Proposal to remove feedback rating, keeping comments.

Currently, Brick Owl has a feedback system which allows users to make comments and give a rating on their order. Customers can leave a comment, and a rating of positive/neutral/negative. Stores can leave a comment, and a rating of positive.

We are considering removing the rating element of this, and only having comments. This would also remove the feedback percentage score.

Currently, we have an issue reporting system, which both customers and stores can use to report issues with the transaction. These issue reports are then followed up on by Brick Owl if they are not resolved.

Our intention with this, is to remove the contention whenever a negative feedback is left, and to make the system slightly more balanced between customers and stores.

I would be interested to hear any feedback on this


  • 15 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Without the percentage score will there be any other (quick) way for a potential customer to choose a 'good' store? There has been numerous discussions about striving for 100%, and not settling for less, but would there be a benchmark? Say current 90-100% would be rated 'Excellent', 80-90% 'Good', etc.

    Or could there be something extrapolated from the store shipping and terms; 'This store always ships within their stated times' for example, or 'This store's parts match the stated description'.

    If there is no quick deciding factor would a potential customer either have to, or be bothered to, wade through pages of comments to decide on a store? I can't speak for others, but whenever I make an online purchase I like to see feedback/comments, and really only check the negative ones - sometimes these can just be mistakes by the customer where the comment is positive but they have accidentally hit a low star, but equally it says a lot about a store by the way they handle situations.

    Bit long-winded, but hopefully this makes sense!
  • Given the current rate of leaving feedback, I would be happy if it went away and we just used the reporting system.
  • As a buyer, The feedback rating its a good way to weed out stores without having to sift thru the comments to understand what other buyers experiences have been. I would be concerned if this quick filter wasn't available, but think something along Jay37's suggestion of tiers would fill this need E.g "Top-Rated", "Good", "New". This may help remove contention around negative feedback, yet still help provide the traffic light indication that buyers are looking for.
  • I think Cardmarket has created the perfect evaluation system.

    Sellers don't leave feedback at all.

    Buyers leave an optional comment and three ratings - for overall experience, for packaging and for the quality of items purchased. Each gets one of five grades - Very Good, Good, Neutral, Bad and None. Sellers are then marked as Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Average or Bad based on these. Good and up are considered perfectly valid, while average means users should check the feedback comments, see if the usual issues are an issue for them.

    They provide a pre-determined list of 'problems' - such as "wrong grade", "wrong items sent", "delivery took too long" - which buyers can tick at the point of leaving feedback. Buyers are strongly encouraged to speak to the seller to discuss before submitting feedback, and although these problems don't affect a seller's overall rating, they do let the seller know where they could look to improve.

    They also don't count a seller's first bad rating in the overall rating - "everyone is allowed to make one mistake." The feedback is listed but greyed out.

    How they work out the seller rating:
    Based on the evaluations you receive, you will have a "seller rating", visualized by a star symbol. Your "seller rating" is calculated as follows:

    • Only general evaluations are taken into account
    • Only the last 100 evaluations or the last month (whichever is greater) is taken into account
    • Unsent and lost shipments will negatively affect your seller rank

    The requirements for the different seller ranks are:
    • Outstanding seller (a gold star on a blue background): min. 36 evaluations, min. 97% very good, max. 1% neutral or bad
    • Very good seller (a gold star): min. 36 evaluations, min. 92% very good, max. 3% neutral or bad
    • Good seller (a silver star): min. 6 evaluations, max. 4% neutral, max. 2% bad
    • New seller (no star): less than 5 evaluations, no neutral or negative feedback.

    Any seller with worse stats will be listed as a bad seller (Symbol: red dot). We do not recommend buying from these sellers.

    Bad buyers are dealt with by Cardmarket. If a buyer reports too many orders not being received, or sellers report issues with them, they can have their accounts restricted, which usually means being forced to pay for tracking - in terms of Brick Owl they could be restricted to Request a Quote with a note to the seller that their history suggests tracking is a good idea, though leaving it up to the seller to decide.

    One of BO's main flaws imo is having to serve a buyer that has a poor history, without being able to select an appropriate shipping method, because they've gone through the auto checkout.
  • @BrickMattNZ If only about 20% of buyers leave feedback of any type, do you feel this gives an accurate impression of the standard of the store? I'm not really sure it's worth it.
  • Sorry, to answer your question, as an occasional buyer, I would not support the removal of the rating system. Such systems have their flaws, but disreputable buyers could easily take advantage of the removal of ratings.

    Perhaps it could be many days before issues work their way through BO's report a problem system before action is taken, and it's not clear how a buyer would be made aware that a seller isn't performing as well as the next one, if they would be made aware at all (in which case, it's an all or nothing situation, and the buyer would have to assume the store is performing adequately if it's open).
  • I feel similar as some posters: a way to have a "quick impression on the store quality" is a good thing. Some thoughts:

    - Sellers should not be able to rate buyers. It probably originated in a time where buyers and sellers are both considered "one community". BrickOwl has evolved to a commercial marketplace, where sellers need to comply with ecommerce legislation. In an ecommerce context, it's highly unusual a seller gives a rating to its customers.

    - A system that allows much more nuance (something similar as @Hoddie suggests) gives a more realistic store evaluation. Most of the times, it's simply isn't "good" or "bad".

    - An extra benefit of granular feedback: stores/sellers will no longer be blindly focused on getting and maintaining "100%". This "Help, I got a negative!" panic is sometimes ridiculous :smile:

    - Keeping a sort of feedback/rating system, will keep sellers doing their absolute best to handle each order with most care and urge them to solve any problems that might happen. I'm afraid the absence of any rating system, will make some sellers care less about customer care.
  • Thank you for the comments, I won't be implementing what I suggested. I will need to give this some more thought, as there are clearly some other benefits of the rating that I didn't consider.
  • Still, thanks @Lawrence for pitching these ideas and involving the community to hear the opinions! Way better than being confronted with changes that are introduced without much thought.
  • Maybe the total number of sales that a seller has had can be included if the feedback system is changed
  • @White Horse Bricks , Even if only 20% provide feedback I do think it provides an indication. It is just that an indication, in the same way the health department rating is for a restaurant.
  • I'd also like to be able, as a seller, to see feedback a buyer typically leaves for sellers (maybe you already can). This could be useful under certain circumstances if you suspect something amiss with a buyer.
  • Honestly, I sell on 4 platforms now including here, and the fairest feedback system I've seen is the 1-5 star system where the buyer is forced to leave feedback on multiple metrics.

    This allows the buyer to see, yes this seller has good stuff, but maybe they ship slow. Maybe they are unfriendly, but dang they ship fast. Etc. This still allows the buyers to make a choice of who they deal with, but also allows flaws to be shown without hurt feelings.

    For example I always get good packaging remarks, but perhaps I'm not the fastest shipper. BUT shipping just a tiny bit late would not make the buyer leave a neg, so the other buyers may not realize I have this issue. With the five star system, the buyer can still make it obvious they are happy, while also providing a metric I can improve on.

    Not saying this should replace comments or any other system, but its a good addition to think about.
  • ^^ agree. Whether or not a store suits a buyer cannot currently be determined by the present system. It's better than BL's in my opinion, but there are better ones out there.
  • Just delete and leave out the sellers's comments and rating

    Keep the buyer's since that's the only way to rate any store.

    Maybe if possible a response time from the store following a certain complaint.

    Eg. I once had an incoming complaint about some missing items. Responded to the customer within a day but couldn't resolve it untill 2 weeks later since I was on holiday. Customer pissed and gave me a bad rating yet I responded politely on short notice.
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