The Secret Of Preventing Negative Feedback On EBay

Author Chinavasion Marketing 21.4.2009. | 22:04

It’s just past the holiday season and your DSR record has slipped from record highs to record lows.

Not only that but you’ve got one or two nasty comments left on your seller page.

And while it is true that eBay has a process for removing negative feedback for sellers (See our blog on eliminating negative feedback for more details about this process) sometimes eBay, PayPal and the buyers that use them can be so gosh darn ornery.

In fact it is usually better to put measures in place to stop the negative feedback from happening in the first place.

Prevention is better than cure

As a seller, the importance of adopting a “prevention is better than cure” approach with clear, consistent guidelines and information on all of your item pages cannot be stressed enough.

Remember, the item page is your virtual storefront and should be presented as such with the buyer in mind in terms of layout and content.

The ultimate goal is to convert auction page traffic (people browsing) to sales (people buying).

Spell it out for buyers

In particular, a short FAQ with information on resolving common potential issues (such as late delivery) before they become disputes is invaluable and lets the customer know that you are there for them. Examples of this include:

  • How soon can the buyer expect you to contact them after the auction ends

    Payment Policy
    Only PayPal is accepted

    Payment is required within 3 days of winning bid

    Items will be shipped within 3 days


    Shipping Policy


    USA shipping only!!

    PayPal confirmed addresses only

    Items will be shipped by UPS Ground or USPS Priority Mail
    We will ship within 3 days of a cleared PayPal payment

    UPS or USPS tracking number provided


  • What the buyer should do if the item has not arrived
  • What the buyer should do if the item arrives in a damaged condition

    Returns Policy
    We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee

    Returns are accepted – and refunds will be given

    Contact prior to sending back for return information


    Terms & Conditions


    USA shipping only!!

    Please pay for the item within 3 days

    If payment not received by the third day the item will be relisted
    We ship to all 50 states

    No international sales


Keep the questions and answers clear and short.

A feedback policy on the item page also enables both parties to prevent potentially difficult transactions.

For example, a good idea is to remind the buyer that if there is a problem then they should get in touch with you ASAP.

This gives you both a chance to review the transaction and deal with issues before any feedback, negative or otherwise, is left.

This mindset should extend to cover the entire selling process so that the expectations on the page match the reality.
For instance, how your returns are handled should always be the same as you describe the process on your listing pages.

Think and plan ahead. Put yourself in the buyer’s place and ask yourself what would be important to you if you were buying something.

Good communication is key

One way to minimise the possibility of negative feedback is to ensure that you communicate with the buyer, letting them know what is happening at all the appropriate stages.

This includes:

  • When the auction has just ended,
  • When the payment has been made/received
  • When the item has been shipped (Don’t forget to tell them their shipping/tracking number)

It is also useful to remind buyers that, should there be an issue, they should contact you at the earliest opportunity.

Good communication means good business. This means being responsive to your customer whether they ask a product question, ask about delivery or any other sales-related question.

Be aware of your tone and the way the message is presented.

Is it courteous?

Does it address the buyer’s concerns?

What does your response say about your business?


Just think what good feedback about your level of communication will do for your eBay discount level


Just as a seller wants a page visitor to become a buyer, a seller should aim to turn a buyer to become a repeat customer. With this in mind, you need to consider the type of message being sent by your online retail skills.


Negative feedback is not the end of the world for eBay sellers. However, even taking very simple steps can go a very long way to ensuring that your customers are happy and, most importantly, become repeat customers.

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Author Chinavasion Marketing 21.4.2009. | 22:04
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