As an online seller, you’re aware of how much customer feedback can impact your business. Your seller rating can determine the success of your store, and maintaining a high percentage is critical. Sometimes though, even bad things happen to good sellers.
If you receive negative customer feedback that you feel is undeserved, it can be very frustrating. We’ve gone over the steps to take to remove negative feedback on Amazon, but eBay is a totally different marketplace. For one, feedback on Amazon is scarce, with sellers receiving feedback on only about 5-10% of their sales. EBay sellers, however, will hear back from customers far more frequently. This can result in an abundance of positive responses…and sometimes a few negative ones.
Before you contact a buyer to try and resolve an issue, make sure you are first eligible to ask for feedback removal.
Much like dealing with negative feedback on Amazon, sellers must make sure they remove all emotion before communicating with a buyer. Some may recommend waiting 24 hours to allow yourself to cool off, but we feel the sooner you contact the customer, the better. Here are some basic rules to follow when opening communication with a customer.
- Never argue with or harass the buyer- even if you feel they are antagonizing you.
- Always remove all emotion from correspondence. This is very difficult – it’s painful to hear negative responses about your business or products. If you can remove emotionally charged language, you will come across as more professional, which will help build a case in your defense.
- Contact an eBay representative immediately to notify them of the issue.
- Document everything between you and the customer, as well as any evidence that may serve in your defense (if they complained about an item not being as described, document your descriptions of the item).
Develop an email template for your initial contact – this will help ensure that all emotions are gone and the language is professional. Apologize for any mishaps, whether or not you feel there was one. Reassure them that you strive for satisfaction, and would like to come to a solution together. Once you have resolved the issue, you can submit a feedback revision request. You only have thirty days from the time of feedback to accomplish this, so begin communication quickly.
Additionally, the best steps to handle negative feedback are of course, to avoid it. The best strategies to protect yourself are
- Use clear descriptions. If there is an item defect, do you accurately describe it? Any particular assembly instructions a buyer may need to know?
- Take clear photos. EBay’s image policy is a little more relaxed than Amazon’s, given that you can sell vintage and homemade items that don’t have manufacturer quality images. However, you are still responsible for taking quality, clear photos that document the product as well as any flaws.
- Display accurate shipping time-frames. Often, a negative review from a buyer revolves around some issue with shipping. Make sure the customers know and understand the difference between when an item ships (leaves your hands or warehouse), and when it delivers (arrives on their doorstep). Not all buyers know that “ships in 1-2 days” means leaves your possession in that time, and may expect their package to arrive in that time frame. Giving them clear expectations will help you avoid a bad review from a cranky customer.
We hope that you never (or rarely) encounter a situation where you may need to work on removing poor reviews from eBay. If you happen to receive a negative review on Amazon, follow our tips on how to remove negative feedback and get more positive reviews.
Do you have any specific tips about eBay’s feedback removal process? Please share your own best practices with other small business eBay’ers.