How not to answer an ASQ

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As we draw ever nearer to Christmas and sellers’ time is at a premium, nothing is more of a pain than eBay’s “Ask Seller a Question” (ASQ) feature. Ensure that your buyers don’t make too much use of it with our handy hints:

1. Most ASQs can be dealt with with one sentence: “go read the auction”. If you’re feeling especially patronising, “please go read the auction and then let me know if you still have a question” is nice.

2. Never respond in a timely manner. Your buyer needs to understand that they are not your only customer. If they are demanding about replies to email, how much worse they will be about delivery times! If you ignore them long enough, maybe they’ll go away.

3. Instant replies are essential. No matter how angry, tired or drunk you are, fire off a response the second your ASQ arrives. If the numpty question has angered you, your buyer should know this: maybe they’ll think better of their idiocy next time.

4. Stick with email at all times. You didn’t become an eBay seller to have to use the telephone, right? If your buyer is dumb enough to be using AOL or Hotmail and not have sorted their spam settings out, it’s not your problem if they’re not receiving your mails.

5. If you can possibly take it as an insult, you should. Buyers are mostly keyboard heroes who like nothing better than to start fights with sellers. You have two tools to deal with this: negative feedback and your blocked bidder list. Use them. Especially on buyers with previously 100% positive feedback.

Finally, when you’ve done all this, you should go onto an eBay message board and start a thread about it. That will garner you many more eager buyers.

Inspired by Web Worker Daily’s How to Screw Up an Email Negotiation.


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