eBay gets rid of negative/neutral feedback for buyers

This is not quite bento-related, but I know that a lot of readers buy bento supplies from eBay merchants, so this news may be of interest. eBay has made a number of changes to their feedback policies, but the most significant one for most people is that sellers can no longer leave negative or neutral Feedback for buyers. If you've ever bought anything from eBay or other auction type sites, you know that feedback is a critical part of the trust system, so this is quite a big change.

I've been buying things sporadically on eBay for more than 8 years, and earned 1 negative feedback during that time. It was a retaliatory feedback to a negative one I'd left for a seller who didn't give me the total amount I needed to pay after several communications. (The seller claimed she 'didn't get the email', which rather odd considering I had send all the communication via the eBay messaging system.) After that experience, I was wary of giving any negative or neutral feedback to less than stellar eBay merchants for fear of getting those retaliatory negatives. Since I'm not a heavy eBay buyer, the one negative really dragged down my overall rating for a while.

So in the sense that the possibility of earning retaliatory negative feedback has gone, it's a good thing, and may have made eBay a much more buyer-friendly place. Since I've never been an eBay seller, only a buyer, it's all good for me. I should say that my experiences with eBay sellers has been mostly positive, though I have had some issues with a couple of sellers. (Instead of giving them negative feedback though, I've avoided buying anything further from them.)

On the other hand, from the seller's point of view this may be a very bad thing, though there are measures detailed for dealing with unpaying buyers and so on. The buyer forums are already up in arms (registration required) over the change in policies.

What do you think about this? Does this development make you more or less willing to buy bento supplies or anything else via eBay? If there are any eBay sellers reading this I'd love to hear their opinions too.

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