Who Should Leave Feedback First?

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UPDATE: eBay has changed their feedback policy.  Sellers are not able to leave buyers neutral or negative feedback any longer.

As a buyer, have you every wondered after you made a purchase, paid super fast, left positive feedback and never got your comment in return?

What if you sold something, shipped it out the same day the buyer paid, included a little freebie, super packing, spent some of the profits on upgraded shipping and / or shipping supplies and never heard from your buyer again?

Have you ever asked, “Where’s My Feedback?”

This may be due to the unanswered question, “who leaves feedback first?”

To answer this question, we should look at the responsibilities of the buyer and the seller.

The Seller’s Responsibilities

1. The seller should list the item very clearly so there are not surprises when the buyer receives the item.
2. The seller should communicate quickly with any possible buyer-emailed questions.
3. The item should be sent out quickly and within the time period mentioned on the auction page.
4. Shipping cost should be reasonable.  A seller should calculate their profits form the item they sold and not on shipping costs.  A seller who charges 30, 20 or even 15 dollars on a small item they promised to ship Priority Mail that arrives in a crummy box, with news paper packing and shipped first class mail 10 days after the auction closed may not see “happy” feedback.
5. The seller should stand behind the item they sold vs. the item description EVEN if the seller sold the item as an AS-IS purchase.  The buyer has only the seller’s description to go by.  If the seller says in one paragraph, “mint condition,” and the next paragraph says, “All sales final,” the item should be in mint condition or expect a request for a refund or get negative feedback.

The Buyer’s Responsibilities

1. The buyer should read the item description thoroughly.
2. The buyer should ask any questions about the item before the bid is placed.
3. Payment should be sent per the auction’s description.
4. Once the item is received, the buyer should inspect the item completely.  If any deviation from the description is found, a calm message should be sent to the seller notifying him or her of the oversight.
5. If the item is received in a less-than-described condition and the seller refuses to follow through with his or her obligation.  They buyer should file a complaint with eBay and / or PayPal and NOT leave negative feedback right away.

Who should leave the first feedback comment depends on who has the last task in the transaction.  Feedback should be left only after both parties have fulfilled their commitments and responsibilities.  This brings us to the important question of, “Who has the last task?”  Is it the buyer?  Or is it the seller?

The buyer ships the item out after the seller paid.  Should the seller leave feedback now?  Some say, “Yes.”  Others say, “No.”

The buyer receives the item and it is in the described condition.  What if the seller has not left feedback for the quick payment the buyer made?  Should the seller hold his / her comments?

But wait!  The seller is waiting on the buyer.

Before you know it, neither party leaves feedback.

Like I said a bit ago: the first feedback comment depends on who has the last task.  The last task is proudly held by the Buyer.

1. The seller has the auction posted.
2. They buyer wins the auction and sends a fast payment.
3. The item is shipped off the same day and in the condition it was described in.

Do both parties deserve positive feedback?  Wait, don’t be too hasty.  What if the buyer receives the item and subjectively feels the item is not in the described condition?  Let’s say this buyer gets ANGERY!  The buyer writes the seller and use foul language and is just down right dirty and mean.  Let’s say the buyer leaves a negative comment without trying to work out the problem.  Does this buyer deserve positive feedback only because he or she is a fast payer?  Paying for the item quickly is not the only buyer responsibility. 

NOPE!  The buyer should get the same negative feedback they left for the seller (UPDATE: the new eBay rules will not let the seller leave the buyer negative feedback anymore).  The buyer should get the negative feedback NOT as revenge from the seller, but for the failure in the buyer’s 4th responsibility; they were not reasonable or easy to work with.

A seller sees the value in his or her item and the buyer sees its flaws.  Being polite in the eBay community is the best policy.  Being ugly, mean and rude is a failure of the member’s responsibilities.  Just like failing to pay for an item or waiting a month to ship the item, you may deserve negative feedback for not meeting your obligations.

To ensure all parties are represented equally in the feedback system, the buyer should leave feedback first in the transaction once the item is received and meets his or her expectations.  It is then the seller should leave his / her feedback after seeing the buyer both paid in a reasonable amount of time and the buyer was kind and worked with the seller on any kinks that may have come up.

I hope this guide was helpful and that you have a better understanding of Feedback etiquette.  If it was helpful, let me know by clicking the “YES” down below.  If you would like to provide your input, I will be happy to add the information to this guide.

Show The World Your World; Share A Photograph.  TM


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