Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to find out who left you bad stars on eBay - with pictures!

This following post will bore my average reader to death. Seriously. You will die of boredom if you read this post. So proceed at your own risk.

I warned you!

Since eBay implemented their star rating policy, there has been all sorts of hub bub about the stars. Now, more than ever, our stars are incredibly important to us because they determine our placement within eBay's search function.  And the higher up on that page we place, the more money we make. So that's a big giant deal. GINORMOUS.

Stars are supposed to be anonymous. Sellers are not supposed to know who leaves what stars for them so that buyers can feel comfortable leaving completely honest stars without fearing any retaliation from the seller.

Now, I'm all for honesty. I think it's important that buyers leave honest feedback and honest stars because that's what is going to single me, a hard working and honest seller, from those sellers that have poor customer service and quality. However, now that eBay has implemented the Top Rated Seller program, my stars are everything to me.

And besides, what retaliation do we really have? We can add the buyer to our Blocked Bidder List and we can tell our friends. That's about it.

Over the past three months I have sold 416 items. If I receive more than two 1 or 2 star ratings in any category, I will lose my Top Rated Seller status. All it takes is three customers to decide that I didn't describe something as accurately as they'd like or that I didn't send them enough glowy emails (or maybe that I sent them too many!) and I lose that pretty little badge. If you're good in math, you'll note that three customers out of 416 is less than one percent. I can make 99% of my customers ecstatic, but three of them have the power to cause me to be shoved further down in the eBay search results and lose a 20% discount on my eBay fees. That's anywhere from one to two hundred dollars a month in lost discount and an immeasurable amount of money in lost sales.

So when someone leaves me bad stars, I want to know it. I want to know who that buyer is so I can make sure they don't buy from me again. I want to review the transaction and see if there was a legitimate reason for the bad rating so I can make sure I don't do whatever that is again. For me, a 1 or 2 star rating is worse than a big red negative.

So how do I find out who left me a bad star rating if eBay keeps those stars anonymous? Thanks to the awesome masterminds of some of my fellow selling friends, I found out how to do it. And I'm going to share it here with you.

First of all you need to go to your Seller Dashboard. You can find the link to your dashboard in a couple of places. One is at the top right of your feedback page and another is on the left side of the "Account" tab on the My eBay screen. I like to go from my feedback page.

Once you click there, you'll see your dashboard and you'll see a box toward the top of the page on the right that looks like this:

See that little link there that says "See your reports"? Click it.

When you get to your report page, you'll see a big blue button that says "Create report"... and here's where things get tricky. Click the blue button. 

Now you're going to get to this page:

If you forget to change the Report Type to "Item Numbers" this whole thing will confuse you. Don't feel bad, I've been there.

You can name the report anything you want that will make you remember to not delete it. I named mine "Test" but you can name it "Don't Delete Me" or "Important" or whatever. 

There's a field there that asks you to input item numbers. What you need to do is find 10 items that you've received feedback on and you need to input them into this field and run the report. 

But that's not all! 

Every one of those buyers must have left you all 5 stars in all 4 categories for the report to be accurate. So it may take a while for you to get your "Test" report. 

So input 10 item number that you've received feedback on and click "Run Report". You'll wind up back on the page where you clicked to create the report originally and it'll take a minute or two for the report to be generated. So just refresh the page until the link to your report is clickable. 

Once you click on your report, you'll find it will probably look like this one:

And you're like, "What the heck?? What do you mean there are no ratings?"  Some of those people definitely left you ratings, but not all 10 of them did. So you have to go back and pick different numbers until you finally get 10 that have left you all 5 stars in all categories. 

You also might get a report that looks something like this:

This one's no good, either. Here we did get star ratings from all 10 buyers, but one of them left us 4s instead of 5s. You can click on that little "Show" link to see that there were 4s left, if you'd like and you'll see it looks something like this:

But eventually, with perseverance and determination, you will finally get your test report with 10 buyers who left you all 5s. 

And the angels will sing when you click on a report and you finally see this: 

Okay, so you have your test report. Don't delete it! Now what to do? 

Now, you can find out exactly what stars were left for you on any transaction. You'll go to the page where you originally created your report and select your test report. But instead of running the same report again, you're going to click "Run Similar" to run the report that will give you the results of whatever transaction you're concerned about. 

Now, you'll just add the item number to the item numbers that are already in the report (making 11 item numbers total) and run the new report. I like to title the new reports with the item number of the transaction I'm testing, but you can title the new report with whatever title you'd like.

This buyer left me what anyone would think was glowing feedback. See?

But when I ran the report on that item I discovered this:

A dreaded 2 in the Item As Described category! I received no contact from this buyer at all and if it weren't for these reports, I would have no idea they were less than thrilled with the item. How on earth can I make anything better if I have no idea there's anything wrong? 

Now, as you'll notice in many of these screen shots, eBay makes it very clear that "It is against eBay policy to question buyers about the detailed seller ratings they left."

So I'm not allowed to contact this buyer to ask her what the problem was, but I might send out an email asking if everything was to their liking with no mention of the stars at all just to find out. And I'll definitely add this buyer to my Blocked Bidder List, because this is the scariest kind of buyer out there.

So there you have it! eBay secrets revealed!


the_happy_hausfrau said...[Reply to comment]

I can't believe the star system is still in place. It's beyond stupid. Did you contact her? I got a 1 on shipping time once, and did contact the woman. She had left me positive feedback too. I found the 1, and then sent an email asking if everything was fine, if she received it in a timely manner. She replied that she "loved the item but shipping took a bit longer than she thought it would." I wrote back that I sent it out as soon as she paid, and that sometimes the USPS takes longer than we'd like. Then I blocked her. Sigh.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Wow, I am so impressed with all your hard work, truly. ALL that you posted here is just terrific, but isn't it sad that we have to go through all this. Ebay should be ashamed that they even have this stupid star stuff. Thanks for all the trouble you went through to guide us to star-search and beyond. I too have this status but my stars are terrible. They need to rethink these stars and feedback that is allowed for buyers that do not tell the truth. Thanks

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

ebay has the star system in place and the questions asked from buyers specifically so you will fail and they in turn will make more money. Personally we think it's a scam. And a company who keeps from me the ability to make myself better is dishonest. Take your business to Amazon.

Unknown said...[Reply to comment]

@Anonymous Unfortunately Amazon does not have a place for preowned clothing sellers like myself. But I imagine if it did, eBay would see a lot of sellers leaving.

lopay said...[Reply to comment]

hmmmmmm is it really possible to have FOUR low DSR's for item as described with 100% positive feedback???? i have a hard time believing that there are 4 unhappy people out there who left me positive feedback and did not contact me at all when i offer 100% satisfaction. Looks fishy to me.

lopay said...[Reply to comment]

thank you sooooo much for this. finally i can see the dsr's. thanks for your hard work and for posting the instructions so others can view their DSR's.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

I had 9 buyers leave me all ones on the detailed seller rating system on the shipping charges never mind they knew full well the shipping charge when they bid

they agreed to it when they bid


Can u imagine working for 2 months and not getting paid??

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

its all a load of Bo**ocks

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

just used your guide thanks. much appreciated :) Danny

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

thank you for posting how to do this. I just did and found out that people who leave glowing feedback comments also leave 4 stars instead of 5. I am new to ebay and just learning. I will block those buyers, and its funny because one who left 4 stars bid on another item of mine.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]


Yes, it is possible. Ebay doesn't warn a buyer that if they leave 3 its not good, its just rate me from 1-5. Most people just click 3-4 for average transaction thinking its good. But, anything less than 5 is negative in Ebays eyes. The only thing the start system is for is making sure Ebay gives less discounts and makes more money. This way Ebay doesn't look bad, they just make the buyer look bad and make them the cause of it.

There is nothing wrong with a 3-4 star rating anywhere but Ebay.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Unbelievable. Another arrogant eBay seller who thinks they are always perfect. They can't possibly merit a 3 or a 4 as a rating--only five 5s. eBay may be wrong for "punishing" you in this system, but as a seller, negative feedback, less than perfect feedback, tells me something about me. Hard to admit that everyone does not think you're perfect. Everyone does not the the gold or first place. Your response? You punish a buy not only because they had the audacity to "not contact you," but because "you" will be penalized in the eBay system. I wonder what kind of consumer you are in the world outside of eBay. I bet you're a #+!!%!!! Sellers like you should NOT be allowed in this marketplace. Sad you feel as if you have to punish your customers because they think you are less than the perfect seller that you are--at least in your imagination.

Unknown said...[Reply to comment]


You're cute. Take your bad attitude up with eBay if you have a problem with sellers protecting themselves against impossible standards. In the meantime, imperfect sellers such as myself will continue to protect ourselves against "anonymous" people with anger issues such as yourself.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Get a life you suck!

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Its called being passive aggressive and if you provided therapy like I did, it would scare you to death of just how many people have this disorder. These are people that have behaviors such as gossiping, backstabbing etc.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

I can't get the second part to work - that is, I can't figure out how to show the score for one item at a time...

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Thank you for this info. I just learned I received less than 5 stars on shipping costs. I'm guessing it was a heavy package that had to be shipped all the way across the country. People don't realize how expensive shipping cross country is, until they have to pay to ship something. Thanks for going to the trouble to help us narrow it down to who and why.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Even you know who did, it is still useless and won't stop you to lose that 20% hard working money.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

I just went onto eBay and looked up your seller ID. It appears you haven't sold anything for a year. Did they end up restricting you or are you selling elsewhere?

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

This is ridiculous~! I completely agree. How on earth are we supposed to please buyers who never let us know anything is not to their liking? Those who go behind your back. I further think this is a way competing sellers hurt their competitors. I sell multiples of the same item number, so this has been an absolute trip trying to figure this out. I have over 200 feedbacks left in a month at this time (usually more like 300), and I separated the stars by buyer location. THEN I found six 3 star ratings from an international buyer(s) in one date range. I thought that was pretty weird - 3 stars - so I pursued it and think I found out which buyer it is. Then I tried to confirm it, but having trouble sorting to get my test. My stars are 4.9, 5, 5, 5 - BUT with 100% feedback and no messages... do those 6 lower rating stars drop the average? I think they do. The buyer I suspect of doing this also buys from a lot of my competitors, makes very low offers and tons of special requests - such as how much to put on customs forms, etc. I often consider blocking her. I would feel bad if I was wrong about it, though. I am hoping to figure out how to confirm it soon. This is definitely not something I will do routinely as it's very time consuming~! Thank you SO MUCH for posting this info with the screenshots!~ Awesome blog~!!

Unknown said...[Reply to comment]


I've taken a break from eBay to focus on other things (spazshirts.com <-plug!) but I may get back into the game some day. :)

The Truth said...[Reply to comment]

It took awhile to really figure it out and find 10 5 star ratings, but what a wonderful solution to a really silly system.

El Guapo said...[Reply to comment]

Thanks for your guide on how to reveal which buyers leave low DSRs. Once I figure out which buyers did so, I need to figure out how to block them. Anyone who buys something where they know the shipping cost up front and say it's unreasonable after the fact is not worthy of what I'm selling.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Maybe you could solve a serious problem for people like myself who only buy from eBay.
I find the feedback system next to useless as I am unable to ascertain if buyers leaving negative feedback are serial offenders. Without knowing that the feedback system is worthless.

Unknown said...[Reply to comment]

Another issue with Ebay seller ratings is the penalty Ebay imposes on sellers whose defect rate falls below "standard."

In order to get back to above standard, the seller has to increase the percentage of defectless transactions, but Ebay makes it harder for them to do this because all of that seller's listings are pushed to the end of the search results. Not only that, they reduce the limit of value and quantity of goods that the seller is allowed to offer.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Beth, aka The Domestic Spaz,
thanks for your interesting post. I did not know these things as a buyer even though I have been using eBay since 1998. I have been making some really great buys recently.

I just bought a really great leather jacket for very little. However, the seller failed to mention an inch of threading holding the right outer leather pocket has come undone. This will have to be rethreaded. This will be difficult because of the liner behind it.

Also, I bought a small guitar peg winder and the seller failed to mention it is all plastic. I assumed it was all metal. I don't think it will last very long because the 1/4" hex part which goes into my electric tool will probably wear out. The total for this little 2" long piece was $23 because of the $15 shipping from Europe.

I did not know the star ratings meant so much. What do you, as a seller, think I should rate these sellers on their star ratings? I will hold off rating both of them until I read your reply.