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The Web Ask Steven Smith
How to Reduce eBay Buyer Complaints.

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How to Reduce eBay Buyer Complaints. - Courtesy of Steven Smith

Buyers are funny creatures, aren’t they? One minute they’re over the moon because they’ve got themselves a bargain, and the next they’re upset because their bargain seller doesn’t provide first-class customer service. There’s only really one way to reduce complaints: give these people what they want!
Post as soon as you can: The number one cause of eBay complaints are impatient or anxious buyers, who want to know when their item is going to turn up. If you get an order on Monday and wait until Saturday to post it, that’s bad customer service. Try to post items at least twice a week, to avoid making your buyers wait too long.
Make the description crystal clear: You need to make sure that your buyers know exactly what they’re buying, so they won’t be surprised when it turns up and isn’t exactly what they expect. Don’t be afraid to describe small defects in your description – it’s better to list it there than have buyers discover it for themselves later. If you get a lot of confusion about something, say it twice or even three times, and say it in a large font.
List all costs up-front: Don’t hide away your shipping costs if you think they’re too high – nothing will annoy buyers more than keeping costs secret until you expect them to be paid. If you really don’t want to display your shipping costs, just offer ‘free’ shipping and add the shipping costs to the item’s price.
Pack well: Spend as much as you need to on packing materials, and be careful with it. Remember that your item is going to have to travel through the post, and you want it to arrive in the condition it left. Wrap things securely in a few inches of a material like bubble wrap or stryofoam, and be sure to use a sturdy box. If you go around using boxes from the supermarket and old newspapers, expect things to break in the post.
Tell them to complain: This might sound a little counter-intuitive, but one of the best ways to stop your customers from complaining is to tell them to contact you if they have any complaints. Most people only complain if they feel a seller is unresponsive and confrontation – asking people to complain is more likely to get you shy and polite enquiries than complaints. You might not believe it now, but try it for a while and you’ll see your customer relations improve.
Respond to emails promptly: Check your email as often as you can, and never leave an email around to respond to later or tomorrow. Having to wait days to have their email answered upsets customers more than anything, especially if they’re already waiting for their item – it makes them feel stranded and powerless. Always respond to emails as soon as you can, and certainly within a maximum of 24 hours.
However much you might try to stop your buyers from complaining, though, someone will sooner or later.


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