MINT 2023
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7 Simple Tips for Avoiding Negative Feedback Selling on eBay

7 Simple Tips for Avoiding Negative Feedback Selling on eBay

7 Simple Tips for Avoiding Negative Feedback Selling on eBay 1With the site's launch in 1995, eBay helped create the equivalent of the world's largest online card shop. Not only did it open up the market for buyers, but it made it easy for anyone to be a seller. But even though anyone can seller their extra sports cards or big hits, a strong feedback rating is a vital part of your success. Whether you are a dedicated seller using eBay as an extension of your retail store or simply a collector looking to sell unwanted singles, avoiding negative eBay feedback and comments important. It can be the difference between success and failure.

eBay's feedback system has changed and evolved over the years. Some like it, others don't. Ultimately, the system is what it is. The best way to maintain customer satisfaction and protect your seller rating is knowing how to avoid negative feedback on eBay from the very beginning.

1. Truthful and Accurate Title

Honesty is always the best policy. An accurate title of the item you are selling is essential. This is true whether that item is a trading card, a piece of sports memorabilia, team apparel, fan merchandise or a pet rock. Also, stick to the basics and save specific details for the item description.

2. Detailed Description

Leaving out information about an item's condition is the same as lying. Don't do it. Ever. If your high-end Superfractor has a scratch on it that can't be seen when scanned, state it in the description. If a team autographed football has a smeared signature that doesn't show up well in a photograph, say so. In the long-term, the money you might lose on an item is better than the long-term consequences of receiving negative feedback. Writing a strong eBay description isn't hard. Doing so will not only result in stronger sales, but happier customers as well.

3. A Picture Really Does Speak a Thousand Words

We've all heard the saying. When it comes to selling on eBay it is especially true. Be sure your photos accurately reflect the condition of the item. Don't attempt to give the impression that the item you are selling is in better condition than it actually is by editing the photographs. That means not cropping soft corners of a scanned trading card or adjusting color settings to hide defects on sports memorabilia.

Also, be careful if you post pictures using your phone or tablet. Sure, it's easy, but the angles can make for a picture that's hard for a potential buyer to see all the detail.

Finally, if you're using stock photos, say so in the description. This might be unavoidable if you sell in bulk, but it's always better to post an image of the actual item.

4. Negotiate With Courtesy

If you have listed your item with a Best Offer option, negotiate carefully with any potential buyers making you an offer. Unfortunately, some people can be petty. Don't give them a reason to be, even if you successfully negotiate an offer.

A buyer is always going to try and get something at the lowest possible price. They aren't being cheap when making an offer you think is too low. They're looking to save money. Don't use the notes section of the offer process to ridicule or belittle potential buyers with condescending statements or replies. They may very well accept your counter-offer and post their negative feelings down the road with negative feedback.

5. Prompt Shipping

Once an eBay transaction has been completed by the buyer, with payment made in full, immediately ship the item. eBay requires items be shipped within 24 hours for sellers to achieve and maintain their coveted Top Rated Seller status. This means that even if an item is paid for on a Saturday, and won't ship until Monday, you still need to generate the shipping label so the tracking information is uploaded within the required time frame.

6. Secure Shipping

The USPS says that anything over 13 ounces, does not qualify for First Class postage and instead must be shipped Priority Mail. As a result, sellers often try to skimp on packaging of certain items to stay under the 13-ounce threshold.

What often happens, is that an item that should be shipped in a box is instead shipped in a bubble mailer or envelope. Doing so runs the risk of the item being damaged in transit. This will result in either having to issue a refund or receiving negative feedback. It could even result in both. Don't try to save a couple dollars on shipping at the risk of your feedback rating. Always package items properly. With regards to trading cards, this means never shipping in a plain white envelope when you're selling on eBay.

Most buyers understand shipping charges. If you're clear in your description and charge a reasonable amount then your buyers should be happy.

7. Feedback Karma

What comes around, goes around. Be sure to leave your buyers positive feedback. This is a best practice even when you may feel doing so isn't be appropriate or justified. The current eBay Feedback system doesn't allow sellers to leave anything but positive feedback or report a problem.

That means that even if it took two weeks for the buyer to pay for an item, your only options are to leave positive feedback or none at all. You've heard the phrase, kill them with kindness. It applies in a situation like this with a slow paying buyer. Best to leave them positive feedback that will hopefully bring a favorable feedback response for yourself.

Practicing these top seven seven tips for avoiding negative feedback on eBay really comes down to applying the familiar Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. Use common sense and keep emotion out of your communications with potential buyers. Doing so will provide the best possible odds that you will maintain a top tier feedback rating.

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Rob is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff and co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio.He is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby.

User Comments


Excellent article. Thank you.



Ryan Cracknell
Ryan Cracknell

DAVID How so? Other than the reference to the USPS and its weight limits (something that other countries have), these ideas seem pretty useful for all. If you have any tips for your part of the world, please feel free to share.

Jack Hoggard
Jack Hoggard

I agree with everything you said. I leave positive feedback for buyers as soon as they pay – that is their only job. I leave feedback for sellers when I receive the item, but only if I’ve already received feedback for paying.

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