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The Web Ask Steven Smith
How to Dispute Unfair Ratings on eBay.

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How to Dispute Unfair Ratings on eBay. - Courtesy of Steven Smith


So you’ve done everything you can to keep your buyers happy – but still someone’s left you negative feedback! You don’t think it’s fair, either because you fixed the buyer’s problem, or they never gave you a fair chance to fix it. What can you do?
Communicate.
Tell the buyer that you don’t think that feedback was fair, and give them a list of the things you’ll do in exchange for them withdrawing it. You can offer refunds, replacements, or even to ‘compensate them for their time’ (that means bribe them), depending on how desperate you are. If they agree, you can go through the mutual withdrawal process detailed below.
Respond.
Leave a comment under the negative feedback explaining what happened – this at least minimises the damage it will do to your reputation if anyone looks at it. Remember that you can more-or-less write whatever you want, as there is no facility for the buyer to respond to your response – and anything you write will show up on their ‘Feedback Left for Others’ page! If you’re a little devious, you can make them look very bad.
Retaliate.
However much you’re not supposed to do it, you really shouldn’t let a buyer leave you negative feedback without leaving them a negative in return. Be polite and factual, saying something like “buyer did not give me a fair opportunity to fix their complaint” (note that this is one of the reasons why you should always leave feedback second, or not at all). This might not be the ‘nicest’ way to do business on eBay, but it’s the only realistic way to protect your flawless reputation.
Don’t be worried: retaliatory feedback is not against eBay’s rules, however much it should be. Anyway, you’re not just doing this for revenge – it’s essential for the next step.
Try for a Mutual Withdrawal.
Since the buyer probably won’t want a negative response or feedback comment on their record, you can do a simple “I’ll take away my negative if you take away yours” deal. This is called mutual feedback withdrawal, and the process can be started at this page: http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?MFWRequest.
This will cause eBay’s system to send an email to your buyer, asking them if they agree to withdraw their feedback in exchange for you withdrawing yours. You should get them to agree before you press the button, though, because you can only use it once per transaction.
Use Dispute Resolution.
You and the buyer can take your feedback dispute to SquareTrade, where you can both give your side and they will cancel feedback that they feel is unfair – they are far more responsive than eBay. Be aware that this costs about $20, but it has the advantage that if the buyer doesn’t respond to the process then their feedback will be removed automatically.
Of course, at some point you might find yourself with an even worse buyer than one that just leaves negative feedback – they might refuse to pay, or harass your other buyers. Our next email will tell you how to get in touch with eBay's ‘Safe Harbor’ team, and what they can do for you.

 

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