Friday, April 25, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Is ‘Best Offer’ the best option for eBay?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 11/7/2013

Dear eBay Queen: I don’t know if I am frustrated or if I like this new “Best Offer” beta program eBay has. It’s my understanding that it will be showing up for everyone eventually, but it happened to me yesterday. Still, after reading this, it makes no sense whatsoever.

Here’s what I understand is the bottom line: If you receive an offer and accept it, the buyer now has to accept that you accepted. Until he does that, the item is still for sale to anyone else that wants to buy it or make an offer. Once the buyer accepts the seller’s acceptance, then the offer is off the table.

I think eBay is doing this because they think the buyer will pay faster since he has to accept that you accepted his offer. So, as I said, my buyer accepted my acceptance, but still has not paid. This makes no sense to me. What do you think?

See: http://pages.ebay.com/newBestOfferBeta/index.html — Lizbeth, Texas

Dear Lizbeth: I had never heard of this Best Offer beta. I agree. From my own experience, it seems people who use “Buy It Now,” don’t always seem to be paying for it now. I’m sure they are trying to prevent non-paying buyers. By doing it this way, eBay knows that the buyer has accepted — kind of like signing on the dotted line type of thing.

I’m of the opinion that it would solve the problem by just having them pay instantly, especially when it’s an accepted offer they made.

Dear eBay Queen: I’m very frustrated here! Within the past two weeks, I sold two items to the same customer. I make handmade wooden items (benches, small chests).

The first item was a small chest, and she reported the item damaged in shipment (one hinge was bent). She sent photos. The damage wasn’t horrible; it was something she could fix, so I sent her new hinges. I refunded her the entire sales price of $39.95 and she kept the chest. She left positive feedback. Today, she reported the second item damaged! It was a much larger wooden chest, about 3 feet long. She sent photos where it was damaged slightly in shipment ... again!

In her email to me, she insults me as an eBay seller and tells me her husband told her not to buy from eBay because of things like this. The damage done in shipment is not my fault! It’s not hers either; she wants the item as it should be, I understand that, but what should I do here? Should I have her return the item, refund the price of $99.95, and hope she leaves good feedback? I’m sure she will be mad because she will have to pay to ship the item twice for about $24 one way! I can’t replace the chest because it’s one of a kind.

This is so unfair to me too. Either way, I can’t win. I offer in all my listings a refund within 14 days — buyer pays return shipping, but I just know she will leave nasty feedback if I do that. I’m so tired of the buyer always being right! I also recently had to ship a new table to someone because USPS never delivered the first one I shipped, so I was out the table and shipping charges to send a new one! These things are killing me! — Leslie Ann

Dear Leslie: I am so sorry this is happening. I would give her two choices: Offer to have her send it back for a refund, or ask if she would accept a partial refund that you both would agree on.

Your real problem is not this buyer or the post office. The real problem is how you are packaging the items and the fact you are not insuring them. You would think these wood items would be safe in the boxes you are sending them in, but as these two sales have shown you, you need to ship them better. I would consider double boxing the items, insuring them and perhaps moving from USPS to UPS shipping. All packages are insured up to $100 with UPS. If you were using UPS on the table issue, they would have found it and made sure the buyer received it.

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 131009959486. At almost any garage sale, you’ll find at least one alarm clock for sale. Don’t overlook them. This one is an obvious gem, but after doing a little research on eBay, I found many more I had never even heard of, and may have passed up. “BEAUTIFUL 1968 ORIGINAL BEATLES YELLOW SUBMARINE ALARM CLOCK by SHEFFIELD NM CD.” It sold for $1,085 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/BEAUTIFUL-1968-ORIGINAL-BEATLES-YELLOW-SUBMARINE-ALARM-CLOCK-by-SHEFFIELD-NM-CD-/131009959486

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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