When sending items to buyers consider using registered post by default for all buyers with less than 5 or so feedback. It's quite easy to say something's lost in the post and if it is recorded/registered or you have proof of posting then the Royal Mail is your friend! In fact, I would suggest limiting your postal options dramatically to protect yourself when dealing with unknown buyers. The golden rule is, only send what you can afford to lose in the standard post. My first ebay sale was an expensive digital camera to a very new ebayer (0 feedback) in Denmark - because we were in constant contact and the camera was sent international signed for we were both relative calm about the transaction.
Be realistic about your delivery times and postage costs. Buyers will thank you for it.
Keep people informed. If you forgot to bring a parcel to work to send out when you pop to the office in your lunch hour, tell the buyer. If you can't find the item because the dog buried it, tell the buyer. Don't wait for the buyer to ask. Be aware that people are not always able to view ebay during the day, which means a conversation about an item could be spread over several days. Include as much information in your communication as possible to avoid delays.
Don't send things on (like mobile phones) to Nigeria because the buyer's uncle is on a research project their and they'd love to stay in touch! Do straight forward transactions via safe payment methods to registered addresses to ebayers with good feedback and you will be fine. If you choose not to do some of these things then make other steps to protect yourself. Cash transaction? Always send registered. Different (unconfirmed) address? Make sure they have good feedback. Most people buy AND sell on ebay, so have the same fears as you do about being ripped off. If you are polite there is no reason for you not to take simple steps to make the transaction more secure, any ebayer would hopefully understand this.
Sometimes, you just get a nutter and things may not work out no matter what you do. People who leave random feedback, just get things wrong, forget what they bought, forget who they are! Yes this can happen. Especially when you get people using things like one account for a household. A colleague of mine kept finding emails telling him he'd won stuff, only to find it was his dad using his account without telling him. He'd already tried to extract himself from the transaction leaving a very confused seller.
I find being creative in your description - off the wall, quirky and funny can really help! It shows your are a real person, that you are not just cut and pasting. You also get more questions and interest and this can open more more dialogue with your buyer, which helps both parties.
Remember, your buyer is most likely someone like you, so deal with them how you would expect to be treated and expect them to treat you how you treat your buyers.
Tips for selling safely.
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23 August 2006
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