Whenever something is sold on eBay, a buyer has the opportunity to leave the seller negative, neutral or positive Feedback rating plus detailed seller ratings. The Feedback system develops the seller’s reputation on eBay, which both buyers and eBay itself take note of. A strong Feedback profile enables the seller to receive better search result ranking and other benefits on eBay.
A good Feedback score is obviously desired by all eBay sellers, but what is the best way to ensure a good rating? Here are some tips for the new eBay seller looking to improve their Feedback score.
- Be as accurate and specific as possible when writing an item’s description. Format the description so it is easy to read. Never oversell an item – be honest about the condition and quality.
- Take and use photos from many angles, being sure to show any defects clearly. In the majority of listings, photos of the actual item rather than stock photos should be used.
- Calculate shipping costs meticulously – it is not a good idea to guess or estimate, especially for large or heavy items. Be reasonable with handling and packaging costs.
- Consider offering free shipping.
- In any type of communication with buyers, always be friendly and polite. Speak in clear, straightforward language that cannot be misunderstood – use correct grammar/spelling and no sarcasm. Never act aggressive, even if a buyer is proving difficult in some way.
- Answer emails as soon as you can, whether they are questions before a purchase or after the sale. Buyers appreciate quick replies.
- Consider sending post-purchase messages (make a template), thanking the buyer for the purchase. Some sellers choose to include a note about Feedback at this point, but others prefer to leave it as a friendly message of appreciation to gain the buyer’s trust and then later make a comment about Feedback after a positive response has been offered.
- Do not pester buyers – if they are happy with their purchase, they will usually make the time to leave Feedback.
- Some buyers do not leave Feedback until a seller has, so it can often be worth leaving Feedback promptly for the buyer to encourage them to make a move. As leaving a positive feedback is the only option for sellers (who aren’t able to leave neutral or negative ratings), some leave positive feedback immediately after payment is received or the item has been dispatched.
- If a buyer is slow off the mark to pay for an item, send an invoice with a polite message stating that the payment has not been received yet. There may be a valid reason why they were unable to pay and the reminder may help.
Shipping the item
- Use clean, dry and scent-free packing materials. Fragile items should be carefully wrapped in bubble wrap or similar. Remember to protect against moisture.
- Consider the movement of an item during transport – use an appropriate box size (and extra packing material if necessary) to prevent damage to the item.
- Ship as soon as possible after receiving payment, using the same method as advertised in the listing.
A personal touch
- Consider including a handwritten or typed note with the item, letting the buyer know that you appreciate their purchase. Let them know you will be leaving them positive Feedback and that you would value the same from them to confirm their satisfaction with the item.
- Attach a business card to the note to make it easy and convenient for the buyer to leave Feedback. If it is too time consuming for a buyer to find your details, it is likely that they will not bother to leave Feedback.
All of the above advice concludes to providing buyers with great customer service. If a seller follows the foundation of good communication, accurate listings and careful packaging, they are likely to receive a higher than average rate of Feedback response as well as return customers. A personal touch, such as a handwritten note with the item, can help build a positive connection between buyer and seller which can make Feedback more likely.
There exists a scam in which eBay users purchase low value items (typically less than $1) in exchange for a positive Feedback score. These auctions or fixed price listings do not hide their intention, leading this method to appear as a legitimate way to ‘bump up’ a Feedback score. Manipulation of Feedback in this way is against eBay guidelines and users risk having their Feedback removed or even being suspended from eBay.
Do you have any tips for how to get feedback from your buyers? If so please feel free to leave a comment below.