Is feedback important? An important question to regular ebayers, personally I do believe that it is important to allow buyers a guide - as to how trustworthy a seller is, and of course the likelyhood of a buyer paying for their items.
I don't check feedback as often as I should when buying items but to be fair have had little trouble from sellers. The problem with checking before buying is that some sellers do receive poor feedback from time to time, you may consider some to be horror stories, but bare in mind some sellers sell literaly hundreds of goods, you won't please all the people all the time, especially those that don't read the listings properly. Often a buyer will leave poor feedback but not communicate with the seller to sort a problem, this I find disheartening as most sellers will genuinely try to help. Check a good average of feedback and anyone that does receive mainly good comments I would buy from.
It is disapointing recieving poor feedback from a buyer, comunication is always the best way.
I hear many people that 'block' people with low feedback, why? Everyone has to start somewhere and with the protection you receive from ebay and paypal there is nothing much to worry about, if done correctly you can be refunded for any final valuation fee, the only niggle is the time taken to sell your product again.
Dishonest customers that threaten poor feedback, a buyer once tried to bribe me into giving free stuff or they would leave poor feedback, just report any issues like this, ebay are becoming very good at sorting problems and they do it alot quicker than they used to. I occasionally recieve mesages to say that customers have not received their goods, some will try it on just to get free goods, and again they say they expect a refund 'before they leave feedback', often I message back to say I fit a micro tracking device and I know exactly where the parcel is, surprisingly enough the parcel does arrive! Always add a return postcode and house number to your parcel and you will have little trouble.
So to conclude, feedback is important but not the 'be all and end all' there are other ways to judge how well you can expect sellers to behave. Check grammar and spelling on listings, do you consider the information accurate, has the listing been rushed without care? Ask a question and see their responce, I don't often buy from sellers that don't write a good advert, 'fishing reel used twice' just dosn't give me the information or confidece that I need. Also look out for listigs from abroad, you may wait longer for our goods and you may face import taxes from some countries, it's also difficult to return items, however there are some good deals from overseas sellers. Lots of overseas sellers generally leave good feedback and look forward to 5 star ratings in return.
One or two negative or neutral feedbacks is nothing to really worry about.