This series is brought to you by Kimberly from Homemaking Expert. Kimberly is a stay-at-home mom who uses eBay to supplement her family’s income while her husband finishes college. She writes at Homemaking Expert about cleaning, cooking, budgeting and all other things related to making a house a home.
Now that you have listed your item and shipped your item, let’s talk about how to deal with your customers. Having good customer service skills is a great tool for success. Here are a few things to remember when it comes to keeping your customers happy:
After an item sells your customers have the ability to give you a feedback score. There are two aspects to this. They can give you negative, positive or neutral feedback. Obviously, you want positive every time! The amount of positive ratings you have shows up beside your username on your item listing. The higher that rating, the more confident buyers will be.
The second aspect is the five star scoring system. They can rate you from one to five stars on communication, shipping cost, shipping time and item as described. It is important that these scores be above 4.5 stars. When it dips below that, eBay and Paypal start to get a bit leery. Your account will be evaluated every 35 days and if you have bad ratings your account can be put on temporary hold, restricted or even removed. So, like I said, customer service is important!
If you get questions about an item before it sells or after an item is received answer in a timely fashion – within the first 24 hours is ideal. And if there is a delay in shipping for whatever reason, let them know right away. It is easy to misinterpret one’s tone in an email, so be as nice as possible! Chances are if it sounds cheesy in text, it’ll come across pleasant on the other side.
Ship fast! My goal is to have items picked up or dropped at the post office within 24 hours of receiving payment. That way the customer can see it’s on its way and so can Paypal and eBay. Having a high shipping score is a good way to avoid your Paypal account being set to pending status and having to wait for your money. Shipping the item right away makes for happy customers and excellent feedback!
Despite your best efforts of describing an item thoroughly, shipping an item fast and communicating well, you will have customers that just aren’t happy with the product. So, what then? Here’s what I do…
I do put in every listing that I don’t accept returns in an effort to deter people from requesting a refund. However, chances are if a customer asks for a refund I am willing to come to a compromise in the name of good feedback.
If the item was indeed defective or there was something major that I overlooked, I issue a full refund. I usually do not ask them to send it back in this case and just send back their money and cut my losses.
If the item is simply not what they expected but I described everything accurately, I offer them two options – to either issue a percentage refund and they keep the item (usually 30%) or to have them return the item and I will issue a full refund less the eBay fees and shipping costs to me. In this scenario I typically require that they pay for return shipping.
Under most circumstances your customer will be satisfied, but it’s important to know what to if the situation arises. Being a happy seller is as important as having happy customers. So, next we’ll talk about ways to stay organized which for me equals happy!
Upcoming Posts in This Series
What to Sell
Listing Your Items – Part 1
Listing Your Items – Part 2
Customer Service Tips
Tips for Success
My eBay Successes & Stumbles