Sunday, May 12, 2013

eBay feedback – part 2

Last time, I described the eBay feedback system and how it helps you weed out bad sellers. However, sometimes, the numbers aren’t enough to make a decision. For example, what if you need a specific item that’s only available from a specific seller that has mediocre scores?

Well, by clicking on the feedback score, you can actually get a breakdown of the feedback, as well as comments left with the scores. The detailed view shows the feedback divided into 3 categories and over 3 time period:
1)    Positive
2)    Neutral
3)    Negative

a.    Last month
b.    Last 6 months
c.    Last 12 months

“Neutral” may sound benign, but in the eBay world, that’s actually close to a negative than positive. To compare it to the good-old school scoring system, a “positive” is an A, a “negative” is an “F” and a “neutral” is a D (even though it might sound to you like a B or C). In other words, even if a seller has no negatives, but several neutrals…take it as a warning sign.

The distribution by period allows you to see how things have changed over time. For example, a seller might have 10 negatives in the last 12 months, but only 2 in the last 6…which typically means he has improved. The idea is to try to evaluate change over time (maybe one day eBay will make it easier for us and just show a graph?).

A good idea when considering a seller with a non-stellar record is reading the actual comments left by buyers. These are displayed on the feedback page, and you can also filter them to see just the negative and neutral ones. The comments might reflect different aspects of the seller’s issues…some have low-quality merchandise, others ship slowly and yet others are dinged for being unresponsive. Occasionally, a buyer would call out someone simply as a liar, fraud, cheater etc. The issues described might be something that matters to you a lot…or on the contrary. For example, perhaps the seller has good merchandise, but gets bad scores simply because his mailing service is slow. In such a case, perhaps you don’t care if the items take an extra week to arrive, as long as the quality is good.

Want to learn more? Read more articles on my blog, or better yet, attend my public class on eBay buying. Click here to find more details and about the next class dates.

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