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Ask an Expert: How to get negative feedback removed

This week, our in-house expert gives the low down on getting negative feedback removed from your eBay seller account.

Q: How do you get negative feedback removed?

A: Unfortunately, eBay sellers have very few alternatives when trying to get a negative feedback removed. Generally, once you’re tagged by a dissatisfied buyer, the negative score stays. In most cases, the only thing you can do is post a response to the negative, explaining your side of the story.

There are two methods of getting the negative actually changed, but be warned – they are not for the faint-hearted!

Buyer revision

The most common way to get a negative altered is through communication with the buyer. They are able to revise feedback within 30 days, but you can only request that they do so once you’ve fixed the problem – or if you think they left a negative by mistake.

Make sure you use your revision request wisely, because you are only allowed a limited number per year. Sellers are only allowed 5 feedback revision requests per 1,000 total feedbacks.

The problem though is that the power to remove negative feedback rests squarely on the buyer’s hands, and places the seller completely at the buyer’s mercy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that such unfairness in the marketplace is a surefire recipe for disaster.


eBay intervention

In certain situations, such as when abusive language is used, or by court order (!), eBay will intervene and remove negative feedback.  However, these instances are all extreme, and sellers must leave it up to eBay to judge the outcome.

This new policy, in effect since October 2008, has much of the eBay seller community up in arms once again. Former eBay powerseller Kaydeecouture (kaydeecouture.com) has announced her decision to remove 75% of her inventory from eBay, citing that eBay has refused to remove underserved negative feedback by a malicious bidder because “they didn’t like my tone.”
Other sellers share similar stories, reporting how some buyers and bidders have abused this leverage to their favor, even to the extent of outright extortion. Sellers complain that many cases involve factors beyond their direct control, yet buyers are quick to tag them with negative scores.

All in all, you’re much better to invest time on strategies that will help you avoid negatives altogether, rather than going through the frustrating process of trying to get them removed.

Got any tales of woe about trying to get negative feedback removed? Share them below...

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21 Comments Add your comment
Buyer paid for an item on Feb 2 2009... My policy is the item ships by the end of second business day. Most of the time I ship next day after I receive payment, but that day was snowstorm and I slept at a hotel close to my work (supervisors have to make it in)... On second business day in early AM I received negative feedback, because buyer did not receive item yet, while waiting with the buyers packed item for my postman to pick up... seeing this as problem buyer i quickly refunded buyers money and filed a complaint with e-bay to have negative feedback removed... In less then 3 hours e-bay replied with a big NO ... How can Sellers sell on ebay and have a will ship by end of second business day, if a buyer can leave a negative feedback when my policy was not breeched and ebay does not back up its sellers with awesome feedback scores and a troublesome buyer who has nothing better to do but ruin the reputation of sellers. wgray7191 is my ebay account but hurry because if this is not resolved I am removing my ebay account. Reply
Sold item on ebay, sent item, item was delivered as per USPS tracking #, buyer said they never received item and left negative feedback without any communication!!! Reply
Get this....I set up a buy-it-now for a specific ebayer....and noted in title....that this auction is for XXX only.....and also noted it in the description.,...also noted do not bid if you are not XXXX ebayer....well another ebayer bid on the buy-it-now anyway....and when I ask them very nicely to cancel the transaction...they got all huffy, and left me negative feedback....even though I had specifically set-up the auction for ebayer XXXX...they thought they should have it anyway....and of course ebay will not remove the negative feedback.....I have been with ebay for 10 years, and had 100% feedback until this illiterate person came along...I say this because obviously they could not read and bid anyway....I am just sick over this...this effects my business tremendously ...I sell hand made things, and get a lot of my customers, because they like my 100 per cent feedback....This is so unfair...I was laid off from my job and have never been able to find employment...so I tried to make ends meet through ebay....You would think they (ebay) would make exceptions...but oh no....One of these days they will not be on top....and will fall like the rest of the companies that didn't listen to their customers (I am a customer also...I can't imagine how much I have paid out to Ebay in all these years for fees).....that is how I got my 100 percent feedback (2611), my customers love me, they know I will go that extra mile for them, and if there are any problems with anything they know that I will take care of it for them...I tell them that up front...to think I got this negative over something so stupid is just killing me...Thanks for listening Reply
I had a similar situation where I had set up a Buy It Now for someone and someone else purchased the item before the intended buyer could get it. Now I put the price of the item at about double the original price and have the "Let Buyers Make and Offer" option selected. I then send the buyer an email and tell them to make me an offer for the agreed price and I will accept the offer. This has eliminated the issue. Reply
Unfortunately , we all have buyer that don't use there brain, just put Negative Feedback. Guys, We Need to do ,, Tit For Tat... Reply
and what if you experience a buyer who is kind of retard and don't want to listen to you even if you have a valid explanation? I think if customer gives the negative feedback than ebay should review it and than give it to the seller it is valid the point every review should be approved by ebay after verifying it. Reply
eBay collects $800 a month in fees from me yet does not help on the rare occasion that a buyer is simply unreasonable with negative feedback. Accidentally double listed an item. Sent an immediate apology and full refund...still negative feedback. Another buyer had left 25% negatives on all his transactions and still is allowed to operate on ebay. I pray for the day that another eBay type service comes up with deep enough pockets to market themselves. Then all of us unhappy sellers can leave this place that only cares about our 13% fees and nothing else. Reply
Some bad competitors can easily destroy your reputation by simply leaving negative feedback. Ebay should have realized that their feedback rules are so unfair and have cause many sellers' frustration and unhealthy competition. If I were eBay's owner, I would have made better and fair feedback rules. Reply
Ebay doesn't care much for sellers, even though they make money from sellers not from buyers. Its such a pity, dishonest buyers can easily take advantage. All the effort seller puts in for years to build up a reputation can be easily tarnished by a dishonest buyer or competitor who envy your good work. Ebay should give a chance to Seller to prove their credibility and remove negative feedback from buyers whose sole purpose was to either take advantage of Ebay's (Buyer's only favorable ) policy to get refund back with dishonest feedback or competitors who use new ebay ids to tarnish seller's image by giving negative scoring. Ebay clearly has overlooked this in their policy matters. Reply
I sold an IPOD that worked perfect to some idiot, he used it and I guess thought it was an everlasting battery. He used it til it was totally dead then tried to say it didn't work. Sent me back the IPOD. I told him it was working fine but still gave him a refund......... he then left me negative feedback. I get neg fb for his ignorance....... Thanks for nothing EBAY!!!! Reply
I have just had a buyer leave untrue negative feedback because they could not understand written English. I clearly said in the item description that the watch required repair yet they are allowed to leave negative feedback saying the watch is fake and I am a fraud because the watch did not work! eBay, hope you read this and listen to the people (sellers) made you rich! Reply
I have a huge store on ebay. I get hundreds of positives each month and also negatives. I can usually have the buyers revise the negative after I work things out with them. But eBay just put a cap on the amount of feedback revisions a seller can have. If you do not have a large store you can only revise a few before you are blocked for a year. If you have a very large store you can revise up to 10 before you are blocked. That stinks because buyers leave negatives before contacting the sellers and they find after communication they overreacted. I'm still over 99% positive but it's dropping now that I can no longer revise feedback for a year. Crazy stuff, you'd think eBay would make it better for the people that pays their bills. We are migrating to eBid.com and Amazon because eBay also said I will have to drop my store down to a basic if I can't get my ratings up... I'm still 99$ and they want to charge me 4 times more for listing product because of a 1% drop that they made happen by limiting me. Reply
I was just left a negative feedback from a buyer who claims the item I sold to her is not authentic. I have proof of purchase and everything, but there is no way I can show this and have my negative feedback removed. That is bull! I have never recieved a negative feedback, ever! I ship items quickly and with excellent packaging. Describe items for sale to a T. It just makes you feel like all that hard work to maintain a 100% feedback score is washed down the drain! But sellers please remember this - buyers look at the majority feedback. The majority of feedbacks are usually positive and that's what eBay buyers notice. Reply
A buyer offered to buy four items at once on condition that I would end the auctions immediately. I accepted to that, because only one of these items was in high demand. Then he claimed that three of the items (guess which ones...) were "not as described." I let him return the three items he claimed didn't match the description and he left negative feedback for all four items. I know it's a very popular scam on eBay now. And eBay is doing absolutely NOTHING to stop it.

Sellers beware. Reply
removeeBayfeedback.com can remove most negatives, we've had dozens removed through them. no idea how they do it. Reply
Doesn't matter. As a seller, you can do EVERYTHING "right" according to eBay, but all it takes is ONE buyer who spilled his coffee on himself and wants to take it out on YOU. "The item wasn't as red as I thought it was" would be considered a VALID negative feedback according to eBay. You can't prepare yourself for STOOPID, no matter WHAT precautions you take!!!!! Reply
I had a clear out, sold about 20 items. all got there stuff accept one. Royal Mail fault, NO! my fault buyer lied about communication and refund. Yep neg feedback. i have tried about six times to retract and buyer will not. If ebay dropped the stupid block on letting sellers give neg feedback there would be less trigger happy neg feedback buyers! Reply
eBay is the ONLY online store that defavorizes sellers!! IF you dispute a negative feedback that is CLEARLY not in line with your selling conditions, ebay sends you copy/paste templates and they wash their hands off it....

I sold an item which had BOTH subtitle and description of what it does. Buyer expected the item to be giftwrapped and do something else that was NOT in the item's description. Left negative feedback. After 48h of almost continuous argument and chat with ebay "customer support" they said can't remove the feedback's rating because it is buyer's opinion......but is 100% FALSE and DEFAMATORY opinion!! Furthermore, the buyer blackmailed me if I don't give her refund she will leave negative feedback. Ebay at THAT time said "don't worry, we will remove any feedback she may leave if she blackmailed you".....DID THEY?? no chance!!

I have now forwarded the Court paperwork to TAKE them to court. Will be so happy to see a Judge asking them to :
1) remove the rating
2) pay for my expensive lawyer!!

with eBay Customer "support" you MUST hit them hard otherwise THEY WILL !!

Best of luck guys with your sales:-)

Ebay is fast becoming a place that generates very little income for me. I have used ebay's service for 16 years....In the beginning my profits were $1000.00 to $2000.00 per month. Now...profits have dropped to $75.00 to $200.00 on good month. It's due to the recession and ebays anti-seller policies.
Buyer said item was falling a part on the inside, and left negative feedback, asking me for a replacement. I had hoped they could have sent me a message BEFORE leaving negative feedback. I quickly sent them a replacement, and they received it in good condition, resolving the situation. I asked them if they would consider removing the feedback. They said they left good feedback and ignored my feedback revision request. So, now someone has finally broken my 15+ year positive feedback record. Reply
Apparently eBay has a new pilot program they are testing with certain sellers. This gives the seller the power to remove all negative feedbacks for any reason This may seem crazy but it’s true. Reply
Unfortunately, I stopped the Auction-style sales because of my sales list attacked with a person more than 20 times ( 20 different Fake Account ) between 3 weeks, scammer&spammer purchasing and before payment leave negative feedback to my page.
No way Ebay and I could not stop these attacks. Maybe you know, Ebay has million fake accounts with a fake address and fake phone numbers, it is very easy to create. Ebay has not any security filter to stop fake accounts. Fake Account holder ( spammer, scammers ) can purchase the item and before the payment, they can leave negative scam&spamm feedback to your page. You can not move it 48 hours ( Ebay Policy ).
Buyer requirements list is not enough powerful for stopping the Fake accounts.
These happen to make my time waste and I am very busy with my real job.
It is the reason now all my sales on the " buy it now " style.
I really wonder now, the spammer&scammer person how will success the attack and mess " buy it now" style sale lists! I am sure there are some ways on EBAY for spammers, scammers. Reply
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