So you’ve sold your very first item on eBay – great! Now what? If this sounds familiar, this is the article for you. Read on to discover a step-by-step overview to the post-sale process on eBay, from payment and packing to shipping and feedback.
Completing a sale on eBay
Before going any further, it is worth taking time to quickly clarify eBay terminology for transaction:
- Items currently being sold are called ‘active listings’
- Once sold, items are then referred to as ‘completed’ or ‘ended’
Completed listings from the past 90 days can be found and viewed on Seller Hub (under the Orders tab) and My eBay (select Sold within the Selling section).
Step 1: Buyer receives order confirmation
After the buyer has committed to purchase the item, they receive an order confirmation email. This will display all of the order details, as well as a ‘Complete payment’ button, which links back to eBay. Buyers can also select ‘Pay Now’ in their Purchase history, found in My eBay.
If you required immediate payment on the listing, this step is effectively skipped. With immediate payment, the buyer is prompted to pay right away to complete the sale.
Step 2: Buyer pays for item
eBay’s payment process is straightforward. The buyer is prompted to choose their payment method, verify their shipping address, select a shipping method (if applicable) and then confirm the order.
After the buyer has paid, payment to the seller is usually automatic and will be accompanied by an notification email from eBay or PayPal. The specific process and timing will depend on the type of payment buyer used.
Even with the notification email, it is best practice to check on the status of a payment in either Seller Hub (Awaiting payment under Orders) or My eBay (Awaiting payment under Sold).
Once you have confirmed that the payment has been received, it’s time to move onto the next step.
If the payment doesn’t arrive, there are two common reasons for this:
- The buyer hasn’t paid yet. Find out what to do if the buyer doesn’t pay
- There is a payment hold on your account. New sellers are most likely to experience payment holds
Step 3: Packing the item
The next step to the selling process is to pack the item securely. The seller is responsible for making sure that the item arrives safely to the buyer, in the same condition it was described as having in the listing.
If the item is damaged or the buyer believes it is ‘not as described,’ the buyer can return it for a refund as per the Money Back Guarantee.
To avoid this issue, take time to ensure that the item is:
- Packed in a clean, strong and appropriately sized box or container
- Surrounded with cushioning material (foam, bubble wrap etc) to prevent shifting or movement in transit
- Protected from potential weather damage
The package should be sealed with tape that has the required strength and durability for a strong closure.
Step 4: Shipping the item
After packaging the item securely, it’s time to ship it! Sellers must use the shipping method selected by the buyer and send the item within the timeframe stated in the listing.
There are many ways to complete this step, but new sellers may find it particularly helpful to print shipping labels via eBay.
The main benefit of doing so is simplification:
- The cost of the label is charged to your invoice or PayPal account
- The package tracking number is uploaded automatically
eBay.com offers the option to ship items with FedEx, USPS or UPS. No special printer paper is required.
If you do not choose to print shipping labels from eBay, make a note to upload tracking details as soon as possible after shipping the item with whatever carrier you used.
Another advantage is that new sellers will receive held funds a lot quicker when tracking is uploaded (within 24 hours of delivery vs. 21 days after the buyer pays).
Step 5: Buyer receives item
In the most ideal scenario, the buyer will receive the item on time and in the same condition it was advertised in the listing. All being well, the buyer will be satisfied with their purchase.
After receiving the item, the buyer will be automatically prompted to rate their buying experience with you. These assessment will contribute to your detailed seller ratings and feedback score. In case you wondered, eBay sellers have not been able to leave feedback for buyers since 2008.
Unfortunately, eBay transactions do not always go to plan. Here are some of the most common post-sale scenarios – click on each one to read the related Auction Nudge article for advice on how to proceed.
- Item goes missing in transit
- Item arrives damaged
- Buyer believes that the item is ‘not as described’
- Buyer does not like the item and wants to return it
Experienced sellers, do you have any tips for new sellers regarding the post-sale process on eBay? Consider sharing in the comments below!