I think most of us can agree that eBay’s new seller standards are not helping sellers. Our “seller protection” doesn’t seem so protective anymore! On August 20th many lost their Top Rated Seller status and all the great benefits that came with it. And what do all the eBay “experts” keep telling us? “Just list more items… the more you list the more you sell and then you won’t have to worry about it.”
Easier said than done, right?
While we’ll never be able to fully protect ourselves against buyers who just want to get a good deal or a free item by making false claims, we can only do the best we can with the resources we have available. Here are some tips and ideas to help keep your defect rating as low as possible:
eBay allows us to have up to 12 pictures for free in our listing. Use as many of them as possible. Take a photograph of the item from every angle and view. Photograph any defects in the item, even if they seem small or barely noticeable. Don’t leave anything out. In the day and age of mobile buyers, many people buy based on the pictures without ever looking at the description. It’s not enough just to say in your description that the item has a flaw, you must show a picture of it. It the item is electronic, show a picture of the item plugged in and the lights or screen turned on.
Note everything! Everything! Even if you think it’s obvious in the pictures, you must state it in the listing. Color, size, measurements, style, EVERYTHING! Yes, we are in the days where a handshake isn’t enough anymore… you need to state everything you can about that item just as if you were writing a legal document and didn’t want to leave one clause out. It may take a little more time to complete a listing, but in the event that a case is opened against you it could save you in the end. Remember, we are not just writing our listing for the customer, we are also writing our listing for eBay. If a case is opened and/or negative feedback is left for any reason, we will have to go to eBay to plead our case. If we don’t have all our ducks in a row, with all the evidence clearly laid out in our listing, we could lose the battle.
We’ve learned that on electronic items, a video in the listing showing the item in operation could make or break a sale. This will give you an upper hand to your competition because you are proving that your item works, and it will also help should a buyer come back with claims that the item didn’t work. This video will be your proof. Make sure to show the model number or any other identifying numbers in the video as proof that the item you are filming is the one being sold in the listing. With a YouTube account, you can easily upload your videos and embed your video into your listing description. Here are some of our listings with video.
4. Customer Service
We really do have to live by the old saying, “The customer is always right”. Even if we know they are trying to pull one over on us, we treat them as if they are right. We have to please the customer because their negative feedback could damage our business. For more ideas and information on how to handle returns and refunds, read our posts “6 eBay Selling Tips for Positive Customer Service Experience” and “Helpful Guide to Customer Returns and Refunds“.
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