Archive for selling online

Accurate and Honest – The Bywords for Good Feedback (Feedback 2)

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Feed back is one of the most important things that will propel your eBay business forward.  In fact goodwill, a business’s reputation, can form a significant part of its price when it it up for sale.  You need to protect and promote your feedback.

One sure way of receiving business killing bad feedback is to be less than open and honest about your goods.

Think like a buyer.  What does he need to know? What would he like to know? What should he know?

I sometimes feel that it a waste of my time to write full, long and time consuming descriptions.  Surely the buyer knows that I am a good seller, that I am honest and that all my goods are fantastic?  Sadly, they don’t.  I have to tell them.

Fill out those annoying item specifics, those drop down boxes on the listing page.  We all know that the make of widgets that you sell are the best on the market because the innovative design, the comprehensive guarantee, the rugged build quality, that ‘Which?’ has listed them as a best buy since Adam was a lad.  However, you have to tell your prospective buyer.

In fact, tell them more than once.  In the specifics you say the item is new and measures 20x20x20cm.  In the body of the listing tell them again.  You know that the measurements are important because your widgets are smaller than the competition’s which means that they are neater, fit better (whatever).  But, tell the prospective buyer.

The aim is to turn the prospective buyer into an actual buyer – but more than that into a satisfied, he will buy from you again, save you as a preferred seller, buyer.  Make it easy for the prospect to buy from you.

That is the task.  Make it easy to buy from you.

If there is something your widget can not do tell the prospective buyer.  What you do not want is for feedback to say “I bought this to do so and so, but it doesn’t”.  Not only will the buyer not remove the feedback he will not buy from you again.

List all the positives of your product, emphasise every reason why someone should buy yours, and yours alone.  Remember a description is not a reason to buy by in and of itself.  The size is an attribute, what that means (how, where it can be used) is a reason to buy.

As always think like a buyer, think like a picky, pedantic buyer.

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The Importance of Feedback (1)

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A few months ago I had a disaster.

I received six (yes, 6) negative feedbacks in a period of 2 or 3 weeks!

I had prided myself on 6,000 positives and 0 (zero) negatives so it was a shock, to say the least.

What had gone wrong?  Well, I sell a small item, lots of them, and I had always used the Royal Mail’s normal letter rate.  For 2 days the Royal Mail decided that they should have been sent as ‘large letters’.  They were wrong.  I had letters checked at the local Post Office, they were ‘normal’.

However, the damage had been done.  There was an immediate reduction in sales and it took a couple of months for the position to improve.

How we react to negative feedback is important.  Once the damage has been done, and if the buyer will not withdraw it (2 of mine did) all you can do is to try to minimize the damage.  These are true examples of negative feedback from fellow sellers and how they reacted;

Feedback; Did not say in the item description anywhere the ******* was a minature version

Reaction; Er Nothing.

Another one.

Feedback; No ******** DVD the case was empty!!!! heartbroken, Fraudsters



Feedback; I needed to pay extra postage!

Reaction; Refund given, excess postage came as a surprise, after 4 years without a problem

Which reaction gives you the best impression of the seller? (Hopefully, the last one as it was mine…..)  I happen to know the product in the first case.  There are 2 sizes and the model number in the listing was fopr the normal size. i.e. the seller was selling the wrong product! The second reply is just awful!  At least with mine I showed what I did to rectify the problem (a full, no quibble refund) and tried to explain that it had never happened before (but then it did, 5 times as I said) .

However peed off you feel at the feedback, however unjustified think about what you need to do.  If you can not get the feedback withdrawn with the agreement of the buyer then your aim has to be to reduce the damage to your reputation and reassure potential buyers.

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Lost in The Post!

You know, I sell both on Amazon and eBay.  Apart from the charges they are pretty similar to sell on, however, in my experience there is one glaring difference.

Each month 3 or 4 items sold to someone on eBay is ‘lost in the post’.  In 2 years of selling on Amazon, no one has ever reported something not being delivered.  I use Royal Mail for all my postings.

Why the difference?

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More From Missing Auctions

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Sell successfully online

Have you read pieces from people who say that they find their stock to sell on eBay ON eBay?

One of the secrets is to look for those bad listings that do not attract lots of bids and then to bid at the last moment.  Ideally you want to find auctions that have low starts (£0.99 or $0.99) that have not attracted more than 1 bid.  That way you can secure some absolute bargains.

I have just (in the last 30 minutes) bought a Toshiba DVD player for £0.99.  Used once with remote, instructions, and boxed!  But how?

Phil Lee from Missing Auctions has another nifty little site that allows you to find these items.  Once you have identified something that you could resale for a profit log onto an auction sniper service enter your bid and wait.

Simplicity itself, and very rewarding.  The sites that you need;

Single Bid Auctions
Auction Sniper

Let me tell you about Single Bid Auctions.  It is so simple to use that anyone can use it. It searches eBay for items that are about to end where the auctions have either zero or just one bid AND the current price is 99 pence, 99 cents or less (depending on the country you select).

You can narrow your searches by the main eBay categories and it even suggests items to look for depending on the category that you choose based on the most popular searches.

If you’d like to look for something specific, simply enter it into the search box at the top of the site.

It works across all of the major eBay sites too including eBay UK, eBay US, eBay Canada, eBay France, eBay Italy and eBay Australia.  It should work out your location automagically and direct you to the correct page but if it doesn’t simply click on your countries flag at the top of the page.

Now let me tell you about Auction Sniper.  This is a site that allows you to set a maximum bid level on any eBay auction and will bid for you within seconds (7 seconds is the default time) of the end of the auction.  Auction sniper will outbid other bidders up to your pre-determined max.

Whether to buy stock or to buy for personal use these two sites make a winning combination.

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Excellence is its own reward, nearly

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Sell successfully online

I have said on many occasions that good feedback is a reflection of both your self as a seller and a person.  If you treat people well then that reflects on the type of person you are.

eBay now has decide to reward you.  Beyond being a power seller (there is no excuse not to be) a seller with good DSRs will get a further bonus.  From 1st October a ‘good’ seller as measured by their DSR will get;

Promotion in search results (to boost sales)

A new ‘Top Seller’ Badge

Exclusive access to Featured First

Best FVF discounts

And about time too, some of us say.  Anything that promotes good sellers is to be welcomed.  As long as that does not accopunt against new and small sellers.  For now I am holding my council, but I will enjoy my benefits because of my good DSR……..

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Post Free or Not Post Free?

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Sell successfully online

There are many ingredients that go into making a buying decision, quality, reputation (feedback), cost, delivery schedule. Of these cost is often the most important.

However, it has long been said that eBay buyers only look at the main price and do not compare price plus postage (p&p) to get a true reflection of costs. In other words a low price with a high postage would sell better than a reasonable price and reasonable postage – even if the second item was cheaper overall.

These days eBay give preferential listings for ‘post free’ items and so I have been experimenting. I compared my normal listings (reasonable prices and p&p) against post free listings – total cost for each being the same. The post free came out on top.

Next I listed some post free ads where the price was more than the usual p&P listings. Guess what? The post free listings performed better!

The upshot? I suppose that we can conclude that most buyers do not bother to change their searches to look for the “price + P&P, Lowest First” filter, they leave it on the “best Match” filter. They also do not then go through all the listings (but we knew that) so that the nearer the top of the listings the better.

I have changed my listing policy.

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I Have Negative Feedback!

As I have said before good feedback is vital to any online seller using eBay.  I have gone out of my way to achieve a 100% rating.  At the moment I am sitting on 2512 positives since my last negative.

But Amazon is different.  I received negative feedback yesterday.  The reason was that I sold a CD to someone “as new” and when it arrived there was a crack in the CD case.  My initial reaction was to post a reply saying something like ” What! Am I now responsiblke for the failings of the Royal Mail?  Give the heavy handed thugs in RM the negative feedback, not me.  Anyway, miss buyer, why did you post the feedback without contacting me? Your actions could cost me business, hit my income.  You should be banned from buying on Amazon, or anywhere else.”

What I did was to post a reply that went something like this “Item damaged in the post, refund initiated.  Sorry that this has happened, luckily, damage in the post is rare.”  Or something similar.  The former would have made me feel better the second is more productive.

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