How to Leave eBay Feedback with Finesse

Writing eBay feedback well takes some practice. It isn't a matter of saying things; it's a matter of saying only the appropriate things. Think carefully about what you want to say because when you submit feedback, it stays with the person for the duration of his or her eBay career.

Think of leaving feedback as voting in an election: If you don't leave feedback, you can't complain about lousy service.

eBay says to make feedback "factual and emotionless." You won't go wrong if you comment on the details (either good or bad) of the transaction. If you have any questions about what eBay says about feedback, click the Feedback link on your My eBay page and then click the Go to Feedback Forum link.

In the Feedback Forum, you can perform six feedback-related tasks:

  • See feedback about an eBay user.

  • Leave feedback for many items at once. Here, you see all pending feedback for all transactions within the past 90 days. You are presented with a page of all your transactions for which you haven't left feedback. Fill them in, one at a time, and with one click you can leave as many as 25 feedback comments at once.

  • Review and respond to existing feedback about you.

  • Review the feedback you have left for others. Here you may also leave follow-up feedback after the initial feedback, should situations change.

  • Report buyer problems.

  • Check the Feedback FAQ to review any changes in the feedback system.

In the real world (at least in the modern American version of it), anybody can sue anybody else for libel; this fact holds true on the Internet, too. It's a good idea to be careful not to make any comments that could be libelous. eBay is not responsible for your actions, so if you're sued because of negative feedback (or anything else you've written), you're on your own.

The best way to keep yourself safe is to stick to the facts and to not get personal.

If you're angry, take a breather before you type your complaints and click the Leave Comment button. If you're convinced that negative feedback is necessary, try a cooling-off period before you send a comment. Wait an hour or a day and then see whether you feel the same. Nasty feedback based on emotion can make you look vindictive (even if what you're saying is true).

Safety tips for giving feedback

And speaking of safety features you should know about feedback, you may want to study up on these:

  • Remember that feedback, whether good or bad, is sticky. eBay won't remove your feedback comment if you change your mind later. Be sure of your facts and carefully consider what you want to say.

  • Before you leave feedback, see what other people had to say about that person. Is your thinking in line with the comments others have left?

  • You can leave feedback as long as the transaction remains on the eBay server. This is usually within 90 days of the end of the listing. After 90 days have passed, you must have the transaction number to leave feedback.

  • Your comment can be a maximum of only 80 letters long, which is really short when you have a lot to say. Before you start typing, organize your thoughts and use common abbreviations to save precious space.

  • Before posting negative feedback, try to resolve the problem by e-mail or telephone. You may discover that your reaction to the transaction is based on a misunderstanding that can be easily resolved.

  • eBay users generally want to make each other happy, so use negative feedback only as a last resort.

If you do leave a negative comment that you later regret, you can't remove it. You can go back to follow up and leave an explanation or a more positive comment (but it won't change the initial feedback or rating), so think twice before you blast.

The ways to leave feedback

Several ways are available to leave feedback comments:

  • If you're on the user's Feedback page, click the Leave Feedback link; the Leave Feedback page appears.

  • In the Purchased Items area of your My eBay page, click the Leave Feedback link next to the listing.

  • Go to your listing and click the Leave Feedback icon.

  • In the Feedback Forum, click the Leave Feedback link to see a list of all your completed items from the last 90 days for which you haven't yet left feedback.

To leave feedback for a buyer, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the required information.

    Note that your item number is usually filled in, but if you're placing feedback from the user's Feedback page, you need to have the number at hand.

  2. Type your comment.

    Only positive feedback can be left for a buyer, so choose your words carefully.

  3. Click the Star ratings from one to five to rate the transaction.

  4. Click the Leave Feedback button.

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