When Is a Neutral a Neg?

When eBay reviews your account – that’s when. At least that’s what was told to sellers recently on an Ebay forum by an eBay employee:

“If more than 5% of a seller’s buyers are dissatisfied, as measured by negative and neutral Feedback left or Item Not Received complaints during a 90 day period, the seller is in violation of the Seller Non-Performance policy.”

It has always been thought that Neutral Feedback was just that – the buyer was neither happy nor unhappy. Now eBay is using Neutral Feedback against sellers. <--more-->

For most sellers, receiving a neutral feedback is almost as bad as receiving a negative feedback. However, many buyers feel that a neutral feedback is akin to leaving no comment – it doesn’t count towards the seller’s positive feedback, and it doesn’t count toward the seller’s negative feedback. Additionally, some buyers use neutral feedback as a means of communication.

In the past sellers have been wary to request mutual withdrawal for neutral feedback as they feel it will look like they received a negative when buyer’s review their “mutually withdrawn” totals. So sellers advised each other to leave neutral feedback alone.

Is that advice no longer relevant?

Just exactly how is eBay determining that a seller falls into the bottom 1%? Is there some kind of rating system for negative feedback, neutral feedback and INR’s? Say you have two sellers, both with 2500 total feedback. One has 50 negs and 25 neutrals, and the other has 25 negs and 50 neutrals. Are they rated equally? Or are more demerits given to the seller with the 50 neg/25 neutral ratio?

And how are INR’s determined now that eBay no longer offers any protection to buyers? Most buyers filing INR are going straight to Paypal since filing an INR with eBay will forward them directly to Paypal anyway. Is Paypal forwarding these records to eBay?

Should sellers now go through the mutual withdrawal system for neutral feedback? From other posts I’ve read on eBay discussion boards, eBay phone reps are encouraging sellers to go through the mutual withdrawal system – leaving me to believe that eBay feels a bad transaction is wiped clean upon a successful withdrawal.

It would be nice if eBay would publish specific standards, so sellers know where they stand. There have been reports of sellers with FB above 99% receiving the dreaded “Poor Seller Performance” emails. These sellers thought they were doing a good job, but eBay didn’t. Ebay – why such secrecy? Why don’t you publish the standards so all eBay sellers can monitor their ratings the same way you do?


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