If you're reading this then you already know that Ebay is the 'hot spot' on the net to hang out. Here are my tips to make it even better.
- Write a good ad - It doesn't have to be complicated or clever but remember that this is the place to showcase your item.
- Take a good clear photo; preferably not upside down or taken in a dark room without a flash.
- Add as much information as you can; dimensions, age, postage costs, and surburb to be collected from if you're asking for the item to be picked up. It saves a lot of time spent answering messages.
- If someone asks a question about your item its a perfect opportunity to make an ebay 'friend' who might add you to their favourites for the future, even if they don't win your item this time.
- Don't write a whole page of 'do's and don'ts'. It's off-putting for some of us to have to wade through a list being instructed in what we will do and what we won't do before we even see the pix of an item.
- Use common sense judgements in your dealings. If you notice someone from the US bidding on your wardrobe, think about sending them a message to remind them that you're in Oz. A US resident wins a childs toy with a bid much higher than the item is worth, with postage on top it amounts to an absurd amount. It's up to you whether or not you pursue the sale but maybe spend a little time in their shoes before you decide.
- Ask, ask, ask. Before you bid ask any questions you can think of. If the seller doesn't get back to you try again, your question may have been missed. If they don't answer at all, perhaps you might think twice about bidding on an item you're not sure of.
- Be nice. Everyone appreciates a bit of politeness.
- Check the postage. Don't buy a one dollar item from Timbuctoo thats going to cost another two hundred to get it into the country unless you've planned for it.
- Make sure that the item you're bidding on in Ulan-Bator doesn't contain any organic material - isn't stuffed with camel fur or sawdust- it may have a hard time getting through Aussie Customs and Excise.
- Take into account the Customs Duty that may be liable on some items from beyond our shores.
- Make 'smart' choices about sellers if they have less than 100 percent feedback, read the comments and find out why; maybe its due to undeserved negs (newbie negs too), or maybe the comments are consistent with poor service or quality.
A thorny issue in the community, everyone has their own ideas, these are mine:
- As a Seller I consider the transaction complete when the winning bidder has paid. I leave feedback on their performance as a buyer - how quickly and easily the sale was made. I send a message to acknowledge the cleared payment and tell my buyer when their item has been posted, I also ask them to contact me if they have any problems with the item so that negative feedback can be avoided if possible.
- As a Buyer I let the seller know that I have won the item and that I've paid (or that I'll pay at a particular time, or confirm pick-up). When my item arrives I let them know (and ask them to leave feedback for me if thet haven't already done so)then leave feedback on their performance as a seller.
- Communicate with your buyer or seller. If there's a problem, don't be a newbie negger; talk first, leave feedback later. Once left it can't be changed.
Sometimes you may see things from newer users that are obviously mistakes that are likely to put their auctions at risk. Maybe think about dropping by and mentioning that the used, slightly soiled couch they have listed with an opening bid of $100,000 (true, honestly) was perhaps a slip of a keystroke.
I've appreciated all the help I've had in the past from more experienced ebayers. I've learned a lot and had a lot of fun, I've even made some ongoing friends. Wishing you good times, good bargains and good profits on 'the Bay'. Hope we meet an an auction sometime.