Your reputation is built on your eBay feedback rating. Feedback can be positive, negative, or neutral. EBay Power Sellers must have a feedback rating of at least 98% positive.

Negative feedback can hurt your sales and business. Negative feedback has an enormous impact particularly on sellers. If your feedback score falls below the nineties, buyers might take their business elsewhere. But what if you feel like the negative feedback was unjustified? As a seller, do you have any recourse? You do, but it’s not easy. The best strategy is to avoid negative feedback in the first place. But if that’s not possible, turn to a mediation service like Square Trade (www.squaretrade.com).

Square Trade is an independent online dispute resolution service that offers mediation services for eBay users. All parties involved must consent to the mediation. The party requesting the mediation must pay a fee of approximately $30; there are no additional charges for participating in the mediation. With a mediation service, you’re able to file a case regarding your negative feedback. Explain why you think the charge is unjustified.

The other party will have two weeks to respond. Square Trade says that most cases are resolved for free without having to turn to a mediator. Negative feedback can also be removed if both parties mutually agree to withdraw it under eBay’s mutual feedback withdrawal process.

Never argue or harass customers that leave you negative feedback, deserved or not. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a seller and buyer fighting back and forth over feedback comments. It’s understandable that you might be angry when you receive negative feedback, especially if you don’t feel that you did anything wrong. But for the sake of your professional reputation, learn to overcome those emotions before responding. Employ the 24 Hour Rule; that is, don’t make a reply until you’ve had a day to cool down.

When you do respond to unfair negative feedback, stick to the facts. If the buyer claims that the item was not as described, point out that every defect was carefully documented in the item’s description. If they complain about slow shipping, post the shipping dates as well as the shipping policy that they agreed to when they purchased the item. Never use personal attacks, only facts.

If you did make a mistake that earned you negative feedback, respond with courtesy. Apologize for the honest mistake you made, and mention that you were not given a chance to rectify the situation before feedback was left. This type of follow-up can make buyers more sympathetic to your situation.

There are right ways and wrong ways to deal with negative feedback on EBay. As long as you respond with class and professionalism, you can minimize the damage to your reputation.

Keep working for your success.
Jay

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