Lesson 3

Intermediate Tips for eBay Sellers

Want some insider tips on how to make your eBay business step up to the next level? Here's a quick guide to some eBay essentials that you need to know about it order to boost your eBay sales! 

About Me Pages

About Me pages are a fantastic way of advertising your business and telling your customers a little bit more about yourself. It's a great way of establishing communication by putting a face and a personality behind the name. This is a free option that any eBay seller can use, although most don't bother to create one unless they are serious about selling on eBay. You don't need to know anything about creating a webpage as eBay provides a very user-friendly creation process that includes templates. But, if you know how, or want a unique design, then a bit of HTML doesn't go astray.

It's important to include your name and contact details, a good photo of yourself, your feedback and auctions (you can get HTML links from eBay that allow you to insert these), a link to your website or if you have one, and as many photos as you can. Make sure you check out eBay's About Me Page guidelines for linking to external websites. 

eBay Stores

When your sales start to pile up, you might consider opening your very own store on eBay. Why? Opening your own store allows people to browse all of your listings (giving you the opportunity to upsell) and is also a great way of branding. You also save time, increase your credibility and professionalism, and spend less on listing fees. It's incredibly easy to open a store; you just need to have a seller's account and a credit card on file. Select a name and design for your store and you're away! Just go into My eBay and select Subscriptions from the right hand panel.

Customer Relations

Success on eBay requires you to give your customers such a fabulous experience that they keep coming on back for more! One of the easiest ways to do this is to collect your customer's email addresses and put them on your mailing list. You must provide an opt-in to do this as collecting email addresses without consent counts as spam.

You should know quite a lot about your product by now, so you'll be able to pack your newsletter with expert advice, links to interesting media articles on related topics, book reviews, and so on. One of the most important things is regularity of contact. You must write at least one email every two weeks (preferably once a week) to keep contacts interested. Another great tip is to reward your buyers by adding a little something extra to their purchase. This could simply be a handwritten thank you note on the back of a business card, or it could be as much as a gift box, calendar, key ring, or pen. Vouchers for free insured shipping are another great idea as it encourages a repeat visit.

Good customer communication will help to ensure that people continue to return to your store time and time again. Move onto the Advanced lesson to learn more tips and strategies for making money on eBay.

How to File an Unpaid Item Dispute

Filing an Unpaid Item Dispute is the mechanism eBay has in place for problem resolution. You can use it when the buyer doesn't pay, pays fraudulently, or backs out of a sale. You have 45 days after the transaction date to report an Unpaid Item. Normally you have to wait 7 days after a listing closes to file an Unpaid Item dispute, however some circumstances allow an immediate filing:

  • the buyer is no longer a registered user of eBay at time of filing
  • the buyer is from a country to which the seller has indicated they will not ship.
  • Both the buyer and seller wish to mutually withdraw from the auction.

To file an unpaid item dispute, go to My eBay and select File an Unpaid Item dispute from the drop down menu of the item awaiting payment.

Top Tips for Avoiding an Unpaid Item Dispute

  • Be wary of selling designer copies, e.g. handbags, watches, clothing. Unless you are buying these direct from the brand owner, there is a high risk that they are fake.
  • Take clear photos.
  • Write an honest and detailed description.
  • Package your items carefully and label well.
  • Follow up with your customers. A short email thanking them for their purchase and giving contact details for any problems or feedback will take you a long way.
  • Always behave professionally.

Fraud Resolution Options

  1. Try phoning the buyer and resolving it over the phone. Telephone diplomacy can be highly effective in dissolving a tense situation.
  2. Contact Square Trade an online dispute resolution service. They'll act as a go-between with you and the buyer - meaning you can avoid getting involved in a nasty argument.
  3. If it is a payment issue, contact the service that was used to send or receive payment.
  4. Contact local law enforcement in your area as well as the buyer's area if you suspect fraud with intent.
  5. Contact your shipping company. If you have shipping insurance, then a missing/damaged parcel should be covered. You should also retain proof of delivery where possible.
  6. File an Unpaid Item Dispute with eBay to request a Final Value Fee credit.

Purchase with Fraud Intent

One area that eBay does involve itself in is fraud allegations as a high incidence of fraud would be a death sentence to eBay. So, if you think that a buyer purchased your item with intent to fraud, then you can report the buyer on the eBay. Learn more here.  

These are the circumstances in which you can contact eBay and report the buyer:

  • If the buyer paid or attempted to pay with a stolen credit card.
  • If the buyer sent an online or credit card payment that was denied, withheld or not received after you shipped the item.
  • If the buyer sent a check or money order that could not be cashed.

See here for more information and helpful links.

Additional Helpful Tips When Dealing with Fraud

  • Some sellers either forget or don't bother to file unpaid item disputes. But despite the hassle, it's to your benefit it you file a report for each and every unpaid item. Sellers who don't file Unpaid Item Disputes hurt the community because they allow disreputable buyers to pick and choose what they want to pay for.
  • If a customer claims they did not receive a parcel and your tracking report shows that they did, then one option you have is to file a 'loss and rifling' report with the USPS. The only problem with this is that if the package is genuinely lost, then Paypal may rule in the buyers favor.
  • Never ever use surface mail to an international country. The parcel will take longer to arrive than it will take for the buyer to file a claim with Paypal. 
Do you need help with taking your eBay business to the next level? Join the SaleHoo Community Forum and meet 100,000 online sellers who are ready to help. 

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