We’re currently working on the commission system for Furry Network, and a large section will be dedicated to reviews. At this point, it’s difficult to find much information about how sellers are doing. Sure, there are sites like Artists Beware that discuss past problems, but those often focus on the worst events that have happened. In addition, few sites have any positive information about previous commissions.
We want to make a standard system to provide and receive feedback. If someone went out of their way to make your commission experience excellent, we want people to know about it! On the other hand, if a seller has multiple difficulties meeting expectations or deadlines, we want buyers to know what they can expect.
The most straight forward system is a five-star rating, and that’s what we are planning to use. This allows users to give honest feedback on a scale along with comments. We understand this scale can be a little subjective, but it can also encourage parties to be more diligent and respectful.
We discussed the possibility of a thumbs up / thumbs down system, but that tends to be shallow – users who receive the most commissions, regardless of the quality, will likely have the most thumbs up. We want new users to be able to shine in the system, as well, and having a five-star rating system will help relatively unknown sellers grow their base.
While there are some sites that talk about how sellers have done, there’s rarely information about buyers. At times, sellers may have a reason to question if they should accept a commission request. Allowing them to check feedback other sellers have left will help them make that decision.
Other websites such as Airbnb and Uber are using similar systems. Our goal is to encourage respect from both buyers and sellers, and if either side causes problems, a review will help others in the future decide if they wish to do business with that party.
Revisions and Transparency
The tricky thing with reviews is that we want them to be honest and representative of the commission process. However, we also recognize that some simple steps can be taken to fix an issue that lead to a negative review.
Revisions will be allowed for reviews up to 48 hours after they are posted, and responses will be allowed for a limited time after that period. While we want small issues resolved, we also want the score to be finalized – scores should represent the commission at that time rather than be an opinion that changes weeks later.
One potential problem that we plan to address head-on is with extortion. It’s possible that someone could post a negative review, threatening to leave it unless the seller issues a refund. On the other hand, a seller could offer a refund on the sole condition of the buyer revoking that review.
While we want to encourage users to resolve problems, neither of those is truly honest – rather than being about the problem, the focus is on forcing a deal. We will have specific rules dealing with extortion to prevent this – if you need to post a negative review, you need to feel safe to do so.
Designing the review system has some specific goals in mind:
- Creating a standard for commission interactions in the furry fandom.
- Providing a way for unknown artists to receive commissions.
- Encouraging respectful discussions and exchanges between buyers and sellers.
- Showing buyers that a seller’s work is worth purchasing.
- Having meaningful consequences for problematic behavior.
There are many other thoughts that have gone into the design, as well, but what are your thoughts? What would you include in a review system? What could potentially be a problem? Let us know on Twitter!
As always, thank you for all your support. We hope this review system becomes a helpful tool for buyers and sellers alike.