Sunday, March 20, 2011


So you have just checked your feedback status and you have just discovered that the seller or buyer have just given a neutral or a negative feedback. You are upset, hurt, confused, frustrated, and you wonder what you should do next?

Some of you will give a negative or neutral feedback back just to retaliate. And some of you will just walk away and do nothing because you didn't think that anything can be done to make the situation better. Talking about specific transactions on Etsy in forums is not allowed on Etsy, and will be deleted by the admin team. Retaliation is not the solution because it does not make the situation any better (in fact, it just makes it worse).

I have had many years of experience selling online (Ebay, Etsy, Artfire, Amazon, and my own website). And although I have had many many happy customers, there still is a small number of customers, that could never be satisfied, no matter what you do.

Rules to abide by to avoid and minimize your chances of getting neutral and negative feedback:
1. Always Always provide the BEST customer service that you can give.
2. Always put the customers first.
3. Have an acurate Description of your item. Including the correct measurements, colors, dimensions, flaws, what your listing includes and does not include.
4. Have great pictures, show the details (including the flaws), and make sure the lighting and the colors of the items is as true to the "naked" eyes as best you can.
5. Have a clear and updated store policy. Including returns and exchanges.
6. Do have good communication exchanges with your customers/sellers.
7. Do ship your package out FAST (as soon as you can).
8. Do build up thicker skin.
9. Never over promise any services or items. Especially one that you cannot deliver.
10. Do have good/proper packaging for delicate and fragile items.
11. Don't over charge on shipping. If you do, offer to refund the unused portions.
12. Always be respectful and never insult or use profanity towards your seller/buyers (this only makes the situation worse).

Of course these are only precautions that you can do to minimize your chances of getting a negative or neutral feedback. You cannot control the other person (in the transaction), so you can only control what you do. And if you have been in business as long as I have, you will run into some unreasonable customers eventually. And those are the worst because there is nothing that you can do to make them happy (even if you give them everything that they ask for). But life does goes on, and so does your business.

There have been some sellers who have closed their shop online due to one or a few small neutral and negative feedbacks (out of hundreds and thousands of positive feedbacks and sales). Please don't let a few bad, mean, angry people ruin your day or stop you from doing what you love. I know that running your own business is very difficult at times, but everything worth achieving is challenging and requires a lot of patience and hard work.

***NOTE***The list of rules above applies to all of your online selling venues. These rules have also been applied to Brick and Mortar Stores as well.

Feel free to comment and email me any suggestions that you may have to avoid and minimize your chances of getting neutral and negative feedback.


  1. Great post.Negative feedback has never stopped me from buying(unless it's all negative). I understand that there are some customers who will just not be happy. I've also seen situtations where competitors have bought and listed negative feedback. If you've got 99% positive or even 98%, I don't think it will affect many buyers.

  2. I always find the feedback the seller left for others to be far more telling that what they've received.

    Particularly if the seller ranted or retaliated - then they look FAR worse to me.

  3. Thanks for the tips. I am thinking of starting an online photo card shop and was looking for hints or options other than Esty. Found your site re: your rant on Artfire and also thought to look at your other posts.

    I like your clear/concise writing. Will look for more..


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