Online tat-house eBay has enraged some of its regular users by banning negative feedback about buyers and a demand that anyone flogging more than a certain amount from the UK must register as a business. So called "PowerSellers" will be targeted first and must register business accounts by the end of the month. eBay will also be …
Only formalising the status quo...
I have been using the site site to offload tat, I mean sell of surplus quality items a bit more recently as well as buying bit and pieces too. Ebay has always favoured the seller and this is only them blatantly saying 'caveat emptor' formally.
I had a dispute raised against me by a seller who sent out the invoice with a misspelled email address therefore meaning I couldn't pay them. When it was finally resolved I got a snotty note form ebay saying something along the lines of "Although we have graciously decided not to pemailse you this time we reserve the right to treat you like a fool/criminal in future. Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave!" or something.
Will probably try gumtree.com instead!
It is about time.
Radical changes were long due to clean eBay from scammers and dubious sellers who use FB mechanism as a bargaining chip/revenge sword. A step in the right direction and long overdue. Well done.
looks like ebay's heading down the pan
It's about time. A business is a business is a business, whether bricks and mortar, a company website or via eBay, and customers should be protected whichever medium they choose. For too long eBay powersellers have been enjoying the flexibility offered to private sellers (with the accompanying lack of accountability), whilst running a business in everything but name.
One wonders when the Inland Revenue will get in on the act too?
What a great idea on the addresses....
I'm all for e-bay requiring a fixed non PO-Box address for all power sellers but less happy that it would have to be displayed so prominently. All those people running businesses out of their own homes would be put at risk because thieves could see exactly what is likely to be available if they were to go and burgle the house. Seems to me to be a bit of overkill to show it to just anyone who looks at the item, perhaps having a flag saying e-bay verified address linked to this account.
I'm all for requiring said address to be shown to a winning bidder in an auction so they have a verified contact address.
It would then be up to ebay to ensure that said address is verified by some means, perhaps bank statements or utility bills for the initial registration and then e-bay would contact that address on a random basis to ensure it is still valid.
"The changes are required by European Union ecommerce law."
...so people get pissed at eBay?
People get pissed at eBay when it regulates too little, leading to disputes, and people get pissed when it follows the rules where it's operating. Exactly what do people wish eBay to do?
I'm not a *huge* fan of eBay, but I've gotten plenty of good stuff without hassles. Why you be hatin', brothas? Why you be hatin'?
Not all ebay's fault
Regarding the business account thing for high volume sellers, is this unreasonable? If you are selling stuff on a very regular basis then clearly you must be buying it from somewhere too (unless you happen to have a huge mansion that you're clearing out). Therefore, you are running a business.
I can see why ebay are making this change, and I see why the EU have a rule saying that they must. And even if the EU hadn't made such a rule, I bet HMRC would be pretty keen to demand it instead! Just think; all those people running businesses and not paying any tax on their profit because they are not actually registered as a business, and unless you subpoena ebay, you probably don't even know who they are or where they live (and there's no guarantee that ebay know either!)
Running a business on ebay is no different to running a business from a bespoke e-commerce web site and I see no reason why they should not be bound by the same rules. And this includes publishing a bricks-and-mortar address, and not just a PO box number (again, a standard requirement of any business but one that seems to get flouted on the web, even my some very large companies), and being bound by the normal distance selling regulations. If you look at the DTI and the OFT websites, you will find all the rules on this sort of thing clearly laid out.
As for the feedback issue, this is a tough one. I can see both sides of the argument - On one side you have some sellers holding buyers to ransom (I'll give you bad feedback if you don't give me good feedback), and on the other side you have bad buyers that sellers would like to give (genuine) bad feedback for. It's a toughie, and I don't know what the answer is. An escrow system of feedback (very expensive and time consuming to administer), scrap ALL feedback (you don't get "feedback" in Exchange And Mart or Autotrader etc., and they seem to do ok).
Its about time they did this everyone know's ebay's rateings are a joke
you have to be realy realy bad to get bad rateings
as people dont want to risk being rated badly by the seller
I'm sure this has nothing to do
with HMRC's recent interest in eBay traders.
"I'm all for requiring said address to be shown to a winning bidder in an auction so they have a verified contact address."
The obvious concern is that even if this is done, a criminal can look at an address for a seller with, say 3 Wiis or whatever, bid, win, get the address and either use the information they receive and cancel their bid under the cooling off period, or even pay and pop 'round and rob the seller before they're shipped.
The government said a while back that there were too many businesses pretending to be normal punters and making a tax-free living off of eBay. Other on-line retailers have to pay tax, and there is no difference why eBay should
As for negative feeback - I would never buy anything from eBay that costs more than £20 and actually needs to be good quality. This is mostly second hand or grey import stuff after all. If consumers have problems, they should report them directly to eBay. If eBay get a reputation for supporting dishonest sellers, then their long-term prospects will not be good.
Good and bad...
Seems to me that making people who trade alot register properly is a good idea. A bit of safety for the consumer should be something that traders are in favour of - after all, someone who is comfortable and feels secure is more likely to buy stuff. I don't see why the addresses need to be advertised from the start, but it should be automatically shown to a customer upon sending payment.
The ratings thing seems a bit daft - you just set it so both sides of the transaction leave feedback and neither is live until they are both published. You then don't let a response be sent - it's feedback, not a forum.
Not being able to leave negative feedback just smacks of overdoing it, like employment references legally being forced to not allow anything bad to be said....
Smiley Happy People on eBay
So if you can only be smiley and happy about people you do business with, what's the sodding point of *having* feedback?
Why not pre-fill feedback for every transaction with "A++ eBayer!!!!!!!!! Kthxbai!!" and be done with it? Gold Stars All Round.
Nah, the only sensible thing to do is only take feedback from buyers - sellers don't send goods until they get the cash, so if the transaction completes, they're fine anyway. But there is a huge range for experience to the buyer, from speed of dispatch to item matching description and condition.
I have been subjected to tit for tat feedback by sellers when their items didn't work, and they wouldn't accept a return and just refused to deal with me after they had my money.
After exhausting the process of trying to get my money back, I leave negative feedback and then get it slapped on my account for no reason other than spite.
Well done Ebay.
Most businesses do not display their address on their website! and the only address they are forced to publish is their registered address, this is mostly their accountants address
So why do they require your address, *an* address is fine ...
Re: What a great idea on the addresses....
If you are a business selling to the public, you MUST give a bricks and mortar address, and not just a PO address. This is not some silly ebay rule. It is English law (and probably Scottish law and (I'm guessing) probably the law in most of Europe).
A further though occurs to me about the feedback issue though. If you are running a proper business (as you must if you are selling in volume) then the buyer is protected by consumer law. This should comfort and appease any buyers. As a business, as long as your buyer pays for the stuff (and lets face it, you're not going to post the gear until he/she does), why do you care if they are a "bad buyer". In the business world, what IS a "bad buyer"? Someone who says they will buy something but doesn't. Woopie! Welcome to the real business world - get over it. So, the conclusion is to get rid of ALL feedback - it's not really needed.
Of course, this doesn't address the feedback issue for small sellers. Bugger... and I was doing SO well.....
As a buyer and occasional seller, this is great! I've recently bought a DVD that turned out to be counterfeit, and had to leave positive feedback in order to avoid negative feedback... Bloody daft situation, and this sorts that out!
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Wouldn't it just be easier to hide feedback ratings until both buyer and seller had left feedback?
Everyone stays happy that way.
It's a real sh't forcing all sellers to display physical addresses, maybe if it only displayed PO box's it'd be okay, but as someone else mentioned eBay is full of people who sell odds and ends out of their home, it is without a doubt / great certainty that criminals will now target eBay as a source of where to find places to break in to, and if it's a home, people may be killed as a side product of the break in.
Looks like they don't understand PO Boxes...
If someone want's to know the address behind a PO Box you only have to ask Royal Mail!
What a load of nonsense!
So if you have experienced a terrible transaction you can't tell other potential customers about it? Seems a bit odd to me!
Shome mishtake shurely?
"From May sellers will not be able to leave negative or neutral comments about buyers. The changes are designed to make life easier for sellers. "
Surely they must mean "fraudsters"?
Meanwhile, in other news, eBay reported a rise in buyer satisfaction to 100%. A spokesman said "Since we instituted our new 'I-can't-hear-you-la-la-la-la-lala' policy, complaints have fallen to zero".
Ebay itself is the biggest offender
So they are requiring "businesses" to provide full contact details. Perhaps they'd care to apply that to themselves? I once tried to trace any postal address or phone number for any Ebay business - and there are several UK companies registered. Nothing in Europe. I was about to write to the only listed address (corporate headquarters) to take them to task about their utterly obfuscated "dispute" process, but decided life is too short.
This outfit (via PayPal) operates a financial service that has been the subject of attention from various financial authorities - and they still don't provide contract addresses.
I use Ebay, but only for small value items and *never* accept Paypal payment.
Compare with the likes of Amazon or (say) Egg: you can talk to humans at the drop of a hat, and they will help.
Re: caffeine addict
Exactly what I've been thinking about this whole issue!
No negative feedback
Argh stupid rule changes
So now, if you want to sell certain types of stuff (like videogame related stuff)..... you HAVE to accept paypal.... and also paypal will hold onto the money and not release it to you for x number of days. So the buyer can receive the item, decide they don't like it, neg you, claim the money back from paypal (which hasn't arrived in your account yet) and all you have the right to do is leave them positive feedback. WTF?
I really hope these changes cripple ebay and give someone like google an opening (why the hell has google not entered the auction market yet?)
ebay has become way too greedy and its about time there was some serious competition.
"...It's a real sh't forcing all sellers to display physical addresses, ..."
Not all sellers. Business sellers only. If you are really selling odds and ends only the winning bidder will see your address, otherwise... welcome to the business world. Next you will start paying Taxes as well, rightly so.
Good and Bad !
Its a mix really,something had to be done about the FB system and for a while i thought something needed to be done with regard sellers.However to me it seems it would have been far better just not publishing FB until both parties had left it thus decreasing the blackmailing tactics of some sellers.Surely ebay must know there will be a backlash over blocking one party over feedback ! Its stupid but then again at times it seems some of the powers that be at ebay dont seem to have their finger on the pulse of their users....to busy down at the bank for that!
With regard to powersellers its been on the cards a long time . Lets face it if you are selling 10,000 items a year you must be doing some kind of trading for stock,therfore its a business!And if its a business you have to pay tax! In a way ebay was not meant as a business hosting site,it was meant as a small scale buy and sell emporium so lets fax it the big sellers knew it would happen sooner or later!
But on another side,with all the power selling etc and possible tax implications does this mean ebay will start to finally block all the Hong Kong items ?
"It would then be up to ebay to ensure that said address is verified by some means, perhaps bank statements or utility bills for the initial registration and then e-bay would contact that address on a random basis to ensure it is still valid."
Sounds like you're talking about seller verification. Scary stuff - just imagine, if they got that working then the low-lives selling snide gear wouldn't be able to re-register with yet another bogus address whenever they were (rightly) kicked off for selling fakes.
So, how likely do we think that that is then?
Icon because I've heard that one needs a PhD to understand this stuff....
It's OK - eBay will sort out the feedback
I agree that the feedback is not that useful, but I'm not sure eBay's new way of dealing with it is much cop either
From the BBC news site
"If a buyer doesn't pay, the seller can easily contact eBay, we will review any complaint and maybe remove the buyer," a spokesman said.
eBay customer support is less than helpful in most cases and have refused to remove even proven scammers from the site, so having them arbitrate buyer/seller disputes does not bode well.
'Thankyou for your complaint, please contact the seller directly with issues'
What's a bad buyer - someone who says they're going to buy then doesn't? Ebay bids are supposed to be binding. If you bid and win you have to pay. Don't pay and you're a bad buyer. Black and white?
What about the buyer who "pays" but uses a faked paypal email and you post the item before checking? More fool you?
OK, what about the buyer who hijacks a paypal account and pays with a stolen credit card? You send goods, chargeback is made by credit card company and whoops the goods are gone and you can't leave the feedback.
Or the buyer who recalls their cheque because - hey they can, nothing's there to stop them.
What about the buyer who pays, but doesn't pay postage "ah well I'll collect" and then expects you to post it to them, or the buyer overseas who somehow has a UK account and is able to pay just UK postage. Or the buyer who leaves a neg because they didn't realise they'd have to pay customs import charges. Or the buyer who leaves a neg even though they didn't try to get in touch or launch a dispute or anything - just a random neg out of nowhere with claims that you're a scammer even if you're not. In distance selling reputation is everything. Whatabout the buyer who leaves a neg because your postage charges are too high even though they're published in the auction, the item weighs 2kg and there's no cheaper way to post it?
There are idiot ebay buyers out there who don't engage their only brain cell before buying then baulk at reasonable postage costs.
And yes, what about the buyer who just doesn't pay, just doesn't respond to emails, phone calls, texts, any kind of contact. Can we leave a neutral? "useless idiot took a month to pay" - neutral?
unsmiley because although it will reduce the tit-for-tat feedback the idea is as poorly thought-through and no doubt as poorly executed as much else of the ebay site.
> what IS a "bad buyer"? Someone who says they will buy something but doesn't.
> Woopie! Welcome to the real business world - get over it.
i'd say a bad buyer is somebody who demands a refund or more (and to keep the item) under the threat of leaving negative feedback
try speaking to ebay, good luck getting a relevant answer from their automated help system
good luck speaking to the police,
"yes they're threatening to leave negative feedback..."
"negative what? look stop wasting our time, unless theres a fine involved"
and good luck trying to sell anything in future when you get feedback saying you sell counterfeit goods
Brilliant idea! You should patent that (you never know, 1 Click helped make Amazon rich)
Wouldn't it be better and easier...
..if neither the buyer nor the seller could see the feedback till both had left feedback? This would stop tit for tat feedback.
Or is that just too obvious?
Or......seeing as the buyer's commitments are done when he/she has paid for the item, the seller should really leave feedback at that point - so hows about making it so that the buyer can't leave feedback till the seller does?
Come on.. it may not be the best solution! but one was needed. so many sellers dont leave feedback until the buyer has. so that should negative be left they can do the mutual withdraw!
Im sorry if i pay for somthing up front then i have kept my side of the deal! buyer has feedback first. then buyer can leave seller feedback when done..
But this just dont happen! if the sellers goods are as described they should have nothing to worry about..
For reference im a seller! and i leave feedback for customers when their payment is cleared. i then await for theirs.. its the way it is inteded and its the way Ebay should enforcing!
caffeine addict - exactly
Like you say, I've been thinking they should do this for ages... until both parties have left feedback, it's not shown at all... after a fixed period of time (say 2 weeks) if one party hasn't left feedback, then they lose the opportunity to, and the other is published.
"It's a real sh't forcing all sellers to display physical addresses, maybe if it only displayed PO box's it'd be okay"
Nope, you're still not getting it... It's the law. As a business (and this applied ONLY to businesses), you MUST publish a proper postal address. A PO box is NOT acceptable. If you have security concerns about this then either get some business premises or stop selling stuff.
The idea that displaying a company address is bad news because of the "risk of burglary" is nothing more than hysteria. It won't affect a member of the public selling some old stuff from the loft or an unwanted gift. But those who operate a business selling should display this information, and that's a legal requirement. In any case a bonafide business would take measures to secure and protect their premises not to mention cover themselves with insurance.
I also support the idea of the negative feedback ban in this situation, having bought a pile of crap off Ebay once before, I felt unwilling to leave a negative comment for fear of my own 100% record being tarnished.
Excellent thinking folks
I love the "against" attitude expressed here:
eBay tries to force high-volume sellers to provide information normal RealWorld 2.0 businessses are required to provide
world+dog complains that this makes them vulnerable as they are running a business out of their home
Here's a tip - if you're running a business out of your home, and have goods of enough worth to make you fear burglary more than the average Terrified Citizen, *invest in home security*. Other businesses have to do this; why should you be exempt from displaying an address and thus being "vulnerable" just because you don't have a high street shop?
(Given the lack of concrete information on what the cut-off point is, I'm inclined against believing that Granny Goodness who sells two embroidered doilies a year via eBay will end up assaulted and burgled because of the nasty new policy, but that's just me and my cynical ways...)
Erm...Registered Office address
Why not do what many sellers do and simply pay for a registered office service at a lawyer, accountant or company formation agent - it's cheap and private.
I use one for my web business and it means I look more professional but don't risk some scrote banging down the door because they think I have stock at home.
Paris - because sometimes the answer is simple.
@Address by AC
Read the article. It says registered businesses should display a physical address not all sellers.
It's damn obvious that powersellers are businesses and should rightly have a business address. However not all businesses are registered and I believe you can still trade in the UK as a sole trader, in these cases the business address is likely the home address but I don't see a problem with that. What's the difference between knowing that Joe Bloggs has three playstations when it's plainly obvious that Dixons have hundreds? As for registered addresses being an accountants address, if the business is registered then yes it maybe and your accountant will nail you for it. However, I believe the rules about needing a chartered accountant to file business tax returns changed a while back and up to a certain turnover you can basically do your own. I wonder what yur average powerseller would declare as being their turnover? There seem to be a few touchy people about lately so I'll make it obvious and say that was a rhetorical question. Whatever a powersellers particular circumstances are they are running a business and yes they should display an address, it's their choice to sell on ebay and if they don't like it they can stick to car boot sales.
Never mind that
When are they going to start enforcing decent punctuation and grammar?
how do you know a bad buyer now?
As an occasional seller, I like to weed through the bidders and cancel bids from anyone who has a high number of negative feedback.
If buyers can no longer get negative feedback at all...... how do you spot a bad buyer that you wouldn't want to deal with?
I've bought over 1000 items on ebay since being a member and I have only managed to get 2 negatives in those 8 years as a buyer, so how is there a problem with buyers getting negative feedack? What are they trying to protect the users from? I don't have loads of unjustified negatives from sellers. (though the 2 I have were actually unjustified - I can live with an average of 1 negative per 4 years)
"i'd say a bad buyer is somebody who demands a refund or more (and to keep the item) under the threat of leaving negative feedback...
...good luck speaking to the police...
...and good luck trying to sell anything in future when you get feedback saying you sell counterfeit goods"
Well, that just highlights why the whole "feedback" thing should probably be scrapped completely. I've sold stuff on the web (as a proper business, and no, not through ebay), and I've never had a customer come back to me and demand his money back under threat that they will tell tales on me if I don't!
And are you seriously telling me that the police should be interested in someone leaving you unjustified negative feedback on ebay? You ARE having a laugh, no? Oooo.... tell him - he's telling fibs about me. I'll get my dad on you!!
if you are running a business (on ebay or anywhere else) then I'm afraid you need to get a bit tougher and introduce yourself to the real world (and yes, I've worded this politely!).
Protection against fraudulent buyers?
As both a regular seller and buyer on eBay, there seems to be far more problem with fraudulent buyers than fraudulent sellers... selling laptops or other high-value, hard to trace small electronics is next to impossible now (even without considering fees which mean the lion's share of the profit goes to eBay/Paypal anyway). I think my last laptop sale had about half a dozen false-starts with Nigerians and Indonesians doing "Buy It Now" and offering fake money orders/magic beans within half an hour of listing.
Recently we sold an expensive point of sale system and the buyer held the money up for months with Paypal as she decided she wanted a refund as she couldn't figure out how to use it. She claimed the item was broken and got her money back - worked perfectly when it got back here but Paypal don't want to hear it. So much for caveat emptor.
Compared this to buying, where I've had maybe one or two problems with sellers in 5 years of trading. I'm careful with buying from high-feedback, local traders though (and will go and collect an item if the cost of travel is less than 20% of the value of the item).
eBay seems to be trying to shift away from it's tat-market image and become some kind of small-biz eCommerce platform. Problem with that is the only advantage eBay offers is the commodification of nearly everything - the only reason to shop there is that it's very easy to find the cheapest option.
However, a lot of items (especially in low-margin industries like electronics) are now more expensive on eBay than retail sites due to eBay/Paypal fee hikes wiping out seller profits, meaning that I find more and more of my purchases are made at traditional retailers as eBay's only advantage (price) is gone.
The market is ripe for a competitor - both in auctions and micropayments.
PS. I set my auctions so no-one with feedback of under -1 can bid. Now no-one can give negative feedback to fraudulent bidders, how can sellers block the bidders who sign up for an account with a dodgy card and go around buying up as many high-value items as they can before the account gets shut down?
I run an Ebay business and agree there is a legitimate concern about sellers giving retaliatory -ve feedback. However buyer feedback is going to be meaningless under this new system. Why not simply give sellers access to relatively objective stats like the number of purchases made and the number of non-payment strikes against the seller?
IMHO the bigger story about the price changes has been obscured. There will be reductions for powersellers who get good feedback, unfortunately this is counterbalanced by a fee increase for non-powersellers no matter how good their feedback.
It's all in how you word it:
"I cannot praise this seller too highly!"
"This is the best counterfeit xxxx I ever bought!"
"Since I really wasn't expecting this xxxx to work, it FULLY MET MY EVERY EXPECTATION!"
"If you can purchase xxxx from this seller, you should consider yourself extremely fortunate."
What...? It's all positive...!
Ebay's feedback system...
I stirred the pot a couple of years ago, trying to get some momentum to change the feedback system. Although I got a lot of positive remarks on forums from buyers and a lot of negative arguments from sellers, nothing seemed to happen. Then, suddenly, Ebay adds the multiple star ratings to feedback - amazingly similar to what I had proposed.
At least I can have a good feeling that I was right, and that it DID need to happen, even if I did not get even a thank you from corporate for suggesting it.
Now, as for not being able to leave negative feedback for buyers. I Don't support that, as I think that the field should be pretty open. The fact that Ebay splits up feedback between selling and buying now allows a buyer to determine if a given vendor is a more or less safe bet. Feedback for buyers has been useful to me, though, as it has helped me understand the reason for negative feedback for a given seller.
I am not sure that I am happy that they are going to "age off" feedback. I fear that this will allow a bad seller to simply play nice for a bit, then, get to a point that they look good, and can hook in a bunch of buyers before sticking it to them.
I don't just look at the numbers of positive/negative feedbacks, but, rather check how they are distributed, and, look at what percentages of the total mass are negative and positive. Alas, it is true enough that there are some folks that are impossible to please, and, one way or another a seller will end up with a negative feedback from them. However, if that seller has 95% positive feedbacks, and, there seems to be reasonable explanations on the negative feedback exchange, that does not mean I will not buy from that vendor.
I do like very much sellers that give feedback when they ship the package out. That seems an appropriate time for them to do it. The only negative I have gotten so far was retalitory, in that I negged a guy for not following through on a sale, and, he negged me with false claims about bouncing an E-check on him. My feeling was that he got a better offer on the item I was purchasing, so blew off my bid, and sold it to someone else.
By the by...speaking of E-checks and such, that brings to mind Paypal. which was mentioned earlier too. In terms of payments and such, remember that Ebay, which owns Paypal, is making a truckload of money every day on the "float" on payments, so, they are unlikely to EVER cut down on the four or five days it takes to credit a payment to a seller. They pull the funds out of my bank account by midnight of the day I make the payment, and hold onto them for at least four full days before crediting them to the seller. What do they do with that cash in that time? Believe me, it does not go into a big piggy bank somewhere in the Midwest of America! They are likely investing it in overnight and very short term loans with relatively high interest rates, and keeping that income for management and stockholders. On top of that, they ding the sellers for fees!
While the overnight interest on a US$40 transaction is not much at all, remember that they are collecting over a million payments a DAY, and THAT starts to mount up to a decent pile of cash.
I could go on, but, there are only terabytes of storage out there, so I probably should leave a bit of space for other, wiser folks...
Thanks for listening.
PHB's firmly in charge at e-bay...
Ah, what an excellent move, and a sure sign that the PHB's are firmly in charge at e-bay.
Problem: We're losing transaction fees because people are refusing to do business with the scammers who get bad ratings.
PHB solution: Eliminate feedback, so people won't be able to see who the scammers are, and thus will trust *everybody*!
Yeah, *that'll* work.
I never did care for e-bay itself, but I did do a lot of business with half.com (An e-bay subsidiary that sells books and the like at fixed prices.) which is owned by e-bay and uses their rating system.
Fortunately, Amazon.com has a similar system for the things that I'm interested in *and* still allows actual feedback, including negative comments. I suspect that their business will be picking up quite a bit over the next few months as people look for an alternative to e-bay's new PHB inspired, "Trust *everyone* sight unseen!" policy.
About time this was looked at. I get 'cheesed off by' sellers who deliberately sit on their large recommendation figure, waiting for you, the buyer, to comment on them before they comment on you. Even though you have already proved to be an exemplary buyer, whereas they may or may not have been a good seller.
They know it just adds pressure on the buyer to lie and say the seller is fine, even when the buyer has a genuine gripe.
What feedback really needs...
...is no ratings. You just leave feeback. You don't get to pick Positive, Neutral or Negative you just have to write something.
Then, the onus is on the seller or buyer to actually read what's been written rather than rely on arbitrary numbers.