How To Develop And Maintain Your Ebay Reputation

In any local community your credibility, honesty and reputation are important for making friends. The same concept applies for doing business nationally or internationally.

Many professional bodies and businesses add “better business bureau” type logos to their letterheads and website in an attempt to attract a measure of public confidence and to distinguish and identify their company as being both reputable and trustworthy.

The same applies on eBay where Feedback from your peers is at the heart of your reputation. Feedback is a valuable weather vane or indicator of a buyer's or seller's reputation on eBay enabling other buyers and sellers to develop trusting relationships based on open, honest insight into the track record of their trading partners. Every eBay member has a Member Profile which includes an overall Feedback number or score in parentheses, as well as comments and ratings from other members you've bought from and sold to.

Your Feedback Score is the most important aspect of your reputation at eBay. If you are the best and most responsive buyer or seller there can be, then good Feedback will obviously follow.

The Feedback rating system and policies are simple and are designed to encourage transparent and honest trading. Stars are awarded to eBay members for achieving 10 or more feedback points. You receive:

• +1 point for each positive comment;

• 0 points for each neutral comment;

• -1 point for each negative comment;

• A star icon for 10 or more comments;

There are several ways to build a good reputation for yourself at eBay, including but not limited to some basic eBay rules that you must follow.

Honesty - There is an old adage that says Honesty is the Best Policy. First of all, you should always be honest in describing your auction item (s). If an item is damaged why not say so. The chances are that your customer will find out anyway when they take delivery. But that should not be the reason for your upfront honesty.

Leaving Feedback - As an eBay user, you should use caution and good judgment when leaving feedback for another user. What you write will be a permanent part of that user's record on eBay.

Always leave Feedback and your counterpart will most probably reciprocate. As a rule of thumb always leave feedback as soon as you have received payment for your auction item. Conversely you should expect to receive Feedback from the seller as soon as you have made your payment. Some buyers and sellers are very slow or unwilling to leave feedback. As a seller you may wish to offer your buyer a free gift for leaving you early feedback after they have received and examined the goods and are satisfied.

Caution: Be very careful with the wording of your free gift to leave early Feedback offer as you do not want it to be misunderstood and you must be careful not to violate eBay’s Feedback Solicitation Policy.

Leaving Negative Feedback - Be careful about leaving negative feedback for someone who most probably deserves it. Always try and find some other solution to resolve disputes. If necessary use the PayPal, Square Trade or other available arbitration service. It is normal for bidders to retaliate with their own negative and unfair comments. Leaving either neutral Feedback or no comments is preferable to leaving negative Feedback.

Code of Ethics and Compliance With eBay Policies - A Commitment to ethical professional conduct and generally accepted ethical standards is expected of every eBay member. Adherence of professionals to a code of ethics is largely a voluntary matter. Here are some points to consider:

Avoid harm to others – harm means injury or negative consequences;

Be honest and trustworthy. Honesty is an essential component of trust. Without trust an organization cannot function effectively;

The honest buyer/seller will not make deliberately false or deceptive claims about a product, but will instead provide full disclosure of all pertinent limitations and problems;

Be fair and take action not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin;

Honor property rights including copyrights and patent. Violation of copyrights, patents, trade secrets and the terms of license agreements is prohibited by law in most circumstances. Even when software is not so protected, such violations are contrary to professional behavior. Copies of software should be made only with proper authorization. Unauthorized duplication of materials must not be condoned;

Give proper credit for intellectual property even in cases where the work has not been explicitly protected by copyright, patent, etc;

Respect the privacy of others. Computing and communication technology enables the collection and exchange of personal information on a scale unprecedented. Thus there is increased potential for violating the privacy of individuals and groups;

Honor confidentiality. The principle of honesty extends to issues of confidentiality of information. The ethical concern is to respect all obligations of confidentiality to clients, and users unless discharged from such obligations by requirements of the law;

Know and respect existing laws. Obey existing local, state, province, national, and international laws;

Follow the Policies and Procedures of the organizations in which you participate i.e. eBay’s Guidelines and Policies;

Honor contracts and agreements. Honoring one's commitments is a matter of integrity and honesty;

Uphold and promote the principles of this or a similar Code. Not only is it important for buyers/sellers to adhere to the principles expressed in this Code, each member should encourage and support adherence by other members;

Treat violations of this code as inconsistent with membership in eBay;

Safe and enjoyable Trading!

Stephen S Alison is a retired "bean counter" who spent 26 years in middle management positions for major US financial institutions in Europe and a further 10 years as an adviser/consultant to a number of European financial institutions. He has traded successfully on eBay for over 2 years using the same strategies and tactics published in his websites:

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