Coping with Bad Critic on eBay

Is it really so harmful to get a bad review after selling something on the internet?

I bet one or at least some of you once in a while sell or purchase something on eBay or one of their competitors. As soon as things do not work as they are supposed to, one person threatens another that he or she will get a bad review. Let us suppose, you were so “naughty” and received a bad review like “Never again!”, “Having 500 points, I never would have imagined that to happen!” What are your chances of deleting such remarks? It seems possible that this violates civil law (breach of contractual duties or interference with an operating business) as a collateral duty and penal law (insult) or rules of the market place.

AG Koblenz (judgment of April 2, 2004, re 142 C 330/04) recently brought some clarity into this hot discussion.
Even if you consider these remarks as “value judgments”, there are not able to infringe the duty of respect for the vendor. This comment does not interfere with a running business of the vendor.

§6 of eBay rules says that all reviews are to be “business-like”. However, business-like does not necessarily mean that only argued judgments can be business-like. This rating forum is more to be understood as a forum for expressing one’s opinion – like §6 II of eBay rules hints. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right.

The AG Eggenfelden in its judgment of August 16, 2004 (re 1 C 196/04) laid down the rules for having a right to demand forbearance of certain reviews in one’s personal rating on internet market places.

Only then, you will have the right to have negative reviews deleted if they report on false facts. Consider facts as objective remarks on things that you can prove. Subjective remarks like “I don’t like this dude!” or “He delivered very slowly.” do not give grounds for a deletion because they only show the commentator’s personal opinion. Personal opinion belongs to the constitutional freedom of speech and is only subject to restrictions if somebody else’s rights are infringed.

Anyhow, why fuss so much, if somebody does not like you. Do you like everybody? If you get one bad review, what the heck? Nobody’s perfect. Excuse me, except you of course ...