FEEDBACK RAGE - Think before you leave feedback!

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The recent changes to Feedback regulations mean that sellers cannot leave negative or neutral feeback for buyers. It has been brought in to encourage buyers to leave HONEST comments regarding the transaction, without fear of reprisal.

In the past, sellers could unfairly reciprocate negative Feedback. So, no matter how promptly a buyer had paid - in other words doing everything that deserved positive Feedback from the seller - bad sellers could wreck a good buyers Feeback score by 'hitting back'. When the bad seller received the negative Feedback they deserved, a good buyer was always at risk of this happening. Worse still, bad sellers could threaten to leave negative Feedback, 'like for like', leaving the buyer afraid to leave honest, if unfortunately negative, comments. All negative Feedback received by buyers in this way was, of course, completely undeserved by the buyer, whose only 'mistake' had been to trust someone.Trust has to be earned, and the Feeback comments left for traders should always be done honestly.

However, things have moved on! But what will happen now? Will there be a sudden wave of negativity from buyers, who will simply not stop to think before leaving negative Feedback? Buyers now know they are free to do so, and that their own Feedback scores won't be harmed by having the seller hit back with a negative they didn't deserve.

Before you leave your next - or first - negative Feedback, stop and try to justify it properly. The following suggestions may be helpful.

Are you angry? We seldom make good decisions when we are.Give yourself a bit of time away from the issue, then come back to it and see how you feel. 

Have you really tried to sort things out with the seller, or are you just going to leave negative Feedback before you have given them a chance to work something out with you? We all make mistakes, and giving someone an opportunity to put something right can mean everyone leaves the situation happy.

Were there other factors involved that the seller had no control over? For example, did the delivery service (Royal Mail or otherwise) damage the package, or deliver it later than they should have done? Once an item leaves a seller, they aren't in control of what happens to it. Of course, a good seller will work with you to resolve issues over items lost/damaged in the post, but please remember they didn't personally lose your item on purpose.

If you have gone through the checklist above, and having exhausted all reasonable dialogue with the seller (always assuming they are willing to politely do their best to work through the problem!) then you should leave HONEST and factual Feedback.

If the experience genuinely has been a negative one, other eBayers need to know what happened. Try to keep your feedback as factual and unemotional as possible, an angry, offensive outburst will probably leave you looking as bad as the seller you are leaving negative Feedback for! Give details where possible e.g: ' Listed as new,arrived torn&dirty seller rude!NO REFUND!' This kind of Feedback will let other buyers make up their mind whether then can trust the seller to list items honestly, and when they don't, what their attitude might be when approached to sort out problems.

A final suggestion - wherever possible, remember to buy with PayPal. Then if the worst comes to the worst, you do have some protection if a seller lets you down - for example you never received an item, or were sent something completly different to the description in quality or condition.

Be HONEST but be FAIR when you leave feedback, negative or otherwise. Don't abuse the new Feedback rules to go on a 'Feeback rage' rampage just because you can! Sellers are usually honest and helpful, and when things do go wrong, as sometimes happens, they will try to work with you to resolve the problem. Many sellers do not deserve impatient and thoughtless negative Feedback which could have been avoided if both parties had made an effort to resolve their dispute.

Always consider that negative Feedback should be regarded as a last resort in any situation, after all other avenues have been explored and all other means to resolve the situation have failed.

Don't be a victim of FEEBACK RAGE - Think before you leave Feedback!


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