How to Handle Stress when Selling on eBay

Selling on eBay is a great way to make additional income or to start a full time business. But it doesn’t come easy.

Dealing with angry customers, difficult returns, damaged items, scammers, incommunicable shipping companies and seemingly unattainable customer service standards are common sources of stress for eBay sellers.

These stressors can make some sellers feel anxious when opening return requests, listing new items or even checking their emails. Thankfully, there are a number of techniques that can help.

Read on to discover six ways to reduce and handle stress and anxiety when selling on eBay.

Please note – this is written as a general help guide for people who may be feeling stressed or anxious when selling on eBay. If stress or anxiety is affecting your daily life, please seek professional help.

Acknowledge the problem

It’s normal to feel anxiety and/or stress from time to time. Ignoring that anxiety and stress exist can actually make the issue worse. By acknowledging anxiety, we can work to reduce it.

Take a moment and actively try to identify what makes you feel anxious or stressed about selling on eBay. Many eBay sellers report feeling anxious when receiving return requests. Others feel constant stress about maintaining eBay’s high customer service standards.

Talking about your fears with someone else can help. Alternatively, considering writing down your thoughts.

Take some down time

Be careful not to overwork. Regular breaks are crucial to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Working for a long period of time without a break can lead to lack of focus, stress, decision fatigue and exhaustion.

While fast communication is always recommended when dealing with customers on eBay, don’t be afraid to take some time out before responding to angry or difficult buyers.

Returning to the situation with a refreshed and calm mind can help reduce stress and also ensures that professional customer service is maintained.

If you can, take longer breaks from selling every now and then. Some sellers choose to take a few weeks off in summer, a traditionally slow selling season on eBay.

Don’t compare with other sellers

It may be easier to say (or in this case, read) than to do, but try to avoid comparison with other sellers.

Even if your competitor appears to be successfully closing thousands of transactions every month, it is impossible to know the full story. Perhaps they have a team of a dozen people processing sales or are taking a loss with every transaction.

Also keep in mind that numbers are not necessarily the measure of success. Concentrate on your own business. Set small, achievable goals and work to achieve these standards of success.

Plan ahead

Dealing with difficult customers is an unfortunate necessity when selling on eBay. It is therefore important to acknowledge and accept this to be able to sell successfully.

There are, however, some measures that can be taken to reduce the amount of problematic transactions:

  • Always create (and maintain) accurate and informative listings to set realistic expectations for the buyer. If the expectation matches the reality, the buyer is more likely to be satisfied
  • Be realistic with stated shipping and handling times. It is more important to be on time than to advertise a fast shipping time and be late

Deal with issues efficiently

When things go wrong, it is crucial to find fast solutions. While it may be tempting to put off the problem for a few days, it is better to resolve the issue sooner rather than later.

Not only is this the best result for the buyer, but it also takes the weight of the issue off your own mind as soon as possible as well.

In situations when a solution isn’t as obvious, try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. If it was you, how would you like the issue resolved?

If this doesn’t help, don’t be afraid to ask the customer what they are hoping for. A compromise may be the best solution.

Remember to take the long view. Sometimes, it can be beneficial to take the loss this time and then move on. Too much time spent worrying about one transaction of many can be detrimental to your business as well as your mental health.

Keep moving forward

When experiencing stress, try to look to the future rather than the past. Try to remember the following:

  • eBay does not require sellers to have a 100% perfect track record – even eBay acknowledges that a small amount of transactions will not be successful
  • It is impossible to make everyone happy all of the time. Some people are just difficult to please. Others may have had a particularly bad day
  • Don’t dwell on unsuccessful transactions and difficult customers. There are plenty more sales to come

Experienced sellers, how do you deal with anxiety and/or stress from your eBay business?

Gemma is our all things eBay expert. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Canada and travels extensively. You can read about her travels at her blog Off Track Travel.

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