Auctions are fast-moving and volatile sites as sellers and buyers come together to complete their individual goals. Each person in this auction process has different goals that can cause friction and less than satisfied buyers, which will tarnish your auction reputation and, eventually, your income.
Customers want authenticity and clarity in your auction descriptions so the bidder gets what you presented in your descriptions. They also expect your products to make their life easier or better. If your products claim to improve their everyday tasks or to solve problems they are wrestling with, they will expect them to perform as advertised.
Before your customers start bidding on your products, they need to know that your products will work easily and without hassles. When their purchase satisfies them, your reputation as a responsible marketer will start building.
After the sale, your task is quick delivery and positive contact with your new customer. You should have a welcoming email ready to send to your auction bidders, including a contact link if they have problems. Do not make your customers wait for delivery or for answers to any questions they may have. If there is a time difference between both of you, have an email ready on your autoresponder to let them know that their message was received. Mention the time difference between both of you so they know you are not just blowing them off.
There’s an interesting old axiom that is the emotional motivator behind every purchase, regardless of how small or large the purchase is. You will often see the initials, WIIFM, on websites and it means “What’s In It For Me?” Your sales will soar or fall depending on how you answer that basic question. When your winning bidders or potential bidders ask questions about your products, provide true answers to their queries. You will not get away with flim-flam.
Many auction sellers start the bidding process with a low amount and boost their profit with escalated shipping fees. Today’s buyers are not easy to fool with that shipping scam. What do you think it will do to your credibility to charge a large shipping fee or outrageous postage when the package arrives with the actual fees posted on the box or envelope?
When you get complaints from customers, stay calm and listen to the problems they are describing. Evaluate the entire situation before responding. Acknowledge the customer’s complaints in an open and even manner. Avoid certain words that create anger and controversy with your customers, like “can’t” or “no.” Instead of “you,” use the customer’s name. If the mistake is yours, remedy it immediately. If not and you want to keep your customer, remedy it immediately, even if you have to refund the price of the original purchase.
There’s a powerful application you can use on eBay called Feedback. Angry customers can leave negative feedback and trash your reputation for all to see. Potential bidders often check out feedback before they ever enter a bid on a product. They want to know who they are dealing with.
A good rule of thumb for customer service is to treat everyone the way you would want to be treated. It’s that easy.