The theory behind the Ebay feedback system is a brilliant one but with a flaw. A flaw big enough to cause me to write this guide, although it is not much of a guide; more of a warning.
The Ebay feedback system is about trust primarily and is the backbone to Ebay. The feedback allows you to ascertain a members character, by the feedback they recieve. The system allows Ebay to regulate itself (or the members to regulate each other) so that the undesireable's are weened out and the good are praised.
Now the flaw, which may be a minor point but still worth mentioning. There is no set time restraints, to my knowledge, with regards to leaving feedback. This allows sellers to wait to give their feedback depending upon yours - a very dangerous predicament to be in. Some sellers are now using an automated system to provide feedback in direct response to the feedback you leave; so if you leave them a negative the system will kindly return you a negative. After all, these members are kind enough to email you to tell you this point.
This effectively means that a buyer can win an auction, promptly pay for the item as they are suppose to and still recieve a negative feedback. I personally believe this is wrong. The feedback for a buyer is in relation to their payment only and i disagree that sellers are allowed to hold buyers to ransom effectively pending a postive feedback.
The truth of the feedback system is that it does not work because members are bullied into giving a positive feedback for an item or member that possibly does not deserve it all because they will automatically recieve an unjustified negative comment in return.
This is a problem i have experienced on 3 seperate occasions to date and i dont imagine the problem to stop any time soon. I feel that action needs to be taken and time limits need to be imposed upon sellers, to which i am as well, to provide their feedback BEFORE the buyer recieves the item and places there feedback accordingly. This is how i give feedback as a seller.
This would allow the feedback system to better represent the true feelings of members.
My advise is simply to not let these people intimadate you into providing a positive feedback if it is unjustified. Post what comments you feel are justified and if a negative is left unjustified in return then report it to Ebay and remember that you can always reply to a feedback comment. If enough people complain then Ebay will have to take action eventually.