Unlike on eBay – where it’s easy to maintain 100% feedback by being adequate – feedback is harder to attain and feedback score is harder to maintain on Amazon. On eBay, it is standard practice for a buyer to leave positive feedback after they receive an item. If something is wrong, they will likely contact you to resolve the issue before posting negative feedback.
On Amazon, the vast majority of customers do not leave positive feedback; but most of the customers who have a problem will leave negative feedback. I have no problem with this concept as this is how I tend to act. Why leave positive feedback for someone fulfilling their obligation?
Why is it that most of the mega sellers on Amazon have low feedback percentage? Is it because they are terrible at fulfilling orders? Probably not, it is more likely that with the volume of products that they sell, there are a lot of issues being reported against a low percentage of happy buyers leaving positive feedback.
I constantly look at other seller’s feedback scores and comments in order to understand and improve my own. I have been maintaining 98% positive the past few months and will be thrilled if I can keep in this range. I have come up with a few tips that have helped me improve my score.
Ways to avoid negative feedback:
- Do not sell high risk items. I used to sell OTC medical items on Amazon. The problem with these is that unless the expiration dates are far off (the dates aren’t usually far off if you find a good resale deal on them), a customer may complain about the date being too short. It doesn’t help to put the expiration date in the description as most customers don’t read this.
- Only sell NEW items as new. There is nothing worse for a customer than ordering a new product and receiving something that isn’t screaming “new”. I constantly see feedback comments of boxes being damaged, items being resealed, or even pieces missing. If I have a new item and the packaging is dinged up, I will sell it as Used – Like New condition and describe the packaging.
- Over deliver. This applies to used items. I will describe the vast majority of my books as “good“ condition. I still sell a lot of books and I get constant positive comments of “book being in better condition than expected”. This way I not only avoid a negative feedback, I also motivate the customer to give me a positive.
There are 3 ways I have had negative feedback removed on Amazon:
- If a FBA item arrived later than 2 days (or 1 day if overnight) and the customer left negative feedback (Amazon will automatically scratch through the comment and post a standard apology). I have had a few items I purchased from FBA take longer than 2 days to arrive so I assume this is a fairly common problem that sellers run into.
- When a customer complains about price. I had a Prime customer buy my product, receive it, and then leave negative feedback stating something to the effect that “if you shop around you will find a better price”. The item wasn’t priced obscenely high and the customer had benefited from fast shipping. Amazon agreed with me and removed the feedback. This is the only successful attempt I have had at getting negative feedback removed by Amazon.
- Contacting the customer. I had a customer leave a negative feedback (I can’t remember what for now). Anyway, I emailed the customer, asked them to look at my great track record of feedback and reconsider, and they did! The other times I have tried this, the customer doesn’t respond – but it doesn’t hurt to try!
I have heard that Amazon will also remove a negative feedback if the customer leaves a product review under your feedback.
Of course after all of this you are still going to receive the occasional negative feedback no matter how contentious a seller you are. The most common incident is probably if a product is defective from the manufacturer. You have no way of knowing this, but the customer is going to be upset and blame you for it. There is nothing you can do, so just stay positive and keep doing what you can to maintain your great reputation.
I hope this helps give you some ideas and I would like to hear yours as well – please leave a comment!