What to do if it all goes wrong!

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Buying and selling on Ebay is a pleasurable and rewarding experience...on the whole.  Yes you will get rogue traders and buyers that buy and never pay, but 99% of people using Ebay are honest and reliable people who really do care.

So, why is it do you think that many Ebayers attract negative feedback?  You are right, some do deserve it without a doubt, but negative feedback is damaging to a persons reputation and can be avoided quite easily with a little patience and understanding.  Remember, some sellers are professional traders and their living may depend on their reputation.

Quite often negative feedback is as a result of an item being received damaged or faulty.  Now, before you race to the computer to leave the dreaded red mark, stop and think.  What can be done about it?  Have you contacted the seller to let them know?  Have you read their returns policy and terms & conditions of sale?  Was the package damaged?  Was the item you received packed inadequately?

All of these things can be resolved easily and with the minimum of fuss.  The seller, if they are worthy of postive feedback will at least investigate the problem for you.  If you have waited for ten days before contacting them, then you are probably outside their returns limit anyway.  If the package was damaged, it probably became damaged in the post...this is not the sellers fault!  It is their fault however, if the item was inadequately packaged.

Act straight away with politeness and with patience, a smile in your voice will get you a hundred miles and a frown will get you nowhere.  Remember that some sellers are extremely busy and cannot respond to your email immediately, but it would be reasonable to do so within 24 hours.

Many sellers, myself included, will send your item by Royal Mail 'Signed For' delivery or other trackable means.  Ok, you have to pay extra for it, but it really is worth the few pence more.  Once you item has been dispatched, they can send you an email with a tracking number so at least you can see that your item is on it's way.  If for any reason it gets lost, it may be able to trace it but if not it is insured so you will get your money back.  Its worth remembering that the seller is not responsible for slow delivery or damage after your item has been posted.

Buyers who choose to pay by cheque or postal order should use 'Signed For' delivery too....and never, ever, ever send cash!  Like I said earlier, there are one or two rogue traders who give Ebay a bad name, don't let them get your money!

If you think that the item you want to buy is a little expensive for carriage, make this known to the seller before you bid, they may be willing to make a small reduction for you to secure the sale.  It is not much use complaining about the cost of postage after you have bid or bought.

Quite often it is necessary to contact a buyer over a sale, only to be 'ignored'.  I have recently sent at least three emails to one person who did not respond.  Eventually I got a very apologetic email informing me that the email address that they use for Ebay was not their main email and rarely gets checked! 

If you have a problem as a buyer or a seller, then talk to each other.  Whatever the situation is it can be resolved amicably, if only the effort is put in instead of going straight for the red pen.  After all, the path of least resistance is only a few clicks away.........it's good to talk!!

Here's some bullet points:

  • Be patient and polite
  • Ask questions before buying or bidding
  • Read ALL of the listing
  • Check the returns policy and terms & conditions
  • Use trackable postage and never send cash
  • If you do not intend to pay, do not bid
  • If you will be away when an auction ends, let the buyer know
  • Take the time to be as accurate as possible with descriptions
  • Check the email you use for Ebay often



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