I'm going to be brief, and to the point, because we're all busy, aren't we? :)
Here's some tips that I wish I'd had before I started selling. You'll notice my ID/feedback is new. I was a former power seller who had to start fresh because of the mistakes I made. Learn from mine!
Ah - cardinal eBay rookie mistake - I had left feedback before it was left for me. I received neutral and/or negative feedback even when I begged for buyers to contact me first.
- As the seller, NEVER leave feedback for buyers without receiving it first. You relinquish all options otherwise. That means if you leave them positive and they leave you neutral or negative...there's nothing you can do. Asking the buyer to remove what he left will be almost impossible because he's already got a positive from you.
- Make the terms of your sale crystal clear, especially your return policy. Otherwise, you could be in for unnecessary stress. Like buyer remorse.
- Use eBay's preferences to block bidders who don't have a PayPal account - this will cut 80% of your non-payers. People with a PayPal account are more likely to follow through with a transaction.
- Measure your items, and make sure you have something appropriate to ship the item out. For example, see if the item will fit in the box before you list it. I ran into this issue and had to run around looking for a box.
- If you print your labels from PayPal, delivery confirmation is only $0.14 more and is free if you ship via Priority Mail. Getting delivery confirmation at the post office will cost you $0.55. - BIG savings. You don't need labels to do it. It'll print on paper, then just tape it. Also - no buyer can deny receiving the package with tracking information! Get delivery confirmation is all you need to prove to PayPal the item was mailed, and the buyer will not be refunded. (This happened to me a lot UNTIL I started printing my own labels, then, there was no debate)
- Regarding shipping supplies: labels, envelopes, tape. If you buy them off eBay you will save literally hundreds of dollars. Also, if you ship via FedEx or UPS they give you all supplies for free.
- Buy a cheap scale to weigh your items - this is how you determine your shipping costs to ensure you will never pay out of pocket again. I bought mine from a bedding store and used a 20% coupon to save even more!
- When in doubt - list the item in used condition. This leaves no room for interpretation - it's used. Full stop. Otherwise, you could wind up receiving a less than positive feedback. People who buy like new items expect them to be basically brand new.
- Sometimes it's better to walk away from leaving neutral or negative feedback - taking the hgh road and moving on, rather than create a potentially stressful situation. Example, someone with 100+ doesn't pay and the seller only has 15+. You leave a negative for the buyer with 100+ and they turn around and leave one for you (trust me it happens) - you can be ruined by just 1 transaction. Your score will be Isignificantly lower than the buyers because he has more feedbacks to average.
- A buyer is still always right in the eyes of a structured system - and it will never be the other way around. eBayers will be able to leave vindictive/false feedback and there's nothing you can do about it unless they curse in the feedback - then and only then, can it be completely removed.
- Life is too short to give up on your dreams - if you can believe it, you can make it happen.
So, I'm starting over. And it's fun. And I'm looking forward to learning even more.
The most important thing to take from this guide is to learn from other sellers mistakes, so you won't encounter them yourself - and pay it forward by talking about your mistakes, and what you did to fix them.
Thanks for reading. Have a good one.
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Here's to a fresh start!