From today any items offering free postage that are paid with PayPal will automatically be awarded a five star rating for the P&P option. Items must be paid for with PayPal so that eBay are certain that no postage was paid. It’s worth remembering that free postage qualifies you for a small boost in search results, although listing popularity (sales!) and Top Rated Seller status both give a bigger search advantage.
If the transaction qualifies, then buyers won’t be able to change the automatic 5 star rating. Sellers can still offer additional payment methods, but only transactions paid with PayPal will be eligible to receive 5 stars for P&P charges automatically.
In addition if a buyer is about to leave a negative or neutral feedback then eBay will start to display a message encouraging them to communicate with the seller. The pop up messages will also ask buyers to confirm their intention before they can submit a neutral or negative feedback.
Edited to addWe’ve had it confirmed by eBay that the auto five stars are awarded when free shipping is selected, not when it’s offered. In other words if you offer free shipping as a 2nd or 3rd choice option if the buyer chooses the free option you’ll get your five stars. On the other hand if your first shipping option is free but the buyer opts for a faster paid for option then you won’t get an automatic five stars.