For eBay sellers, nothing is more frustrating than receiving negative feedback. Although it’s almost impossible to eliminate entirely, minimizing negative feedback on eBay is vital to your sales figures on the marketplace.
If you’ve just received a bad review on eBay, then read on, we may be able to help you to remove it!
Why is it important to remove negative reviews on eBay?
Building a positive reputation by getting as many five star reviews as possible is a critical part of eCommerce marketing.
A 2019 consumer survey revealed that the average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds checking reviews before making a purchase. It also revealed that only 53% of them would buy from a business with a rating under four stars.
eBay still carries a reputation as an auction site, so consumers are even more influenced by seller reputation. The site makes it easy for customers to identify the best sellers with the eBay star rating system.
A positive reputation on eBay will have a massive impact on your sales, so make sure you remove negative reviews whenever possible!
The effect of negative feedback on eBay’s search rankings
Another reason to remove bad feedback on eBay relates to the marketplace’s search rankings.
eBay’s Best Match algorithm chooses which sellers are displayed at the top of search results. The exact formula is a secret, but we know that positive feedback plays a big role.
Although your attempts to remove negative feedback on eBay won’t always be successful, it’s worth putting in the effort. Even if you remove only a handful of negative reviews, you’ll boost your products’ visibility, build trust with prospects and increase sales.
How to remove negative feedback on eBay
There are two ways to remove bad reviews on eBay. First of all, you can ask a buyer to change or remove their feedback. Alternatively, you can report the feedback directly to eBay and request its removal. But this will only work in certain circumstances. Let’s walk through each of the two processes
1. Ask a customer to remove their negative feedback on eBay
You can ask any buyer to revise or remove their negative feedback, but there’s a catch. You can only request five revisions for every 1,000 pieces of feedback you receive in a year.
eBay says it limits the number of revision requests, so sellers will provide great eCommerce customer service from the moment the sales goes through, instead of focusing on fixing mistakes later on.
For this reason, you should only use these requests when dealing with negative feedback, rather than neutral feedback. You should also only send them to customers who are definitely willing to update their previous feedback, so contact buyers before sending them a revision request.
Reach out to customers in cases where:
- You think the feedback is accidental, for example when a star rating is negative but a comment sounds positive. In these situations, a customer may even send you a request to make a revision.
- You fixed the customer’s problem. If you’re replacing a faulty product, for example.
You should constantly monitor the feedback you receive and reach out to customers quickly because revisions must be made within 30 days of the feedback being posted.
If the customer is happy to update their feedback, you can send a revision request by going to the ‘Request Feedback Revision’ page. This can be accessed from eBay’s Feedback Forum or from your account’s Feedback Profile.
Simply select the relevant piece of feedback and add a note about why you are sending the request. Then, click send.
This request will be valid for ten days. Any changes the customer makes will replace the old feedback. But if they don’t respond, the old feedback will remain and no more requests can be sent regarding this transaction.
Pro tip: You can also use the Request Feedback Revision page to find out how many requests you have left for the current year. It is displayed in the top right corner.
2. Report the review to eBay
In certain circumstances, you can report a review and ask moderators to remove negative feedback on eBay.
eBay merchants can use the seller reporting hub to highlight any kind of problem with a buyer, including reviews. This must be done within 90 days of the original transaction.
Use it to report:
- Negative feedback left by a buyer with unpaid items
- Feedback that violates eBay policies, for example, if it is threatening, offensive, vulgar or includes personal details of the seller
- Attempted feedback extortion by a buyer
eBay is pretty quick to investigate reports and will remove any feedback which violates its policies. However, sometimes it will remove a comment, but retain a negative rating.
What to do when you can’t remove negative feedback on eBay
Where you’ve run out of revision requests or your customers don’t want to update their feedback, there is no other way to remove bad reviews on eBay. But there are other actions you can take to improve your situation.
1. Respond to negative feedback
Where it can’t be removed or improved, you should always respond to negative eBay reviews.
Be professional and polite in your response. If there is a mistake on the buyer’s behalf, explain this clearly. If the problem was your fault, apologize and say what steps you’ll take to ensure it won’t happen again.
Among consumers that read reviews, 97% of them also read a business’ response to reviews. So this is your chance to alleviate the concerns of prospective customers.
2. Always contact unhappy customers
Even if you’re out of eBay revision requests, it’s still worth reaching out to customers about their experiences.
Though you can’t send them a request to change their feedback, they are allowed to leave one follow-up comment on their review. If this is positive, it may win over doubtful prospects.
3. Increase positive feedback from other customers
The more positive feedback your account receives, the less impact each negative review will have on your reputation.
Increasing eBay feedback is easy if you use automated feedback software to target happy customers. This way you can send feedback requests to those who’ve received orders on-time and haven’t raised any support tickets.
When sending your requests with eDesk Feedback you can fully personalize your messages. This is a great way to add your brand voice and charm your customers into leaving a review. Check out these amazing customer feedback templates.
4. Address issues that lead to negative feedback
All eBay sellers dread negative feedback, but this information can help you improve your business and allow you to build better customer experiences, brand loyalty and sales for the future.
Fix the problems people complain about and ensure you optimize your eBay listings so that shipping times and products are accurately described. Even when something does go wrong, customers are less inclined to leave a bad review if you communicate clearly with them.
5. Provide great customer service
When buyers have a problem with a purchase, eBay encourages them to contact the seller before leaving negative feedback.
If you respond quickly and helpfully to incoming complaints, you’re more likely to avoid negative feedback.
Ensure you’re able to stop customer complaints before they happen by using an eCommerce help desk software.
With eDesk, every piece of information your customer support agents need to resolve a query is centralized to a single location. When you combine this with features like an SLA timer and AI-generated one-click responses, you’ll see your customer support metrics improve and your negative feedback reduce.
6. Use packaging to surprise and delight
The surprise and delight technique is a fantastic way to build positive reviews and customer loyalty. This can be done to great effect by online sellers who use their eCommerce packaging inventively.
Try leaving a freebie in with your package, perhaps something small like some stickers. Or even just a nice-looking box that can be re-used.
As well as contributing towards positive reviews, a surprise in your packaging could save you from negative feedback when something goes wrong.
How to Revise Negative Feedback on eBay
If an eBay seller has received negative feedback from a buyer, it can be removed with some work on the seller's part. Negative feedback doesn’t affect how eBay measures a seller’s performance. For its part, eBay is more concerned with a seller's defect and late shipment rates and whether they have cases that were closed without resolution than the buyer reviews.
For sellers, however, buyer ratings and feedback are very important, as they influence other buyer's decisions and can dissuade them from making a purchase. So it’s worth the effort to try to get the feedback revised, if possible, to prevent sales from decreasing.
Communicating With the Buyer Is Key
The first step in getting negative feedback removed is to contact the buyer directly. The feedback can be revised, but only with a mutual agreement of both parties, at which point the seller can notify eBay that they're willing to have the feedback withdrawn.
To get the discussion going, sellers can reach out to a buyer by clicking on the “Help & Contact” link on eBay, selecting the item in question (which should be pictured), choosing “Contacting a buyer or bidder,” and then clicking “Contact buyer.”
That will take the seller to a page where they can write a note appealing directly to the buyer, explaining the situation. For instance, did the item ship late? A seller can explain why this happened and assure the buyer that it will not happen again. Or they can offer an explanation of whatever else led to the buyer’s dissatisfaction.
Requesting a Feedback Revision Through eBay
If the buyer is then willing to revise their feedback, the seller can request a feedback revision through eBay. A seller can make five such requests annually for every 1,000 ratings received, and the process is straightforward and simple.
Feedback Revision requests can be made by clicking the “Go to Feedback Forum” link on the “My eBay” page. Then select the “Request Feedback Revision” link in the right rail, choose the item in question and leave the revision details.
The buyer has 10 days to respond to the revision request from eBay, at which point they can agree to the revision and their original comments will no longer be visible; they can also deny the request and provide a reason to eBay, which may or may not be shared with the seller, depending on the buyer’s preference; or they can simply ignore the request and not respond.
If the latter happens, the revision request will simply expire after 10 days and the feedback will remain. In this case, a seller does also have the option of responding to the feedback with a reply to the feedback detailing their version of events.
If for whatever reason a seller is unable to request a feedback revision but one is warranted, the buyer can also follow up with an additional comment, expounding on their original feedback.
Removing Feedback Under Special Circumstances
Feedback can also be removed if the feedback in question is threatening, obscene, offensive, or presents a clear danger to the person about whom it was left. For instance, if a reviewer includes personal details about the seller in feedback such as a telephone number, address, or the person's full legal name, the feedback would be subject to removal. Even if the buyer has a valid concern, eBay would remove the review.
“If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”
While this saying is used in reference to a person’s reputation, it can also resonate with e-commerce businesses and their online reviews.
If you take care of your customers and keep them happy, they will spread the word. Provide a poor experience, however, and it will inevitably lead to negative reviews.
The reality is that97 percent of consumers read online reviews before making a buying decision, so it’s not hard to see why customer feedback has come to the fore in relation to building seller and business reputation online.
That’s why eBay offers a reputation management solution for its online sellers. Nobody’s perfect and of course, online sellers can make mistakes throughout their customer’s journey that could result in negative feedback. Similarly, the buyer can make errors and submit a negative rating by accident.
This is why eBay’s feedback revision request is a great option for both sellers and buyers. Here’s how it works.
Feedback revision on eBay: what is it and why does it exist?
As described by eBay, feedback revision is when a buyer can change their review or rating of a seller, provided that a request to do so has been sent to them.
eBay allows buyers to change their rating because sellers can often resolve difficult situations with excellent customer service.
On eBay, a seller’s reputation is measured by their feedback score. This, as well as the feedback profile, is a big determinant as to whether a buyer will choose their products. For this reason, every effort should be made to solve your customers’ issues. This includes removing negative feedback on eBay when possible!
Are you eligible to submit an eBay feedback revision request?
On eBay, you can send five feedback revision requests for every 1,000 reviews you receive over 12 straight months. As you can imagine, this means the higher volume seller you are, the more requests you will be eligible to send. The idea behind this limitation is that eBay hopes sellers focus on providing a great customer experience from the beginning and not just making amends after the problem has occurred.
When can you submit a request?
Once you have tried in every way possible to resolve the outstanding issue for the customer, you may request feedback revision. There are two exceptions to this. Firstly, if you have not surpassed your requests limit for the month, you will not have the option to submit a request. Secondly, if the feedback is more than 30 days old, it’s too late to change it in the eyes of eBay policies.
How to submit a request
You can access your feedback revision requests in your eBay portal. Go to the feedback revision request page. From the selection of Feedback entries, choose the one that you would like to revise. (If you are unsure about the amount of feedback revision requests you have at your disposal, this information will be available in the right-hand hand corner of your eBay portal.)
Once selected, you must then explain to that buyer, in less than 500 words, the reason for which you are asking them to revise or retract their feedback.
Here are some points to take into consideration when requesting feedback revision:
- Remind the customer what you did to solve the problem or improve the service
- Reiterate that feedback is essential to your business
- Simplify the process by either explaining specifically how to revise the feedback or provide the link
Take a look at this sample below:
Dear [Customer Name],
Thank you for working with us to resolve the problems you experienced. Providing a great customer experience is very important to us, and we are sorry that your initial experience did not meet your expectations.
We noticed that you left feedback previously and are hopeful that because we[specify the actions your team took to accommodate the buyer’s issue], you could take a moment to reevaluate your experience with us.
If so, you can access your feedback revision request here and edit the review in your own time.
Thank you for your consideration. We greatly appreciate your time and your business.
Respect the buyer’s decision
eBay will send the request, including your message to the buyer, and they have 10 days to accept or reject the request. An automatic reminder will be sent after seven days, but you must respect the customer’s final decision on the matter. Regardless of the outcome, you should be happy that you were able to resolve their issue.
The only situation in which you should acknowledge negative feedback is if a buyer expressed rude comments or extreme profanity that’s offensive to display on your profile. Otherwise, it’s not the end of the world to have negative reviews as consumers want to see a truthful picture of what you’re like as on online seller.
Ultimately, negative feedback means a customer has had a bad buying experience and you should take steps to remedy the situation. If you haven’t already used the feedback revision request option on your eBay account, you should definitely start. You will be going the extra mile for your customer and improving your reputation.
On eBay, there’s one thing that will increase your visibility more than anything else—positive feedback. It’s one of its core ranking factors.
That means the more positive feedback you have, the better your placement in search results. It also plays a key role in achieving PowerSeller status, which requires maintaining a positive feedback score of at least 98 percent for 12 months or more.
In this guide we’ll go through different ways to increase positive reviews on eBay, using the three-part framework we’ve determined to be essential in any eBay feedback strategy.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Part 1: Proactively increasing positive reviews
Part 2: How to remove negative feedback on eBay
Part 3: Using negative feedback to your advantage
Proactively increasing positive reviews
The most important part of any eBay feedback campaign involves taking a proactive approach to increasing reviews as part of an overall eBay marketing strategy.
#1. Provide feedback for your buyers
Similar to Airbnb, eBay feedback goes both ways: to help ensure a great experience for everyone, both buyer and seller are asked to leave public reviews for each other after every transaction.
It’s a good idea to take the initiative and leave feedback before the buyer does. If you leave feedback for someone who just purchased your product, you’re opening a dialogue and paving the way for them to return the favor.
Sellers are advised to leave feedback when the payment clears, as the only real obligation that the buyer has is to make the transaction. The rest is up to you, so don’t forget to thank your buyer and leave them some positive feedback.
#2. Respond to negative eBay feedback
The issue with responding to negative feedback on eBay is that it has the potential to make matters worse.
Not only will your response to the comment make it stand out more, but the buyer is always entitled to one final follow-up comment, thus ensuring they always have the last word.
If you opt to ignore negative comments, however, it could lead potential buyers to assume that you don’t care, which could severely damage your eBay business.
Here are four ways to make sure you respond appropriately:
- Have empathy
This may be just one customer to you, but having paid for your product, it is currently an important issue for them. Expressing empathy by highlighting that you understand how frustrating this must be is a great way to reestablish the human connection.
- Be brief
Avoid long argument threads or lengthy responses, Keep your communication concise and request the buyer to get in touch if you feel it should be discussed further.
- Take responsibility
Many customers may not realize that some issues are out of the seller’s control. Always explain why something happened and take responsibility even for logistics or weather issues with a simple “Unfortunately this was out of our control, but we will endeavor to prevent inconvenience caused by issues like this in future.”
- Show professionalism
It’s essential to respond to negative feedback politely and professionally. Don’t get defensive, even if you feel that a buyer has been unreasonable or abusive. Prevent negative emotional responses by keeping in mind that your comments are there for the world to see.
#3. Provide a unique customer service experience
A customer has just purchased an item from you, the payment has processed, you’re all set to ship their product and make a profit. Case closed. Is that all there is to it? It shouldn’t be.
If you’re not getting in touch with your buyers as soon as they make a purchase, you’re not doing much to retain business. A personalized message, even a short one, to thank them for their purchase and let them know the status of their order can work wonders for customer loyalty and satisfaction—and your ratings.
The last thing you want is for a customer to get in touch to ask about their order. Consistent customer communication has proven very successful for online action sportswear brand, FreeStyleXtreme, which manages to generate over 800 5-star reviews across all sales channels every month! Here’s a snapshot of their eBay ratings to show just how effective their strategy is.
For a full breakdown of FreestyleXtreme’s feedback strategy, you can read our 30-minute interview with the company’s Customer Experience Director here.
Bottom line? Treat every customer like they are your only customer and they’ll keep coming back for more. That means reducing customer effort as much as possible and enhancing customer service by:
– Shipping on time
– Providing tracking numbers after purchase
– Responding to complaints politely and promptly
#4. Open a dialogue
If you’re happy with the quality of your goods and services, the best way to get feedback is to ask for it.
The most effective way to do this is with an indirect request that doesn’t put pressure on your customers.
Let them know how valuable it would be to know how you did so you can continue to improve your customer service. Timing and taking a personalized approach to the request can be the difference between success and failure here.
Here’s an example of what a follow-up email could look like:
1. Personalize the message and subject line with the buyer’s name, product and channel to create a relationship.
2. Ask if everything with the order process, delivery and product is satisfactory.
3. Without directly asking for feedback, you can use language that encourages a positive review.
4. Make it easy for the customer to leave feedback by including a link.
5. Avoid negative feedback by inviting the customer to resolve any issues directly with you.
#5. Leverage returning customers
One of the best ways to increase customer engagement when sending automated feedback requests is to make repeat customers feel special.
These customers have bought from you before, and now they’re coming back again—this is a prime opportunity to increase buyer retention rates and snag some positive reviews!
Creating email campaigns for returning customers and personalizing as much as you can to show that you’re grateful for their loyalty encourages an emotional response, leaving customers more likely to leave you a positive review.
Larger eBay businesses could see significant ROI from using software to communicate with returning customers alone—especially considering it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
How to remove negative feedback on eBay
Having some negative feedback is normal, but taking actionable steps to remove negative reviews where possible is always worth your time.
Here are some easy ways to make this a simple part of your strategy.
#1. Request feedback revisions
First off, it’s vital to note that you can only submit five feedback revision requests for every 1,000 feedback comments you received in the previous 12 months.
You can also request only one revision per transaction and only on feedback that’s less than 30 days old. So, given the limited number of requests at your disposal, it’s important to know if the customer will cooperate with you before sending one.
Here are some points to take into consideration when requesting feedback revision:
– Remind the customer what you did to solve the problem or improve the service
– Reiterate that feedback is essential to your business
– Simplify the process by either explaining specifically how to revise the feedback or provide the link
Take a look at this example below:
After you feel the issue with the customer has been solved, ask if they are willing to revise their negative feedback. If they agree, you can send them a feedback revision request through eBay, allowing them to change their original comment.
#2. Leave comments
Revision requests aren’t the only way to get negative feedback removed from eBay.
Another way to deal with negative feedback on eBay is to leave a follow-up comment, requesting that the buyer contact you directly to solve any issues. If the issue is fixed, there’s always a chance that the buyer will go back and leave another comment, informing other customers that the problem has now been resolved.
#3. Avoid receiving negative feedback in the first place
You can’t please everyone, but there are steps you can take to reduce your chance of receiving negative feedback on eBay.
The reason eBay limits feedback revision requests is that sellers are always encouraged to focus on providing great customer service—and not to simply remove the comment that comes up after a problem arises.
Remember, most customers don’t understand the intricacies of an e-commerce business, so keeping them in the loop will avoid the need to contact you, while enhancing their experience dramatically.
Automated feedback software can also help to avoid negative feedback, as well as increase positive reviews. By connecting xSellco Feedback with Helpdesk, it ensures you don’t request reviews from customers who have raised a support ticket or whose order wasn’t received on time.
Using negative feedback to your advantage
Remember, the purpose of eBay feedback is to help your business do better and, believe it or not, negative feedback is a key factor in customers trusting an online business.
Here are some tips to help you see the upside of negative feedback.
#1. Reply to every review
If somebody takes the time to write a negative review they’re most likely quite aggravated. This is why online sellers should make a point of replying to every review, positive or negative.
Once you receive criticism, it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of your encounters with that customer. In fact, by making it your mission to respond to each review, you’re increasing your chance of surprising them with your customer service.
Everyone wants their voice to be heard and you want to show that you haven’t given up on them. If you prove them wrong, they may go back and post a positive comment or even remove initial remarks made about your website. The key goal here is to retain unhappy customers and prevent a damaged reputation.
With xSellco, you can monitor how many orders you receive versus the amount of feedback you have requested from customers. This gives your customer support team an idea about the amount of feedback they should expect to deal with.
#2. Use it as a marketing strategy
An effective way to make an impact with unhappy customers is to say sorry well. For the biggest impact, this could involve using a personal approach offline which goes above and beyond their expectations, but it depends on the opportunity.
Have a look through your customer’s message history: is there anything they told you that might spark an idea for a unique gift?
Our interview with FreestyleXtreme gives some great examples of how they use this strategy to turn negative feedback into positive while providing some social media-worthy user-generated content.
Rather than just sending out an order replacement or refund, try to do something unique that will not only give you the best chance of getting eBay feedback removed, but is also a great marketing strategy!
Why not assign a small amount of your marketing budget to your customer service team and allow them to spend it on whatever they feel will make a difference to a customer who has received a bad experience? This small investment could generate some serious ROI through social media.
#3. Uncover new business opportunities
It’s always best to view criticism as a priceless opportunity for your company to get better.
Instead of starting with a blank canvas to come up with innovative ideas for your business, you can use existing issues that cropped up with customers as a baseline. This is not only a useful way to think up ideas, but solving issues highlighted in negative feedback will have the biggest impact on your bottom line.
It’s one thing responding and reacting appropriately to negative feedback, but adjusting your overall customer service strategy is more of a long-term goal to work with. It’s a matter of spotting recurring customer issues and prioritizing those.
Walk away from negative feedback with the drive to improve your online business in every way possible.
As Robin Sharma once said:
#4. Worst-case scenario
Finally, be confident in letting your customer understand a well-rounded view of your business.
The chance of there being 100-plus completely positive reviews is unlikely.
Negative feedback allows potential customers to understand the worst-case scenario and from then on it can only be a positive experience. Removing all negative reviews makes your business look inauthentic.
A customer is more likely to interact with and trust your website if there is a mix of negative and positive reviews. In fact, you’ll convert 85 percent more often with negative reviews, because customers acknowledge that people have different tastes and expectations.
So there you have it, a three-part framework to help you build the kind of eBay feedback strategy that gets results!
It may take time at first, but once you get the ball rolling, investing in generating more positive reviews is the single most cost-effective way to increase your visibility and drive sales on eBay’s crowded marketplace.
Start getting more eBay reviews today
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Feedback request ebay
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