If you’re a buyer or seller on eBay, from time to time you may get occasionally stung by negative feedback from whoever was on the other end of the transaction.
Depending on how often you use eBay, you could go from a 100% feedback score to one in the 80% range with just one unhappy customer. This is not good news as it can affect your future sales or make other people not want to do business with you.
Many people may not realize it, but there’s actually a way to get negative feedback removed if you have played your cards right.
How, you wonder? The short answer is to simply request to remove feedback through the eBay Seller Help tool while logged in, or by contacting eBay directly by phone. But, it’s a little confusing to navigate, so keep reading and I’ll help show you the ropes.
Step 1: Log in to eBay and visit Seller Help. For best results, you should probably do this on a laptop or desktop computer. I haven’t tried it on mobile, but imagine it might be a bit more tedious to accomplish.
Visit the eBay home page and log into your account. Once logged in, click the Help & Contact link at the very top of the page. See the highlighted text on screenshot:
After you visit that link, you will now be on the main Seller Help page which looks like so:
Step 2: Click the “Try it Now” button in the green area of the Seller Help home page. This will take you to the next page which is blue and has four main categories:
Returns & Refunds
Step 3: Visit the “Request Assistance” web page – The section you will be interested in is the Request Assistance area. Navigate there and you will be on a new white page that currently has four options (this could change in the future):
Request to Remove Feedback, Appeal a Defect, Report an Issue With a Buyer, Need More Help?
Here is a screenshot of that page below:
Step 4: Click the “Request to Remove Feedback” link – You will now want to click the “Request to Remove Feedback” link. Now remember this is a request. It specifically says you can send them a request to have feedback removed and they will look into it and remove anything that doesn’t follow their policy.
Step 5: Select the item(s) that you have had negative feedback with and fill out any information to support your case as to why it should be removed and submit to eBay.
Alternative Method – Call eBay Support
When I recently did this, I followed the steps above but ran into a glitch in the final phase. This was due to the fact that I had already submitted a request for feedback revision. This is in a different section – so do not make the same mistake as I did as you won’t be able to go any further and an error will be returned. If you did do this, you will need to call eBay support.
It’s important before you call to take a deep breath, become calm and be as polite as you can when calling. Don’t throw a fit. Remember how many other people these customer support agents are dealing with and if you are nice to them, they will likely appreciate it and perhaps even bend over backwards to help you. Be polite and professional.
You can either call eBay customer service yourself, or request a callback. To start this process, click on the “Help & Contact” link at the top of the page, then in the “Search eBay Help…” field type “Call eBay”. You should then have a search result return at the top that says “Contacting eBay Customer Service” like this:
Scroll to the bottom of this page and you will have the option to call directly or have eBay call you. The hours for each option are:
Calling eBay – Monday – Sunday, 5:00 am to 10:00 pm Pacific Time
Have eBay Call You – Monday – Sunday, 5:00 am to 10:00 pm Pacific Time
You will then be given a phone number to call along with a verification number to enter. If you choose for eBay to call you, it should display the phone number they have on record with you.
You may have to navigate a confusing phone menu once you get through, so if you get stuck simply say “customer service” to talk to a real human. Once you get a real human, tell them you would like to submit a request to remove feedback.
They will ask you which item and an explanation as to why you want the feedback removed. If their feedback is false, there’s a good chance they will side with you and remove it.
What Type of Feedback Will eBay Remove?
It’s important to realize that eBay won’t remove feedback simply because you want them to. There needs to be a valid reason – usually it is when the other party is making a false accusation.
Examples of feedback that could get removed:
You ship a product to a buyer, they receive the item and you can prove it with a tracking number.
Buyer makes a complaint that product is not what was advertised. A recent example I succeed with is one in which the buyer claimed they didn’t receive the quantity they expected. Only problem with that complaint is the quantity was mentioned multiple times and was also shown in a photo on the auction.
There are many other situations, so it’s always worth your time to give it a shot as long as you are reasonable about it and telling the truth.
How to Prevent Negative Feedback
The best way to not get in this situation in the first place is to provide high quality products/service as quickly as possible. It’s a tough world out there and since the rise of Amazon, everyone is expecting a similar level of service. Even though it’s close to impossible to provide Amazon level service, that’s pretty much the expectation everyone has in mind. So, do your best.
Provide accurate, detailed titles and descriptions – avoid stuffing with unrelated keywords that may confuse your customers. A good example I’ve seen of this is in the realm of autographs. Over and over I see auctions trying to sell an autograph of someone famous. But if you read the fine print in the description you may see that it’s not an authentic autograph, but rather a reproduction.
Accurate photos – Show your product as it actually is without touching it up (unless it is brand new and in perfect condition). This is most important with used items. You want to make sure the other party knows about any flaws so they won’t be disappointed when it arrives. If something is scratched, take a photo of the scratch and mention it in your listing. Don’t be deceptive.
Other tips – Ship when you are supposed to ship – the earlier the better. Don’t be sloppy with shipments. Remember, everyone is expecting packaging on the same level as Amazon.
Go the extra mile – if possible, give more than expected. Provide a little extra so the customer will be surprised. Add a friendly, personal note if you can and thank them for their business.
You get the picture… the higher quality product/service you can provide, the more likely you will prevent bad feedback in the first place.
One final tip – another trick you can do to minimize the impact is to sell low priced, easy to ship items. The purpose of doing so isn’t to make money, you’re only doing so to increase the amount of products you are selling, so if bad feedback does come your way, it won’t be as destructive.
Feedback is based on items sold in the last 12 months. If you have only sold a few items, one negative review can take you from 100% rating to 85%. But, if you have sold a few hundred items, a bad review won’t make a big dent.
I hope this article has helped explain how you can maximize your feedback score by keeping a close eye on your store and removing/resolving bad reviews.
If you are still stuck in this area and need help, feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to help and update this article with any new information.
And, as they say… good luck and happy bidding!