I’ve been selling on eBay for years, though mostly on-and-off in the last couple of years. eBay has mostly been my “sideline” allowing me to indulge in my twin passions of collecting (and selling) vintage postcards and pearl necklaces.
However, much as I love the extra income I get from eBay, it’s extremely hard for me to find the time to prepare my listings and handle the sales process. Plus, I never really fully recovered from the closure of my favorite eBay auction management software Timbercreek’s Sold!.
Last spring, eBay made a number of changes, including detailed seller ratings. Achieving higher ratings mean benefits such as greater visibility in search results, membership to the PowerSeller program, and eligibility for PowerSeller discounts on final value fees.
An eBay rep contacted me this weekend to discuss tips on how to improve my seller ratings, and here are the tips she gave me:
- Let your buyers know that you are accessible. Mention your preferred contact method in your item description and state how quickly buyers can expect a response. Let them know that you are reachable if, for any reason, they are not satisfied with the transaction. Be available to answer questions before and after the listing closes.
- If you sell internationally, you can use Skype to help facilitate communication with international buyers with free member-to-member calls.
- If you get certain questions about the items you sell often, such as questions about your return policy, you may want to create Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). You can create custom questions for your buyers to see when they click the “Ask seller a question” link.
- Also consider setting up a self-service knowledge base to automate the process of answering buyers’ questions. When buyers make inquiries via the “Ask seller a question” form, they will be redirected to the self-service knowledge base, where they’ll be able to find answers to their questions. Alternately, some knowledge base services automatically respond with an appropriate answer when buyers ask questions.
- It’s important to keep the communication going even after listings end. We suggest that you notify buyers when items have shipped. Letting buyers know that items have shipped will avoid a situation where they leave you low ratings prematurely.
- You may also want to include a note with shipped items that restates your sales policies for added clarity. This also serves as a good reminder to buyers about your policies.
- Once payments have cleared, don’t forget to leave Positive Feedback for your buyers. Leaving positive Feedback first will help you initiate good relationships. Remind your buyers to give you high ratings if they are satisfied with the transaction.
- Finally, treat your buyers with courtesy and consideration. At times you may have to deal with difficult buyers who seem impossible to please, but it’s always a good policy to be patient and communicate in a professional manner.