The eBay Question and Answer Board, and how to use it.

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  If you are fairly new to eBay, even if your not, from time to time we all can come up with a problem. It could be a seller who hasn't provided the expected service, a buyer who is proving to be beyond your means to deal with. There are processes such as filing a Non Paying Bidder or Non Providing Seller report, or you could try the eBay help pages or Live help. Alternatively there are community boards that you can go and ask the advice of fellow eBayers on, and one of the most popular is found under Community / Discussion Boards / Help Boards, and is the Community Question & Answer Board.

 This board is specifically there to help folks with questions, it is a quick responce to any queries you may have, and although it can sometimes be a fairly upfront discussion forum, there is a hard core of very experienced ebayers only to happy to help. It should also be mentioned that there is also the odd idiot who is there simply to wind everyone up. Should you visit the Q&A Board, here are a few tips to hopefully help you.

 

1.  The Q&A is fairly well regulated, and if you post a topic, it really must contain an eBay related question. If not it may well be removed by the moderators and result in you recieving a warning from eBay. This is known as a 'pinky slap' by regulars, and won't initially cause you anything more than a touch of embarrassment, but if you continue to break the rules (which are set out at the top of the page), get to many to quickly, could ultimatly see you suspended. As will such things as continually useing pornographic pictures or bad language.

2.  Although many are there to help with your problem, these kind folks are not paid ebay staff, and therefore sometimes the answers you may receive may not be the ones you expected. As a general rule, take the advice of the majority until you get to know who is out to help and who is out to hinder.

3  Some questions are asked very often, and if you have had the misfortune to ask one of these regular ones for the umpteenth time, you may get some rather sarcastic replies. Most regular questions not to ask include ' who should leave feedback first', 'is sniping fair' and 'whats wrong with my listings'. The last one might seem fairly innocent, but many use it to advertise and get folks to look at their items.

There are many who lurk on these boards, the vast majority who like to help, some who just like to watch and a few who like to cause trouble. Generally the later are ones who are just seeking a bit of attention, and are a bit lacking in the social graces, ignore them and they disappear. Make sure you stay within the eBay rules for the boards as much as possible, as often these folks are 'Button Pushers'. They report posts for very trivial reasons and love seeing them removed, it gives them a sort of misguided power trip. If one of your posts does get removed, don't worry to much about it, it's not personnel.

5  Many of the folks who will reply to your questions will seem to have zero feedback, and so you would assume that they have little or no ebay experience.  Actually most regulars have vast experience, and because they are often on the boards and often attract attention from certain strange people, many use a second 'posting' ID to contribute. There is nothing odd about this, it is simply a way of protecting their main ID while continuing to help others. 

6  If you do ask a question on the Q&A boards, and also have current listings, be prepared to come under some scrutiny from other users. There is nothing wrong with this, you might even get some bids out of it, but you might also get some unlooked for advice. Take it in good heart, or get a posting ID.

7  Be aware of board etiquette. Mainly this means refrain from bad language, don't take anyone who disagrees with you to task, at least not to quickly, and do not post in CAPITALS. This is seen as shouting, is hard to read, and considered very rude. You will certainly get short shrift from some for this. Also very poor spelling or punctuation can be frowned upon, it's bid not bidded. There are regulars who will pick you up on things like this.

 

 I hope the brief hints at using the Q&A haven't sounded to off putting. The board really is a great resource, and I've learn'd a great deal from it, and I am regularly on there myself if I can help. If you have any sort of problem or question about eBay, give it a try, and if nothing else, you'll have disdcovered a whole new aspect of eBay, and might even make a few new friends out there in eBay land.

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