Reduce ASQs with eBay seller FAQs

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Did you know you can answer ASQs before they even hit your in-box? eBay sellers can create their own list of Frequently Asked Questions which are displayed to buyers when they click the “email the seller” link on your listings. Sellers can add up to 15 questions and answers in total: eBay suggest five of the most common, but these can be changed to suit your own needs.

Of course, if the question’s asked that often, you probably should think about including the information on your listings, but for things that need reiterating (“no, you can’t pay with a cheque on an instant payment only listing”), things that need expansion, or things that just get asked anyway (“yes, my free postage really is free”), it can be invaluable.

You can find the section to edit your FAQs from the link above, or under My eBay > Preferences > Ask Seller a Question. I’ve no doubt plenty of eBay old hands know about this already, but hopefully it should help a few people – and next time I’ve lost the link, I won’t have to spend quite so long looking for it.

51 Responses

  1. Once you’ve set up your FAQs, you can use them to automatically create a shop custom FAQ page too. Might be worth considering, especially if you’ve upgraded to featured and are wondering what to do with all those extra custom pages πŸ˜‰

  2. there is just one I would love to use
    to all the dipsticks who ask for currency and measurment conversions
    and use google like the rest of us

  3. Good point, Gill – thanks.

    See, North, if you put “sod off and use Google” as one of your FAQs, it would save you all that typing πŸ˜‰

  4. This certainly cuts down on my ASQ’s. But i still get people saying ‘it says in your FAQ that you don’t sell fake items but I just wanted to ask if this is real?’

    They really should be called ‘Ask A Stupid Question’s

  5. Sorry, we have been using this for a year….they in no way reduce ASQ’s. Most of the buyers we get can’t seem to read and we have to hold their hands.

  6. nothing and no one can stop the attack of the ebay idiots
    theywill just send a question asking what FAQs stands for

  7. I think one of the sellers Dan’s talking about is me. You’ll never eliminate ASQs altogether, nor should you try to: and many of the “stupid questions” are there to find out what you’re like as a seller, i.e. do you respond when you’re asked a question. Keeping common questions pasted somewhere else – Dave’s shortkeys recommendation is a good one; I just keep a set of “standard emails” – cuts down on the amount of effort they take, and not having to type them anew each time does somehow make them less annoying too πŸ˜‰

  8. What really annoys me about asqs is that they usually end up buying something which means even more work GRRRR!!!

  9. Answering questions in a civil manner is a great way to establish a relationship with the customer and, as a buyer, I sometimes have to ask questions about the item I am considering.
    I want to be treated as an individual and I resent short curt replies and would (and do) give my business to a more considerate seller
    AND yes, in my nearly 10 years of selling on eBay, I have had my share of ‘dumb’ questions but I have learned that sarcastic answers are NOT the answer to building business!

  10. Most of the questions we get asked could be answered themselves if they READ THE AUCTION!

    If the buyers can not be bothered to read the auction what hope have we got getting them to read the FAQ’s πŸ˜•

    States in auction – Sorry we do not allow collections
    Question. – If I win can I collect this ?

    States in the auction (and terms and conditions) – This item comes wth a 7 day guarantee
    Question – If this doesn’t work can I return it?

    States in the auction – 22mm square
    Question – What size is this?

    States in the auction title – Blue Dolls Blanket
    Question – What colour is this blanket?

    States in auction title – Floating Pond Lights
    Question – Can I use these in my pond?

    The list goes on…and on… and on…. unfortunately 😐

  11. States in Auction
    2.4cm =1inch
    question What size is this in inches

    States in Auction
    100% deduction for combined shipping all purchases go for the single highest shipping charge

    question Do you combine shipping.

    the flaming really irritating ask a questions are those that are answered by
    ebays chuffing ridiculous item specifics that you have spent a lifetime filling in,

  12. “Does that come with a panel?” Big Picture of a Bath with “Does not include a panel”

    Brings back good memories πŸ˜†

  13. I agree with #14, regardless of the stupidity of the question (after shouting at the screen) I always reply in a courteous manner and answer the question offering any further help.

    What does make me throw demons is people who purchase 4mm beads and say in their feedback that they are small! πŸ™„ Well how small do they want 4mm? πŸ‘Ώ

    You can only do so much πŸ˜€

  14. Could I offer another view:

    ASQ’s are good, even the ones that are answered in the listing…


    Because it gives you opportunity to contact and relate to people.

    The science of a sale being made is the point when a buyer “decides” to buy the item.

    Now your answer to an email, may tip that decision.

    A personal touch may tip that decision.

    But that stems from a philosophical viewpoint, so try one of these:

    When answering an ASQ are you thinking of “your” needs and inconvenience, or are you thinking of “their” needs and convenience.

    A boiler plate reply will not give the personal touch.

    An ASQ is an opportunity, not a trial…


  15. My view is
    if they dont have the wit to read and understand somthing that is clearly stated I
    they are likely to be just as stupid understanding all the other aspects of the transaction ,
    becoming an even bigger problem when,or if they buy

    I dont want them!

  16. I agree with Mark, questions open up a line of communication that hopefully will lead to a sale,,

    when I am rich like Norf I will change my view and agree with Norf.

    @biddy, you sure have alot of ID’s lol.

  17. I am most certainly on ebay for my needs ,its their money I think about not their needs πŸ˜†

  18. There is probably something to be said for leaving information out of a listing to encourage questions.

  19. “There is probably something to be said for leaving information out of a listing to encourage questions.”

    yep if your lonely and bored

  20. or wish to open dialogue with your customers.

    dialogue = money , you should like that. πŸ™‚

  21. Dialogue = Time
    Time = cost
    If I wanted to talk people into buying, I would stand behind a counter in a shop or a market

  22. someone wants to spend 3 or 4 hundred quid can have 5 minutes of my time anyday

    granted it may not be cost effective if you sell low cost items.

    anyway its not about talking them into buying, they already want to do that

    its talking them into where to buy it, that more than pays for 5 minutes of my time πŸ˜‰

    No worries whirly, i’ll wear him down

    or bore him to death :-p

  23. I love ASQs.

    They normally come in the form of ‘I’m not interested in this part, but have you got?????’

    Of course I have …Kerching!

  24. @ #32

    I often get the question: “I bought the same thing from another seller but can’t figure out how to use it. Can you help me?”

    Sometimes I’m helpful, other times I just tell them the reason they got it so cheap is because their other seller doesn’t give any aftersale support.

  25. “it will cost ya a lot more than 3 or four hundred quid for 5minutes of my time”

    yeah, but I am a cheap date πŸ˜‰

  26. todays idiotic Question
    I wish to return this item
    do I send it to the Return address on the package

    of course yer great Dollop, why else would we put an address with Return to! on it

  27. Well I had a listing up with A/F in the title, in the description “sadly this item has a chip to the base”, “please bear the condition of this item in mind when bidding” and 2 photographs of the damage. ASQ – can you confirm that this item is damaged?

  28. Fav for me is when im selling untested items

    “does it work and can i get a warranty on this or return if it doesnt work”

  29. 40
    its simple they want a fully guaranteed working item
    for the price of a untested and unwarranted item or their money back πŸ˜†

  30. #42 I know what you mean – I see lots of “untested” on eBay which are quite obviously “knackered”.

    However in defense of some sellers (myself included) sometimes untested means just that. For instance if I have a laptop CD/DVD drive but don’t have the right model laptop to test it in I have no option but to sell it as untested. Difference is if it’s knackered I’d accept a return/refund. Those unwilling to do that really are selling crud and would be more honest to list as faulty and have done with it.

  31. no ones managed to test me yet and I am not broken either πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†
    though I agree you may as well say knackered as untested you would get more credibility

  32. though yet again we often list fountain pens as untested because we dont have the time or the will to mess around filling them with ink and quite often its obvious they are ok and will probably work

  33. πŸ˜† # 41 thats exactly what the they want, i start them at a penny and see where they end up, yet they expect a full diagnostic on every part of an item

    # 42 not always i sell a lot of IT equipment and im not going to get all the drivers etc to see if they work when they start at a penny, if i can power test it i do that but thats it, some gets tested more than others where its possible and the price would be more to start off with. Most of it comes from a working enviroment and is upgraded so therefore i sell it on behalf of them but cant offer warranty etc on it and dont test every piece.

    # 43 More often than not i do offer a refund of the item cost, depends on what it is really. 95% of the time the item works and theyve got a really good deal, its the whole thing of auction spares repairs items, if they cant repair it then all of a sudden they want their money and postage back when the item sold for a couple of quid. If its a buy it now item i give them a full refund of course for distance selling regs if its a spares repairs then it almost always goes to auction.

    Im as honest as possible, if i test it and find a fault i say what the fault is. Yet in the ASQs they still ask “whats wrong with it” or ask a question which is quite easily answerable by google. I answer the google ones and do the research as its increasing my knowlage on the stuff im selling 😎

  34. @ # 42

    I bought an untested 42″ LCD TV last year for about $800. It retailed new at around $1500. I’m still using it and it was one of the best purchases I ever made on eBay. It all depends on the description and reason for it being untested.

  35. Our local auctioneer has the quaint habit of describing things by degrees of “as found”-ness: eg “slightly A/F” or “a little bit A/F”.

    Everyone knows what he means, even if it is completely illogical – something is either as found or not!

  36. I’ve used these for ages but the majority of buyers really don’t read them.

    FAQ: If your item hasn’t arrived in 3 days (1st class) or 5 days (2nd class) please contact your sorting office before emailing us.

    ASQ: myitemsnothereyet (sic)

    Me: Oh dear and what did your sorting office say when you contacted them?

    ASQ: Huh?! Sorting office? Huh? No I want you to polish your crystal ball and tell me where it is.

    Fenlex – I want to come to your local auction – he sounds fab πŸ˜‰

    I could throttle the buggers that send that message
    should be an instant vapourising button never mind a ASQ



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