If you're a seller, eBay's feedback system may worry you from time to time, but it can be revised.
Feedback and detailed seller ratings change everything from a seller's rank in search results to a seller's performance rating and top-rated status to the ability to do business at all (which can quickly end, for some sellers, when a suspension occurs).
10 Ways to Raise Your eBay Feedback Rating
You're probably also aware of just how difficult it can be to manage feedback, given buyer expectations and the relative permanence of feedback left by buyers. But if your feedback is suffering, there are several strategies to change it before it's too late.
Report Negative Feedback
Not all feedback left by buyers is considered valid by eBay. The feedback that is abusive or vulgar or reveals personal information is certainly not allowed. References in feedback to "investigations" or to other transactions are also disallowed.
If your feedback has taken a hit in recent days, review eBay's feedback guidelines to see if any recent dings qualify for automatic removal.
Follow up on Negative Feedback
You do have a voice, even after a buyer has left a negative report for you. Follow up on bad feedback and post apologies, explanations or anything else that you think might help other potential buyers to know the full story. This won't immediately improve your feedback percentage or score, but it will help you find buyers willing to give you a second chance.
Each new, positive piece of feedback goes a long way toward effectively neutralizing an existing negative one.
Make Things Right
Did you know a buyer can change their mind and improve their feedback for you, even after leaving a negative review? Getting "negged" doesn't have to mean the end of a transaction. Instead, request an automated feedback revision from your buyer.
The process is automatic, and once you've satisfied buyers, they are often happy to go back to leave a positive comment about your determination and follow-through.
Offer Free Shipping
If it's detailed seller ratings giving you headaches, leave as little to chance and buyer opinion as possible by offering free shipping for your items and using eBay's own shipping labels. This gets you automatic perfect scores on shipping costs and on your promptness (provided you print the label within the handling time specified in your listings) and leaves two fewer scores out of buyers' hands.
Adjust Your Item Description to Be More Accurate
If you've suffered an unusual spate of negatives in recent weeks and there's a good reason for it, you'll only help yourself by using space in your item descriptions to make your case to buyers. Just reassure them that they're going to have a good experience and you are going to ensure that they're happy.
Focus on Easy Sales
If your feedback is in danger, take some time to focus on the kinds of merchandise in your inventory or business model that are most likely to be simple, trouble-free transactions.
Avoid one-offs or goods with damage or wear, or that are difficult to ship or protect, even if these kinds of sales are more lucrative for you. Pick them back up once a little time has passed and your feedback is looking up again.
Take Time Off
Remember the feedback percentages seen by buyers are calculated on a rolling basis. This means as time passes, they gradually improve if your most recent sales are positive.
If you've been inundated with negative feedback, make a few easy sales to score some positives. Then, take a few months off to allow heat to pass and ratings to look better for buyers (and for eBay) once again.
Use your time off to focus on questions about your business model and customer service practices and why things went so wrong that you needed to take a break at all.
To ensure transactions result in positive feedback going forward, write in your item descriptions that you're out to earn positive feedback from them and will work to make sure every transaction is positive. Then, ensure you communicate with every buyer, immediately after purchase, to ask for positive feedback and to request they communicate with you if there are any problems.
It's simple, but it works. Buyers are much less likely to "neg" you if you've asked them to contact you before doing so. Just be prepared to follow through if or when they do!
If your negatives are the result of being sloppy or behind the curve in ways you can't seem to overcome, it may be time to get organized in your business. Here are some ideas:
- Set up a home office
- Streamline your shipping process
- Fix your accounting or fulfillment
- Switch your troubled drop shipper
- Get your customer service basics in place
If a general malaise has overtaken your eBay business, don't sit around waiting for things to get better.
Create Another Account
There's no rule against creating or holding multiple eBay accounts. So, if you've become disenchanted with the public history and feedback profile of an account, you can always start a new one. Just remember the important exception to this possibility. You are not allowed to create a new account if any of your old account(s) is/are suspended.
If you're suspended, try to get your account reinstated the right way first. Remember, too, you aren't keeping any secrets from eBay. The change is purely cosmetic for the buying public. Seconds after you create any new account, eBay has already internally linked it to all your old accounts, and to many of your contacts and business connections. eBay won't forget about your old feedback, even if the public doesn't know about it.
Fighting the battle against a rush of negative feedback can feel like trying to turn back a tide as it tries to wash away your business. But, remember even if it's hard to be patient (your finances may, after all, be at stake), it's critical to the long-term viability of your eBay selling that you fight the battle in an above-board way and keep yourself from getting too frustrated.