Although E-Bay has been around since 1994 and has slowly risen to be as much of a household name as Pop-Tarts, resellers should never underestimate just what an amazing resource for independent sales the site has become. E-Bay has its own system of building report with customers that is paramount for brand new E-Bay users to get a grasp on. It is never what you are selling, but how you are selling it which guarantees profits over time for the goods you win at storage unit auctions.
When you first open an E-Bay “store,” you begin with zero ratings and no stars. As such, you are essentially anonymous in the eyes of potential buyers. Unless you are proactive in building both your Feedback Rating and Detailed Seller Rating, buyers may opt to get their goods from another source.
For the storage auction goer seeking to make their resale life easy and enjoyable, here’s a few key strategies and philosophies to get your Feedback Rating, Sales, and Detailed Seller Rating flying out of the gates like “Seabiscuit.”
BITING THE BULLET IN THE BEGINNING: BE A BUYER
Although E-Bay does distinguish between buyer rating and seller rating, a way to establish your presence on the site is to make a few purchases yourself. One positive thing gained will be a better understanding of the site itself: good and bad item descriptions, good shipping policies, how to communicate with sellers, and using PayPal (which E-Bay now owns outright, if you haven’t already experienced it).
More importantly, sellers can leave you feedback in your “Payment E-mail” which is visible to future customers. Seeing that are a good buyer indicates to future sellers that you are not totally clueless as to how the process works. Or, put even better, it shows that you DO understand the process and therefore will be trustworthy on the selling end.
OFFER FREE SHIPPING ON ITEMS TRAVELING SHORT DISTANCES
When posting an item, E-Bay lets you choose your own shipping strategy for each and every item. There’s Calculated, Flat, and Free Shipping, essentially. The first two are just as they sound, but you can learn more about their details later on.
As a new seller, choosing free shipping will cost you more in fees, but has great benefits. Because E-Bay provides the shipping services, if you choose free shipping it will take away from your overall profit. However, if a buyer confirms that they received an item from you with free shipping, E-Bay will automatically boost the “shipping and receiving” category of your Detailed Seller report to “5 Stars.”
Also, saving money will always encourage buyers to indulge you when you ask them to leave you good seller feedback. Lastly, E-Bay will automatically file your item under the “Free Shipping” category, making it post higher when buyers specify it.
All of this means for you faster sales, more sales, better feedback reviews (as long as the item works as advertised), and a better Seller Profile overall.
Using Free Shipping should only be done as a profile building strategy for a little while. I would not recommend using free shipping for items that are going across country as you fees will significantly eat into your profits. So will offering it all of the time, to anywhere.
NURTURING YOUR DETAILED SELLER REPORT
There is another category under your seller profile called “Detailed Seller Ratings” (DSR) where each component (Item as Described, Communication, Shipping Time, and Shipping Charges) ranks out of “5 Stars.” E-Bay will average in one customer survey per week. Diabolically, it will most likely be the lowest one you receive. So, understanding the law of averages here is of utmost importance. If you have no rankings, then bomb with customers in the first few weeks, your Detail Seller Rating, dwindling in the 1-2 star range, is going to make you incredibly suspect to buyers.
Answer all customer messages in a clear and concise manner as you receive them to boost Communication reviews. Although you should learn to write descriptive and thorough content for your item postings, do not falsify the condition of something you got out of a storage unit just to sell it. If it is not as advertised, the customer can not only murder your “Item as Described” rating, but open up a claim with E-Bay and get their money back even if you decreed a “No Refund” policy.
This brings us to our final, and most crucial, point for new E-Bay sellers….
SCAMMER-BUYERS AND SETTING REQUIREMENTS
As a new seller, it is extremely important to profile your buyers before you choose to sell your storage auction prizes to them. The feedback system works in the buyers favor. There are sadistic buyers out there who will take advantage of new sellers, threatening them with negative feedback in order to keep the item they have sent as well as receive a refund.
Because issuing a “No Refund” policy on an item can drive buyers away, it is not the solution to keeping bad buyers at bay (yes, alliteration and rhyme dually noted there). Instead, read this following link from E-Bay and grow wise. It’s called “Setting Buyer Requirements.”
You can impose the qualities listed here on all buyers or on just a single listing. As a new seller, I would heartily recommend imposing the following on all buyers as you start out:
No E-Bay Policy Violators
No buyers in Countries Outside the United States
No Buyers with Unpaid Items
Follow these guidelines as you get accustomed to maintaining an E-Bay store and give yourself the best head start imaginable. The first month of a seller’s career can make or break them. Make sure you are being honest about the condition of storage auction items before you even think about posting them on E-Bay. Be proactive in corresponding with your sellers and make sure to ask for a good Seller Review if and when they receive the item quickly and in working order. Make your Detail Seller Report shine because it’s something buyers look at like Universities look at your GPA.
Later in the week, we’ll go over a few staunch, hidden E-Bay policies to avoid messing up at all costs! You can do it!