Ebay or Amazon Marketplace: rating a seller

Ok, three weeks ago I purchased an item through Amazon Marketplace. The rating system appears to be similar to Ebay, except without the ability for the seller to respond. It also looks as if feedback can’t be edited once it is left. I have never ordered anything through Ebay, though, and this is my first time buying anything used through Amazon. The rating levels are 1-5, with 1 being low and 5 being high.
I haven’t received this item yet. This seller lists all items as “ships within 2 days”, and is in New Jersey. Now, New Jersey to Ohio does not take three weeks in the postal system that I’m aware of, even if the seller sent it third class. Amazon originally listed two delivery ranges, one of the 7th-13th of June and one of the 7th to the 21st. The latter is the only one still listed.

I sent an e-mail Tuesday evening to the seller, asking about the status, as this is a gift I plan to deliver to a friend and I want to set up a vacation day to deliver it myself. I haven’t heard anything back at all.

At this point, my feeling is that if the item arrives by the final delivery date (the 21st), a neutral rating of 3 with an explanatory comment, especially if I still get no reply from the seller. If it arrives after that date but is here when I return from Chicago (I’ll be there the 23rd to the 29th), it becomes a negative rating. Same thing if it doesn’t arrive by then - and at that point, since I get no response from the seller, I also go through the Amazon A-Z claim form in an attempt to get a refund.

Is this reasonable? Fair? Too fair?

Well first off, keep in mind that Amazon is not like ebay in one important way- sellers cannot charge whatever they like for shipping. This being the case, amazon charges you $3.50 to ship a book, but of that the seller only receives $2.26 - so they pretty much have to ship it media mail. Generally media mail takes about a week, but in some cases it can take as long as 3 weeks. If I received my item late I would look at the postmark - if it was actually postmarked the next day after I ordered it (ie sent out promptly), I would leave a 5- the seller has zip control over the post office. If the item was sent out late, lower feedback is justified. I don’t know why the seller isn’t responding - I used to sell from New Jersey myself as jacotaydotcom on Amazon, and you are right - NJ to Ohio via Media mail usually took from say sent Monday to arriving Thursday or Friday. It would take longer if they had a poorly readable or hand-written label.