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How Much Is Your eBay Reputation Really Worth

Your eBay reputation is everything you are on eBay – without it, you’re nothing. Your reputation is worth as much as every sale you will ever make.

If you’ve ever bought anything on eBay (and the chances are you have), then think about your own behaviour. Buying from a seller with a low feedback rating makes you feel a little nervous and insecure, while buying from a PowerSeller with their reputation in the thousands doesn’t require any thought or fear – it feels just like buying from a shop.

A Bad Reputation Will Lose You Sales.

In fact, a bad reputation will lose you almost all your sales. If someone leaves you negative feedback, you will feel the pain straight away, as that rating will go right at the top of your user page for everyone to see. Who’s going to want to do business with you when they’ve just read that you “took a month to deliver the item”, or that you had “bad communication and sent a damaged item”? The answer is no-one.

Your next few items will need to be very cheap things, just to push that negative down the page. You might have to spend days or even weeks selling cheap stuff to get enough positive feedback to make anyone deal with you again.

It’s even worse if you consistently let buyers leave negative feedback – once you get below 90% positive ratings, you might as well be invisible.

You Can’t Just Open a New Account.

Besides eBay’s rules about only having one account, there are far more downsides than that to getting a new account. You literally have to start all over again from scratch.

You won’t be able to use all the different eBay features. Your existing customers won’t be able to find you any more. Your auctions will finish at a lower price because of your low feedback rating. Opening a new account is like moving to a new town to get away from a few people who are spreading rumours about you: it’s throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

A Good Reputation Will Get You Sales.

When a PowerSeller tells me something, I tend to believe them. They can be selling a pretty unlikely item, but if they guarantee it is what they say it is, then I trust them – they’re not going to risk their reputation, after all. This is the power of a reputation: people know you want to keep it, and they know you’ll go to almost any lengths to do so.

This is true even to the point that I would sooner buy something for $20 from a seller I know I can trust than for $15 from someone with average feedback. It’s worth the extra money to feel like the seller knows what they’re doing, has all their systems in place and will get me the item quickly and efficiently.

You really will find selling on eBay so much easier, and there’s only way to get a good reputation: make sure you please your customers every time. But some customers can be, well, just a little difficult to please. In the next email, we ask: is the eBay customer always right?


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How To Avoid eBay Scams And Fraud: For Ebay Sellers & Buyers

Countless people have been scammed and defrauded on eBay. eBay is a fun place to bid on items and to sell items – but you must know how to recognize a scam, and how to avoid them, them or you quickly join the ranks of those who have lost their money to eBay scams. Of course, if you are scammed, there are some actions you can take the correct the situation – but in many cases, the scammer does indeed get away! The best option is to avoid being scammed.

You can easily avoid many scams with the payment method that you use – whether you are a buyer or a seller. eBay owns Paypal, and in most cases, Paypal is the payment method you should use. First, as a buyer, if you are scammed or less than satisfied with the item when it arrives, you can dispute the charge easily, and demand a refund. The seller must reply and show proof that the item was shipped, and that it arrived in the condition that you expected, or Paypal will return your funds to your account.

As a seller, you can protect yourself by only accepting Paypal. This will eliminate the chances of receiving a bad check or having the buyer dispute a credit card charge. Instead, they must dispute the charge through paypal, and you of course will be able to prove that you shipped the product. You cannot, however, prove that the product arrived in the condition that was expected. In this case, you should demand that the product be returned to you before the refund is issued.

Another common scam that buyers use is the bidding scam. This type of scam is run either with two separate eBay accounts – with one person in control of both of them, or with two friends with separate eBay accounts. A very small bid is placed on your item, using one account. This is followed by a very high bid, from the other eBay account. Right before the bidding ends, the high bid is cancelled or withdrawn, leaving the low bid as the winning bid. This bid can only be avoided by setting a reserve price – the lowest bid that can be placed is the same as the reserve price that you set.

If you are an eBay seller, you can further protect your auctions by placing a notice on your auctions page, declaring that you have the right to back out of the sale if you suspect potential fraud. As both a buyer and a seller, also beware of spoofed emails. These emails appear to be from eBay. The email may claim that you need to verify your information, and ask you to login to your eBay account, using the link provided. If you follow that link, the site looks exactly like eBay, but it is actually a scam to get your eBay login details, as well as your credit card details! eBay will never ask you to do this. If you suspect a spoofed email, report it to eBay immediately!

Don’t let scammers ruin your eBay fun! Just use good common sense, and a reasonable amount of caution, and everything should run smoothly. Report suspicious activity to eBay, and if a deal doesn’t feel right, simply back away from it and move on to the next auction.

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How to Avoid Being a Victim of eBay Buyer’s Fraud

From everything you’ve heard about the risk of fraud on eBay, you might think it’s only buyers getting scammed – but you couldn’t be more wrong. Here are a few common scams that sellers fall for every day.

The Rubber Cheque.

This one obviously isn’t limited to eBay – it’s been going on for years in all kinds of business. It works like this: a buyer sends you a cheque that they don’t have the funds to cover and you pay it in your bank. You then send the goods right away, only to find out a few days later that the cheque bounced.

The solution to this is simple: don’t send anything to a buyer until their payment has cleared, no matter how quickly they might say they need it. Advise them to pay electronically if they don’t want to wait so long for their items. Then again, if your items are quite small, you could just take the loss from an occasional bounced cheque. Think of it as a small price to pay for faster and better customer service.

‘I Never Bought Anything!’

This is one of the riskiest scams to fall victim to. In this case, the credit card’s real owner still has control over it – no-one has stolen their details. They have realised, however, that they can phone up the bank who issued their card to say that it’s being used fraudulently and they never bought any such thing, and the bank will often reverse the transaction without even investigating. The only way to beat this scam is to make all your sales through eBay, as they keep a record of transactions.

The Unconfirmed Address.

It is quite easy to steal PayPal accounts from inexperienced users: all you need, after all, is their email address and password. PayPal tries to protect against credit cards registered on stolen accounts being used to buy things by listing a ‘confirmed address’ for each buyer – an address that matches what is registered with their credit card issuer.

What many scammers will do is ask you to ship to a different address – unless you’re very sure of them, this is a bad idea, as they could be trying to commit credit card fraud. Be especially suspicious of anyone who wants to pay a higher price and get overnight shipping, especially if not even to the same country as the confirmed address. The fraudster is trying to make sure the item reaches them before they are discovered.

It’s up to you to take responsibility for fraud on PayPal, as eBay’s favourite way to refund fraudulent payments to their rightful owner is to just reverse it from you! This is considered an occupational risk of PayPal usage, and sellers who get burned severely sometimes go as far as moving to a rival electronic payment service. See for more.

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Building an Online Reputation At eBay!

Online business shares many of the same fundamentals as an offline business. Both needs a strong presence. Like for any brick-and-mortar company, building online reputation is essential for the prosperity of your business. In principle, online reputation is not radically different from offline reputation, a fact you will appreciate. But building your reputation as eBay seller follows different lines.

Using the ‘About Me’ Page to Build Reputation
Many potential Ebay buyers often check the About Me page of the seller to determine if the seller is indeed who he says he is. Let the eBay community know about you through this page. Use the page carefully, writing about yourself, your expertise and niche. You can add weightage by talking about your selling philosophy and principles. Let on that you are indeed an expert in your product field. Always maintain an Ebay Theme for your business in order to be viewed as an authority in your field.

Use the ‘About Me’ page to its maximum potential. Although it can be modified later, it is wise to have clarity before you uploaded it. If you are a beginner, your ‘About Me’ page means a lot to your prospective customers. So, it is a good idea to refer to other veteran sellers’ similar pages on eBay itself. This tiny tip is critical to your Ebay success!

Build your reputation with ‘Feedbacks’
Ebay Feedbacks can either make or break your online business. It is anybody’s dream to have their customers’ choicest of feedbacks in an ideal situation. Obviously, eBay provides for your prospective customers to check your reputation by reviewing feedbacks left for you by your customers. If you are serious about your business, do ensure that you take every possible action in acquiring good feedbacks, positive feedbacks.

Feedback Rankings
eBay allows customer feedbacks in three rankings; positive, negative and neutral. So this is your chance to buildup real reputation in return for the value delivered. Each positive comment will credit you with a +1 point and negative with -1. Crossing 10 points mark signifies that you are off the start-off block. Here afterwards you are rated by a system of stars distinguished by colors. If you have in anyway offended a customer, quickly offer to remedy the situation, or offer a refund. A negative feedback from the customer can jeopardize your business more than a refund would!

There are ten varieties of stars for points earned by you, starting from 10 to 100,000 points and more. Make sure you strive to achieve good rankings!

Let Your Customers See It
Your greatest eBay asset is the customer feedbacks which you can proudly display. You can choose to hide them for your own reasons but keeping it public has the chance to boost your business. You can initiate dispute resolution if you didn’t deserve a negative feedback. All the Power Sellers flaunt their status, so should you!

Like all things good, positive feedbacks do not come overnight. You have to work at it. You can’t take customer feedbacks for granted. Earn them through sustained professional and ethical practices and by proving your practices are one with your declared principles.

Ebay Business Experts
Anyone can earn a good living by having a business on Ebay. With the proper guide and good foundation, you too can be an Ebay Power Seller within months!

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How Long Should Your Ebay Auction Be Open?

Now, for any newbie on Ebay, I am sure the first thing you will encounter is to decide how long your product should be listed on auction on Ebay.

1. If the product is thought to be in great demand, the Auction needs to be open for a short time only. For example, if it is Picasso which is on sale, there would be thousands of bidders, so there is no point in extending the last date beyond a couple of days. It could even be a couple of hours! Considering the item offered, word will get around and many people will know about the offer soon. If they are common products which are highly competitive, it is advised to go for a longer auction time.

2. On the other hand, if you are offering, a used Printer, you need to have it for at least a week or somewhere thereabouts because the number of people interested in buying a used printer would be rather few and it takes time for buyers to notice it. Especially for second hand product, try to keep your listing there as long as possible because potential of second hand goods normally takes much longer time to think and decide! Get your Price Listing Strategy right and you will beat your competition!

3. The Reserve Ebay Price set for the item to be sold is another factor that determines the last date. If the Reserve Price is relatively high, say $2,500, you do not expect buyers to cough up such amounts in a hurry. You need to give them some time to consider if the purchase is worth the high price. Therefore in such cases the Auction may be kept open for up to a week or even more. Needless to mention, if the Reserve Price is a small amount, the bidding may be kept open for a much shorter period. Prospective buyers can decide faster to buy or not in such cases.

4. Urgency is yet another factor to consider. For example, if one is moving away, s/he needs to dispose off some of his belongings in a hurry, and in such cases you will have no option than to keep the auction open for limited time. In such cases, even if the bids are lower than the Reserve Price, the seller may accept it because of the urgency of the matter. It is also good to state the cause of urgency in your product listing so that potential buyers actually get a feel for the seller.

5. When perishable goods are offered, it is essential that the auction be kept open for a very short period. For example, if mangoes are to be auctioned, you cannot keep the Auction open for more than a day or two at the most. Also for these goods, remember to state that delivery be regional only! This is to avoid complications and mistaken bids later on.

Making Money on Ebay
Finally you cannot go by the price alone as monthly revenue begins to loom large towards the end. In such cases, if your expectation isn’t met but crossed the reserve price you may close the bid and award the highest bidder. You will still make some money on that product! Remember, making money on Ebay is not about selling a few products at a huge profit, it is about selling in mass volume at marginally thin profits! Look at all the Ebay Power Sellers! Remember, anyone can become an Ebay Power Seller. All you need is a good guide to selling on ebay and a good foundation.

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Ebay Strategy: Reserve Price Vs Buy Now

Buy Now Price
If you have even tried glancing at ebay, one of the first things you will notice is that sellers almost always have a ‘Buy Now’ scheme attached to the product they are selling. The “Buy Now” scheme allows a customer to buy an item whenever he wants, at a fixed price.

Reserve Price
A Reserve Price is indicated when the item will not be sold at a price lower than a certain set price. Price listing in different categories also plays a critical role.

Why Use a Buy Now Scheme
In the “buy now” scheme, a buyer may be prepared to offer a higher price for an item which he badly needs, but since the price is already fixed by the store, he gladly buys the item. Your store loses the difference. Usually this method is used to sell commodity items or fast-moving items for which the demand is on the higher side. The advantages are:
1. You will be able to sell more items because the buyers know once they select the item they are certain that they would receive the same in due course (depending on the delivery terms you have stipulated) and that there is no waiting period. Most buyers are happy with this arrangement.
2. You will be able to compete with others who are not following this method, otherwise, the buyers need to bid for an item and wait and take their chance of clinching their order or not because the item in question will be sold only to the highest bidder.
3. Eventually this will even drive more traffic to your store as the buyers are confident that they can buy items at a reasonable price from your store without having to wait. Remember, Ebay is the largest online marketplace, and not everyone on Ebay has the patience to bid and wait!

When to use Reserve Price Scheme
The “Reserve Price” scheme, on the other hand, is used mostly for items which are slow moving or certain unique or rare items known as “collector’s items”, antiques and curios, or used items or a “one-off” article meaning no more of the same article is available for sale. The advantages are:
1. Though you have fixed a certain price as the rock-bottom price at which the item in question will be sold, buyers will compete with one another to buy this item, each buyer outbidding the other in the process resulting in more profit for you.
2. Further, since you have fixed a “reserve price”, you have the option to withhold the sale if you are not satisfied with the bids received.
3. If you stock and offer more such items, the buyers will always remember your store whenever they are searching for rare or unique items, increasing your store’s popularity.

Your Product on Ebay
So, evaluate your item which you are selling on Ebay, will they do better with or without the Buy Now scheme? Of perhaps your product is better off with a solid starting Reserve Price. Either way, there is no absolute right or wrong answer. Test both out and see which one works well for your product if you are not so sure. Remember, anyone can be a Ebay Power Seller! So, Start Selling on Ebay!

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Unpaid Item Process

Unpaid Items can usually be resolved by direct communication between buyers and sellers. eBay provides an online process enabling the buyer and seller to communicate with each other to resolve the situation. eBay’s Unpaid Item policy and eBay’s User Agreement make clear that buyers must pay for the items that they commit to purchase.

There are four steps to the Unpaid Item process.

1) Sellers can file an Unpaid Item Dispute.

Sellers can report an Unpaid Item up to 45 days after the transaction date (i.e. the date when the buyer commits to buying the item and the seller commits to selling it). Usually the seller must wait 7 days after a listing closes to file an Unpaid Item Dispute. However, in the following exceptional cases, the seller can file a dispute immediately:

  • At the time of the filing the buyer is no longer a registered user of eBay.
  • The seller and buyer wish to mutually withdraw from the transaction.

In the first case the buyer will receive an Unpaid Item strike and the seller will receive a Final Value Fee credit without any additional steps.

In the second case the seller must file the dispute for mutual withdrawal. If the buyer responds to the dispute and agrees, the seller will receive a Final Value Fee credit and no strike will be given to the buyer. If the buyer fails to respond, the seller can still close the dispute to receive a Final Value Fee credit, and the buyer will not receive an Unpaid Item strike.

File an Unpaid Item Dispute
See all my Unpaid Item Disputes

2) eBay contacts the buyer.

Once the seller files an Unpaid Item Dispute, eBay sends the buyer an email notification and displays a pop-up message if the buyer signs into eBay within 14 days of filing. The email and pop-up message will provide the following details:

  • Friendly reminder to pay. The email and pop-up message will remind the buyer that payment has not been received, along with simple instructions on how to respond or how to pay for the item. If the buyer does not respond to the email or pop-up message within 7 days, the seller may file for a Final Value Fee credit. The seller also becomes eligible for a free re-list credit.

  • Mutual agreement indication. If the seller indicates that a mutual agreement has been reached with the buyer not to complete the transaction, eBay will ask the buyer for confirmation through an email and pop-up message.

    • If the buyer confirms the seller’s statement about mutual agreement not to complete the transaction, the buyer will not receive an Unpaid Item strike and the seller will receive a Final Value Fee credit.

    • If the buyer disagrees with the seller’s statement on mutual agreement, the buyer will not receive an Unpaid Item strike and the seller will not receive a Final Value Fee credit. The dispute will be closed immediately after the buyer responds and the seller will not be eligible to re-file an Unpaid Item dispute for that transaction.

    • If the buyer does not respond to the email or pop-up message within 7 days then the seller will be able to close the dispute. The seller will receive a Final Value Fee credit and the buyer will not receive a strike.

3) Item Dispute Communication

The buyer is presented with several response options to communicate to the seller:

  • I want to pay now. Paying for the item will close the dispute. For listings where PayPal is available, the buyer just has to pay using PayPal to close the dispute. With other payment methods (such as checks or money orders), the seller is encouraged to wait until payment is received before choosing the appropriate option to close the dispute.
  • I already paid. If payment has already been made, the buyer may provide details of the payment to the seller for review. The seller can then choose the appropriate option to close the dispute.
  • Communicate with the seller. The buyer and seller can attempt to resolve the problem by communicating directly through the eBay Web site. eBay will provide a message area where the buyer and seller can communicate with each other without relying on email. The seller can close the dispute at any time by selecting the appropriate closure option.

4) Closing the dispute

The seller can close the dispute after the buyer has responded at least once, or if the buyer does not respond within 8 days. A seller can find all Unpaid Item disputes they have filed in their Dispute Console. The seller has several options to close the dispute:

  • We’ve completed the transaction and we’re both satisfied. With this option, the seller does not receive a Final Value Fee credit and the buyer does not receive an Unpaid Item strike.
  • We’ve agreed not to complete the transaction. With this option, the buyer does not receive an Unpaid Item strike, the seller receives a Final Value Fee credit, and the item is eligible for a relist credit.
  • I no longer wish to communicate with or wait for the buyer. With this option, the buyer receives an Unpaid Item strike, the seller receives a Final Value Fee credit, and the item is eligible for a relist credit.

Note: A dispute can only be open for 60 days after the transaction date (i.e. the date when the buyer commits to buying the item and the seller commits to selling it). If the seller has not closed the dispute within 60 days, it will be automatically closed. When this automatic closure takes place the seller does not receive a Final Value Fee credit and the buyer does not receive an Unpaid Item strike.

Feedback and Unpaid Items

  • Buyers and sellers may leave feedback for each other on transactions involving Unpaid Items even if there was a mutual agreement not to complete the transaction. eBay encourages all users to leave appropriate feedback about their trading partners.
  • Unpaid Item strikes do not affect a user’s feedback score or member profile

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