When should you remove negative feedback on Amazon?
Getting negative feedback on Amazon can be a frustrating experience. You, as a seller, spend a ton of time finding the right product, listing it, maybe sending it to FBA even, and now you have an unhappy buyer.
So what do you do?
Amazon does have some ways for you to remove negative feedback. Still, there are rules, and not every situation may warrant attempting removal.
What are the rules for removing negative feedback?
Let’s start by describing what feedback is meant to do vs. what it is not. Feedback is intended for buyers to critique the buying experience with the seller and explain any problems with customer service, fulfillment, or item condition. Feedback is NOT for a product review—the actual review of a product’s efficacy, style or use. That’s what product reviews are for!
So, when does Amazon remove buyer feedback? The most common scenarios are:
- The feedback is abusive or threatening
- It is a product review
- It is for the wrong order, for an entirely different seller
- A buyer is promoting another brand or company
- A buyer exposes the personal information of another person
- A buyer leaves a negative rating but the feedback is positive
If you get negative feedback for any of these cases above, it’s usually worth asking Amazon to remove it. Remember that if your orders are FBA, Amazon will also remove feedback related to customer service or fulfillment since they technically own those on behalf of its FBA sellers.
When should I try to get negative feedback removed?
As aggravating as negative feedback is, it’s essential to consider these situations with a big-picture view. In recent years, Amazon has grown more reluctant to remove feedback for fear of harming the buyer experience. This has put many sellers in the position of feeling unheard and victimized by buyers who do not understand how damaging it is for a seller to receive negative feedback.
But is every negative feedback an account killer? Definitely not. So, when should you ask for feedback to be removed?
- When it impacts your performance. You should consider asking Amazon to remove feedback if it’s affecting your Order Defect Rate (ODR). ODR is the primary metric by which sellers are mentioned. If you’re struggling with it, removing negative feedback can further buffer against the metric rising.
- When the feedback is inflammatory. If you’re concerned that a buyer’s comments are damaging your business and the feedback meets the criteria for possible removal, ask Amazon to do so.
- When it’s FBA. If the order was fulfilled by Amazon, never hesitate to ask them to strike it when warranted.
When should I not try to get feedback removed? There are times when you should not attempt to get negative feedback removed.
One of those times is when the rating is neutral, but the context is ambiguous. Removing neutral feedback could hurt your Order Defect Rate (ODR). Why? Because each rating 1-5 has a mathematical weight. Removing neutral feedback–based on the weighting–makes negative ratings more prominent and can drop your score. If your ODR is already struggling, do not try to remove the feedback.
We also suggest that you not remove negative feedback when Amazon has warned you against excessive case filings, especially if the filings relate to negative feedback. Amazon has gotten more aggressive at suspending sellers it thinks are abusing the case system in Seller Central.
What else can I do if removal isn’t possible or gets denied?
If getting negative feedback removed isn’t possible for whatever reason, you still have the option of using the Seller Response feature. This lets you publicly respond to the feedback and tell your story. But remember, a seller must abide by the same rules of an Amazon buyer when it comes to feedback. Some dos and don’ts:
- Do keep it short and sweet
- Don’t blame the buyer, even if they screwed up
- Do let them know you’re willing to help resolve their concern, and they can contact you (applicable if there is indeed anything you can do)
- Don’t use profane language, share their tracking or other private info, or otherwise “yell.”
Like many things in life, knowing when to act and when to step back is vital. Making decisions about your account performance doesn’t have to be frightening when you know the rules and know that there are ways to address the inevitable challenges, including negative feedback.
How do you keep your account healthy and make sure all the ins and outs are managed daily? If you’re overwhelmed, we have the experts to help you, protect your account and ensure optimal performance. Contact us!
Kelly Johnston is the glue that holds Riverbend Consulting together and was with the company at its founding. She survived 10 years in the digital salt mines of Amazon Seller Performance. Before that, Kelly held other e-commerce roles where she worked in content, sales, and operations. When not helping clients, Kelly is a talented artist. Collage and up-cycled assemblages are her current passions.
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