A few months ago, I was out sourcing retail and thrift stores with my wife. It was lunch time, so we took a break and went to one of our favorite local Mexican food restaurants. While we were waiting for our lunch to come, I received a text about a negative feedback that was just posted to my Amazon seller account. By the time lunch was done, the negative feedback had been removed, and we enjoyed the rest of the day. How was this situation fixed so quickly? More on that in a minute…
Many Amazon sellers know that winning the Buy Box is vital to their success on Amazon. If you are wanting to win the Buy Box more often, one really great way is to improve your feedback score. When Amazon sees that you are a quality seller with an amazing reputation, their Buy Box algorithm is more likely to include your inventory. About 70-80% of all Amazon sales come through the Buy Box, so it’s really important to have all your ducks in a row in order to get the Buy Box a higher percentage of time.
Here are the methods I use to do keep a 100% feedback rating:
1. When choosing the condition of a product, round down, not up.
If you have a book and you think its condition is somewhere between very good and good condition, round down and list the book as good. Buyers can be very picky and if they think they are ordering a book in very good condition but get a book they believe is only in good condition, you might get a negative feedback for the order. Remember, people grade items differently, so it’s best to play it safe. Plus, if someone orders an item in good condition, but then gets it and thinks it’s in very good condition, then it is much more likely you’ll get a positive feedback rating.
2. Think twice about selling an item in acceptable condition.
I almost never sell an item that I think is in acceptable condition. Just like I wrote above, different people grade items differently, and what I think might be acceptable, someone else might see as completely unacceptable. Even if you provide the buyer with the most detailed condition notes describing exactly what the item’s faults are, they probably won’t remember when they get the item days later and are more likely to post negative feedback on your account.
3. When you get an unfair negative feedback (and you will), act quickly.
Most of the negative feedbacks I get are product reviews, price complaints, or other unfair negative feedbacks. It’s against Amazon’s feedback policy for a buyer to leave feedback for a seller that is related to a product review or price. As soon as you get an unfair negative feedback, click the link in the Actions column on the feedback page to “Request Removal.”
Amazon will automatically open up a ticket with Seller Support and ask them to remove the feedback as it violates the feedback guidelines. The feedback algorithm will scan at the feedback to see if it violates Amazon’s feedback guidelines. If so, Amazon will remove or strike through the feedback and it will no longer be counted against your score. If the algorithm does not think the negative feedback violates the feedback guidelines, then it will let you know.
At this point, you have ONE more option (in Seller Central) to re-open the case and state to an actual human why the feedback is a violation of Amazon’s feedback guidelines. When you describe your reasons to Amazon, limit the number of words you use. The longer the explanation, the more likely the Seller Support staff will ignore the bulk of your message and just deny your feedback removal request.
When communicating with Amazon, it’s always best to be concise and to the point. Most of the time, the Seller Support staff member will see your point of view and remove the unfair negative feedback. If they deny your request, your goal of feedback removal is not over. Keep reading for the next step.
4. When you get a legitimate negative feedback (and you will), act quickly, apologetically, and generously.
Maybe you forgot to put in the condition notes that the book you are selling has a lot of highlights and underlines on most of its pages… and now your customer is upset that they didn’t get a clean copy of the book. Perhaps you sent in a used music CD without testing it first, and your customer complains that the CD you sold them skips every 10 seconds. Sometimes when a buyer leaves you negative feedback, it’s deserved… but that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it for life.
While Seller Support probably won’t remove the feedback for you, the buyer can. When you get a negative feedback and you are in the wrong, reach out to the buyer with a friendly email. In the email, tell them that you are very sorry for the mistake you have made. Communicate to them that you have learned from your errors and you appreciate them pointing out where you went wrong. Ask them if there is anything you can do to make things up to them. Tell them that customer satisfaction is very important to you and that you want to do anything you can to make things up to them. Even go so far as to offer them an additional $10 refund to make up for their inconvenience. In this email, DO NOT request that they remove the feedback; this will come later. Most likely, the buyer will accept the additional $10 refund and your apology. You can go into the original order page and give the customer a refund and mark it as general adjustment concession.
A few days after you send them the concession refund, send them a follow up email that communicates, once again, that customer satisfaction is very important to you. Ask them again if there is anything else you can do for them. Then, remind them that your feedback score is very important to you as a small seller on Amazon. Ask them, very politely, if they would consider removing the negative feedback only if they feel like you have made up for your error. Provide the buyer with step-by-step instructions to how they can easily remove (and update) their feedback score. Most of the time, the seller will remove the feedback.
NEVER (EVER!) connect the gift card with the removal of the negative feedback. Never even talk about them in the same sentence. It is against Amazon’s policy to offer gift cards in exchange for a feedback removal, so don’t even come close to making that connection in your email communications with the buyer.
Note that some sellers have buyer-seller communication turned off and will therefore not receive your feedback removal request. This is frustrating, but it’s just something all sellers have to deal with.
5. Use Feedback Genius.
The methods that Feedback Genius uses are truly… well… genius! When I signed up for Feedback Genius, not only did my positive feedback more than double, but I was also able to more easily stop negative feedback from happening.
- Order delivery – Feedback Genius can lets the customer know that their order will be delivered later that day… or you can gave Feedback Genius let your customer know that the order was delivered yesterday, if you want. Feedback Genius looks at the package tracking information to know this for sure.
- How to fix problems with order – Ask the customer to contact you immediately if there are any issues that need to be fixed with the order. I can’t tell you how many times I was able to avoid negative feedback since the customer knew to come to me with the problem before they left negative feedback for me on Amazon.
- How to rate their experience – Ask the customer to rate their experience by leaving an honest review for you, the seller. Feedback Genius can give them easy instructions on how to leave seller feedback so them leaving you feedback is easy and painless.
The number of feedbacks I get has more than doubled since signing up with Feedback Genius, and I’ve been able to keep a 100% feedback rating.
My favorite feature of Feedback Genius is their text updates. Any time I get a feedback score of 3 or lower, Feedback Genius will text me and email me to notify me of the neutral/negative feedback. I can then act quickly to either ask Amazon to remove an unfair negative feedback, or I can email the buyer to start the feedback repair process.
Ok, so back to the Mexican food restaurant with my wife. We were taking a lunch break from working, and while we were waiting for our food to come, I received a text from Feedback Genius about a negative feedback that was just posted to my Amazon seller account.
Since I was out to eat with my wife, I asked her if I could take a couple of minutes to deal with this situation (I wanted her to know she was my priority, not work). She said it was fine, so I spent about 90 seconds on my phone in an attempt to fix the situation.
I first noticed that the feedback in question was actually a product feedback. This particular feedback was for 2-stars and the review stated, “This item is not what I intended. Do not like it.” Seeing as this feedback was in violation of Amazon’s feedback policies, I opened up a ticket with Seller Support five minutes after the feedback was posted. I simply asked them to review and remove the feedback. I told them it was a product review and would they please remove it. About an hour later, I got the notification that the negative feedback had been removed. Soon after that, lunch was over, and we enjoyed the rest of the day sourcing.
Without the Feedback Genius text, I probably would not have seen the negative feedback until the following morning. Who knows, I may not have seen the negative feedback for a few days. This delay would have potentially cost me sales while my feedback score was lower than it was supposed to be.
Special Offer From Feedback Genius
I spoke with Jeff from Seller Labs (creator of Feedback Genius) and he is offering my Full-Time FBA blog readers 30% off your first 3 months of Seller Labs Pro (which includes Feedback Genius). Just use the coupon code GOPROSMO to get the special savings. There is really no reason why you shouldn’t give Feedback Genius a try today.