Ebay Superseller's Newsletter #7: Refunds

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Hi again guys,

Brian here with the latest Ebay Superseller's Newsletter #7: Returns & Refunds!

Not something we really want to talk about. But in fact you should want to get a few refunds, although only a handful per year. So why the hell would you ever want a customer to ask for their money back, no matter how much it is?

Because if you're not getting refunds, then you're not affecting the marketplace enough.

Remember, offering a powerful guarantee is a big part of getting people to buy, where they otherwise wouldn't. We need to convince the buying public that there is no risk being taken by them when they buy from us. We know how good our product or service is, but the prospect doesn't.

And you need to get emotion into your copy, because people buy with emotion, and then justify with logic. When you make a claim based on getting the prospect to want your product, sometimes people can use logic to explain why the product won't work.

And that's where problems can come in. Now, I want to assure you that if you sell shoddy stuff, then you'll go broke and make lots of enemies. And don't make any claims that are not 100% true.

But most people will use logic to decide how something won't work, especially after buying it, although most of these guys will realize that they have made a fair trade and won't ask for a refund.

But there will always be the person who decides that they've been ripped off, that you're a crook and they deserve their money back. These people usually buy a lot of information products, CDs, DVDs, and so forth, perhaps copy them and get their money back.

Whatever their 'reasons', just do one thing: Put a smile on your face and say "OK, here you go!"

Statistically, you should expect about 2% returns, given good turnover.

I recently bought something from a website, an Aussie guy, with the promise of some step by step guide to making money that nobody else knew about. When the ebook arrived, I found myself reading about all the things I already knew about.

Now, I normally don't worry about this sort of thing, but I decided to get a refund, simply to find out how he'd react, what he'd say and what happened. In fact, what happened is a great lesson to all of us. I'm glad I did it.

I sent him an email, and he replied asking for my reasons for the refund. And that's it. No more replies, no nothing. He replied once, but then ignored my repeated attempts to contact him. Although I still seem to be on his email list.

Firstly, he has broken the law by not honouring his guarantee. (Who cares). Secondly, he has lost me, and everyone I know, as a customer. (Who cares - besides him). I mean, this product wasn't for me, but he has since sent me plenty of offers (as he should) and maybe with a good relationship he might have made some sales.

But now the only reason I don't block his emails is for research purposes. I look at some of his offers, and some sound good, although he'll never get another cent from me. But this was a purchase from a website. As an eBay seller, you need to worry about negative feedback.

Personally, I hate negative feedback. Even though most buyers realise that there are a few buttheads around, it's still a mark on your reputation. But, really, getting a few negatives a month is a good thing!

Remember, if you're not getting refunds, you're not being aggressive or emotional enough. You want to get lots and lots of sales per month, and a certain percentage of these will be bought by these people who love to 'get' anyone who they think has gotten the better of them. I've gotten a negative from such a person, even with a money back guarantee.

Big sellers get pages and pages of feedback per month, so a chunk of them will be negative. Yet they still remain above the 98% feedback rating required to stay a powerseller.

Just make sure you put your guarantee in big writing in lots of places, and above all honour it. To make a sale 'stick', you can send what's known as a 'stick letter', a letter (or email) to the buyer, congratulating them on their inspired investment, reminding them of all the benefits that convinced them to buy in the first place, maybe offering them an unadvertised extra free bonus, and giving your contact details and begging them to let you know if they have any questions or problems at all.

This recreates the emotion that got them to buy the product, and prevents people using logic to dismantle their own decision. Most people suffer from plenty of self-doubt, and every purchase is followed by Post Cognitive Dissidence, or 'Buyer's Remorse'.

Overdeliver, give the buyer far more value than they paid for. Offer backup support, like an email address or phone number with a free helpdesk for customers.

Whatever you do, once you start to make more and more sales, you'll start to come across people who either want to get something for nothing, or who the product really isn't for them. The more you sell, the more statistically likely it is that it will happen.

Don't worry about these refunds, offering a powerful guarantee will attract far more good honest buyers than cheapskate pennypinching cheats. Don't design your marketing with the 2% minority in mind, work to get the 98% that will put money in your bank account.
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