So your auction closes. Now what?
Hopefully you made a sale or several sales. Now the important work begins. Here are some tips on what to do after your eBay auction closes.
Once your items have sold, be responsive to the buyer. Contact them in a quick manner, thank them for their purchase, and provide the required information for payment.
When you wrap your items, wrap it professionally in nice, clean tissue paper. If breakable, be sure the item is wrapped with bubble wrap as well. Include a business card with your website information, name, address, or a printed out statement showing the items name, items number, price paid, and a small hand-written note thanking the buyer for their purchase.
Insurance is usually a good idea but in general, it should be an optional feature, with the decision left to the buyer. Remember two important things about insurance. First, insurance is VERY inexpensive. Therefore, in your description, you should state how much insurance would cost and recommend it. Second, you should also state in the description that if insurance is not purchased, you are not responsible for lost or damaged items.
Go the Extra Mile
You want every customer to be a happy customer. If you have to do a little more research on shipping, or negotiate on price, remember that the customer is the reason you will have success. Therefore, be prepared to go the extra mile in providing them with superior service every single time.
Unlike other sites that use a feedback system, eBay's feedback is sacred and taken very seriously. Negative feedback is never removed. Therefore, if you leave negative feedback rather than trying to handle a tough situation between you and the seller, this could give you a bad reputation. If people see that you consistently leave negative feedback because your buyer did not pay as quickly as you like or whatever reason, buyers will be leery of buying from you in fear of getting negative feedback themselves should something go wrong.
It is extremely important that you handle your account with integrity. The number of positive comments and amount of stars earned are what will be the deciding factor for many buyers. Be professional, polite, and stand by what you sell.
In your description, provide accurate details regarding shipment. Make sure the item(s) are sent within the time you stated. In many cases, people purchase something for a specific purpose and if you do not ship it when stated, not only do you mess up their schedule for the item but you have probably lost a customer and opened the door for a negative feedback.
Communication with Buyer
It is your responsibility to contact the buyer at the end of the auction congratulating them on winning the item(s). Issue an e-mail requesting their shipping address. Once they provide that information to you, let them know when the shipment will go out, which should coordinate within the timeframe provided in your auction description. If you know the shipping charges, advise them in this same e-mail. Once payment has been made, send another e-mail to the buyer confirming that you received their payment and that the item(s) will be shipped on X day via (US priority mail, UPS, Fed-Ex, etc.). Once you have a tracking number, send that to the buyer as well. This will allow them to follow the tracking themselves.
Regardless of whom the buyer, work with integrity and run your auctions accordingly. More than likely, you will run into some difficult buyers, although not often. Keep in mind that every buyer provides the best form of advertisement - word of mouth. Integrity is what will draw customers in and keep them coming back along with friends and family.
If a buyer makes a recommendation, listen. That does not always mean you will agree or even like their recommendations but if they have something to say, it might be something important to making your auction site better for future buyers. For example, if your shipping information seems muddled to the buyer but clear to you, you need to review what you have written. If the customer is struggling with understanding, that is truly what matters.
Lewis Leake helps people get started in a Work From Home business. His website at GrowNetProfits.com contains tools, resources, articles, newsletters, product reviews and traffic builders to help you make money from your home based business. Click here to read additional Online Auction articles.