SELLERS, HOW TO RESPOND TO UNRESASONABLE FEEDBACK 2012

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About HKC Knitting Machines. At the time of writing this article I have been trading for over twenty five years, I had retail shops up to 1996 when we became a mail order only company. We offer a range of new and second hand knitting machines and their accessories. We repair and service Brother knitting machines.

First of all this article is only my opinion, you may disagree and I respect your views.

Let me start by saying that I find  ninety nine percent of all buyers are reasonable and polite but every now and then you can encounter a completely unreasonable person. There are lots of circumstances in life where we can meet and engage with unreasonable people, being a seller on eBay is one of these situations, as a seller you do not have any real way to register a reply or defend yourself against an unreasonable buyer. eBay have removed the seller’s right of reply sometime ago, so if a buyer leaves bad or poor feedback you cannot truly respond to them however you do still have one tool left and that is to block this buyer from making any further purchases using their current eBay name from you in the future. I always do this if the buyer has been unfair. As I operate in selling items for a relatively specialised product area in which only a few traders sell, a considerable number of my products can only be obtained through me, so blocking a buyer can mean that they will not easily obtain items they may need to keep their machines going. So I only block someone who is being completely unreasonable.

The block a bidder can be found here: Block a Bidder However before things get that bad I have a trading policy of always giving my buyers the benefit of the doubt, if they are not happy I will immediately offer a full refund & in most cases I will include the return shipping cost. We have an obligation to refund under the Distance Selling Rules, like most traders I publish a limited time of seven clear days for a buyer to reject the item, but that aside I will always try and see the buyer’s point of view even beyond the seven days. I will always engage with the buyer in a fair and polite conversation regarding their views of the shortcomings of the transaction. I will try and respond with my point of view in moderate language, I will give as full an explanation as I can, I do not want an unhappy customer even if they are being unreasonable. Sometimes the buyer may be correct, in which case I will put the matter right immediately with a full apology. Every now and then you get someone who is just hell bent on logging bad feedback, so if I have done everything in my power to behave properly then I face this problem by ether not responding at all or if I must I will keep the response to a very polite denial of what they are saying, sometimes the buyer may liable you with a complete lie, I will always ask eBay to take this comment down they are obliged to do so otherwise they are propagating the lie or liable, from my experience they will remove this kind of abuse, they may not take down the feedback but at least you can stop the lie. Then as I said I will block this buyer from making any further purchases from me.

I would like to see eBay redress the imbalance between the seller and the buyer. I understand fully why eBay stopped the seller from giving the buyer bad or poor feedback, because a number of sellers were being abusive and threatening towards their buyers. My suggestion to eBay is that you list poor or bad feedback given by a buyer in their own feedback area and allow me as a seller to say that I do not wish to do business with a buyer that has given more than a certain number of poor or bad feedbacks in a period. For me I would say that I don’t wish to deal with someone who has given more than four bad or poor feedbacks in six months, alternatively this may be expressed as a percentage of their purchases for volume buyers, let’s say 5% of their purchases. If someone is giving out large numbers of bad / poor feedbacks then it’s too dangerous to trade with them and I believe that eBay should give me the right as a seller to block buyers that instantly give out bad or poor feedback. 

I believe that we all need to trade in a fair and honest way but this must apply to the buyer as well as the seller. Finally sellers it’s worth noting that any comments made by a buyer are soon lost in the volume of your other good feedback so it’s not worth being rude or nasty in the few words you are given to respond in your feedback area, it will only make you the seller look bad.

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