Last week my blog provided three top tips for creating eBay listings. In a brief recap it was all about having a good listing title, starting auctions at 99p providing that the item is actually worth more than that. And lastly I made reference to ensuring that you don’t get caught out with postage or courier fees.
Now the list can easily be expanded but I just wanted to provide some indication of the most important trends or observations that I have made over several years of selling on eBay.
I’m sure that eBay has a great knack of making you buy things that you don’t actually want! I personally don’t buy a great deal on eBay – I think it’s because I know just how addictive it can be so I tend to steer clear! It is amazing how people will often buy from a seller even if the items are totally unrelated. Whilst arranging a collection for a limed oak table and chairs last week, the buyer asked me if I would accept an offer on a French antique garniture set as well (which I wouldn’t do). And there’s the buyer who is waiting to collect an antique pine chest complete with…. A poker and tong set! So I know exactly what it’s like!
The other observation that we have made over the years is how people react when there is a problem. Traditionally, no-one likes to complain, especially the English. I always think about going to the hairdresser, the hairdresser asking if I liked my hair and me always saying yes despite the fact I hated what they had done! I would not dare complain. Well not until a few years ago anyway.
If someone has a problem with an item they have purchased from us then quite often, the first message that will be received will often be confrontational. It’s like they assume you aren’t going to fix the problem before they have even given you the opportunity to respond. They are quite surprised by our helpful response. Unlike many sellers we offer returns on all our items and will also offer a partial refund in some instances. We will often hear horror stories about trading on eBay but more often than not I really don’t think that is the reality. The best advice I would give to someone is to tell a buyer to go to the resolution centre and then all conversations are recorded through eBay and this will usually work.
My last point would be that eBay are always right! What do I mean by this? Well, if you pick a battle with them then you will never win! They have the upper hand. If you don’t like their rules then they can stop you trading on their site. And whilst there are other sites out there I really don’t think any of them rival what eBay currently offers even if their fees are cheaper. From personal experience of 5 years of eBay trading their mantra is often one rule for one and one for another. So you either live with it and work within their guidelines or find somewhere else to trade.
And my final sign off would be this – never ask a seller if they are prepared to do a transaction outside of eBay. If I had a pound for every time that I was asked this on an item I was selling… I don’t do it because it is not worth it. Whilst it may be appealing to think you are avoiding the fees please also remember that eBay can read all of your messages and could quite easily completely ban you from buying and selling. It’s a risk that I personally think is too big to take.