Friday, October 29, 2010

Thoughts on Etsy Feedback

I remember when I first began selling on etsy two years ago this month, I carefully packaged my goodies and sent them away, ran to the computer and did my duty and left my feedback for the customer. Then, I eagerly awaited feedback from my first few customers. I was lucky because my first few customers were more than kind and left me with sweet feedback as well, and my customer base began to grow.

To this day, I still package the orders, and remove my feedback reminder to leave feedback for the customer by leaving feedback and ship them off.  Feedback for me is my way of keeping track of my orders.

Recently, I  had a friend who purchased an item that stated it took something like 2-3 weeks to receive after ordering. She gave herself plenty of time, and placed the order. Well, something like 4 weeks was approaching and she repeatedly tried to contact the shop owner. When she finally did get a response from the shop owner, it was very dry, and filled with empty promises. (Like I will mail it priority today, or the last one I did mail it priority on _________________ day.  She received it mailed first class much later than the day the seller had said she sent it.)

When it came to leaving feedback, my friend wasn't about to leave a green plus sign, and by this time her situation was far from "neutral" so my friend gave this seller a "negative" and explained the situation on the feedback. (which as a customer reading through feedback is invaluable. A plain ol' plus/neutral/or negative without any explanation is difficult to judge a situation by.   Within minutes, the shop owner went over to my friend's feedback section, and left really terrible, vindictive feedback.

This happens a lot of the time, yet often goes unnoticed. The practice of shopowners withholding feedback until the customer has left them feedback.

My aunt and I were discussing this and she shared a very similar story as to when she was displeased with an item, left neutral feedback (rather than negative) and in turn received neutral feedback from the shop owner.  She and I both agreed that the customer HAS FULFILLED THEIR OBLIGATION to us as a shopowner once they have paid for their item. They "owe" us nothing more. We both feel that upon sending the order off to our customer, that is when we should send the feedback as well. Basically to wipe our hands clean of the transaction.

Yes, it is wonderful to receive a thank you and a humongous compliment through feedback. If you are solely a customer through etsy and you have yet to leave feedback for your purchases, I want to encourage you to leave honest feedback. I'm one of those customers that as soon as my package comes in the mail, I open it up, see it, smell it, feel it, then hop on the computer and leave a feedback. Here are my three reasons for leaving feedback 1. the shop owner knows it has arrived  2. the shop owner knows how I feel about their work and 3. others will be encouraged to buy from that shop as well

And shopowners, should a customer feel like there will be retribution for their honest evaluation of your work?  Are you that concerned with the quality in the first place?  Personally, I never send out anything I would be ashamed of. I'm finished with the order when it is out the door and I have left my feedback. What about you? Do you wait? If so, why? (seriously just curious because as you can read from my perspective I may not know your reasoning.)

And as always, you are encouraged to share this article and comment your opinions as well.


  1. I'm with you Jenny. I leave feedback to buying customers and thank them for visiting my shop as soon as I have shipped their order. I agree with you and your aunt that they have done their part and should receive a positive mark simply for making payment in a timely manner.

    No, a customer should never feel afraid of retribution for leaving honest feedback. And in my opinion, if the seller didn't seem to care about shipping in a timely manner and making that customer happy, maybe they shouldn't even be on Etsy at all.

    I think the Etsy community is a very positive one and I enjoy being there. I also think it's a bit competitive if you have product that other people are selling (like me, selling jewelry). So, to me, customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to me. If they aren't 100% happy, shame on me. And, like you, I never ship anything I wouldn't wear, use, or give as a gift myself. Shame on any Etsy shop owner who does less than that.

    I think your friend should report the seller to Etsy. They were completely unprofessional and are guilty of damaging the warm community the rest of us enjoy on Etsy.

  2. I post a comment as soon as I get my stuff too. I haven't had issues with anyone yet, but shop's opening soon, so I'm sure that could change. I would hope that if a customer was displeased with something that bought from me, that I could satisfactorily fix the situation. I'm not afraid to get nasty stuff from people if I deserve it. But, my mom also raised me that no matter how nasty someone is to me, it's never appropriate to respond in the same manner.

  3. I'm also with you on leaving feedback as soon as the item is sent out. Honestly, my feedback at the time of shipment is my genuine feedback of the transaction. The only time I waited to leave feedback was with a bad interaction with the seller from the beginning. All I wanted to do was receive payment and ship out the item. It's a long story and they were out of line and I didn't trust them not to slam my reputation so I held out.
    Otherwise, I wish more of my customers would leave feedback. I want to know that the item met their satisfaction.

  4. I would also like to add that should there be a problem with the order, both as a buyer and a seller, I think disputes should try to be resolved first in private convos rather than going straight to feedback. This way the seller can try to rectify any problems. Negative feedback should come after all else fails.

  5. I do agree, that if you as a customer, or one of your own customers are unhappy, I would hope that you would try to contact that person via convo and resolve the issue. In fact, I had an issue with an order a month or so ago. The item was really 6 small items, and one was broken. Instead of leaving yucky feedback for the seller, I left nice feedback for what I received and contacted her to let her know that there was a minor problem. She was so kind and even sent me 6 more.

    Angela, I totally get you and understand that situation completely. I think there are always exceptions to a standard rule. I think if I was getting a strange vibe or having conflict with a customer prior to shipping, I might lean more to holding off on leaving feedback so I could justify my actions according to them.

    Elaine, I didn't think about her reporting the seller...and you are so right, etsy is a wonderful community, I hate when someone tries to taint it.