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10 Ways to Always Get Great Feedback on eBay - for Sellers

Updated on August 4, 2008

eBay feedback ratings are a huge factor in the success of a seller. If you've browsed or bought on eBay, you've noticed the sellers who have thousands of feedback ratings, all of them positive. You may have wondered, "How'd they do that?"

Here are some tips to improve your customer's satisfaction, and your eBay feedback ratings.

1- Be brutally honest. eBay does a pretty good job of ferreting out scam artists- the ones who are simply dishonest, run a sale, take the money and run. Most of us aren't scam artists, but can still be tempted to fudge a little sometimes. Maybe the amount you charged for shipping is more than what it actually cost- should you refund the difference, or pocket it? Be honest, refund it. Maybe you didn't notice a tiny tear in the cuff of a shirt you wanted to auction until you were ready to list it. Don't take the chance that your customer won't notice it. Mention it.

2- Over describe your items. The better the word picture you create of your item, the happier your customer will be. You'll also generate more sales, and spend less time answering questions. Describe each detail and describe each flaw. Don't worry that you'll turn people off by mentioning the bad with the good. Better that they know up front, than you having to accept a return. Put yourself in your customer's place. What would you want to know about the item?

3- Take good pictures or scans. Spend a little time learning some photo editing techniques so that your images will always be crisp and bright. Take multiple pictures of items, and list each photo separately or combine them into a photo montage. Don't try to hide flaws- take pictures of them.

4- Reasonable shipping charges. eBay is cracking down on sellers who list items for pennies, and then attempt to make their money in 'shipping and handling' charges. Clearly this is an unethical practice, but you do have to wonder why customers put up with it for so long. Decide which carriers you're going to use, and learn their rates and delivery speeds. All of them have websites where you can enter the size and weight of your item, and calculate shipping charges. Be reasonable. Don't add on excessive handling charges, and don't try to browbeat your customers into believing that your superior packing skills deserve extra payment from them. Your handling charges should be built into the price you're willing to accept for your item. When was the last time you went to the checker at the grocery store, and she said, "Oh, and that will be an extra 10% for handling?"

5- Communicate. Be responsive to your customer's questions before the sale ends, and be quick to communicate with them after the sale ends. When you send an invoice, make sure to thank your customer. Know the answers to questions like "How long will it be before you ship this?" and "When will it get here?" Even if your buyer turns out to be the most aggravating person in the world, be polite.

6- Returns. Make sure you have a clear return policy. You should be prepared to accept any returned item no matter the customer's excuse, but you can forestall this by making sure they understand that unless you've made a mistake describing it, they will be responsible for return postage. Again, be gracious about returns.

7- Packing. Pack carefully. The US Postal Service provides free shipping envelopes and boxes. They're a great resource, but you can only use them in the US Mail. Other carriers do the same thing. There's no harm in going a little overboard with your packing- better the item arrive unharmed than to have an unhappy customer returning something that's broken. Use Delivery Confirmation to protect yourself from those rare customers who say they never got the item.

9- Give your customers feedback. As soon as your transaction is finished, leave your customer meaningful feedback. Feedback that says A+++++++ isn't much help to other sellers. Mention prompt payment and good communication.

10- Horrible customers. Obnoxious or dishonest customers aren't common, but they can ruin your perfect feedback score. If you've done everything above, and you still can't make your customer happy, go to the eBay dispute center. eBay might be able to work your differences out.

The trust system eBay has created with its feedback option adds a level of protection for both buyers and sellers. It's not perfect- you can still get burned. Behaving professionally and courteously will go a long way toward preventing unpleasant experiences.


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