We reached our green star today, 5,000 feedback ratings.

Our 5,000th feedback was from NullApps’ Ryan who is a regular Whine Seller reader which gives me endless joy. Especially because the item he left us feedback on was the ad space I auctioned off to benefit the Japan earthquake which just makes the whole thing epic in a warm fuzzy way. You should check out his ad on the bottom of this website because he is cool.

Behold the awesomeness:

While I’m excited to have a shiny new colored star, I’m also a little… embarrassed. Because, well, I know that most of you are a little confused. I’ve been selling on eBay since March of 1997 (in fact, my very first feedback was from April 7th, 1997). Many of you who started selling well after me have over double that. How is it possible that we’ve been a PowerSeller & Top Rated for as long as we have been and it took us 14 years and two months to reach that many feedback ratings? It seems a bit pathetic, doesn’t it?

Well, the answer is surprisingly simple: I never gave two figs about feedback until they introduced DSRs. I left feedback for stuff I bought, sure, and I had auto-feedback set up with some service or another that left feedback for anyone left it for me but I almost never left feedback unless buyers asked and I never sent buyers reminders about feedback unless I had just gotten a negative or neutral that I wanted to send farther down the page. This probably seems really strange based on how much I talk about eBay feedback on this blog but, for me anyway, feedback never had any affect on my sales either way so it wasn’t worth my time until eBay made it so (with the DSR rules and discounts). It was nice to get positive feedback, annoying to get negative but beyond that… it really didn’t matter to our sales one way or the other.

Obviously we still practiced the best customer service we could and had a steady flow of repeat buyers because of it but we were doing it because it was good for our business, not because we were fighting tooth and nail for our feedback stars. If you could chart our feedback rates, you’d probably see a big spike in just the last 5 years as feedback suddenly became much more important to how we did business. (Though, even now, we don’t really court it as much as others do.)

When they first announced that sellers couldn’t leave negative feedback, I (stupidly) predicted that everyone would stop leaving feedback entirely and that feedback stars would go the way of the dinosaur. But, instead, I think that DSRs have saved the feedback system if maybe not the platform itself. I’m realizing as I’m looking back at this that I really didn’t realize how much my attitude towards feedback has changed since I started on eBay and I wonder what it was like to start selling on eBay in a post DSR world instead of back on the proto-eBay I started on.

Will I ever reach the shooting star? I used to say, No, since that would take another 14 years and who knows if the platform will even still exist. But with my changing philosophy on feedback and courting more buyers to leave it, who knows? (I would really love to get the shooting star, I feel like it would give me street cred. :-))

How has your eBay feedback philosophy changed over the years? What’s your current feedback count/star?