Working towards dispute free eBay shopping experience!

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Shopping on eBay is very usual for many online shoppers. It is a challenge for shoppers too to pick the right products and the

right sellers. As a seller, we would like to share with buyers the common issues with eBay shopping.


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BEFORE PLACING BID
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Read all information on listing page
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Unless you don't care the money you spent, otherwise, spend time to read ALL information provided by seller. We quite often

receive emails from potential buyers asking questions while answers to those questions were stated clearly on listing page. Some

buyers even overlooked the information and made complaint about missing information on listing page after receiving the products.

It is seller's responsibility to provide as much information as possible to potential buyers. It is also the responsibility of

bidders to find out ALL information needed for making purchase decision by contacting sellers BEFORE placing bid (not after). If

not sure, DON'T bid on it until everything is cleared. Otherwise, the chance of becoming dispute transaction is far higher.


Read seller's feedback history
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Feedback history will give buyers a general clue of the reputation of the sellers as well as the product satisfaction. It is more

importantly to try to communicate with the buyer who left feedback asking them for comments on the products. They are the actual

users and their comments worth to listen. There are always pros and cons for everything. Bidder should analyze the information to

make decision if they want to go ahead to place bid or find another seller.


Communication Issue
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Quite often we got complaints from bidders or buyers saying that we did not reply their emails. We found that those broken

communication cases were mainly caused by mail server from both sides. It is better to use eBay message system to communicate for

two main reasons. It is reliable and can make sure that the message will be delivered. Another reason is that it will maintain a

complete record of correspondence for future reference.

Sometimes we need to reply with images or files. It cannot be done through eBay message system at this stage. Emails with

attachments have to use other email program, either web based or PC based. Mail could be lost or attachments could be removed by

mail server. Try to resend message again if no reply from sellers before assuming seller refuse to communicate. Sellers do want to

communicate with bidders to gain more bids.


Trade Terms
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It is important to read sellers' trade terms. Those terms form part of the purchase contract and legally binded, unless terms are

trying to supercede buyers rights protected by Fair Trading Act.


Transit Insurance
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There is always chance for parcel being lost or damaged during transit. It is always the best choice to arrange transit insurance

for your goods. Commercial postal contact service ie eParcel (Aust Post), TNT, Courier Please etc. have online tracking facility

but insurance is optional at extra cost. Many buyers misunderstood that eParcel includes insurance, but no. eParcel is registered

post without insurance.


Delivery Lead Time
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We found that many buyers shop at last minute and requesting good to be delivered in an unrealistic time frame. Buyers should find

out the order processing time or expected dispatch date from seller, add about 3-7 business days allowance to find out the rough

arrival date of your purchase. It could be more flexible for private sellers to make special arrangement for urgent orders.

However, for many commercial sellers, all orders are processed in routine. Buyer can try to negotiate with sellers for special

arrangement. However, it is sellers discretion if they could make special arrangement or not. Especially during Christmas shopping

season, if you buy goods as gift, better buy earlier and allow up to 15 days delivery lead time since payment made.


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WAITING FOR DELIVERY
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Keep following up with sellers about the process of order. Some commercial sellers like us have automated notification system

setup to notify buyers when payment is cleared, also when item is posted. If buyers were notified, buyers should contact seller

ASAP if they do not receive the item 7 business days after receiving shipping notification before it bounces back to sender. We

had experiences that buyers did not receive collection note for unattended delivery. For buyers who contacted us in time, we are

able to track it and tell them to collect from post office. For some who failed to contact us for weeks, the item bounced back to

us as unclaimed. Such bounce back parcel will cost sender extra trip of postage. If redeliver again, it is another trip. Unless

bounce back parcel was caused by senders's mistake, ie wrong or incomplete delivery address, buyer will be responsible for the

extra round trip postage for unclaimed return.

We have tried to leave recipients' contact number on consignment note. However, Aust Post or other courier companies never attempt

to contact recipient. They just keep item for collection. This is something that is out of sellers' control. Buyer should keep

following up with seller about the delivery if the delivery time frame is beyond reasonable.




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AFTER RECEIVING THE PRODUCT
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Item not as described
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This refer to the variance between actual product received and the description on listing page. Buyers should retrieve the listing

page from "My eBay" of buyers account. The copy reflects the information buyer had when winning the item. Even sellers have

updated the listing page afterwards, buyers copy will remain unchanged. Compare this copy against the product and see if there is

variation. If buyers found variation beyond acceptable point, contact seller ASAP for solution.


Item received damaged
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It is always better to check the content once received. If item received damaged, contact seller immediately. If item is insured, your item will be covered. Simple return the item to sellers according to their return instruction for exchange.


Lost Item
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When item is lost, sellers will claim insurance under transit insurance policy. Once item is confirmed lost by carrier, a replacement will be sent. This situation is not what sellers or buyers want. However, it is beyond control of either party. As seller, we are happy to re-deliver replacement item for insured parcel once carrier confirmed that item is lost. The reason why need to wait for the confirmation from carrier is that the item could turn up after lodging complaint form by seller.


Communication skills
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It is always better to start communication with polite manner reporting problems and ask for solutions. Aggressive starting seldom

comes into agreement. To maintain happy shopping experience, both sellers and buyers should respect each other. In most cases, polite communication resolves issue quick and smooth. Everyone is happy. Aggressive attempt might attracts back fire. Even problem might be resolved at the end, both parties will not be happy.

Remember, resolving problem is the ultimate goal. Insult, black mail and personal attack is not the proper way to resolve issues.



This is just some information we concluded from eBay selling experience and wish it will help for better shopping and selling experience for buyers and sellers


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