In online shops, like e-bay and in a milder way, on Etsy, is feedback, more often than not, a weapon in a power struggle between buyer and seller, a public way to air discontent. I understand very well that open feedback is supposed to protect the buyer-to-be and provide information about the other party.
It is always been our motto to treat our customers as we want to be treated when buying, but with the increase in our sales (yay!), we haven’t be able to make everybody happy, and a couple of negative feedbacks have been received.
I have never read about it in other blogs, it is like every other seller lives in perpetual bliss with the customers, and most of them leave sure enough heart warming comments, but the one percent unjust, reality distorting (to use an euphemism), negative feedback, really sucks, and we are unsure how to go about it.
Many sellers I know, only leave feedback after receiving one, in order to reciprocate in kind, but we dislike very much that system. Not only it creates a big backlog in feedback, you can argue that if a buyer has paid in a timely fashion, he/she has done his/her part, and should receive positive feedback. I really dislike the withholding of feedback to have a stick in your hand to but the other over the head (if the other hits you). But not withholding it makes you as seller very vulnerable for unreasonable demands and the misuse of feedback.
All by all, I would plait for the disappearance of feedback. In Ruby Lane is not used, but sellers are warned that their shops will be closed after two reasonable complains, what I think is very fair all around, especially because it implies the involvement of a neutral third party.
Another alternative would be to split the feedback in categories: the customer’s satisfaction with the item itself, the communication with the seller, the shipping time and costs, etc.
I know that Etsy is not going to change its feedback policy to accommodate me, and I know that I am not going to allow somebody to twist my arm in order to avoid negative feedback, but the fact is that we get rather stressed over this question, and we will like to know how others cope with this situation. So, please, friends out there, could you give us some FEEDBACK on this issue??