Ask an Expert: How to get negative feedback removed on eBay

Not all eBay transactions go smoothly. Sometimes, even when you follow best practices as a seller, an issue may arise that prompts a buyer to leave negative Feedback.

Buyers have different expectations about items, shipping times and costs, and even how sellers communicate with them. A small slip can quickly equate to negative Feedback that may be permanent if you don’t do something about it.

Receiving negative Feedback on eBay may feel like the end of a transaction for many sellers, but it’s not. Your total Feedback affects your reputation on the platform, and that is why it’s important for you to know there’s hope yet, even with all those negative marks.

In general, once a dissatisfied buyer leaves negative Feedback, the negative score remains. In most cases, the only thing you can do is respond to the Feedback to explain your side of the story.

However, in some cases, the buyer could have simply mistaken your listing for another seller’s. There are also other situations when you can ask eBay to remove negative Feedback because of a Feedback violation.

Here we tackle the ins and outs of eBay Feedback and the methods you can employ to change or remove the negative ones.

What is eBay’s Feedback system and how does it work?

Each seller on eBay has a Feedback percentage shown in the seller information section of their listings. This percentage is calculated using the Feedback the seller has received over the last 12 months.

The reason why only the past year counts in these Feedback percentages is to give sellers an incentive to improve their performance as the months and years go by. After all, would you want to be rated based on a blunder you made five years ago when you’ve since greatly improved your selling practices?

Another reason for sellers to keep their Feedback high is that when their ratings aren’t good enough, they will be penalized in the platform’s search ranking system. That means the lower your seller rating is, the lower your chances of making it to the top of eBay’s search results.

eBay’s Feedback system lets sellers post replies and follow-ups to Feedback left by buyers. This two-way Feedback system allows both parties to provide an explanation to the public when a transaction they’re involved in doesn’t go smoothly.

Take note that while sellers can make their eBay Feedback profile private, if you do so, you won’t be allowed to sell anymore.

Can you remove negative Feedback on eBay?

The short answer is “It depends.” There are two different situations in which negative Feedback is left.

The first is when the buyer posts negative Feedback by mistake. The Feedback given is either negative or neutral, but the Feedback comment is positive and the buyer even shares how happy he or she is with the transaction, with something like “Will definitely buy from this seller again!” Or the buyer may have mistaken you for another seller with whom a transaction went bad.

The second situation is when the buyer leaves the negative Feedback on purpose. This will be a bit harder to remove, but it’s often worth trying. Here are the two ways in which you can have negative Feedback changed or removed.

1. Change eBay Feedback through buyer revision

Before doing anything drastic, attempt to resolve Feedback problems by communicating with the buyer. This is the most common way to change negative or neutral Feedback.

Keep in mind that buyers can only revise Feedback they’ve left within 30 days of the transaction. Additionally, sellers can only request a Feedback revision once they have fixed the problem, or if they are certain a buyer left the negative Feedback by mistake.

When a buyer posts negative Feedback accidentally, you can ask them to change it using the Request Feedback Revision page. If there is no response from the buyer, you can go to the Report Feedback page and explain the situation directly to eBay so they can handle the negative Feedback removal.

If the buyer left negative Feedback intentionally, then when you contact the buyer, be polite and apologize for any inconveniences experienced as a result of the transaction. Ask them what you can do to amend the situation. Most of the time, a refund or replacement will do the trick. If the buyer agrees and you are able to address the issue, ask if they would be willing to revise the Feedback.

Because you can only make the request once, you must do it wisely. Plus, sellers may only make five Feedback revision requests for every 1,000 Feedback posts received in a span of 12 months.

This method places you at the mercy of the buyer, but if your request is sound, who knows? The buyer may acquiesce and you will have made what could have been a bad customer relationship into a good one.

2. Change eBay Feedback through eBay intervention