Using eBay Follow Up Feedback to warn others
Simon is one of Tamebay’s regular readers and has just come up with a great tip for tipping off other sellers that a buyer might be scamming. Like many (and really I believe every seller should), Simon leaves feedback first for his buyers. As you can’t leave a negative, or even a negative comment, you might as well leave a positive as soon as you ship and give the buyer a warm fuzzy feeling. Borderline buyers about to neg you or leave low DSRs might just think twice if they notice you’ve already left them a glowing comment.
Here’s what Simon had to say:
I was just checking my emails and see that a customer had opened not one but two cases against me.
It was £1.50 each and the customer claimed non-delivery. Of course they weren’t sent tracked, so I had no choice but to refund in full and yet another two cases going against me. Happy days.
There will always be times when you get a LITTLE suspicious of a customer and of course we cannot leave negative feedback BUT what we can do, to help the wider community, is leave FOLLOW UP FEEDBACK.
We automatically leave feedback as soon as customer pays to say than kyou for paying. If you then want to leave some follow up feedback the link is aff_link("http://feedback.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ReviewFeedbackLeft","http://feedback.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ReviewFeedbackLeft","","UK"); ?>. Then search by ebay userid.
As per the image, if this buyer then tries the same “trick”, rather than eBay holding all the information secretly another seller may be able to see by my TRUTHFUL comments and that a pattern is building.
As I said it doesn’t help us, as such, but as a community it does give us a little bit more power that we are sadly losing at a very high rate. It does take time to do this but, like me, if you have your bookmarks and links to all these handy URLs then it may take you 5 mins tops.
There’s one important thing to remember – you can NOT leave a negative comment. Notice how Simon’s comment isn’t negative but a genuine apology – “Sorry the 2 packets never arrived. We have asked Royal Mail to investigate”.
Reminds me the time a buyer bid too high on an auction, never paid, but then purchased an identical item from me on his other account. The feedback I left was “Sorry to hear you died and can’t pay, thanks for buying on your other account”.
Also don’t forget to report the buyer to eBay. Whilst it often looks as if eBay do nothing to protect sellers, they do and will remove repeatedly deadbeat buyers from the site.
I always do this too if I’m suspicious , it would be great if everyone did the same. Before eBay changed the rules on open cases counting against you I used to insist that any non receipt of an item was reported via a case, it was surprising how many lost items would then ‘suddenly’ turn up! Shame we can’t do that anymore.
Thats a good tip. Its a very good way to make public any suspicisions you may have about a buyers intent. Personally I would not use “follow up” unless very important as it rarely reflectls well on the seller.
As regards leaving Feedback immediately or after receiving a buyers Feedback, I firmly believe sellers gain more by leaving return Feedback. There are a number of reasons for this:
Leaving feedback is optional and both buyer and seller can choose to leave feedback, or not leave any, if they wish. Neither party is required to leave feedback at any stage of the transaction – it is purely optional.
The reason why most sellers choose to leave feedback after the buyer has left his feedback is because many buyers simply don’t bother to leave feedback once they have received their item. By waiting for the buyer to leave his feedback first, it actually provides the buyer with an incentive to take the time to leave the feedback. And remember, sellers can only leave positive feedback, only the buyer can leave neutral or negative. The seller can not leave negative feedback in response to a negative feedback received (eBay changed it to this about 5 years ago to prevent sellers leaving unjustified and malicious negative feedback in response to a negative or neutral received!).
As a seller, we find that doing it this way generates more feedback which is obviously of benefit to both seller and buyers. Feedback gives prospective buyers confidence in the seller and because we do a good job, we want prospective buyers to know that we are a reliable supplier and to have confidence when trading with us.
In addition, in the rare cases when we receive Neutrol or Negative we leave nothing. Instead, if the buyer has not contacted us to advise of an issue then we always raise it with eBay (and nearly always have it removed) and we immediately blacklist that buyer. We also blacklist for cases opened, SNAD, INR, etc, when buyer has made no effort to contact us first with his issue. On the one occasion recently I did not add a member to our blocked list, and this was after HE had sold us broken goods but in messages explained how sorry he was and how important Feedback is (???), and after my realising that we paid virtually nothing and Royal Mail were the only people making anything, and then telling him that we would leave as is as we could get our cost back as spare parts (which I thought was being especially gracious), he then came back 9 months later and purchased an item from us and then despite tracking showing it delivered 5 days later he left low DSR for shipping time even though the expected delivery window was 10 days!! Well he could not low score on description, comms, or shipping cost (which was minimal). Malicious? Certainly.
I guess you sadly sometimes learn the hard way.
My advice is always leave Feedbak in return and also blacklist anyone who causes trouble or behaves unreasonably for any reason as low DSR and poor feedback will put TRS at stake so no one customer is worth it. Harsh but real. TRS is worth a lot. If they do want to purchase again (because they now realise they can’t get it elsewhere (oops…!!) and have burnt their bridges) they will contact you and deal off eBay so no worries. Although we always refuse!! Our problem is getting quality stock, selling it is easy so I have no hesitation blacklisting a member.
Above is a great example of the Monster that eBay have created by having such an unjust, yet very important to sellers, Feedback system. Sellers are now looking over their shoulder. IMO its a bit like Germany in the 1930’s – its a state of fear!!
Following on from Chris’s follow up comment, would ebay close the other account that he paid with though, as he had done nothing wrong on that account….Highly unlikely!!.
I had my 100% positive fedback ruined by a stupid seller incapable of reading. It was a £2.50 charity auction and I refunded the money before being asked to get rid of her. How can it be fair that she can leave negative feedback for me and I cannot do the same. Mind you. May have to review the ‘Positive’ feedbacl I left for her now I have read this article.
It would be much more effective if they could also close or suspend the linked paypal account. It’s just too easy to have multiple account and not worry about loosing one.
Doesn’t make any difference. The scammers are low-lifes, with no respect. They’re probably more likely to defraud if they know you’ve already left positive feedback for them. I’ve been leaving auto feedback for over a year and still get people claiming there stuff hasn’t arrived.
if royalmail or some other service could charge a realistic price for tracking it might help over a quid for signed for is robbery
i guess that faint praise and irony can also help following sellers:
‘at this difficult time our thoughts are with your creditors’
‘no flowers please’
‘not since napoleon’s retreat from rochdale have our antirrhinums waxed so floriferous’
there’s usually a way with wordz
Ebay do NOT DELETE buying accounts as much as they should.
Why would they?
Buyers that rip sellers off create revenue. You have too be doing consistently dodgy stuff to get deleted as a buyer.
And even if you hint on feedback about the buyers dishonesty it has to be very bad for them to delete the buyer.
There are buyers out there were every second or 3rd item is INR.
i have seen buyers only buying from shooters and claiming INR.
Many consistent False INR claims can be stopped, ebay know when one is started its not in there interest to stop them.
Also custard support has already said it may not be the buyer it could be a dodgy postal worker. So no chance of getting a buyer deleted with that attitude.
even if they ever did delete an account (never heard of it) they just encourage you to use a “guest account”.
so no history, no chance of stopping scammers.
eBay is the biggest scammer of all, every day they rob every one of us, and we’ll be back tomorrow for more of the same please.
ebays report a buyer button is akin to the button on pedestrian crossings, its a placebo , does nowt but let you think your having some control
I would urge all sellers to ONLY leave feedback when the buyer has left positive feedback for you (set up in automations).
We do not leave feedback on payment as all our listings require immediate payment by paypal and therefore paying for the item is not how you would judge a buyer. The feedback for a buyer should therefore reflect how they have conducted themselves throughout the transaction, not just paying for an item which is required on checkout anyway.
The main reason I say this is that I check the feedback numbers of all buyers before dispatch and if the feedback is low (below 40) I have a closer look to see when they have opened the account etc and it is often very telling. Sometimes you see that they only opened the account that day, other times you see that they opened the account 5 years ago but not bought anything for 4 years. You then spot that they bought 40 items in the last 4 days – suspicious activity. If the buyer falls into these categories I send the item tracked even if I make little money or even if I make a loss by doing so. This is because before I started doing this I had at least one claim everyday for non receipt and this was costing me a fortune in refunds which I could not claim back from Royal Mail.
Now I have a couple of claims a month
The point is, if a buyer opens an account and then goes on a shopping spree with people who leave feedback automatically on payment they can quickly rack up a feedback of say 50-100+ and suddenly this is off a sellers radar.
Don’t make scammers feedback ratings look good by giving them feedback before they deserve it!
Life is too short … Comments left can only be positive and simply nobody can look at a buyers feedback before they buy anyway.
I have seen neutrals for ‘seller didn’t leave feedback first’ (potentially removable but factual!!)
What do you think would happen if you setup an email address, say, firstname.lastname@example.org and then only sent that email address out with each packet, making it the first thing the recipient saw, perhaps on a flyer? If the buyer then claims INR and emails you using that email address then you’ve caught them out, right?
Has anyone tried this? Just an idea I had the other day…
Most scammers are savy to that one. They use contact seller through ebay and thus use it as double the evidence, along the lines of – ” if I had received my stuff I would have followed the instructions you sent me would’t I? The fact I didn’t follow those instructions is futrther proof I didn’t get it!”
The best we have seen is to put a “fake” security tracking type tag on the packet that says it’s tracked by some system or another. They put off the opportunist, but don’t deter the professional scammers. It is a profession for some of these people and they are very good at it.
I heard about a US seller who posted out letters to scammers’ neighbouring addresses to the effect that ‘This is a reminder to lock your car/home and do not leave valuables laying because Mr. Smith at number 21 is suspected of theft/dishonest behaviour’
A bit extreme in my opinion!
If you have a shop you attract shop lifters. If you have an online shop you still attract shop lifters the difference is the perpetrators do not see themselves as such. They think that the remoteness of the relationship makes it acceptable.