Successful communication with trading partners

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When dealing with other eBay members, particularly by e-mail, it is very easy to missunderstand each others intentions and to fall into a downward spiral towards personal insults!!!  With this in mind, I have come up with a few pointers for communication by e-mail which can help to avoid this problem.

  1. Firstly, remember that e-mails are a very impersonal way of communicating and it is easy for them to be miss-read and/or miss-interpreted.  Therefore, it is best to write your e-mails as politely and in as friendly a manner as possible.  This will probably seem to you that you are being overly sugary-sweet, but it usually reads as just polite to the other party.
  2. Following-on from point one, if you receive an e-mail that seems a little "stroppy" or even rude, it was probably not the intended to come accross that way by the sender.  If an e-mail riles you, it is usually best not to reply immediately, but to wait at least a couple of hours before going back, so that you can collect your thoughts and avoid replying in a similar tone.  If you reply too quickly, you are heading for that downward spiral previously mentioned!!!
  3. Remember, always to assume that the other party is acting in good faith.  For example, if chasing payment, don't assume that the other party is deliberately withholding payment, always assume that they either forgot to pay (let's face it we are all human after all), that the payment is lost in the post, or that they have been delayed due to circumstances beyond their control.  Similarly, if chasing delivery, it is best to assume that an item may be lost in transit or has been delayed due to circumstances beyond the sellers control.  This assumption will achieve more satisfactory results than barging in with accusations of "you haven't sent it" or similar.
  4. Finally, it often helps the tone of your e-mails to write in complete words and sentences as you would in a letter, rather than in abbreviations as you would in  a text message.  This helps to make it sound more polite and less short-and-sharp.

Good luck to all with your buying and selling and Happy Communicating!!!

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