Asking questions - are they really necessary?

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How many pointless questions have you had asked? or had neutral negative feedback for an item that has been purchased and sent exactly as you described it?

I wonder just how many other ebayers get annoyed at the pointless and repetitive questions they get asked regarding their listings. Or how many have been harassed for feedback or even received negative and neutral feedback from buyers who have not read the description correctly before bidding and buying? This guide is to explain how it feels to be asked repetitive questions or to receive unfair and unjustified feedback when the buyer has not fully read the item description before buying. It is intended for buyers and seller alike, to try to help run your ebay smoother and more efficiently and boost your feedback.

pointless and repetitive questions

okay, so we all do it if we are interested in an item, ask a question if it is not in the listing, but how many people DO NOT read the listing correctly before they hit the BUY button or ASK THE SELLER A QUESTION BUTTON?

Im not having a dig at every one but there are a minority of buyers who do just this, please, please please read the listing carefully before you bid. That way you can save precious time by not asking questions for which the answers lie in the listing, you will then stand a better chance of winning the item because you will not lose time waiting for an answer, and some sellers will not answer questions if they have already put it in the description. Fine, if it is not fully clear then ask away, it is not a sin.

The other thing is repetitive questions. Okay, something was not in the listing so a potential buyer asked a question, now there were two choices for the seller, post the answer to the listing so then EVERYONE would be able to see the question and the answer or just answer the message and hope no-one will ask again. The most sensible choice is the first one, BUT when other buyers do not read the WHOLE listing before contact, they end up repeating the questions already asked, and answered. I tend to do the first choice myself but it still doesn't stop repetition! Again I respectfully request that you please READ ALL THE LISTING BEFORE YOU ACT on a question or a bid.

Don't get me wrong, I will happily answer any question to the best of my ability, but I do try to put as much information as I can in the original listing to make things as time effective and smooth running as possible. Okay this is a small account, selling a few items, but what about larger business ebayers and serious private ebayers who have large volumes of items to sell? Imagine how much time they have to put aside to answer questions and how annoyed they must get when the answers are CLEARLY in the listing.

Reading the listing to its extent gives a whole world of information...

Yes some ebayers do not give much info on their listings, but the majority will give a good description of the item, its condition and age and some even tell the cost price (for second hand or sale items). Also very importantly they will often describe their postal process. Please if they say they only send out post monday-thursday then you cannot expect to buy on a friday and get the goods saturday. Business sellers often have shops and other premises to attend to and are not phsyically able to work 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Don't get me wrong, business sellers relish in selling their goods on here but they could get on a lot better if they weren' wasting time answering questions that are not really necessary to ask in the first place.Many list combined postage for multiple items, some have restrictions, if it is not listed then ask before you bid and buy. If it is listed then you know how long between auction ends you can combine and what sort of postage discount is available.

I have seen on a lot of listings the feedback process as well. That's another flip of the coin.

Which comes first seller feedback or buyer feedback? Chicken or egg scenario.

'He started it, no she started it!' How many parents have had this conversation with their kids? It is very much the same on ebay regarding feedback or so it seems. Some ebayers have the facility to set up their feedback to reply once feedback has been left for them, ie the system will automatically leave feedback once the buyer (or seller) leaves theirs. You can set your preferences and your automated reply by using the help section of ebay. This is great but only works if the first one leaves feedback. Some feel buyers should leave feedback first and some say the sellers. (Usually the buyer wants seller and vice versa). Okay stubborness can rule but would it not be easier to say what the heck, if you have bought something, leave the feedback to say the item arrived on time, in good condition or was good value etc, why leave neg/neutral feedback if you can sort the situation first. Very few ebayers would wish to receive neutral or negative feedback (READ THEIR LISTINGS) if you have a problem, most request you contact them before you leave feedback, some do this by compliment slip with the goods, others on their listings and some on both. ONLY LEAVE BAD FEEDBACK IF IT IS JUSTIFIED.

 If the item is exactly as described what justification to leave neutral or negative? Is it a way of making you feel better because you got something you didn't want because you misread, or didn't read through, the listing, oh well I cocked up but if I ruin the sellers day it will make me feel better?

believe you me you leave it you will invariably get it back in return!



Most use Royal mail first class for the smaller items although larger items can vary in courier source but again this is usually in the listing, so you know when and how to expect your goods to arrive. Please take the time to read the Royal Mail website information on sending and receiving mail, this describes the waiting process for mail to arrive and the procedures for missing post. Most sellers will pursue missing post items on behalf of the buyer but it is actually the buyers responsibility to claim, full information available on the Royal mail dot com webbie. Without a proof of posting you cannot make a claim, claims can not be made until ten days after posting date. In most cases a refund will be offered if they cannot trace the item. Due to this a lot more ebayers now use recorded delivery only, since then they get a signature for the goods and a tracking number to give the customer. Why did ebay put that nice little statement on each listing regarding delivery times being the responsilbility of the courier and not the seller?

International postage varies but as an example royal mail surface mail can take up to 8 weeks for delivery, no wonder they can often get lost in transit using this method. Which is why most ebayers will only use airmail.

Express services are available to most people, buyers and sellers, if it is not on the listing then ask.

Basically I am asking everyone to read the listing thoroughly before you make a decision to buy. If when you have read through there is something you think the seller has missed out or you need to know something specific then go ahead and ask, we don't bite, just get annoyed at the amount of time that is wasted unnecessarily. As a seller you can help by posting all questions (or selected questions) to the listing to try to prevent repeated enquiries for the same thing. The same goes for feedback, no-one I know here or elsewhere works 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If the seller has a large volume of items they sell and they dont have automated feedback reply, be patient don't harrass them for feedback as you may not get what you wanted. Most ebayers realise the importance of feedback, how it shows whether you are a good ebayer who pays on time or a bad ebayer for what ever reason. DONT USE THE FEEDBACK SYSTEM TO ASK QUESTIONS OR TO TELL THE SELLER YOU HAVE SENT THE PAYMENT, there is a specific system for each of these. If you have left feedback and not received it then don't worry, it should reach you. But remember NOT EVERY ONE LIKES TO LEAVE FEEDBACK SO DON'T BE OFFENDED IF IT IS NOT RECIPROCATED.

 Just as an example of a customer seeing a picture of the item and clicking buy before they read the listing read this........

A listing was put on ebay which looked like a normal listing. However within the actual description was a paragraph which read ' this is not a real ebay listing, if you bid on this item we will steal your money and not send you anything at all, we will not refund any monies sent since we have stated you will not receive any goods. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED'

Lo and behold the item was bought and paid for by someone who failed toread the listing in its entirity. An email was sent to the customer by the seller to ask him/her to read the listing fully. A reply email was received to say that he/she was sorry they had not read the listing and as it was their own fault they would take the matter as closed. As a gesture of goodwill, the seller actually had one of the item available and sent it to the buyer. This was last year but I bet it could quite easily happen again!








(7) Remember a satified customer will invariably return for more goods, a happy seller will sell to you again.

I hope that you have found this guide helpful.

Please rate this guide as it will help others and hopefully help you to acheive the best out of ebay itself.





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