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How eBay Feedback Works

How to get better eBay feedback from your buyers.

Ebay allows buyers and sellers to leave feedback for each other. This feedback is designed to give others an idea of the trustworthiness and ethics of eBay sellers.

Buyers can leave three types of eBay feedback:

  1. Positive
  2. Neutral
  3. Negative

Sellers can only leave positive feedback for buyers.

You should leave positive feedback for people who pay on time and are pleasant to deal with. This tells other sellers you had a good transaction. If the buyer isn't pleasant, don't leave feedback at all. Leaving a positive with a negative comment doesn't do anything except let you vent a bit.

When To Leave Feedback

As a seller you should leave feedback for your buyers when you ship their items or when it is convenient for you. I usually leave feedback once or twice a month. When I first started selling on eBay I paid more attention to my feedback. I even used a robot as described below to get more buyers to leave me feedback. Today I just coast along doing what's easiest for me.

Some eBayers have an attachment to their feedback. They are like kids getting a star from the teacher. The feedback becomes as important as their purchases - maybe even more.

I once listened to someone complain because a seller refused to leave feedback. I asked the whiner if he was happy with his train, and he said he loved it. So what is he complaining about?

Is he buying feedback or trains?

I bring all this up because I want to reinforce an important point. You are buying and selling items on eBay, not feedback. Feedback is only a mechanism to let others know about your previous transactions. Don't get obsessed with feedback.

Don't get caught up in the feedback. Use it as it is intended. Feedback is not a goal, it's a tool. That being said, lets talk about how to get feedback on eBay.

How To Maximize Your Feedback

If you are just starting out on eBay, or have less than a few hundred feedback points, you should work to get your buyers to leave you feedback. Higher feedback will get you higher process on eBay because it shows bidders you are trustworthy.

Once you have two or three hundred feedbacks, it becomes less important. In order to build your feedback, you need a systematic way to get buyers to leave you feedback.

Historically, only 60 percent of eBay buyers leave feedback. Using a robot to leave automatic eBay feedback will help you get more buyers to leave feedback.

In every package you ship include a note similar to this one:

Thank You For Your Purchase

I would rather spend my time writing listings and properly packing the items so they get there in the same condition I ship them than leaving feedback. I know some buyers want feedback so I use a robot service to allow buyers who want feedback to get it.

My robot leaves feedback automatically the following morning for everyone who leaves feedback for me the day before.

Enjoy your item,

Your Name
City, ST. zip
* * *

This allows buyers to get feedback if they want it. The note also includes your name and address so the package can be returned to you if it is lost in the postal system.

Use Automatic eBay Feedback Software

Amherst Robots has an automatic feedback tool. The feedback robot is a software program that goes through your feedback and leaves positive feedback for anyone who left you a positive the day before. It's not just a bulk feedback tool. You can write up to 20 different feedback statements. The robot does not respond to negative or neutral feedback.

You can find out more about Amherst robots feedback tool at: http://www.vrane.com/

Some buyers consider the use of automatic eBay feedback software as a form of extortion. They think the seller should be the first one to leave feedback. I sell trains and toys, not eBay feedback. Leaving eBay feedback manually is a chore, and the software program allows me to concentrate on other more productive uses of my time.

Remember, eBay feedback is only a tool for buyers and sellers to comment on past transactions. The comments allow people to get an idea of the way people will act in future eBay deals, and avoid problems. Don't fall in love with your feedback.

In a November 2011 mailbag question, I explained my current thoughts on When should an eBay seller leave feedback?.


PS See my article about Multiple eBay Accounts for more information about protecting your feedback rating.

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