A guide by rainbowjam
Well, I'm sure you've heard it a million times before - always check a seller's feedback before you bid or buy. But just how much information can you get out of someone's feedback page and how useful is it? With a couple of clicks you can actually gain a lot more info than it would first appear thanks to a hidden tool on every feedback profile page which many users have no idea about.
On any item page, you can see the seller's feedback score (in brackets after their user id) and also their percentage of positive feedbacks. This obviously gives you a basic idea - if the percentage and / or score is low, you'll want to investigate further but, even if all looks good, it's still a good idea to click on the seller's feedback score to go to their feedback profile page and see a fuller picture.
On the feedback page you will see a table which shows the number of positive, neutral and negative comments the seller has received in the last month, six months and year so you can easily see if there has been a recent trend in any direction. To the right of that is the Detailed Seller Ratings (aka DSR / star ratings) table which gives you an idea of how buyers have rated the seller in 4 different areas of their performance.
Below these two tables there are four display options to choose from: Feedback As A Seller, Feedback As A Buyer, All Feedback and Feedback Left For Others. Make sure you have not selected Feedback Left For Others then you're all set to make use of ebay's hidden tool and have a really thorough check of the seller's feedback over the last year.
To the right of the screen, directly above the main feedback list, there is a drop-down menu labelled Period. This is set by default to All but needs to be changed to Past 12 Months (or Past 6 Months or Past Month if you prefer). Once you've selected the date range and clicked Go, extra options magically appear to the left of the Period menu. They will look something like this:
Show: All Positive (a) Neutral (b) Negative (c) Withdrawn (d)
with a, b, c and d being the totals for each type of comment over the past year. You can then click on each of the four types of comment to select only what you want to look at without having to trawl through pages and pages of positives to see what the negatives were all about.
This is so useful for finding out if a pattern of negative and neutral comments is emerging and the reasons for them. You can tell if a certain area of the seller's service seems to cause problems or if they've just had a bit of bad luck with a couple of strange or unreasonable customers.
You can also see how the seller deals with any non-positive comments - do they ignore, react badly, insult their buyers, retaliate with possibly unfounded negative or neutral ratings in return or (what you would hope to see) respond factually and quickly and work to resolve whatever the problem is. You are assisted in this by the second part of this hidden tool: next to each feedback comment (to the right of the date) you will now see a small circular icon with two little figures inside. Click on this icon and the feedback that the seller left the buyer will be displayed immediately below the feedback from buyer to seller. You can then see all parts of the feedback exchange in one place including dates and times that each comment, reply and follow-up comment was left.
Please feel free to check out my feedback profile to try all this out. I've been selling on ebay since 2004 but have been trading in music and entertainment for over 20 years. I always have hundreds of CDs and DVDs listed in my eBay shop which are all 100% legitimate and are mainly £4.99 Buy-It-Now. So if you want a safe and easy purchase, visit my shop at http://stores.ebay.co.uk/rainbowjam.
Well, thanks for taking the time to read my guide - hope it's been of some use; if so then please register a yes vote and take a look at my other guides. Don't forget to visit my ebay shop if you're interested in CDs, DVDs and vinyl records. I offer speedy delivery and reasonable postage rates. If you like my items, please add me to your favourites list.
Best regards, rainbowjam
Update 12th March 2008:
There's been a lot of changes to feedback rules and display of the feedback profile page lately. As of today, all figures in the Recent Feedback display box (positives, neutrals and negatives over the last 1 month, 6 months and 12 months) are now displayed as clickable links. This means you can click on any of these figures and it will just display those comments (eg; all neutrals over the last 1 month) so it's now much quicker and easier to find out what you want. Everything in the original part of this guide still applies but there is now a faster and much more visible way to achieve the same result - a definite improvement.