eBay's upcoming changes to its feedback system have many sellers seriously worried, to the point that almost one in four eBay sellers asked them to sell their products.
Are they worrying too much about these changes? Is one feedback, or a dollop of negatives, really going to ruin your eBay business?
I for one have decided the new system will definitely be unworkable for me. Without it's abandoned I'll probably be leaving eBay, too, or maybe I'll just close accounts as negatives appear and continuously start up new eBay accounts.
These points may help you decide whether to abandon the ship or attempt to steer a better course:
* Each negative rating decreases the feedback score by one point. Several negatives from the same person count as one and will affect feedback score by one point, not three. The same goes where one buyer leaves multiple positive feedback points which eBay also counts as one.
* Ever wondered how feedback percentage is rated? The calculation is simple and in eBay's words, representations' The percentage of positive ratings left by members. This is calculated by adding the number of unique positive ratios and the number of unique negative ratings, and then dividing the number of positive ratios by the total number of ratings. '
* Feedback is voluntary but eBay encourages all members to leave feedback after every transaction (usually they actually do expect sellers to leave positive feedback for problem buyers!). This means eBay will not chastise sellers who, including myself, who if we remain on eBay, choose not to leave feedback at all under the new system. This decision may hurt genuine buyers and will certainly cause arguments between buyer and seller, so it's essential you make known your preference within eBay listings and make this part of your bidding conditions. I have not thought this out properly and I am not sure if my word breaks eBay, so do not copy me, but I'm going to say something like:
'Note Regarding Feedback. New members may be unaware that eBay's revised feedback system prohibits sellers from leaving feedback to highlight flawed transactions. For this reason I choose not to leave feedback at all. I am sorry for any inconvenience or disappointment this might cause and my decision is purely because the new system bars me from highlighting problems such as non-paying buyers or buyer scams experienced by myself which might prevent similar problems happening to other sellers. Please do not bid on my listings if you insist on having feedback or you disagree with my beliefs. '
* eBay suggests those flying feedback stars sellers get after reaching specific Feedback points are a sign of a reliable seller and sufficient to grow buyer confidence.
Here's what the different stars mean:
Yellow star = 10 to 49 points
Blue star = 50 to 99 points
Turquoise star = 100 to 499 points
Purple star = 500 to 999 points
Red star = 1,000 to 4,999 points
Green star = 5,000 to 9,999 points
Yellow shooting star = 10,000 to 24,999 points
Turquoise shooting star = 25,000 to 49,999 points
Purple shooting star = 50,000 to 99,999 points
Red shooting star = 100,000 points or more
eBay reckons someone with, say, 10,000 Feedback points and a yellow shooting star will always be viewed as reliable by bidders. In their words: 'Your star is your symbol of trust and experience in the eBay Community.'
Contrary to what eBay says, virtually all reliable research shows that buyers are more likely to be influenced by Feedback percentage than number of Feedback points.
I beg also to disagree with eBay's view; I honestly think the more you sell and the more successful you become on eBay, the more likely you'll be left negative feedback out of pure jealousy and spite. Believe me on this, next time some bloke gets beat up by his wife or gets a speeding ticket the easyest person to offload all that frustration on could easily be you!
There's no doubt about it, size really does matter on ebay, and big is always best. That's because the very best way to develop immunity to negative feedback is to sell in areas that generally attract considerate buyers and good feedback and where you can grow positive feedback to a point where one or a handful of negatives has no effect on your overall percentage feedback score.