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Many sellers send a feedback-request e-mail to all their buyers at some point after the purchase. The object is to build a feedback record and enhance your image among potential future buyers. Indeed, sometimes it pays to ask - such requests can result in a greater volume of feedback and raise your feedback total faster than would otherwise occur.

Many sellers, however, believe that asking buyers for feedback is simply asking for trouble. Many book buyers, particularly on Amazon, become frustrated by the long wait for Media Mail shipments. So a portion of these customers, after receiving an e-mail from a seller requesting feedback, will leave negative feedback simply to express their impatience. Perhaps these customers would have eventually left positive feedback (or no feedback at all) if the seller had not reminded them of the transaction before the book arrived.

Amazon sends buyers an e-mail 21 days after a Marketplace transaction. Fortunately, the vast majority of Media Mail shipments arrive within 21 days. Most buyers who are angry about "slow" delivery at the 10-day mark won't be angry after they receive their book after two weeks, then receive Amazon's 21-day reminder to leave feedback.

Remember that the total number of feedback ratings is not nearly as important as the percentage of positive ratings, at least in the eyes of many buyers. All else being equal, most buyers will purchase from a seller with a modest feedback total but a 95 percent positive score, rather than buy from a seller with a huge feedback total but a large percentage of negative ratings.

Although it's customary for sellers to leave feedback for buyers on eBay, it is uncommon on Amazon. Perhaps 99 percent of Marketplace buyers aren't aware of buyer feedback and don't care. Buyer feedback on Amazon was somewhat important several years ago when Marketplace was new and many of the customers had experience with eBay. Today, however, the pool of customers on Marketplace has expanded. Many of them have never used eBay, have never purchased from an individual online before, and some of them don't even realize they're not buying directly from Amazon.

You can expect that only about 20% of your Marketplace buyers will eventually leave feedback.

Getting Negative Feedback Removed

Once they've left feedback, Amazon buyers can't change it, but they can delete it. It's well worth your time to educate your buyers about removing erroneous feedback and instances where a problem resulting in negative feedback was corrected.

Amazon provides these instructions to customers who want to remove feedback:

  1. Go to http://www.amazon.com/your-account

  2. Find the pull-down menu next to "View by Order." Select "Orders placed in the past 6 months," and hit the "go" button.

  3. After you sign in, you'll find a listing of your recent orders. Select the relevant order and click the "View order" button.

  4. You will find a feedback section 2/3rds of the way down the page. To remove feedback, click on the "Remove" link in the feedback section of the order summary.

  5. You may only remove feedback if it is 60 days or less since you left the feedback.

Some booksellers take a few extra steps to make feedback removal easier for buyers. It takes a bit longer to do but it helps ensure the customer finds the correct feedback. Here's a script and link you can use:

"Please follow this link to Amazon and sign into your account. About halfway down the page you'll see the feedback comment you left on my account and a link to 'remove.' I'd greatly appreciate it."


(Replace the series of Xs on the end with the customer's order number.)

The difference with this second technique for Amazon feedback removal is the customer isn't looking at a list of orders; they only see their order with you.

You might want to test out both techniques and see which one you think is best. You can take a look at the screens yourself if you've left feedback for a Marketplace seller within the past 60 days. After that point, buyers can't delete feedback.

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