eBay's Feedback Push

Jackie Miller
Jackie Miller


Love it or hate it, the feedback system is engrained in eBay's history. Long gone are the days when users could leave feedback for any member whether or not they were in a transaction together. Long gone are the days when sellers could leave negative feedback for buyers, and with good reasons. Some sellers want the feedback system to go away entirely, while others recognize how valuable it can be in buyers' purchase-making decisions. eBay falls into the latter camp.

With changes such as increasing the character count from 80 to 500 last year, eBay has made it clear that feedback is here to stay. As part of the 2022 Winter Seller Update, eBay is changing some of the ways feedback is displayed and collected. Some changes are mildly positive while others are leaving sellers frustrated and upset. Let's break it down.

Helping you get ahead of negative feedback in the eBay app

Starting in late spring, we’ll be rolling out a simplified way to help you avoid negative feedback. If a buyer starts to leave negative feedback on the eBay app before they’ve contacted you on the eBay platform, we’ll automatically encourage them to reach out to you and give you a chance to resolve the issue first.

We’re also making sure that buyers see a streamlined and friction-free way to contact you before they leave negative feedback on the eBay app, to make it easy for them to reach out to you first.

For the time being, this is an app-exclusive design change. It's a potentially positive change if by "contact you" eBay means sending a buyer to the messaging system, however, eBay has said numerous times in the past that they see item not received requests and return requests as a form of buyer communication. The question lingers heavy in the air: Will eBay's idea of encouraging contact push buyers into sending a message or into opening a claim?

Your brand and feedback will be more visible across all platforms

Your seller name, logo, and feedback rating already appear directly under your listing’s title on mobile web and on desktop—now, you’ll start seeing the same experience on the eBay app.

Your overall seller feedback and most recent feedback comments will also be displayed more prominently in the “About this seller” section across all platforms, not only on mobile web.

Buyers will start seeing these updates on the eBay app over the next few weeks, and on desktop over the coming months.

These changes were pushed to mobile web back in November and will now be pushed to both the app and desktop site.

It's unclear how these changes will present on the desktop site which already shows the seller's info clearly, but the above mobile web view gives an idea of how this will appear on the app. It will be an improvement to how that information was previously buried below all the listing info and sponsored ads on the app.

If only eBay would move the item specifics and item description above the sponsored ads on the app, buyers and sellers would all be in a better place.

Updates to Stores to help you grow your customer base

As Stores continue to evolve into a world-class tool to showcase your products, brand, and business, we’re making it easier for buyers to find your Store, and giving them an at-a-glance view of your feedback, to build confidence buying from you.

Once buyers are in your Store, they’ll start to see a more complete picture of your business with a new Feedback tab.

This new tab will showcase your customer service and the quality of your products by displaying your seller rating and your most recent feedback comments. From here, buyers will also be able to click into all of your feedback.

The new Feedback tab has already been rolled out for buyers on the eBay app, and will expand to all buyers across desktop and mobile web by early summer.

One common criticism of the new eBay stores layout has been that eBay displays a feedback percentage that does not hyperlink to a seller's feedback page. A percentage does little to paint a clear picture and it's not intuitive to navigate to the About tab and look for the seller's ID then click on that to find feedback. The new feedback tab has presumably been in the works for a while and I am very interested to see what other changes are in the works for eBay Stores.

Making it easier to collect and leave feedback

Collecting and leaving feedback not only helps build your brand reputation, it also inspires trust as you build relationships with your buyers. To help you do that, we're launching in-line notifications for buyers on the eBay app to proactively remind them to leave feedback and help shine a light on great buying experiences.

After an item’s estimated delivery, some buyers using the eBay app will start seeing a notification to leave feedback. This will be rolled out for refurbished inventory over the coming weeks and gradually expanded to more categories throughout the spring and early summer.

eBay is granting all sellers access to automatic feedback settings previously accessible exclusively to Selling Manager Pro (Premium store and above) subscribers. These settings will make it easier for sellers to leave feedback as they can store and automate feedback for buyers.

The real contention comes with eBay's efforts to make it easier to collect feedback. Sellers in the eBay Community responded with a lot of concern over this new approach.

Question thread: Updates to Feedback
Today we announced how we are evolving the ways we encourage Buyers to leave feedback in the eBay app. Also making important information about Sellers’ brands and businesses more visible to buyers. You can learn more about that here, feel free to review and post any questions you may have below!…

eBay sellers sounded off:

Historically, you should know that badgering buyers to leave feedback does not end well. A buyer who's happy with his purchase may or may not leave feedback, but if he's happy with his purchase, getting reminders from eBay that he has somehow failed to express how happy he is with his purchase is not going to increase his level of satisfaction.

In addition, buyers do not always distinguish between whether it's eBay sending the annoy-o-gram, or the seller himself.

If you feel you must add this feature, please make it a Seller Preference as to whether a buyer should be automatically hounded to leave feedback.

Did you notice the text that said they will start sending reminders after the estimated delivery date- not after the actual delivery scan? Way to go on the bad decision-making with this one, eBay!

Yes, it would make no sense to be asking buyers for feedback before the tracking actually shows a Delivered status. That will just lead to an increase in comments such as "Why are you asking me for feedback? I haven't got the package yet."

I hope eBay adds an option to these annoying FB reminders to "don't show me feedback reminders again" to make it easy for app buyers to turn off!

Please STOP pestering my customers for feedback, or at least make it a toggle option for sellers as well as buyers.

As a seller, I would like to opt OUT of sending buyers any type of reminder to leave feedback.

Buyers often find it annoying and some even conclude that the seller, rather than eBay, is nagging them. A new-ish seller might want to glean every precious feedback, but most of us would rather not take the risk that a prompt from eBay will precipitate a response that is annoyed or even negative. Let sleeping dogs (or buyers) lie!

I can certainly understand that buyers feel more confident making a purchase when they can review a seller's feedback to make sure there are no big red flags waving, but I question eBay's one size fits all new approaches to gathering feedback.

Using estimated delivery dates might be fine for sellers that don't use tracking, but for any tracked shipment it will create more problems for sellers if eBay pushes for feedback before an item has been delivered.

It can be difficult for new sellers to build up a feedback rating since buyer participation is at an all time low, but is it really necessary to push for feedback when a seller is already established? If a seller has 1,000 feedback count received as a seller, how essential is it to push so hard for new feedback ratings? Should a line be drawn somewhere or should a seller be given the option to opt out of pushing feedback reminders to buyers?

Buyers that don't want to be reminded about leaving feedback: you can opt out from automatic feedback reminders under Account Settings->Communication Preferences->General Preferences

One thing that was very apparent in this Seller Update is that eBay is continuing to use mobile web for testing, then pushing changes out to both the app and the desktop site for a more uniform look and experience across all platforms.

What do you think about these changes? Let us know in the comments below.

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