I have been cruising along selling on EBay for almost a year now. I have hit a few bumps along the way with none paying buyers, charge backs on credit card payments and even 1 neutral feedback but until a few days ago I had avoided the dreaded negative feedback.
I have read different advise on leaving feedback. Most of the advise for sellers indicates that if you receive negative feedback from a buyer you should in turn leave negative feedback . An eye for an eye I guess. I assume that this is good advise but something about it doesn't feel right to me.
To be honest my feelings are hurt. I feel like I have been accused of trying to cheat my customer. I feel angry because this person didn't contact me and try to work out the situation before leaving their feedback rating. I feel scared because I wonder when it could happen again. I feel frustrated because there is a black eye on my other wise perfect rating and nothing I can do about it but wait for time and new feedbacks to dilute it.
One of the things that I have been proud of as a seller is that I am happy to work with buyers with little or no feedback. I believe in the goodness of people and appreciate the EBay community and how it works. It functions based on trust and honesty and open communication. I feel certain that I would not have received negative feedback from a seasoned EBayer. They would have contacted me first. I feel confident that the situation would have been resolved. So what to do about those buyers with little or no feedback. There are sellers that won't work with them.
I don't want to change anything. I want to continue being a seller who welcomes all buyers, a seller who doesn't have a lot of complicated policies, a seller who works with individuals to sort out individual problems. Maybe I am naive.
If you are wondering what my response was to the negative feedback, I can tell you I was in the feedback screen ready to hit send when an alternative occurred to me. Instead of sending negative feedback with a limited space for comments, I sent the following email:
I am sorry that you were disappointed with your jeans. I wish that you had contacted me before leaving negative feedback. I am sure that we could have worked something out. I assure you the the item was purchased as new but as was stated in the listing it was a second quality item. All of the advise that I have received on giving feedback as a seller would indicate that I should now leave negative feedback for you. However, I choose not to tarnish your feedback rating as you have just tarnished mine. In future you may want to consider contacting the seller before sending negative feedback.
I don't know if it was the best reaction. I don't know what I will do the next time. I am still putting salve on the wound. It will heal with time. Perhaps this experience will abate some of the sting if/when it happens again.