Is Customer Feedback Important as a Reseller?

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Being an online reseller can be a roller coaster & I used to love riding roller coasters. I remember riding one multiple times when I was 13 or so because I’d pass out just before reaching the top only to wake up heading down. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I wanted to do it over & over again. Now, there’s no way I could do that today but, maybe that’s why I became a reseller. We’re a special kind of person or so I’ve heard.

So, let’s get on the feedback ride…Is customer feedback really that important if you resell?

The answer is, it depends…

Just like anything else, you’ll hear all kinds of varying reasons why customer feedback matters or why you shouldn’t worry about it. My take is sure, 1 bad or negative review here or there may not matter, however, if you’re continually getting negative feedback then you need to look at what you’re doing & what you could do better. Don’t ignore those elephants in the room.

In this post, I’m going to share with you my thoughts plus a few situations I’ve encountered myself as a reseller. What would be the route you took if you encountered the same things?

While I haven’t received many negative reviews since I began selling on Esty & eBay in 2016. I’ve definitely had to work with some of my buyers, not to necessarily avoid a negative but, just being a responsive professional seller is sometimes all it takes to make a buyer truly happy.

I sell mainly vintage & antique items including lamps. I check over wiring & I’ll plug the lamps in while I work just to make sure everything is good. I’ll sometimes use it in my own home decor for weeks or months before it sells. When I list it, I usually say something to the effect of, “You may want to rewire this due to the fact the wiring is original.” If I can blatantly see a flaw in the wiring or I plug it in & experience a problem, I’ll just cut the cord & of course, disclose that.

An issue I had where someone left me 2 stars on Etsy was when I sold a small Michelotti lamp. I believe they were more popular in the 1980s. They can be a great flip. Especially if you find one with the shade & in pink or ruby. As you can see this doesn’t have a shade but, it doesn’t matter. Things like this will still sell.

When something is purchased & I’ve shipped it, I don’t usually think about it again unless I have to & I had to with this one. Unfortunately, I don’t have the original feedback my buyer made but, it was something along the lines of, “I was afraid this lamp was going to burn my house down. The seller should have known there was a short in it.” Again, this was the feedback they left on my store.

When I saw it, I’m pretty sure my heart skipped all the beats. I can handle negative feedback but, to put it out there that I, the seller, knowingly sold you something that could put you in danger? Pardon me but, f$%^ that.

First off, this buyer should have reached out to me first to air their grievances. They’d already reached out immediately after purchasing to get the dimensions needed for the shade they were going to use. Which should have also happened prior to purchasing…in my opinion.

It was purchased for around $80 to $90 & I ended up refunding $40 to get the lamp rewired. Does it cost that much to rewire? No, I can rewire a lamp (this is from my old blog) & this one would have been very straightforward. I did however, want to make my buyer happy. I’m guessing someone is reading this & thinking, maybe this person lied. You’re right, maybe this person did lie (which I don’t think). If so, I can’t do a thing about it. I still made money on the lamp & my customer was happy. Here’s how the convo went.

BUYER:  l just purchased the Dutch lamp and now need to purchase a lampshade so the top of the lamp is 5.5 inches?

ME: Hi, I’m not by the lamp at this moment to make sure. I’ll be able to get back with you in an hour or so. Hope that’s ok. Thanks!

BUYER: Great

ME: Hello again, I did double check just to make sure I measured correctly for the listing and the recessed frame holder, for the shade to rest, is 5 1/2″ in diameter. I’m attaching 2 images showing the caliper measurement. One is upside down but, it shows the parts where the calipers rest to get the measurement. Hope that helps!


ME: Hi there, I just saw your feedback and first off, I’m so sorry that it isn’t working as it should. I can assure you I did not run across a short when I tested it out but, that’s no excuse. I would like to offer you a partial refund of $40 so that you can get it rewired appropriately. Please let me know if this works for you. Again, I’m truly sorry for the inconvenience of it all.

BUYER: That is very generous, thank you. I love the lamp with my other Etsy purchases, the French antique pheasants, and tapestry. Please send the check to the same address.

ME: You’re very welcome. As far as the refund, I’ll need to stay within Etsy’s policies and submit a partial refund officially through their system/protocols. I do hope you understand. I’ll get this done within the next hour or so. Thank you so much

In the end, the buyer changed their review to, I believe, a 5 star. It’s important to always stay professional. Put yourself in their shoes regardless if you’d never fit in them.

More recently, I’d been sitting at 900 reviews on eBay & noticed one day it was up to 901 so I checked it out & it was a glaring red negative. Dun dun duuuuun…

I’ll start off by saying, I’d also be pissed if I were this customer. The review stated: THE ITEM HAS NOT BEEN DELIVERED AS OF NOV. 26TH.

Whaaa?! This item had sold on Nov. 5. I shipped it Nov. 6 & it still hasn’t gotten to the customer?

Now, think what you will knowing they purchased a Serenity Prayer Needlepoint. I thought it was funny 😏

Again, I wish this buyer would have reached out to me 1st. I messaged them stating I’d checked tracking & was unaware of the delay but, I also have no control over how shipping is handled once I’ve delivered it to the shipper. I passed along the tracking number & a screenshot of where it was as of that day. Unfortunately I never heard back from them & when I checked a couple of days later I saw it had arrived. I ended up reaching out to eBay to get the negative removed & they did due to the fact I have no control over shipping.

When Covid came around, you definitely know, especially if you’re an online seller, what a disaster that was in more ways than one. Shipping was taking exceptionally long & buyers were furious. At that time, I received a message from a buyer saying they hadn’t received their item & it was already a couple of weeks overdue. I asked them if they could hold on a bit longer due to the state of affairs & they agreed. I was able to hold him off a couple of more times & eventually I’d filled out a USPS insurance claim. It hit a point where we were 2 months out & it was a fragile, vintage glass shade. I thought, even IF it arrived, it would be destroyed.

Well, after he’d waited for weeks & weeks, after I couldn’t hold him off any longer, & since I now had the check from USPS, I refunded his money. Wouldn’t you know it, a day after I refunded it, that friggin’ shade arrived at its destination & he left me a stellar review 😂 I didn’t reach out to the buyer & the buyer didn’t reach out to me. I chalked it up to just doing business. I wasn’t able to cash USPS’ check because that would have been criminal since it did indeed arrive.

Lastly, I’ll add some feedback I’ve received in my newest Etsy store. I make digital files & POD (Print on Demand) t-shirts & I’m not going to lie, I haven’t focused on this store as much as my Retell Seller store 😢

I didn’t even sell anything until my store had been open for about 8 months. First, I sold an SVG file of a canning jar I made, followed by the same jar file twice, to the same person 🤔 Then, I sold a t-shirt which made me so excited, my first t-shirt!!

So, I’ve sold 4 items now & the person who bought the t-shirt left a 3 star review saying, She will love it, thank you. Hmmm, while I’m grateful for making the sales & for the kind words, I’ve only sold 4 things with 1 review & it was a 3 star. It doesn’t look too promising for my store right now but, I do need to focus on it more.

Here’s a couple of other feedback related things to think about:

  • Take Amazon for example. Have you ever gone to check out the reviews of the new planner you want to buy, only to see the comments saying it was the worst camera they’ve ever purchased? Yeah, this type of feedback is not helpful at all but, it counts towards the sellers feedback score that buyers see. At least, I think it does 🤷‍♀️ A buyer may never actually check what was said but, it shouldn’t actually persuade someone from getting the planner.
  • Let’s say you see a seller on eBay with a 90% feedback rating. You go to see what the negative(s) was about & you find a comment about how their kid didn’t like the stuffed animal they got them. They marked their review as negative but, the comment doesn’t have anything to do with you or the item to be honest. The item was fine but, their kid just didn’t like it.

There are so many things that go into customer feedback. How did you treat the customer? How did you package your item? What information did you pass on to make it easier for them like when I sent the tracking details? Was there anything you could have done differently?

In the end, some people will just never be happy. Period. While others have every right to be upset & I don’t mean treating you disrespectfully. We can’t take any kind of commentary or feedback personally because it only hurts us. I look at situations like this as a learning opportunity. Even the negative stuff I can pull something from. I will always be professional in my responses & if you have or are experiencing something like this, I encourage you to keep your business hat on.


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