Mutual Feedback Withdrawal is being withdrawn

No primary category set

A sharp-eyed reader of the spotted a comment on eBay Germany, saying that mutual feedback withdrawal will not be available after the end of May. eBay Pink Richard Ambrose responded:

All eBay countries will be phasing out the Mutual Feedback Withdrawal process as part of the forthcoming feedback changes – with only buyers able to leave negs, there is little point in continuing the process as it is. Sellers will be able to appeal malicious, defamatory or accidental negs to eBay.

Richard’s logic is of course impeccable, but eBay need to consider that often, feedback is not the end of the matter. Frequently it’s used by inexperienced buyers to communicate a problem; and eBay’s insistance that feedback somehow “protects” buyers is part of the cause of this.

If a buyer uses feedback to notify me that their item has been lost or damaged in the post, should I

  • (a) contact that buyer myself and try to make things right, or
  • (b) shrug it off, save myself the money and the hassle, and not even bother responding to them?

Option (a) obviously makes for a better buyer experience on eBay, but without some way for the buyer to remove, change or edit their feedback, I don’t have much incentive to do it as a seller.
I sincerely hope that Richard’s post is only half of the story, because otherwise sellers are going to be backed into a very nasty corner, and that can only be bad news for both buyers and eBay.

19 Responses

  1. I personally think from a business point that this is going to be a big problems for sellers.

    Yes..we do get negative feedback, and its part of the game being a large volume seller..sometimes things do go wrong.

    We always try to contact buyers who have left negative feedback, and try to find a way around the problem that will benefit the buyer. We then try to have the feedback withdrawn mutually.

    We have had over 300 negative feedbacks withdrawn, so this has saved our feedback score to a certain degree.

    We see feedback as our reputation as a business, and the fact we cannot do anything to rectify problems now is not good to us a business.

    We have always tried to “offer” something to negative customers (discount on future purchases. ect) but now we have no way of keeping our reputation in tact.

    When you have over 500’000 pairs of shoes in a warehouse, sometimes things do go missing and sometimes things do not get stock taked the right way, its just one of the risks of doing business as a large retailer…

    This is the only change to the feedback system, that we as a business do not like, and we have told eBay privatly!


  2. Can someone clarify?

    If a buyer leaves a negative in error, then they will have no access to a system that withdraws that negative?

  3. In my selling experience, the kind of buyers who leave negs are the ones who won’t communicate before or after.

    The scrapping of mutual withdrawl might get these buyers to either leave ebay or use it properly.

  4. I would have thought with the other changes to the feedback system, i.e only buyers being able to leave feedback for sellers, that eBay would consider making it easier for buyers to change feedback not more difficult, as most negative feedback received in our case is either a mistake or due to lack of communication on the buyers part.

    If you look at the system used on the other main selling sites, here you have a simple link a buyer has on the item purchased page where they can remove the feedback left, simple but effective.

  5. @Mark: I don’t think anyone can clarify at the moment, no. There has been no mention of another facility for buyers to change or remove feedback, hence the post.

    @Sean: me too. Even Amazon let buyers remove feedback!

  6. This is a step to far, I was literally documenting a procedure only yesterday outlining what to do in the case of a “neg”. It involved finding out what the buyer was upset with attempting to put that right and then filing for a feedback withdrawal.

    In my experience buyers are glad of the opportunity to rescind a hastily typed comment.

    I agree with schuhstore one this one, unless there is a new procedure for removing negs when a customer actually wants to, this will be a bitter pill to swallow. 🙄

  7. It makes the Seller non performance “You’re suspended for 30 days and unless your 90 day feedback improves you will be NARU’d” a bit of a joke.

    Suspension means you can’t sell, no mutual withdrawls means you can’t improve your feedback, in fact it’s likely to deteriorate further once you’re not trading as previous positives from three months ago fall outside the 90 day time frame. As you’re not selling to get new positives to replace them your buyer dis-satisfaction rate percentage will actually go up, even though you’re not actually selling 😯

    You can’t get more good feedback, you can fix problems but not withdraw poor feedback.

    eBay might as well just NARU you straight away instead of a 30 day SNP suspension, unless they bring in a replacement program of some description.

  8. 2 Days ago in the “No More Grace Period… ” article you reported:
    “eBay do offer some tips on how to improve your chances of staying registered on the site:
    * sellers who have received any non-positive feedback are encouraged to file for mutual feedback withdrawal
    * sellers who have filed for MFW and had no response are encouraged to email AMs to see if the feedback can be removed under any eBay policies.”

    Why make a recommendation along that line if they are removing that process? Obviously someone is communicating wrong information, but how do you sort out which info is innaccurate with a company like Ebay?


  9. oh how I pine for and dream of the ebay of the past.
    you sold, you got paid ,you sent,

    the complicated ,head bursting, rule heavy, ebay of today
    is no fun at all

  10. @ North, hence my posting name on here.
    It’s just too much work with so little return these days. Revenue from ebay has droped consistantly since end of November 2007 while revenue from other venues has risen dramatically.
    I might go back when the dust has settled.

  11. I wonder if that puts Squaretrade out of business then, as their technology makes use of the mutual withdrawl process….

  12. I’m sure that for large volume PS there will be a system put in place.

    After all they are the sellers that Ebay are encouraging at the moment.

    Or auto removal for a neg left, where a full refund was given when the buyer paid by Paypal.

  13. hmm so just to echo what mounty said (which I just noticed)

    # there will be no more 30 day grace period for sellers whose buyer dissatisfaction rate falls below 95%.
    # if your BDR falls below 95% over a 90 day period, you will immediately have your account suspended from selling for 30 days and all listings will be removed.
    # if after 30 days, your account has not shown “a significant improvement”, you will be indefinitely suspended.

    soooooo basically you cannot trade yourself back into over 95% and you wont be able to get negs mutually removed …. which means

    bye bye seller who falls below 95%

  14. So how many sellers could be finished off by another postal strike, or even a sack of lost mail?

  15. Hmm interesting – I feel the buyer feedback removal option is an oversight they will soon correct as no logic or even ebay mislogic could justify such a scenario.

    Ebay shakeout is a watershed for what the managers freel the site SHOULD be however I think they have forgotten what the site IS – time will tell but its ripe for a rival to move in whilst it transforms.


  16. It has been mentioned that determined sellers will just create a farm of selling id’s and use them on a rotation basis.
    This started to become noticable last month when a huge rush of similar id’s with identical products and same location sprang up. All of the ones I have spotted are private sellers with top of the crop DSR’s and 100%
    Beneficial for ebay as can report new seller accounts are up. This type of “below the radar” behaviour will also keep the discounts awarded nice and low.
    Revolving door sellers? No just revolving identities.


New eBay Feedback Verified Purchase tag

New eBay Feedback Verified Purchase tag

eBay feedback changes to increase Trust & Relevancy

eBay feedback changes to increase Trust & Relevancy


Negative review redress for Amazon Brand Owners


Meta cracks down on fake feedback on Facebook and Instagram in the U.S.


musicMagpie smash 10 million feedback milestone on eBay

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars