OK, so you have purchased items to sell on eBay, you’ve listed them on the site, gotten bids, sold them and shipped the items to your customers. It sounds like everything is complete now, right? Not quite! The final step in the auction is perhaps the most important of all, and that is feedback! eBay has a system where you can leave comments about the seller or the buyer in any eBay transaction. These comments are all archived and are used to create your feedback profile on the site. Your overall rating in this feedback will determine just how successful you are on eBay.
If you get much negative feedback at all, people will start shying away from your auctions, and will buy from somebody else instead of you. Let’s face it, almost any item on eBay can be found from other sellers too, unless it is something that you made yourself. Even then, perhaps a similar item can still be found, even if not exact. If you are showing a track record of negative feedback, people will just stop buying from you.
How do you get positive feedback? Let’s look at some tips:
- Always be honest with your buyer. No matter what the question is, always tell the truth. Even if the truth is not positive, don’t hide it! As a matter of fact, if the item you are selling has some kind of flaw, be sure to list that in the auction, so people will be aware. The simple fact that you are willing to point out the flaws will make people trust you more!
- Always answer every e-mail within a reasonable time. If you are selling on eBay, it is expected that you will be available for questions and such. If somebody e-mails you, don’t hide! Answer the e-mail as quickly as you can. If you wait and wait before answering, it will anger your buyers, and when they leave feedback, they will likely ding you for that!
- When you spell out on the auction what you will do, follow it! If you say that you will ship the item within 2 days, do it! If you say that you will e-mail the tracking number for the shipment, don’t forget! Whatever you say on the auction, follow it! Same for the items you list, make sure that the item you send is exactly what you said it will be! Don’t ever send something “similar” because it will kill you down the road when it’s time for feedback!
- Always be friendly! No matter if your customer gets angry, and makes you angry, when you e-mail them, be friendly! Remember, you are running a business, and one rule of business is that the customer is always right – even when you know they are not! So, be friendly, be accommodating as much as possible, and never get angry! An angry customer will often become disarmed when you respond to them in a kind way!
One of my sacred rules of leaving feedback is that I never leave feedback first! In my auctions I put something like “I guarantee to leave you appropriate feedback when the transaction is complete.” Now, for me, the transaction is not complete until the other person has left feedback! Sometimes people ask me why I don’t leave feedback first. I say that the transaction is not “complete” until I am certain that I have done everything I need to do to make the customer happy. I can’t be sure that the customer is 100% happy until they have left feedback for me and said that they are happy. If the customer doesn’t like that policy, I simply don’t leave feedback if they have not done so. The main reason for this is that some customers will leave you negative feedback for little or no reason, and they also will not even e-mail you to try to work out any possible problem. For example, let’s say that you have shipped an item to a person half way around the world. When the item arrived at their doorstep it was broken. I do not feel this is a case where negative feedback should be left by the customer, because if the item broke in transit, that was beyond the control of the seller. A more appropriate way of handling this would be for the buyer to contact the seller and see what can be done. Perhaps there was postal insurance on the item,which will pay for the damage!
So, remember, always do everything you possibly can to obtain positive feedback from your customers! The more positive feedback you can get for your account, the more people will be willing to do business with you! Also, if you get a negative feedback rating from a customer, don’t lose sleep over it. It’s rare to have a perfect record! Just learn from the mistake, and try to improve your performance on your future transactions!