Firstly, While searching items and looking at gallery pictures, its helpful if you can see a sellers feedback percentage here before you even have to open up an item description page. This can be viewed by looking just above the first gallery picture on the search page, where you will see in small blue writing (customise view) click on this, then click on 'seller information' (third one down) and then click and tick the box for 'seller feedback'. Click on 'apply changes' and this will then bring up all sellers feedback just below their gallery picture the search page, only small, but it's there. This is very useful so you can avoid wasting time by looking at an item description page only to then go straight back out again if the seller has bad feedback.
So, what is considered good or bad feedback? That is of course, your decision. But its best to at least try and buy from sellers with 99.5% and above. But whilst trying to keep to this rule - you have to consider the amount of feedback given too.
If you are really interested in an item, always take the time to look at the feedback comments given to the seller. A seller may show as having 6 negatives for instance, but the negs may all be from just one buyer. If there are several buyers who have given negatives, check to see if they are similar complaints e.g. wrong item sent. If it happens alot, you may decide that it's best not to buy.
Also check to see if the seller answered any negative feedback comments, this can be a good way of discerning if the seller is a nice person or not (which is important to most people).
Sometimes its a good indication if a seller has over e.g. 500 feedback comments and are on 99.9% or 100% that they are a decent seller. But this is not always the case as they may have lots of neutral comments. Again, its always best to check.
Always check out a sellers return policy too. If they state they accept all returns, that is good. Even better if they state they refund the return postage costs to a buyer if an item was not as described or similar. NO buyer should be out of pocket due to a sellers mistake.
If a seller who misdescribes an item or who does not wrap an item properly and it's damaged in transit does not refund the return postage, they are not a fair seller. Of course, if an item is as described but the buyer changes their mind and doesn't want an item any more, then the seller is not expected to refund return postage costs.
If you find that a seller has been very helpful in any returns situation and refunds fully including the return postage, then I don't believe these sellers should be given a bad feedback mark. Mistakes on listings are made and not always done on purpose - you have to consider this before giving your feedback. And don't forget, feedback is not mandatory, it's a choice thing. You may decide not to give feedback at all.
Always check the pictures of the item properly, and always read the item description fully. If a seller has described an item correctly but you bought it without reading the description properly, then its not fair to expect the seller to refund your return postage. Therefore in this type of situation, it is also not fair to give a seller a bad mark. A GOOD buyer will always fully read a description and look carefully at pictures too - even ask questions if they need to.
The Detailed Star Ratings (DSR) are a good indication also of seller performance. These are given by the buyers and are out of the sellers hands. So good DSR's mean the seller has had happy buyers.
So, putting all this together, if the seller has a lot of feedback, with good feedback and DSR's and a good returns policy, then that is a good indication that its safe to buy from a seller like this.
If you don't have time to check feedback first and read the description properly then its advisable not to buy to save dissapointment.
My personal view about buyers feedback, is that they don't need it anymore now they can only receive a positive, but I also think buyers still want a number of transactions noted. So if a buyer has 100 feedback comments, perhaps it should now be 100 successful transactions instead. The number goes up everytime a seller gives a buyer a feedback. This in my view is just as good and indicates a good buyer, because they continue to get feedback from sellers. Of course, this is just my view.
I hope this has helped a little.
speaks-antiques / speakercollectables