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When you buy something from eBay you’re trusting that eBay has somewhat vetted the seller. At least made sure they’re not an outright scammer.
You’re also going out on a limb. The majority of sellers on eBay are people just like you and me. Normal people selling their extra items. However, there are bad actors who want nothing more than to take your money.
In general, the eBay Feedback system is meant to help you be aware of such buyers before you buy something. In fact, it’s the main factor that most scrupulous buyers look at when making a determination about a seller.
But what is the feedback is wrong? Or the seller doesn’t have feedback at all?
How Bad Sellers Can Get Feedback Removed
Unfortunately, bad sellers can get negative feedback removed the exact same way that good sellers can. eBay isn’t perfect and getting negative feedback removed isn’t exactly rocket science.
While eBay does their best to track how often sellers have feedback removed (and will only remove feedback for certain reasons) there are instances where bad sellers can continue on without repercussion for months by trying to game the system.
This is especially damaging if they are selling very expensive items as they can make a ton of money running an eBay scam with minimal repercussions.
However, if you are dealing with someone you suspect may be a scammer there are some things you can do to make sure that your feedback won’t be removed.
How To Leave Negative Feedback That Won’t Get Removed
If you are going to leave negative feedback for a bad seller, here’s how to do it in a way that they can’t get eBay to remove it.
- Be G-Rated. eBay will remove your comment or the entire feedback if it contains profanity or is a personal attack. If you need some time to cool off before leaving feedback, take it. Leave emotion out of it and the feedback will have a better job of sticking.
- If you can’t be factual, be general. If you’re worried that the seller will tell eBay a different version of events, don’t address what actually happened. A seller will have a very hard time getting feedback removed if you simply say something general like that noone can argue with. For example, “I was very dissapointed with this transaction.”
- Don’t be too long-winded. eBay feedback must between 80 and 500 characters. I would recommend sticking to the shorter side of that range so that there will be less for the seller/eBay to nitpick and possibly remove.
- Don’t exagerate or lie. If you lie or stretch the truth eBay will remove the feedback as soon as the sellers calls. Keep in mind that eBay customer service has access to all of the messages between you and the seller and can see all the metrics from the sale.
- Don’t offer a resolution for removal. If you try to use feedback as a bargaining tool the seller can claim you are committing feedback extortion and have it removed.
It’s telling that this is even an issue that you need to be reading about but, in general, stay brief and factual and you’ll be fine.
Do be sure to leave feedback for every negative experience you have though. There are some poor eBay sellers that skate by simply because not enough buyers leave feedback on their transactions.
How Sellers Get Fake Feedback & Reviews On eBay
In the reselling community, fake sales and feedback are a huge problem. Everyone loves to post their sales numbers on their Instagram to show off, especially if they consider themselves an influencer.
But what about when your sales are disappointing?
Well, then you lie.
Some eBay sellers will fake their feedback or review by listing an expensive item, having a friend buy it, and then canceling and refunding the item. That way they can get positive feedback and temporarily boost their sales numbers.
There are also options for people to sell hundreds of “items” for a penny. The buyer (usually a single person) will then mark them as “Order Received” and leave feedback, essentially gaming the system.
Is It Safe To Buy From An eBay Seller With No Feedback Or Some Negative Feedback?
We do our best as eBay sellers, we really do. However, sometimes we mess up and get a well-deserved ding to our feedback. Other times we sell an item to someone psychotic and there’s no escaping bad feedback.
The point is, everyone who sells a sufficient number of items on eBay will have some negative feedback on their record.
The type and percentage of negative matter far more. There was a period when my wife was in the hospital and I didn’t ship anything. I got 4 negative feedback for “not shipping” or “slow shipping”. I left a comment on each one explaining the situation and didn’t repeat the mistake. Anyone looking at my feedback could see that there was a brief period that I had a problem and, in general, I’m a safe seller to buy from.
Since you can’t apply the same tactics if a person has no feedback, the best advice I can give you is to message them person to make sure they’re at least real, look at their other items for sale, and then follow your gut.
Long story short, seller feedback on eBay may be a good starting point but isn’t something you can rely on completely. Now that you know of the possibility of faked feedback or reviews do your best to exercise caution and remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
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