eBay feedback system is a cornerstone of the giant auction site and is critical to your success, especially if you want to be a business seller. It is the heart, soul and focal point of the sellers stories, reputation, trust and confidence.
It effects a seller rank in eBay search results. It affects your performance rating and your top rated status. It earns you a discount on your fees.
A significantly high number of negative feedback can even cause your account to be suspended.
So, in a nutshell, your eBay business essentially depends upon your feedback left by other users. You success depends it. It is either make or break kind of scenario.
So for any professional or business seller, it is absolutely important to maintain a good percentage of feedback as well as a high level of DSR.
Related Article: A Complete Anatomy of eBay Feedback System
Ideally, you should have 100% positive feedback and a DSR level of 5 points in each of the four areas.
However, I know that it is not possible in many cases to reach to that level and even if you do reach in most cases it is almost impossible to maintain it for long. So realistically speaking, a 99% positive feedback percentage and a DSR rating of 4.5 and above should be your minimum standard.
Here are 17 super easy but effective ways to achieve a good positive percentage. These methods will also help you to maintain your feedback at a reasonably high level at all times.
1. Buy Your Business Supplies Through eBay
We all need some supplies to maintain our online business. Make sure that you buy them all through eBay. Over the last 10 years, I have found eBay to be the cheapest place for most of my business supplies.
Buying from eBay also saves you time. Within a few clicks you can get all your supplies and pay for all of them together. This takes only a few minutes.
Additionally, for each item you buy, you will receive a positive feedback once you pay for your purchases. So with each business purchase, you are also building your feedback score and taking your positive percentage higher.
2. Find Your Personal Items on eBay
Being in business for around a decade with eBay, I am used to finding great deals for many personal and household items.
So, again I save money and earn feedback. Additionally, I am helping to contribute to the trading activity. I help the community who helped me over the years.
3. Leave Your Own Feedback Promptly
No matter you buy or sell, leave your feedback promptly. Most seller leave feedback as soon as they receive payment, some reciprocate only when they have received it from the buyer. If you receive an item and your are happy, leave the seller a glowing feedback.
In case you are a seller, do not delay your feedback. As soon as you receive payment, leave your comments promptly as the buyer have done their part of the job. This makes the buyer happy and they appreciate your promptness.
4. Buy Cheaper Items to Increase your Score
Some scammer buyers use this strategy to artificially inflate their feedback score. However, there is nothing wrong if you are genuinely interested to increase your score. Search for digital items which are sometimes as low as a few cents. Make sure you watch out for any postal costs attached to the listing.
5. Sell Cheaper Items to Increase Your Score
You may also sell some cheaper item which may not bring your any immediate profit but will help you build the trust of the community. Act as prompt as you can and you will find yourself being appreciated for your honesty.
Once you have built enough trust, you can move on to more expensive item and take your business to the next level.
6. Accurate Item Description
Accurate description means to describe your item as it is. If your item is used, mention it is used. If it does not come with a box, mention it. Take photos and try to display any defects. Do not try to hide any defects.
Buyers love accurate description. Listings that do not describe the items accurately makes buyer angry to leave negative feedback.
Some buyers may not read the description when they buy but once they receive the item and find any fault, they may come back to the ended listing and read each and every word. If you fail to mention any defects, there are high chances of you getting a negative response.
7. Honesty is the Best Policy
eBay is a community of people where honesty, authenticity and genuineness count. Serious business seller build their reputation by being honest, open and authentic.
Do not try to hide any information about yourself or your listing. Hiding information fires back.
Do not exaggerate about yourself, your business or your item. People like to buy from the real you.
Some seller try to pose themselves as big companies. But they fail to act like big companies. Buyers can find out from the way you conduct the transaction.
Big does not mean success. There are many buyers who like to buy from individuals as they can offer more personalized service and accessibility.
You will often see the terms “honest, genuine, authentic, reliable” used in the feedback comments.
8. Avoid Confusing Terms and Jargon
Buyers love helpful descriptions but they do not like confusing expressions.
Some sellers uses far-fetched expressions and acronyms and thus confusing their buyers.
If your items need technical and detailed information, provide a link to another page. Most people would like to read the simple and clear description. Those who are more skeptical and like to see more information would visit the link.
On the other hand, if you write long, lengthy, confusing and technical description on the same page for all customers, you may be driving away a number of buyers.
Carefully use words such as brand new, immaculate, mint condition, never used, ex-display etc.
9. Shipping and Handling Charges
In the past seller would charge exorbitant shipping prices much higher than the actual S&H charges. I remember buy it now prices like 0.99 cents with $19.99 shipping cost.
eBay has taken a good notice of this and include shipping and handling as one of the four areas in the DSR (detailed seller rating).
Buyers read the postal stamps and charges on the package they receive. They will either leave negative feedback for unfair shipping costs or give you a low DSR.
10. Ship Your Item Promptly
This will also count towards your DSR. Buyers love quick and prompt shipping. If you mentioned in your listing that you ship the same day or within 1 working day, do so without delaying it.
Stick to your postage policy. Many buyers read shipping policies because time frame is one of the primary concerns of buyers.
If, for some reasons, you are unable to deliver as scheduled, contact the buyer and explain the situation. Most buyers understand and will happily wait. In case of difficult buyers offer them incentives.
As soon as you ship, mark the item shipped. This will automatically send an email alert to the buyer letting them know of the shipping progress.
If you sent items through tracking system, make sure you enter the tracking number on the item page. This enables buyers to track their item online without contacting you.
11. Communicate Promptly
Communication is the chain that connects buyers and seller together. The stronger the chain, the stronger the relationship between the two parties.
Set your automation for leaving feedback once your receive payment.
Buyers may not know that you left the feedback automatically. They may be amazed at the speed of your promptness even though you may put things on automation.
When buyers contact you regarding any problem, do not ignore the message and respond as soon as possible. Customers take it negatively when there are no responses or prompt replies.
12. Be Courteous
Simply communicating with buyers is not enough. Be courteous and well-mannered. You are not doing any favor to the customer, it is the customer who is doing favor to you.
Answering emails or phone calls in a courteous manners make customers happy and are ready to cooperate.
Remember the customer is always right even if s/he is wrong.
13. Solve Your Customers Problems
Do not sell the drill, sell the hole. The customer does not want a drill, he wants a hole. The hole in the wall is his problem and the drill solves the problem. If the drill won’t make a hole, the customer is not interested in any sort of drill.
Yes, it is true. Try to solve problems not create them.
When a customer receives a product and it does not solve their problem, there is no justification to charge the customer. Sometimes, the problem can be of a very small nature such as how to use a product or how to find further information.
I bought a product in a very large quantity as a big job lot. The product went very successful. However, there was a problem that the product had no instruction leaflet. Almost every single customer contacted me and most of them were angry as they were unable to use the product.
The customers were becoming angrier and many of them threatened me for negative feedback. One customer even threatened to write against me in a local newspaper..
The supplier had no clue and won’t offer any help. They just sold it as a job lot.
I immediately stopped the product listings and emailed all the customers that I would be able to supply them with instructions within 3 days. Those who were not happy were offered a full refund and even return postal costs with apologies.
After a good deal of research, I found someone who could shot a 10 minutes video on how to assemble and use the product.
I relisted the product. With every item sold, I provided a link to the video. I also included a printed transcript of the instructions with each package. All previous buyers were emailed the link and posted the instructions with an apology.
I also offered them a compensation for the inconvenience caused.
No other line has earned me that much profit in the last 10 years!
Every single customer with a problem is like with a broken car on a highway. They need somebody to rescue them.
14. Be Generous
When you are running a business, you must, now and then, give things free of cost. You see big companies always offer free samples, test products and extra quantity.
Customer with complaints can be pacified with small signs of generosity. I recently had a problematic customer in Russia. Although, it was the customer’s fault, I still had to sort it out. Remember we already said that the “customer is always right even if he is wrong”.
The customer wanted to return the product and wanted me to bear the cost of return shipping and negative feedback. The return shipping would have cost me $50 with a returned product.
I just shot an email to the customer and apologized for the mistake (actually, not mine). I offered him $15 to compensate them for the inconvenience. The customer readily accepted with delight and left me a glowing feedback!
A small sign of generosity can play a big role!
15. Be Organized
Conduct your business systematically. My first priority is to check my messages inbox on a daily basis. I do not do anything before that. When I am away from the computer, I set my smart phone on the alert for any notifications.
Ship in time, reply in time, track and trace in time, refund in time, in time in time, in time….
Last month, I had a one week trip to Ireland and set my eBay shop on holiday settings. Some buyers do not realize the settings and will buy stuff expecting them to receive them normally.
I wrote a general email that I was away and that I appreciated their custom and would dispatch their item as soon as I was back. I also offered a refund in case they could not wait with an apology for the inconvenience. No single customer asked for a refund!
16. Be Professional
While communicating with your customer, use formal language. This shows that you are a professional seller and that you know how to take care of your customers.
Greet your customers followed by their names. Thank them for contacting your before you start the main message.
At the end of the message thank them again.
It makes a real impression on the mind of the customer.
17. Follow up to Negatives
You cannot avoid negatives all the time. You will get them no matter how prompt you are. But it does not mean you that once you receive a negative, you should leave it. No, you can still do something about it.
Contact your customer and offer them a solution. Tell them you care about them and want to sort the problem out. Do not forget to mention that you would be grateful that they revise their negative feedback once the problem has been solved and they are happy.
Direct them to the feedback removal page. Some customer do not know how to complete the process. Offer them help if they need.
Great feedback score is crucial to your success as a seller on eBay. Potential buyers visit the feedback score page to see the community response to your business. It is a touchstone to test a seller professionalism, customer service and delivery.
Excellent eBay feedback score earns seller the trust of the community. If you want to survive in the highly competitive environment, it is aboslutely essential to build positive feedback.