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Getting negative feedback for an eBay transaction can be absolutely devastating. What’s worse is that it can sometimes be completely out of your control.
We maintained 100% positive feedback for over a year despite shipping out over 1,000 orders until we got hit by the negative feedback curse and got 3 within a week.
The worst part? Only one was kind of warranted. We had miss-listed an item and the seller had to have it for a business trip. We get it, inconvenient.
The other two, however, were from very angry sellers who were trying to extort free stuff from us or were just being jerks in general.
Which led us down the rabbit hole of getting negative feedback removed. Nobody wants a buyer to look at their feedback and see that 3 of the last 20 are negative.
Long story short, we did it. We were able to get 2 of our negative eBay feedback removed.
Here’s how we did it.
Types Of Negative Feedback That You Can Get Removed
If you’re a seller that has been on the receiving end of some bad feedback, there is still hope. However, not every type of feedback can be removed.
According to eBay (and my experience), there are a few specific guidelines about what kind of negative feedback can be removed by eBay.
Here are the main ones that will apply to your situation:
- Comment/Feedback Missmatch. If someone tries to be passive aggressive by leaving you a negative comment with a positive feedback (or vice versa) eBay will treat it at a mistake and remove the feedback.
- Feedback Extortion. If a buyer is threatening to leave you negative feedback if you don’t do something, let them. eBay will remove the feedback as they take any form of blackmail on their site very seriously.
- Unreasonable Expectations. Just this morning I received a message from a buyer that was “very dissapointed” that the item was not in “new or like new condition”. It wasn’t listed that way. It was listed in “used working condition” with each flaw described and photographed. If she leaves feedback due to her unwarranted expectations I should be able to get it removed.
- False Claims. If a buyer states something in their feedback comment that is categroically untrue you can get it removed. It they claim you took a untrue amount of time to ship, that measurments weren’t included, etc. you can fight it.
It’s worth mentioning here that eBay will also remove positive feedback with any of the above problems if you ask them to. This can be helpful in getting feedback removed from a passive-aggressive buyer who left positive feedback with a nasty comment.
eBay will not remove neutral feedback from your account. Because neutral feedback does not affect your feedback percentage or seller metrics eBay advises sellers to simply let it fall off of their feedback history after 1 year. If the neutral feedback contains profanity eBay will remove the comment and leave the feedback score.
How To Get Negative Feedback Removed On eBay
1. Ask The Buyer For A Revision
If you have a puppy-dog face, put it on. We’re going to be the buyer to help us out. Kind of.
We have had negative feedback removed a couple of times because the person was totally inept at leaving feedback. They either misclicked or didn’t quite know what they were doing. Both times the person left a glowing review underneath negative feedback.
In both cases it was a simple matter of messaging them, explaining the situation, and asking for a feedback revision.
If the buyer is agreeable, this may be the easiest solution.
This can also work out in your favor if the person is unhappy (eg their item got broken in transit) and they never contacted you about it. If you message them and offer to fix the problem they are often willing to revise feedback.
And, if they aren’t willing, fixing the problem will often make their feedback untrue and eBay will then be willing to remove it.
2. Call eBay
If the buyer refuses to make any concessions and remove/change their feedback (or maybe they’re so crazy that you’re scared to ask) then your only recourse is to get eBay’s customer service involved.
If you decide that it’s worth calling eBay to get the negative feedback removed, here’s are my best tips for how to go about it:
- Be nice. If you call in and are angry and confrontation you’ll get nowhere. I always talk to the eBay service rep like he/she and I are on the same side and we’re trying to deal with something a crazy person is doing.
- Use proper language. No, I’m not talking about profanity. Although you should probably leave that out too. You need to use language from eBay’s own playbook if possible. If you can describe the situation with words like “Feedback Extortion” it helps reps to see that this is something that they’re allowed to fix quickly.
- Don’t speak to the manager. eBay reps have all the power that you need. If they refuse to remove the feedback, decline the offer to record the event for future reference and get off the call. Then call back, get a different service rep, and describe your situation better.
Sounds easy enough, right? It should become apparent relatively quickly whether the representative is going to help you out or not. If they’re not, don’t waste your time trying to convince them otherwise. Just move on and maybe try one of the alternative methods of contacting eBay’s customer service.
1. eBay Decides To Remove The Feedback
If you put forward a good case and eBay decides to remove the feedback you should see it drop off your account within 48 hours. Our removals have happened much faster than that. Once it’s gone it will no longer affect your feedback percentage or seller metrics.
eBay will still have a record of the call and the fact that you received negative feedback however so they can track if you getting negative feedback removed is a pattern that needs to be interrupted.
2. eBay Removes The Comment But Leaves The Negative Feedback
If the person who left you the negative feedback was offensive instead of objective, eBay may decide to remove the comment that the person left but leave the feedback.
In this case, people will be able to see that you received negative feedback (and it will still affect our metrics) but when they try to see the reason for it they will just see “Comment Removed By eBay”
Whether or not this is helpful is debatable. It does show buyers who are in the know that the buyer was inappropriate but had an actual grievance. Less knowledgeable buyers may just take it as a sign that eBay did not agree with the feedback.
3. eBay Decides That It’s Justified And Declines To Remove The Feedback
Many sellers call and try to get every negative feedback that they receive removed from their accounts.
After all, what have you got to lose?
If eBay declines to remove the feedback it will stay on your account and affect your feedback percentage until it drops off after 12 months.
What To Do If You Get Negative Feedback That eBay Won’t Remove
If your negative buyer won’t remove their feedback (or respond to your messages) and eBay refuses to step in and help, we’ve got three options.
1. Call eBay Again
Unfortunately, eBay’s customer service is not entirely consistent. Sometimes you’ll get a rep that won’t remove negative feedback that you didn’t deserve. Worry not, you should be able to call back, use different language with a different rep, and get a different result. Some sellers report having luck getting negative feedback removed by the 5th, 6th, or even 7th rep that they call. If you persist you just might get lucky!
2. Respond To The Feedback
eBay offers a function where you can respond to any feedback you receive. If you received feedback that was warranted, go tell your side of the story. If, for example, you had a problem that affect your ability to ship the item, explain it.
Just don’t use this area to be angry or defensive as it will reflect poorly on your business. I typically pretend that I’m a robot that only cares about customer satisfaction and improving my future sales. No emotions!
3. Go On Your Way
You got negative feedback, so what? The best way to drown out negative feedback is to have a ton of sales and push it off your first page of feedback. Besides, the faster you can move on and sell a bunch of things the faster you can improve your feedback percentage. It will drop off after a year anyway.
What Do Negative Feedback Do? What’s A Good Feedback Score?
We try our best to be good sellers and have sold full-time on eBay for more than 5 years. During that time we’ve received dozens of negative feedback. While our feedback is still 99.5% positive (as of writing) it still stings when we get a negative mark.
If you are an eBay seller for any length of time you’ll just have to accept the negative emotional jolt of seeing negative feedback as part of the cost of doing business.
However, if your negatives are stacking up, I’m not saying there isn’t a reason to be concerned.
Maintaining above 97% positive feedback on eBay is crucial to gaining the trust of new buyers. If you have multiple recent negative feedback or a feedback percentage lower than that people will carefully look at the feedback you’ve received before placing an order.
If you don’t fix whatever is causing you to receive negative feedback you do run the risk of having your eBay account suspended. However, it’s more likely that you’ll have your account limited or suspended based on your Seller Metrics (available in seller hub) before negative feedback gets you.
If you just got your first negative feedback, don’t stress. Consider it a rite of passage. Try to get it removed and, if eBay refuses, just get on with life.
After all, the more you sell (and the more positive feedback you receive) the less the negative feedback will affect you. Besides, most buyers won’t be looking at your feedback anyway. Just take great pictures, write awesome titles and descriptions and you’ll be able to continue growing and scaling your eBay business! Keep selling!