How eBay Feedback Percentages are REALLY Calculated

Posted on September 2, 2008. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , |

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I recently received an email from my good friend at Utopia Computers who pointed out something very interesting and he asked if I could explain this unusual inconsistency.  He had stumbled upon quite a few eBay members whose feedback calculation appeared wrong.

For example, one eBay member has 3 feedback from 3 unique members in the last 12 months:

Sept 12, 2007 (positive)
Sept 13, 2007 (negative)
Dec 7, 2007 (positive)

Yet, the member has 100% feedack percentage despiting having one negative and two positive feedback in a 12-month period.  The feedback percentage calculation shows that the member has 1 positive and no negatives.

Right away, I guessed at why there was a discrepancy but unfortunately I do not have access to any eBay information to confirm what I believed so I called eBay Powerseller Support to see if I could confirm my theory.  First, I pointed out the discrepancy in the calculation to the eBay representative and he admitted that he did not have an explanation right away but that he guessed that the member may not have signed in and thus had not had their eBay feedback “recalculated”.  Now, that was something that I didn’t know — that an eBay member who had not signed into eBay after the neutral recalculation would not have seen their feedback percentage changed.  However, I pointed out to the Powerseller rep that this person had no neutrals and, therefore, the percentage would never have been recalculated.

The Powerseller Rep again told me that he had never had anyone point out this issue before so he was at a loss to explain.  I then asked the Rep to confirm my theory.  I explained what I think is occurring.  The feedback comments and the 30-day, 60-day, and 12-month feedback reports are all based on the date the feedback was left whereas the feedback percentage calculation is based on the date the listing ended.  So, feedback rolls off the feedback percentage calculation BEFORE it rolls off the 12-month reporting window thus creating a discrepancy.  The Powerseller Rep confirmed that what I theorized was indeed correct based on the date the listings ended (which I could not see from just viewing the public information available in the member’s profile) and he wanted to know how I would have known that.  I did admit to him that I have a few years of programming experience, although that was quite some time ago. 

This information about how feedback percentages are really calculated is certainly not meant to imply that eBay is being dishonest in their reporting of the feedback percentage but rather hopefully it will explain why there is a discrepancy.

And because of the discrepancy, I have to wonder out loud about other calculations in the eBay seller dashboard.  For example, are the DSR calculations based on the date the feedback was left or the date the listing ended?  I know eBay has expressed many times how they are trying to make sure they don’t reveal too much so that sellers cannot “game the system” but it only makes sense that sellers understand the metrics by which eBay is evaluating them. 

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3 Responses to “How eBay Feedback Percentages are REALLY Calculated”

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This makes sense.

If you purchased something from Sears and you did not like it, then you would return it while still shopping at Sears, Walmart, Macy’s, etc. Its the same thing in many of the e-bay stores.

Once the buyer is satisfied, then the feedback is left and in some instances, that takes a bit of time. So to have a portion based on when the item left and another based on when the person left feedback is reasonable.

I had a negative that I received on May 15, 2007 I believe – and it rolled off may 15, 2008 – the item, was sold at least 2 weeks before the little criminal left feedback. The point – 12 months to the day the negative was left it rolled off

the feedback system really confuses me


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