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ILLusion January 25th, 2012 13:26

Negative Tradeback Ratings, Tire Kickers, Flakers, and YOU!
There has been an alarming increase in the MISUSE of the Trader Feedback system. In particular, there are a good number of users who feel that it's okay to leave a negative feedback for a deal that NEVER ACTUALLY TOOK PLACE.

This includes leaving negative feedback against users who ask about a product but don't commit to buying it, and moreso, against users who say they want the item but don't follow through (tire kicker syndrome.)

For the sellers who feel slighted by this: GET OVER IT. Anybody who's done any appreciable amount of business on the internet or in real life, knows that UNTIL THE CASH IS IN YOUR HAND, *NOTHING* IS COMMITTED NOR SET IN STONE! Anybody who works retail or any service for that matter, knows this. It should be no different here!

In this "ebay-era", I understand the frustration on the seller's part. On ebay, if you commit to placing a bid on an item - YOU ARE COMMITTED TO BUYING IT. And if you don't pay up, YOU WILL DESERVE THAT NEGATIVE RATING THAT WILL BE SENT TO YOU. However, this is ASC, NOT ebay! We don't charge you listing fees, so you're not out cash. Don't take it so hard. Don't cry. Don't even get stressed over it. In fact, don't even take off the listing or bother putting "SPF" on your item UNTIL YOU HAVE CASH IN HAND. Payment, is the biggest commitment.

Not to be a complete a-hole pr!ck about online sales, there is also some courtesy involved on BOTH parties.

To the seller:
It is courteous to allow a grace period for the buyers to send funds to the seller. It's up to you to determine for yourself and for the buyer, what an "appropriate" grace period is. MAKE THIS CLEAR, UP FRONT. If other buyers approach the seller during this grace period, it is additional courtesy to let them know: "hey, I have another buyer who just committed to buying the item, and I've given him 1 business day to get in to the bank so he can direct deposit me. If he can't do it, then you're next in line."

To the buyer:
Understand, that the seller is depending on YOU to make payment in a timely manner. He is holding that item for you for a set grace period, because YOU made a commitment to buy it, and YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE, as a grown up adult, to follow through with this commitment. When you fail to follow through on this commitment, you cause the seller to lose out on potential sales that he could have made, but ended up losing because you were a deadbeat. Walking away with an "oh well, not my loss" attitude is selfish. If you need to wait for some funds to clear so that you will have the cash to pay the seller, TELL HIM UP FRONT. Tell him "I really want that item you're selling, but I don't get paid till next Friday. Is it cool if I pay then?" If the seller does not agree - no problem. He has no obligation to. But if you pass the grace period, expect the seller to move on. If the seller throws a few choice words at you as well, guess what? You deserved it and asked for it. So take it with grace.

Understand why the frustration is there, and please, for the love of cute little kittens, save yourself some trouble and the grief of sellers by NOT saying you want the item until you have the cash ready to pay, and have thoroughly thought through your financial situation. I can't even count the number of flaked sales "commitments" I've had due to broken down car repairs, kids college fund, family funerals, whatever. You shouldn't be burning every last cent you have on airsoft anyways, but you're all adults. I'm not going to tell you what to do with your money. Just realize the consequences of flaking.

If I dished out a negative feedback for every person who's said they wanted something from me but never followed through, I would have issued THOUSANDS of negative feedbacks by now.


Sellers: STOP leaving negative feedback for flakers. It's not appropriate, as a transaction never actually took place. I'm not going to make a hard rule about this yet, because I expect everyone trading on this forum to be grown up, accountable, and responsible adults (I roll my eyes as I say this.) I don't want to see the current increase continue in growth. If after posting this, there is a continued growth of such abuse of the system, I WILL create a hard rule about this, which effectively makes the misuse of the trader feedback system in such regard, to be an infractable offense that could lead to a temporary ban from the forums.

Buyers: STOP committing to buy something if you have no intention to follow through, or haven't fully thought out your financial situation. If you received a negative feedback, then stop making commitments you can't follow through on. You bone the seller in the process and you raise his hopes for nothing.


As a reminder, there IS a hard rule against leaving retaliatory feedback, which WILL net you an infraction that could lead to a temporary system ban. It can also result in you LOSING YOUR AGE VERIFICATION STATUS. Retaliatory feedback is described as follows:
- You are the seller
- Your buyer is unsatisfied with the item you sold him, you failed to meet the requirement of satisfaction to the description of the transaction, and as a result, the buyer issued you a negative feedback. Despite the buyer paying you IN FULL, and ON TIME (thus, fully meeting the prescribed outline of his end of the deal), you left him a negative feedback in retaliation for the one you sent to him.

I don't care if you thought the buyer was annoying, or a pain in the ass after the transaction. Leaving him a negative rating because he gave you one, IS RETALIATORY. This is an abuse of the rating system, and will gain you an infraction.

The need for me to even have to post this notice gives me a headache...

JonsM4 January 25th, 2012 13:33

I like this.

MultipleParadox January 25th, 2012 14:25

Should be stickied and made mandatory to read before selling/buying anything off the classified/retailers here.

Good post

dice January 25th, 2012 14:36

I did buy an EO Tech of a seller and it wouldnt let me give feedback at all.

Actually, I cant reply to most posts. . .

ILLusion January 25th, 2012 14:53


Originally Posted by dice (Post 1594916)
I did buy an EO Tech of a seller and it wouldnt let me give feedback at all.

Actually, I cant reply to most posts. . .

Where are you trying to give feedback? I have a feeling you're trying to do the wrong thing, because NOBODY can reply to posts in the classifieds except for the original poster of the thread. ... and the admins. I'm assuming you are neither.

eKirts January 25th, 2012 15:44

Great post; well said.

Not to diverge off the OP too much...but, I'd like to mention a courtesy issue of leaving feedback once a sale is completed... I've had 3 sales where I did not receive feedback... Not a big deal, but whilst we are on the topic of courtesy I'd thought I'd put it out there....

Gunny_McSmith January 25th, 2012 15:45

Admins should edit-out the "FLAKERS WILL RECEIVE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK" part on some ppl's ads

I dont know about you, but when I read that, I usually take my money and go somewhere else....

ILLusion January 25th, 2012 15:53


Originally Posted by Gunny_McSmith (Post 1594963)
Admins should edit-out the "FLAKERS WILL RECEIVE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK" part on some ppl's ads

I dont know about you, but when I read that, I usually take my money and go somewhere else....

Why should we? Shouldn't the sellers do that themselves? As much as we are considered the "sanitation engineers" of ASC, I'd hoped that AS A COMMUNITY, you'd pitch in your own part of the work as well.

Tex January 25th, 2012 15:59

Glad to see the change of mind on this one. Though I have never had it happen to me I suggested this years ago and was told flat out no and that sellers could do it.

ILLusion January 25th, 2012 16:20

On one hand, I can see the frustration of the seller, and in that regard, I would say the buyer deserved the negative feedback if the seller says outright that flakers will receive a negative feedback.

On the other hand, the base concept of the trader feedback system is being misused, because technically, no trade has gone through at all. No money exchanged hands, no product exchanged hands. Thus, nothing was traded.

Ultimately, my 15+ years of online trading has taught me one thing: Trust no one (not even team mates - they're the first ones to delay paying, because they think things are cool), and to always cover your ass. Money in hand or nothing is committed, cash up front for orders you aren't willing to hold as inventory, and "yes, for sure" is never absolute. It's a rather jaded view, but it serves to cover my butt every single day, even to this day.

Volko January 26th, 2012 03:57

Thanks for posting this, I've always been wary of receiving negative feedback because of inquiries I've made might be thought off as commitments to buy. So I've always made it very clear in the PM that this is a information PM only and that I am not committing to buy the product.

ILLusion January 26th, 2012 15:31

Here's another perfect example of a situation that came in, on why a notice like this had to be made:

A potential buyer was talking to a seller about an item. NO COMMITMENT was made on the buyer's part to purchase the item. The buyer asked a few questions about the item, but received no answers to the questions.

Instead, the seller sends the buyer his phone number, and kept insisting that the buyer calls so they could talk. No reply to the original questions were received, except for the insistence to call. Not wanting to bother with the phone (or whatever his reason was, who cares), the buyer never called.

A few days later, the seller left a neutral feedback to complain about the buyer asking questions, and when no call was ever received he was frustrated. He felt he was entitled to a gentle let down that the buyer was no longer interested.

That isn't appropriate.

My advice to the seller, was the same I'm telling you guys. It's quite simple: "deal with it." The world doesn't owe you squat. They don't owe you apologies or excuses. Yes, they are a common societal courtesy, but the sooner any of you stop acting like a victim, the sooner you'll stop being a victim or feeling like you're the victim of some sort of situation.

Some say I sound angry. I'm not. I'm just a realist. I'm not worked up over this - I'm just imparting knowledge on you guys to actively protect yourselves as sellers so that you never feel slighted, or in some way in a situation where you feel you have to leave a negative rating against a lost buyer.

Blackthorne January 26th, 2012 15:56

The problem is people are using the trader rating system as a "reputation system".

The system as I understand it is to rate how well the TRANSACTION went. I see your point if there was no transaction, then there should be no feedback.

What people (and I myself I must admit) are doing is using the system to identify flakers.

I think such a system should be in place, but it would have to be moderated and I understand that is allot to ask considering the existing load MODS have to deal with.

I think there should be a way to track if someone wastes your time, and warn off other from a person who jerks chains.

I had a fellow drag payment out for a week then tell me he found a better deal. I was a nice guy, and SPF'd the sale. I gave him negative feedback and a full explanation why, and I still have all the PMs.

Looks like I won't be being a nice guy anymore.

jordan7831 January 26th, 2012 16:02

Its sad but this should be a sticky, man up people treat others in the classifieds as you wish to be treated

Styrak January 26th, 2012 16:24


Originally Posted by Tex (Post 1594972)
Glad to see the change of mind on this one. Though I have never had it happen to me I suggested this years ago and was told flat out no and that sellers could do it.

Nothing has really changed, it's been like this for quite a while.

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