Difficult Customers Or How I learned to stop worrying

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It's a sad fact of nature that sooner or later whether you are buying or selling you will have a problematic customer.

Buyers who won't pay, sellers who don't send or buyers and sellers who just dissapear. This is a guide that will hopefully navigate you through the uncertain waters of troubled ebayers and how to keep your cool.

Buyers
If you have a buyer that has not paid after a certain period of time, email them a Friendly reminder, ask whether they still wish to complete the transaction. Always be friendly and polite (You will catch more flys with honey than vinegar). If you still have not heard back after a suitable time, then launch an item not paid against them ( this allows you to reclaim your ebay fees and relist your item or allow you to offer your item to the next highest bidder. Remember sometimes buyers go on holiday or their finacial circumstances change.
Offer your customers plenty of choices when it comes to payment options. Be flexable if they need more time to pay. Communication is the name of this game.

Sellers
So you are bidding on your first item, How do you not get stung. Allways look at the feedback from that seller. This is helpful in gageing a sellers true identity. I never bid if the seller has less than 98 percent positive feedback. Read the comments left by other buyers.
Although this is no guarentee that the seller is genuine.
I advise people to buy using Paypal, their buyer protection scheme is well worth the effort. Note that while ebay does have a standard protection scheme, it does incur a $25 US fee and is not suitable for small purchases.
If you have paid and not received anything from the seller, email then asking for an update on your purchase. Again always be friendly and polite. If after a suitable wait you still have not heard or received anything from them, then proceed with an item not received action against them. In my experience some sellers for fear of receiving negative feedback will eventually do the right thing. Note do not post feedback untill after you have received your item. If you feel the need to post negative feedback, may I suggest that you email them first with your intention. Some sellers will go to great lengths to avoid negative feedback. I even had sellers refund part or all of the purchase price to aviod this.

Sadly, sometimes you will encounter some ebayers who will do a runner with your money. The only solice that I can suggest is to chalk it up to experience, launch a compensation claim and move on. It's only a few bad apples out there, most ebayers want your business and will be happy to keep it.
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