Ebay Ettiquette

Date Mon, November 2 2009

If you’ve spent any time on the internet, then you’ve probably completed some transactions via Ebay. I’ve done a few up to this point. My feedback is around 25, I believe and while I’ve sold a few things, I’m mostly a buyer. With that said, I can appreciate that sellers have a way of doing things. Some sellers send you an invoice or a more personalized message when you win/purchase something. This is helpful if they offer reduced shipping that the item listing states.

I also know that some sellers will send off an e-mail if you happen to be late with responding to feedback and I appreciate that. Sellers sometimes get busy or forget to do that. If I get an e-mail along the lines of “According to our shipping service, you should have received your package. Please leave us feedback so we know how your experience was” I would leave feedback.

If you’re not familiar with Ebay’s feedback system, you can rate from 1 – 5 stars in the areas of communication, item description, shipping time and shipping costs. It may vary for specific items. I generally rated 4 stars across the board. To me, a 5 star transaction is one where the seller really went the extra mile and had lots of pictures and specs, didn’t charge for shipping, used extremely fast shipping or included something extra in the package (a hand written thank you note, some stickers, et cetera). It’s a prestigious, vote I suppose.

But I was floored when I got an e-mail from a seller which was basically along the lines of “You must rate us 5 stars. If not tell us what we can do to make the transaction better. Remember we charge you exact shipping.” Not only did the e-mail demand I rate the seller highly but there were red fonts, bold fonts, underlined fonts and capitalized fonts. It was entirely offensive. It’s how I would expect my little sister to write and that would be cute but it’s something that everyone knows makes them look fucking stupid. There is NO nice way to put it. I’m sorry.

I replied to let the seller know I was having mail troubles and still had not received the package. I would leave feedback when I had. Furthermore, I let them know exactly how I felt about their letter. It was unprofessional and motivated to vote me lower. They had absolutely no business asking me to rate them highly or even to know what I rated them (feedback is anonymous, now). Their e-mail was no friendly message and was completely inappropriate.

I heard no response, left them feedback and cringed when I realized I would have to buy from them once more. I was shocked when I received the same cut-and-paste message for this second transaction. It makes me wonder if they took time to read my reply in the first place. It goes to show that they do not listen to the customer whatsoever. I honestly would not have purchased from this seller had the product been available from other sellers but it was not.

The lesson here boys and girls? Listen to your customers. Make their interactions personal. Do not demand anything from them. 9 times out of 10, they do have a choice when it comes to shopping and you are lucky they chose you. Even if you are the only option, many customers would choose to forgo your product or service if you treat them poorly. Do not expect anything from them apart from handing over money for your product, unless you have done something extraordinary. It’s pretty obvious to me that a 5 star rating is not just handed out for “okay” transactions; it requires a great transaction. And if you make a mistake? Own up to it and change your behaviour. Word of mouth is an extremely powerful motivator. Why do you think people read review blogs?

2 Responses

  1. ashe November 3 2009 @ 5:11 pm

    it took you this long to blog about this?? :) lol

  2. Cole November 3 2009 @ 5:56 pm

    Haha. Well, I try to space out my posts.. Focus on reviews over othe stuff.

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