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9 tips to prevent getting negative feedback on eBay

By Chris Dawson May 31, 2015 - 10:05 pm

Kaartik IyerKaartik Iyer is a digital marketing and web design professional with a passion for helping ebay shop owners accomplish their goals. He is the founder of Infigic, an ecommerce focused digital agency. Today he shares some tips to prevent getting negative feedback on eBay – always a subject worth revisiting and of course the tips don’t just apply to getting a positive feedback, but also to detailed seller ratings and reducing the incidence of opened cases.

Feedback FeatEver since eBay’s origin, the key factor in making eBay the most trusted buying platform is the customer feedback system. Positive feedbacks highlight the sellers that are genuine and selling the best quality products while negative feedbacks shed light on those merchants with whom buyers have faced some issues.

Positive feedbacks leads to more business while a negative feedback often breaks a brand and reduces the sales, so maintain happy clients and in-turn receiving a positive reply is essential for buyers to survive in this hyper competitive eBay market. In this article we point out 9 ways that a buyer can prevent getting negative feedbacks on their eBay page.

1. Ensure that the listed items are available

Imagine that situation wherein you purchased a gift for your wife and after ordering it you got to know that it is out of stock! This is more commonly witnessed when a brand sells such products on multiple platforms. Moreover, the total number of cancelled transactions are now counted as defect rate, so ensure that all the items listed are in stock.

As soon as you come to know that a customer has placed an order for an out-of-stock item, inform the buyer immediately and refund the amount. Often customers are not aware of the stock being empty and come to know about it only when they send an inquiry mail. This increases the cancellation rate and there are a possibilities that the person may not buy from you again or in worst cases leave a negative feedback. Take every opportunity to please them, they decided to buy from you, hence leave no stone unturned in retaining them and building a satisfying shopping experience.

2. Guide the buyers on the importance of feedbacks

Tap into both the post-sale and purchasing process to instruct and educate the buyers about the importance of feedbacks. Incorporate them at multiple places such as – product listings, checkout and dispatch notifications.

Write to them about the importance of feedback and ask them to contact you first in case of any issues before entering any feedback.

The two advantages of using this system includes – in case of any defects the customer first contacts you and hence the error can be rectified before they submit any feedback and by sending them a personalized message about the importance of feedback you establish a contactable connection with the buyer.

3. Make your listings as accurate as possible

Make the listings accurate and write precise and concise titles. Rather than filling it with technical jargons, include all essential information in the easiest possible way. Include relevant words and remove all the non-essential ones.

4. Make the images sharp and detailed

Upload an exact image of the product that the buyer will receive. Ensure that it is of the best quality and taken from a multitude of angles and displayed in all shades mentioned there. Before buying a product most people check the images, hence make sure that they are of the exact appearance as mentioned. These images should not be stock photos or copied from some other seller.

5. Highlight the product condition

Especially vendors selling refurbished or used goods, do mention the condition of the product. Show the product imperfections in the images. To establish an ingredient of trust among the customers, always follow the best practice of being honest.

6. Item specifications

Add these to provide extra information about the product that you sell. It is an effort consuming task yet in the long run there are guaranteed returns.

7. Product descriptions

Describe every minor detail about your product in this section. Right from the main features, benefits of using the product, item condition to contact details and shipping policies, you can describe everything here.

8. Disclose the dispatch time, shipping time and contact details for queries or issues

Disclose the dispatch time, the number of days it’ll take to ship the product and the contact details. Failure to do any of these invites negative feedback and makes the customer switch to the competitor who delivers it at a faster rate. Speed is the key winning ingredient to woe the buyers on eBay.

9. Return policy

Before hitting the buy button, customers’ first check the return policies. Don’t forget to mention the company return and refund policies for damaged goods. When the delivered item is received by the buyer in some faulty condition, it should be taken back by the company. Ideally sellers should keep a window period of 30 days to return a faulty product.

Feedback is a quintessential piece of your online business, hence maintaining & improving the feedback scores should be the key goal for all ebay sellers.

  • Neil
    2 years ago

    Lessons on sucking eggs will be published on Wednesday

  • Paul
    2 years ago

    Erm, feedback is now redundant. Defects are where its at. Is this guy still living in 2002….

  • Andy R
    2 years ago

    The only negs we have received have been from loons and fruit cakes.

    Never had one from a customer with an actual complaint.

  • Weeze
    2 years ago

    As above, it’s always ‘loons and fruitcakes’ you can do all of the above and still get clobbered. My favourite are the ones who don’t even let you know that there was a problem but instead just leave ‘negs’ I love them.

  • 2 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback :-)

  • Glenn
    2 years ago

    Dear Kaartik Iyer here is your feedback on your article

    ***** Good intention, but all a bit obvious.

  • 2 years ago

    Thanks Glenn for the positive feedback !

  • Gary
    2 years ago

    Not obvious to the ebay newbie or a lot of ebayers it would seem when you browse random listings. Not all ebayers are Tamebay diehards so the occasional refresher/reminder of good practice is useful as it helps to make ebay a better place for all. Agree with the loons and fruitcakes sentiment.

    • Glenn
      2 years ago

      Fair comment.

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    ***cringe***

  • Suraj
    2 years ago

    A valuable post to reflect on while running an eBay store and to keep the customers satisfied

  • Robert C
    2 years ago

    Good article Kaartik, simple stuff but it’s amazing how many ebay stores miss these points in their listings.

    I would add speed of response to queries into the mix too. I try and respond almost instantaneously to any query or complaint. Nowadays ebay apps give me notifications for messages on my phone and I can get back to customers within a minute-ish with a response. Since I’ve been doing this, most complaining customers are so impressed with the speed of resolution they seem more inclined to choose the positive or neutral over a neg.

    Also, respond quickly to negative feedback (if there is just reason to) and offer a resolution, if they are happy with this pop them a “revise feedback request” – I was amazed how many will change their feedback.

    Finally I would say to accept that there will always be folks that are just impossible to please. Don’t get hung up on a neg, no matter how much you disagree with them :)

  • 2 years ago

    Robert,

    Great point. It’s all about providing the best experience to your customers. Thanks for reading and your positive feedback. :-)

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    we just send them ky and bend over

  • Phil B
    2 years ago

    re ROB C …..Also, respond quickly to negative feedback (if there is just reason to) and offer a resolution, if they are happy with this pop them a “revise feedback request” – I was amazed how many will change their feedback.

    what is the point in this if ebay still count a revised neg as a defect? , you can refund ,apologise ,rectify in anyway you feel fit ,the customer can walk away with a refund or replacement item and yes will often remove the negative ,but ebay still count it as a defect ,
    Its a completly one sided system that only favours the buyer
    last week I had a negative with teh comment CRAP . No issue was reported no communication was recieved the item was a £5 map/poster of the london underground of which we have sold hundreds with no issues. On further investigation I found the buyer had left the same or similar feedback many times to other sellers. Reported this to CS who said they would remove the offensive word but not the negative!

    • james
      2 years ago

      what it does do, is encourage these kind of scam buyers to leave negative as standard.
      the guide for getting the best price on ebay is:

      buy item, dont worry about price.
      once its received, check for tracking, if none present, claim non-receipt for free item.
      if tracked, claim damaged, and demand 50% off.
      if replacement offered, leave negative immediately, and wait until they offer you the price you want to pay, to remove the negative.

      customers seem to be well versed in this behaviour already, it doesnt need encouraged further.

    • Robert C
      2 years ago

      Unfortunately, yes, there are scam buyers. Does that mean we have to perceive all complaints to be potential fraudsters? hell no. If you become bitter about your customers it is time to get out IMHO.

      I accept that there will be fraudulent claims against my sales. I try and be vigilant, but there is little I can do about it. Since day 1 I accepted that fact and my business model takes that into account.

    • BigTimeTrader
      2 years ago

      it is because ebay is and always will be, ebay. no matter how hard they and the genuine sellers try to improve the platform, ebay will attract and be a haven to this type of buyer.

      do a google search, it is scary:

      “ebay non delivery amazon website”

      the amount of complaints re: non delivery and damage received from ebay buyers compared to other sales channels is tenfold.

      like I say, ebay will always be ebay.

      personally, we price it in to our prices, unfortunate that the genuine people pay more, but that is what happens in Bricks and Mortar re: shoplifting.

    • Robert C
      2 years ago

      For me, the defect rate is a performance indicator for me, the seller , and the feedback system is an performance indicator for the buyer.

      As long as my defect rate is below 2% (which I am happy to say it is) then I am content… If ebay insists on keeping that defect despite feedback being revised to a positive, then so be it. At least what the customer sees is less negatives on the feedback score.

      In regards to your london underground poster negative feedback, it is frustrating, but there will always be some negative feedback which seems unjust. Hopefully ebay will act if he/she is a serial neg/offensive feedback giver… although my experience is that ebay do not act enough. I had a buyer that I have since blocked as they were a serial negative feedback giver (surely there’s a better name for them…) and I check back on their feedback that they have left and they are continuously leaving negative feedback with innappropriate language. Month after month… but seems no ebay intervention. You can either laugh or cry at times. My advice is to block and move on… keep on selling :)

    • Joe
      2 years ago

      eBay changed their rules a few months ago, revising feedback now removes the defect associated with the bad feedback.

  • Rich
    2 years ago

    I’d say 7/10 of my defects are nutcases. I make a few mistakes. I offer refund and paid returns if given the opportunity to avoid a defect, but surprisingle people get uptight, and I have come to the conclusion they want to keep the so called defective goods.
    I notice a lot of problems occur near the end of the month and figure buyers are just strapped for cash. Don’t you just love ebay!

  • john
    2 years ago

    Article only covers common sense and newbie situations.

    The second a defect is created terminate all CS, its a waste off time.

    If a defect is created either the seller is messed up or the buyer is a nutter. 9 times out of ten its the latter. Either way there is no benefit to the seller to provide any CS. Other than on moral grounds. (ebay has no morals)

    Scam buyer, genuine buyer with a complaint no matter what you do , you will be penalised by the defect system.

    If the buyer creates a defect you don’t want them as a returning customer anyway, block them. Anyway according to ebay buyers that are unhappy often do not return to ebay.

  • Joe
    2 years ago

    Obviously a typo, but a rather unfortunate one, but why do we want to ‘woe’ buyers?

    The rest of it is mostly good advice but nothing we’ve not seen before and adds nothing new. Disclosing dispatch time isn’t really a choice, it’s mandatory, so the advice is moot.

    I would also dispute that buyers first check return policies, because sellers’ return policies are largely irrelevant because eBay will over-ride them in most cases anyway.

  • Danny
    2 years ago

    You missed one..

    10. Don’t sell anything on eBay. EVER. Just buy. Guaranteed 100% positive feedback. :-P

    Danny

  • Peer
    2 years ago

    What I’d like is for sellers to get an automatic positive feedback at the end of the 90 days feedback window. The buyer most likely is happy with the purchase and if they aren’t for some reason, 90 days was enough time to leave feedback. I do understand that sometimes items may fail after 90 days but this may be a small percentage.

    After all the buyer did get a positive feedback immediately, and a positive for the seller would only be fair.

    Thanks

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