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Handling Negative Reviews & Feedback

Discussion in 'Marketplace Sellers' started by Zwielicht, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Administrator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Aug 31, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Southern California
    Home Page:
    I can't say I'm surprised at how many people I see who don't know how to handle negative reviews. I mean, sure, none of us particularly enjoy receiving negative reviews, but they aren't the end of the world. On the contrary, negative reviews can even be a great opportunity to showcase your professionalism to prospective customers. After all, how you treat your customers when they're angry says a lot about who you are as a business owner.

    Now, I'm not going to get into how to prevent negative reviews today since it's not possible to please everyone, among other reasons. Rather, I'm going to go over how to handle existing negative reviews you might have on your iTrader profile or on your marketplace thread.

    Handling Negative Reviews

    Don't Get Angry

    Well, it's fine if you get angry, just don't lash out at your customer. Anything you do or say to a customer after they leave a negative review can be used against you (as you can see, I've been watching too many cop videos lately).

    In general, you should keep the following in mind before responding to a negative review:


    • Don't resort to name-calling, even if your customer has resorted to this.

    • Don't threaten your customer. You will receive an infraction for this.
    • Don't submit reports calling the review fake when you know it's real.
    • Don't pretend the customer wasn't ever your client when you know they were.
    • Don't offer them a free trial/version of your service. While I've seen this work on occasion, I've seen it fail more often than not. After all, if they thought your service was garbage, why would they want more of it, even for free?


    • Respond professionally.
    • Be patient with them. Not all reviews can be removed overnight.
    • Acknowledge their issues.
    • Take the issues they highlighted seriously.
    • Consider using their feedback to improve your business.

    Bury The Negative Review With Real Positive Reviews

    "Real" is the key word here, and those of you who do reactive online reputation management are familiar with this tactic because sometimes, you just can't get a customer to remove or edit their negative review.

    To clarify, I'm not just telling you not to use fake positive reviews because I don't want to see the forum flooded with fake positive reviews (seriously, don't do that). I'm telling you this because nothing beats a genuine positive review from a happy client. Everything about a genuine review is superior to a shoddy fake positive review, from the tone of the review to the job-well-done feeling it leaves you with. For instance, there's a review one of my clients left me on my Google MyBusiness listing that was absolutely exquisite. I could've never written about our business relationship the way he did, and to this day, his review is still getting me contact requests.

    Reach A Compromise

    When all else fails, consider reaching a compromise with your disgruntled customers. For example, there have been times in the past where I've offered clients refunds after I said I didn't do refunds. There was even one time where I went as far as offering to help find one of my displeased clients a different business to work with (ha, let one of my competitors deal with them instead).

    Ask A Moderator To Help You Mediate The Situation

    If a buyer is threatening to take their concerns to the shit list section, you can try to resolve the issue over a private conversation before it goes public. Some of us moderators even mediate these situations and try to help buyers and sellers reach a conclusion that leaves both parties happy.

    However, keep in mind that moderators aren't here to be used as crutches for your poor business management skills. It's more important that you learn how to address negative reviews yourself, because if you receive a negative review outside of the forum, we can't help you.

    Examples of sellers handling negative reviews professionally:
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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019