What Do You Do Once Someone Has Purchased Something From You on eBay?
Positive and negative feedback provide important input for a buyer's future transactions. Whether you're starting a business or trying to earn some extra money, eBay provides a global forum for selling just about anything. As a seller, however, you are responsible for more than simply listing an item for sale and making sure the description is accurate.
After you've made a sale, it's not only important that your buyer receives what is paid for, but that you also maintain open lines of communication and leave feedback -- critical to an eBay user's reputation -- appropriately. Making an effort to share a positive purchasing experience goes a long way towards ensuring buyer satisfaction and, in turn, a good seller feedback score for you.
1 - Contact your buyer directly to acknowledge and thank him for his payment. Create an automated confirmation email from your eBay Seller page or write a more personal eBay message. The idea is that the buyer knows you genuinely appreciate his business.
2 - Confirm that the credit card or electronic payment successfully processed before sending the item. If you accepted a check -- electronic or mailed -- be sure the check has cleared the bank first.
3 - Package your item as securely as possible. Remember that part of your feedback score comes from the quality of your packaging -- and it's your responsibility to ensure that the item arrives as safely as possible.
4 - Purchase and attach the appropriate postage to the package. Ensure you've selected the shipping option paid for by the buyer -- for example, overnight or Priority. If you stated in your auction that you will ship within three days, adhere to that time frame.
5 - Make sure the shipping information is correct. Double-check that the recipient's address is accurate, clearly written or printed, and that you have included a return address.
6 - Ship the package. If the buyer paid for overnight shipping, be sure you get the package scheduled for a pick-up or delivered to the drop-off location in enough time to make the delivery cutoff.
7 - Mark the item "Shipped" -- which sends the buyer an emailed shipping notification -- as soon as you've packaged and shipped the purchase. PayPal completes this automatically when you use the payment portal to print shipping labels. If you are not using PayPal's shipping features, log in to your eBay Selling page, locate the item in the Sold list and then choose "Mark as Shipped" in the Actions drop-down.
8 - Track the package, if there is tracking available for the postage option offered, so you can verify that it arrived safely. If there is a delay, communicate concerns in a message to the buyer so she knows you're keeping an eye on the shipment.
9 - Leave buyer Feedback. The eBay Feedback system is like your reputation on the site and helps inform future buyers and sellers about the transaction.
Tips & Warnings
Sellers are permitted to leave a short comment and positive ratings for buyers. Negative experiences -- as a seller, this generally means the buyer didn't make payment -- must be reported through the Resolution Center instead.
If the buyer has paid your requested amount for shipping and the payment amount doesn't cover the total shipping fees, do not downgrade the shipping option because of your miscalculation -- take responsibility for the difference.
How to Not Be Ripped Off by a Buyer on eBay
Shipping to confirmed addresses helps eBay sellers avoid problems. The popular auction website, eBay, can expose your products to a gigantic audience, but frequent sellers can expect to encounter problematic customers.
If you have a buyer who won't pay for an item, eBay's Resolution Center can help you get a credit for the sales fee you incurred, and you'll be able to re-list the item for sale or offer it to another bidder. Before other problems arise, take steps to prevent potential ripoffs on eBay.
1 - Take advantage of eBay's buyer requirements feature. This feature allows you to prevent potentially untrustworthy buyers from bidding on your listings. Sellers can exclude buyers with a history of unpaid items, as well as those with low feedback scores and those who have reportedly violated eBay policies. To access this feature, go to "My eBay," then click the "Account" tab. Select "Site preferences" on the left side of the screen, then look for "Buyer requirements" on the next page that loads. Click "Show" on the right side of this line to see and edit the requirements you wish to apply to your listings.
2 - Require immediate payment for "Buy It Now" listings. These listings allow buyers to sell products on-demand, eliminating the need for customers to compete in an auction. By requiring immediate payment, sellers eliminate the possibility that someone will claim an item and then fail to pay for it. You can choose the immediate payment option in the listing-creation form.
3 - Verify non-traditional payments. While most listings require you to accept electronic payments, sellers can accept checks and money orders for items in select eBay categories. Find out from your bank how long it takes these payments to be verified and cleared, then specify in your listing that you won't ship items until this time period has passed.
4 - Make wise shipping choices. Don't ship an item to a buyer until you've received payment for it. When shipping, use a service that tracks deliveries so you have proof the item arrived at its destination. The eBay company also suggests that you only consider purchasing insurance for valuable items. Only ship items to the address on a buyer's eBay or PayPal account.