. If you don’t have PowerSeller Board access, here’s the jist of the story:
Buyer buys an item, buyer asks seller to add other items to order, seller says “go click BIN in my shop”, buyer doesn’t pay, seller files UID, buyer pays for original item but then leaves neutral feedback complaining that seller wouldn’t add items to order. Seller thinks, “I played by eBay’s rules, why should I get bad feedback for it?”
Now I’m not an eBay seller any more, I can say this in public: I would have done the off-eBay sale every single time. Indeed, I built most of my business doing such deals: “have you got a whatever?” “Not right now, but I’ll get you a whatever from my supplier next week and send you an invoice when I’ve got it.” Not one buyer ever asked me to put it on eBay for them first.
Saying “go and buy it in my shop” when the buyer clearly can’t be bothered to, looks like bad customer service to me. Just like Sainsbury’s staff take you to the right aisle and find the item for you, making it easy for buyers should surely be what it’s all about. And if that means just sending them a PayPal invoice – well, just send them an invoice. You know you’re not going to rip them off, don’t you?
The way I look at it is this: eBay is a customer acquisition tool. It’s a way for buyers to “trial” merchants, to make sure they’re trustworthy (and to have comeback if they’re not) – and if they’re happy, to move on to buying direct. Of course, there’s always the odd buyer who prefers to stick with eBay: I’ll never forget the lady who spent a couple of hundred quid in my eBay Store every month, but who said of my website, “if I can’t neg you, how do I know you’ll send it?” Some people trust no one.
But the seller in the PSB thread feels very differently. She writes:
I use ebay as an honest selling platform, I can hardly moan at ebay for not playing by the rules if i’m not either. I’m honest like that, plus also I believe in educating sellers so other sellers do not have to endure so many newbie buyers getting it wrong time after time, as a seller of low cost items, we get alot of newbies who feel if they are going to get ripped off by the perceived thieves & rogue traders on ebay then it is better for their pocket with such a small amount, consequentgly we have to guide & walkthrough ALOT of first time / low feedback newbie buyers.
So what about you – what would you do? Am I a dishonest rip-off merchant, or just a seller trying to make a buck or two? Be anonymous in our poll, or leave us a comment.