Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun July 13 2014 18:05:57

Is Asking Buyers for Feedback Asking for Trouble?

By: Ina Steiner

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Do you ask eBay buyers for feedback after a successful transaction, or is that asking for trouble? I've seen sellers debate this issue, and there doesn't seem to be a universally accepted answer. Some sellers are so fearful that buyers may leave them less-than-perfect DSRs that they avoid asking altogether.

Others point out that buyers resent being asked to leave feedback and say it's just asking for trouble. As a buyer, how do you feel when sellers ask you to leave feedback? Is it different depending on what marketplace you're on?

Some sellers insert marketing material in their packages where they can formulate a message to the effect that they strive for 5-star service and tell the buyer to contact them if they have any problems.

Buyers are sure to leave feedback when they're unhappy, so it's clearly helpful when satisfied customers leave feedback to show would-be buyers a balanced view of the seller's service.

In one discussion on the eBay boards, when a seller said eBay treats no feedback as good feedback, another responded by reminding the seller that eBay previously did not count neutrals as negative but now they do - how long before eBay will start treating no feedback as bad feedback, they wondered.

Another issue that comes up is when to leave feedback for buyers. After the buyer pays? On the day of delivery? Or only once the buyer has left you feedback?

Next month, eBay is instituting a new seller performance standard that includes defect ratios. Will this change the way you think about requesting feedback?




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This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Sun Jul 13 18:49:49 2014

I worry if I ask my buyers for feedback they'll get annoyed. But the main reason I don't ask is I don't have time. ;)  

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by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 13 18:52:15 2014

The DSR score WAS based on all the transactions. So asking for feedback is STUPID. It increases the chance of getting something bad. Which raises the percentage of bad marks.

The NEW defect rate is based on all transactions. Whether they left feedback or not.

So it really doesn't matter. It's still increasing your chance of having them say something bad.

IMHO

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This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Sun Jul 13 18:52:50 2014

Wait...actually I do this: ''Some sellers insert marketing material in their packages...to the effect that they strive for 5-star service and tell the buyer to contact them if they have any problems.'' So that is a way of asking them, I think, without being pushy.

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by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 13 18:54:14 2014

Sorry DSRs were based on the total FEEDBACK not transactions. It was a percentage score of all that had been left.

The ONLY time you should ask for more feedback under that scenario is if you got a bad mark to lower the percentage. (and of course to get the bad remark moved off of that first page, which still matters.)

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by: NullApps This user has validated their user name.
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Sun Jul 13 19:21:39 2014

I've always erred on the cautious side.  This is why we never developed any feedback leaving/requesting application despite having previously written software using eBay's Feedback APIs that could have been easily adapted into this with as little as a day's work.  Turns out though that niche is really popular and most people seem to think those apps help a lot.

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by: NullApps This user has validated their user name.
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Sun Jul 13 19:21:39 2014

I've always erred on the cautious side.  This is why we never developed any feedback leaving/requesting application despite having previously written software using eBay's Feedback APIs that could have been easily adapted into this with as little as a day's work.  Turns out though that niche is really popular and most people seem to think those apps help a lot.

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by: LJM This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 13 20:15:32 2014

These days no feedback is good feedback.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jul 13 21:13:26 2014

When I sold on eBay, I never asked for feedback, and as a result only one-third, or less, of my buyers ever left feedback. I've had a couple of people ask me for feedback, which they needed to get money released by PayPal.

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 13 21:22:06 2014

I have not asked for FB in a loooong time--the feedback that DOES get left is overly picky enough already.  Getting "dinged" because some one is too large to fit the clothing they bought---not my fault and terribly unfair.

And it wasn't even MY items that didn't FIT the person---but some how it became MY ISSUE.  No thanks!  

My biggest issue with FB is what to leave a seller if the transaction went awry but not so badly that NEG would be called for.  Getting the wrong size item (seller got tag sizes mixed up) ---and refusing to send me the Del Confirm and contact me in any way--and not even mailing the item until I filed a Case--is THAT a Neut worthy FB?  I hate to ding a seller but when they mess up on several levels in that one sale----

I have been thinking of doing something to put in a package--what should that SAY???

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Jul 13 22:28:02 2014

I send buyers shipping confirmation emails and include a packing slip with every purchase, but I NEVER mention feedback. If buyers want to leave feedback that's great, but given eBay's perversion of the feedback process I am fine if they choose not to.

I know I find eBay feedback reminders annoying, and when sellers contact me requesting feedback, I am no happier.

I sell to quite a few business customers. The buyers for these operations are busy and can not be bothered playing eBay's feedback games.

The good news is that several of these business buyers are contacting me directly requesting items and PayPal invoices because they are sick of eBay. One recent transaction was for over $400.00.... nice to have that sale without eBay's micromanaging interferences and fees. That buyer took the time to email me to express their satisfaction, and when they used to purchase on eBay they never left feedback - go figure.

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by: tony bonn This user has validated their user name.
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Sun Jul 13 22:31:14 2014

I will never sell on feebay but I will buy, and have at times been quite a prodigious buyer, which in turn makes leaving feedback a pain.

if someone asks me for feedback it will be negative since i sorely resent the imposition. I used to be harassed and panhandled about it which greatly dimmed my view of sellers.

this is one reason I find the ebay culture so grotesque. I will do what the #$%@ I want on my own terms. no one is going to tell me that I must or should leave feedback. if my money isn't good enough, go #$%@ yourself and the donkey you came on. and i tell the same thing to pests at checkout stations when they ask for my zip code or telephone number.

the only time I leave feedback is when it is negative. one woman spent much time pleading for me to reverse negative feedback. i was on the verge of relenting except that she sent another request which ticked me off to no end. she lost it when i lost it over pesky whining :-o. besides, she deserved it. nice item but incorrectly attributed. if you don't know, don't make it up.

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by: lmmvirago This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 13 22:58:48 2014

I stopped asking for FB based on all the reasons stated here. I wait about 30 days and then give FB to my customers. About half return FB at that point.

To the gentleman who tells check-out people to go #$%@ themselves because they ask for zip codes, etc- You might want to consider that they are doing what they are required to do by their employer. And yelling at someone who is at work and can't 'fight back' without losing their job is hardly fair. I've been on the other end of what you are describing.

However, I do agree with his comments about FB sometimes feeling like an imposition.

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by: hzATL This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 13 23:26:57 2014

As a buyer I always leave feedback for sellers. As a seller I only leave feedback for buyers who take the time to leave feedback for me.  Whether a buyer or a seller I believe begging for feedback is disgusting.  

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by: LinneyPinney This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 13 23:27:32 2014

@Tony Bonn  , Please  share your eBay buyer name so that we can all block you.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Sun Jul 13 23:30:48 2014

Sellers don't have to ask buyers for feedback; eBay does that for you—one of the very few things that they do logically ...

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
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Sun Jul 13 23:37:49 2014

"I send buyers shipping confirmation emails and include a packing slip with every purchase, but I NEVER mention feedback. If buyers want to leave feedback that's great, but given eBay's perversion of the feedback process I am fine if they choose not to."

Agree. I do the same. So long time ago, I stopped asking for feedback.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 14 00:12:10 2014

YES.  asking for trouble under the current system/

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by: MostlyArt This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 14 01:36:17 2014

@comet...

I'm not the person who purchased clothing from you that didn't fit then dinged you for it, but I have recently figured out there is a huge discrepancy in clothing sizes.  
I bought a blouse that I just loved, should have been loose and comfortable if you paid attention to the size on the label, but no...the style doesn't look right if it's tight, so had to give it away.  Now I ask the seller for the actual measurements of the garment, do you give measurements?  

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by: pfft!! This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 14 02:54:46 2014

Honestly, ebay is the ONLY site I use that still puts such an over-the-top emphasis on such a draconian "feedback" system.  For a site that seems to focus so much on mobile "optimization" it's baffling that they don't realize how outdated their feedback system is. I just want to buy my widget and receive it.  I don't have the TIME....or the INCLINATION to  want to LOG ON....find the item.... leave a feedback comment....AND rate a bunch of stupid stars.  Other sites I use don't put N...E....A....R the emphasis on "feedback" that ebay does.  I sell and buy on bonanza, ecrater, etsy, soon 11 Main....AND ebay.  Hardly anybody even participates in feedback on those sites.  But not ebay...they have to HOUND you with "reminders" to LEAVE FEEDBACK.  WHY?  There's PLENTY of buyer protection if I need it.  Feedback is OUTdated.  

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by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 14 03:04:43 2014

I was once pestered for feedback by an Ebay seller and found it very annoying and stressful. I was out of town visiting with a sick relative and obviously was not going to leave feedback til I returned home to open the package. I explained this and told the seller I would attend to feedback asap. She then told me a sad tale about the ''21 day hold''. I replied that its not a good idea to pester for feedback as ''you may not like what you get''. Seller responded ''I dont like your tone''. I liked the item when I ultimately opened the package but guess who got one star for feedback! I dont think I was being unfair. As a seller I NEVER NEVER NEVER ask for feedback. Don’t wake the sleeping giant.

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