A Guide to Leaving Feedback on eBay

By Marsha Collier

Good sellers should be rewarded, and potential buyers should be informed of good transactions. That’s why no eBay transaction is complete until the buyer fills out the feedback form. Before leaving any feedback, though, always remember that sometimes no one’s really at fault if some transactions get fouled up; communication meltdowns can happen to anyone. Here are some scenarios that give you an idea on what kind of feedback to leave for a seller:

  • Positive: If the transaction could have been a nightmare, but the seller really tried to make it right and meet you halfway, that’s an easy call — give the seller the benefit of the doubt and leave positive feedback.
  • Positive: Whenever possible, reward someone who seems honest or tried to fix a bad situation. For example, if the seller worked at a snail’s pace but you eventually got your item and you’re thrilled with it, you may want to leave positive feedback with a caveat. Something like “Item as described, good seller, but slow to deliver” sends the right feedback message.
  • Neutral: If the seller worked at a snail’s pace and did adequate packaging and the item was kinda-sorta what you thought, you may want to leave neutral feedback; the transaction wasn’t bad enough for negative feedback but doesn’t deserve praise, either. Here’s an example of what you might say: “Really slow to deliver, didn’t say item condition was good not excellent, but did deliver.” Wishy-washy is okay as a response to so-so; at least the next buyer will know to ask very specific questions.
  • Negative: If the seller never shipped your item or the item seriously didn’t match the description when it arrived, and you had to file a claim, you need to leave negative feedback. Make sure that both conditions apply. Never write negative feedback in the heat of the moment — and never make it personal. Keep it mellow and just state the facts. Do expect a response but don’t get into a name-calling war. Life’s interesting enough without taking on extra hassles.

The Accidental Deadbeat might be an intriguing title for a movie someday, but being a deadbeat isn’t much fun in real life.