The Worst Mistakes to Make on eBay

The first six to twelve months of your eBay career are absolutely crucial to your success in selling on the website. I see a few mistakes made quite often, so today, I’ll be telling you about the three worst mistakes you could make as a beginner eBay seller. I do this because eBay has, in the past few years, become quite strict about their performance standards. You have to be on top of your game, or you don’t get to play the game at all. They will shut down your account if you’re not on your best behavior, and although there’s an appeals process, I’ve never, in all my time on eBay, heard of someone getting their account back.

The site works in percentages based on your buyer feedback, so you’ll want to keep that as high as possible. In the first few months, when you don’t have many sales under your belt, a few negative buyer reviews can tank your business. Of course, you’ll see the top-dog sellers who sell hundreds or even thousands of items a day who will receive negative feedback, but it won’t impact them. It all comes down to how much history you have on the site. Getting two negative ratings out of ten sales will leave you at 80% buyer satisfaction, whereas those same two negative reviews coming out of 100 sales will hurt a lot less, leaving you at 98% buyer satisfaction. Although it’s in your best interest to keep these practices, the first few sales and months of your career on eBay are the most crucial. Do them right.

The first tip to keeping your rating up is, don’t argue with people. Although the problem with the sale might not always be your fault, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is if you get snippy with your customer and get your account shut down. People on this site can be absolute morons, but you’ve got to keep your cool. These people, no matter how ignorant you might think them to be (and sometimes, they are indeed quite ignorant), have the power over your feedback. Treat them well.

Secondly, always accept returns and give refunds. Most people just want their money back without making a fuss about it, and will be happy once they’ve got it. They blame every reason under the sun why they’re not happy with their purchase, but their reasoning doesn’t matter. Have them send the item back to you and offer them a 100% refund. You might be down a few dollars in postage, but it just comes out of your profits for the month. If you make, say, $500 in profit for the month and you have to lose out on $10 for shipping an item that gets returned, you’re still $490 richer than you were at the start of that month. In the grand scheme, it’s but a drop in the pail of your earnings, and so it’s not worth making a fuss over.

Finally, always be polite. Now, this is a general rule for life, but it plays strongly on eBay. The moral victory isn’t worth not having an account on eBay. These people will undoubtedly test your patience, but you’ve got to bite your tongue. For example, I sold a pair of pants of a man who also happens to sell designer clothing on eBay. He bid me down on a seller’s best offer listing, and after he received the pants, he asked for a partial refund because “they were short in the legs, but his mother could cut them into shorts for him”. I have little doubt that he just wanted more of his money back so he could pay the lowest price possible and sell the same jeans in his store for a considerable profit, but I decided not to call him out on it. I simply told him I don’t offer partial refunds, but would be happy to take the pants back and give him a full refund.” He never wrote back and he never left feedback, so in the end, I still made some money and didn’t get into trouble because I kept my cool.

Check out the video below for more elaborate examples of the tips I’ve listed above!

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