Put a Stop to Feedback Wars, Give us back the Trust.

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Feedback is one of the main methods of ascertaining the integrity and reliability of other users on E-bay. If you read the history, the intention of  the founders was to ensure that all e-bay users had an accurate yardstick with which to measure the honesty of fellow users and provide a safeguard against unscrupulous traders. Unfortunately, it has now become a weapon to be used by the very same people who see it as a means to protect their own reputations while effectively holding potential buyers to ransom. Often you read the caveat," leave me good feedback and I will do the same ". This may seem a harmless phrase but actually means "if you don't leave me good feedback I will trash your reputation ".

The most common form of this extortion can be seen in practice in many everyday transactions. Have you paid instantly but had to wait until the goods arrived and you expressed your satisfaction before the seller reciprocated good feedback? Thats blackmail.

If I have paid for the goods promptly there is nothing else as a buyer I can possibly do to prove my good intentions, yet buyers still play the game of waiting for your feedback before giving you a positive, effectively holding you to ransom. Some less than honourable traders can't even be bothered to respond once they have milked you of your precious feedback knowing that you cannot retract it once left. This ensures their score keeps on increasing while us lesser mortals struggle to build up a fair reputation.

 Legitimate fairminded traders will leave feedback immediately they receive payment. My personal feeling is that no feedback score should be uprated until both parties have provided mutually satisfactory comments. This would ensure the original core desire of e-bay is restored and we really could trust the feedback profile of members.

Remember , if you get a negative when you only have a 10 score, your rating drops from 100% to 90%. If , however you have a score of 500, one negative shows as a drop of just 0.2%. (99.8% positive) Easy to see why high turnover traders don't care about individual comments as much as the rest of us.

My aim in composing this guide is, firstly, to assist members to resist the naive temptation to blindly fall for high feedback as a guarantee of honesty. Investigate the background of traders as thoroughly as possible before entering into a transaction, have they regularly changed their profile? Use the ID history and feedback numbers to your advantage and know exactly what those numbers mean. Are they who and where they say they are? If item is in UK why is seller registered in, for example, Indonesia?

Secondly, my ultimate aim is to persuade e-bay to upgrade the feedback system to reflect the true nature of members behaviour and to call a halt  to the unfair practices currently perpetrated by admittedly, a minority but nevertheless disturbing, number of unscrupulous traders.

If you find this guide useful and agree with its sentiments I urge you to press e-bay to adopt my recommendations or at least take a long, hard look at its system with a view to reforming the feedback forum. Thank you for reading and have a  happy, safe e-baying experience.

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