Not sure how or why to leave feedback on eBay? Read our primer and we'll answer that for you.
First, we'll deal with WHAT feedback is. Each registered member of eBay has a number beside their name (in parentheses). This number represents the user's feedback rating. The concept is simple: for every successfully completed transaction, the buyer and seller can "leave feedback" for one another and increase this number by one. For instance, if BOB (23) sells JULIO (1) a widget on eBay, when the transaction is completed, they should become BOB (24) and JULIO (2) by the time the transaction is over with!
Bob and Julio contact each other and exchange addresses upon the close of the auction. Julio gets a money order (or whatever payment method they agree upon) and mails it off to Bob. When Bob receives Julio's payment, he goes on eBay and posts good feedback about Bob, so that others on eBay know that Bob is a good guy who pays for items that he bids on, and is, in Julio's opinion, trustworthy. Bob then sends Julio the widget in the mail. When Julio gets his widget and is a satisfied customer, he gets on eBay and leaves positive feedback for Bob, letting the world know that Bob is a good guy who sells good items, and that Bob is a trustworthy seller. Of course, this also shows that they are both good guys and have contributed to the feedback cycle of eBay.
Why is this so important?
If it weren't for eBay's feedback rating system, we'd all be in the dark about who to trust. As a result, no one would feel very safe about bidding on expensive items sold by complete strangers on an impersonal forum like a web auction site! What feedback does is establish a degree of credibility that is visible to the entire eBay community. Most sellers and buyers go out of their way to make sure their transactions are conducted as well as possible. When things go well, positive feedback is usually the reward.
So what's the easiest way to leave feedback?
At the top of each page on eBay, there is a menu (such as the one above). If you click on the "SERVICES" box, another box pops up. By clicking on the "FEEDBACK FORUM" box, you will be taken to a page that describes the purpose of eBay's feedback forum and how to access its features. By clicking on the link that allows you to VIEW ALL PENDING FEEDBACK, you will advance to a page featuring all of your recently finished auctions that you haven't left feedback on. Some of these auctions may have just finished, and not require feedback yet (money or item hasn't shown up in the mail yet) - beware that you don't post feedback before it's time! It can't be retracted, you know.
Hopefully this primer explains a few things and will leave you inspired to leave feedback after all of your auctions. After all, it IS mutually beneficial. For more info on feedback, check eBay's SERVICES or HELP sections!