No, don’t worry – that’s not your eBay account. And I hope yours will never look like this.
But let’s be honest – maintaining 100% positive feedback on eBay is hard, very hard, especially when you start dealing with hundreds and even thousands of transactions per month. We all make mistakes from time to time and on eBay OUR mistakes can cost us a lot – negative feedback and low DSRs which in the end can result in a lost Top Rated Seller status or even a suspended account in the worst case scenario.
So what to do to avoid bad feedback?
First of all – do whatever it takes to minimize the chances of buyers even starting to think about leaving negative or neutral feedback for you. This means:
1) Offer high quality products.
2) Create detailed and accurate product descriptions.
3) If dealing with used goods, always describe the item’s condition as it is. If there are scratches on an item highlight them with a photo, don’t hide them! (This actually increases your credibility in a buyer’s eyes).
4) Offer fast, preferably next day delivery whenever possible.
5) Pack items in suitable packaging materials (Jiffy envelopes, boxes, mail bags) so that you keep the chances of items being damaged during the shipping process to a minimum.
6) Communicate with buyers – answer all e-mails and messages within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.
7) Leave positive feedback once the buyer pays you (Selling Manager Pro does this for you automatically).
8) Always honour your returns policy; go the extra mile if people are a day or two late and still accept returns after 16 days, if your returns policy says, for example, 14 days.
9) Replace damaged, faulty items at no cost to the buyer (it’s your fault at the end of the day, not the buyer’s, so you have no right to ask him to pay even the shipping fees).
10) Whatever disaster strikes at your end, keep your buyer informed! Say you run out of stock and this creates a 3 day delay in order processing. Email buyers and let them know about this problem AND ask what they want to do – wait a few extra days OR receive an instant refund. Never assume that the buyer will be ok with delays in order processing – always, always ask first.
11) Lastly, and most importantly – your customer is always right, even if he’s not! This classic cliché is even truer on eBay than anywhere else as buyers can hurt your business instantly by leaving negative feedback. Don’t let that happen! Even if you feel the buyer is trying it on with you, if you CAN’T do anything about it just apologize for the trouble caused and issue a refund. In the long term, your loss will be minimal but your business will be protected.
If you follow all these guidelines, your chances of getting negative feedback are minimal. But it will still happen of course as it’s a numbers game – the more you sell, the more your chances of getting a dissatisfied customer.
So what to do when you do actually receive negative or neutral feedback? (more…)