Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From the Bitches Auxiliary: Negative Nellies

Today's EB rant from me...

This thread on whether or not one should leave negative feedback for nonpaying buyers is driving me just a little crazy:

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5690096&page=1

The general consensus seems to be that it's bad to leave negative feedback. Why? One seller suggests that negative feedback only be given when it's a truly negative transaction. Which is what, I ask? When the buyer comes over and kills your dog? How is not getting paid and not getting any response from a buyer NOT a negative transaction? Someone else suggests that they don't want to leave negative feedback because it might discourage that person from buying from Etsy again. What?! What is this "again" you speak of? They didn't buy in the first place!

I guess it's driving me a little batshit because it exemplifies a "rainbows and unicorns are beautiful and business is meanie weanie!" attitude that permeates so much of Etsy. No wonder Admin thinks they can jerk us around with empty promises: we don't really care about getting paid as long as people are nice to us! Why should Etsy take policing its own site seriously when sellers won't enforce their own rules? Or when sellers won't do other sellers the courtesy of letting them know about a flaky buyer?

I'm not calling for NPBs to be condemned or burned at the stake. One can be polite with negative feedback: a simple "this buyer didn't pay after several attempts to contact" would be fine. But please, at least admit that non-payment is a bad thing!

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest, EtsyBitch!

43 Comments:

jodie nicholson said...

I love everyone who chimes in with, "Why sweat it? There's so many more important things. I just cancel the transaction and forget about it".

Yeah, that's a responsible attitude....

SewCrazyDogLady said...

having recieved my first (and probably last since I'm closing up) non paying buyer, you can bet I'm leaving negative feedback.. too bad it's a new and fake account.

Jennifer said...

I'm just a buyer and absolutely agree that negative feedback should be left.

I read about a shop that was closed by etsy because a buyer never got their order, but they never freaking paid for it, so if nothing else, leaving negative feedback could be a 'cover your ass' against idiotic etsy decisions.

And hopefully it'd be a deterrent to others doing the same thing.

Elizabeth said...

A-freakin'-men.

shannon said...

Man, sometimes it sounds like folks smoke something they aren't supposed to. Hhehee, we can't leave negative feedback, I mean, it says negative right in the word! We can't have negativity!

Ladies Auxilliary said...

I think a lot of Etsy users also confuse "objective" and with "negative". You can leave totally objective feedback on a transaction that illustrates what the ding dong did to you without being "negative" at all. The facts speak for themselves, and the facts are what help to protect others from sucky buyers and sellers.

It's like giving a critique, and I'm continually surprised that in a population of people where a lot of people likely received some kind of arts training, so many don't seem to get that.

sillywabbit said...

I wish Etsy and buyers both would stop expecting us to eagerly bend over, grab our ankles and beg "please, may I have another" when they screw us.

Jodie said...

Yes thank you!

It's business people, would you be nice if your bank stole some of your money and refused to give it back or you found a rubber band in a burger?

No you would be polite, firm and use that tone in your voice. You'd damn well get a feedback card and fill it out while talking through your answers loudly in front of the business.

Andy Mathis said...

I am not risking get a retaliatory negative that Etsy won't remove. Nope, not gonna happen.

I get my fees back. I have my item. I report the npb. If Etsy wants to deal with them, it's their problem, to deal with.

ShrugItOff said...

I'm with Andy. I won't risk retaliatory feedback either (and it happens). If I get a negative, I want it to be for a real honest to goodness, not-happy-with-the-customer-service reason. Not because some asshole wants to make me pay for being honest.

So I just report it and move on. If Etsy had some kind of a 3 strike and your out policy, it wouldn't be my obligation to 'warn' other sellers. It would be theirs. And how is it warning other sellers anyway?? I had someone buy something from me who had 5 negatives stating they never paid. I looked at them the same day the order came in and thought "crap, here we go" but you know what...they paid the next day.

ballroombaby said...

I haven't had to deal with this situation yet, thank God. But people leave negative feedback on eBay all the time, so why should Etsy be any different? As a matter of fact, I think our products are more valuable than eBay items so leaving negative FB for non-payers is MORE important. A retaliatory negative FB would suck but the buyer needs to know that it's not okay to not pay and they can't get away with it without consequences.

Heather said...

I remember reading one thread like this a while back and someone saying "it's bad karma to leave negative feedback". Huh? No, saying dumbass shit like that is "bad karma". Not paying for stuff you bought is "bad karma". Being a responsible business person is not "bad karma".

Argh.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

I defininitely see Andy's point...

I actually operate on a modified version of that same paranoia: I wait until buyers leave feedback before leaving mine for them.

ShrugItOff said...

Btw, this comment section will soon turn into an extension of the thread mentioned!


To warn other sellers by leaving a negative is POINTLESS because there is no block buyer function. Someone with 8 negatives for NPB can still come to your shop and buy from you. You will STILL have to report them for NPB. So...how exactly were you warned?

lessa said...

I agree with Andy.

I'm not risking a negative especially when I do not have the option to respond. They could make up whatever they want and I wouldn't be able to defend it. If we had a blocked buyer list option then I could see warning a seller, but you wouldn't know who the bad buyers are til after they bought from you.

I get my fees and move on.

Meredith said...

Etsy doesn't take it seriously even if the sellers do! A buyer I left neutral feedback stalked me until she found out my employer's phone number then proceeded to call and try to get me fired. Although it didn't immediately result in my terminitation, it made work hell from then on until I quit.

When I notified Etsy of this, they told me to write her and tell her not to do it again. When she contacted me a couple months later, I notified them again and they said "tell her not to talk to you and let us know if she does it again." WTF? Isn't that what I just did? How many times must I get fired from my real job and how long do I have to fear that that crazy lady will drive down here and kill my family before Etsy will kick her off the site for it?

And you know WHY they won't do anything to her? Because she sells more than I do.

Simone said...

I've left negatives for non-payers who also don't respond to communication. However, recently it's come to light that Etsy now only removes retaliatory feedback if you agree to have your warranted feedback removed along with it. I'm less sure about doing it now even though I agree that non-payment and no communication absolutely warrants a negative.

This didn't used to be the case. Back during the Constitution debate Rokali told us that just the retaliatory feedback would be removed and that we'd be protected from this stuff.

Now that's all been forgotten and Etsy will tell you that they'll only remove both or neither if you complain about even blatantly obvious situations. Blah.

Sgt Bunny said...

In the beginning, I didn't want to risk "negatives" but as the non payers started to pile up, I don't have any issues whatsoever with a neutral or negative.

I think I've seen one buyer get their account yanked after a long history of not paying. She hit a bunch of us in one run, paying for some, not for others.

I'm not inclined to be "nice" if people can't take a moment to tell me they ordered in error or changed their mind. Making me wait, and email and try to contact them several times is idiotic.

Etsy's response for all issues is "aw, try to talk to the person!" yeah. Don't bother yourselves dealing with the issue.

hello,my name is jessica. said...

simone, that is fucked up! i have never had any hesitation to leave a buyer a negative if they do not pay or reply to my convos/emails. but now, reading that, i see how truly useless the feedback system is.
i'm particularly tired of the imbalance in treatment of buyers vs. sellers. the buyers with horrible feedback remain, but a seller can get one (bogus) complaint about them and be shut down over it. so lame.

j. hart photography said...

my take on the NPB's is that it's etsy's fault and not the buyer. now, i'm sure there are malicious NPB's out there but how do you tell the difference?

when you check out and hit that final button that then takes you to the part where you need to click "go to paypal".... that part looks like an INVOICE. you already had to sign up with etsy to buy something so my impression is that new buyers think etsy is then going to somehow send them something.

they think they are done.

then the seller sends an email.... only, most people use alternate email accounts for stupid sites you have to "sign up" for so they never get the email.

their shopping cart is empty so it seems as if it's all done. there are a TON of people who don't know what paypal is.

so, my feelings are that 90% of the time it's due to etsy's damn checkout that doesn't automatically take you to paypal like all the other sites that use paypal.

but of course, if they changed that, all the trading would slow down or be done off etsy. etsy would lose money.

i have had an NPB. it took me a week to get her to respond but she finally apologized. she had not used etsy before and thought that as long as she hadn't PAID the items weren't sold. that's a logical assumption.

stace said...

i'll admit it... i let it roll off my back.

secretly... it's because i'm an ebay fallout who's scared of buyer retaliation.

and then, i'm scared people will not read that the feedback was retaliatory from a NPB, only look at my percentage and not buy from me.



i'm also sitting here thinking about how much stress is put on the number in front of the % ... and how it makes me sick to my stomach how much i allow even 1, even if retaliatory makes me feel.


i got a neutral on ebay 6 months ago. the auction said "dirty, bait, for customization" on some toys. the buyer gets them and leave me a neutral saying "were dirty."

eck.



:)

stace said...

also, i've only had one NPB that i had to cancel, and to their credit, they did admit they didn't read that i only accepted paypal. apologized, a lot... and asked me to cancel the sale.

other than that, it's been a fairly positive experience, for me, buyer wise.

qb said...

meredith: I'm so sorry you went through that. Hopefully the buyer has calmed down and has moved on to other things.

In regards to feedback, I rarely leave negatives, but I do. I tend to keep them from people who are difficult NPB's. If they just disappear, I'm more likely to just give them the neutral and move on.

Foxglove Studios said...

I've read in the forum that you can leave feedback for the NPB then immediately cancel the sale and they don't get an opportunity to leave feedback in return. Is that so? If it is, damn straight I'll leave negative feedback.

lessa said...

If Etsy completes the request to cancel a transaction before the buyer leaves feedback then yes, they won't be able to leave it.



Unless they have changed that as well without telling anyone.

Ivydee said...

Well, except that the last time I had to cancel a sale it took them over a week to do it. That's plenty of time for someone to retaliate if they are so inclined.

Foxglove Studios said...

Hmm... So that theory is blown!

MajorFuckingEtsyBurnout said...

NPB's are bullshit. I get them all.the.effing.time. MANY EVERY WEEK...

Yes, you should leave negative. I usually do, but, since Etsy can take anywhere from 24 hours or upwards of 4 weeks to actually cancel the transaction, you are leaving yourself open to retaliatory fb that will.not.be.removed unless you are sucking the right Etsy cock. And I am not.

Someone said they blame Etsy. And I do too. I think most everyone would drop their move-on, karma talk and pull up their pants if they had assurance that Etsy would remove the retaliatory FB of NPB's (since by the way they're not even B's). Since Etsy won't, we all suffer.

Just add it to the list....

sulking said...

Ah, but remember - an uncommunicative buyer could easily be perfectly communicative: they might just be replying directly to their convo notifications and never realising it didn't reach you cos they don't effing bounce. Haha. What a great system!

Snoopy said...

This would be a non-issue if people who only accepted Paypal were able to opt into a system where an item is only removed from their shop when payment is made...those who accept checks & money orders could choose to have things stay the same.

I'm sure this would free up some of the support teams time!!!

Jennifer said...

I really feel bad for you sellers who've been screwed by non-payers.

And I think etsy should set up some protection for you.

How many sales are you losing out on because the unpaid-for item isn't in the shop while awaiting payment? I mean, really, if the item is taken out of the shop before the payment is received, no one else can stumble upon it in a search. (haha, but first they have to make the search user-friendly, so...)

Why can't etsy put it "aside" for 3 days so it can be seen and hearted and automatically put back in the shop if payment isn't rec'd within the timeframe?

If I see something that I love and it's "pending payment" I would probably heart it so I can check back if that payment doesn't go through and snap it up.

Does this make any sense or am I just clueless about how it all works on your end?

But then again, from what I've read, etsy isn't interested in protecting the sellers. Do they still get their fees in a non-payment transaction?

ebbandflo said...

meredith - my sympathies, that sounds horrible

so far my NPBs have just been delyed payments apart from one who has 'disappeared' - i had thought that leaving appropriate feedback was warranted to warn other sellers but the comments her have given me much food for thought!

mrs bobble said...

I've only had it happen a few times but I absolutely leave negative feedback. If you leave feedback first, then cancel the transaction (or whatever it's called) chances are that the person you left the feedback for won't have time to leave it in retaliation anyway as soon as you cancel the transaction you are unable to leave feedback. Or have I got that all wrong? By the way I would only do this if all attempts at communication with the buyer had failed.

Grace said...

Meredith, it's not just you. I've had a seller threaten to ruin my business, report my child to CPS and have her taken away, and then threaten to KILL me!

I reported her to Etsy and they basically said "Thanks for letting us know". She's still selling.

Etsy. Does. Not. Care.

Catarina said...

Some people must drink toilet water at lunch... why would someone not leave NPBs negative feedback because "it's such a meanie weanie thing to do! yay cupcakes and rainbows!"??
This attitude drives me nuts - sellers that think Etsy is doing us a big favour letting us sell our wares, and we should bend over for our buyers, because they are also doing us a big favour and we should give them freebies, lots-o-freebies, and if they don't pay? oh well, just smile and have a cupcake. And any seller who doesn't act like a big fat care bear is frowned upon and seen as an ungrateful meanie.
Negative feedback doesn't need to be angry and subjective - a simple "buyer did not pay, no response to emails" should suffice. It is polite and there's nothing mean about it. Just the facts.
However, there's another side of the coin, the non-care-bear Etsy seller who doesn't leave appropriate fb because they are afraid of retaliatory action that Etsy will not remove. So they would just rather be indifferent than get dirty. THIS is Etsy's fault.
- the checkout system is flawed. half the NPBs would've paid had they known what the fuck was going on.
- the feedback system is flawed and needs a shape up
NPBs should either not be able to leave feedback, or, if they do, then retaliatory feedback to the seller should be removed by Etsy AT ONCE, and without bullshit. No more "remove your negative too, k? and pat that NPB in the back for giving them so much trouble, you fussy seller. actually, send them a freebie, how 'bout that? now leave us alone with your problems, we were drawing swimmies!"
This attitude by the admin. is not professional at all. This is not a big commune of happy people trading wares and hugs and unicorns and lala land! This is a business site, shit! There are sellers and buyers and administrators who should ensure transactions happen smoothly. They don't need to act like they are chaperons in a playground. Be more objective.
Shit!
Swimmy is pissed right now.

Lisa said...

You Go Girl!!!

Simone said...

"If Etsy completes the request to cancel a transaction before the buyer leaves feedback then yes, they won't be able to leave it."

Yes, that's still correct. However sometimes Etsy can take a day or two (or longer if there's a backlog) to cancel the sale, meaning there's a window for retaliation to take place.

If Etsy had some functionality that suspended the ability to leave feedback as soon as you report a particular transaction, that would would be perfect. But that would also require some effort by someone who knows what they're doing!

eclipse said...

Some NPB's are just confused but some are serial NPB's, they know exactly what they are doing and they deserve negatives or at least neutrals. How else will their feedback be an accurate version of history, how else will they reach whatever magic number that makes Etsy suspend them?
I've only had one NPB and their feedback was 65%. They had been on Etsy longer than me, they know how to check out, but they had done this over and over and over. Finally after I reported the transaction, they got deleted.
If none of those previous sellers had left honest feedback then how much longer would that "buyer" still be on Etsy, still doing the same thing? If you don't leave a neg you are giving them a free pass to keep doing it. It's ridiculous enough that ANY user with 65% feedback is allowed to stay on the site.

eclipse said...

foxglove- the problem is it can take up to a few days (after you send the email) for Etsy support to actually cancel the transaction so there is a window of opportunity for retaliatory feedback from the NPB.
If they do manage to sneak it in there then Etsy won't remove it.

Meredith- whoah!! This is the kind of situation I wish you could call out because I don't want to buy from anyone who would use my name and address to stalk me!

MajorFuckingEtsyBurnout said...

The wort though is-I shit you not-when sellers leave POSITIVE feedback for NPB's!! WTF?? DON'T DO THIS!!!!

I have seen this from more than one seller when scanning FB on some buyers who had taken days to pay me. Wierd, I think, all Positive, then I READ some of them. They went like this I-SHIT-YOU-NOT:

*Oops! Buyer never paid. I hope to see you in the future!

*I never received payment for item. enjoy your necklace!

*didn't rcv payment or any emails. That's ok!!


Alternatively, I have seen negative feedback given to a seller with the only reason being "Seller did not include a freebie like all the other sellers I have bought from on Etsy"

This is why the freebie thing that Etsy endorses makes me crazy!
!!!!!!!!!!!!

jodie nicholson said...

Yeah, I've read feedback where the buyer left a neutral because they didn't get a freebie. They even said they loved the piece they ordered but that they are so used to Etsy sellers including freebies that they were disappointed.

W....T.....F?

k said...

Bad feedback for not receiving a freebie! How spoilt are these people?

Do they stand in the street crying their eyes out after friends’ dinner parties because they didn’t get a goodie bag?

Original Poster said...

MFEtayBurnout, that's mindboggling! Positive feedback for nonpayers? That's beyond moronic!

This thread has given me great food for thought -- the reasons given here for not leaving neg FB are well thought out and well, logical. Unlike the puppies and rainbows threads at etsy.

The checkout systems sucks. Items should not be remove from shops until payment is made. Buyers shouldn't have to navigate a confusing system. And for God's sake, buyers should not have the option to leave feedback until they actually PAY!