7 Excuses Amazon Sellers Give for Low Feedback Scores

by Matthew McAuliff

It’s painful to receive negative feedback. But when you’re an Amazon Seller, it comes with the territory, right? Is there a way to improve feedback?

The answer is yes! And yet, some Amazon sellers don’t give feedback the attention it deserves. In today’s post, we’ll address the most common excuses, debunk the myths behind them and point to some best practices for managing feedback.

Buyer decisions can hinge on the smallest details. Describing a blouse as scarlet rather than red. A few cents difference in price. It’s no surprise that buyers glance at Amazon feedback scores to help them make decisions. That’s why they’re there.

Many Amazon sellers believe they can’t do anything about feedback. “It is what it is.” The truth is that it’s possible to manage your Amazon Feedback scores. So why do Amazon sellers neglect this important task? Here are the top excuses.

1. No Control Over the Actions of Others

If this is your excuse for a low Amazon feedback score, here’s what you’re missing. Feedback ratings are based on percentages, and percentages can be managed. Your positive feedback score reflects four- and five-star feedback. The neutral score is three-star feedback, and negative is one- and two-star feedback — as a percentage of the total.

Armed with this knowledge, you should encourage all customers to provide feedback. Why? Those with positive experiences are less likely to provide feedback than those with negative perceptions. So if more people provide feedback, the negatives should stay about the same while positives increase, giving you a more favorable percentage.

2. Amazon Doesn’t Allow Interference

You can’t nag customers about negative feedback. But Amazon does provide a 60-day window for removing feedback, a clear indication that Amazon wants you to find out why the customer is upset and do something about it. And after making the customer happy, it’s acceptable to ask him or her to remove the negative feedback.

In some instances, Amazon will remove or strike through the feedback, such as a complaint about pricing or the use of profanity. And if the feedback is Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) and pertains to customer service or fulfillment, Amazon will strike through the feedback and add an explanatory note.

3. Unfair Customers

Yes, unfair customers can blast you with negative feedback for the tiniest reasons. It’s a sign of the times. You’re no longer the friendly local merchant on Main Street. You’re an Amazon seller they’ve never met, and it’s easier to give negative feedback under the cloak of anonymity.

But there’s no value in thinking of their feedback as unfair. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to fine-tune your business. Correcting a small flaw can remove a bit of friction from your selling process, making it easier for others to buy. And how can you find out about these flaws? Just ask those who give negative and neutral feedback.

4. Too Busy to Bother

Really? Too busy to please your customers? Too busy to manage your business? The truth is that managing feedback scores can be among your most profitable activities. A great feedback score shows shoppers that you’re a customer-centric pro.

Inattention can be deadly for any business, so take advantage of every opportunity to root out all the little things that annoy your customers — like weeding a garden. Make it your daily priority to get rid of the weeds that can choke your business.

5. Too Much Follow-Up Work

Managing feedback is time-consuming, even if you’re just starting out and have few sales. And as your sales grow, so will your feedback, with a greater danger of neutral and negative feedback.

So at some point, it will make sense for you to automate the follow-up process, generating emails to request feedback and respond to negative feedback. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief as you (automatically) take positive steps to improve feedback scores.

6. It Won’t Help My Business

Amazon makes it easy for customers to provide feedback. As you know, feedback is a critical factor for winning the Buy Box. It's also critical for converting Amazon customers who browse the offer page. The placement of feedback scores is so prominent that it’s hard for prospects to ignore them. A 95% positive score may seem pretty good (and it is), but if the customer sees a similar offer from an Amazon seller with 99% positive feedback, which will they choose?

And consider the risk factor. Too much bad feedback that you fail to address can result in the termination of your Amazon seller account.

7. Buyers Prefer Product Reviews

Yes, buyers read reviews. But reviews are about the product, not the seller. Before buyers part with their hard-earned cash, they want a great product AND a great Amazon seller. Hey, that’s you!

Be Proactive

Amazon has earned a dominant position in online retailing by being attentive to customers, and they expect Amazon sellers to embrace their philosophy. Beyond that, they take decisive action against those who might harm Amazon’s reputation.

Are you letting an excuse hold you back? Smart merchants invest in their business with a goal of optimizing response rates. Yes, there are many things you can’t control: consumer trends, changing tastes, the economy.

But buyer feedback is something you can manage.

At eComEngine, we create software to support Amazon sellers. Our FeedbackFive product helps you protect your reputation, serve customers more effectively, and make your online business more profitable.

Are you managing your online reputation? Try FeedbackFive free for 14 days and find out how easy feedback management can be.

Originally published on February 19, 2015, updated July 15, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.