iGolder Feedback Reputation

Each member has a feedback reputation score, also known as Karma, representing the overall satisfaction rating from other members.

 

Feedback Rating

After a trade, both the buyer and seller may rate each other and optionally leave a feedback comment.  A positive rating from a unique trading partner adds one point to the reputation score, and a negative rating deducts ten (10) points from the score; a neutral rating has no effect.  iGolder also has two extras, where an outstanding rating adds two (2) points and a Demerit Point deducts one hundred (100) points from the score.

 

Member Feedback Rating Weight on Feedback Reputation Score
Outstanding Feedback Rating +2
Positive Feedback Rating +1
Neutral Feedback Rating 0
Negative Feedback Rating -10
Demerit Point -100

 

One of the most important aspect of the feedback rating is its ability to help members making safe trading decisions.  Repeated positive feedback ratings from many different buyers is generally a very good indication that the seller meets his customer's needs.  On the other hand, repeated negative feedback ratings is a sign of poor performance and a high probability of disputes.

 

Outstanding Feedback Rating

You are really really really sure the seller outperformed your expectations in every conceivable way…  Such feedback rating is rare and can be used as a "success story" on the homepage of the seller.

 

As a buyer, you must justify the reasons why he considers an outstanding performance to a merchant.  To qualify for an outstanding feedback rating, buyer must also write a comment of 100 words or more.  Writing a feedback comment such as "AAAAAA++++++" is not enough to justify an outstanding performance.

 

Only the seller can receive an outstanding rating; the buyer cannot because there is nothing outstanding for paying the seller.

 

Positive Feedback Rating

A positive rating is wherever you are happy about your trade.  If you consider the other party honored his part of the trade, then give a positive feedback as your appreciation for a job well done.  Although positive feedback does not reduce any transaction fee, it increases the goodwill of the other party making him more impelled to perform again with integrity.  People with nothing to lose are more likely to behave dishonestly, so giving credit to a well earned reputation makes a seller (or buyer) bound to its reputation.  Because a great reputation takes a lifetime to build and seconds to lose, there is an economic benefit for honesty; each new customer brings marginal profits compared to massive losses associated with having a bad reputation and losing many customers.

 

The feedback reputation score gives buyers a good foresight of what to expect with a merchant.  Always leave feedback after a transaction so that other members may benefit from your experience.

 

Neutral Feedback Rating

A neutral rating reflects the trade was okay, however you are not totally happy, but on the same note, you are not totally disappointed either.  If you do not feel giving a positive rating, however do not have the energy to go through the procedure to write a negative rating, then the neutral rating is for you.

 

There is nothing wrong about receiving a neutral feedback rating, however there is room for growth.  We recommend sellers receiving many neutral ratings to contact their customers and ask what they disliked.  Some customers will respond, and they will usually be honest.  Most of the time you will find a common theme, such as poor product quality, poor condition of the delivered merchandise, slow dispatch, poor communication or poor customer service.  As a seller, take this as an opportunity to improve your business.  Also bear in mind you cannot please everyone.  There will always be some people who are not satisfied no matter what you do.  Do not take a neutral rating personally - it is part of life.

 

Negative Feedback Rating

A negative feedback is a statement by a member that a transaction has left them unhappy.  Again, negative ratings do not increase our transaction fees, however they may repel new customers from doing business with you.  A happy customer tells one friend, and unhappy customer tells everybody.

 

As a buyer, don't be afraid to leave a negative feedback rating when well deserved.  If you feel you have been treated unfairly, then you have the right and the honorable duty to give a negative rating with a comment to share your story.  The feedback comment is the ultimate way to share your experience and protect others from experiencing the same fate.  Please be factual; not emotional when sharing your story.  Furthermore, members whose reputation Karma descends far enough into negative territory will be suspended — meaning that negative feedback is also a great way to eventually get bad members off the iGolder network.  Our KYC policy ensures such members cannot join under a new name.

 

 At iGolder, we want all negative ratings to be fair and just however:

  • As a rule of thumb, a buyer cannot give a negative rating to a seller if the seller has fully refunded the transaction amount.  Of course, there are always exception to this rule, however it must be fully justified.  For instance, someone hiring a developer for writing software, and the developer does absolutely nothing until the deadline.  The developer deserves a negative rating for being dishonest.  Simply having the software developer refunding the buyer is not enough to make things even because the buyer wasted significant time, and perhaps, must rewrite his business plan to deal with the delay. 
  • All members have the legitimate right to leave a neutral rating with a comment to express their disappointment.  Neutral feedback ratings do not need to be justified, however it is always nice to write the story.  For instance, a comment such as "the product was out-of-stock again, however the seller fully refunded my purchase" is always better than a neutral rating without any comment.
  • If the buyer initiated a dispute, then it may be too late for the seller to avoid a negative rating.  If the arbitration specialist awards a refund to the buyer, then the buyer is free to leave a negative rating while the seller cannot give any negative rating to the buyer.  On the other hand, if the arbitration specialist gives no award to the buyer, then the buyer must bear all the arbitration fees and can only leave a neutral rating, while the seller may issue a negative rating towards the buyer.
  • To avoid retaliatory negative feedback, the seller cannot give a negative rating if the buyer has paid for the product or service.  If the seller is unhappy about the paying buyer (somewhat unlikely), he may leave a neutral rating with a comment describing the attitude of the buyer.  Some buyers are a real pain, sometimes abusive of time, patience and goodwill.  They are not worth keeping.  At iGolder, we do not want bad buyers, no more than we want bad sellers.  Please bear in mind that bad buyers should be extremely rare because of our Safetransit™ tool and our hard-payment policy.
  • A buyer must complete a checklist of steps taken to resolve an issue before leaving a negative rating or initiating a dispute.  For instance, the buyer must prove he has contacted the seller and waited 10 days before leaving a negative rating.  iGolder provides a free secure chat for communication for that purpose.  This chat is encrypted and recorded; and can be used as a proof of communication with the seller.
  • All negative ratings must have a written feedback comment describing the story.  A member cannot leave a negative rating without explanations.  This is important to protect others against dishonesty, and also for iGolder to review those negative ratings.  If a seller receives a high ratio of negative ratings, or a buyer always gives negative ratings, then iGolder will investigate to determine the legitimacy of those bad ratings.

With iGolder, you can always reply to a feedback rating to express your side of the story.  Shoppers may look at your feedback and wonder what the negatives are all about.  Make it clear that you will always handle problems professionally and be fair if given the opportunity.  Keep it unemotional and professional.

 

Again, regardless how hard you try, and how excellent your product or service is, there will always be unhappy customers.  Please don't bend over such customers.  iGolder provides a cost-effective solution for this problem.  Just keep reading...

 

Removing Negative Feedback Ratings and Comments

You may file a request for a comment removal if you feel you have unfairly received a negative rating or a vindictive feedback comment.  There are many types of feedback abuse, from writing identifying information about another member to writing false accusations such as selling broken merchandise.  To remove a rating or a feedback comment, you must pledge one gram of gold and iGolder will listen to your side of the story.  If the comment is withdrawn, then your gram of gold will be refunded and iGolder will issue a demerit point to the member who wrote the malicious comment.  Withdrawn ratings are not counted in any way in your feedback reputation, however they remain hidden in the database with an administrative procedure.  If something ever arise in the future, iGolder can dig such withdrawn comments and investigate further.

 

Also, iGolder will remove any neutral or negative feedback left by a member whose account is suspended.  Members with too many demerit points or proof of dishonesty are subject to account termination.

 

Feedback Extortion

Buyer feedback extortion is when a buyer threatens to leave negative feedback unless the seller cuts him a better deal or reduces the shipping charge after both parties agreed on the terms and transaction amount.  There is no feedback extortion by asking the seller for a refund after receiving broken merchandise, nor for asking a partial refund regarding a poor performance with respect to the transaction agreement.

 

Seller feedback extortion is when a seller threatens to leave a negative feedback if the buyer refuses to leave him a positive feedback rating.  The buyer is always free to leave a neutral rating, and a negative rating if the seller did not respected the agreement.  Also, the buyer has the legitimate right to ask for a partial refund if the contract was not fully respected, such as excessive delays or damaged merchandise.

  • If you believe you are victim of feedback extortion, you simply file a request for comment removal.  The cost is only one gram of gold, and the iGolder staff will listen to your side of the story, including reading the transfer agreement and the feedback comment left by the other party.  If you were indeed victim of feedback extortion, we will remove the negative rating, refund your gram of gold, and issue a demerit point to the member who gave you an unfair negative rating.  On the other hand, if your claim was furious, iGolder will keep your gram of gold and leave the negative feedback to your reputation profile.
  • The Safetransit™ tool is the ideal mechanism for reducing feedback extortion.  The performance conditions are uploaded to iGolder.com and remain unchanged until the transaction has been completed.  If you feel extorted, simply pledge one gram of gold to iGolder to review the issue.  If there was genuine extortion, then iGolder will award you the full amount in Safetransit to the victim without requiring you to fulfill the contract.  iGolder will also issue a demerit point to the offender and prevent him from leaving you a negative feedback rating.
  • Extortion starts when a member willingly sends a threat message knowingly as illegal.  The message only has to be sent to qualify as an act of extortion.  To protect our members against extortion, we provide an interface to submit (upload) extortion messages.  If you ever received an extortion message by email, then feel free to upload it to our server.  iGolder will retain such messages as an administrative procedure.  It is important you upload all extortion messages as soon as possible because iGolder can compile statics regarding extortion patterns.  If a member uses extortion against another member, he is likely repeat the process towards others.  The sooner we discover extortion patterns, the sooner we may act, including terminating the account of the offender.  Also, if you later receive a negative rating as a consequence refusing to comply with extortion, then you have a much stronger case to prove you were a victim.  If a member is a victim of extortion, then iGolder will remove the negative or neutral rating, and will issue at least a demerit point to the offender.

No Feedback?  No Problem!

Sometimes members do not leave feedback ratings after closing a transaction.  At iGolder, this is not a problem because we assume all transactions completed with Safetransit as positive.  Although we fully endorse the courteous methodology "You give me feedback, I give you feedback", we also aim in reducing inefficient and redundant procedures.  If a transaction went smoothly, then it is perfectly legitimate to rightfully assume the outcome was positive.  A member has 6 months to update his feedback rating for any transaction.

 

The benefits of automatic positive feedback also increases the overall quality of feedback comments.  Buyers can learn more about the seller by reading more descriptive feedback comments, instead of having to skip numerous variants of comments like "AAA+++".  Also, storing only descriptive comments keeps our database lean, thus making our website faster.

 

We are convinced our automatic positive feedback assumption keeps your feedback rating fair.  If a member is unhappy about a transaction, he will take the time to give a negative rating.  If the unhappy member is not willing to take any time to give a negative rating, then it is probably because it was not so important or he is not really unhappy.

 

Can a feedback rating be changed?

Yes, of course.  Members may change their feedback rating up to a period of 6 months.  For instance, a buyer may purchase a product with a warranty and the product breaks while the seller does not want to honor the warranty.  The buyer may therefore change his feedback rating from positive to negative with a comment describing the facts.  iGolder will keep hidden the original rating and feedback comment (if any) as an administrative procedure in case an investigation is needed.

 

There is nothing wrong with a seller making his customers happy, and therefore turning a negative or neutral feedback to a positive rating.  Without the option to update a feedback rating, there is little incentive for the seller to make any effort to reconcile with the buyer.  What is important is having happy customers; there is nothing positive in punishment, unless punishment results in a positive outcome.

 

Also, negative feedback comments are frequently made by error, such as shipping at work and having someone else picking up the package, or a having the kids receiving the package and forgetting to inform the parents.  Sometimes people make several transactions in the same day and confound one seller with another, thus giving the negative rating to the wrong seller.  The list goes on.  A negative feedback rating can always be removed by mutual agreement.  To maintain the integrity of our feedback system, iGolder may investigate further if a member has the habit of turning negative ratings into positive ratings.

 

Demerit Points

One important feature affecting the reputation score are the demerit points.  A member receives a demerit point for being dishonest or having non-respect towards another member.  Only arbitrators and the iGolder staff may allocate demerit points.

 

Although demerit points are not directly part of the feedback rating (a buyer cannot assign a demerit point to a seller), they do however carry a heavy weight on the feedback reputation score.  Each demerit point negates 100 positive ratings plus increases the transaction fees.  Members with too many demerit points may have their account terminated.

 

Feedback Reputation Score

The Feedback Reputation Score is the sum of all feedback ratings over a period of time, normalized to a value of 1,000.  For instance, if a member made 50 transactions, then each positive rating is adds 20 points and each negative rating subtract 200 points.  By normalizing all reputation scores, it therefore becomes easier to compare scores.  A buyer may wish to compare the reputation score of two sellers, or compare the scores of the same seller for different time periods, such as the past 30 days and the past 6 months.  Comparing different periods of time may be insightful to determine if a member is improving or regressing.  For instance, a member with a score of 800 for the past 30 days while having a score of 990 for the past 3 years clearly indicates a satisfaction degradation.  On the other hand, an identical score of 800 could also mean the user made only 20 trades with 16 positive ratings, two neutral and one negative rating.

 

iGolder requires a minimum of 10 transactions to compute the Feedback Reputation Score.  This is to prevent a member who made only a few transactions to share the same reputation with members who made many positive transactions.

 

Feedback Reputation Summary

The Feedback Reputation Summary is a table displaying a classification of feedback ratings.  Although a the Feedback Reputation Score gives a fair reputation overview, it gives little information about reputation details.  For instance, a member may have received a Feedback Reputation Score of 1,000, only from positive ratings, or the same score from an equal number of outstanding ratings offsetting the neutral ratings.  Since the Feedback Reputation Score is computed starting at 10 transactions, a member having 10 positive transactions has the same Feedback Reputation Score as a member with 10,000 transactions.  To overcome this dilemma, each member has the option to disclose the exact number of feedback ratings.  A feedback rating represents a unique transaction with a trading partner.

 

The Feedback Reputation Summary also display five reputations cores.  The first reputation score is calculated from the most recent 1,000 transactions, the second reputation score is calculated from the past 30 days, the past 6 months, the past 3 years, and since the account was opened.  There may be some overlap.  For instance, a member having opened an account 20 days ago will have the same reputation score for the past 30 days, as well as for the past 6 months, the past 3 years and the total.  Likewise, if a member having made fewer than 1,000 transactions will have the same total score as the score for his most recent 1,000 transactions.

 

We believe such summary gives a fair assessment for member reputation.  The Karma is the value taken from the Feedback Reputation Score for the past 6 months.

 

Member Feedback Rating Number of Ratings * Past 30 Days Past 6 Months Past 3 Years Grand Total
Outstanding Feedback 11 1.1% 1.1% 1.1% 1.1%
Positive Feedback 980 98.0% 98.0% 98.0% 98.0%
Neutral Feedback 5 0.5% 0.5% 0.6% 0.6%
Negative Feedback 4 0.4% 0.4% 0.3% 0.3%
Demerit Points 1.5 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1%
Feedback Reputation Score / Karma 812 812 Karma = 812 872 872

* The number of rating is calculated on the past 1,000 transactions, and values are rounded to one decimal.

 

Benefits of Displaying Feedback Reputation Summary

The greatest benefit of displaying the reputation summary is increasing trust.  The more a member knows about you, the more likely he will be willing to engage in business with you.  If you have a low Karma, we strongly encourage you to consider displaying your feedback summary in your public profile.  For instance, you may have a zero Karma because you made only 10 trades with one negative rating.  Without displaying your reputation summary, the buyer may not know how you ended up with a zero Karma.  If you choose to display your feedback summary, then buyers will probably disregard this negative rating and decide to do business with you anyways.  After all, one or two negative ratings can happen to anyone, and the ratio of negative ratings may be high with someone new selling online.  It may happen because the new seller provides poor shipping.  On the other hand, a seller having a zero Karma on 1,000 sales represents a warning for potential disputes.

 

The more transactions you have, the higher is your status in the eyes of your potential customers.  If you made close to 1,000 transactions, then it means you are probably doing something right... unless your reputation summary shows massive neutral and negative ratings.

 

Benefits of Displaying Feedback Reputation Comments

Displaying feedback comments can bring trust and confidence to almost any business or personal transaction.  When you choose to display your comments, iGolder displays all of them: the good, the bad and the ugly comments.  These comments are valuable indicators about your behavior as a buyer or as a seller.  If you have a great reputation score, then displaying your feedback comments will just increase usefulness of your Karma score.

 

Negative feedback comments can be your friend.  Most buyers are interested learning how you got negative and neutral feedback ratings.  A buyer may have given you a neutral rating for slow shipping, or poor product packaging although the product arrived in perfect condition.  Also, an idiot customer (yeah, there are such things) may give you a rude comment because he is plainly stupid and does not understanding your product.  Comments written by such idiots are easy to spot, particularly if you provide a reply explaining your side of the story.  Without going into details, I am sure you understand what I mean if you have been doing business with the public long enough...

 

 At iGolder, we value freedom of speech and every member has a right to his opinion.  Your reputation score is a summary of what others think of you.  If you only have idiots as customers, then perhaps it is time to revise your business model.  Likewise, if shipping time or packaging is very important to a customer, then he is free to express himself without fear of retaliation or litigation.  A customer may give a negative comment for non-performance.  An example is hiring a speaker for an important event, and the speaker does not show up.  Refunding the speaker fees to the organizer and calling things even is an insult.  The organizer spent for renting the auditorium, spent on advertising for the event, and perhaps had to refund his customers who purchase tickets for the event.  In such cases, a negative rating is well deserved, and others should know about it.  By the way, iGolder has a tool called Cancellation Provision to deal with such situations.

 

A potential customer reading such negative comments may conclude "well, if this is the worse one can say about this member, I think I can do business with him".  In our case above, the story for the public speaker is he interpreted the date 2/3/2017 as 3/2/2017 because in his country, the date is expressed as day/month/year rather than month/day/year.  Whatever the excuse however, the result is the transaction was not positive in any way, and a negative rating should reflect this outcome.  Perhaps the speaker should always confirm important events.

 

Remember people hate being scammed.  A few negative ratings is not the end of the world, as long as the intent was not malicious.  Everyone with half a brain knows mistake occurs or the postal system may be slow.  If there is a pattern of such negative ratings, then it may drive away customers.

 

Another benefit of disclosing your reputation comments is after receiving a negative rating within your first transactions.  For instance, you made 12 transactions and got one negative rating.  Such performance would give you a Karma of 83, which is considered very low by our standards.  If you disclose your reputation comments however, then your potential customers will see you just got only one negative rating.  A single negative rating can happen to anyone, especially when someone is inexperienced with the matter.  On the other hand, the same Karma could also be the result of 75 negative ratings out of 900 transactions, which in this case, there is a genuine problem with the seller.

 

I see decimal numbers.  What does it mean?

Sometimes a feedback rating may include a decimal (fraction) because the transaction value is too small or is considered a non-unique.  For instance, a positive feedback rating may have a value of 0.5 because the transaction amount was half a gram of gold, or the transaction was made 50 days after trading with the same member.  To qualify for a full feedback rating, the following criteria must be met:

 

  • The transaction amount must be at least one gram.  Any transaction below 1 gram will be weighted at pro rata.  Although such small transactions affect the rating value, they do not affect the feedback percentage if they are all the same size.  For instance, a member selling only items at 0.01 grams can still have 100% positive feedback and a Karma of 1,000, however his total number of ratings will not grow as fast as selling items for one gram.

    The goal is removing the incentive of making tiny transactions to boost feedback ratings.  After all, purchasing an item for 0.01 grams of gold should not have the same feedback rating as larger transaction of 1 gram.  The buyer can always leave a feedback comment regardless of the amount. So if your business is selling very small items, you can still earn a great reputation, however your number of ratings will always appear lower than the number of transactions you made because you always make micro transactions.  Making a micro transaction goes both ways; a negative rating will carry the same proportional weight as a positive rating, however the buyer can write a negative feedback comment which will show in your feedback summary as any other comment.  iGolder does not display the transaction weight to a comment, although the members may mention it as part of the comment.
     
  • The feedback rating computes the total number of unique transactions.  Repeated transactions are counted but at pro rata on a scale of 100 days.  Why such policy?  To prevent someone from making repeated transactions with the same member to boost his reputation.  For instance, a buyer purchases an item from a seller, and during the same day, purchases another item.  Would that count as two unique feedback ratings?  Not at iGolder.  What about purchasing the next day?  What if the buyer purchased a monthly subscription?  Should a merchant selling a subscription for 12 months receive 12 positive ratings?

    At iGolder, any transaction involving two members within 100 days are considered non-unique.  The uniqueness of the transaction is calculated from the number of days between the transactions.  If a member make a purchase and next month make another purchase, then the second purchase will have positive rating of 0.30 assuming the month had 30 days.  Therefore the seller will have 1.3 as the number of positive ratings.  The seller will still have a 100% positive feedback rating and a Karma of 1,000, assuming all other transactions were positive.

    The goal is removing the incentive of making repeated transactions to boost feedback ratings.  Having feedback from many unique trading partners is far more reliable than having many feedback comments from the same partner.  Nevertheless, a business having returning customers is a sign of a good reputation.  Having to wait 100 days gives a fair delay to work the system, thus improving improve the honesty of feedback which provides benefits to buyers and sellers alike.
     
  • A member may receive a partial demerit point.  For instance, a seller received a 0.5 point because he behaved incorrectly during a dispute and the arbitration specialist decided he is "half guilty"  Another scenario where both the seller and buyer are involved in a dispute, and both are dishonest.  Therefore both receive a 0.5 demerit point.

To protect your privacy, only one decimal is displayed after the period.  Displaying the exact decimal value may reveal the exact number of transactions, which in turn reveals how often you make trades.  Also, limiting the accuracy to one decimal provides built-in forgiveness.  For instance, iGolder displays a zero percentage to any member receiving one negative rating for every 2,001 transaction (the percentage of negative is 1 / 2001 = 0.04998% which, rounded to one digit, registers as 0.0%).

 

Why limiting seller reputation to 1,000 transactions?

For privacy (and security), all reputation scores are capped to display the most recent 1,000 transactions.  By having a cap on the number of transactions, we make it much more difficult for a third party to estimate the size of the merchant's business, and therefore the total size of iGolder.  At iGolder, we are privacy fanatics as we prefer to keep a low profile without disclosing our aggregate statistics. Successful people are victim of frivolous lawsuits.  By normalizing your reputation score to 1,000 transactions, we protect you against litigation.  Also, people who are wildly successful often receive negative feedback ratings from vindictive buyers. Having a cap to a reasonable amount of transactions reduces the risk of provoking envy and jealousy among your customers.

 

We believe displaying the feedback ratings of the most recent 1,000 transactions is sufficient to give a fair assessment about the merchant's trustworthiness.  The buyer does not need to know exactly how many sales were made by a merchant to make a sound decision about the his/her reputation.  In our view, computing the percentage of positive feedback ratings represents a fair measurement.  When the number of transactions becomes large, the buyer must calculate the percentage ratios anyways.  For instance, having 10 negative ratings from 1,000,000 transactions represents a satisfaction rate of 99.99%, and having 10 negative ratings from 20 transactions represents a 50% satisfaction rate.  To display a comprehensive feedback reputation, iGolder also computes (and displays) the satisfaction feedback ratings for the past 30 days, past 6 months, past 3 years and the grand total since the account was opened.  As a buyer, you may see if the satisfaction ratios are improving or deteriorating in time.

 

Another benefit of having a reputation cap is reducing the risk of a merchant enjoying a large number of positive ratings from turning bad.  Without a reputation score ceiling, poor performing members who have had a previously good record may trade for a long time before they appear to be less trustworthy.  Let's say a member has a reputation score of 175,456.  That member may easily make 5,000 consecutive bad transactions without affecting his his reputation score in any meaningful way.  If each negative rating subtracts one point, as eBay does, then the merchant still has a reputation score of 170,456 after carrying out 5,000 bad transactions - a reputation score which would be considered very good.  Things are different at iGolder because we subtract 10 points per negative ratings, and we calculate the score on the 1,000 most recent transactions.  By having such policy, iGolder displays a negative reputation score to any merchant receiving more than 100 consecutive negative ratings, regardless of past performance.

 

iGolder Public Profile

Every iGolder member has a public profile.  The user profile always displays the nickname / alias of the member as well as his Karma.  Optionally, the member may disclose his feedback reputation summary and feedback comments.

 

A public profile may also display the URL of the website of the member, a brief description of products and services offered, and/or a bio about member.  If a member is a mediator or an arbitrator, then his profile will also include his reputation as a mediator or arbitrator (whichever is applicable).

 

iGolder Karma

Although your Feedback Reputation Summary may be private and hidden, your Karma is always visible on your public profile.  A member cannot hide his Karma value.  The Karma value is simply the Feedback Reputation Score for the past 6 months; it does not display in any way the total number of transactions, however it displays a fair assessment of reputation.  The Karma is not always displayed as a number; it includes other values such as New Member, Low Activity, Unreliable Member, and Account Terminated.

 

 

iGolder Karma Description
Greater than 1,000 A Karma greater than 1,000 is a sign of an outstanding reputation.  The member received more outstanding feedback than neutral feedback, or he received more than 20 outstanding feedback for every negative feedback.  Any Karma larger than 1,000 is a sign of a genuine achievement because is very difficult to receive an outstanding feedback.
1,000 A Karma of 1,000 is a sign of a great reputation.  The member only received positive feedback without any negative or neutral feedback.  Another situation is the member received an equal amount of outstanding and neutral feedback, both offsetting each other.
900 or more A Karma of 900 or more means the member has a very good reputation, meaning less than 1% of negative feedback.  By the way, having 99% positive and 1% negative feedback gives a Karma of 890.
780 A Karma of 780 means only 2% of transactions received a negative rating.  To put the Karma value of 780 into perspective, eBay requires a minimum of 98% positive feedback ratings to qualify as a Power Seller.
500 A Karma of 500 is means half of the feedback are neutrals while the other half are positives, or a reputation with 95.5% positive feedback ratings with 4.5% negative feedback.  The closer the Karma score is towards zero, the further away is the member from having a great reputation.
0 (Zero) A zero Karma means the member received no positive ratings, or received 9.1% of negative ratings completely offsetting the 90.9% positive ratings.
Less than 0 (Negative) A negative Karma means the member has a poor reputation according to the iGolder yardstick.  The member received more than 9.1% of negative feedback which offsets all his positive ratings.  A negative value may occur because a negative rating reduces the Karma score 10 times more than a positive rating.  Of course having 9.1% negative ratings may not appear that bad, because it also mean almost 91% of transactions were positive.  At iGolder, we have high standards for quality, and we reward good behavior.  Since we want the Karma value to be meaningful, we do not hesitate to display a negative Karma to draw attention to the community.  Our hope is the member with a low Karma will improve his trading habits and increase his Karma score by receiving a higher ratio of positive ratings.  We recommend being careful when doing business with a member having a negative Karma; it is a sign for potential disputes.
New Member or
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The Karma is not calculated until the member completes 10 transactions.  In order to compute a reliable Karma, we require a minimum of 10 transactions to assert a reputation.  If the new member receives one negative rating, he looses the status of New Member and his Karma automatically becomes negative.  If you see the status New Member, it means "so far, so good".
Low Activity iGolder requires a minimum of 1 transaction within the past 6 months to display the Karma value.  Any value below this threshold is considered as Low Activity.  A low activity represents a good Karma with a low volume of transactions.  If the member received any negative rating during the past 6 months, his Karma would display a negative value.
Unreliable Member This is the worse reputation a member can get.  The Unreliable status is assigned after loosing a dispute while not abiding to the decision of the arbitration specialist.  It is far worse than having a negative Karma; it is the lowest Karma before having an account terminated.
Account Terminated This status is displayed for members no longer part of the iGolder community, typically because of account termination due to fraudulent activity.  You cannot transact with any member whose account has been terminated.

 

 

iGolder is also considering computing the Karma from the lowest reputation score from either the past 1,000 transactions, the past 30 days, the past 6 months, the past 3 years or the grand total.  We are not implementing such policy because we aim to reward improvement.  If a member knows his Karma will not get better for many years, he has little incentive to improve his behavior.

 

Reputation and Disputes

Winning or losing a dispute arbitration does not affect your feedback reputation nor your transfer fees.  On the other hand, if you loose by arbitration, you have to pay the dispute fees and refund your customer, plus likely to receive a negative feedback rating without having the option to give a negative rating to the other party.  Disputes are also time consuming, stressful, and often damage future business relationships between the parties.

 

It is preferable to avoid disputes as much as possible.  Some of the leading causes of disputes are the easiest to minimize through careful contract negotiation.  Most contract disputes occur as a result of disagreements over the meaning of terms in the contract.  Disputed terms can involve design or performance specifications, the statement of work or even the schedule.  Pay close attention for areas of potential misunderstanding and clarify before submitting a bid or proposal.  It may be difficult to enforce an interpretation of vague terms against a party who did not understand to have undertaken a purported obligation.

 

Reputation and Litigation

It is a violation of our Account Agreement to sue another member regarding a comment or a feedback rating.  iGolder provides a cost-effective mechanism for comment removal, so there is no need to clog the public courts about something you do not own.  Your reputation is what others think of you.  Your iGolder reputation is nothing more than the credibility iGolder bestows to your account, determined from the feedback of your trading partners.  At iGolder, we value freedom of speech, and your trading partners have the right to express themselves without any fear of litigation.  If you do no like having your Karma value displayed next to your nickname, then feel free to use another payment system.  When you use iGolder, you agree that your trading partners may rate you honestly - according to their satisfaction.  A feedback system forbidding negative ratings would be meaningless.

 

If a member becomes victim of a lawsuit regarding a feedback comment, we will terminate the account of the member who initiated the lawsuit.  So much for preserving a reputation!

 

Benefits of Maintaining a Great Reputation

To conclude on a positive note, we would like to share Food for Thought regarding reputation.

  • A satisfied customer is a returning customer, and it is usually cheaper to retain customers than to acquire them.
  • The costs of serving long-life customers are less than those of serving new customers.  This is typically true because customers learn over time, and have less questions or problems. This is not always true however; long-life customers may require better service in reward for their loyalty.
  • Long-life customers increase the reputation of your business and attract new customers through word-of-mouth. The longer the relationship, the higher the probability of spreading word-of-mouth, and the higher the credibility of the word-of-mouth recommendation.  Long-life customers customers often generate referrals raving about your products and services because they are happy doing business with you.
  • Long-life customers are more likely to buy more from your business, offering you the opportunity to receive a larger share-of-wallet through up-selling and cross-selling.

 

Remember, a business is an entity serving its customers, and profit is the byproduct of excellence.  Reputation is just one metric measuring excellence.

 

 

 

Since August 1st, 2013 iGolder is no longer accepting new accounts and balances can only be redeemed. During the past years, we have been recommending Bitcoin more than our own payment system. We believe in physical gold ownership, and developed iGolder as a mechanism for people to acquire physical gold by trading with one another.

Since iGolder has a central point of failure (our server may be raided by thugs wearing some kind of uniform), we feet it is safer for us to cease operations. The iGolder experiment has been personally rewarding as we met many gold enthusiasts and also learned about Bitcoin in the process. For those who have no idea what Bitcoin is, we recommend doing your own research. Bitcoin is far superior to iGolder in every way, both in privacy and security as our server is always vulnerable to confiscation. Bitcoin is a communication protocol with a built-in "escrow service" capable of protecting both the buyer and the seller, rendering our Safetransit completely redundant. To learn more about the Bitcoin protocol and its feature, please watch "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD4L7xDNCmA (Bitcoin 2012 London: Mike Hearn).

For those having gold in their iGolder account, we will ship the physical metal to anyone having more than 1 ounce of gold, assuming the owner is willing to assume the shipping costs. For smaller quantities, we offer to settle in Bitcoin, however we will also settle with any other reasonable payment system. We will give everyone at least two full years (until 2016) to contact us to claim their gold. After that period, any unclaimed gold will go to fund an economic development project in Honduras helping local people to become entrepreneurs.

We sincerely wish you the best in life and hope to keep in contact with you.

Yours in liberty,
The iGolder Team.


Update 2014: Since we announced we no longer accept gold transfers, we have received countless emails asking to keep the free gold charts and the PGP encryption tools. We plan to keep running the domain iGolder.com for both the gold charts and the encryption tools. Better, we are developing state of the art open-source software for a secure decentralized social network with a built-in wallet. We will announce when we have a product ready for use. Stay tuned!