Selling on eBay

Contacting the Purchaser

The auction is over and as a seller, the proverbial ball is now in your court. There follows a breakdown of the steps you should take as you deal with your winning bidder.

Send out a polite e-mail thanking them for their winning bid, and ask for them to reply. Below is a copy of the Microsoft Word form letter I use when I contact a winning bidder…

Thank you for bidding on the __________________ I had listed on eBay. You are the winning bidder at $____ plus $_____ shipping, making a total of $____.

I offer several payment options for your convenience…
· Money order/Cashiers check - I will ship your item upon receipt.
· Personal checks - I will ship the item after an understandable delay.
· BidPay - I do accept BidPay payments.
· PayPal - I will ship immediately upon payment confirmation. If you are not a PayPal user and wish to take advantage of this popular service, please visit http://www.paypal.com/.
· BillPoint - I will ship immediately upon notification of invoice payment. Please follow the link at the auction page to start the process… or simply ask me to send you an invoice. Selected auctions also offer e-check payment.

Remember, do not forward your credit card or checking account information to me. Only use a secure server. Please take care when entering e-mail address information.

Please drop me a note to let me know you have received this message, and please enclose your address in order for me to have the item ready to go. To speed shipping, please enclose the auction number with your payment.

My address is...

Enter your name here
Enter your street here
ST Zip code

Thanks again!

First name
Your e-mail address

You can download the above as a Microsoft Word template by clicking here: eBay_Thankyou_Template.doc - 41kb. (Right-click, "Save As...")

If you have a return receipt feature with your e-mail software, I recommend using it, this will allow you to see if the recipient has read your message. If you do not hear back in two days, I suggest re-sending your original post, which you should always keep in a "sent mail" box. Remember that your computer may be used by the entire family and e-mails could be erased or lost accidentally. Do also keep in mind that an ISP and even your hardware can fail at the worst of times. If you do not hear back, send a message to the bidder via the eBay "Mail this auction to a friend" feature. A lot of people are using anti-spam filters, which can block your message or your ISP. By using the eBay mail delivery server, you will have a better chance. My advice is to give the winning bidder the benefit of the doubt and a little time before hitting the panic button.

If you do not receive a reply after, say, a week, re-list the item and go on. File a non-paying bidder alert with eBay as your first step to recovering your commission fees. After another 10 days, you can request a credit for commission fees from eBay which does go against the bidders' record.

If you do not hear back quickly, you might contact the next highest bidder and let them know you have not heard from the high bidder. That person might be interested in the item and could be willing to wait to hear from you instead of looking for a same or similar item. Still give the high bidder time, however you now have a possible buyer. eBay will refund your basic fees for re-listing an item if it sells the second time around; they will not refund any extra cost features such as bold title or gift icons.

Carefully consider the use of a negative feedback, deciding whether or not to leave a comment can be a tough one. Do you want to warn others that your non-paying bidder might be a problem for them? Doing so might finally bring the "deadbeat bidder" out of the woodwork and they may post a retaliatory knee-jeark negative feedback message. You have sixty days to place feedback… seriously consider it at fifty-nine.

If you do leave a negative message, be factual and accurate - all CAPS and exclamation marks make you look bad and obscene language or posting names is cause for feedback removal. Consider a neutral comment as an alternative. Remember that once you place a feedback it is there to stay! Imagine how you would feel if you learned the "deadbeat bidder" had a death in the family and had to rush out of town…. Or their computer was a laptop and was stolen after placing their bid! Just a little of food for thought.

Next Page...

Purchasing Items Selling Items
  Timing is Everything   Registering as a Seller
  Proxy Bidding   Payment Options
  Sniping   Auction Assistance
  Seller Feedback & Shipping   Including Photographs
  You've Won! What Now?   Describing an Item
  Sending Payment   Launching an Auction
  Receiving Goods   Packaging
  Received Damaged Goods?   Contacting the Purchaser
  Assistance from eBay   Shipping the Item

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Text © Alan L. Maier, Design & HTML © SMR Group, Images © SMR Group cannot be reproduced without permission. eBay is a registered trademark of SafeHarbor Inc. The images on this page are digitally watermarked and the HTML contains JavaScript to prevent it being opened in a frame on another site.  Last updated 16th December 2000.

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