I came across a forum post on Etsy, about Newbies Guide to buying on Etsy.
The original poster, AprilMarieMai, thinks that it is rude for sellers to ask buyers for feedback, but that it’s OK for buyers to ask sellers for feedback.
She wrote in an excerpt:
There are many reasons to go ahead and buy something that you’d like to have from an Etsy seller whom you think appears professional.
The most obvious reason is that you can start building your feedback easily and quickly. Each time a transaction happens, both parties get a chance to leave feedback on that transaction. If you are a seller don’t ever ask the buyer for feedback, as it’s considered rude. [emphasis mine] But, in general sellers tend to leave feedback more than not. There are many reasons that a seller may not have left you feedback (helping to keep your purchase private, or doing them all at once at a later time) but in my opinion I think it is fine for a buyer to ask a seller for feedback [emphasis mine]. Feedback is important on Etsy, because it’s an indicator that you can be trusted in a transaction.”
If feedback is so vitally important, why must sellers be deprived of it?
“You also want to buy because it will give you a chance to see the buyer’s side of a transaction. I suggest that your first purchase be from someone selling in the field you will be selling in. If you are selling vintage, buy a vintage item. If you are selling handmade, buy something handmade. If you are selling supplies, buy supplies. Each subset has its own standards of what should be expected. If I’m buying supplies I don’t expect them to come to me gift wrapped, and I may consider that unnecessary. However, if I am buying a more expensive piece of jewelry I may expect to get it in a branded gift box.
The more you understand what happens, the better you can serve your customers. You also get a chance to see how a seller whom you think appears professional provides customer service. You may like some of what they do and some of it might not be your style, but no matter what you will be able to develop a strong idea of how you want to do customer service and packaging, and what you think is important. Do not copy anyone’s style verbatim, or anyone’s packaging. You want to create your own branding and style.”
Rather than asking for feedback from your buyers – simple and direct – she thinks instead that you should buy things from other people. Now, if you’re making a living off of Etsy, this makes no sense, because you’re probably not rich, and buying handmade stuff can get very expensive. I know, because I make things, and have to give customers quotes. They get sticker shock regularly; some recover and go on to buy from me, and others don’t. That’s life.
Just ask for feedback when you sell something, and give people feedback when and if you do buy their stuff. It’s like saying “please,” and “thank you”.
“I do not think it rude to ask a buyer to leave you feedback. It is analogous to finding out the mark you received on an examination at university. Without feedback, you have no idea whether what you are doing is bringing in customers or not, whether they have had a pleasant experience or not. Humans learn best when they know what’s at stake (either positively or negatively), rather than being kept in the dark.
Would you want to leave school or university with absolutely no idea of what your GPA was?”