For the Amazon seller, reviews and seller feedback are like the life or health indicator at the top of your video game screen. They serve as signals of how healthy our product and services really are. Even the partially filled five stars at the top of your product listing resembles a power level, and we get squeamish whenever that bar begins to drop.

When a 1 star review or feedback pops up, it’s like we’ve been hit by mortar rounds. “Oh no! How many lives do we have left? Are there more on the way?” We tense up at every negative response we receive because we all know that our reputation is created by customers.

But the truth is, negative feedback is inevitable for any seller. In fact, some have speculated that a small quantity of negative feedback can establish your credibility as a brand. If a company had 1,500 reviews, all of which were five stars, would you not be slightly suspicious?

So if you can’t avoid negative feedback, you need to learn how to deal with it. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of dealing with negative seller feedback. Whereas customer reviews keep you in good standing with customers, seller feedback keeps you in good standing with Amazon. Amazon wants to keep customers happy which is why they allow customers to rate you through seller feedback. If Amazon sees that you have an extremely high amount of negative seller feedback, they will exact consequences and your account could eventually be suspended.

If you’re trying to remove negative seller feedback, the following advice will help you navigate the process.

STEP 1: TAKE A DEEP BREATH

All I mean by this is that you need to put the negative feedback into perspective. If this is your first negative comment in your seller feedback, it may feel like a huge blow to your efforts, but trust me, a single, negative review on your feedback ain’t gonna kill you.

Consider that even Amazon (on their own guide) cautions sellers from overreacting. According to them, if your negative seller feedback rating is between 0 and 2%, you’re doing great. Amazon only recommends that you keep it below 5%. And what happens if your negative feedback goes above 5%? Amazon simply recommends that you “review your business practices” and revise those practices to make customers more happy.

In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t focus on that single negative feedback. Look at your overall feedback rating and put it all into perspective.

STEP 2: ASK AMAZON TO REMOVE IT

Now if you’ve examined the negative feedback and still feel it’s not a fair assessment, you can contact Amazon and ask them to remove it. However, Amazon has four specific criteria for removeable feedback, and if your feedback doesn’t fit these, you probably won’t get anywhere. So pay close attention. Amazon will remove the feedback if…

  1. The customer’s feedback is obscene or profane. So if your customer is swearing like a sailor and threatening to gut you like a fish, you may be able to have it removed. You also may be in yet another sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean. But if your customer has not done these things, move on to the other criteria.
  1. The customer’s feedback includes their own personal information. For instance, if the customer left you their phone number or email address or if they gave you their full name within the text of the feedback, then you may have it removed for privacy reasons.
  1. If the customer’s feedback is entirely a product review. This means that the customer has utilized the seller feedback area for what should be inside the product review area. Keep in mind, the entire feedback must be a review of the product. For instance, “I hated this pirate costume. It smelled like rum and cigarettes and hugged my hips just a little too tight.” This could be removed because it was entirely product driven. However, if the feedback stated, “This company is horrible. It took two weeks to get the product to me, then when I opened it, it smelled like rum and cigarettes!” then the feedback would not be removed because it contains both seller and product information.
  1. If the customer’s feedback is purely about a shipping problem handled by Amazon. If you use Fulfillment by Amazon, you are not responsible for the shipping of your product. You’ve outsourced that to Amazon. So if a customer complains that their product was lost in the mail, you are not responsible as the seller. However, Amazon typically does not remove the feedback. They simply respond below the comment for all to see. Their response will read, “This item was fulfilled by Amazon, and we take responsibility for this fulfillment experience.”

So there you have them. Want to ask Amazon to remove negative seller feedback? You probably won’t have a case if they don’t meet this criteria. Good news for you is that the majority of seller feedback left for Amazon sellers (particularly if you are a private label seller) can be removed because it will fit the above criteria.

Conclusion

Remember, negative seller feedback shouldn’t cause you to panic nor should it be the norm for your Amazon business. But removing improper feedback can keep your negative feedback rating within Amazon’s preferred levels.

My own personal experience with negative seller feedback has been minimal, and for most Amazon sellers that will be the case. But when you’d like to remove particularly unclear, confusing, or unfair feedback, these steps are your best options.