Cam posted about eBay feedback (or "karma", as Thing Two puts it). She points out the overuse of Great and Best Ever and multiple exclamation points, ending "If you were an eBayer, what kind of feedback would you want: the gushing kind, or my prosaic praise?"
I commented that I do not leave five stars on Amazon unless the service is truly outstanding, and I've had vendors complain. As a matter of fact, several send follow-up e-mails demanding (!!!!!) "five/five" reviews. Uh, no. That's like a student doing B work but insisting that the only appropriate grade is an A+.
There was one vendor that made communication difficult, would not respond to my actual query (where was my item and why hadn't it be expedited as requested?) for several back-and-forths, and ultimately we had to go to Alibris and get a refund. Because I couldn't figure out how to leave negative feedback on the Alibris site, I'm doing it publicly, here.
The point is, it's inflating your "karma" to insist on FIVE STARS!!!!!!!!, particularly if the service isn't, well, exceptional. I've left five stars for vendors that treat the item with incredible care, that respond quickly to the order and generally take care of me; for those that simply acknowledge the order and ship with ordinary wrapping, four stars are appropriate. I've left feedback saying that pencil markings do not make a book "Near New", and that a book in its original wrapper (a good thing) was better than "Near New". Depends on the purchase, and the vendor. I've read customer comments and I think that purchasers are trying to help the vendor sell more. Admirable, no? Not if their comments are ultimately meaningless ("Best CD ever!!!!!!!!" should go on the band's site, not a second-hand vendor's; "Most incredible book I've read yet!!!!!!!!!" really has nothing to do with the bookstore but is valuable to the author).
Can you, my readers, resolve to not inflate your comments, to leave fair and honest appraisals of on-line vendors? Buck the inflationary trend. How can that possibly hurt?