Ten Important Things eBay Sellers Want You to Know
Have you ever had something that you wanted to tell someone that was so very important that you couldn’t stress it enough? Something really earthshaking?
(Like telling your kids that the sick they feel after they get drunk is really not worth it)? I wanted to name this part “Ten Things Sellers would like to tell Buyers while grabbing you by the shoulders and shaking you violently.” So now you know, these are important tips.
I emailed quite a few truly reliable sellers for suggestions for this list. Not necessarily the big sellers, but the sellers who know what they are doing. The ones with excellent feedback and quality customer service.
Identify Your Payment
Every eBay seller who has been selling on the site for any length of time has received payments that they couldn’t possibly identify. One of the sellers I spoke to about this part of the book just received a money order with no identification information. It was bought for $16.94 and never signed or filled out, no eBay item number. Nothing.
That’s why sellers suggest you print out their email, or a copy of the auction and send it in with your payment. Be sure that every payment you send out has the following information:
_ The item name and number
_ Your eBay User ID
_ The address the item is to be shipped to
_ Remind the seller if you want the item to be sent insured.
Without this information, a seller can’t be expected to send your item to you in a prompt manner. Also print your information; deciphering someone’s handwriting is a very specialized talent.
Check Feedback Before You Bid
eBay has a great tool, the seller’s box on the item page tells you the percentage of positive feedback a seller has; but that just gives us a summary. To get the complete picture, you must click on the number after the
seller’s name or the words read all reviews in the line below the seller’s ID.
Check to be sure that the leopard didn’t change his stripes (or was that the zebra)? Be sure that the last few feedbacks are not negative, and that the negatives are for dangerous situations. Look for red flags, such as references to non-shipment of items and non response to e-mail after a payment. This brings us to the most important step: If you are making a large purchase, be
sure you read the negatives.
If a seller has some negative feedbacks, be sure to go through them. See if the seller isn’t in the clear because the feedback is followed up with an update that says “oops sorry for leaving negative feedback, the item
arrived safely. Thank you.”
Take Time Out Before Leaving Negative Feedback
Has your package not arrived as yet? Did the item arrive and it wasn’t exactly as you expected it? Was the item damaged in transit, and is there no clue on the package that the seller purchased insurance for the shipment (as you requested?). Take a deep breath and count to ten. Better yet, e-mail the seller immediately. Don’t get overemotional; just state your case and give the seller the opportunity to make things right for you.
If e-mail is too slow, go to eBay’s search page and click on the link to find members (from the navigation bar at the top of the page). Scroll down to the contact info area. Input your transaction’s item number and the seller’s user ID — and click submit. eBay will e-mail you the seller’s telephone number, and your number will go to the seller.
Just as with our government, diplomacy will work for you. Most sellers (you did check their feedback before you bid, right?) will bend over backwards for their customers so as to protect their reputation on eBay.
Give the seller the chance to make your transaction a pleasant one. Don’t permanently ruin their online reputation because you got carried away with the moment.
Check for an eBay Store
When you’ve decided to buy a Buy It Now item, or bid on a seller’s auction, double-check to see if they have an eBay store. Look for the small red store tag after the seller’s name. If they have an eBay store, click on the red tag, and you’ll be taken to the seller’s store.
After you’re in the store, see if the seller has the items you want listed in their store as Buy It Now items. (You wouldn’t see these items listed on an eBay search.)
Just type a keyword from the item title in the search box in the store. Many sellers list the exact same items for less in their stores because the fee they pay to list in the stores is less.
You can save money by clicking your mouse, and taking an extra minute. It’s definitely worth it.
Purchasing Multiple Items from a Seller
If you’ve found an item you want to buy, or if you’ve just won an auction, be sure to click on the link in the seller’s box that says View Seller’s Other Items. Often a seller will sell other related items to the one you’ve just won, and you may just find something else that appeals to you. If the seller had the good taste to sell a certain type of item, perhaps they have other like interests as
If you see another item you want, be sure to e-mail the seller saying that you would like the items shipped together, and would they send you the combined shipping amount. Also, if you intend to pay via PayPal, ask the seller to send you a combined PayPal invoice. If you pay for each item individually, the seller will incur extra, unnecessary charges from PayPal for multiple transactions — rather than for one combined sale.
Be Vigilant When Using Escrow
Most eBay transactions go through without a problem. But sadly, one of the easiest places for fraud to occur when you’re buying online is when you are purchasing the most expensive of items. Buyers and sellers can
often save themselves a bunch of grief if they run their high-dollar transaction through an escrow company.
Here’s the rub. The Internet has been inundated with make-believe escrow companies. Unscrupulous sellers will set up a Web site with information copied from a real escrow site, and act as an escrow company. They take your money and keep the merchandise (if it even ever belonged to them).
Since you are doing business on eBay, double-check on the eBay site which escrow service they are recommending at the time. Go to the eBay site, http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidence/payment-escrow.html.
Escrow.com is currently the escrow site of choice for eBay transactions.
Be especially wary if a seller insists on using an escrow service because it’s usually the buyer that insists on escrow — not the seller.
If You Worry about Receiving Packages
A sad result of the problems in this day and age is that we are often uncomfortable receiving unmarked packages. Even though you may be expecting an eBay purchase in the mail, you may look with worry at a
particular package. Ask the seller to e-mail you when they ship the package with information as to how the package is being shipped. If they are using delivery confirmation, ask for that number to be sent to you in the shipping confirmation e-mail.
Please, Read the Description
When you are interested in an item, be sure to read the description. Some sellers do have overly long descriptions, and it’s a pain to read the entire thing. But if you are interested in buying an item, you must slog through
the entire thing to be sure you know about the item and are comfortable with the shipping and terms of sale.
Many times sellers get e-mails (I am guilty of sending these e-mails too!) asking questions that are answered in the item description. Buyers often miss out on great deals because they were waiting for an answer that was
right in the description.
Also be sure you are comfortable with the shipping amount. If the shipping amount is not listed, e-mail the seller by clicking on the Ask the Seller a question link. Ask the seller how much shipping would be to your zip code. Shipping cost is part of the cost of your item and you have a right to decide whether you feel it is reasonable, before you place a bid.
If you have more questions about an item’s condition or value (or that photographs are accurate) be sure to get confirmation from the seller via the email link.
Know What You’re Bidding On
Unless you don’t care about wasting money, be sure you know about the item you want to buy.
_ If it is an item you can currently buy at a local store, but buying on eBay is more convenient, be sure you’re not paying too much of a premium for
having it delivered to your door. Call your local store and see if they have it and how much it is.
_ If the item is an article of clothing, be sure it is the size you require. You can ask the seller if that brand runs large or small, but it’s best to buy
brands with whose sizes you are familiar. Also, if you don’t like going to the dry cleaner, e-mail the seller to see if the item is washable.
_ Don’t assume the item is new unless the seller says so.
_ If the item is a collectible, be sure that it is as rare as you think it is. Run an eBay search on completed items to see how many sold within the last two weeks on eBay, and see how much other buyers paid.