View Full Version : Feedback concerns

12-23-2003, 02:43 AM
Hello everyone
I recently sold two paintings on ebay and the bidders paid for them immediately. Due to an error of mine they didn't include the shipping amounts and I wrote to them about that. One lady says she will pay for the shipping but it simply takes days and days and she hasn't paid yet although the painting is almost there!

The other one never responded to any of my mails after the payment and after the painting has been sent.

My question is: they paid all right, and they will probably pay for the shipping too, but they are both so bad on communication and don't respond to emails. I sent them an email saying that the paintings were sent and never received an acknowledgment and I wrote them about the shipping and again I received only one response from one of them almost a week after the original message.

What is the custom in these cases when I come to FB? Do they deserve a positive or this lack of communication should reflect on the FB. Their FB so far is immaculate.

Am I also risking bad fB returns if I give them maybe a neutral?

What would you do? I don't want to give them anything than positive but they did keep me in suspense for days and days and still are!

12-23-2003, 04:33 AM
If the original error in not receiving the shipping was your fault, I'd ask if they would pay it, but not insist. I definately wouldn't leave a neg.

12-23-2003, 05:06 AM
Thanks Eliza, I feel the same - especially because it was my fault.
But they are really bad in communication. I thought if I wrote to them and ask them they could either pay or not pay in which case I would have forgotten about the shipping and be careful next time.

But the are both very bad in communication. Is it really that hard to press reply and say a word or two? Leaving excellent FB somehow makes me feel tricked and humiliated.

How low do we stoop for our own FB? I probably won't leave them a negative because they did pay, but I am considering
-either positive with a mention of faulty communication (in which case is it really a positive??)
- or neutral ?

what do they deserve

what do you advise me to do for my own good?

12-23-2003, 05:20 AM
I'd advise you for their good as well. Remember what time of year it is and not everyone checks their email often. It's possible that they haven't been as sharp as they might otherwise be on email because they are either busy around the holiday season or just flooded with more holiday mail! I know that I am :)

While that wouldn't necesarily be an excuse not to feel a little annoyed at their lack of response, it's not a cause for a neg.

They paid what you asked, you then found out you didn't ask for postage and asked for more. But they paid the amount in the invoice so they deserve a possitive.

If you really don't want to give them one, then don't give them any feedback at all

12-23-2003, 05:59 AM
thanks I tend to agree - a little goodness of heart at this time won't hurt anyone. I'll see what other people say but I think I will give them a positive even if they don't pay for the shipping. I believe they will, it just needs some time. Thanks for settling my doubts. It's good not to overreact on FB, it's indelible isn't it.

12-23-2003, 07:05 AM
Don't leave the feedback yet, do it after the new year, give them time to settle after the holidays. When the paintings arrive, it might jog their memory. Don't leave the fb while you are having doubts, it will reflect in your words.
You have 90 to leave fb.

12-23-2003, 08:43 AM
Just my personal opinion, but as long as they pay .... then I'm not too worried about communication between me and the buyer.

No news is good news, right? Some people are just too busy to respond, and some people dont open emails from people they dont know. Maybe that's the case?

I'd wait, then leave a positive.

Good luck deciding!


12-23-2003, 09:07 AM
Am I correct in assuming that you are relatively new to ebay selling?

I would advise you not to leave a negative or a neutral for feedback.

Why risk retaliatory feedback?

I have never left negative feedback for anyone.

Actually the only problems I have had with ebay buyers have been non paying bidders. In this case I file reports with ebay which are quite damaging to these bidders.


12-23-2003, 09:39 AM
If you end up not getting paid for shipping, I would chalk it up to a lesson learned, be more clear next time and don't make that mistake again. I would give them positive feedback. Yes retalitoy FB stinks, I have 3 neutrals that were retalitory so I am really picky about who I give negs to. They did pay your original price quote. They may be ignoring your emails or just busy....Do your best to get your shipping, but if you don't get it, move on and take it as a lesson learned.
Take care,

12-23-2003, 10:28 AM
This is entirely your fault for not having the shipping amount on your auction! The buyer paid in good faith...what you had listed. These people might have bought from you again ...but may not because you asked AFTER the auction for shipping cost. This is something you are going to have to chalk up to experience. And to think you are THINKING of leaving negative feedback is appalling!! If I was you I would drop it! Leave them good feedback because they paid. The reason is the "season" for a delayed email. You have the wrong attitude for selling on Ebay my friend.

12-23-2003, 11:42 AM
I think you should leave positive feed back and forget about the shipping, Since that was your error. Clients should not be required to be good communicators to receive good feedback. As long as they pay in a timely manner they should get good feedback.

12-23-2003, 12:48 PM
you were in the wrong...period.

why should they pay shipping? it wasn't on your auction...chalk it up to a mistake YOU made as a newbie and that's it.

Matter of fact I'd write them and apologize and let them know that after thinking it over, you realize they followed their end of the bargain, and that you don't want them to send you shipping, and you hope they enjoy and love the paintings.

then ask them to let you know either by feedback or a quick note to you when they get the painting, and when they do? leave feedback...if you haven't heard from them in another 2-3 weeks? leave positive feedback anyway.

12-23-2003, 12:48 PM
The customer is always right

They paid what was stated

You need to leave good feedback...leaving negative or even neutral will cause you more problems

12-23-2003, 01:25 PM
Why leave ANY feedback. I think not leaving it is better than leaving a + when you don't feel they completely deserve it, or anything other than that when it may also not be appropriate. I vote to just say you won't leave it this time.

12-23-2003, 03:17 PM
No no no... you completely misunderstood the issue, especially Fagan.

The auctions did state the shipping - I would never dream of demanding something that was not a part of the deal!!!! The thing is they paid via a pay button which led them to a pre-filled payment form on which I didn't include a shipping option. I thought it was there but apparently it wasn't, so they had no other option than just send the pre-filled amout of the bid.

They did say with the payment they were unable to pay for the shipping and would I instruct them how to in a separate effort.

The problem starts here: I did that, instructed them how they can pay directly online, a very simple process like PayPal, the same service they used the first time, but it's been more than a week that they didn't pay or informed me about anything. They didn't say thank you when I notified them that I sent the paintings. I didn't mention the shipping in my other mails because I didn't want them to think I was being pushy. It's 18 dollars, though, for two paintings!

For me it would be normal to write back and say thank you, or ask if I had problems paying or say I woldn't pay or I would pay later because I was busy, etc.... Is that unreasonable to expect?

I've been kept in the dark for more than a week by both ladies and that's why my dilemma. You may be right in what you were saying if I consider my future on ebay - one has to swollow sometimes - but it's not right :(

Fagan, you were a bit too harsh, it's not a case of bad attitude, I am being very careful, aren't I? I asked for advice, because I am new to ebay and don't want to make a bluder at the very beginning.

Thank you for your replies. I think your answer will still be 'leave positive FB' :) I will, but is it really right ?? FB is not only payment but the whole experience. I also made a mistake and would be prepared to take the losses - it just angers me that they ignore me altogether.

12-23-2003, 03:46 PM
Ale -

Did you send them an invoice through Paypal? I have found that some people don't understand how to pay via Paypal even with instructions...but if you send them an invoice it makes it simple and easy for them. Plus it will act as a gentle reminder that they have not yet paid.

Personally - as you have explained they are aware of the shipping shortage - I would wait to leave feedback until after they pay.

12-23-2003, 04:02 PM
I agree with many of the others that they do not deserve negative feedback. Consider this...say you're a shop in the real world. A customer selects a piece of art, pays what you asked & goes home. After they are gone you realize you undercharged them. Do you phone them up and ask them to come back to pay more?...probably not. The reason being that it is unfair to inconvenience a customer based on your mistake.

While my example may seem extreme, it's not exactly. You're in effect "asking them to come back" by expecting them to answer email and send payments on your time schedule, despite having fulfilled their end of your business agreement. That might be an inconvenience at any time of the year, but is even more so during the holiday season.

Perhaps it will help you to feel better about leaving positive feedback if you put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel it if you made a purchase (especially during the holidays), paid for it immediately, then got an email from the seller asking you to take time out of your already rushed schedule to rectify THEIR mistake...and one that costs you more money to boot? You might very well be understanding that they made an error, as we all do at times, but you'd probably be pretty ticked off if they then gave you a negative because you didn't take the time to fix THEIR mistake as quickly as they'd like you to.

I agree with the suggestion someone already made...write to them, apologize for the error and say you thought it over and realized you don't feel comfortable asking for more money to cover your mistake. Thank them for their understanding and let them know that you are still learning the ins and outs of the complicated eBay system. Ask them to notify you when the painting arrives, as obtaining feedback from customers will help you to provide good customer service. If you don't feel comfortable about writing off the shipping, perhaps still collect it, but offer them $5 off (or whatever amount you feel reasonable) of their next purchase for the inconvenience.

I agree that you shouldn't leave feedback until you hear from them because the transaction is not complete until items are received and everyone is happy. If you have followed the recent thread http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=152449 about Antoine's nightmare buyer, you'll see that just because they pay quickly doesn't mean they are a good customer. It sounds like these people are probably perfectly good buyers, but for me it is a matter of policy...leave feedback when the transaction is complete. If they have kept up their end of the contract, they get a positive.

I know it can be really frustrating when you don't hear back from people, but being flexible here can only help you and might even get you some return buyers. I hope that some of what I've said helps you see a different perspective and makes you feel better about whatever decision you make.

Happy Holidays!

12-23-2003, 04:34 PM
Yeah sure, thanks for the reasonable approach.
Of course I will wait to see the end result.

Maybe to clarify, there seems to be some misunderstanding about this:

1. all terms + shipping clear on ebay auction
2. invoces sent through ebay page
4. i give them instructions for an online service - give them options: to send direct person-to-person or pay through a purchase payform which I made for them
5. they choose the payform because it was prefilled with all the info and they found it simpler
6. theyrealize i didn't prefill the payment charge
7. they pay minus shipping
9. nothing from them
11. no response
13. no response

14. I stopped writing :)

this is day 8 -

It's so strange that they are unconnected bidders and behave in the same way?

Does that mean my less than perfect handling of the transaction irritated them to such an extent?

If I were them I would either be pleasant - or just come clean and say 'it's your problem we are not paying again'

I just can't understand this silence. That's all.

12-23-2003, 05:26 PM

If you are going to sell on EBAY, you'll need to deveop a thick skin

And be more careful about filling out your payment forms

12-23-2003, 08:28 PM
I still agree with someone previously, good communication is not required for a successful ebay buy. Prompt payment is all I think is required.

My first buyer never responded to my email about whether the painting arrived or not. I remember being frustrated about it, but left her positive feedback because she was VERY prompt about paying. A month later, I recieved very positive feedback from this buyer and she even stated that she would buy more from me.

Just goes to show, people may not email back.. ever... no matter how much they love the painting or appreciate your service.

Thanks for the reminder, too, to be careful when filling out invoices. I'm a new ebayer too, and I can see how this would have been an easy mistake to make.. and heck, ebay has its problems too. One never knows.

Congrats though!


12-24-2003, 03:47 AM
I suggest you "eat" lose out on shipping costs. think of it as a lesson learned. and good customer service. Since it is your mistake to forget to include shipping costs or not reading carefulling when payment was received that there was a problem and then shipped item. it is unacceptable to ask a client for more s/h money especailly since it's your mistake, and you shipped, they might have thought you were giving freebie shipping :) I've only forgotten to include the shipping price in invoices twice and it's only twice out of the hundreds I've sold and believe you me I remembered that well. BUT I've never emailed client asking for additional payment after I've received payment and realized i forgot to include shipping. unless it was case of I sent invoice for $.99 and it should have been $99

I make it a point to include a freebie especially when I'm shipping an item later than promised and an apology email to go with it :) it happens every now and then.

heck take me for example: I ordered an ipod = mp3 player from apple on sunday night? I knew I was not going to get my present before xmas BUT today I was pleasantly suprised when FedEx rang my doorbell with my ipod in hand. It was free s/h so i was willing to wait the full 10 days, and was I happy to know they shipped fedex overnight air from CA to NY? yeip you bet!

Well this is what you're aiming for happy customers = repeat customers!

12-24-2003, 04:08 AM
Originally posted by ale.l

The auctions did state the shipping -

Then your customers obviousley didn't read the auctions properly. Therefore, yes, I would have asked for the postage too. The customers should have realized there was a mistake. If you had overcharged them, they would be jumping up & down.

12-24-2003, 09:15 AM
Ale -

As you've explained it, I think you've gotten good advice from other WC members:

Perhaps because of the time of year, the buyers are simply busy or visiting relatives and have not responded to your e-mails. With all the commotion of Christmas it may have slipped their minds....or maybe they are waiting to receive the paintings before sending payment to confirm the shipping cost you quoted them.

Give them some time to respond. If you don't hear from them by late next week, send a gentle reminder or invoice via the payment company you use (sorry - I assumed Paypal earlier)

If you never hear from them, chalk it up to a mistake on your part for not including the shipping. Yes - they know they should pay it as you explained and they are in the wrong for not paying....but leaving them a negative would only result in your getting one or two yourself. If you feel wronged by their not paying, simply do not leave them feedback. Who knows - they may come through weeks later. Not everyone operates in a timely, courteous manner as we would all prefer.

I hope they do come through with the shipping payment. Let us know the outcome!

12-24-2003, 09:53 AM
Yes, you've given me sensible advice. That's what I'll do - wait till it's over and then leave positive feedback no matter what happens. Truth is I only have 2 fb and am desperate for more positives! If I could at least persuade them somehow to leave FB for me...
I panicked at the thought of leaving a negative..that's the last thing I want to do to anyone really... It's comforting to know you don't dispense it that easily either :)))

Merry Christmas all!

12-24-2003, 11:35 PM
hi ale,

it might help to keep in mind, that not everybody on ebay has the same "major interest" in it - alot of people are just occasional shoppers there and really don't see the urgency of good vs. bad feeback, or quick vs. slow communication.
they're just happy that they found the item they were looking for.

even though it is nerve wrecking to wait for a response - hang in there, i'm sure they will reply to your mails after the holidays. they just might be people that are travelling crosscountry to visit the kids and grandkids for the holidays, or something like that.

neutral feedback at this point will not help you get the response you are waiting for - especially if you don't have a lot of feedback yet. the last thing you need as a newbie on ebay is a comment like "she's pushy" in your first few fbs.

last week i had to ship some stuff out and ended up having to pay part of the postage myself as well - because i made a mistake.
it's called "the cost of running the business" and as my mom calls it "life's tuition costs" - pay it and deduct it from next year's learning costs :)

hope your christmas is a happy one anyway - let us know what happens...

12-26-2003, 08:43 PM
Ale, this is a very busy time of year, I would give it more time. Just hold off with the feedback for now. Give it another week or two and then leave them nice feeback. Don't say anything about communication, just say 'prompt payment', or whatever. I would forget about getting the shipping from them. If they send it, fine, if not, it'll be a lesson learned for the next time. Some buyers just don't leave feedback or let you know when the painting arrives, even when they said they would. That's just how it is. Once they have the painting, they just forget everything else. It's just a fact of life that you have to accept when you sell on Ebay. Good luck with it though!

12-28-2003, 05:53 AM
More to the story. I received an email from one of them saying she was going to pay for the shipping, was busy, bla bla... but hasn't paid yet :) It's been days already. Suddenly today, I found out she gave me feedback - positive! No mail, no S&H fee, nothing. I guess it's over for her. What angers me is that she could go through ebay and leave FB and couldn't press SEND button to say she has received the painting and it was such and such and so on. Maybe it's because she won't pay for the S&H.

The other one just vanished - nothing from her at all.

So I will give her positive FB and swollow my pride - lesson for the future. Is that so?

12-28-2003, 06:42 AM
Next year will be a winner for you Ale. :) Happy New Year. :)

12-28-2003, 08:17 AM
Originally posted by ale.l
Suddenly today, I found out she gave me feedback - positive! No mail, no S&H fee, nothing. I guess it's over for her. What angers me is that she could go through ebay and leave FB and couldn't press SEND button to say she has received the painting and it was such and such and so on. Maybe it's because she won't pay for the S&H.

In the long run, that positive feedback is WAY more valuable than a few dollars for shipping and handling. If she had paid you, but left negative feedback about errors or pushiness it would have been very damaging at this stage in your eBay career. Even if she had paid you, but then didn't follow through on feedback, you wouldn't be building up the much needed positives you'll need to inspire confidence in buyers. It may not seem like it yet (because you are still out the shipping fees), but you came out a winner in this scenario (because you did get positive feedback). I'd chalk it up to a lesson learned and move on.


01-09-2004, 08:32 AM
I thought I should let you know what happened in the end with these two bidders.

NOTHING. I never heard from them again. I think this is so dishonest. Especially considering what we do for them - there were several recent threads here about refunding bidders for shipping and compensating other sellers for low bids. In contrast, these two ladies appear to be really dishonest just ignoring everything from the moment they paid.

None of them let me know they received paintings.

One gave me positive FB - the other gave me NOTHING.

I have given up now on any shipping.
I have given them both positive FBs.

Aren't we good here :clap:
At least it makes me feel a better person than them.

01-09-2004, 03:11 PM
it happens

The joys of selling on EBAY

It's like returning phone calls...it's not DISHONEST...people just don't do it

I have so many buyers that NEVER left feedback or tell me that it even arrived


But when you get regular buyers...they are WONDERFUL

01-09-2004, 03:33 PM
ummm if they left feedback isn't that the same as telling you that they recieved the painting? They wouldn't have left postive feedback if they never recieved it. Even if they didn't leave FB and its been a while after shipping that is also a pretty good sing that the recieved it. I am sure if they did not they would have been in touch. I have had only one or 2 people reply that they have recieved there product. Do you email bestbuy or any other major online retailer when you recieve a product from them? If you want to know when a painting is recieved use delievery conformation when mailing. You probably should use it any way that way you are protected agianst the real dishonest people that would try to say they never recieved it and want a refund.


01-09-2004, 05:40 PM
Well, no, I received fb from only one.
The thing is they both owe me shipping fees. 8 + 8 dollars. They said they would pay but since they got the paintings they now lie low.
That's what I call dishonest. They don't have to tell me they received the painting, although it would be nice though.

My latest two bidders were the opposite. One lady from Belfast and one from the US. We exchanged many pleasant mails and they were kept informed each step of the way. I got an email today that the Belfast painting arrived - in 4 days! From Bosnia... that's good. And she thanked me saying she loved the painting... etc. That's a NICE person.

But I know what you are telling me. I learn as I go.

01-09-2004, 06:16 PM
I've done this on before...including shipping on my Dane puppies. I usually let them know I screwed up...but will take care of it. Reason being it usually breaks me of doing this to myself! Ha! My Dad was like that also...must be in the genes :p ! We have also done this with customers in our automotive shop. It makes for lifetime customers. I think people like to know your human and make mistakes...and in the long run become loyal because you swallowed your mistake instead of asking them to understand it. It hurts when you have to pay out of pocket...but it makes them remember you...and trust you.
That’s my experience anyway… but it seems to apply in most customer service issues…hair stylist…automotive work…art…