Thursday, December 18, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: How can eBay item lost by post office be a ‘defect?’

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 7/31/2014

Dear eBay Queen: I have a buyer who opened a case against me for “Item not received.” The tracking shows I shipped the package First Class Mail and it left my post office July 16, was processed through and left Kansas City 8 a.m. July 17 — then nothing. I responded to the case with the tracking info. What happens now? I called the post office’s “customer service” and got off the phone more frustrated than I was when I called — the agent kept insisting I call the post office and was no more help than that. Will I get a defect and will they make me refund him? — Penny

Dear Penny: Be proactive before the buyer has an opportunity to escalate the case. I have found that it is very important to put the buyer at ease and let them know that you will make sure they receive the item or a refund.

Message the buyer in the case and let him know you have contacted the post office and that you will stay on top of this. If the item hasn’t been received in the next week, I would refund his money. That might not be something you want to do, but if the buyer escalates the case you will receive a defect.

Dear eBay Queen: I am new to listing on eBay and I feel like I am obviously doing eBay wrong, as they keep ending my listings saying there is a policy violation. The website ends a bunch at once saying there is a high likelihood they will be returned by the buyer. I am selling mostly toys and VHS tapes. eBay sent me this email:

“To ensure sellers consistently provide a high level of buyer satisfaction, we monitor the site for listings that are likely to result in eBay Money Back Guarantee cases. When we review these types of listings, we look at criteria such as a listing’s images, the accuracy of the title and description, and other factors that may lead a buyer to be unhappy with their purchase.”

I called eBay, and did not get much insight. The first agent didn’t help me much, and only confirmed what the email said. She told me more photos might help. How many photos of a Barney VHS would you put in a listing? I haven’t seen any listings with 12 photos. Perhaps I should add more information that isn’t pertinent to the specific auction. I honestly feel someone is going in and removing items for no particular reason other than there could be more info, maybe. I don’t think they are reading the descriptions at all. The second agent told me my description looked good, but maybe I need to put how long I have owned the item or something. Oh really? It simply feels like they are jacking me around.

I don’t really want my ID published, but I have given you a link to a few of my listings. Could you tell me what I am doing wrong? — Taylor

Dear Taylor: Thank you for giving me a few examples. I would say from this point on, do not re-list any more of your items that are being taken down by eBay. Make fresh listings from here on out. Here are a few suggestions I have for your listings:

• Instead of using the term “used,” try “pre-owned,” “EUC” (Excellent Used Condition), “VG” (Very Good) or if the item was made before 1990, vintage.

• Take new photographs that are at least 600 pixels by 600 pixels. Make sure your pictures are clear and taken against a white background.

• Use bullet points instead of paragraphs.

• Make sure you use the “item specifics.” I noticed quite a few of the listings that were taken down did not utilize those to the best of their abilities.

Your listings look pretty good, but I think one problem might be that you are using eBay mobile to list your items. I have found from a buyer’s perspective, the eBay mobile listings tend to be on the lean side when it comes to pictures and information.

Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item NO. 261469594219. GI Joe dolls were the very first thing I sold on eBay way back when I started. Look what I found looking them up today: “1964 GI Joe Action Figure Sailor Shore Patrol Uniform.” It sold for $9877.77 at

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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