Sunday, September 10, 2006

Would YOU leave negative feedback on eBay?

Would you leave negative feedback on eBay?

I'm not sure that I would.

Picture this scenario. I make a bid on eBay. The bidding ends at 11:11 at night, and the next morning, I learn I won. Needing to rush out the door to go to my day job, I plan to pay in the afternoon, knowing it is expected that I have at least five days to pay. When I come home in the afternoon, I pay using PayPal.

Now all I have to do is wait for my merchandise.

And I wait. And wait.

Thirty-six days later I get my product. When I open it, my first thought is, Did I order this? Then I remember I did, but I have received about a half dozen other things I had won from eBay since then.

And if that were not bad enough, the item is broken. There's no real reason it should be broken; if it had been properly packaged, it should have been fine. But this looks like it was thrown together at the last minute and sent out the door. No considerate marketer would have sent out an item packed so shoddily.

So I contact the seller for resolution. No response. I follow up with another request. Still no response.

Now I am not normally the type who would say, Well, this guy's a jerk and I am going to slam him with negative feedback. In fact, as a relatively new eBay member, I have been pretty pleased with the service I have received so far. I have only given positive feedback to this point - an accurate reflection of the service I have seen.

But this crosses the line. To have to wait a long time for a package that arrives obviously carelessly packaged, and to have multiple requests for resolution ignored, is more than the average eBay purchaser should have to endure.

So for the first time ever, I leave negative feedback on eBay. Here's my statement:

Negative: Pkg came after 36 days and was damaged. 2 requests for service went unanswered.

Mine was the fifth negative left out of 100 responses for this guy, or in other words, he has a 95% positive feedback rating. Most of his negatives have been in the last 60 days.

His response to my response? Guy didn't pay right away.

Though true that I didn't pay a moment after winning at 11:11 at night, I paid within 24 hours. I thought that a lame response to my issue.

But here's where it gets interesting. Prior to this incident, I had 19 feedback comments on eBay. I sign into eBay one morning and see I have a new feedback comment. Sure enough, it's from my old friend with the broken product/no service thing, and it's negative.

Negative: dont buy from this guy he takes forever to pay you

Great. So now my 20th feedback comment is negative - undeservedly, in my opinion, and my feedback rating is the same as his: 95%. I've got the same feedback rating from one disgruntled seller as he does from five disgruntled buyers. I choose to take the high road on my response.

Response: I apologize if you feel my service was lacking.

I guess the lesson to take away from this is, Don't leave negative feedback until you've sold enough to be able to absorb some negativity thrown your way, too, whether or not you have it coming.

Or don't leave negative feedback until the other person leaves yours first. (Yeah, like a poor salesperson is going to rush in and praise you.)

Or just don't leave negative feedback at all. Considering feedback is a two way street, is it truly worth it to criticize someone when they hold an equal card against you?

UPDATE: eBay has now eliminated the abilities of sellers' to leave negative feedback for buyers. Perhaps that was in response to buyers' stories such as this one?


At Sunday, October 22, 2006 8:31:00 PM, Blogger James Burnett said...

Hey, thanks for the usual insightful comments at my "house." They're appreciated. You gave me food for thought on the Melting Pot/Salad Bowl post.

On this, I have to say it sucks to get a negative "revenge" comment from someone who deserved your negative critique in the first place.

It is scary that speaking up could get you unfairly criticized. But on principle I don't think we should let ourselves be intimidated by people who give bad service into remaining silent on the matter.

I am embroiled right now in a battle with a contractor who did shoddy work on my house several months ago - so shoddy, in fact, that I refused to pay him the balance due. He has tried to intimidate me every way possible, not just over the money, but also (because he learned later what I do for a living) in an effort to keep me silent for fear I might give him negative press. I'd never use my job to bully someone. That would be unethical. But I have told him to give me his best shot, 'cause I ain't scared and won't bite my "civilian" tongue when it comes to warning folks about him.

At Tuesday, December 04, 2007 12:50:00 AM, Blogger heruursciences said...

Go ahead an leave the tard a negative as it's an obvious case of running the PAY PAL clock and knowingly shipping broken goods. Other's should know it. The neg FB you'll probably get in return can be explained away if you use eBay ONLY for buying.

If you're planning to sell stuff swallow your pride and DON"T LEAVE NEGS!!! It hurts sellers so much more than buyers that it's not in the best interest to leave them even when justly deserved.

As a veteran eBay seller i only leave NEG feedbacks if received AND the person defrauded me out of money and/or the item. In cases like this, the public service is worth the retaliatory hit, since 1)They will continue to pull the scam on eBay, 2) most of these types of bidders are not good with words and can't effectively slander. Generic non payers, rude customers, etc simply get blocked and written off as a loss.

For buyer's unless you have VERY LOW FB negs are irrelevant if you snype auctions. Any seller with half a brain will ignore the negs except for stopped PP payments/reversals and sell anyway even if their policy says otherwise out of fear of receiving a neg.

Frankly IMHO, Ebay's feedback system is a joke, it only gives scammers a powerful tool to extort goods and services from sellers.

At Thursday, December 06, 2007 6:37:00 AM, Blogger The Sarcasticynic said...

Thanks for the feedback.

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At Wednesday, January 20, 2010 2:56:00 PM, Blogger The Sarcasticynic said...

I'm not sure I would agree.


At Tuesday, January 17, 2012 7:49:00 PM, Anonymous Allison said...

I've bought tons of stuff on eBay but only left negative feedback once. I'm a reasonable person. If I'm satisfied with the transaction, the seller has good communication, and the item has arrived in a decent amount of time (about a week or less) I'll leave positive feedback. If it takes a little longer than necessary (a couple weeks or more) I'll probably just decline to leave any feedback, because I may not be very happy with it but I don't see it as enough of a reason to damage someone's reputation. But the one time that I left negative feedback was when I bought a sundress, and it took more than a month to arrive. I had sent several emails asking if it had been mailed yet. No response, so I started the process for filing a complaint and get my money back. I found out you have to wait a certain amount of time; but I ended up receiving the item exactly one day before I would have been given my refund. That was about a month after I paid. By then, I was definitely not happy--I'd been looking forward to getting my money back; I certainly didn't want such a lazy, unresponsive seller to keep any of my money. So, although I did receive the item at long last, I left negative feedback. Then and only then did the seller contact me with some sob story (i.e. obvious lie) about how she'd been away caring for a sick relative. If she'd bothered to respond to my emails or include a note of apology for her lateness, I would have just not left feedback. But someone who takes forever and is unresponsive is not a valuable part of the eBay community, which is essentially an honor system, and I have no qualms about letting other eBayers know just that. Not only that, it was her first deal on eBay. If someone doesn't see fit to do well on her first sale in order to build a good feedback profile, then you know she is not reliable, period.

At Tuesday, January 17, 2012 9:19:00 PM, Blogger The Sarcasticynic said...

Wow. Negative feedback on her first transaction. That would leave her with a 100% negative feedback rating. And for an item you eventually received, albeit late, after which you left the negative feedback.

How could you tell her sob story was an obvious lie? Are you a mind reader?

Not all first-time eBayers are experts, and if she really did leave her laptop at home to spend a month with her poor old Aunt Ida, she truly may not have had the opportunity to receive your emails, to contact you, or to fulfill her end of the transaction.

I'm sorry, but I believe this post was written with you in mind. I think you overreacted.

At Wednesday, January 30, 2013 1:04:00 PM, Blogger Justin K said...

Uh, to the last person who criticized the first poster, saying, how do you KNOW it was a lie (family sickness), and that they could have understandably just been late...

C'MON: a MONTH late??? and NOT an obvious LIE??? That's ridiculous, and you know it.

HERE'S THE DEAL: Personal responsibility - that means that YOU DESERVE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK when you don't follow through as promised... TOO BAD if you don't like it - RESPONSIBILITY FALLS ON SOMEONE! END OF STORY!!! (Obviously!!) And this is not AT ALL cruel to say - it's totally fair, after trusting them to do what they say and WAITING A MONTH!! (Are you KIDDING??)


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