ebay: trading reputations

In this thread I asked about how to pay in eBay. After much delay, I received the item. It is a heavy item and was badly packed so it was somewhat damaged in transit but I decided to keep it anyway. (One of his bad feedbacks was about the same thing). The experience has not been too good as the seller was difficult to deal with, rude at times, and very slow in his responses. He has told me his wife is hospitalized which may be an excuse but if you are going to be rude and difficult you also better be perfect.

I would say my experience with the seller was not too good even though the transaction was completed. I imagine he feels the same way about me. Now comes the posting feedback part. How is this done? I imagine whoever posts negative feedback is assured to get the same. How is this normally done? I bet many people do not post negative feedback because they do not want to get any themselves.

I am thinking the best thing may be to not post any feedback unless and until he does and then just post the same thing he does. But if he just waits for me to go first we will never post (which is OK by me).

I am not sure how this works. Any recommendations, advice, ideas, anecdotes?

I’ve only had one bad experience on eBay, and that was limited to the person being slow to ship. Generally, I am VERY careful about checking feedback first, and this person had perfect feedback, she just got caught up in life, or so she says.

I, personally, think that the seller should be required to post feedback first, and that the eBay software should be changed to reflect this. As soon as the seller gets your money, she already knows whether you’re a fast or slow pay, and something of your personality. That’s enough to post feedback. I’ve seen some sellers say that they don’t post feedback until the buyer posts. I think that this is wrong, and that it’s sort of blackmailing the buyer into posting feedback that might not be as honest as otherwise.

I read the other thread, and honestly, I think that you caused some of this yourself. The seller sets the rules for the bidding, and if you’re not willing to play by those rules, either don’t bid, or write to the seller and ask if you can play differently. When you bid, you’re making a contract. When you asked to use a different payment method, and a different shipping company, you were in effect cancelling the old contract and asking the bidder to do a lot of things that he wasn’t willing to do in the first place, so I think that the BEST you can expect from this seller would be a neutral feedback.

I think that you need to use this as a learning experience. Check feedback carefully, and examine the terms of the bid. If you don’t like the feedback AND the terms, don’t bid! There’s very, very few unique items out there, if you don’t win this auction there WILL be other auctions with the same or similar merchandise soon. So don’t bid unless you’re absolutely sure that you want the item, and are comfortable with the seller. If you are not sure, put the item on your “watch” list. I’m much happier now that I do that.

You could always leave neutral feedback. I choose that in some situations - “completed transaction”. Or leave no feedback at all - it’s certainly not required.

For what it’s worth, retaliatory feedback is against the rules. But it does happen, and with some sellers it’s painfully obvious.

For now I think I’ll just wait for him to post first. If he doesn’t post then neither will I.

Lynn, I agreed with you 100% for my first 100 or so transactions. But over time, I have come to see that the seller might have a point in waiting to see how I choose to handle disputes or concerns. If I’m unhappy as a buyer, do I write a kind, polite explanation and ask for us to work things through? Or do I go completely ballistic, demand the seller arrange to have the item fed-exed back to them at their own expense, and threaten legal action in an email crammed full of obscenities? The fact that some people apparently do choose the latter method is why sellers are probably justified in waiting until the transaction is 100% completed (which means the buyer not just getting the item, but also being satisfied).

I agree it seems like blackmail, but given the loonies out there, I understand why it’s practiced, and when I sell things I sometimes do it too. I actually had a scare last week when, after mailing an item, I got two cranky emails complaining that the item was not as described (the first detailed, although wrong, and the next nitpicky and also wrong and seemed to be an attempt to bolster her reasons for anger). As I was carefully composing a polite reply with my auction description as a quote, I got a third embarrassed and contrite email from the person, who went back and read my description again. Thank heaven she chose to email me instead of going ape on my feedback rating.

Anyhow, sailor, I tend to leave no feedback at all if the transaction was so-so but not disappointing enough to justify a negative. Neutral is another option, of course, but I think some sellers might still consider it “negative” since a positive is the de facto normal feedback.

CrankyAsAnOldMan, i totally agree with you that you should wait until the transaction has been completed to post feedback. Until it has been completed anything can go wrong.

In my case the guy has been a jerk all along. I finally got the item which was advertised as “in great shape” and is definitely not in great shape as it is missing a few parts and needs a thorough cleaning. Also it was very badly packed and the wooden case was damaged. Nevertheless, I decided to keep it anyway and I emailed the seller in nice terms telling him he needs to pack things better (one of his other negative feedbacks was for the same reason) and that even though the item was in worse shape than I expected I had decided to keep it and was releasing the funds from escrow.

You’d think he’d email a profuse thank you? nah! I haven’t heard from him again. Some people have no social skills.

For now I won’t post any feedback. I do believe the guy deserves a negative but I won’t post it unless he does.

You know…perhaps you SHOULD have posted the negative feedback! Think about it-you might be saving someone else-showing them that they should think twice before bidding.

Guinastasia, I am still thinking about it and I am always in time to post but after I post I cannot change my mind. The truth is the guy is more of a jerk than a bad guy and I do feel some sympathy for him. As I say, no social skills whatsoever. To tell the truth rather than posting negative feedback I feel I should put my arm around his shoulder and give him some friendly advice: “You really need to pack things better, you need to communicate with people better etc…” I guess that’s the way I am…

He already has some negatives so I guess it’s not like people are not warned. Also, I know the minute I post negative feedback he’ll do the same to me.

This is only my second purchase on ebay and I feel like a newbie. :slight_smile:

I’m always tempted to post negative feedback when the seller doesn’t let you know your payment was received and the item shipped. I mean, as a buyer I should have to e-mail you and ask for this information? Sellers could at least post feedback that lets you know this.

Someday I’m going to snap about this lack of common courtesy.

I have posted at least 15 or 20 negatives and I haven’t gotten any retaliatory feedback yet. In cases like you describe, sailor, where I am ambivalent about what type of feedback to post, I usually post it under the “neutral” header but include all the shit he pulled.

If that 2 or 3 day period between the time when your item leaves the sellers hands until it gets to your mailbox is just going to drive you nuts, then I guess you should email the seller to find out.

If I ever got (-) feedback from anyone in a situation like you described, you can rest assured you would get some in return.

Now, if for some reason, the seller is taking an extraordinary amount of time, then an email is in order. But for typical transactions, I don’t see the point. IF you send your payment via mail, expect your item in about 2 weeks. If you send it via paypal, expect it in a week or so. Anything over that, email the seller. Anything under that, why should the seller bother?

Annie, while I believe it is bad manners to not email you telling you of the received payment and giving you shipping details, I think it would not warrant negative feedback. I would just email and ask for confirmation.

I am dealing with a guy who is quite a bit worse. Anyway, here’s the situation now:

He has emailed me and not a word about being grateful that I accepted the item in spite of the damage. Just this:

So I think it is clear we are now trading reputations. If he had just gone ahead and posted positive feedback I would have also posted positive feedback in spite his not deserving it but now I am inclined to ignore him and not post anything. What do you all think?

Tell him to eat a cock and then send him a letterbomb.

Er…Um…of course, by that, I mean “Ignore him”. :smiley:

[hijack]mouthbreather? You’ve sent out 15 or 20 negative feedbacks!? And a couple nuetrals in addition? Yikes. Are you a buyer or a seller? And what were most of those negatives for? I’ve had 60 or so E-bay transactions – always as a buyer – and have only posted one negative (it took over 6 weeks to get my merchandise and the seller kept lying to me about sending it – first he’d sent it to the wrong address and had to wait for it to be returned, then he had to wait to set up a UPS account, then something else happened, blah, blah, blah).[/hijack]

I have about 225 (+) feedback, and no (-) feedbacks. Probably an even mix of selling and buying. 90% of what I’ve sold has been CDs, and there always seems to be a couple deadbeat bidders in each batch I list. I will light them up like a Christmas tree with negative feedback. That’s where the majority of them came from.

I’ve dished out two or three (-)'s from the buying end of it (that I can remember).

Sailor, I believe leaving negative feedback is unwarranted. Here’s why:

The preferred course of action would have been to ask the seller to compensate you in some way - either by taking the merchandise back, sending a new item, or by refunding part of your purchase price. Leaving negative feedback without attempting to resolve the situation first is unfair. If the seller then refused to work with you, then let loose all thy wrath. :slight_smile:

I try to be very fair when I’m selling things on eBay. If an item is not as advertised, or it doesn’t work once a buyer receives it, I’ll take it back. I’ve only had to do it once (other than the couple of times UPS destroyed an item), but there were no hard feelings on the part of the buyer when it happened.

frogstein, while I agree with you that leaving negative feedback just because the item was damaged in transit, I think you have not followed the case from the start. The guy has been quite a jerk and difficult to deal with from day #1. If I mentioned the damage I’d just set into a slow argument by email. That is why I just decided to keep it in spite of everything. The negative feedback would not be only because the item was damaged but rather because he has been difficult to deal with all along.