Whether you've been on eBay since the beginning, or just signed up today, there are several things that you can do to be a valued member of the community.
Sellers, you know what buyers do to make a transaction great. You also know what buyers do to drive you crazy.
The same goes for buyers. You know what type of listings makes you want to buy and which makes you want to run.
So, if we know this, why don't we practice it? If you are a seller who also buys on eBay, why don't you be the type of buyer that you would have to have be the high bidder on one of your auctions. If you are typically a buyer who wants to start selling, use your experience as a buyer to make your buyers experiences better.
Let's start by taking a look at what makes a great buyer.
1. Read the auction terms. This might sounds simple, but if it was simple, there wouldn't be a need for negative feedback! Although I don't agree with all sellers' practices, read the shipping costs, payment terms, etc.
2. Ask questions before you buy. Is the shipping cost not listed? Is your preferred payment method accepted? Will they ship to your country? These are all questions that you should ask before you bid. If you don't have time to ask before the auction ends, perhaps you might want to wait until the next time that items comes up on eBay rather than bidder.
3. Resolve disputes before leaving feedback. There is nothing worse as a seller than opening up your eBay account and seeing a negative or neutral feedback from a buyer, especially when they didn't try to contact you. If an item hasn't arrived or wasn't as expected, contact your seller to resolve the issue. I have done this in the past, and rather than getting in a negative feedback war, you might get a refund or a credit from that seller for a different item.
Next, let's investigate what make a great seller. As a buyer, what do you want to see from your sellers? Multiple payment methods, cheap shipping, right? Well, then if you are selling items, take these issues to heart.
1. Buyers hate paying too much for shipping. So, as a seller, don't trying to make money off of your shipping charges. If an item is shipped via USPS Priority Mail, we usually only charge actual shipping cost. Why? Because we get our boxes for free, USPS will come pick up the items from our house, and we recycle our packing materials. One of the primary things that we buy & sell are N Scale Model Train items. You can ship up to two of these items in a USPS small flat rate box for $4.05. So why are sellers charging $6, $8, or even more money to ship?? If I am buying that item, I take off the exorbitant shipping costs off my high bid. If an item is going USPS 1st Class or Media Mail, we might charge a small amount for the package. However, you can buy bubble mailers at Walmart for under $1. You can buy them in bulk on eBay for much less than that. One of the others items that we often sell are CDs. One CD in a bubble mailer can ship USPS 1st Class for under $1.30. So why are you shipping CDs for $3, 4 or more?! We ship all of our CDs for $2, to cover the cost of the mailers.
2. Buyers hate not having their preferred payment methods accepted. Unless it is an item that we really want, I will not bid on an item that doesn't accept Paypal. If the seller doesn't except Paypal, they had better accept checks, or the chances of my bidding is even lower! We are not the type of seller to limit your payment forms. We accept Paypal, personal checks, money order, cashier's check, cash. Yes, Paypal does charge us a fee to use their service, but as a bidder, we will rarely bid on an auction that does not accept it. We have bought items and resold them at almost a 50% markup just by reducing our shipping charges and accepting Paypal.
3. International bidders hate when you don't let them bid. We always ship internationally. No excuse not to open your market to a broader range of customers. Our only rule is that international customers must use Paypal as their payment form. We do not gouge you on international shipping. The same rules apply. A CD can ship to Canada for $3, including the cost of the bubble mailer.
4. Don't hold feedback hostage. We will always leave positive feedback when we receive your payment. Your end of the bargain is to pay. You have done that, so you deserve positive feedback for that. We ask that if you are satisfied, you leave positive feedback for us. You can use the eBay Leave Feedback feature to see all transactions that you need to leave feedback for and leave that feedback in batches. If you are not satisfied with one of our items, please let us know prior to leaving feedback so that we can resolve the situation.
5. Carefully package your items. There is nothing worse that receiving that long awaited item and have it be damaged. We always make sure that your item will arrive in the same shape that it was described. One great method to save on our shipping costs is to use old plastic grocery bags to pad our items. They are free, help to recycle, and don't weigh much so they don't add to the shipping cost of the item!
6. Combine shipping! There is no excuse for not combining shipping. I can ship one CD for $2 and two CDs only cost $3 to ship. Two N Scale train items can ship for the same price as one.
My day job is in Human Resources and we have a saying: What is commonly preached is not always commonly practiced. The same goes for eBay. So much of what is above seems simple, but I invite you to look at a sampling of items. See how many bidders do not read terms. See how many sellers won't combine items, overcharge for shipping, or not accepting common payment methods.
If you would like to, please View My Items.
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