Should I Accept $10 From eBay Seller To Remove Negative Feedback?

Consumerist reader Ed recently had a rather unpleasant experience with a merchant on eBay, so he did what many of us would do — he posted a negative review detailing his problems. But then the seller reached out to him with a proposition.

The backstory: Ed ordered a 5′ VGA cable on Feb. 4 from a seller in Hong Kong. The price, including shipping, was only $2.69. But when he finally received the cable, almost a month later, on March 2, he noticed it was actually only 4 feet long.

After he posted his negative feedback on eBay, he received the e-mail shown above. In addition to an apology, it reads, “We would like to do anything possible to fix our relationship… Is there any possibility to make the revision for the negative feedback? we can give you 10usd reimbursement if you can simply remove the negative feedback for us.”

And so Ed wants to see what the Consumerist hive-mind would suggest.

“I would like to take the $10 but eBay feedback is there for a purpose,” he writes. “Should I take the $10 and feel guilty or leave the negative feedback to notify other future customers?”

Comments

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  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    If they did more than over a bribe… er, ‘reimbursement’, like say, actually solving the issue, then perhaps.

    But just cash-money? No.

    • SkullCowboy says:

      +1
      Maybe they send you the cable you paid for. Then I would update the feedback to reflect that. To me that would show they actually care about the customer and not just their ranking.

      • Yacko says:

        To me, the $10 is nearly a 4x refund. Any business that will refund and pay a little extra for your wasted time, seems to me, to have attempted to make that person whole again. So, yes, I would remove it.

        • nishioka says:

          Exactly – $10 reimbursement for a $2.69 sale, plus he got to keep the cable. Try getting that out of a manager at Best Buy if you buy something that turns out not being what you want.

          • Cream Of Meat says:

            Should this read “Try getting that out of a manager at Best Buy if you buy something that turns out not being what you paid for.”

          • mehitabel says:

            wrong. they are not giving him a refund; they are paying him to lie.

        • Geekybiker says:

          $10 as an apology and *asking* to change the feedback is making them whole. $10 and making it contingent on removing the feedback is buying the review. There is a real important difference there.

        • elangomatt says:

          I disagree, this is a bribe, not trying to make up for the mistake. If the buyer had emailed the company and complained they probably would have given him a run around and said that they’d send him a new cable if he returned the wrong cable (and paid for shipping it) and then the buyer would just give up since it isn’t worth the time or money. The seller however, is responding to a feedback that could negatively affect future business and trying to buy off the customer. I actually would have been more impressed and likely to remove the negative feedback if the seller apologized and offered to refund the item price plus send out the correct cable.

    • Razor512 says:

      most of the sellers that ship from china, do not make money from the extremely cheap items as the shipping often core more than the item and they do not charge you for shipping.

      Basically by selling those items, they are trying to buy positive reviews. The items are often priced so that the cost of the positive review remains within a certain range, but they almost never make money on the item.

      Where they make their money, is from the more expensive items, but to sell the more expensive items, you need a good reputation and a lot of reviews to get you on the front page, or give results from your store priority.

      Their business model depends on selling cheap cables and other random items at a very low cost (in many cases, at a loss), so that they can get a continuous flow of positive reviews in order to more up in search results and site placement.

      A negative review has more weight than a positive review, so the OP’s negative review probably cost then 15-20 loss leader sales/ positive reviews worth of benefit.

      because of this system, they are generally very willing to correct any mistakes that they make, and will put a lot more effort into customer service than most american companies because a few negative reviews can put them out of business on ebay, or at least seriously hurt their income.

      • shinazzle23 says:

        I always assumed the Chinese Post Office just subsidized the heck out of international shipping to support their local businesses. But your answer makes a lot of sense too.

    • MeowMaximus says:

      If Ed does this, he is a scumbag and a liar.

  2. axhandler1 says:

    Offer to remove it if he sends you the five foot cable he agreed to send you. Then, when you receive it, post a positive feedback in which you explain what happened. People will still be able to see that they might have problems with this guy, and he can’t get upset because your feedback will be classified as positive.

  3. Flik says:

    eBay will slap your hand for doing that – probably a block for violating some archaic rule. if you care about such things, I’d say no. And if they offer you $100, but then ask you to forward $90 by Western Union to their cousin, you should really say no.

    • Posthaus says:

      They actually have term for it, it’s called Feedback Extortion, and it IS against their policy.

      • dangermike says:

        But wouldn’t feedback extortion need to be initiated from the buyer? Like, “I’m going to give you a negative feedback unless you send me $10″. Coming from the seller, I’m not sure ‘extortion’ is the right term. I’m sure it would be against the rules, though, so I would suggest accepting the money and forwarding the offer to ebay after the monies clear.

  4. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    Getting error message ‘This poll cannot find nonce’ when trying to vote :( Where’d you go, nonce? *shakes fist*

  5. bnceo says:

    The problem is the buyer did NOT contact the seller to give him/her a chance to fix the issue. Buyer jumped the gun too early.

    $10 is not the right figure. You should say refund and then make it a neutral feedback.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Or maybe he did contact them, but received no reply until the bad feedback caught their attention.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      This is right.

    • chefboyardee says:

      I agree with this.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Receiving the correct item in the amount of time promised should not require contacting the seller. If anything, the seller should have contacted the buyer twice, to say that 1) the 5′ cable is not in stock, would they prefer a 4′ cable or a refund, and then 2) the item will be delayed, would they like it to ship when it becomes available or would they like a refund.

      • Unstable says:

        Unfortunately, the ‘seller’ on eBay has no contact with the actual product. It is drop shipped from the factory after purchase.

        Ed really should have contacted the seller upon receiving the incorrect product. Every company/person can make a mistake, things happen.

        To not give any opportunity for the seller to correct the mistake isn’t right in my books.

        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          No, it is not the customer’s job to do anything to satisfy the vendor. It would have been nice if he had felt he had the time to ask about the issue, but they got it very wrong, and your excuses for their lack of quality control and lack of follow-up aren’t worth the electrons it takes to display them. That’s the risk the vendor takes if they want to cheap out and drop-ship. If they places they order from don’t deliver the right product in a timely manner, they need to find another supplier.

          • Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

            THANK YOU!!!!

          • Unstable says:

            Alerting a vendor about a mistake has nothing to do with “satisfying” a vendor?!!! So if you order from Amazon lets say, and you receive the incorrect product, Amazon has to guess this and the client doesn’t even need to inform the seller of the mistake? Where is the logic in this train of thought??

            And where is the lack of follow-up?? The vendor (once alerted to the mistake) offered to resend at his cost. This seems like a very fair follow-up to OP’s problem.

            Suppliers clearly states shipping times, why is the seller at fault for lengthy international postage?

            • Skyhawk says:

              Amazon clearly states when the order is fulfilled by a third-party. They don’t hide this fact.
              eBay sellers that drop-ship, do not disclose that they don’t possess the product they are offering for sale.

      • Jawaka says:

        I think that people need to realize that sometimes mistakes happen and its how the vendor deals with those mistakes which determines whether they get good or bad feedback.

    • DM752 says:

      He DID contact them first. Maybe try to find out what happened first.

      • Unstable says:

        He WAS offered a replacement at NO cost.

        Still left a negative feedback.

        Douche customer, end of story

    • Jawaka says:

      Agreed. it IS possible that a seller who does a lot of business could have made a simple mistake and grabbed the wrong cord. If the buyer had contacted him he may have offered to send the replacement at no charge.

    • Southern says:

      Agreed. To not even let the seller know there’s a problem and give them a chance to rectify it, and just immediately leave negative feedback is disingenuous.

      As far as the “Month” later – it’s Hong Kong. Items from there CAN take 4-6 weeks to be delivered (it even says so on most auctions shipped from that region, although I don’t know if this one did or not). That’s why “USA SELLER!” is prominently displayed on many auctions, much shorter shipping time.

      I’d say this seller cares about his feedback, and wants to make things right with the customer. I’d give them a chance to do so.

  6. homehome says:

    Askign whether he should or shouldn’t should not be relagated to a website. If his moral compass hasn’t pointed him in the right direction yet, then he has bigger problems then deciding if he should take the $10 bribe.

  7. crispyduck13 says:

    “We would like to do anything possible to fix our relationship”
    How about sending Ed the part you described in the sale? That would pretty much fix things based on the info given here.

    Ed – not only should you not except that paltry ass payoff but you should report the company directly to Ebay and expose their review buying ways. I’m sure that breaks some Ebay law or something.

  8. ianmac47 says:

    Just take the $10 and change the review to: “I was offered $10 to remove my negative review, so now I’m thinking more positively about this transaction”

    • zandar says:

      YES!

      One thing that is driving me CRAZY is how the Internet is systematically compelling society to gloss over all the unpleasant details of our lives and interactions. Think I’m exaggerate? Consider the Facebook Timeline. It is meant to be a compulsory feature. So 500 million users have recently spent personal time scrubbing their histories clean, lest others judge them in some way.

      At this rate, in one generation, all online feedback and reviews will become useless, because they will all be bought and paid for, sparkling clean, and eternally upbeat.

  9. dolemite says:

    Sure, $10 equals not only a refund, but almost a 4x refund. That’s like saying “if you aren’t satisfied, we’ll give you four times your money back.”

  10. CRCError1970 says:

    Take your $10 and go to Monoprice.com.

  11. unpolloloco says:

    Proper Ebay procedure is to contact the seller first before giving negative feedback. Ed didn’t do this and instead decided to screw the seller.

    • Posthaus says:

      Exactly. AND THROUGH EBAY messaging, not a nasty email to our business address where eBay can and will ignore anything said between either party.

    • Unstable says:

      This. It is sad that the seller didn’t have a chance to make it right before the negative review was given.

      • Skyhawk says:

        But the negative review is entirely justified.

        Suppose you were looking for the same cable and happened upon this particular seller.

        Wouldn’t you want to know that it is entirely likely that you will have to go through a huge hassle to get the cable?

        I know I would.

        Allowing dishonest/incompetent/shady sellers to buy positive feedback is a dis-service to eBay buyers.

  12. mjcboston says:

    He should take the money, and remove the negative feedback. In my mind, you bought something for less than 3 bucks, and now are keeping the product (which was incorrect), and getting more than triple your money back.

    I see it as a make-good, and I would be happy with the end outcome, so why give him negative feedback

    • sirwired says:

      If I get sent something other than what I ordered, the only way it’s going back is if the seller pays for return shipping. I don’t pay to send back items that simply are not as described.

      • mjcboston says:

        right- not saying it should go back- but if I was a consumer, and had the scenario happen, and the end result was keeping the item plus 3X your $ back, that would work for me. The negative feedback would be unwarranted, considering that you received all your money back times 3, and the product. Seems like a win for the buyer

      • crispyduck13 says:

        That’s a good point too.

  13. offtopic says:

    Ed – if your integrity is worth $10 or less then grab the cash and have a blast with it. If you are worth more than that (and I sure hope that is the case) then pass.

  14. Blueskylaw says:

    I smell a new business opportunity. Problem is,
    how do I ensure they screw up my order every time?

  15. ClemsonEE says:

    Wow, negative feedback over a 4′ cable instead of a 5′ cable, really? Or are you whining about ordering a cable from Hong Kong and it took a long time to get to you (for less than $3, what did you expect)?

    Ever hear of monoprice?

    • hoi-polloi says:

      How happy would you be if pants you ordered online were 20% shorter than advertised? If Ed specifically needed the length ordered, it doesn’t matter if the cable is 1′ or 4′. I agree with those who wrote Ed should have made every effort to resolve this before submitting a negative complaint, but the article doesn’t really address if that happened or not.

      That said, I agree that long delays should be expected with international shipping, and the monoprice would be the faster and more reliable option.

  16. redspeed says:

    Im siding with the ebay seller. Anything shipping from Hong Kong is going to take a while to recieve, especially if youre paying very little for shipping, or nothing at all in this case. They should have contacted the seller in this case and they would have given a refund on the spot, since to a lot of sellers overseas this is their sole means of income and negative feedback can really screw them over on ebay. The buyer should just take a refund of what he paid and remove the feedback since the seller is losing money either way and made things right

  17. winstonthorne says:

    Not enough information. Did the buyer try to contact the seller or did he just impulsively trash the seller in feedback? The feedback system is totally f’d up, and has been for years. Sellers get railed for negative or neutral feedback (they’re essentially the same in eBay’s metrics) and buyers can abuse to their hearts’ content.

    If the buyer had contacted the seller saying “hey, this is wrong, please fix” before leaving any feedback and the seller had just given him $10 for his trouble, this wouldn’t even be a gray area.

  18. May contain snark says:

    Judging from his previous experience, the seller would only send him $8 anyways.

  19. crazydavythe1st says:

    Bad, bad, bad consumer that leaves negative feedback without ever giving the seller any indication that there is a problem.

    Bad seller that outright asks for removal of negative feedback. You should resolve the customer’s issue first, then make the suggestion that positive or neutral feedback instead would be appreciated.

    Although you do have to feel for the seller. As a seller, someone that leaves negative feedback without contacting the seller is exactly the kind of passive aggressive person that you cannot expect to be a reasonable. You know – the kind of person that writes a 20 page letter to Swanson when their TV dinner is short rather than just returning it to the store. If there is zero chance this guy will revise his feedback without you asking, why not ask?

    • Skyhawk says:

      I disagree.

      Feedback should indicate the integrity of the seller regarding the original purchase. NOT the subsequent action taken in order to preserve feedback score.

      For example- A listing describes something as ‘new, in box’, yet comes broken, scratched, covered in dog hair and smells of smoke.

      NO MATTER what the seller does to make up for it, they LIED.

      They force the buyer to go through the trouble of contacting the buyer, re-packaging the item, and often paying for postage and/or PayPal fees.
      Then, the buyer has to wait for a replacement, or search and bid again on the item from a different seller.

      Fuck that.

      Feedback should warn people that the seller is a scumbag and there is a good chance you won’t end up with the item you bid on, and will be forced to spend your time, effort and money in order to get the item, if you get it at all.

      Letting dishonest sellers ‘make it right’ after being caught, allows them to continue to be dishonest in their original listing, leaving innocent buyers unaware that they’re in for a huge hassle.

  20. mysterydate98 says:

    He needs to read up on ebay’s guidelines regarding this. It was many years ago but as I recall, they once allowed changes to feedback if you paid EBAY.

    Besides that, he went for the cheap deal and didn’t get what he thought he was getting. What’s the saying…..get what you pay for?

  21. johnny_ryall says:

    did buyer contact seller before leaving feedback? as others have already stated, the buyer may have jumped the gun here, and the seller is taking an active interest in making the buyer happy – a little shady, but still…

    either way, i’d probably take the $10 and modify my feedback to neutral, also stating the ‘wrong product sent, seller made effort to rectify’

  22. Bob Lu says:

    Personally I won’t even make a negative feed back based on OP’s situation, at least not yet.

    Believe it or not, a negative feed back REALLY HURTS online sellers. I will post a negative feed back not just because I have something to complain, but only after I have tried to communicate with the seller, and the seller didn’t respond or failed to provide a satisfying solution.

    • Skyhawk says:

      “Believe it or not, a negative feed back REALLY HURTS online sellers”

      Good. That means it works.

      All this guy wanted was a cable.

      He didn’t want a hassle. He didn’t want to spend his time, effort, and money to return an item to a dishonest seller.

      No matter what the seller does now, it does not eliminate the hassle caused by a dishonest/ inaccurate listing.

      A negative feedback will warn others that they are in for a long and tedious process and should probably buy from a different seller.

  23. Not Given says:

    Take the $10 and revise it to say they came through with a refund.

  24. Kuri says:

    Hell no.

    If they have to pay to remove a bad review, that tells you how shitty their service is.

    • morpheus4356 says:

      I dunno, I think its pretty good service for a company to correct it’s mistake by sending you a credit for 4 times the value of the original purchase, and letting you keep the incorrect item.

      • Skyhawk says:

        They originally tried to weasel out of it by claiming the listing stated the cable is ‘about 5 feet’

        They only offered the bribe after getting the negative feedback.

        Scumbag seller, negative feedback deserved.

    • redspeed says:

      No, it just tells you how badly negative feedback hurts their store. The ebay account is their means of making money and probably providing for a family where the seller is in China.

      The cable was $2.69 shipped. Try to mail that cable within the US for $2.69- it would probably cost more than the whole item itself. Add in the shipping fees and ebay/paypal fees the seller has to pay, and Im sure they made something like 25 cents on this sale in profits. By offering a massive $10 refund it shows you how badly the negative rating would hurt them.

      Mistakes happen- 1 foot off isnt that big of a deal and the seller could have gotten a refund instead of leaving a negative review.

  25. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    1) Register some more ebay accounts
    2) Buy one of the cables with each account
    3) Leave negative feedback with each account
    4) Profit!

  26. Unstable says:

    A few details are missing…

    Did Ed contact the merchant to give them opportunity to correct the mistake before posting a negative review? Not giving them a chance to resend the product or refund the cost is a bit low on his part.

    I’ve purchased many times from Chinese vendors and rarely have any problems. If I do, they will correct it by either resending or refunding. I think it’s unfair to give a bad review when the merchant does not have the opportunity to make it right to the client.

    Regarding the “bribe”. I don’t condone it but I do understand why it was offered. Chinese vendors really try to avoid negative reviews and especially repercussions from their ‘bosses’.

  27. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

    OP here…. I know big deal, it was 4ft and not 5 ft. I thought it wasn’t a big deal but then again if someone where counting on that extra foot if would have been a big deal. Yes, I did contact them before leaving negative feedback. I was informed that the the disc says approx 5ft but the title states 5ft.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/300659654756

    He didn’t offer a refund, but offered for me to ship it back. I didn’t want to wait two months for a cable when it should have been correct the first time.

    • Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

      “The seller isn’t allowed to require a buyer to leave positive Feedback or specific detailed seller ratings or to revise existing Feedback in exchange for either receiving the purchased item or issuing a full or partial refund. The seller also can’t offer monetary compensation, an additional item, or other goods or services not in the original listing to the buyer if they will either leave positive Feedback or specific detailed seller ratings or revise existing Feedback.”

      http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/feedback-extortion.html

      • Unstable says:

        Not in the eBay rules but I’m sure the seller is hoping to have decent customers.

        Sadly, he fell on a douche this round.

        Yes, seller broke a rule to try and make you happy and prevent repercussions at his work. How HORRIBLE!!!!

        • dangermike says:

          I would side with the OP on this one. The item was misrepresented. If their offer is anything other than getting him an appropriate replacement or refund in a timely manner, they have failed to fulfill their end of the deal, in both implicit and explicit terms. I’d say take the money and then snitch anyway.

          • Unstable says:

            > If their offer is anything other than getting him an appropriate replacement or refund in a timely manner, they have failed to fulfill their end of the deal.

            OP seems to not have accepted a replacement offer. How is this fair to the seller? He did not even wait for the replacement to see if it was indeed 5′ and not 4′ like the first that was sent out.

            • dangermike says:

              “or refund” “timely manner”

            • Skyhawk says:

              You keep ignoring that the original purchase was a hassle.
              The OP didn’t bid on the item so that he could- get the wrong item, contact the seller, wait for the seller’s response, go through the time, expense, and effort of having to re-package, ship, and wait for a replacement.

              No matter what happens after that does not negate the fact that the buying experience was a negative one.

              List items correctly and ship them in a timely manner= avoid negative feedback.

    • Unstable says:

      “He didn’t offer a refund, but offered for me to ship it back. I didn’t want to wait two months for a cable when it should have been correct the first time.”

      Seller offered to make it right by resending the correct product at their cost and you still left a negative review?

      Bad consumer and I’m sure you never make mistakes…

      If shipping time was an issue, you should have never ordered from a Hong Kong seller…

      • Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

        Shipping is not the issue but why the hell would you sell a 4ft cable when it stated 5ft. I don’t get your logic on how this makes me a bad consumer. He has no 4ft cables listed, all 5 ft. I’m willing to bet they are all the same and they hope that no one notices.

        • Unstable says:

          Shipping not a factor??? -> “I didn’t want to wait two months for a cable when it should have been correct the first time.”

          It is not 2 months, more like 2 to 4 weeks.

          The seller very likely does not see the items. They are drop shipped directly from the factory.

          The fact that you did not let them FIX the problem is what makes you a bad consumer…

          • j2.718ff says:

            > It is not 2 months, more like 2 to 4 weeks.
            Are you saying you know how long shipping takes better than the OP?

            > The seller very likely does not see the items. They are drop shipped directly from the factory.
            And therefore the seller isn’t responsible?

            > The fact that you did not let them FIX the problem is what makes you a bad consumer…
            I don’t have enough information to judge this one. If the negative review told it like it is, then I believe it’s fair. Yes, it’s unfair to judge a seller based upon a single mistake. But since this is the only dealing the customer had, that’s all he can write. Hopefully his negative experience is balanced with positive experiences of other customers. That’s how reviews work – everybody has different experiences.

            • Unstable says:

              > Are you saying you know how long shipping takes better than the OP?
              Shipping from Hong Kong/China to USA does indeed take from 2 to 4 weeks. Except for rare case where it is lost or delayed as can happen with any sender.

              > And therefore the seller isn’t responsible?
              Seller is still responsible, I never said otherwise. Seller offered to replace item at his cost. How is this not an acceptable outcome?

              > That’s how reviews work – everybody has different experiences.
              Yes, that’s how reviews work. Anyone can say anything even if proper restitution is offered for a mistake. Whiny customers are a fact of life and come with doing business.

              • elangomatt says:

                shipping may take 2 – 4 weeks, but that is only one way. Buyer ships cable back, and then seller ships new cable. That would take 4-8 weeks. Sounds like it could take ~2 months to me.

    • framitz says:

      I believe the seller is a lowlife scumbag and you did the right thing. People need to speak up when they’re done wrong.
      Attempting to bribe the purchaser to remove feedback shows the character of the seller quite clearly.

      I’ll side with the OP on this one.

  28. kcrobinson says:

    It’s not like $10 is only 1% of the profit they made off of you which would signify that they are looking to use your silence to continue making money cheating future customers. They are offering to pay you almost 4 times the amount you paid them for the item which is only a sustainable business plan if they actually plan on fixing their problems. I think the they are making the offer in good faith.

  29. Olivia Neutron-Bomb says:

    I’ve had a similar deal proposed to me on eBay, wherein the seller offered me a partial refund (around $10) for positive feedback. So I left a positive feedback that said “Here’s the positive feedback you paid me $10 for.”

  30. JuneBugApril says:

    I sell on eBay, and would be really disappointed if the buyer didn’t contact me first before posting negative feedback.

  31. techstar25 says:

    The seller made a mistake and offered a refund. Why wouldn’t you leave at least neutral feedback? Shit happens sometimes. The seller came through and offered a refund.
    Heck, I’d leave positive feedback.

  32. johnnytarget@gmail.com says:

    This is exactly why I stopped selling on Ebay. No seller’s rights anymore and buyers complain about the littlest things. For $2.69, I would have kept it as a spare, contacted the seller, probably have gotten a free 6″ cable from them, and all would be fine. Human error happens – and I especially feel for the Chinese workers… have you seen how many items like HDMI cables that people pay $10-25 for in stores are being sold for .99 DELIVERED from China? The OP probably owns an iPad too.

    First off. The OP ordered it from China – and the article makes it seem like a month (which is probably exaggerated as well – I get most of my Chinese ebay orders in 2-3 weeks, sometimes less). It was $2.69 – INCLUDING SHIPPING. If you need it right now, then go to Walmart or Staples or Best Buy and pay $15+ for it.

    OP should just decline the money – these are people who are just trying to get by so imagine what $10 is. Take a refund for his measly $2.69 (which is closer to $2.00 after Paypal / Ebay fees and even less when you factor in shipping), and buy another cable somewhere else – from a US seller if he can’t wait “a month” for another one.

  33. caradrake says:

    When I bought a netbook on Amazon, I paid for 1-day shipping, and it took longer to get it (I think 1.5 weeks?). I tried to contact the company, but didn’t get a response, so I left negative feedback. Fairly quickly after that, the company offered to give me $50 to remove the negative feedback.

    I took the offer, as the $50 ‘made me whole’ for having the extended delay. I don’t feel bad at all, or like I sold out. And I would do business with them again for how they responded.

  34. Rick Sphinx says:

    The buyer should have contacted the seller FIRST, to try and resolve BEFORE leaving Negative feedback. I’m on ebay, with over 1500 positive feedback, never had a negative. I would be upset if someone posted negative, without giving me the opportunitiy to make it right. For the few problems we’ve had with my customers, they have always left postitive feedback, but mentioned the problem, and that the problem was resolved; that’s all I can ask. At least new customers see that, but know right away, if there is a problem, it will be addressed and resolved. If we ignor, or don’t resolve an issue, then negative feedback is warranted. This buyer was wrong to to this, as well as the seller trying to Buy his way out. In some cases I had, I just sent a customer a new item to replace the bad one, and also issued a full refund, whatever I have to do to avoid negative feedback, but it’s also above and beyond customer service. For things I’ve purchased, yes I get mad if there is a problem, but as long as the seller takes care of the issue, that’s all I want.

  35. Rick Sphinx says:

    Also, the 3 choices to VOTE on this are wrong. Should be one “Buyer should have contacted seller first, before leaving negative feedback. So I’m not Voting at all.

  36. eds70 says:

    Similar thing happened to me.. The product offered was to be a “2-pack” I received only 1. When I posted neutral feedback, the seller offered me a “free gift” if I would improve my feedback. I don’t think this is in the spirit of feedback….

  37. Razor512 says:

    Issues like that are common from china sellers. If you contact them instead of just leaving a negative review, they would probably explain to you that it was a mistake because they have many sizes. (generally starting at 1 foot, they will have a new cable size every 6 inches, at upwards of 30 feet in some cases (excessive lengths will often fall out of the spec and you may not get a stable signal but some people still buy them because they will use the cables for serial communications)

    anyway, it is not very good to leave negative feedback to those sellers as they often lose money sending you the item, and most are very willing to fix any mistake. If they don’t work to fix a mistake then you leave negative feedback, but at least give them a chance.

  38. TomClements says:

    monoprice.com is a great place to shop for cheap cables. I’d avoid ebay sellers from hong kong as it is not likely to get a cheap and timely shipment.

  39. twritersf says:

    Wow, nearly 3 out of 10 people think that it’s OK to take $10 to lie. Because that’s basically what you’d be doing.

    Here’s the thing: I’ll bet it would have been far, far, cheaper to either (a) send the 5′ cable as promised in the first place, or (b) contact the customer, explain that they either made a mistake in the listing or ran out of 5′ cables, and make it up somehow.

  40. ronbo97 says:

    This may be a moot point, since I’m fairly sure that ebay doesn’t allow you to change your feedback once it’s posted.

  41. mbuki_dru says:

    I’ve actually stopped using eBay because I can’t trust the feedback. Now I know why.

  42. twritersf says:

    What bothers me is the almost 3 out of 10 people think it’s OK to take $10 to lie.

  43. 2 Replies says:

    No.
    NO NO NO NO NO NO.

    Oh…. and NOOOO!

    Apologies while nice, don’t erase what caused the initial negative experience they caused.
    If someone runs up to you and punches you, does an apology erase the fact that they did it in the first place?

    Unless their eBay store is in the business of paying cash to give customers a BAD experience, they don’t deserve a good or even neutral review for acting bad then paying for the review to be removed.

  44. 2 Replies says:

    Take their money and then change it BACK citing bribery.
    I’m near certain it’s against eBay’s TOS, so if they complain they lose their account.

  45. AngryK9 says:

    Did he even make an effort to contact the seller and try and resolve the problem before he went on and dropped negative feedback? It burns me up when people leave scathing negative reviews without even trying to resolve the issue with the seller first, and then expect the entire world to feel sorry for them. “Boo hoo look at me! Boo hoo!”

  46. Cream Of Meat says:

    I let seller refund the price paid, and then tell him fix the future auctions so that it says they’re 4′ not 5′.

  47. Gladeye says:

    You could sort of argue that the seller resolved the situation above and beyond by offering the $10.00, but he was motivating by covering his ass, rather than customer satisfaction. Get it while you can.

  48. dibarnu says:

    It’s a foot shorter than it should be. What normally happens in the real world is you return the cable, get your $2.69 back and buy another one somewhere else. In the eBay world you work with the seller on a resolution and if one can’t be found you leave a negative feedback.

    It sounds like the buyer jumped the gun and left a negative feedback. The seller is now willing to resolve the complaint by giving him almost 4 times what he originally paid. He’s got a free, shorter, cable and $7.31 to go towards the right length cable.

  49. framitz says:

    I would add the attempted bribe to the feedback so other customers are warned about the scumbag seller.

  50. GarretN says:

    This doesn’t even say if the OP tried to work it out before leaving negative feedback, or jumped directly to negative feedback.

    I can’t say if this is a bribe or not without that information. I will say that if they jumped directly to negative feedback, I’m leaning towards bad consumer. Nevermind the $10 plea for what sounds like a mistake — unless, of course, they tried to work it out first, then it’d be a bribe. Big difference that little nugget of information makes.

    To give the op a baseline, try to work it out first by requesting either the correct product or a refund, either is sufficient to keep negative feedback out of the equation, as long as neither costs you an extra dime that you aren’t reimbursed for.

    By the way, there’s a resolution center in eBay that tells you all of this common sense material straight away, did the op even try and/or look at the official resources at eBay before bringing this to The Consumerist?

    • framitz says:

      I see no reason for any sane person to deal with this seller again, he has 15 negative feedback this month alone and to show that he’s a scumbag his response to all is:

      ” *-:¬¶:-‚Ä¢Thanks for your purchase. 100% satisfaction guarantee.-:¬¶:-*A+”

      This includes bad items, not delivered items, and WRONG items.

      The OP DID try to resolve the issue by contacting the seller first, the feedback is well earned.

  51. ancientone567 says:

    When you got the item did you tell the seller that is was too short and give him a chance to fix it before you left bad feedback? If not then you should remove the bad feedback. If you gave him every chance to fix the problem and he did not fix it then leave the feedback the way it is. Never let people buy a good or bad feedback. The feedback is there to help buyers and sellers after you know whether or not they are good people to deal with.

  52. dandadan says:

    Ed is being a whiny cheapskate. Leaving negative feedback without first contacting seller is pretty petty and not necessary. As an eBay seller, it is always the crappy little sales you get negative feedback from. No matter what you try and do; mistakes will be made. Do you even understand how negative feedback affects a seller? First of all, eBay will hold your money for 25 days, then they will put lots of restrictions on your account and other punitive measures.

    You see you can no longer leave negative feedback for buyers so the system is effectively useless. Buyers can do as they wish and keep buying running their scams. I get buyers who buy stuff then complain to eBay item wasn’t as described then send back something different. They do that all the time and eBay does nothing But a seller gets a couple negative feedback and all of a sudden their money is tied up for nearly a month. All because some neophyte who doesn’t understand how the system works decides to leave negative or neutral feedback (both have the same negative effect upon your account status) without even giving the seller a chance to rectify the situation. Please leave me your eBay name so I can block you as a buyer. I really don’t want to deal with people like you.

    We make every attempt to provide items exactly as stated. We have to Paypal will come grab the money out of our accounts immediately if a case is opened up. Your seller made an honest mistake so now you kick a guy when he is down. How nice of a person are you. When there is an issue, we resolve it in house and quickly or provide a refund. We get buyer shakedowns all the time where they get an item at a good price, then complain about some very minor issue and ask for a partial refund or they will leave negative feedback. (Feedback extortion) or complain a brand new item doesn’t work and send it back (it works) buyer remorse. We have to pick up the postage and lost marketing time. Sellers hate people like you. Picky, bitchy and ignorant. Go pick up a cable at Radio Shack and stop ruining peoples lives.

    You should change the feedback to positive and not take the money. Stop being a jerk and learn how eBay works before you damage someones ability to make a living. You probably took the food out of his childrens mouths and he is now probably walking the street begging for food because some self righteous prima-donna who expects everything to be perfect.

  53. Ouze says:

    The same place you read he did, I wager.

  54. shorebird says:

    I just went through a similar situation.
    In the process of resolving the case I found the official E-bay policy.
    Examples of Feedback extortion

    The buyer can’t threaten to leave negative Feedback or low detailed seller ratings (DSRs) if the seller won’t:

    Accept a return and pay for return shipping.

    Give a full or partial refund for an item.

    Lower the shipping and handling costs.

    Refund payment before the buyer ships the item back to the seller.

    Send an extra item that wasn’t part of the original listing. (This doesn’t include when a buyer requests a replacement for an item that doesn’t match the original item description.)

    The seller can’t:

    Refuse to ship the item or refund the buyer unless the buyer leaves positive Feedback or high detailed seller ratings.

    Tell the buyer that they can’t use a warranty included in the listing unless the buyer leaves positive Feedback or high detailed seller ratings.

    Offer monetary compensation, like a partial refund, to the buyer in exchange for positive Feedback or revising negative or neutral Feedback.

    The applicable portion is the last.
    Those are the rules and violations will get you banned for like.

  55. shorebird says:

    I just went through a similar situation.
    In the process of resolving the case I found the official E-bay policy.
    Examples of Feedback extortion

    The buyer can’t threaten to leave negative Feedback or low detailed seller ratings (DSRs) if the seller won’t:

    Accept a return and pay for return shipping.

    Give a full or partial refund for an item.

    Lower the shipping and handling costs.

    Refund payment before the buyer ships the item back to the seller.

    Send an extra item that wasn’t part of the original listing. (This doesn’t include when a buyer requests a replacement for an item that doesn’t match the original item description.)

    The seller can’t:

    Refuse to ship the item or refund the buyer unless the buyer leaves positive Feedback or high detailed seller ratings.

    Tell the buyer that they can’t use a warranty included in the listing unless the buyer leaves positive Feedback or high detailed seller ratings.

    Offer monetary compensation, like a partial refund, to the buyer in exchange for positive Feedback or revising negative or neutral Feedback.

    The applicable portion is the last.
    Those are the rules and violations will get you banned for like.

  56. dourdan says:

    did they also give you a full refund?

    as an ebay seller i would have offered a refund before it even came to negative feedback- but i assume this is somesort of “ebay company” not a lone individual selling stuff out of their basement (like me.)

    IF the buyer tried several times to contact the seller and after several weeks the only way to finally grab his attention was to leave negative feedback- then please leave the feedback as is.

  57. emyaeak says:

    If a seller makes a mistake, and offers a reasonable solution, the feedback should then reflect the solution, not the mistake. Give positive feedback and state the truth, “Seller sent item not as described, but has made amends.”

    On the other hand, the seller should not be offering monetary compensation for removal of negative feedback. I agree with a previous poster who said they should be focused on the customer satisfaction portion to resolve the situation, and then politely ask that if their opinion had changed, that they would appreciate the feedback updated accordingly.

  58. brandymb says:

    Folks dont realize how bad a screwing ebay now gives to a seller who makes even the tiniest mistake. We have received a low “star” rating in the past for a problem we didnt know about and always ask our customers that if they have an issue, we will work with them to make sure they are satisfied. If a seller gets 4 low STARS in any category or over a 1% bad rating out of all of your sales, they knock you down to the lowest level and then start holding all your received payments from your customers and make you ship on your dime and let you have your money 3 days after tracking info shows your item was received by your customer. Ebay makes life extremely difficult for sellers and buyers can rip them off so easily. I personally dont care what ebay thinks anymore. The days of happy trading are long gone. And Paypal can bite me also (owned by ebay).

  59. shufflemoomin says:

    You owe it to other people to leave it there. If someone had written that the cables were only 4ft long, it’d have saved you the inconvenience. For all you know, someone DID write it and they paid to have it removed and it resulted in you getting shafted. Keep the bad review. Your integrity is surely priceless?

  60. some.nerd says:

    I left a negative comment once due to a seller shipping me the wrong item (I had bought a Sega Saturn RF cable and he sent me an incompatible Genesis RF cable). I left negative feedback, bought (and received) the CORRECT item from another seller (who also sold me a factory-sealed NiGHTS for $12, but I digress…).
    Anyway, the original seller contacted me by email, and then by phone (which honestly sort of creeped me out), and in the end, I accepted a refund, gave the wrong item to a friend who needed it, and agreed to remove my feedback altogether.
    Couldn’t fault the guy for trying, really.

  61. shibotu says:

    Another vote to reject the dishonest bribe. An Ebayer once sold me something defective, refused to return my calls until I left negative feedback and then suddenly called wanting to “help.”

    If anything there should be a policy to report bribes to Ebay and get them kicked off.

  62. neilb says:

    Have EBAY refund the money (product not as described). Then tell the company you do not need to be reimbursed more than once.
    Maybe they really did make an honest mistake. Give them a break.
    Personally, I took the bad seller’s money, left them negative feedback, got a separate ebay refund, AND kept the item. I wanted to screw them as much as possible for selling a counterfeit Canon battery to me. As it turned out, battery was not that bad (but maybe not genuine Canon quality).

  63. britswim04 says:

    I had a seller (Also from Hong Kong) offer to refund me the cost of a cable and send me a new working one if I changed the feedback. I agreed, but he never sent the replacement cable. New policy? Never buy from Hong Kong.

  64. heldc says:

    Buyer should have contacted seller about the problem. Buyer should ask seller to send the right item, express, and change it to a neutral feedback (mentioning the problem&fix) after the right item arrives.

  65. Unicorn-Chaser says:

    I voted No for the simple fact his review may help future buyers. However, if the seller offered to correct the specs of their item I would consider taking down a negative review.

    I think Ed needs to ask himself why he posted the negative comment in the first place. Was it to lash out at the seller or was he trying to help future buyers? Maybe both….if so, what does Ed consider more important?

  66. kompeitou says:

    Take the $10 and remove the negative feedback. Should have contacted the seller before posting the negative feedback and given him a chance to make the situation right.

    Seller is now trying to fix the situation letting you keep the cable and giving you $10 for your trouble… $10 you can take to Radio Shack and buy a 15′ foot cable and have money left over to buy yourself a Coke.
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2484252

    Take your free 4′ cable, sell it on eBay and then profit!

    Or, you can just be a mean person and let the feedback stand.

  67. butundo says:

    I hope the seller gets the feedback removed, and then DOESN”T pay. F this guy for giving negative feedback for something this trivial. If he contacted the seller, I’m sure he would have been given either a refund or been shipped the correct cable for no charge. Ebay’s police is bulling sellers, since they can’t leave anything but positive feedback.

  68. mikells43 says:

    It’s a 3$ item people. It’s not like he bought a 50k Mercedes. Come on folks. He can get 2 extra cables with that $ for god sakes stop being so damn cheap. Stop squeezing the Nickle till the buffalo poops.