Since we haven't reached that point YET, take a deep breath, and spare a moment to consider your seller. I'm not just referring to myself here, but to all the eBay vendors. We are all people, people sitting on the other side of a computer, hoping to sell some things, maybe run a business, and make a little money while keeping people happy.
EBay has a LOT of policies designed to protect the buyer, this is a wonderful thing. However, I'll let you in on a secret. This means sellers have to work much harder to keep our good names, and we often get dinged for things that are in no way our fault. If a customer places a bid, then decides AFTER the bidding that they can't pay, the seller gets a negative mark. This means every seller is treading a careful balance between making their products readily available, and trying to filter out the people who don't know, or don't care about bidding properly and making a good sale.
I've spent a good portion of my life working in sales, in one area or another. I know how the game works, and I have learned that every major corporation uses the SAME strategy to keep track of their 'customer service'. In eBay, it's the buyer Feedback form.
Essentially, you get two chances to make your voice heard, the first question is "Would you like to leave Positive or Negative Feedback?" This is a very important question. NEVER ever ever leave Negative feedback if you can avoid it. Negative feedback hurts buyers and sellers alike, it's the equivalent to blacklisting a person. It's a last resort when you are tired, fed up, and you feel communication has failed. I don't do it. Ever.
eBay functions on the notion of transaction transparency, that by letting other people see how you do business, you'll do a better job, and consumers can properly judge a seller by their feedback. This is a good policy, but buyers need to know before they click those buttons just how much it can affect the people they are judging.
Now the second question on your feedback form says "Rate your seller 1-5 stars" on various levels of service. Now here is where the system tends to break own a little. EVERY corporation that issues a 'Customer survey' or a chance to rate your transaction, will TELL you to be honest, and use a 1-5 scale. But what they DON'T tell you is that they actually don't actually average those score out. The truth is ANYTHING less than a 100% score counts AGAINST the person who provided you the sale. The Feedback form is no different.
There is no grading on a curve, there are no points for 'above average'. Which is actually quite unfair. I never gave 5 stars before I knew the system. I wanted to reserve that 5 out of 5 score for something that was TRULY special, not everyday. But the way the corporations compile their data is rigid. If a seller gets less than 100% than they must be doing something WRONG.
Additionally, when consumers leave Feedback, Sellers do not see the specific star rating that person left. So if a person is trying to convey that they loved everything BUT the shipping charges, that fact gets lost in the data. All the star ratings get averaged out, and if a Seller does NOT have 100% star rating, they aren't a 'Top Seller' and they don't get the additional eBay support.
So if I run a promotion where I charge a very small list fee, and slightly more for shipping, then a customer rates my shipping charges as 'higher than usual' they're right. But since they didn't communicate that with me personally, I don't know what they'd like to see changed. And the customer doesn't know that the same pony I sold for .99+5.00 shipping, usually lists for 2.99+3.00.
Personally, I'm not going to tell you how to leave feedback, that's a persons choice. But I want you to know how the system works so you know what you're choosing the next time you do. My policy is, if I buy something and all goes well, I give 5 out of 5 Positive Feedback. If I have a problem, I try to settle it with the seller PRIOR to leaving any feedback. I withhold my feedback until everything is settled to my satisfaction. If a seller is difficult to work with, then I will give a less than perfect star rating. But only if there's a problem.
That's the way the system works. Unfortunately, it's not perfect. but it does keep your sellers honest. So keep this in mind the next time you buy. You are the Buyer, and on eBay, YOU have the power. So happy bidding!