eBay Feedback: Everything You Need To Know as a Seller

Customer ServiceEcommerceInternationalMarketplaces

Ross Boguslavski

07 October 2021

1 min read

eBay Feedback: Everything You Need To Know as a Seller


Are you a new eBay seller trying to build your feedback? Today, I’ll cover how to increase your feedback score, why it’s so important, and everything you need to know about eBay feedback as a seller. Your feedback is a massive part of your business. It’s what buyers look for on eBay to see if you’re legit. It’s how people can check to see if you’ve sold items, the value of the products you’ve sold, and it gives them a little bit of reassurance.

It indicates to them that if they buy from you, they’ll be in safe hands. The higher the feedback amount and the higher the ratings on your feedback, the more secure people feel about purchasing from you. They can see, at a glance, that you’re taking this seriously, and you’re getting a good response from people with transactions going smoothly.

When you have more feedback, you can usually charge more for your items too. On eBay, you’ll see items for sale that are in a range of prices, and you can generally charge at the higher end of that range when you have good feedback. If you have no feedback, you’re going to have to be at the lower end to attract initial buyers because when you’re trying to build your feedback, you can’t ask as much.

Before we get into the feedback tips, I just wanted to note that although feedback is essential, it isn’t everything when it comes to selling on eBay. A few other things will go into the mix to generate sales on your eBay account. Things such as the quality of the listing, the pictures on the listing, item specifics, the price point and whether you’re marketing your items correctly.

All of these things will go into helping your items sell on eBay. Feedback is just one element of that. Obviously, the higher the score, the better, the closer to 100%, the better, but everyone starts somewhere.

Now the thing you need to remember with feedback is that it’s most important to get that starter feedback, so we’re talking about your first 10, 25, 50, and then 100 positive feedback scores. Those are going to be the most important in terms of getting buyers to trust you. The difference between a seller with 500, 5000 and even 50,000 feedback isn’t going to come into play as much as the price and quality of your items.

If you already have a few hundred feedback, I really wouldn’t make getting positive feedback one of your primary concerns. I’d be more concerned with increasing the quality of the items you’re selling and, of course, the quality of your eBay listings. That being said, when you’re a new seller, it’s imperative to get that positive starter feedback so that you can start getting regular customers.

So your overall eBay score is comprised of two ways of getting feedback. The first one is where you sell an item, and someone leaves you feedback. The second way is when you buy an item from an eBay seller, and the seller then leaves you feedback as a buyer.

The Best Ways To Build Feedback

Buy From eBay Sellers

Buy From eBay Sellers

My first tip is to buy your packing supplies and the items you need to run your business from eBay. Nine times out of ten, if you’re buying from a big eBay store, you’ll have automatic positive feedback left as soon as you’ve made a purchase. Therefore if you’re buying packaging materials, all of those things will generate positive buyer feedback for you, which will count towards your overall feedback score.

Easy, right? The first way is simply to buy some items on eBay. You don’t have to buy expensive stuff; you could also start with products you’re already buying on Amazon, try to switch over and buy it on eBay, whatever it is. With eBay it usually takes a little bit longer to receive the item, but if you can wait, try to make your transactions on eBay while you’re building your feedback. Then you’ll build that buyer feedback because sellers typically leave feedback pretty quickly.

If you’re in a hurry, you don’t even have to do that. If you want to, you can go in and start looking for items that are anywhere from a penny to a pound; there are tonnes of very cheap items on eBay that people are selling, and they’ll sometimes even offer free shipping on them too.

By far, the fastest method of getting 100 positive feedback is buying inexpensive items from large eBay sellers who automatically leave feedback when you pay for the item that you’ve purchased. The first thing to make clear here is that this is not against eBay’s terms of service. There is no rule against buying products when your primary intention is to get positive feedback. As long as you pay for the items you’re buying and don’t just return them all en masse, you won’t have any issues with your account.

Problems with sellers doing this have arisen in the past when people would buy all of these cheap items and then immediately start selling a bunch of high-value items. So maybe Apple products like iPhones and iPads, despite their account having never sold much on eBay before. If you’re doing stuff like that, then buying all of this cheap feedback can be an issue. However, I’m pretty sure most of you reading this are just trying to get your starter feedback so you can gain some legitimacy when buyers are choosing who to purchase from, so you don’t have to worry about that.

So to clear that up, there’s no rule against buying cheap items to get more feedback on eBay. There are a few categories that you might want to search in to find these products that you can buy for less than a pound, sometimes less than 50p. These categories are the following:

  • Stamps
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Costume Jewellery
  • Phone Cases
  • Charging Cables
  • Screen Protectors

So you could buy a bunch of those, which will help you get feedback, but remember that it will be buyer’s feedback, not sellers’ feedback.

Seller Feedback

Receiving Seller Feedback

So this one’s even more critical; it is crucial because seller feedback is what buyers look for when buying from you. They can see your overall feedback, but eBay also divides it into buyer and seller feedback, so they’ll see that you do not have any seller feedback.

Therefore, they might not feel like you know what you’re doing; they’ll see that you don’t have experience when it comes to selling but that you’ve bought a lot of stuff. So you want to get that seller feedback up too, and the easiest way to do that is to start by selling items that you would usually donate to charity.

Choose items that you don’t really care what they sell for and start them at 99p. Don’t lose money on shipping, though. Make sure you’re covered for the cost of packing supplies and shipping. So maybe you have a shirt in your closet that’s an unwanted gift, and you’ve never worn it. Pull that out of your closet and start it at 99p. Put an appropriate amount to cover shipping, do a 10-day auction and see what happens.

Those are the kind of items you want to try and do this with. These aren’t items that you’re going to make money on, but that’s not the point; you’re trying to build up your seller feedback.

The best thing about these approaches is that you’re building up that seller feedback with small, easy sales and items that you already have lying around. You want to do as many of them as possible, so those items you would usually donate, throw them on there. If you don’t care what they go for, sell them via auction, and then you have that chance to get seller feedback.

Obviously, don’t sell junk, but if it’s good stuff that you would donate because you know somebody would buy it from a charity shop, then it’s worth sticking on eBay because it’s still worth something to somebody.

Leave Feedback First

Be sure to leave feedback for the items that you have sold. When someone sees they’ve had positive feedback left for them, they are more likely to leave positive feedback for the person they’ve bought from. So if you’re consistently leaving feedback on all of the items you’ve sold, it will help stimulate the eBay algorithm, and you’re more likely to make sales. The customer is also then more likely to reciprocate and leave you some green feedback.

Ask for eBay Feedback

Ask for Feedback

So when you sell something, you want to reach out to the buyer. The real key to this is communication. Always be in touch with your buyer. Tell them, “Hey, I just shipped the item out today. The estimated delivery date is *this date*. Please let me know if you have any questions through the process; I’m here to help in any way that I can”.

This also helps if there are any problems with shipping; if the package is delayed, they know that you shipped it out on time. So it really helps to keep the communication open. You can shoot them a message saying, “Hey, I just wanted to make sure that you’re happy with the transaction. We’re trying to build our eBay business, and we’d love it if you’d leave us some feedback”, and you’re totally fine to do that.

I know there’s been some discussion online with people saying not to send any messages about feedback, but you’re OK to do that. Just obviously be polite and cordial at all times and only send the reminder message once. That’s important because any more than that can begin to look like harassment, and eBay will come down harshly on anyone they think is abusing their messaging system. So send them the reminder, and if they do it great, if they don’t, move on and go to the next one.

As you can see, it’s all about communication, you want to be in constant communication with them, and they’ll be more likely to leave you positive feedback. So you just have to send a message when it’s shipped, send them another message a day or two after you see that it was delivered and say, “Hey, are you 100% satisfied with your item? Did everything arrive correctly? If so, please consider leaving me positive feedback it would mean the world to me. If not, is there anything I can do to help? Please let me know so I can take care of it”.

Just reaching out like that shows the buyer that you care, and they will go the extra mile to leave you that feedback, and it gives them an extra reminder. As a buyer, when somebody does that to me, I jump in right away, and I leave them positive feedback as long as I’m happy with the transaction.

Remember that you won’t have to do that forever; in the beginning, you have to do it more because you’re trying to build up your eBay presence from scratch, but after a while, once you get a certain amount of feedback, you won’t have to chase it. According to eBay’s community pages, you’ll probably find that only around 20%-30% of buyers will leave feedback unprompted. However, that won’t matter so much once you have that initial amount of positive seller feedback.

Feedback Fodder

The next tip would be to sell items that are considered feedback fodder. This means you’re buying an item cheap, but you’re also selling it cheap. A great example of this would be sealed and used DVDs. You can usually find them for around 10p or 20p a unit on Facebook Marketplace, charity shops and car boot sales.

You’d then sell them on eBay for around £2 each. Yes, you’re paying shipping and fees, but you’re also essentially paying to get feedback on your account. People are way more likely to spend a couple of pounds with someone who has got little or no feedback than they are a couple of hundred pounds.

So if you’ve got a few of these listings in your store that are regularly selling, you’re a lot more likely to get feedback because you’re selling a higher quantity of items. You might not even be making a profit; you may just be breaking even, but getting that extra feedback will help you grow your sales.

Thank You Notes

The next and probably most effective way of receiving positive feedback is to leave thank you notes in with your items. If you leave a thank you note explaining that you are a small business and every little bit of positive or constructive feedback will help you grow, buyers will be much more likely to consider leaving feedback for you. For example, explain that you are a small business and that you want to know the transaction went well. You could also offer them a small discount off their next purchase.

There are a couple of ways that you can do this. First, you can write handwritten personalised thank you notes. You have the buyer’s name, so it goes a long way if you leave them a personalised thank you note for that specific person. Secondly, you could print off A5 flyers or business cards and leave them inside.

An example of this is that I recently purchased something from a small independent company, they are local to the area, but inside they’d included a handwritten note saying:

“Dear Carmen, 

We hope you love the product—every single piece of feedback matters to us as we are a small business. 

So please consider leaving us some positive feedback as it really helps us.

Thank you!”

That will go a long way to increasing your positive feedback score. It’s best to place it in the parcel, so when your buyer opens it, that’s the first thing they see, and it will remind them. Then you can also send them a short reminder message a day or two after they receive the item.

Over-Deliver and Under-Promise

Over-Deliver and Under-Promise

Overall, in your business, be sure to over-deliver and under-promise; this will go a long way to help you receive positive feedback. For example, if you sell retro video games in console bundles where you maybe sell five games together, pop an extra game in the packaging and put a post-it note on it and say, “Here’s a free bonus game. I hope you enjoy it!”

Now that game would have only been a filler game anyway and probably would have cost you pennies. So you might have only been able to sell it for a pound or two, but for that customer, it means that they’re going to get a bonus item and feel compelled to leave you positive feedback.

Another way that you can do this is to increase the speed at which you dispatch items. If you have your items set at three-day dispatch and you get an order in, and you’re already doing your packaging, you might as well package that item up and get that item sent off too. The buyer will receive it earlier than expected and be happy with the overall purchase because it’s arrived quicker than you’ve promised them, and then they are much more likely to leave you feedback.

General Advice for Getting More Positive Feedback on eBay

General Advice for Getting More Positive Feedback on eBay

Next, I wanted to give some general advice to get more positive feedback on eBay and avoid negatives. Again, this is something that most large successful eBay sellers do. The two main reasons for negatives, in my opinion, are slow shipping speed and lack of communication.

Yes, there are occasions when you encounter fraudulent buyers, and sometimes you just make a big mistake as an eBay seller and deservedly receive negative feedback. Still, in most of the instances where negative feedback is undeserved, eBay will remove it.

In terms of tackling slow shipment speed, all you can really do as a seller is ship on time and offer an express option to your buyers. Make buyers aware if there are delays. So if you get a message from the Post Office or shipping company that there are currently delays. I recommend sending the item out and after it’s been sent, just giving the buyer a helpful reminder that there are some current delays to be expected with their shipment.

As far as being better at communication, this is a big one; you need to make sure that you’re responding to buyer’s questions within 24 hours, and if they ask you a question in the morning, preferably answer it the same day that you receive it. Of course, that applies to business days; if you receive a message on a Saturday night or a Sunday, you can wait until Monday to respond to it. Still, like a regular business, you’re held to a pretty high standard in terms of responding to buyer questions, so try to reply to them as quickly as possible.

Never avoid answering a buyer’s question because it’s either difficult or requires you to do something like give them a refund. The question is never going away. If you’re able to answer the question right now, provide them with the answer even if it’s going to be tough for you and if you’re not able to answer the question that day, still send them a reply letting them know that you’ve received their message and you’ll get back to them soon.

The great thing about this is that if you get better and quicker at communicating with your buyers, you can actually turn some pretty negative situations where maybe you’ve made a mistake as a seller into ones where you receive positive feedback. So it’s really in your best interest to get on top of this if you want to avoid negative feedback and get more positive feedback on eBay.

Now you know everything there is to know about eBay feedback. It can be a daunting process when you’re first starting out but hopefully, the tools and information covered here make it seem less intimidating to start getting your positive feedback numbers up. Contact us today if you need support with your online business and are looking to grow your sales further or even get set up. One of our team will reach out to set up a call and discuss what support you need.

Ross Boguslavski

Written by

Ross Boguslavski

Extremely executive managing director running the best multichannel eCommerce agency in the world!

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