Sunday, September 21, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: How do I stop redundant eBay questions?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 4/25/2013

Dear eBay Queen: I sell just about anything I can get my hands on. Lately I’ve been selling a lot of new clothing (since all the big mall stores are having really good clearance sales)! When I write up the items, I include the measurements, size and brand.

Even though I detail all this identifying information, I still receive questions from people asking if an item will fit them. Seriously? How am I supposed to know? Just because you wear a size 4 in one brand doesn’t mean you’re that size in every brand. Read the measurements, people. Then measure yourself and you’ll know if something will fit. I got five emails asking this question — two from the same person on the same auction. How can I curtail some of these redundant questions?

Today I received an email from the winning bidder two days after the auction was closed. “I haven’t paid for the item yet, but when will you ship it and can you send another picture?”

What can I do to reduce the ridiculous questions? — Amanda

Dear Amanda: I don’t think I have a surefire way to curtail ridiculous questions. I wish I did, because I get my fair share too. When I receive a question where the buyer asks something I’ve already answered (if the person would have just read the eBay ad), I cheerfully answer the question. I know some sellers who don’t answer such questions at all — or give a snarky reply — but I want people to buy the stuff I’m selling.

When it comes to your last question, I would handle it this way, saying: “I typically ship within 24 hours of payment. Once you’ve paid for the item, I will send you a delivery confirmation number via email for tracking. Thank you so much for your purchase.” (I totally would ignore the photo question.)

Dear eBay Queen: I’m getting very confused about listing fees. I’ve been listing 50 items free for months, but I want to list more. I’m planning on listing 150 items a month. Using the reference link you gave a couple of weeks ago, it suggested that fees would be less if I opened a store, so for $15.95 I did just that.

I went to list my first item and it wants to charge me $1 in listing fees. I’m now thinking that if I list 150 items, that’s $150 in just listing fees without the final value fee. I list many things that cost more than $100, and that listing fee is $2. Maybe I should have stuck to just listing 50 items a month.

I’m listing things in the starting price range of $50 to $200, and my sell-through rate is about 20 percent. I’d rather list high over and over than drop the price and have it sell. I’m thinking if I’m listing lots of things (80 percent of my listings) that don’t sell, opening a store wasn’t such a good idea.

Maybe I should list fixed price, but I really like auctions.

I’ve studied the rates tables over and over and I’m still confused. Could you explain it to me? — Johnson, Wichita

Dear Johnson: On May 1, everything will change. All auctions and fixed price will be free depending on the level of store you have. After you have listed all the free listings you are allotted (depending on the store level you are signed up for), you will be charged a fee to list per item. The new rate plans go into effect May 1. You then can get a basic store for $15.95 per month (if you commit to the annual subscription), or $19.95 if you don’t commit. Either way, you’ll get 150 free auctions or fixed price listings.

The current rate is only 50 free auctions with no store.

For more information about the new rate plans going into effect May 1, go to http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/springupdate2013/springfeesimplification.html

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 330904576674. I was trying to think of an interesting item to search for on eBay. I searched the word “coconut.” Check out what I found! “Set of 10 Chinese Coconut Cup Bowl with Pewter Lining in Wood Box.” It sold for $1,299 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Set-of-10-Chinese-Coconut-Cup-Bowl-with-Pewter-Lining-in-Wood-Box-/330904576674?nma=true&si=HSVqfpQhr%252BhfdJBzZj71rwiQwzs%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen

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