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2013 Fall Seller Update: Expanded Feedback policy

Sell with confidence—new safeguards for your hard-earned feedback

A fair marketplace for sellers to do business is a top priority for eBay. Fortunately, eBay now has new and improved sources of objective information about your great service through member-to-member communications, tracking uploaded to eBay, and other recent advances. We are now able to remove negative and neutral feedback and low detailed seller ratings from your account in many situations. These situations are now spelled out in a new expanded Feedback Removal policy taking effect July 31, 2013.

Highlights

Automatic safeguards

The new Feedback Removal policy clearly outlines when eBay will automatically remove feedback and low ratings or award 5-star ratings. In general:

  • Negative or neutral feedback and low ratings are removed automatically when our information shows that the feedback was left by a buyer who, for example, didn't pay, was suspended, or shows a pattern of leaving low feedback.
  • Feedback and low ratings are also removed automatically when they are the result of a major event out of your control such as a weather-related delay, postal strike, or natural disaster.
  • In some cases, 5-star detailed seller ratings are automatically awarded when we have information that you followed best practices such as shipping within one day and offering free shipping.

Feedback removed on request

The new policy also outlines specific situations when you can contact eBay Customer Support and ask for feedback and low ratings to be removed. In general feedback comments are removable when:

  • The feedback comment contains inappropriate content, for example, the buyer posts an obscenity or leaves comments not related to the transaction, such as political or religious commentary.

And the feedback rating, comment, and DSRs are removable when:

  • The feedback is unrelated to your performance or inconsistent with the information contained in the specific fields for that data provided by eBay in the listing form. For example, you chose "used" as the item condition and the buyer left negative feedback for item description because the item was used.
  • The buyer made an error. For example, he left feedback for the wrong seller or the wrong item.
  • eBay determines that removing the feedback and low ratings is the right thing to do, for example, when it results from an eBay system issue or if PayPal puts a hold on the buyer's payment and advises you not to ship.

Take Action

  • Read the new Feedback Removal policy carefully so you're familiar with all the instances when eBay removes feedback automatically and when you can request it.
  • If you think the feedback is eligible for removal under the new policy, you can simply contact eBay Customer Support and ask to have it removed.

Best practices

Great customer service is the key to getting great feedback and great ratings. To get more automatic 5-star ratings and ensure you qualify to have feedback removed automatically or when you request it, follow these best practices:

  • Before you contact eBay to request that feedback be removed, it’s always a good idea to contact your buyer. Often these situations are the result of a simple misunderstanding. If you resolve the situation, you can send the buyer a request to revise feedback. Buyers will often revise their feedback to positive—which is the best outcome for you.
  • When you list an item, always use the designated fields to specify item specifics, sales tax, return policy, combined postage, and accepted payment methods and make sure there's no contradictory information elsewhere in the listing.
  • Write clear, accurate descriptions.
  • Offer free shipping whenever possible.
  • Specify 1-day or same day shipping.
  • Ship and upload tracking information within 1 business day.
  • Use signature confirmation for items of $250 or more.
  • Follow all the best practices to get the Fast 'N Free logo on your listings. Fast 'N Free listings get the extra protection of having a low rating for shipping time automatically converted to a
    5-star rating as long as you upload tracking and the item is delivered within the estimated delivery time.
  • Always respond immediately to eBay Buyer Protection cases. A satisfactory resolution with your buyer is the best way to avoid negative feedback or low ratings.

Frequently Asked QuestionsExpand all  |  Collapse

Why did eBay expand the Feedback Removal policy?

eBay strives for a fair and safe marketplace and we're continually enhancing our policies to support that goal. We're updating and expanding the Feedback Removal policy so that your reputation and seller performance status is not impacted in cases where we know you have followed best selling practices and clearly provided excellent customer service. We are providing a clear and comprehensive policy that spells out all the cases for having feedback removed so you'll know when this removal is automatic and when you need to request it.

What do I need to do to take advantage of this new expanded policy?

Follow best practices for selling on eBay and continue to provide the excellent customer service buyers expect. Edit your listings so that the pertinent details are provided in the designated fields for item specifics and your shipping and returns policies. Know that if something goes wrong and the buyer is not willing to revise the feedback, feedback still will be removed if it meets one of the reasons for removal and eBay determines it should be removed under the Feedback Removal policy. Review the Feedback Removal policy so you know in which instances you can ask eBay to remove it, and in which instances feedback will be automatically removed.

How will this impact me as a seller?

You, the seller, have more recourse in situations when you believe you received feedback that is not a reflection of the service you provided, especially where eBay has evidence to support you such as tracking information or information you provided in item specifics.

Are there new instances under which my feedback is protected or removed?

There are a number of instances outlined in the new expanded policy in which feedback will be removed that were not previously part of eBay's published policy. A few key examples:

  • The feedback refers to information you entered in item specifics, sales tax, return policy, combined postage, or accepted payment method fields, and there is no contradictory information elsewhere in the listing. For example, you selected "used" as the item condition and the buyer left you negative feedback with a comment that the item was used.
  • The buyer mistakenly leaves negative or neutral feedback for the wrong seller or wrong item.
  • The buyer leaves negative or neutral feedback or a low detailed seller rating that eBay determines is directly and solely the result of a publicly confirmed eBay system issue.
  • The buyer leaves negative or neutral feedback related to delayed shipping when PayPal placed a hold on the payment and provided notice to the seller to delay shipping the item.

What do I do if I think the feedback a buyer left was unfair?

If you think the feedback is eligible for removal under the expanded Feedback Removal policy, you can simply contact eBay Customer Support and ask to have it removed.

Am I required to contact the buyer first?

You’re not required to do so, but eBay always recommends that you first try to resolve issues with your buyer before contacting us. Often, it's just a misunderstanding that can be worked out. If you're able to resolve it, the buyer will most likely agree to revise the feedback to positive and leave a high rating, which is the best possible outcome for you. Use the Request Feedback Revision page to ask the buyer to revise it.

Am I required to send the buyer a request to revise the feedback before I contact eBay Customer Support to ask that it be removed?

No, it's not required. But often-times, when you reach out to resolve an issue, the buyer will have a change of heart and agree to revise the feedback to positive—which is the best outcome for you.

How many times can I request a feedback revision from a buyer?

You can submit 5 feedback revision requests for every 1,000 feedback you've received in the consecutive past 12 months. High-volume sellers earning more than 1,000 feedback per year can send more requests. You can request only one Feedback revision per transaction. Get more details on how and when you can submit feedback revision requests to your buyers.

Does the number of times I can request a feedback revision from a buyer impact my ability to have feedback removed by eBay Customer Support?

No, the number of feedback revision requests you make of buyers does not impact your ability to have eligible feedback removed by eBay Customer Support.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can ask eBay Customer Support to remove feedback?

No, there is no limit to the number of times you can contact Customer Support to request that feedback be removed.

How do I find out if feedback is eligible for removal?

Check the Feedback Removal policy. If you're still unsure, contact eBay Customer Support.

How do I contact Customer Support to request feedback be removed?

To request that feedback be removed, click the Customer Support link at the top of any eBay page. Click the "Contact Us" tab, select "Selling" and then select "Leaving and receiving feedback," and click "Call us."

How long will it take for eBay to remove feedback?

Most automated feedback removal is immediate. When you ask eBay to remove feedback and it's confirmed eligible, in most cases it will be removed while you are on the phone with the Customer Support representative.

How will I be notified once feedback is removed?

Generally, you are not notified that the feedback was removed. You will see that the feedback is no longer present on the feedback profile page and your feedback rating (percent positive) calculation will also be adjusted. You can also see on your seller dashboard when feedback has been removed.

What if eBay decides the feedback is not eligible to be removed but I still think it's unfair?

If the feedback in your situation is not eligible for removal under the new Feedback Removal policy, you can Reply to Feedback Received to leave a courteous and professional comment explaining your side of the issue. Anyone seeing the buyer's comment will also see your response.

When does eBay award 5-star ratings automatically?

eBay awards 5-star ratings automatically in the following situations:

  • Shipping and handling charges
    • You offer free shipping and we know the buyer chose that option.
  • Shipping and handling time
    • You specify 1 business day handling time and upload tracking information within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment and the item shows a delivery time of 4 days from receiving payment.
    • Fast 'N Free listings get the extra protection of having a low rating for shipping time automatically converted to a 5-star rating as long as you upload tracking and the item is delivered within the estimated delivery time.
  • Communication
    • You specify 1 business day or shorter handling time and upload tracking information within one business day, and
    • There are no buyer- or seller-initiated communications in eBay Messages, and there are no pending eBay Buyer Protection or PayPal Purchase Protection cases, and
    • There are no requests for contact information between you and the buyer.



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