Those of us that have spent any considerable amount of time on eBay are concerned with our feedback scores. After all, this marketplace is built on trust, and having a solid feedback score can instill trust that will push buyers to purchase from you without any reservation (especially important when selling higher-end items).
eBay has a feedback manipulation policy in place. To read it in full, click here.
eBay Feedback Manipulation Policy Overview
The eBay marketplace has provided a system for buyers and sellers to rate one another after a transaction has taken place. If the integrity of the system is compromised, what good is it? And that is exactly what eBay is trying to preserve here! Scammers will often attempt to push up their feedback scores quickly to create the appearance of credibility.
Honest eBayers, like myself, will occasional buy a recipe, eBook, digital picture, etc… for cheap (or sell one) in order to artificially build their scores. But you have to be careful! Sellers are particularly concerned with their Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs), and building your feedback and DSRs in this way can give your account the appearance of credibility and trust.
eBay Feedback Manipulation Policy Guidelines
1. Putting the word “Feedback” in the title of an auction, as long as it adds to the item you are selling and not expressing to indicate that the purpose of the listing is for feedback.
2. Indicating that you’ll provide feedback for the other person after they have provided you with feedback (in the description).
1. Participating in a transaction for the sole purpose of gaining feedback; it should be a fringe benefit. Although– this is extremely difficult for eBay to prove and police.
2. Using the word “Feedback” in the title when it has nothing to do with the product being sold.
3. Attacking other member’s DSRs by leaving positive feedback and low DSRs on a regular basis for various members (particularly ones that are in your industry!).
4. Attempting to pay a member for their eBay user ID– completely not allowed! How would that be fair?!
5. Explicitly selling feedback.
6. Working with other people or registering many accounts just to pad your feedback score.
So– what does that mean you and me? Technically, we shouldn’t ever do something on eBay for the express purpose of building feedback. It’s clearly against the rules! Can you get away with it? Absolutely. Is it suggested? Probably not. I make sure my clients understand the risks before participating in any kind of feedback manipulation. Buyers don’t typically get nailed for it, but if you are somebody peddling recipes, eBooks, digital pictures, etc… there’s a chance you’ll get caught. You need to make sure you follow the rules, and you’ll be just fine. I have sold multiple recipes for cheap and made very little from them. I would be lying if I were to tell you that I did it because I was really wanting to sell a recipe to make money. No– I was in it for feedback. But my attitude has since changed, and I am more interested in having my students naturally build their feedback scores.
Nothing worse than getting your account banned…
A note from eBay about why they have these guidelines:
Just like the real world, you earn a reputation based on your actions and how well you treat others. The eBay Feedback system works pretty much the same way. We want to keep it honest and fair for all members, and our rules help us do that.
Questions for readers:
1. Have you ever gotten banned for manipulating eBay’s feedback system?
2. Do you agree with the policies listed here?
3. Are you guilty of padding your feedback?