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eBay Negative Feedback Changes

eBay Negative Feedback Changes

eBay Negative Feedback Changes

A couple of weeks ago eBay announced some big changes to the way it treats sellers on the site. Among these, the one that has caused the most outrage is a decision to prevent sellers from leaving negative feedback for buyers. Currently both buyer and seller can leave feedback about each other after each transaction. This feedback can be either positive, neutral or negative and includes a short line of text. However, from May, sellers will only be allowed to leave positive feedback. The reasons for this are well understood. Buyers often avoid leaving honest feedback when a transaction has gone badly in the fear that the seller will retaliate with negative feedback. I have been on the receiving end of such retaliatory feedback myself. And research has shown that buyers are more reluctant to buy from any seller after a bad experience with one. According to a survey, 98.7% of eBay sellers are against the change and believe it will negatively impact their business. Their arguments that removing the ability to leave negative feedback prevents them from vetting buyers and weeding out non-paying bidders (NPBs in eBay jargon) are valid. And yet there seems to be a much simpler and fairer solution: don't display feedback until both buyer and seller have entered their feedback into the system. That way both buyer and seller can be honest in the knowledge that it will not affect the feedback of the other party.

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