Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When good sellers go bad

Whenever I buy something from either Amazon or eBay, I always check a prospective seller’s feedback. While I realize that no one is perfect, anything more than a random Negative or Neutral rating sends me to the next seller.  Obviously, this is the purpose of feedback, and it tends to work quite well, despite an occasional undeserved rating from a disgruntled buyer who can’t be pleased.

I’m not that kind of buyer, though.  As a seller, I realize how hard this business actually is, especially for those who have full-time jobs, families, etc.  So, I tend to be more forgiving of small lapses from sellers, and rarely give Negative ratings, preferring to just not leave feedback as my way of protesting any real or imagined slights.

Yet, there comes a time when my patience finally wears out, and I resort to leaving Negative feedback as a way to get a seller’s attention.  Of course, I reserve the right to remove the feedback should the situation warrant it.

Case in point, on May 24th, I purchased some poly mailers from a seller who apparently specialized in packing materials.  The seller had close to 100 percent feedback, 616 total ratings, with only one Neutral rating within the past year. Shipping was free, and delivery was estimated between May 31st and June 13th.   I also purchased some other packing supplies from different sellers during the same shopping spree.

Within a week, all my supplies had arrived, except for the poly mailers, which still had no shipping notification.  I gave the seller the benefit of the doubt, thinking that maybe he/she forgot to mark it as shipped.

On June 7th, I emailed the seller, but received no response.  I wasn’t concerned, because it wasn’t a lot of money, and I knew eBay had that buyer protection.  Still, I was getting a bit irritated, but decided to wait the full delivery time frame before pursuing that option.

Yesterday, though, on June 11th, I left Negative feedback for the seller.  It was his/her first Negative, and I hoped it would jar him/her into action.

Here’s the kicker, though.  Within a couple of hours after I left my feedback, three more buyers left negative feedback, each with a comment similar to my own.

How does a buyer go from close to sterling feedback to four Negatives in a row?  Computer problems? Health issues? Alien abduction?

EBay says I can pursue the buyer protection option on June 15th, and I will.  In the mean time, I hope that the seller gets his/her act together, emails me, and ships my product. 

I’ll even remove the feedback … maybe.


  1. I had a buyer a few weeks ago that had 10,000+ feedbacks with 100% positive feedback, yet she did not pay for her items until the last minute (after I opened an Unpaid Item case). She never communicated with me, despite a few attempts on my part. At least she paid.

  2. If I may recommend a seller for poly mailers:
    Great prices and fast service. I buy a lot from her and sometimes
    she throws in a few extra.
    Regarding Kate's comment, I find it odd that buyers (who are also sellers), are sometimes the slowest to pay.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I'll give her a try.

  3. This past winter I had to open an unpaid case against someone with a good feedback rating. He finally emailed me back to say he lived in Washington state and had been shoveling out from a blizzard! So now I always give the benefit of the doubt when I don't hear from someone right away. I mean, they could have even died, you know? :)