Being able to trust a buyer or seller is very important. If you have zero feedback, you are an unknown quantity, so here are some tips to help you out with your first transaction.
* If selling, be clear – describe your item accurately and fairly. Price it to sell, and you are more likely to attract bidders.
* Don’t bid on an item unless you want to buy AND can meet all the conditions of sale. Sounds obvious but if you don’t have the means to transport an item then you should let it go to someone else. Be realistic.
* Read the full listing. If you can’t agree to meet the full conditions (i.e. collect within 24 hours, PayPal only etc) then don’t bid. It is easy to get carried away in the excitement of the closing stages of the auction. Remember “you bid, you buy”.
* Bid early. This gives the seller the opportunity to contact you if they are worried about you being a newbie. EBay will only bid up to your maximum if there are other bids, starting low.
* It is also good to sellers a courtesy email so that they know you are serious.
* If you win an auction, contact the seller as soon as possible. Include a personal email or telephone number if you wish.
* The longer you leave first contact, the more nervous people get. More than 24 hours is just rude.
* It is also good manners to pay sellers straight away unless the terms allow for cash on collection etc. in which case you should establish this verbally or via email.
* If selling, send the invoice as soon as possible. Many people will pay quickly. Once you have been paid, send the item as soon as you can, making sure that the postage and packing charges actually reflect what they cost you. It is a good idea to ask for proof of postage at the post office (free).
* Leave feedback that is fair and gives others a true idea of your buying / selling experience. It is fair to leave feedback once you have received and checked goods if you are a buyer. Sellers should wait until the buyer has left feedback so that they have the opportunity to put right any issues.
* Be patient and polite in all dealings. Problems do arise, and if you are at fault then put your hands up. Give the other party time to sort things out if you feel that things have gone wrong.
* Keep a record of all communications in case you do have an issue that needs to be referred to eBay.
I hope that this brief guide has been useful - If you are reading this because you are planning to bid on one of my items and have zero feedback, then good luck - everybody has to start somewhere.
Conduct for those new to eBay / with zero feedback
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29 April 2009
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