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.
Feedback Genius easily integrates with your Amazon account and automatically sends your customer an email letting them know three vital pieces of information:
- 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.
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This is great info. You are so right about keeping things considered when asking Amazon to remove negative feedback.
“Concise” not “considered” – sorry – auto correct
Gotta love, autocorrect, right?
And that’s right, it’s important to keep things short and sweet when communicating with Amazon’s reps.
I recently got a feedback “Everything came in good condition as expected.
” and yes to all 3 options BUT 3 stars . Not all ways can you understand
I’m sorry, Martin. Some customers don’t know that a 3 (neutral) feedback is actually hurts your feedback score. Maybe send the customer an email and let them know. Perhaps they will update the feedback for you.
russ ernst says
what is the cost? i went to their site and still didn’t see it..i never sign up for something if i don’t know the cost..
Russ, on the page where you get the free trial, there is a link to the pricing page. It’s under the “Why Sign Up?” section. The link is “Simple Pay-as-you-go Pricing” and that will explain the pricing options you can choose after your free 60 day trial.
Thanks again for an informative article. My question is that the times that I have gotten a negative I found it almost impossible to reach the buyer. They either didn’t receive my e-mails or totally ignored them. After many unsuccesful attempts to reach the buyer many of these good tips seem to be useless. Your thoughts?
Gene, I’ve been in the same situation… my suggestion is to not give up. Here is what I would do:
1. Open up tickets with Amazon asking them to remove the feedback. Keep asking different ways.
2. Keep trying to contact the buyer. Amazon offers up different subject lines to choose from when you contact a buyer, so try them all (one at a time) to see if one will finally get through to the buyer.
3. Make sure that the first thing you say in the email to the buyer is that you want to make things up to him/her and that customer satisfaction is your top priority. You might only have their attention for the first line, so make it count.
Best of luck to you!
Sprigley Allan says
Great Article! I agree completely with your suggestions and with your endorsement of Feedback Genius. It really is a great product and there is even more you can do in terms of creating custom campaigns. For example; I like included a PDF attachment with Recipes for the people that buy cooking equipment.
Thanks for the post…. seems like a great service. Just signed up and looking forward to some great results.
You’ll love it! I know I do.
I’m fairly new and love getting those 5 Stars with feedbacks. I did get a 3 star from someone who left the comment “was as described” and nothing else. I was kind of stunned that the person got was he asked for and still only gave me 3 stars. Sheesh.
That stinks… another customer who doesn’t understand that a 3 is actually a score that hurts us sellers. If I were you, I’d send the customer an email and politely let them know that a 3 is seen by Amazon as a bad review… and ask them to update the feedback score. Send the the link where they can easily find where to update their feedback for you.
Great article! I just had a question..you mentioned that negative feedback against amazons policy include price complaints and product reviews. Can you explain what you mean by “product review”?
When a customer buys a product on Amazon, they have the opportunity to leave feedback for the seller (you) and a review for the product they purchased. Sometimes customers get the two mixed up, so if you get a negative feedback that is actually a review of the product they purchased, you can have that removed.
Thanks Stephen – Great article. We have been wondering for a while now how to handle negative reviews. This is so helpful. Quick question – when you send the customer a gift card, how do you actually send it to them? Do you email it to them? send it through the seller central system?, mail it to their shipping address?, etc??? Thanks for your help and keep up the good work.
I have bought a gift card for myself and then sent them the gift card numbers through the Amazon mail system.
thanks Stephen, just sign up fbg !!! very helpful service
Good. You’ll love it!
For the customer who does not leave a review… All those orders sitting completed…
Do you do anything outside if feedback genius
Through seller central a d make contact , and what would that say?
Or is that waste of time be uses feedback genius did t do it..
See answer below to your revised question.
Sorry I’ll restart:
1. Do you send thank you through seller central if someone leaves review?
For what strategy reason if so?
2. Is it waste of time to send a note through seller central for someome
Who did Not leave review if you have feedback genius?
3. Are some reviewers working in some way for your competition, weather
Bought organically or through a prodict discount review site
1. I do not currently send a thank you after a review is posted.
2. If you use feedback genius, then there is no need for you to an additional note to the buyer.
3. I’m not sure what you mean in this question.
Hope this was helpful!
William J Yancey says
I would like to buy your book “Marred to Reselling” BUT I can not get past the order app.. So I will have to give up on ever doing any more business with you.
Are you considering a feedback of ‘4’ as a 100% feedback? If not, how do coerce the customer to raising the feedback from a 4 to 5?
Great post, btw!
Yes, Amazon considers a 4 the same as a 5… and there is no need to try and get a 4 raised up to a 5. A 100% positive feedback score is a combo of 4 and 5 star reviews for the seller, so no need to try and get the 4’s raised to a 5.
Hi, Stephen. Have you noticed the change in the SC support setup? I can’t find the area for submitting a feedback dispute. I can’t find any way at all to easily do this now, except for creating a support ticket under a general heading. Any thoughts?
Found the link thru. Not too crazy about the changes to the support system, but, of course, there are better things to spend time and energy on. 😉
Yes, Seller Central just went through a “face-lift” and so some of the things look different. The tips are the same, but the steps might be a little outdated right now. I’ll work on updating them in the future.
I originally read this article a couple of months ago and dog eared it in my brain, if you will, because I knew I would need to refer back to this sound advice. Lo and behold, I had my opportunity this month when I received a 3 in feedback for a sale that the contents of a box did not match the listing (still not sure how that happened other than to blame the manufacturer).
I immediately gave 100% refund and, since I was out of inventory, purchased another one and had it shipped to the client, which they received two days later.
All of this was accompanied with emails before and after, and then a follow up asking the client to change or remove the feedback.
Unfortunately, I never received a response nor did they change the feedback.
At this point, would you call the client or just let it be?
Thanks so much for the solid advice. Keep up the great work!
Personally, I’d let it be now. I might ask one last time. Remind them you are a small seller and your feedback is very important to you and your business. After that, I’d let it go. You’ve done all you can.
Martin Haworth says
Super cool post – thanks!
I haven’t opened yet an Amazon seller-account, but I intend to.
I found this article excellent and very helpful.
I received this feedback: All arrived, however Command Strips didn’t work as described. Although utilized for significantly less weight than strips are advertised to handle, strips pulled away from wall or hanging object in a matter of days. I believe the glue may be compromised as it didn’t adhere long to the wall surface of object surface.
So, I did a chat with Amazon and asked if it could be removed. They responded: We have reviewed your request for feedback removal. In this case, the feedback you received does not meet the criteria for removal so we are unable to remove it because the buyer stated that the item does not work as described.
What do you think of this? It seems that it is more of a product review to me. Am I incorrect? Thank you!
This is clearly a product review. I’d open the case again and ask them to remove it as it’s a product review. I’d ask to “escalate” the case to a supervisor. The supervisor will probably understand better that this was a product review, not a seller review.
Sue McGrath says
In a complete panic, I referenced this article due to negative feedback…my feedback was removed with a minute or two!! Thanks so much for this most helpful article, Stephen!
Alan Weinberg says
How do I remove negative product Feedback? And how do i contact the customer to remove it? Are there any blogs or books written about Product feedback?
Try this book: https://www.fulltimefba.com/feedbackmastery
Use code FULLTIMEFBA and that will bring the price down from $47 to $19.99. Best price anywhere for that book.
you mentioned to reopen an ticket with amazon and let them know the feedback is item review and not seller review,and escalate the case their supervisor but i feel like amazon staff won’t even bother to forward the request to their supervisor what you have to suggest about this?
2) also what about orders which buyer claim they didn’t receive and leave you negative feed back what would you do in this case?
1. It’s worth a try. About 80% of my requests to escalate are met with either the seller rep siding with me or actually getting a supervisor.
2. This would be FBA’s fault, not yours, so again, open up a ticket and say the feedback is 100% about FBA.
Hi again stephen: in response to your post i have to say that item was not from FBA and it was shipped from our warehouse by USPS. So what do you comment on this?
2) also what about orders which buyer claim they didn’t receive and leave you negative feed back what would you do in this case?
In that case there is nothing you can to do get the negative feedback removed other than issuing full refund, contacting the buyer, and asking if they would consider changing it. This is why we do FBA as it protects our account for these reasons.
Stephen I really appreciate your advice in this case:
Customer left this feedback in my seller account with 1 star:
Toy is broken. It was a Christmas present for my nephew and toy is broken and not working even if new batteries. Very disappointed
I opened a case and this is what I got from Amazon:
I have reviewed the details related to the order Id: xxxxxx and confirm that the order was fulfilled by Amazon, however as per the buyer’s feedback it shows that the item received defective, please be informed that even if an order is fulfilled by Amazon, Amazon does not open the item and checks the functionality, same is not possible for you as a seller, you can also not open the original packaging and check the functionality, hence we can conclude that the buyer may be referring to some manufacturing defect or may not be aware of the functioning of the item.
I apologize for the impact this may have caused you, however I have to take decision as per the feedback, which describes dissatisfaction regarding non functionality of the item. So in this situation we are unable to remove the feedback because only buyer can remove the feedback.
Please some help!!!!
Appreciate the recommendation. Willl try it out.
You did a feedback removal request on your phone. Did you go to seller Central on your browser and navigate to the feedback page? Did feedback genius give you a direct link to the right location? Or do you do this through some phone app?
Stephen Smotherman says
I just used my phone’s browser (Safari on my iPhone). I have my AZ feedback page as a quick link on my phone.