Here are the 10 common stress often faced by many eBay sellers, especially those who are becoming more significant players, can find themselves stressing out – and what sellers can do to overcome these issues?
They are not in any particular order – eBay stress happens anytime and just when you least expect it!
1. Deadbeat bidders. These are people who bid on items, win the auction and then don’t pay. It’s all part of the auction process and can happen at live auctions too unless precautions are taken.
Tips: There is no sure way to avoid this problem on eBay. The best you can do is send a payment reminder email, set deadlines and file a dispute if you’ve not heard from them after 10 days.
2. Too little/ too much stock. If you hold physical stock this can be a problem.
Tips: Very gradually build your inventory and the number of items you put up for auction/sale. You will soon see a trend developing with peaks around month-end and holidays and lows in the mid-month and post-holiday periods. Watch your statistics.
3. Paying too much for stock. If you make use of wholesalers and other drop shippers for your stock this may be of concern. There are 80 million people active on eBay so competition is hectic.
Tips: Research competitive prices before contracting with a supplier and review this regularly, particularly when you notice a drop in sales for that item.
4. Bad feedback. It’s not so much deserved bad feedback that sellers dread so much as unjustified feedback.
Tips: Experience shows that the vast majority of buyers really want a good buying experience. They are not out to make trouble. To cover yourself though you should communicate with your buyer every step of the way. That’s a sure way to avoid problems and clear up misunderstandings. It takes time but it’s worth it.
5. Charge backs due to disagreement on terms of sale. Credit card charge backs do your credit rating no good.
Tips: Cover any and every aspect of the purchase, dispatch, etc. before charging the card. List your terms and conditions in your auction listing, and ask potential buyers to email you if they need clarification. If the sale is worth it you can resort to a third party service to help e.g. Squaretrade.com, one of the official dispute services for eBay.
6. Fraud. This is a huge and growing concern to eBay sellers, particularly the little guys. It has not been helped by eBay discontinuing the feature whereby sellers post feedback for buyers.
Tips: Apart from a dud bid (winning the bid and not paying, which is technically fraud) buyers can fleece sellers by asking to use a fake shipping service or fake escrow service. The solution is to use only reputed names, preferably recommended by eBay. Also consider listing inventory on other auction sites where you can check the credentials of the buyer through seller feedback.
7. Waiting for money. PayPal’s new arrangement with eBay means sellers must wait 21 days after purchase for their money. This is onerous for micro and medium eBay businesses.
Tips: Make this the spur to set up your own e-commerce website where you can wean away your eBay clientele and get immediate payment for the goods you sell.
8. eBay Rules! Sellers who have made eBay their full-time job or possibly even career are nervous about eBay’s Big Brother tactics of late.
Tips: Play the game with eBay but look at all the alternative auction sites springing up on the web. They are doing their best to fill the vacuum created by eBay draconian new rules. Take advantage of the situation.
9. Red tape. Media stories abound about eBay sellers who had the IRS catch up with them with ugly consequences.
Tips: Meeting the legal requirements for running an online business is quite straightforward. Follow the process right from the start, especially if eBay is going to secure your livelihood. Essentially you need to get a business license and a tax resale number.
10. Overload. The competition on eBay is stiff. To make your store work is going to take hours of research and effort. Added to that is the info overload connected with eBay. Playing multiple roles when you run your business solo can drive you insane.
Tips: Stay focused. Go one step at a time and use the eBay seller resources to the fullest. There are many things in your eBay business that you can outsource. Think about it.