Monday, February 11, 2013

How to Handle eBay Items Damaged During Shipping

Selling things on eBay is easier then it seems, the hard part comes when you send out an item and it's gets damaged during the shipment.

 photo saba555.gif This goes way back to the beginning when we talked about 'taking your losses'.  You might send out a shirt, or collector's plate or an XBox 360, each one has the possibility of being damaged by the time it gets to the buyer.  Now, you might be wondering, 'How does a shirt get damaged during shipping?', well, I'll tell you this, it's easier then it sounds.

Along with your items, there are other items, cart fulls of other items, and although you'd like to think your items are being treated with the utmost care, the truth is our postage service is paid so little that these workers could care less if you even put the right postage amount on your package.  So, when they put your package with the shirt in the cart that they send out from post office to post office, sitting on top of it is probably another box full of coloring dyes, soaps, wax, perishable food, etc.  And even if you wrap yours air tight, the other people might not, and leaks happen.  Once it drips out, it can be all over your package and then, find it's way into the package, damaging your goods.

 photo infinitechances.gif For example, I sent out a pair of snowpants once.  They were brand new, meant for my daughter, but she was too big for them and I just never took them back to the store, so I sold them on eBay.  I took all the pictures I could, front back, inside tags and there wasn't a single mark on them.  When someone purchased them, I was very excited and sent them out right away, hoping maybe a little girl would get them in time to play in the snow.  Well, as soon as they got there, the person didn't even bother to contact me, they just jumped right at the chance to leave me feedback and started shouting they were stained with some purple dye all over the back of the pants!  I wish the buyer would have spoken to me first about this before leaving the feedback as I would have asked her to send it back so I could confront the post office with the damage, but they refused to even respond to my messages.

So when you don't think it'll happen to you, think again.  The worse thing that can ever happen to you is you get blindsided by the people you think you can trust.  It's like walking into a door that you thought was open, it sucks, bottom line.

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So what do you do when something gets damaged in shipping?
Well first off, if this is a normal buyer, they're going to just send you a message about the damage before they leave feed and let you know what the damage is.  If this was a big item and you had it insured, ask the buyer to provide pictures, tell them that you had it insured and apologize over and over and over again about the damage.  You can never say sorry too many times.

If you don't have the item insured, the next step is to ask them to send it back.

Now this can get a bit tricky, unless you provided them with a return label, they're most likely going to have pay to send it back and depending on how big the item is too, is how much they have to pay.  A few dollars doesn't sound so bad at first, but if they paid you $4 for the item and they have to pay $3.50 to send it back, then it becomes a problem.  The eBay Buyer might become a bit hostile to the idea of paying more out of pocket for an item that was damaged so you have to handle this delicately.

Believe me, you need this feedback more then you know, it'll define whether Paypal puts a hold on your money, or allows it to be available right away after the buyer has sent it, so feedback is extremely important.

The best way to handle these situations, is to try to come to some 'agreement'. photo Terra.gif

  • First, ask them  if they still have the original packaging.  If they do, great!  Ask them to re-tape up the item, then write 'RETURN' above their address label in a black marker and drop it off at the post office or put it back in their mailbox.  Ask them to package it up as neatly as they can so the Post Office doesn't complain about the damage done.  This is the easiest and most hassle free way of handling this situation.
  •  If they don't have the original packaging, and the item was only a few dollars, just send the money back to them.  Unless you see this has been a repeated issue happening with other sellers that your buyer has gone through, arguing over a few dollars is pointless.  It might truly be a case of buyers remorse, but in the end, it's not going to be your call to make if they want their money back, it'll be Paypal's.
 photo Hazama-1.gifYou can say, all over your auction that you don't take returns, it doesn't matter, Paypal will force you to take the return should the buyer want to send it back.  In the end, be thankful if they lied and the item wasn't damaged and it was truly buyer's remorse.  It means you're right back where you started and you can relist the item again, the only thing you've lost is time!

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I hope this helps anyone who's wondering what they should do if an eBay buyer reports a broken or damaged item.  These are the best options I've found when handling a situation like this and they always seem to work very well.  Just remember not to hold a grudge, and if you truly think that you're dealing with a scamming buyer, then ask them to return the item, no matter the cost.  Paypal won't give them their money back unless it's returned first, (unless they state it's fake or counterfeit, that's a whole other ballgame that we'll go over in the next blogs).

Please feel free to ask any questions you have on this topic or share your experiences!  Hearing from other people and their stories can really help others with their own problems.

Look forward to more posts about earning with eBay soon!

Monday, December 17, 2012

What to Sell on eBay and WHEN!


So it's getting close to the Holidays... no matter what you believe, everyone celebrates this time of the year with some kind of gift, whether it be one or many, and it may be jewelry, toys, etc, so what should you buy for this Holiday to resell?

The answer is simple:


Why? Because it's almost here!! Why would you go out and purchase something to resell, when the Holiday is almost here?  Most people are running to the stores to purchase last minute gifts, sure, but stores are already trying to put things on sale because they KNOW it's almost over and these items aren't going to sell well much longer and they need to focus on the new fad!!

Being a great seller means you have to stay ahead of the game!

If it's almost Christmas, it's time to stock up on VALENTINE'S DAY!Photobucket

That's right, so if you're looking to buy, make sure you're looking for fancy jewellery, hearts and flower gifts!  Something red, white or pink that you would buy for your sweetheart!!

For example:

Like I've mentioned before, my Niche, is Cell Phone Accessories... so what am I going to buy to resell for the next Holiday?  True red silicone cases, Cases with crystal gems or heart or flowers, Dust plugs that resemble glittering flowers, leather pouches that are White, Red or Pink that have attached gold or silver chains!  These colors symbolize the holiday approaching and the shiny metal attacts those looking for jewerly.  This is perfect for this time of the year!!

You need to approach the market with the Holiday's and seasons in mind!  People will already have it their minds and will be more likely to buy your items if they see you're focused on the holidays too!

Even single people will be happy to purchase items that remind them of Valentine's because they're attracted to those colors.

Photobucket What you could even do, is when making your title for your item, is include the words VALENTINE'S DAY.  Doing so will draw attention to your listing compared to other ones because they're interested in what you have for the Holidays!

Do this for every season, but always start to stock up BEFORE the season or Holiday occurs...

This means, when it's about a week before Valentine's day, start buying items for Spring.  At the end of May, start purchasing items for the Summer, and the 4th of July for those in America, etc...  If you keep yourself in a set schedule like this, you'll always be prepared and people will be stocking up from YOU because you'll have it ready to go!

Keep an eye out for more blogs, and I'll post more listings here as I get them so you all have an idea of what your eBay listing should look like!!

Photobucket Here are the current ones up right now!!

NEW Samsung Galaxy S3 S 3 III i9300 Soft Gel Silicone Case Cover - Many Designs!
White Game Boy Rubber Gel Silicone Case Cover Samsung Galaxy S3 S 3 III i9300

EBay Feedback: How to Remove eBay feedback and How to Give it Appropriately

PhotobucketJust wanted to offer my own feedback to this conversation: Photobucket

People who buy and sell on eBay are always looking for the best way to actually do this without getting in trouble with either party.  With all the new rules and even rumors of refunds and banning, it's no wonder people are hesitate to do anything on eBay, however I have some perfect tips for anyone looking to buy or sell and how to do it the right way without running into problems:

PhotobucketJust to clear things up first, I am a BUYER and a SELLER and have been since I was 16. My account is well over 10 years old and I have learned how to use eBay's and Paypal's terms appropriately and know what to do to avoid getting in trouble with either one.

Photobucket Here are some tips based on me as a buyer:

Photobucket 1.
As a buyer, there is no retaliation worry from the seller, therefore you can post whatever feedback you'd like without worry of retaliation from the seller since the removal of negative feedback in 2010 for sellers. Because of this, Seller's reports of feedback are personally handled and almost always in favor of the seller.

So what do you do?

Photobucket 2.
Before you leave any feedback, you CONTACT that seller about your issue, do NOT leave feedback until you have fully tried to resolve your issue!
This means, contact them through EBAY MESSAGES, NOT E-MAILS. Ebay messages are not 'confidential' ebay staff can read them and they use them to verify what's going on between you and the seller. If you say you contacted the seller, and you did it through an e-mail, it's not going to look like you contacted them at all, which can mean strike 1 against the buyer.

Photobucket 3.
Request a refund from the seller, and if they refuse, OPEN A CASE. You can do this in BOTH eBay and Paypal, and this will force the buyer to try and resolve your issue... doing this almost GUARANTEES that you'll be refunded your money at the very least. The only way you won't is if you claim you didn't receive your item and the tracking number says you DID, or if you say you received the wrong item and the seller has video and pictures of them packing the item that they sent to you (which most sellers do now to protect THEMSELVES)

Photobucket 4.
DO NOT just post negative feedback to people! If you got a bad item, and the person refunded your money, give them a neutral. You might be mad, but you posting negative feedback after your issue was resolved is only going to look like you're out to get the seller, that you're being abusive.

Photobucket 5.
IF you've done EVERYTHING you can to resolve the issue, and it's all said and done, maybe you had to force your money to come back through eBay cases but the seller is still trying to bad mouth you, THEN you can post negative feedback BUT you have to do it in a careful way... Meaning, don't start screaming "THIS GUY RIPPED ME OFF!" That kind of feedback is considered abusive! IF you draw attention in your feedback to other feedbacks, that's what eBay calls "referencing other items" which is not allowed.
You canNOT blatantly call the seller bad names... even things like SCAM can be removed because it's damaging and unless you have proof you were scammed, (regardless whether you got your money back) it can be removed.

Photobucket 6.
If you go for FREE SHIPPING then if it gets broken, it's your own fault. That's right. If you ever purchase anything with free shipping offered on the item, you'll notice when you leave feedback, the seller automatically gets 100% on that, because YOU chose it. Free shipping means the buyer can ship it in whatever condition they want. Shipping is EXPENSIVE, to send something that's 1oz, it costs $1.64 at the lowest, and that's if it's small enough to fit in a thick envelope. If they're selling something to you for $2.00 and offer free shipping, they're only getting about $0.40 out of that deal, AND they have to pay eBay and Paypal fees, they're basically GIVING you the item for nothing, so be greatful either way because that seller got NOTHING and the fact that they might be willing to send you a replacement is a GODSEND because that's money out of their pocket. They're now PAYING YOU to take it! So accept it and give the person a positive feedback because they didn't have to do it at all by those standards and EBAY KNOWS IT!

You might be paying the sellers, BUT THE SELLERS ARE PAYING EBAY. If there aren't sellers, eBay makes NO money, so they will protect them from losing money if they can.

Photobucket Here are tips based on me as a SELLER:

Photobucket 1.
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT! You might not like it but that's the way it goes! If you plan on selling you better have a PLAN B in case things go south. This means, don't drain your money out of your paypal until the item is DELIVERED and feedback has been received as POSITIVE. You have to be PREPARED TO REFUND no matter what. eBay will always fall back on what the BUYER says if they're the FIRST to say it. Bad feedback is not worth your money.

Photobucket 2.
IF a buyer doesn't contact you, doesn't say a WORD and just goes and slaps on BAD feedback, that's grounds for removal, especially if you have documented evidence to the contrary. You may have to refund them, but the feedback can still be removed.
Ebay KNOWS that bad feedback REALLY hurts a seller. Whenever you do searches for an item you're looking for, the 'Best Matching" items, are those from sellers with HIGH feedback scores. If you start to receive negative feedback for no reason, feedback containing lies, or abusive content, REPORT IT.
Sellers DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO GIVE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK TO A BUYER and they have a right to protect themselves from harmful feedback from people who scam sellers. There aren't just bad Sellers, there are BAD buyers too.
For example, I ran business outside of eBay, a legitament one. I was LOVED by my clients, and I decided to turn it into a worldwide business... however, I began receiving disputes within DAYS of purchases from clients in North Korea and China... even though Paypal knew that they were scammers because they had done the same to so many other businesses, Paypal punished ME, not them, for ALLOWING their countries to purchase my products. It made my business too 'risky' so I lost my business because of these scamming buyers. So I know what it's like on BOTH ends. I did nothing wrong, my clients loved me, but a handful of people, looking to get my products AND their money, took advantage of my business and Paypal's weaknesses and I lost it all.
eBay is at least able to counteract this with reviewing each feedback report personally to save sellers from further grief of these types of buyers.

Photobucket 3.
Brings me to my next item, DOCUMENT YOUR ITEMS!!! If you're selling clothes, take pictures from all angles, front and backs, each sleeve, the tags inside them. If you're selling and item with DEFECTS, DO NOT HIDE THAT FACT! You have to be honest, even if it drives a few people away. eBay has NO tolerance for people who smudge the truth. I know many sellers who VIDEO TAPE themselves packaging the item to make sure they have properly secured their products and the fact that they shipped the correct one. You don't need an expensive video camera either, your phone will do the trick just as good, whether it's a smart phone or small compact phone, almost all phones can do video, so learn to use it to help you.

Photobucket 4.
USE eBay's shipping labels!! These PROVE your item was delivered and what happened during delivery, and they will protect you fully in case the buyer tries to say they never received the package. And in the event a natural disaster happens, they WILL remove bad feedback from someone who received their package late because that's OUT OF YOUR HANDS!

Photobucket For all sellers:
ALL FEEDBACK REPORTS ARE CONFIDENTIAL! So if you need to file one, DO NOT HESITATE TO! Every bad feedback report puts you less in a position to sell your items! If you did everything right, and the buyer is making false allegations, being abusive or trying to con you into a refund by threatening bad feedback, these are ALL grounds to get it removed, and IF eBay chooses not to remove it, you ALWAYS have the ability to write a comment under the original bad feedback through the link provided at the bottom of your feedback page. This way, YOU GET YOUR SAY AS TO WHAT HAPPENED TO!

Photobucket These are the rules I follow because I know what is to be scammed in both directions. You need to cover your basis on both sides!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Starting an eBay Business


Maybe you've been selling things for awhile and would like to make it a full-time career or maybe this is your 1st time and you'd like to just jump in and start a business.

It's not as outrageous as it seems to start an eBay business but you have to have patience and do it right if you'd like to succeed.

PhotobucketSo how do you start?


1. Find your Niche!

Here's an example of what a Niche is:  Cell Phone Cases can be classified as a niche because it has many different kinds you can sell.  Maybe you'd like to sell iPhone cases or Samsung Galaxy S3 cases, they might be different cases, but they're still cases, so Cell Phone cases would be your niche.

A Niche is simply something you can branch off of.  You stay within the same category but you sell different items in that category.

Maybe you'd like to sell clothes?  Make sure you stay within a section of those clothes, such as baby clothes, kids clothes, mens clothes or even women's clothes and stick with it.

If you decide you want to sell a large amount of random items, people aren't going to be really looking at your store because they'll usually be looking for the same thing if they choose to come back.  If you don't have it, they won't come back.

Having a niche will not only increase the number of times customers come back to you, it'll also encourage 'word of mouth' advertising, which is the best advertising you can ever ask for.

Photobucket 2. Advertise!!

I'm not saying go out to paid to click sites and pay to have visitors view your site, although it may seem like a good idea, these people aren't really interested in an eBay sale and may not even be from your country!  Paid to Click sites are great for advertising OTHER paid to click sites, but that's about it.  To increase traffic to your eBay auctions, you need to look further out there for people.

Forums are the BEST form of advertising for the sale of items.  You just need to find the best forum for your item.  For example, if I'm going to sell Samsung Galaxy S3 Cell Phone cases, I'm going to advertise on Andriod cell phone forums and Samsung Forums.  Those people most likely have that phone and will be more inclined to look into my cases and then, buy them.

If you advertise cell phone cases on a pregnancy forum, you're not going to get very far because those women would be more interested in fertility items and baby items so this would be the best place to advertise cribs, or baby clothes or even pregnancy and ovulation tests.

So don't just advertise 'everywhere' because you'll get 'no where' with that and it'll be a waste of time and energy.

Photobucket 3. Know where to BUY your items!

I'll go more in depth in a separate post but the bottom line here is RESEARCH.  Don't go to your local Wal-Mart and pick up an arm full of SD Cards at their 'discounted' price and think you're going to turn a profit with them.  Unless it's Black Friday, there's no way that's going to happen.  After your shipping costs and fees to eBay AND PayPal, you're going to come out in the negative or barely making a few pennies.

You really need to research what other people are selling things at on eBay because you need to stay ahead of the competition.  You might get lucky and sell something at a high price but it won't happen all the time.  If people see a cheaper price for a better item, they will take it over yours.

So before you decide to go all out on an item, look at what other people are doing with it.

Afterwards, you'll either need to find the manufacture and contact them to get the wholesale price, (basically buy in bulk) or research online other wholesale companies, such as to find the best prices for your item!

Those are the top 3 ways to start an eBay business.  If you'd like to see more examples of a proper eBay auction, you can review my own auctions right here:


These are just a few examples and I'll go more into depth about what to do when listing an item so look for my new posts!

Today in the Life of eBay


Everyone knows about eBay who has the internet and those who know about eBay have some kind of idea about how it works.


However, as everyone also knows, things change and what you may think will work for you a year ago, may not work today.

There have been several different changes made to eBay since it's start back in 1995.  Most people don't even know that it's been almost 20 years since the empire of Auctions started out.  So what's different?

Two words, "The Rules".

That's right, the rules have changed on eBay about every little thing you can imagine.  It's not as easy anymore to just sign up for an account and post your item.  You must make sure to follow the rules or you could end up with a banned account within your first try!!

Don't let this discourage you though, there are plenty of ways to go about selling your item without looking at every little scrap of paper eBay pushes at you...

So lets go through the basics and I assure you, you'll be selling items like a pro in no time.

Photobucket 1.  Is your item tangible?

What does tangible mean?  It means, is your item able to be physically touched, like a car, or a toy, or even a sweater.  Non-tangible items are things like downloadable goods, an unlock code for a cell phone, or a redeemable code.

This makes a huge difference in safety to you.  As a seller, you'll have to put up with a lot of risks.  Every dollar that can be earned is a dollar that can be scammed from you.

There are a lot of honest people on eBay, but there are a fair few who are not.  They will buy from you and be oh so polite, but whenever they get the item, they'll jump into a dispute.  They'll claim they never received their item, or it wasn't as described and here comes the bad news... there is no seller protection for Non-tangible goods.  Therefore if they want their money back, they can get it.  You can tell eBay and Paypal, until you're blue in the face, that you gave them what they asked for and what you promised, they'll tell you the same thing.  That they're giving the money back to the buyer.
If they claim they didn't receive the item and you have a tracking ID for the package, then they MIGHT listen to you and declare the dispute closed, but this is still tricky.

At least you have chance if your item is tangible.

Photobucket 2. Learn to Cut your losses

How do you avoid the bad buyers?  The simple answer is, you can't.  There's just no way to tell who's a bad buyer.  If you're trying to sell something really expensive on eBay, such as a computer or PlayStation, I'd avoid selling it on eBay as much as you can because these items, should the buyer be a bad one, you probably won't get it back.

That's the sad truth about eBay, it's all for the buyer, not the seller. If you try and call into customer service, you won't get very good service either.  In my personal experience, along with many other seller experience's it's been announced the customer service is rude and very unhelpful.  After a long dispute with a buyer, you may choose to just give up and give them their money back, as soon as you contact eBay for help in this department, you'll be greeted with the ear piercing, "Why didn't you do it in the first place?"

Best thing to do is just grint your teeth and take your losses because that's how it's going to be in the end anyway.

This is one of the biggest parts of being an eBay seller, you need to learn to cut your losses.  If you can't do that, then don't sell on eBay.

Photobucket 3. Categorization is KEY

The first thing the eBay asks you to do when listing an item is to select your categories.  You need to list your item in the best possible position or it'll never be seen.

Best way to do this is to put yourself in the buyer's shoes.  If you were going to look for this item, what would you do to find it?  Would you go through the list of eBay's categories or would you type in the search bar for it?

If you want to do a search for your item, don't be too specific.  If someone was looking for a black scarf, they most likely wouldn't be looking for a specific brand, they'd just be looking for a 'black scarf'.  Try doing a search yourself and see what you come up with.  Afterwards, click on the item that's closet to your own and look above it and see what it's categorized as.  This is where you want to put your item at.

Photobucket 4. FREE SHIPPING!!

End of story.  If you don't list your item as 'free shipping' no one's going to buy it.  That's the biggest advantage on the web now, people are including the 'shipping fee' in their original price of the item.  Most people don't notice it though, they just notice the 'free shipping' and get excited and are more likely to buy it like that because then there's no 'hidden' fees.

Put yourself in their position, if you found your item at your price but there was an extra 'shipping' cost, would you still buy it?  You might but it'd be unlikely... even be department stores that have gone online, like Wal-Mart and K-Mart offer free shipping to their local stores and people are more willing to take it and drive to the store to pick it up then have it delivered to their home.

Photobucket 5. Paypal is absolutely needed

You might have a credit card option on your item and that's great, but try your best to include Paypal.  People feel more secure about using PayPal and although you have the risk of step 2... it's still in your best interest to include it because people won't be inclined to buy without the option of Paypal as a payment method.

Those are the basics to eBay selling.  You don't need to have a business to sell things on eBay, just things lying around the house.  If you'd like, try to sell it in a garage sale first, and whatever you don't sell, list on eBay.  Just be sure to check that your items aren't damaged and are in good condition.  If they're not, make sure you list it that way.  Be as honest as you can, that's the best advice of all I can give.

Photobucket Good luck on your selling.

If you'd like to know about how to become a true eBay business, make sure you check out my other blogs here for more information about how to get started.