I felt compelled to write a bit about this after reading a recent auction listing where the Terms of Sale sounded hostile, almost attacking. There seemed to be an immediate assumption of suspicion on the part of the seller and I certainly wasn't encouraged to buy from this person.
On the other hand, too much chattiness and personal info can be unappealing to some bidders.
To appeal to the widest range of bidders, I'd suggest:
1. Be clear. List your shipping price and let your bidder know the shipping options. Or use the Shipping Calulator option but remind bidders that they need to use that to get an idea of shipping.
2. Be equally specific about return policies and anything else.
3. Some people prefer to use the FAQ (Frequently asked questions ) option now available but I still like to be upfront in the listing about my basic Terms of Sale. I keep it brief but I do note these things:
How soon I ship after payment is received
How the items will be packaged (box or padded bag- - I use boxes but it is nice to know what your seller uses, no surprises)
Whether items will be sent media mail, parcel post, priority, etc
Insurance options and seller and bidder information about how to handle damaged items (which are, thank goodness, extremely rare if items are packed right).
A good Terms of Sale description does not have to be lengthy and it does not have to be mean-spirited or harsh. When I read one of those that seem overly gloomy, I can't help but think that this is a seller who holds a possible grudge about having had an uncooperative buyer or who fears one or who is generally mistrusting of their buyers. I'm not sure they MEAN to come across like that.
Just something worth thinking about.
How to Write a Solid Terms of Sale description
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September 10, 2006
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