Saturday, December 20, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Can I stop eBay buyers from cheating me?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 9/19/2013

Dear eBay Queen: I started a coupon clipping service on eBay and am very frustrated with people saying they didn’t get their coupons. Meanwhile, I never get them back; many of them get the coupons and use them and then get the money back from the seller (me). This is costing me money as I pay for the coupon inserts, the shipping, the envelopes and the exorbitant eBay fees. I really don’t know what to do about it.

They open up a case, so I have no choice but to give the money back, and if I let it go to eBay, they side with the customer. Many of them open a case before even discussing it with me.

The problem is coupons are not tracked and this is how they get away with it. I offer free tracking with the purchase of $10 worth of coupons — but I am considering charging $1.69 for shipping and tracking all coupons; however, I think it will cut my sales. I use stamps.com to ship and I thought that would be proof that I shipped the coupons, but eBay asks for tracking info.

Have you had the same experience and if so, have you found a solution? Thanks. — Tracey J.

Dear Tracey: Wow! What a great idea! Coupons are big right now. The only solution I have for this is to use a delivery confirmation. I understand that it adds cost to your bottom line, but I truly believe it is important for you to figure out a way to add this cost into your sales. 

I you mentioned that you use stamps.com. This is a great service, but it costs the user $15.99 a month. Have you thought of using eBay Shipping Services? They are free, and delivery confirmation is no charge when you use them.

Let me know how this works out for you!

Dear eBay Queen: I don’t understand why eBay wants — no, insists — that I offer free shipping, but the buyers keep going to my competitors that do not offer free shipping. No matter how prominently placed in the listing, it often is an overlooked value for the buyer. I buy identical items, offer them cheaper and with free shipping, but the buyers aren’t buying!

How do I get them to see the value in buying from me? I thought about putting the following in my listings:

“Free shipping! (at least a $1.69 value)” or a more specific breakdown about how much is saved by volumne.

Is this a good idea, or does this turn off the buyer? It would mean focusing on pennies, mental calculations, plus I usually don’t have an exact weight until an item is packaged.

What do you think? — Cheesy Goodness

Dear Cheesy: I’ve wondered this myself from time to time. I just mark my items with free shipping and leave it at that. I have found that if you keep your ads as simple and uncluttered as possible the better. Most buyers don’t even read the description, let alone a bunch of other stuff, some buyer’s love free shipping, while others don’t care.

It is my opinion that there are a whole bunch of other factors that go into whether a buyer buys from you and free shipping is just one thing to consider. eBay’s default search order is Best Match, but I believe buyers need to be persuaded to sort the results by price plus shipping or maybe time ending soonest.

I have a friend who tries to put a suggestion into buyer’s brains by putting it in big letters at the top of her descriptions. Other factors that could make a difference are where you are located, feedback and DSR scores.

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 221217018593. Check out this outfit! It’s a “Vtg 1960’s Psychedelic Emilio Pucci Kaleidoscope Velvet Outfit Tunic & Pants,” and sold for $699 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vtg-1960s-PsYcHeDeLiC-EMILIO-PUCCI-Kaleidoscope-Velvet-Outfit-Tunic-Pants-S-/221217018593?

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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