The Great Ebay Feedback Debate: Should Ebay Sellers Leave Feedback for Buyers?

Some sellers withhold feedback until they’ve received feedback from their buyer. This is horrible business policy.

This Is Not the Playground

Spend much time on FaceBook pages or message boards where Ebay sellers congregate these days and you’re bound to find a post where someone is complaining about a buyer they had a problem with after the item was shipped and they’ll always say something like this: I sure am glad I didn’t leave them feedback yet!

When I see that, I always think, “Why?”

The only reason I can think of that a seller would be glad to have not left feedback at that point is if the seller intends to use that feedback as a weapon or in a retaliatory fashion. The only reason I can think of for an Ebay seller to worry about the Ebay feedback they left for a buyer is that the seller doesn’t have confidence in the item they sold. This seems like some kind of tit-for-tat, playground tattle-tell sort of tactic.

When a customer complains about an item, it should be a red-flag to Ebay if the seller didn’t leave the buyer feedback upon payment. Can we assume the seller fulfilled everything required of them if they can’t even do something as simple as leaving a short comment thanking the buyer and letting them know their item is on its way?

Sound Business Policy = Pleasant Customer Experience

For an Ebay seller, feedback policy should be a no-brainer. Feedback is the seller’s opportunity to thank the customer. You’re not going to see your customer face to face like you would in a traditional brick and mortar store. They may not read everything you stuff into the package along with the item they bought, including any thank you notes. Your feedback to your buyer really is the best and most efficient way for you to thank them.

They will see what you say publicly in their feedback and what you say and when you say it(or don’t) could be the difference between a dissatisfied customer and a customer for life! I’ll go into more detail below about how feedback should be structured but every detail of your feedback should be relevant to that customer and that particular transaction. I’m not saying you have to mention the item purchased but there shouldn’t be anything in the feedback comment that doesn’t make sense for that item.

I leave the highest possible feedback as soon as the customer pays for the item. How much confidence do you think a seller illicits in a customer when they pay for an item and hear nothing from the seller? That would be like going into a traditional store, making a purchase and not even being thanked on your way out the door.

Man, That’ll Take Forever

Depending on what you’re selling, leaving feedback that is relevant to the buyer and transaction may limit your ability to leave feedback using certain time-saving, automated tools, I don’t know. I don’t use them. I do 99% of all my Ebay activities from my IPad and it works for me.

Hey, whatever works for you but make sure to include a compliment and a thank you. When I say it like that it sounds a little simpler. In fact, you probably could figure out an automated feedback that could be used for at least most of your listings.

If they pay really quick, I thank them for it but I’m going to thank them for paying even if it takes them two days to get around to doing it. I’m going to give them an A+ and maybe a couple exclamation marks because I want them to know I appreciate their business and silence DOES NOT tell them that I appreciate their business.

When my customer buys and pays for a lighter, they don’t have to wonder if I’m aware. They don’t have to worry whether it will be shipped today. They don’t have to fret the possibility the item arrives and is not as described. I look out for my customers from start to finish and that includes leaving feedback so they know their order is being attended to.

Grumpy Old Sellers

There are a group of sellers out there on Ebay that don’t really care about their customers. I shouldn’t say that, it’s not that they don’t really care, it’s that they don’t care at all. I’m not trying to talk bad about people but if you’ve spent time on Ebay, you’ve encountered them.

They have their little niche, selling what they sell and they don’t want to be disturbed by questions from or communications with customers. I can see where this kind of seller could be averse to leaving feedback but I believe they do so at the expense of their bottom line.

For some customers, maybe even most, the feedback you leave as the seller will have no influence on whether the customer returns to purchase from you again. But for some, it will be the deciding factor that leads a customer back to your Ebay store. Isn’t that worth your effort?

My Two Cents

My argument is this:

  • When a buyer pays for an item, the seller should leave feedback as quickly as possible(if you leave feedback as you ship the item and offer same day shipping, it only adds a couple clicks to your effort and you’re certain to catch up every day!)
  • Leaving feedback is the best and most efficient way for a seller to thank their customer and let them know their order is in good hands.
  • Make certain that feedback for buyers does not contain any info or comments that does not relate to the purchased item.
  • Feedback should include a compliment and a thank you. Make sure your customer knows that you appreciate them spending their time and money with you. Some sellers like to draw all kinds of attention with their feedback, drawing out complex designs with symbols and such. That’s fine, nothing wrong with drawing attention. Just remember, quality items and quality service(which includes leaving feedback for your buyers) will result in happy customers.

Please use the comments section below to let me know what you think of this article or how you feel Ebay sellers should use the feedback tool.





Author: Joseph

Be cautious when anyone tells you what you need or have to do...

6 thoughts on “The Great Ebay Feedback Debate: Should Ebay Sellers Leave Feedback for Buyers?”

  1. This post really hit home for me. I use OfferUp and I recently had this exact same thing happen to me. It is good to leave them immediate feedback because they’ll know if they’re doing something right (by paying). Now days, feedback is one of the most important things to give someone especially since you’ll never see them. I appreciate your honesty, and I can tell you do a lot of work on eBay! Thanks for teaching me something new.

    1. Thank you, Bobby, for reading the article. If a customer is going to spend their hard earned money with me, then I owe it to them to not only deliver what they purchased but to do it in a manner that makes them feel secure and happy with their transaction. Just makes good business sense to me.

  2. Hi Joseph,

    Interesting article, I must admit I don’t sell anything much on Ebay; but I am intending to ramp this up. I hadn’t given much thought to the need to give swift positive feedback to my sellers, would you always advise waiting till you receive payment prior to leaving the buyer feedback?

    1. Thank you, Nate, I’m glad you enjoyed the article.
      Yes, I would always wait until the buyer pays before leaving feedback. Unfortunately, it is not all that uncommon for an Ebay buyer to fail to make payment and there’s no reason for a seller to give feedback for a transaction that is never completed.
      I hope this helps and if you would like, you can read more here about selling on Ebay or making money online.

  3. Good points! I buy a lot and sell a little on eBay. As a seller, I always leave feedback right after I get the payment notification. As far as I’m concerned, the buyer’s part of the transaction is complete.

    It does annoy me a little when sellers withhold feedback until after the buyer provides theirs. It’s obvious that they do so to retaliate.

    1. Thanks Dan. A seller can’t leave negative feedback anyway so it really doesn’t make sense. As a seller, I like to use the feedback as a tool to reassure my customer that they made a wise purchase.

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