I have just read an article on BBC News informing me that eBay is to remove the opportunity for sellers to leave negative feedback for dodgy/bad buyers.

I have been trading on eBay for the last three years and I am a powerseller with 100% positive feedback with more than (550 trades to my name), so I know a little about trading through the online auctioneer.

I have to say I am pretty disgusted that they will be removing the two way feedback system. This system is what has made eBay successful – it’s at the very core of its existence.

I know there are many instances where sellers have left negative feedback for buyers, but writing as a seller, buyers can be extremely difficult and hard to please. I sell brand new consumer items and sometimes people do try to pull a fast one on you – threatening you with negative feedback, just so they can have a discount.

To date, I have never left negative feedback for anyone yet as I don’t think its a good way to do business. However, I have had several difficult and impatient customers over the years.

The postage strike was an utter nightmare, for eBay sellers as things were lost (although sent by first class) for more than five weeks. I had people sending me nasty emails and threatening negative feedback even though I had the recorded delivery numbers but unfortunately Royal Mail’s tracking system didn’t work as the items were stuck somewhere in the system. Slowly but surely I started to receive apologies from various buyers and I breathed a sigh of relief.

The article says the sellers are saying: “When both sides have equal access and rights to leave negative comments about each other it is a well balanced trading process.”

I agree with this, if they leave you negative feedback and you have provided a good quality service you should be able to say how difficult they were.

A spokesman for eBay said: “If a buyer doesn’t pay, the seller can easily contact eBay, we will review any complaint and maybe remove the buyer. The changes aim to “improve the overall customer experience”.

Personally, I think eBay should seriously reconsider their position on this issue. eBay is an online community, it’s a social site and once the community becomes one-sided, it becomes biased towards the buyer. I am all for customer relations but eBay‘s customers are the sellers too and if this change means we get treated badly and abused further by small minded individuals looking for an easy discount – I think we may see eBay slip into decline.

Cross posted on: Norton’s Notes

About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.