Have you ever noticed and wondered Why Do Ebay Members Keep Their Feedback Private? This can be especially frustrating if you are a seller and have no way of checking the buyer’s history. Here’s what you usually see when checking a buyer’s profile:
You get an overall ratings summary (a percentage of out 100), comments about transactions, the seller’s profile and an estimate of when the purchase was made.
One of the foundations of any trading system is trust, so why do some members keep their information hidden? Here are a couple of my theories:
They are hiding negative feedback:
Although Ebay doesn’t allow a seller to leave a negative review (I know, I know), sellers have gotten around this by giving a positive rating and then using the comments section to “warn” other users about bad behavior. So one of the first steps a shady buyer will take is hiding comments by making his feedback private. This issue pretty much answers the question, Why Do Ebay Members Keep Their Feedback Private?
They are cloaking suspicious behavior:
There are all kinds of scams being perpetuated online and Ebay is no exception. Hiding your Ebay feedback is one way of keeping others in the dark when you’re engaged in unsavory activities like shill bidding.
They don’t want word to get around:
Let’s say you’ve been scammed twice by a buyer. If that buyer’s feedback is private, you can’t see the other sellers they are transacting business with. Not being able to see feedback is preventing you from warning or contacting other potential victims.
One reason I often see for buyer’s hiding their feedback is “I don’t want others to see what I’m buying or what I paid for it.” However, public feedback profiles don’t display that information anyway, so it’s a moot point.
I can’t really think of a one good reason for someone to hide feedback.
Personally, it sets off an alarm bell for me. When you hide something, it automatically makes you look suspicious. Nearly everyone else in the Ebay community is willing to be forthright, so why not you?
As a seller, I will generally cancel bids from a user with private feedback. There’s also the option of contacting the user directly and asking why they’ve hidden the information, and if they will make it public long enough for you to view the comments.
What do you think about private feedback on Ebay?