|Wed Jan 25 2012 15:59:07|
Using Google to View Private Feedback on eBay
By: Ina Steiner
It's been my experience that most eBay Buyers who have "private" (hidden) feedback are likely to be problem customers.
Indeed, there are valid reasons that a Buyer would want to hide their feedback (probably for privacy regarding the nature of items they had purchased). However, the most likely reason to for a Buyer to hide feedback is because they have a history of being unreasonable, irrational, demanding, hostile, and/or threatening customers who leave a lot of negative or neutral feedback.
I agree that I'm making a generalization about Buyers that isn't always true... and it's probably not fair of me to make such broad-brush assumptions. Unfortunately, Buyers who are habitually problematic are not merely annoying... they are expensive and risky!
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to for Sellers to peek through the veil and get a good idea of the type of feedback that the Buyer is leaving for others?
Well... Google to the rescue! As long as a Seller know the proper way to construct a Google search query...then the Buyer's "hidden" feedback comments can be coaxed-out of the Google search results.
Even if a Buyer has decided to hide feedback on their own Profile Page...they cannot hide the feedback that IS STILL VISIBLE on the profile pages of ALL the Sellers they've dealt with. The Buyer's feedback history is out there... but it's scattered throughout the publicly visible feedback pages of many different Sellers.
The following Google query will help to put everything together so that you can get a good idea of what the Buyer is trying to hide.
site:feedback.ebay.com "Member id UserIDgoesHere (private)"
A few notes:
1) Enter the search query exactly as shown (including the quote marks) and replace the sample UserID with the one you want to research.
2) On the results page, Google will give you a link/s to a Seller's feedback page... but the link may be a few days old and the page numbers may have shifted. The actual feedback comment you're searching for may have been pushed further down the list, and you may need to page-through to find its new location.
3) It's not a perfect solution, and the Google results may be incomplete. But even if it's only partial data, it gives Sellers a sample of the type of behavior that the Buyer is hiding from view.
4) I've only tested this on eBay.com... but it may also work on non-US eBay sites.
Just a reminder...you're not breaking eBay rules, and you're not breaking-in to someone's hidden profile page. Instead, you are collecting together the PUBLIC feedback comments from many different Sellers.
The more you know, the easier it is for Sellers make good business decisions about the type of Buyer they want to deal with. And it's entirely possible that a Seller may discover that the Buyer is reasonable, and any suspicions were unjustified.
A Loyal Reader