eBay's members regulate themselves through the use of feedback. Although feedback can tell you a lot about how smoothly a transaction may go, it does have some limitations. Here is a list of things you should and shouldn't do with feedback:

  • Before you consider purchasing an item on eBay, do check the seller’s feedback rating by clicking the number that appears next to the seller’s user ID.

  • Even if you see a large amount of positive feedback, do check to be sure that the seller doesn’t also have a growing number of negative feedback responses — especially recently. In the eyes of other eBay members, you’re only as good as your last few transactions.

  • Do take a breather before you leave negative feedback for another eBay member. eBay won’t remove feedback if you change your mind or overreact to a situation.

  • The seller is not required to leave you feedback when you pay for the item. Feedback is based on the entire transaction, so feedback may not be posted until the item arrives and you’re both happy.

  • If someone gives you positive feedback, do reciprocate by giving him or her positive feedback, too.

  • If you receive negative feedback and feel your side of the transaction is worth telling, do be sure to give your reply in a neutral tone. You may also add a line responding to feedback you’ve received, to explain the situation to those who read the comment.