eBay Australia launches feedback revision

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ebay.com.aueBay Australia have announced the launch of feedback revision: from 13th October, buyers will be able to edit the feedback rating, comment or Detailed Seller Ratings they left for a seller.

  • Sellers will need to initiate the process by requesting buyers revise their feedback, within thirty days of feedback being left.
  • Buyers then have ten days to respond to the request.
  • There are limits to the number of revision requests which can be sent. All sellers will get a minimum of five requests per year, but higher volume sellers will get five requests per thousand feedbacks received.
  • Requests which are ignored or declined by buyers will still count towards the total, so sellers need to ensure their buyers understand the process and are willing to change their feedback before they waste a request on those who want the original comments or score to stand.
  • Feedback can only be revised upwards: positives cannot be changed to neutrals or negatives.
  • Sellers cannot ask buyers to revise positive feedback.

There’s more information about exactly how the system will work on the FAQs page, though the inevitable question of how eBay will deal with multiple negatives from one combined transaction, apparently hasn’t yet been answered.

eBay Australia also say that the Dispute Console is, from 21st October, to be known as the Resolution Centre. It’s about time this was done: the change of name alone should make the process a little less antagonistic for all parties. eBay Australia promise a streamlined reporting process and simplified management of open cases too.

At first glance, it looks like this has been implemented the right way. By making the process seller-initiated, and by the “only way is up” rule that prevents positives being turned into negatives, the revision process cannot be used to blackmail sellers post-transaction.

On the sellers’ part, the limits on the number of requests that can be sent are low, but not excessively so (eBay Germany allows two requests per month, regardless of sales volume). Non-positive feedback left in error can be edited, and prematurely-left feedback can be corrected once the buyer’s problem has been resolved, but no seller is going to be able to use this process to cover up multiple, ongoing issues with their service, which was always a problem with mutual feedback withdrawal.

As eBay Australia is the testing ground du jour for eBay’s new ideas, I can only hope this is going to roll-out elsewhere by the end of October as promised.

30 Responses


    the resolution center rather than dispute
    will save lots of aggro and bad feeling
    the neg thing seems ok at first glance but there is no way I am going to beg so any neg I get I will take on the chin

  2. One thing that is unclear. Does 1,000 feedback include unique transactions or is it 1,000 total feedback points? If you have 500 uniqe feedbacks but 889 positives and 11 negatives, is that 1,000 or 500 feedbacks?

    Here’s another thing that doesn’t make sense. I totally understand the limits as it applies to negatives, but since neutrals don’t effect your percentage, why have limits on the amount of neutrals? At the very least I think they should have different limits for negatives and neutrals. The purpose of this system is to correct a mistake.

    People are probably not going to use this process as a way to resolve neutral feedbacks. Why waste one of your five feedbacks on a neutral that doesn’t hurt your percentage when you might need it for resolving a negative?

    I understand what Sue says about the MFW being used to cover up issues, but with sellers nolonger being able to leave negatives, the feedback extortion loophole of MFW is gone, so the only way a seller would be able to fix a problem is to actually make things right and resolve the issues.

  3. It counts on neutrals too because they have lied about neutrals not counting as negs….they still do for SNP and that is the only thing that matters.

  4. it does not matter if your seller of the century you will get a negative from some malicious fool , that you cant deal with or talk sense too

    if you cant deal with them ,or talk to them ,this idea is going to make little overall difference

  5. Yes, North, but you’re also going to get at some point the fool who negs you coz their item didn’t turn up when it’s waiting for them at the sorting office, or the fool who “clicks negative by accident”, so at least you get a chance to get rid of those feedbacks.

    And as John points out, SNP is the reason to use it on neutrals.

  6. thats true sue and I know this happens
    though in ten years I can only think of one that was caused by a plonker not
    bothering to check with the sorting office ,and they were so up their own orifice there would have been no dealing with them anyhow
    this needs to be treat as an emergency parachute
    its best not to get negs in the first place

  7. its best not to get negs in the first place

    The only sure way to do that is not sell on Ebay, North.

    In my whole time of selling on Ebay I’ve only had 2 negs, one of which was from a non-payer. I know this MFB doesn’t affect that kind of behaviour at all, but why should NPBs even be allowed to leave FB??

  8. 7
    I am in total agreement
    if you have bid ,changed your mind, or ignored the transaction .
    then forced the seller into spending even more time and effort clawing back some of the cost of your ignorance, you have no right to influence a sellers reputation or trade . by being able to comment

  9. * Sellers will need to initiate the process by requesting buyers revise their feedback, within thirty days of feedback being left.

    Just as I suspected. Assuming this rule is going to be uniform it is exactly the scenario I expected would occur after reading one of the forums. One buyer said they would retract the feedback in October and looks like they won’t be able to. So eBay’s vague announcement just cost a new seller their perfect rating.

    the revision process cannot be used to blackmail sellers post-transaction

    Yes it can. All the buyer has to do is leave a negative up front and then tell the seller that now they know they are serious about leaving negative feedback they will now offer them a choice on how to get it removed. It does mean that once you’ve received the positive you don’t have to worry the remaining sixty days.

  10. Sue, people leave neutrals saying “ok” or “thank you” or “thanks” “got it”

    Absolutely ridiculous that ebay would expect you to resolve those and that a simple “thank you” neutral could put you at risk of a 30 day or permanent suspension.

  11. Beware of EBay they serve the seller who oils their palm, but there is no regard for the buyer who is treated as the ‘sucker’… to many crooks and dishonest Chinese traders on EBay now , and PayPal only engenders a false sense of security which evaporates very quickly should you find yourself in disagreement with a seller …give it a miss, just scan the garage sales in future

  12. #10 I know they do. Not really sure what your point is, to be honest. Do you think I don’t sell on eBay and deal with these people all the time? Dealing with feedback like that is an occupational hazard of being an eBay seller.

  13. Not just an occupational hazard but a potential risk factor of becoming a dolphin (to adopt the charmless metaphor famously coined by someone).

    Probably more of a concern for the small seller but that is old and stony ground.

  14. Sue, the point is if they really consider Neutrals a neutral then it makes no sense to have restrictions on neutrals.

    If somebody is having multiple ongoing issues with their service than (especially since sellers can’t leave negatives), then they are going to go lots of negatives.

    Why not let us resolve those occasional neutrals that say “Took 5 days to receive” and let us use the 5 revisions for when there really is a problem

  15. This is a half-ass response by Ebay….like most of their other policies. Stupid me….I actually applauded and praised Ebay back in May when they said they were going to be putting neutrals back to neutral and bringing back feedback withdrawal/editing.

    However, I was the idiot. Everyone else told me it was just a carrot Ebay was throwing sellers and they are right. Neutrals still are negative….and 5 transactions out of 1000 for feedback editing is a joke. If they wanted to solve this problem for real, they would make a dispute console before the neg could be left but they are too lazy to do that, bottom line.

    Yay…I can get 5 feedbacks removed from the trashy moronic buyers who couldn’t email a seller about a problem beforehand. Ebay’s stock price is what….$19? Enough said.

  16. @ #15

    If they wanted to solve this problem for real, they would make a dispute console before the neg could be left but they are too lazy to do that, bottom line.


    Check the announcements on my site sometime in the next week. We are about to launch a service in conjunction with our feedback system that will allow your buyers to post their feedback to eBay (through us). When a buyer tries to leave negative or neutral feedback they will be required to go through a dispute process modeled after the current UPI process.

    We are also going to have information about the DSR system that eBay doesn’t tell buyers. I even managed to get advice (regarding the DSR information) from Larry Phillips who was the man behind leavingfeedback.com.

    This won’t solve the problem because it does need to be done on eBay but they seem uninterested in going that route. eBay has a history of “borrowing” ideas from their developers, maybe they’ll take that from us sometime in the future.


    Why can’t buyers start a revision of feedback?

  18. David: there are certainly two types of neutral feedback.

    1) the “mistaken positive” from the buyer who uses it to say “good transaction” or whatever. These are so few and far between, I think we can discount them, especially considering that the feedback flow now indicates to buyers that “neutral” doesn’t mean “no problems”, and encourages them to contact their seller before leaving a neutral. People who have left neutrals have, by and large, done so on purpose.

    2) the “weak negative”. These are by far the most common, and they indicate an unhappy buyer. These need resolving just as much as real negatives do.

    The alternative is getting rid of neutrals altogether. There are plenty of arguments to be made for this, though I think overall it would increase the number of negative feedbacks left.

  19. They should just ditch feedback alltogether and use the DSR rating system, having both is totally unfair especially as you have no idea what/why/how you failed on if your score drops.

    If we ship 100 pallets around the country and 3 or 4 customers moan about delivery then I want to bloody know which courier’s ass I need to fire a rocket up so it doesn’t happen again.

  20. DSR’s are fine….but they should not be used to suspend or limit anyone. They should solely be used to distinguish sellers who all have 99.9% feedback. If they were not limiting or suspending anyone or basing search results on DSR scores, no one would care about the DSR wording as it is.

    The feedback system was fine 4 months ago. Little sellers cried about how big sellers would have 200 negs and got them all removed. That is their business. If a seller resolves all 200 problems, me and anyone else would be just as apt to buy from them than someone with no negs.

    They should have simply disallowed sellers from negging buyers and MFW would have been fine. Everyone cried about not being able to neg buyers and this tells me you guys don’t really know the stats on negative/neutral feedback nor know what buyers are really thinking when they neg you……

  21. Sue, I completely disagree. If somebody wants to leave a negative they nolonger have to fear retaliatory feedback.

    Sometimes the item is as described but for whatever reason the buyer had unrealistic expectations so they leave a neutral.

    I sell unsearched rolls of coins. During the days of MFW I would contact my buyers if they left me a neutral, and call them if they left me a negative and try to come to an agreement.

    Anyways usually if the buyer left me a neutral he would say something to the effect of “The item was as described, I got my money’s worth I didn’t find any valuable key date coins”.

    It isn’t indicative of a negative experience, it’s a neutral experience.

    According to Brian Burke, since May 19th there has been a huge decrease in neutrals which tells me that people are leaving neutrals now to reflect a neutral experience.

  22. its all fear and paranoia , problems are mostly perceived and hypothetical ,
    we have noticed little change in buyer feedback behaviour other than one or two professional ebay buyers playing the system,
    and we were firmly in the now sellers cant leave negative the end of the world was at hand camp

  23. At one time feedback was a unique selling point for eBay. In my opinion it has now had it’s day.

    From my perspective editing of feedback is a backward step (encourages gamesmanship).

  24. Total and utter waste of time, this is re-arranging the deckchairs of Ebay feedback.

  25. “its all fear and paranoia , problems are mostly perceived and hypothetical ”

    I take it all back. should know better and keep my big trap shut!
    on another Id we have just received a neg for sweet FA and two other buyers are now holding us to ransom for a partial refund their being very clever not actually stating bad feedback is on offer, but making their intention very clear
    its basically cough up or be negged
    and there is nothing ,We can do about it, and we know the ropes

  26. OOOOh,goody goody.As a buyer i can now leave a neg and then offer to remove it if the seller plays by my rules and sweetens me up a bit,50% refund at least i reckon !!!!.Ebay are a joke,i can see that what i have just said is bound to happen as since the feedback policy change there is a huge increase in feedback extortion.Personally,i will be be sad to see Ebay go but i ca’nt see them ever getting back what they once had,they have upset way too many people,both buyers and sellers.They have way too much ego,and most people hate dictators and bullies and that is exactly what they are.As always with good things,someone else will step in and build something better after learning from someone else’s mistakes.Ebay was good,but all good things come to an end.Amen.


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