Home » Misc. » On eBay and the “who gives feedback first?” debate

On eBay and the “who gives feedback first?” debate


The question of whether the buyer or seller leaves feedback first is one which has plagued mankind since time immemorial, or at the very least, since the introduction of eBay’s feedback system.

Buyers and sellers alike are split fairly evenly on the issue, resulting in a standoff that leaves sellers without the positive feedback they need so badly.


The Bane of the eBay seller.

It’s quite a simple issue to resolve. The crux of the issue lies in the question of who has the final responsibility in the transaction.

Whether buyer or a seller, you are leaving feedback regarding the other party’s behaviour in the transaction as a whole. (On a side note, as is common with eBay practice, buyers have extra protection, because sellers have been unable to leave buyers negative feedback since 2008).

As a buyer, you are rating the seller on the following criteria:

  • Listing and item accuracy.
  • Handling time.
  • Postage cost.
  • Seller communication.

When you receive your item, the seller has completed their side of the transaction and you have the necessary information to leave your feedback.


As a seller leaving feedback for a buyer, you are reviewing their end of the transaction, which includes their reasonable assessment of the item when they receive it, and leaving of relevant feedback. Needless to say, this is impossible to assess until they have actually left feedback.

To reiterate that point, being easy to work with is a responsibility of both parties, and the buyers responsibility includes being reasonable to deal with after they receive the item. If a buyer receives an item and becomes abusive once they get their positive feedback, what is the recourse of the seller? Did the buyer deserve positive feedback purely on the basis of their payment going through? Of course not.

Still, many buyers claim the responsibility lies with the seller to leave their feedback first. As a result, they hold the seller’s positive feedback to ransom.


The fact that a seller can’t leave negative feedback is not, in my view, a decision that makes any sense, it certainly puts sellers at a further disadvantage. But if anything, it makes clear the issue that a buyer leaving feedback first has far less to lose than a seller.

If someone from eBay themselves should happen upon this post while perusing the web, you might take note of the suggestion that the issue would be resolved better if negative feedback for buyers was reinstated, but coupled with the rule that positive feedback for a seller only becomes public after the seller reciprocates with feedback for the buyer. This would resolve the issue both sides have that whoever leaves feedback first, the other party has no incentive to leave positive feedback.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s