Over 60% of eBay buyers leave feedback?

By Chris Dawson December 16, 2013 - 7:30 am

Feedback HomeWe’ve been running a straw poll for the past week, looking at the number of buyers that leave sellers feedback and the results are interesting.

Whilst it’s not a totally accurate result, as it relies on sellers estimating how many of their buyers leave feedback, it is interesting.

Historically somewhere between 70% and 80% of sales would result in feedback from a buyer, but almost 60% of sellers are telling us that that less than 60% of their buyers leave feedback. Over 30% of sellers say that they get feedback for less than 50% of transactions.

Only 17% of sellers estimate that they get feedback from more than 70% of their buyers.
[poll id=”3″]
One of the reasons for the drop in feedback could quite well be the number of buyers now purchasing on mobile devices. If you use the eBay mobile app – it’s quite difficult to leave feedback, there are no reminders and certainly it’s no where near as obvious or easy to leave feedback as when using a desktop.

This does raise the question as to how valuable feedback is. If 60% of transactions aren’t getting feedback from buyers (and also of course sellers aren’t being ranked with Detailed Seller Ratings, is it time for eBay to revamp the feedback system yet again?

Historically feedback hasn’t totally worked, negative/neutral/positive didn’t split the best sellers. Measuring high Detailed Seller Ratings didn’t work so eBay started to measure low Detailed Seller Ratings. Now eBay are measuring the number of cases no resolved by sellers and are starting to mandate seller service to qualify for the eBay Premium Service badge.

If you had a choice how would you like your performance to be measured? Do you like feedback, do you prefer detailed seller ratings, are unresolved cases a good way to measure sellers or is it better for eBay to simply mandate the behaviour which will get your listings to the top of eBay search?

  • 4 years ago

    Hi Chris,

    Actually these numbers are way too high.

    It’s something I have been checking on for the past 6 months or more and a average of around 42% is more accurate for buyers leaving feedback for transactions.

    Note: The data is skewed because of a weighting on CSA businesses.

    It does vary from seller to seller massively. You can tell instantly which seller accounts are chasing feedback and which ones are not as the disparity is huge.

    I’m thinking of one account in particular and they actively ask for feedback (tastefully, as I know what you think of feedback requests Chris, I wrote part of the tool they’re using with you specifically in mind) and they’ll consistently hit over 80% conversion each month. The ones that don’t, they’re half this.

    “is it better for eBay to simply mandate the behaviour which will get your listings to the top of eBay search?”

    Personally, I’d rather be told what the goals are, even if they move every few months because they can be focused upon rather than something vague like “just be a good seller”.


    • Alex
      4 years ago

      Based on my personal experience, if I don’t chase FB then I receive about 60% and from that about half leave DSR’s.

      Chasing FB is a double edged sword. Happy buyers may not bother to leave FB/DSR’s but a buyer that is unhappy for whatever reason is much more likely to leave a bad score or neg if chased. My own experienc confirms this. Think of it a bit like “bad news travels”!

      Also, if you are a TRS and already have a significant FB total but do not have any issue with your DSR’s then FB is really not that important so why bother or risk chasing i?

      No Feedback = Good Feedback!!

  • Gary
    4 years ago

    Just offer premium seller style service and the feedback looks after itself. Leave feedback on free same or next day shipment = 90% plus feedback left.

    If you cannot offer premium levels of service, charge for shipping, only leave feedback when it is left for you, and don’t give prompt refunds or accept returns, then what do sellers expect?

    Spend valuable time offering premium service standards not constantly worrying about feedback at a micro level. “If I get booted off ebay I will only have myself to blame” That has to be the attitude of sellers. Any other way of thinking will be a disaster!

    Be honest. Selling on ebay is not for everybody. If you are concerned about your feedback it is not for you.

    • Gary
      4 years ago

      Forget to mention that profit covers all this. If you are not making enough of a return for your time to at least cover the minimum hourly wage after allowing for fees, refunds, etc. then ask yourself if it is really worth it and why are you doing it?

      Rather than offering premium ebay service and constantly worrying about feedback, would you be better off spending your time employed collecting shopping trolleys?

      Why is 50% feedback left such a BIG issue for some?

      Focus on profit.

  • I think that Ebay feedback is fundamentally flawed in at least a couple of respects :-

    1. When we ship an item, we automatically give feedback to the buyer – if problems emerge later we will respond to negative feedback by the buyer but the positive feedback rating we give to the buyer is mostly done to stop buyers hassling us for feedback and not as a considered opinion as to the buyer’s good standing.

    2. Buyers often don’t know how much postage costs; even if we charge for shipping at the standard Royal Mail rate, excluding other costs for picking and packing, some buyers will leave a low DSR rating because they think the postage cost is too high. So do we – but that’s how much it costs !

    The key question for us is, if Ebay feedback ratings are systemically flawed, what value do they really have as an indicator to honest trading ?

  • Steve
    4 years ago

    Ponders what job title Gary has at ebay..

    • Gary
      4 years ago

      Doers succeed. Whingers fail. Just a realist.

      On the subject of performance metrics the only ones that matter are my own. So maybe ebay should create a user defined feedback system that enables individual sellers to set their own public performance standards?

      And then ebay can grade sellers out of 100% depending on the range of metrics set by the seller and the targets met by the seller.

      Example – a seller can set their own performance standard for dispatch (1,2,3,4,5 days etc). ebay grade this as 20% for 5 days and 100% for 1 day or less).

      The average grade for a seller across several metrics could range from 20% say to 100% and then buyers can clearly gauge what the expectatations are before they buy.

      There could be a search choice that includes all sellers or only those sellers who score a grade in excess of 50% say.

    • northumbrian
      4 years ago

      sellers can set whatever metrics they like!
      its buyers money that sets the standard

    • Gary
      4 years ago

      End of discussion!

  • Gerry007
    4 years ago

    From our experience, buyers may well be leaving feedback BUT many do on complete the DSRs….

    Of the approx 60% =/- feedback probably a further reduction in DSRs of between 10-15% [of the 60%].
    Example of one of our IDs 3583+ feedback received in last 12 months against 2863-2921 DSRs received = nearly 20-21% aren’t completing DSRs]

    Ebay quote Low/high DSRs, so they clearly are still using that score to evaluate sellers, so consequentially seller performance is being judged on less than 1/2 of the transactions.
    Hardly a recipe for the truth…

    • Gerry007
      4 years ago

      A Thought:

      Perhaps a idea would be AUTOMATIC FEEDBACK/DSRs applied by the ebay system, possibly to both parties, say 30? days after the dispatch date [exclude international trades].

      If a transaction has a case opened it would be excluded, as it has a problem, but that would have likely happened within the 30 days.

    • Gerry007
      4 years ago

      The ebay system could even generate email notification to both parties, say 7 days before the feedback is applied.

      100% feedback applied & we have to do nothing. . . Great!!

  • Gary
    4 years ago

    And what about the reward of automatic 5***** DSRs in certain categories for offering premium service?

    How would the extra efforts of premium sellers be rewarded in an auto generated feedback system? Premium sellers receive fee discounts remember.

    Seller feedback for buyers can already be auto generated in settings so it is something ebay are happy to live with on the buyer side. But then buyers hold the cards as they have the money.

    • Gerry007
      4 years ago

      As you say ‘Premium sellers receive fee discounts remember’.

  • Gary
    4 years ago

    Over the years ebay have given fee discounts relative to their immediate agenda. Nothing wrong with that. It used to be sales based, then standards based, and now it is service based.

    How would you change the feedback system and at the same time retain a vehicle for ebay to distinguish between and reward those sellers who merit a fee discount and those who don’t?

    At the moment you could argue it is the buyers who reward the sellers with their feedback and money, not ebay. Should this change?

  • 4 years ago

    It’s a pity you can’t leave feedback in bulk for sellers, I’ve done most of my shopping on eBay this Xmas, can’t be bothered to do each one individually, everything was fine so completely no point as a buyer.

    As for leaving it via a phone, just had a look, forget it. I couldn’t get the 5th star to light up without using the end of a pen.

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

    these days we only leave feedback if the seller really excels ,or is really abysmal ,
    the everyday average transaction just happens and we dont really bother one way or the other,
    our TRS fee discount is usually around £400 a month very nice but not life changing its position in search and possible suspension that we worry over

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