dictate how much oversight Ebay should expend on a transaction.

For example, suppose a newbie user complains about an established seller. Any negative feedback left for the seller should 1) prompt a cursory investiagtion by Ebay to see if the negative feedback is warranted and 2) if warranted, be weighted less against the sellers total. The reverse would also hold true: if an established buyer leaves negative feedback on a newbie seller that would require little oversight from Ebay and would greatly impact the seller's rating.

Learning the Ebay culture and properly dealing with expectation is the key.

Syl, you are a complete idiot and one of the primary reasons eBay is engaging in this illogical act of suicide with its new policy. Whiny idiots like you who come up with these stupid comments are simply a your ONLY obligation is to pay for an item and that's it? So if you have to return it and send back an empty box or something that OBVIOUSLY isn't what you purchased to scam the seller, then that is OK because at that point, you'd have received your positive feedback right? What a dunce, lol.

Few will deny that eBay's feedback system has always been flawed. However it has created a balance that each side can get to know each other by past transactions on eBay. Let's face it we rarely if ever see our trading partner in person. We do not know any of the people they know and we have none of the traditional ways of knowing the honesty and integrity of the person we are dealing with.
As a buyer I want to be able to read a sellers rating and feedback comments so I can limit my risk.
As a seller I want to be able to do the same. I have had people buy from me and want to extort me into changing the terms of the auction after they received the item. They want a partial refund on a claim it does not work, yet when I offer a full refund if the item is returned I never hear back from the people except one that went directly to Paypal and filed a claim to get ALL of the money back without returning the items. Sadly weather you are talking about buyers or sellers there are a small percentage that are trouble and we want to avoid. By eBay's own admission 1% of the sellers cause the problems on eBay. But instead of eliminating the 1% they are willing to make the other 99% suffer through their changes. Will it remove the 1%? some but not all & there will always be more that come along. What it will do more than anything is drastically reduce the # of good sellers and in turn the great selection of items at cometitive prices that buyers currently enjoy.
It will not be long before buyers as much or more than sellers long for the original feedback system and the wonderfull selection of items at great prices.
Buyers do not be fooled that these changes are in your interest. Ebay wants to get away from used items and only have new items which will mean you will not see the great deals on used items that drive the excitement on eBay. eBay is also in the process of nudging sellers to offer FREE shipping. Sounds good to you buyers right? Think again, it will only raise the prices. The shipping cost has to go somewhere and that somewhere is into the price. If it goes into the price then eBay collects more fees and sellers will have to raise prices higher to compensate or they will stop selling on eBay. Selection of items is reduced again. How many people go to a huge mall that has only a couple of small stores? Not many.

Sellers this is just a 1st step to test you and see how far they can push you. They know if they can force you into these changes in feedback then they give all of the power to the buyers who unfortunately there are just enough bad ones to destroy your seller reputation and cause you to be lowered in the searches and have your payments held by Paypal for up to 21 days of more if a claim is filed by the buyer. Just like there is not a huge number of sellers that are bad there is not a huge number of buyers that are bad. Unfortunately it does not take that many running around with free reign to leave negative feedback for any reason to destroy many many sellers reputations.
As a Powerseller I have been greatly concerned which led me on an exhaustive search for a solution.
I was fortunate to find one, at least for the feedback problem, the rest of eBay's imposed nightmares still loom.
I found a sight created by a Professor of computer science that has friends that are sellers. The site is called AFTERTHEGAVEL.COM and it is FREE for all of us sellers to use. It gives us the balance back by allowing us to submit neutral and negative feedback for bad buyers. With enough seller participation it will be able to repair the gaping hole that eBay is creating in the feedback system.
If you are a seller please go look at this site. It is professionally developed and is our best chance of retaining our balance.

How useful is a bad buyer rep? Seriously. Most buyers bid in the last 30 seconds, as they should, so you can't pick your buyer based on feedback. If the buyer who wins is a scumbag, you could decide to nullify the auction (at a cost of a negative feedback to you) but at present ebay doesn't have a way to automatically ban poor buyers. So if you have a poor buyer as the winner, what can you actually do? Give bad service if they complain? Not going to really help you. Deliberately giving poor service, to anybody, will earn you neg feedback in the end.

And if buyers get too much neg feedback, they can just create another account. Sell under an account that doesn't buy (or behaves well when it buys.) What are you going to do, refuse all sales to people with low feedback? You know they can do cheap transactions to get some meaningless feedback.

So what is the great thing neg feedback to buyers did for you?

Note, you should move to more recent threads than this one!

Here is a very easy fix to 'some', not all, of the current issues with eBay buyers & sellers.

1) Pre-Qualify all buyers before they can even place a bid. As an eBay Powerseller who purchases items from Government auctions and various tool and knife distributors, my business is pre-qualified to do business with them before I can even enter the sites to view items for sale! If I place a bid on an item and happen to be a winning bidder, my credit card (or approved method of payment) is charged IMMEDIATELY AT AUCTION END.

2) Pre-Qualify ALL Sellers as an official business: My business has state, city and county licenses, sales tax numbers, federal tax id number and is formed as a LLC. If I have gone to so much effort to establish my business, I am not about to let a single buyer ruin my feedback because of their inability to read and comprehend a first grade level description.

Each of the above examples require address verification

eBay tries to make the system as attractive to buyers as it can. It would rather have more buyers, and not scare any away with pre-qualification, than have better buyers. You're not a government auction. So this is unlikely to happen.

Ditto sellers. eBay wants anybody to be able to sell. Ordinary folks with pez dispensers. It already has its systems to qualify sellers -- high feedback, power seller, etc.

Ebay feedback will never be perfect. Why? Because there are way too many, that abuse it.
I sell & I also buy on eBay.

As a seller, I have experimented with the feedback policy, several times, trying to aquire the most feedback response possible.
-- Here are the results ---
1. leaving POSITIVE feedback as soon as payment is made from the buyer. ( RESULT = I receive approx. only 60% return feedback from buyers. Also I have received NEGATIVE feedback, with claims of non-reciept, even with USPS insurance confirming delivery. Again, remember that I have already posted POSITIVE for this buyer. Yes, I can reply to the NEGATIVE, but that doesnt help my 100% POSITIVE. Does it? NO, it doesnt).
2. leaving POSITIVE feedback only after receiving feedback from the buyer, indicating the transaction is complete. ( RESULT = I receive approx. 60% return feedback. The same percent, as before. However, no NEGATIVE feedback received).

As a buyer, I always post feedback as soon as I receive the item. ( RESULTS = about 60% of the sellers return feedback, to me , the buyer).

So, as you can plainly see, feedback will never be perfect. There are always going to be sellers that are unsatisfied & there are always going to be buyers that are unsatisfied.
Just a F.Y.I.- eBay & PayPal, do very little, and most of the time, absolutely NOTHING to rectify receiving fraudulent NEGATIVE feedback.

Thanks for your time.

My confidence in buying from anyone on ebay is now shattered. Back in January i bought an acoustic guitar that was advertised as new. Keep in mind this seller sells a lot of B stock items too. Anyway, I spent $674 for this guitar, $679 with shipping insurance. I paid immediately after i won the action. Guitar arrived about a week later. Before it arrived i was never given notice it was shipped or received a tracking number. The box had some damage to it. I inspect it and there were cracks in the finish. I was very disappointed but didn't blame the seller as i did buy shipping insurance. So i went online to UPS and filed a claim. UPS never tells me the were coming to pick it up so i wasn't home the first time they came. So they pick it up for inspection back at the hub i guess and left me with a damage claim ticket. Again without any notice UPS sends the package back to the seller.

Here's where it gets good. Seller sends me an email asking what happened with the guitar and that it was fine when it shipped. I told him it must have gotten damaged in shipping and i filed a claim. I didn't hear from him for a few days so i started sending emails requesting the status of the claim. Keep in mind that his policy on lost or damaged items was he will immediately give a refund once claim has been verified. After UPS inspects a package they send a claims packet to be filled out and faxed/mailed back to them. At least that is what i was told by UPS. After two weeks of no responses i leave a stern email stating if i do not get a reply i will leave negative feedback. Well that one got his attention and he responds back that they have sent multiple emails that i have never responded to. Well that of course is a lie given that it was me that sent the emails and they were the one's that never responded back. He said that the guitar was fine and i just refused it. He would ship it back to me if i paid for shipping. At this point i knew that i had been screwed. I refused his "offer" and said that i wanted him to file the claim. He says there is no claim and that i'm a liar and just can't afford it. So after some heated exchanges by email i final decided to file a dispute with paypal. He continued to deny the package was damaged, kept calling me a liar, and threatening me with legal action and reporting to ebay. At that point i had enough and escalated it to a claim. Well, it's two months later. He has the guitar and my money and ruined my 100% feedback rating. My claim is still being "reviewed" by paypal. Seller offer a partial refund of $610. I refused it because i will not take a $50 hit from a fraud. Now a month later he sends me a mutual feedback withdrawal request but leaves a message telling to to accept it and move on. That i'm liar and i know it. Yeah, like that's going to make me withdraw my feedback. So i left a follow up reply stating that i looks like i'm not the only that's being screwed by you. He's had others leave negative feedback within the past month with similar issues.

My take on this is that the seller sent me a B stock item and advertised it as new. That's why he refused to file the claim and tried to make me out as the bad guy. Yeah, i just love to waste my money so i can refuse packages and cause trouble for myself! He ruined my perfect feedback rating and more importantly still has my money. How can ebay let fraud like this continue? This seller had a 99.4% rating and i trusted it. Ebay is seriously flawed! I've reported this and nothing is being done. I'm going to do all i can to get this person banned from ebay. He chose the wrong person to screw over. If this doesn't turn out in my favor i will take him to court and then i'll sue ebay for letting this continue. I will never purchase anything off of ebay ever again!

The biggest problem is people like you come along, they see someone with great feedback, they trust it and then when an issue arises, all hell breaks loose and you find the need to find someone or someone to blame and heads are going to roll, etc. Let me point out several mistakes you made that I read conclusively in your rant:
1. The guy said he tried to email you and you automatically concluded he was a liar. I can tell you now that not ALL EMAILS get to their destination. With spam blockers and all kinds of software now being used, it is very likely he emailed you and some attempts to go directly to your email were sent to bulk or deleted completely. He may have then emailed you via eBay's email forwarding system and I can tell you that I've checked that also and found some that never made it to my email's inbox. Calling someone a liar and putting up that wall of distrust starts the primary line being drawn there.
2. I read what you wrote about the incident and it sounded confusing to ME, so I'm sure it was to your seller also. It was like, this happened and there was confusion with UPS and they picked up and sent it back, etc, weren't even clear telling exactly what happened with this thing. It doesn't sound like the guy is being fraudlent more than it does confused as I was when I read this. You say UPS picked it up without any inspection and sent it back to the guy? I can tell you now that having worked for UPS in the past, the item is taken to UPS and inspected, NOT sent back to the sender, so that all honestly doesn't come off making you sound good. I'm not saying you're lying, but your version of the events seems tapered to you.
3. You went right for the feedback threat and then you assumed it was that feedback threat that made him finally email you. Sometimes people do not understand cause and effect interacting with logic...could it BE a coincidence? I'm pretty sure it could have been.
4. You jump on that dreaded feedback snowball deal where you use the fact that a seller has ANY OTHER negative feedbacks during that time and somehow correlate them with the fact that he MUST be wrong and cheated other people. Those other feedbacks I'm sure have NOTHING to do with your issue other than someone might have felt vindicated to leave them in what's known as the snowball effect for feedbacks - one person leaves one and then someone else sees it and right or wrong, if there is issue, they leave one to because in their mind and you had the SAME THOUGHT - if enough people bash this guy, we'll get him kicked off eBay. Suddenly getting this guy kicked off eBay becomes the focus and you lose focus of the actual issue...when did the original issue not become focus?
5. You're outright blaming eBay and the feedback system for this issue and it seems to me this is unfortunate since the guy had great feedback and so did you and it seems this is more of an isolated circumstance - not him running some kind of campaign to fraud people. If he was doing that, his feedback NEVER would get to 99.4% - more people than just you would be leaving negative feedback.
6. The bottom line is this belongs in a court of law to determine the outcome if Paypal was unable to resolve the issue. It would seem to me that if the item was sent back to him, and you did the follow-up properly with PayPal, PayPal would have reimbursed you already - why wouldn't they? THis seems to be something you should be taking up with PayPal instead of focusing anger and agression in getting this guy kicked off eBay. If you failed to file the claim in time, then that is your own fault for not following through...reading back to the issues you had with UPS picking up the item and not inspecting it and all that, it seems there is a lot you did wrong that you aren't taking any responsibility for. That's not to say this guy is right for keeping your money AND getting back the item, but it seems there was a lot more you could have done and now since you failed to do so, you're on here blaming it on everyone else and not taking any mature responsibility for your own actions or lack thereof.

Ebay and paypal make millions of dollars per second THEY should be the acting hub for ANY problems and the concept of feedback should be eliminated. They allow their customers to hammer out problems as they rake in the dough! ebay executives must be laughing all the way to the bank when they hear anybody whine about feedback. EBAY should handle each and every case, at this point they could probably afford the very best in the world! When someone sells something then they should know that ebay is standing ready to enforce strict behavioral standards. If you are going to buy something you should know that ebay is going to ensure that your buying experience is going to be to notch! ebay should just drop feedback and step up to the plate!

The way i see it is that the transaction is not complete until both parties are happy. I buy as much as i sell on ebay and worry more about receiving negative feedback for a sale than i do about not receiving an item i've paid for. Ebay states that you should try and resolve the matter before leaving negative feedback but i would imagine most people skip past this message in anger. Feedback seems to be more of a bargaining chip than an acurate representation of a buyers/sellers performance. Ebay should mediate any situations where negative feedback is about to be left to eradicate retalitory feedback, either that or get your dad to go round and beat up their dad!

I just couldn't keep my opinions to myself any longer.

eBay’s original feedback system was broke and has just been smashed to smithereens. The integrity of the original system was only as good as the integrity of the participants and easily abused by both parties, but silencing the seller will turn it into a one-sided and meaningless system.

Most of the complaints in this forum are focused on a very small percentage of both buyers and sellers holding the other hostage by threatening negative feedback. Like others, I have a serious issue with sellers that advertise, right in their listing, that they will leave feedback in kind (tit for tat) and I refuse to patronize them. For many other sellers, I have found it to be an unwritten rule. In my own experience as both a buyer and seller (mostly buyer) there have been 2 occasions when I (currently 205 w/ 99%) have received retaliatory negative feedback after I have exhausted other options for a satisfactory resolution (when multiple contact attempts were repeatedly ignored over several weeks, the seller deserved the negative I gave them, regardless of any other considerations).

I like the double-blind proposal submitted earlier as it puts both buyer and seller on equal footing and would encourage honest feedback on the totality of the transaction. Sure, there are still going to be a handful of morons that leave negative feedback because they either didn’t read or comprehend the details of the listing, or because they didn’t get everything for nothing, but it is usually evident from their rant where the problem actually lies and most people will be able to see through it. I don’t see where a handful of morons will seriously damage a seller’s reputation, and their transactions probably went so poorly that the seller already left negative feedback for them anyway. OK, so you wouldn’t be able to retaliate against some a’hole that desperately needs it; just accept it and move on. You would still have the opportunity to respond to the feedback left for you. And remember, no system is going to be perfect.

Some other thoughts:

Both parties have their own responsibilities and obligations and I see no reason or benefit to requiring one party to leave feedback before the other. Feedback should be left when you are satisfied that the deal is done; just accept the fact that sometimes you will be wrong.

Because of abuses of the current system, feedback scores are artificially inflated. Scores would be slightly lower with the threat of retaliation removed, but they would be a lot more meaningful for everyone.

Counter intuitively, I have noticed that some of the sellers with the highest scores are those that have left feedback for me immediately upon receipt of my prompt payment; just an observation that supports my contention that a double-blind system will not seriously damage a reputable seller’s score.

And finally, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. When it comes to receiving negative feedback… there are those who have, and those who will.


I won an auction for a scooter recently. The seller had a number of ways to pay and I chose a certified check.
There were no stipulations other than full payment was expected in 7 days.

The seller provided his phone number and I called him to arrange for the pick up and payment of my item.

The seller kept pressing for cash at pick up, but because of the cost of the item, I did not want to carry that
kind of cash on a long trip. And I wanted a paper trail of a more official type, other than some hand written

The seller did not want to accept the certified check and release the item at the same time. I told him I was not going to "give" anyone that kind of money and not take my item. He gave me some B.S. story about having a large certified check written to him and they even went to the bank of origin together and the bank would not cash the check because it was written within the same 24 hour period. (I later checked with this bank and they have no such policy)
I told him I wasn't going to leave the check with him. I reminded him that a certified check is the same as "cash".
He made another B.S. story about I might cancel the check....sheeeesh! A cashiers check cannot be cancelled by the issuer unless that same check is taken back to the bank of origin.
He finally agreed to the certified check and release of the item. He said I would have to provide my driver's license and social security number........ WHHHHHHAT?????? No one gets my social security number!!! This guy was just being a bully and seemed was not going to accept anything but cash. Then why make an auction with alternatives as he did?
I told him that was inappropriate information to ask for. I told him to forget the deal. He told me "fine" he was going to leave "appropriate" feedback. I told him "the great thing about ebay is, so can I!

So I hung up. A few days went by and I kept getting email about paying for the item. And all of this mail acted like he was clueless about the phone converesation. I believe it was his way of appearing innocent for the ebay support staff if trouble came. I told him to knock it off and to leave me alone. Any further email would be considered harrassment on his part.

A few more days go by and he writes me that he is putting my name on the vehicle title! What an idiot! I told him that I leaving appropriate feedback for him....and I did. I left feedback that stated "seller tried to solicit SS# for vehicle sale. Avoid this seller!"

Only a couple of hours later I get an ebay message that the seller has requested a mutual withdrawal of feedback.
So I did so. I should have checked what feedback he left for me first. He actually published my real name in the feedback!!!! OMG this seller is a real moron! So....what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Even though the feedback is mutually withdrawn, that only reflects in your "rating" and each of us had 100% positive feedback. Well.....the real feedback still appears on your feedback record for all to see! I found the place where you can actually reply to feedback. I left a reply that stated "his name -is a liar. I offered driver's license for I.D. Seller is a troublemaker!" Yes I published his name after he did it to me. All the time I also was reporting his actions to ebay. Of course I got the complimentary form letter from them, but no one has addressed my problem.

I think this guy's account should be closed and ban him if possible. And if I get banned for publishing his name, then so be it.

People like him are just bullies and do not belong on ebay. And my wife's idea I like also. He is just a small individual who is trying to get in the last word and it cost him his reputation in the end. He had a score of 350 some transactions....I only have 22.....He has a lot more to lose by acting as he did.

I am looking at this blog because I wanted to see what others have to say. I don't feel that Ebay really protects anyone. I have had problems as a buyer and a seller. Currently I have sold a brand new computer at auction and a brand new pair of golf shoes. Both buyers didn't pay. I have had to wait to file the unpaid item and after I have tried to contact the buyer several time. I even requested the buyers phone number only to find out that it was bogus. So now I have to wait for time to go by so I can get my listing and final valuation credit. Why can't ebay wait to get the final valuation fee until after the item is shipped or paid for by the buyer? Now I am out money and I can't relist until the credits hit my account or I won't be credited? So this is all wasting my time. I have already left deserved negative feedback for both of these buyers because using bogus info is a violation of ebay policy, and also I have tried for over a week to ask for payment or if they even wanted the item any longer. No contact. So that is deserved bad feedback. I always leave feedback for buyers after they pay. Sometimes I don't get feedback in return, sometimes I contact them after wards and ask if they are happy and remind them about leaving feedback.
As a buyer, I purchased an item from a seller in scotland. I paid and I never received the item. it took forever, I relized later that there was a time limit to file any complaints and I just got in under the wire, I never got any shipping number and I had bad non existant communication from the seller, I didn't get my money back until after ebay got involved and I did leave bad feedback for the seller and he left neg feedback for no reason. so the system is flawed. Everyone should just have a little respect. You win an auction you pay. not in 7 days, you pay right away, you are sitting there in front of your computer when the auction ends, pay now. Leave feedback. don't be rude. It would be a better place but aparently there a bunch of morons around signing up for ebay accounts just waiting to screw with you. If the buyer has a 0 after their user name, I just don't trust them and don't even want to accept bids from them. a few bad apples really do spoil the whole bunch!

Those are some AWESOME ideas Brad, did you submit them to eBay? I really wish they'd take your advice.


Lots of other auction sites out there for ebayers to transition too. I've officially quit ebay all together and here are some links for sellers and buyers to look at:,,,,,,,,

Brad thanks for share

Yeah - feedback is just useless on eBay.

When will there be an Ebay class action lawsuit about shipping DSR system? Specifically, the shipping time DSR, it is inherently unfair to them but especially when it comes to Cross Border Trade. Specifically, it is unfair for a buyer to rate them on how long it takes a carrier to deliver a package. But it's not just delivery delays; it's customs, unreasonable buyer expectations (which we must better manage, by the way), higher shipping costs and the inherent pitfalls of language differences and mistranslations that create a real illegal point for sellers regarding this particular DSR.

we have just received a negative feedback from a buyer
. This buyer left a feedback saying that she did not
receive our parcel at the post office and we did not want to refund her
the full amount.

We have sent this bag via certified mail on the day the buyer paid. Through
our tracking number as seen from USPS site, and an email from our local
post office, this item has been sent to the buyer, but
buyer was not around, so the postman has left a note to the buyer to
collect it.
However, buyer still claims that there was no note, and insisted a FULL
refund many times. She said she went down to post office last sat but
they said no parcel.

Hence, we called up the USPS tracking dept, and they have again
confirmed that parcel is residing in the town post office. We even took down the tel, address, and opening hours of the post office and informed our buyer.

However, it seems to us that this buyer just do not want to collect it
and said that there was no parcel the last time she went. If she did not
go to the correct post office that we stated, or did not give them the tracking number that we stated, of course there will not be any parcel.

With all the collection info given to the buyer, she just gave us a
negative feedback saying that she did not receive the item and we did
not want to give her a refund.

We are very upset about this incident. This is the first time we have
experienced this from a buyer.

We also felt threatened because this buyer kept demanding a FULL refund.
Our stand is that we have proof that we did deliver the item, and on the
actual day it was paid.

We have went to LIVE Chat under ebay yesterday and asked for advice if
we are obligated to do a FULL refund, what we understand was that only
if the item was redirected back to Singapore, which means buyer did not
receive, then we do a full refund.

Also, we would like to clarify from all the experienced sellers out there: If we sent via certified mail, and the
buyer was not around when the postman comes, a note was left. However,
if she did not want to collect at the designated post office after we
have informed her about the collection address and tel number and many
times on the tracking number, and kept insisting she does not have the
parcel, is it our fault?

Please advise.

We have done whatever we could, even making numerous distance calls to USPS, and the local post office and help to arrange redelivery for this buyer, because buyer just refuse to contact post office even though we gave her the number.

It is totally frustrating!

We contacted ebay and asked for feedback removal for this case, but we have just received a reply that they can't remove it. We are totally upset, ebay cannot do anything even though we have proof that item was delivered, and residing in the post office as buyer was not around at that time.

The new feedback rules have gone too far. It allows buyers to act like complete idiots with no fear of a negative feedback. I once sold a marine 12 volt VHF radio to a woman who then shoved the wires into her wall socket. When the radio blew up she left me negative feedback. Ebay is filled with kneejerk idiots. These are the people who are bullies in life, yell at there spouses and kids, and expect everything there way all the time. Why should they act any different on ebay? Sellers need a way to punish idiots as well. If Ebay is going to allow only buyers to leave negative feedback then it needs some limitations on the buyers as well. For instance requiring the buyer to actually contact the seller and provide proof of payment before leaving the feedback. Allow for a dialog, perhaps even a mediator. They have gone too far. And Rating sellers on only recent feedbacks is just stupidity. Buyers are important. But it's sellers that pay ebay. It takes both to make things happen. Both should be treated fairly by Ebay. And they are not.

The key factor is that everybody will get strange negative feedbacks.

In the old system, anybody with less than 98% feedback was suspect, since negatives were so rare. Now negatives will be more common, both real and from crazy buyers. Soon people will realize that 95% is the old 98%.

This would be helped if eBay eventually split out pre-change feedback from post-change feedback, once people had enough time to accumulate the latter.

Good advice and suggestions from Badger. I agree buyers should be required to send some kind of email before leaving negative feedback, I'm not an idiot but I've made a few small mistakes buying items myself and only realised the fault was mine when I took the time to read the ITEM DESCRIPTION properly!

So far the only problems I've had as a seller are late payers and non-payers, no real "bad" buyers yet.

To hark back to the beginning of this thread (amazing it's been running since 2004) there are still a lot of people who can't understand why sellers don't instantly leave feedback upon payment; it's because some buyers are THIEVES and A$$H0LE$! (sorry, someone had to say it).

There are a lot of scams and dirty tricks some rotten buyers use to get an item for free or at a discount and your only real defense as a seller is FEEDBACK; it is your only opportunity to report a problem so you don't leave feedback until the transaction is complete. That's why I tell buyers in my auctions to contact me if there is a problem and that I will leave feedback after they have left feedback for me.

Things that can go wrong for sellers:

Item goes missing: If you're in the UK always ask for a free "proof of posting" and your items are automatically insured up to £34. you never know when an item may be lost in the post (beware, Italian and Spanish postal depots are rife with pilfering) or be damaged by a loutish postal worker; the Royal Mail are pretty good but packages are often THROWN across the room into the sorting bins (or even kicked) and some boxes are just made for sitting on even if they are marked fragile.

Fake Paypal "notification of instant payments": Check your Ebay or Paypal account, ordinary emails can be faked. :-O

Misread item descriptions: Some buyers are perfectly reasonable when they realise they've misread the description (it happens quite often with model kits) but there are a few people who once they feel p*ssed-off will blame you rather than themselves for feeling p*ssed-off; "I am in a bad mood because you made me make a mistake so now I want you to give me money for my trouble"... some people really are that nuts.

I've read a few forum messages from people who have covered the cost of return postage or refunded the buyer AND allowed them to keep the item for free but the buyer has still left negative feedback.

Nigerian Scams: Why, why, why in the World Ebay doesn't automatically block some African Countries is beyond me, I wouldn't send so much as a paperclip to Nigeria!

Unnacceptable payment methods: When you select the option to allow payments by cheque Ebay doesn't differentiate between domestic and foreign cheques; I still have no idea how to cash foreign cheques and postal orders or what charges they may entail - for some reason the whole internet seems to be devoid of useful information on the subject.

Collect in person scams: the buyer contacts you to say he or she is sending someone round to pick up the item (it could be a taxi) and sends payment by Paypal but later retracts payment with a "non-receipt or item" claim or uses a stolen credit card; you put the item in the car and it drives off over the horizon never to be seen again and you have no proof that the buyer received the item.

**Selling is most definitely not free of risk**

I recently purchase an item from a seller. With 768 and 100% positive feedback. With that many sales and perfect feedback, I felt comfortable bidding on the item. However I just received the following email from a seller:


We have shipped the following item to you.
Orders within United States take on average 6 to 10 business days.

Please note, as of July 1, 2009 we have changed our Feedback process. Once we receive your feedback showing the items have been received in satisfactory condition we will leave return feedback.


Gee, now I know why they have such perfect feedback. I wish they would have been more upfront about their policy when I was bidding on the item. Needless to say, I won't purchase anything else from that seller and will have to look with a more skeptical eye when someonehas many sales and pefect feedback.

The buyer should first always send an eBay message indicating that the item was received, was as advertised, or if not, describe the problem with the item. The buyer could send positive feedback to the seller instead of a message. One of these two things should always be do before the seller gives feedback.

Many buyers do not realize that since the year 2008, a seller can no longer give negative feedback to a buyer. Most sellers only care about getting paid and knowing that the item was received and that the buyer received what was advertised. Hopefully the buyer was also happy with their purchase. Any problems the buyer has with the item should be resolved before feedback is given.

I've been reading the previous comments regarding ebay, and I found my situation is slightly different. I just sold a remote control boat with used batteries about a week ago and the item was delivered at the buyer’s house just as planned. The buyer leaves positive feedback stating everything is in good working order after driving the boat. Well the buyer calls me stating one of the boat batteries showed cosmetic signs of melting and threatens that he will go to paypal to resolve the issue. Well here is when the seller can get screwed, I specifically stated in the ebay listing that the battery was used but the buyer claims that I never mentioned there were signs of heat exhaustion, even though he drove the boat and left positive feedback!!!

To me sellers should be better protected from buyers who break their purchased items and accuse you for it

The sheer number of postings here, means it's unlikely anyone will see my individual comments. That also happens to be one of the problems with eBay feedback. Negative feedback left by an individual will rapidly get lost in the volume of feedback big stores accumulate.

How accurate is it anyway? How many private buyers, trying to build their own feedback scores, give a selller a pass to ensure that they don't get retaliatory feedback? How many hold back because they are being held hostage by a seller? I encountered sellers who despite receiving payment, wouldn't ship until they first received a positive feedback! And what does it prove if a seller has a 97% positive feedback rating? We'd like to think that in the other 3% of cases the seller worked hard to resolve the issue with the buyer. But maybe he figured it wouldn't hurt his long term profitability if he screwed 3% of his buyers.

Please tell me what risk sellers assume on eBay! All they have to do is wait for payment to arrive and clear before they ship. If they don't get payment, they don't have to ship. Worst case they have to offer the item to the next highest bidder. Or put it back up for sale. Sellers have lots of angles too. Like having their employees bid up prices in the last few seconds of the auction. Or jacking up the "handling charges". When bad feedback starts to cut into their bottom line, they just open up shop under an new eBay account.

Buyers assume all the risk. They send their money on the assumption the seller will deliver. Sometimes sellers don't even do that. In my case, 85% of the items I purchased were misrepresented, defective, damaged, or not even remotely as advertised. I always paid promptly with cashiers checks or money orders. Only time I used PayPal, their system screwed up and triple charged my charge card for the same item. Took months to get that cleared up.

I realize lots of people have good experiences on eBay. More power to you! But my experiences as a buyer were awful. I did all the work I was supposed to do. I reviewed the feedback scores, and read individual reports. I emailed sellers for more detailed descriptions. Despite my careful efforts, I can only recall two of 15 purchases which were honestly represented. I was repeatedly lied to and cheated. I kept my cool and worked with the sellers trying to get satisfaction. Only when that was un-productive did I resort to leaving bad feedback or approach eBay for help. But every time I gave a less than sterling, (but honest) report, the seller retaliated with falsehoods. Ebay never helped, even though I had the documentation necessary to prove my case. Screen captures of the auctions. Proof of payment. Pictures of what was shipped. Ebay wouldn't even look at it. Fact is, eBay gets paid by sellers, not buyers.

I'm sure someone is now saying I must've done something wrong. I don't think so. So to protect myself, I stopped bidding. I finally cancelled my account three years ago. I suppose it's possible eBay has changed. I don't know. My employer ordered a tool for me last year from an eBay store. We never got it, and the seller refused to provide proof of shipment or a refund. We noticed him re-selling the same item later. Did eBay help? No.

Sorry if I offended any sellers. I'm sure the majority are honest. But eBay is not for me.

My solutions? Auctions should be held open unless there hasn't been a bid in the previous 15 minutes. That will reduce the last minute sneak attacks. Sellers' feedback should be restricted to "paid / did not pay" without further comment. Ebay should act as a middle man for payment, confirming that the buyer has paid and seller has shipped. They could also pass judgement on whether the shipped item matches what the auction offered.

I find it astounding that so many people have an imagination so limited that they can't think of a reason why a buyer may receive negative feedback after they have paid.

I am not going to list any reasons here, I shall leave you in blissful ignorance...

Personally I leave automated feedback first, that is my preference, feedback is stupid anyway. But I don't agree that anyone should be forced to leave feedback first.
I have received almost 5000 positive, 2 neutrals, 0 Negative and 1 negative which was reversed by the customer after they realized that they were wrong. Because I leave my feedback first, I receive a pathetic 40% feedback in return.

So here is my neg to all you buyers that make up the other 60%

NEGATIVE These buyers didn't leave me any feedback at all. How rude!

Buyers can no longer receive anything but positive feedback from sellers. This eliminates "retalitory feedback" right? It certainly does - even when it is deserved. There is a site called which shows ALL feedback LEFT by buyers AND sellers in one neat package. This lets sellers see what manner of "fair" feedback these now-immune buyers are leaving for the sellers. This isn't a bitch site put up by unhappy sellers. It distills all buyer and seller feedback down for anyone to see and displays the activity of ALL buyers and sellers by user name.

For fun, put in a buyer named "Newglas" and see what he leaves for sellers. He leaves a neg or a neutral every other day, yet keeps buying! He's the unluckiest eBayer on the planet. His speciality: Weighing items and then leaving negs for charging extra for shipping. One of his recent victims charged $1.35US for handling! His other pet peeve: Wrinkled ties. They are all damaged and wrinkled beyond repair when he gets them... yet he keeps buying. See it for yourself at

My point: Some people are just mean and also crazy.

The new feedback system Ebay implemented is a joke. I have been buying and selling (mostly selling though) for the past 10 years and have acquired over 10,000 positives between 4 ids. I have a fair share of negatives on all of them. Yes, some of them are deserved, but more are not.

I.E. Giving a negative because the item was refunded and unavailable (yes, ebay does relist sold items and you don't know it until it sells again; especially if you have over 15K auctions running) Or another example would be it took too long to receive an item (buyer bought on Sunday and received it on Sat of the same week DURING the holiday season).

I quit leaving feedback first about 8 years ago when I got burned, and now only leave it if it is received first (in selling). If I am on the receiving end (buyer), I always leave feedback if I am satisfied; but there were a couple of times I didn't leave feedback at all for pirated CDs or they were so scratched I couldn't get through the first song. I didn't pay much for it, and I didn't feel like the hassle of sending back a $1-$2 CD.

As a seller, I have to read through the feedback my buyers are leaving before even accepting their offers on merchandise. If they leave petty or undeserving feedback, I just block them, because I can't risk my job being ruined for some jerk on a neg/neutral spree.

As a buyer, I skim through the feedback for legit ones. I know sellers are more than likely than ever to get undeserved negative and I don't let it affect my buying too much from them. I can read through the lines and see who is telling the truth for the most part. I've purchased from users with as low as 95%; sometimes in the 80s. If they don't sell a lot and one or two people ruined their feedback percentage, I can see that and I don't hold it against them.

The way Ebay has set up the new feedback system is doing nothing but making SOME buyers out to be more of a con artist and waiving the negative feedback card to get their way. I simply don't bow down to it. If you're going to leave it, then do it. Don't wait 60 days to leave negative. If it was truly that bad, then why not leave it when it happens, because it makes them out to look really PETTY and still holding on to a grudge.

Always put a delivery confirmation on EVERYTHING that goes out, so you can have proof that it got there ok. I just had a buyer purchase 30 items from me from another country and claimed that only half of her box's contents arrived (keep in mind, I packed this so good that even if the box came open, they were double bagged and foamed wrapped they everything still would be there). I knew from the start this story looked fishy and that I was possibly looking at 30 negatives coming my way; in which Ebay would have removed anyway for feedback abuse; but still. The individual opened a paypal dispute stating the contents were missing; they held up nearly $200 of my money until the situation was resolved. I informed Paypal that I would like the rest of the package contents back so I could take it back to the post office to start a claim since they needed the original package and contents back for a lost/damage claim and I escalated the claim. Buyer entered in the SAME tracking number I sent on her original package as proof that she sent it back, Paypal didn't buy that because you can't use the same tracking number twice on a return and released the funding back to me. All the whole while and I maintaining my cool and communicating with this buyer, even after Paypal gave me the funding back. I check my feedback the next day and low and behold she left me all positives (so I guess it just magically appeared on her doorstep).

Now in this case, the buyer was trying to con me out of paying for their duty taxes for their country and I wasn't going to go for it. And if I left feedback first, I would have been up the creek, because I think it would have been far worst than it had been. Also, I wouldn't have left feedback for this individual for the hell they put me through the ENTIRE buying process. I received almost 50 emails LITERALLY from this one person in a 2 week span; and I kindly replied to all of them, even though it was taking away a tremendous amount of time for my other buyers.

Feedback is VOLUNTARY and addressed as so. No one OWES anyone any feedback. The only thing owed is PAYMENT for the auction, SHIPPING within a reasonable timeframe PACKAGE as described in the auction, and Excellent COMMUNICATION to let you know that your package has been shipped, etc (PLEASE REMOVE SPAM BLOCKER OR CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER REGULARLY, for I've had countless emails go into there and buyers claiming they didn't receive any communication and docking my stars for it; also UPDATE OLD EMAILS if you have changed them. Sellers can't communicate if they keep bouncing).

I do nothing but buy on ebay, Ive sold in the past with no issues, but now I just buy. Nothing annoys me more than paying for an item immediatley after the auction ends, and seeing that the seller got my money and did not leave me positive feedback directly afterward.

In the real world when you buy something at a store, your only obligation is to pay them. Nothing more, nothing less. If you need to return something, its no hassle.
On ebay most sellers wont leave feedback unless I leave it first, which is BULL. I had one guy who I paid immediatley, who never left me feedback on my prompt payment. In the packages he added a long letter and stressed how vitally improtant it was I leave positive feedback, and once I did that, he'd do the same. Seeing that the transaction went well, I left him 5 star positive feedback and never heard from him again. I never got positive feedback in return, which is just shady.

I don't care about the seller to be honest with you. I have no established connection, same as Walmart or Target. Their job is to sell me goods, my job to buy them. If the product sucks, or an employee sucked, I return the item, or report the employee. I've never been retaliated against for such things, but on Ebay you have sellers who seem to think that their customers, who PAY them, are obligated to beckon to their 5 star demmands.

Its this simple. If I do not get positive feedback from a seller before they get my feedback, I never buy from them again. A good merchant knows how to keep buyers coming back, the rest fade away.

The transaction is over not when the buyer pays, but when the buyer acknowledges having received the package and that it was as advertised. Since 2008, the seller has not been able to give negative feedback. Even eBay encourages buyers to leave feedback first. Secondly, feedback is not something that is required of either the buyer or seller. All of these facts indicate that if the buyer wants to receive feedback, it should first be left for the seller indicating that the transaction has been satisfactorally completed. As the seller, getting paid is most important. I like to receive positive feedback as much as any seller but if the buyer does not let me know that the transaction is complete, I cannot very well leave any comments can I?

That's a patent lie. Ebay encourages the seller to leave feedback at payment.
It is true that the transaction is not over when the buyer pays, but the buyer's part is over. That's what they agreed to do, so leave fb. If you don't, then don't expect pleasant results with your manipulation of fb.

Paypal holds the sellers money for up to 21 days or until positive feedback is recieved.

Are you sure about that? PayPal holds the sellers' money for specific reasons: low-feedback sellers, sold an high-priced item, etc.
How to they get their money before the 21 days? Buyer leaving positive feedback or upload a tracking number showing the item has been shipped.

I honestly shipped this buyer's item after 1 business day of receiving cleared payment. I keep a close watch on all items I ship to ensure they arrive safely. I use usps delivery confirmation and after sufficient time had lapsed and the tracking info did not indicate it had been delivered, I contacted the buyer first about the item's delivery--asking if she had received it. Before I could refund her for an item lost in the mail, she leaves negative feedback. Ebay won't remove even though I have the proof it was mailed. Tracking info indicates it left Missippi on July 22 and arrived in Philadelphia, PN on July 25th. No further information is available. The buyer would not revise her negative feedback about the shipping even though it wasn't my fault. What more could she have asked of me. Why can't this negative feedback be removed?

Major failure on eBay's part: hasn't been interested in strongly telling buyers what the Negative and Neutral Feedback is for. As a result,we constantly see idiotic and irrelevant feedbacks left by buyers that say things such as 'I don't want the product anymore'-and leaves a Neutral. Or, 'Have not opened package yet'-leaves a negative, or, 'This movie was not as interesting as I expected'-leaves a negative.

So eBay allows the abuse of the system by new,ignorant or simply mean buyers, when it can very well help the buyer make the distinction between 'Seller's service' and 'Product', because the seller is penalized for all these undeserved feedbacks:

Feedback is for Seller's service to the buyer.
Product can be refunded, or replaced.

I am a Power seller, and have several other Power seller friends, and we have started reading negative and neutral feedbacks that have been left unfairly for various sellers, and we block those Buyer IDs from ever bidding and buying our items, and from being able to communicate with us.

We know that this narrows the pool of buyers and lowers sales, but it's better than suffer eBay's consequences.

eBay doesn't take care of us in the feedback system, so we take care of ourselves.

eBay has become a buyers market. New policies regarding feedback have resulted in a hoard of immature buyers running rampant throughout the site, leaving negative feedback at a whim. Sellers have no recourse for malicious or childish buyers.

Case in point... I sold an item to a buyer and he misunderstood the shipping options. He paid for the economy shipping and for some reason thought that he should have gotten overnight shipping. I tried to work it out fairly with him through email, but he preferred to hurl malicious insults and threaten negative feedback if I did not give him a $100 credit. I offered him a partial refund, despite the fact that it was due to his misunderstanding. But he left negative feedback anyway.

eBay's new feedback rating system is so unbalanced now. I have over 100 feedback ratings and a positive score of 100%. That single negative review dropped my feedback score to 75%. Explain the math on that!

Furthermore, since sellers can no longer leave feedback of their own, I had no recourse to caution others about a person who is a very negative and abusive buyer. The only thing I could do is leave an 80-character message after my negative review to explain the situation. But get this... the buyer was able to leave a further negative remark to add an additional insult after my feedback reply! And eBay provides no ability for me to follow this up with an additional remark by me.

It is unfortunate that the decisions eBay made has changed a very fair marketplace into a one-sided arena which pits greedy, unethical, and immature buyers against defenseless sellers. Since sellers have no way to rate buyers or even speak publicly on their own behalf, buyers have figured out that they can do whatever they want. They can take a fair and honest auction and make up some story to try and blackmail the seller by threatening negative feedback.

Sellers no longer have any recourse except to vote with their wallets. I am going to look into moving to another auction site. I guess its time to check out Yahoo! Auctions.

I no longer have any confidence at all in Ebay's feedback system - I recently left negative feedback for a seller , the firsat time I have ever left negative feedback after over many years, and in my opinion absolutely deserved- when I subsequently checked the seller's profile there is no record of any negative feedback - it haD BEEN REMOVED - only positive and neutral remain. Ebay have removed the negative feedback without consulting me regarding the details of why it was left. I assume this must be good business for Ebay. WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT REGARD 100.00 POSITIVE FEEDBACK AS ACCURATE - Ebay remove negative ratings of sellers, without recourse to the original submitter of the feedback.


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