The Power of Amazon Feedback


I’ve been an avid Amazon online shopper since 2001, but I was surprised and slightly amused by what happened the other night.

For the first time ever, one of my orders did not arrive. It was particularly annoying because, although I could have bought the book more cheaply on eBay, I chose a seller on Amazon’s Marketplace because they offered ‘Fast UK Dispatch’. I really wanted the book within five days.

Amazon recommends that you wait a fortnight before chasing up orders. After that had passed, I emailed the seller to let him know I hadn’t received my book. Luckily, he had another copy and promised to send it to me.

It finally arrived three-and-a-half weeks after I had placed the order, and I immediately left the seller feedback on Amazon.

When you give feedback on Amazon, you get five options: ‘5 – Excellent’, ‘4 – Good’, and so on. I opted for ‘3 – Fair’.

A few minutes later I received an email from the seller, offering me a full refund in exchange for removing my feedback. He said that, because I’d given a rating of ‘3’, it meant a ‘neutral’ score was posted on his profile and his overall rating had dropped by 1% — which could result in a fall in sales.

I have since found this guidance on Amazon:

Positive Feedback: 5 or 4 stars?
Neutral Feedback: 3 stars?
Negative Feedback: 2 or 1 stars

For those of you interested in the stats, this particular seller had 753 ratings in the last 12 months (therefore not scoring as highly for ‘number of sales’ against the many others who have thousands of ratings).  My feedback of ‘3’ meant that his 30 day feedback dropped from a positive 95% rating (due to 5% neutral feedback within the last 30 days) to 94%.

It’s funny how one person in 753 can make such a difference – but we all know it’s a tough market out there. It just goes to show how we, as buyers, can have such an impact on people vying for our trade!

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