Negative feedback is the downside of EBay & it’s going to happen sooner or later. It hurts, it’s unfair and it’s downright dirty.
I’m not talking positive criticism. That’s saying it too soft.
Negative feedback is something I’ve rarely had to deal with, but it does happen. When I first started selling on EBay, negative feedback was circular. If someone left negative feedback for an item they purchased from me, I would automatically leave negative feedback with them. An eye for an eye, right? It’s called wicked revenge.
Actually, that’s not really my philosophy, but negative feedback does leave me a bit bitter.
I have never left negative feedback without someone else “starting it” first, but EBay changed their policy a few years ago. They took power away from the seller. They no longer allow sellers to leave feedback, only buyers are granted that privilege. Why? I’d imagine it’s for the very reason I mentioned above. Maybe EBay corporate didn’t think revenge was a good enough reason to leave negative feedback.
EBay’s recommendation is if you purchase an item you are not satisfied with, contact the seller and try to resolve the problem. If after contacting the seller you are not satisfied with the resolve, then you can leave neutral or negative feedback.
Have I had buyers not happy with their purchases? Sure. Mismatched hems, undiscovered stains, irregular measurements; it’s happened with clothing I’ve sold. So what do I do in this situation?
Most of the time I offer a full refund and normally I don’t make the buyer return the item. Why put them out the cost of additional postage fees if I’m the one who made the mistake? This seldom happens, but when it does I try to be as nice as possible to the customer I’ve inconvenienced.
Now, what about mean people?
I don’t like mean people, especially when they send me a mean email. A mean email from an EBay customer is like getting yelled at by a stranger. I don’t like it.
Last week I received an email from a customer, angry that her item had not yet arrived in the mail.
“I have not received my jeans I purchased from you last week. When did you send them? Send me the tracking number or I’ll leave negative feedback!!!!!” she scolded me.
Ouch! Now my temperature is on the rise.First of all, a tracking number only comes if the customer pays an additional fee for shipping confirmation, which she did not. And second of all, when shipping 50 to 100 things all over the world, how could I keep track of tracking numbers for every item shipped out? But is this how I resolve the problem, by sending this somewhat rude but justifiable explanation to the customer? No. I learned early on it’s never worth sending a mean email back to an already angry customer.
When I receive a mean/demanding/wicked email from an EBay customer, I take a deep breath and turn on some new age Yanni music.
I look outside my window at this beautiful world I live in and realize everything is alright. Then, I write the customer back.
In this particular case, I wrote:
“Hello friend. Thank you for your patience and communication in this situation. Your jeans were shipped 5 days ago, priority mail, so they should be there any day. Please let me know when they arrive and I hope you enjoy them.”
Now, that wasn’t too difficult was it? I always start my emails with “Hello friend.” It really seems to break the ice when a customer is raging about her $6.99 purchase. And I never leave explanation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What’s the point of that? Am I yelling? No, I’m never yelling in an email. It’s just not professional.
Wouldn’t you know it? In two days, I received a pleasant email from this customer, explaining her jeans arrived and were a perfect fit.
Later, I realize she’s left positive feedback.
Out of thousands and thousands of sells, I’ve received 3 negative feedbacks. Yes, three. Because most of the time when a customer is upset, I do everything I can to help ease their burden, to lighten their day and like I say under every posting I list, “I hope to make every EBay experience a great one.”
Cheesy, but it’s my philosophy.