Keeping customers happy

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It doesn't take much effort to keep your customers happy.  Here are a few tips for earning a reputation as a "good" seller.
  • ALWAYS treat your customers as you like to be treated.  Be polite and efficient but not TOO formal.
  • Be honest with your item descriptions.  If there is a tiny mark or flaw, say so.  If something is ambiguous, clarify. Eg. list a "silver-coloured metal ring", rather than "silver ring", if it's not sterling silver.
  • COMMUNICATE!  I always send an email on receipt of payment, including estimated handling time (usually 1 working day), and another after I have posted so the buyer knows the item is on it's way.
  • Be EFFICIENT! Try to post as soon as you receive payment.  If there is a hold-up, keep the buyer informed.
  • Be HONEST!  I once listed an item which I discovered was broken when I went to post it.  I contacted the buyer who was very understanding & was happy to wait while I ordered in a replacement item, even though I offered him his money back.  He left glowing feedback.
  • Be FAIR!  I don't profit from postage.  I charge exact cost of postage and packaging. 
  • Be CAREFUL! Take care with packaging because items can take some rough treatment in their travels!  In the early days, a buyer purchased 300 beads.  I was trying to keep his postage costs down & had carefully packaged them (I thought!).  He sent me a sad photo of what arrived at his place - a shredded parcel containing 3 lonely beads!
  • Be POLITE! Non-paying bidders are an absolute pain in the rear BUT keep your irritation in check when involved in an Unpaid Item Dispute.  First, check their feedback to see whether they are usually a reliable buyer.  Send an initial polite "Please contact me regarding this item" via Contact Buyer.  They'll know what it's about!  Give them a few days to respond before launching a dispute with eBay.  Some people have valid excuses, some are new & unsure of what to do, some just forget and some are timewasters.  Deal with the non-responders by leaving appropriate feedback & add them to your Blocked Bidders list.  Most end up being de-registered by eBay anyway, because you aren't the only one they've messed around!
  • If a buyer contacts you to say they'll pay on a certain date or they are still bidding, be sure to make a note of it.  I use the Add Notes section in the Items I've Sold section on My EBay.  I can see at a glance that the buyer has made contact & saves the embarrassment of sending a reminder when a payment is late.
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