Avoid costly eBay mistakes

Mistakes happen. Sometimes they simply can’t be avoided. But a little research and preparation can very often prevent slip-ups that waste your time and money. On a marketplace as powerful and influential as eBay, you want to do everything possible to steer clear of looming mistakes. But if you do find yourself the casualty of an eBay error, don’t worry: Our list below highlights 10 common eBay mistakes, the effect they can have on a seller and how you can fix them (or avoid them altogether).

Costly mistakes and how to avoid them

1. Neglecting to Offer Free Delivery

Mistake: You might offer a variety of fulfillment methods on eBay, including next-day delivery – which is great. But you don’t go the extra mile and provide your buyers with the option to select free shipping
Consequence: Not offering eBay customers a free shipping option can harm your seller status and reduce your sales. On a marketplace as competitive as eBay, you could find that a large amount of your competitors are offering free shipping. Your price might be the same as your competitors’ – or even slightly cheaper – but if a consumer sees that Seller 1 offers free shipping and Seller 2 does not, the first seller will probably get the sale.
Solution: When you're already using eBay Business Policies configure your Business Policy in eBay for free shipping. If you're not using Business Policies update your Posting Templates accordingly. The changes will be applied to running items via an item revise.

2. Ignoring Inaccurate Customer Feedback

Mistake: You think it's too time-consuming to closely monitor customer reviews. Now you notice that you’ve received negative feedback that either wasn’t your fault or was unwarranted.
Consequence: Customer feedback is very important on eBay and can affect your seller performance both positively and negatively, depending on the comments you obtain. Buyers want to feel they can trust a seller, and if you have a considerable number of negative reviews, they might be put off from purchasing your product Furthermore you put the visibility of your products and your ability to sell on eBay at risk as eBay has implemented strict metrics regarding feedback over the years.
Solution: If you get this type of inaccurate feedback, you can have it removed. EBay don’t want to see seller performance ratings negatively affected because of inaccurate or unjust customer criticism. Therefore, report the feedback to eBay, stating your reasons for why it’s unwarranted and ask for it to be removed. You can also request a feedback revision if a seller initially left negative feedback but you went on to resolve the issue.

3. Refusing to Use Strike-Through Pricing

Mistake: You don’t take advantage of Strike-Through Pricing (STP) on eBay and miss the opportunity to visibly show items with discounted prices, including limited-time free shipping offers.
Consequence: Strike-Through Pricing can be an extremely valuable addition for an eBay seller. By offering price discounts for certain items, you allow customers to see how much they’re saving, along with making your listings stand out from the crowd. Many times, shoppers aren’t aware of price discounts because retailers aren’t using STP. Failing to at least test this free eBay feature could be costing you customers and sales, with consumers instead being drawn to listings with visibly reduced prices or sales.
Solution: Strike-Through Pricing is powered by ChannelAdvisor. To set up this tool in your ChannelAdvisor account, you must first contact eBay so they can add you to this program. Once approval is given by the marketplace, inform the ChannelAdvisor Support team, and they can have this added to your fixed price posting templates.

4. Neglecting Competitive Analysis

Mistake: Because eBay is so popular, it’s a very competitive marketplace for sellers. Instead of keeping an eye on your competitors’ performances and seller strategies, you ignore them and concentrate solely on your own approach.
Consequence: The performance of your competitors and the service you offer in comparison can have substantial consequences for how successful you are on eBay. Do you need to adjust your prices to match your competitors’ prices? Are other sellers providing a far superior fulfillment service? Are they offering promotions and discounts, causing their listings to overshadow your items? By failing to commit any time to competitor research and analysis, these scenarios become likely.
Solution: Be sure to keep an eye on other eBay sellers and carry out competitor analysis on a regular basis, examining how competitors are performing, how it affects you and what you can do to remain competitive. One of the great benefits for eBay buyers is that they have a wealth of choices when searching for most products, with a multitude of sellers all battling for their attention and sales. Don’t fall behind the pack.

5. Letting Your Product Listings Fall Out of Date

Mistake: You’ve been selling the same products for a while now and have had the same product title and item page from the start.
Consequence: By failing to update your product listings, you risk the possibility of losing relevance. You could also be missing out on any updates eBay may have implemented to improve listings. If buyers struggle to find your items, or if your listings and titles don’t grab their attention, you could see fewer clicks through to your item page.
Solution: ChannelAdvisor supplies a tool – eBay Insights – which offers recommendations for sellers looking to improve their listings. We can identify areas to optimize and help promote your listings on eBay.

6. Failing to Market Your Items to International Buyers

Mistake: You have the finances and resources available to sell your products to international eBay customers – but you only sell domestically.
Consequence: Not enabling shipping to other countries could mean you’re missing out on opportunities to sell products to whole new regions of consumers. A great advantage of selling on eBay is that buyers come from all over the world. Why restrict yourself to just local customers when there could be demand for your products from a number of international destinations?
Solution: Enabling shipping to other countries will allow your products to be listed on other regions’ sites through basic international selling. All you need to do is offer international postage, indicate your shipping costs and services in your listing and include PayPal as a payment method. Also consider using eBay's Global Shipping Program as it will make shipping to internation destinations much easier.
When you’re ready, the next stage is advanced international selling, where you list directly on international eBay sites such as eBay UK or eBay Canada from your home account, localizing your listings to each individual country.

7. Ignoring eBay Seller Releases

Mistake: Every year, eBay releases significant updates and new features for its marketplace. However, you’re not paying attention to these updates and aren’t making the necessary changes.

The Seller Releases often include a number of major eBay changes, such as new seller performance standards and updates to product categories and item specifics. Ignoring these changes puts you at a significant disadvantage compared to your competitors, who will take notice — and action. Your seller status could be damaged by not paying attention to eBay updates. Not adhering to new requirements could lead to a drop in seller performance, and Top-Rated Sellers could lose their valuable status.

Solution: First and foremost, you need to review the most recent eBay Seller Release and make sure you understand the new updates and the impact they’ll have on you as a seller. EBay has released these updates with the intention of improving the marketplace experience for both sellers and buyers alike, so why not reap the benefits?

8. Wasting Your eBay Metrics

Mistake: EBay provides you with key metrics for every product you list, but you’re not taking advantage of the insights they give.
Consequence: Analyzing your metrics gives you the potential to develop and improve any underperforming listings. If you don’t take advantage of this extremely helpful eBay feature, you’re missing out on an in-depth look at the effectiveness of your product listings and the opportunity to make changes that could improve your eBay sales and seller position.
Solution: EBay’s metrics are free and easily accessible to sellers. When posting new product listings, immediately begin using your metrics to see how they’re performing. A good eBay metric to watch is the click-through rate, which highlights the number of eBay buyers who have clicked on your listing, compared with those who have seen it in search. Another useful metric is the sell-through rate, which shows the number of buyers who purchased an item compared to the number that clicked on the listing. Each of these metrics can help highlight how your items are performing and what listings may need improving.

9. Only Entering the Required Product Data

Mistake: You include the basic, required product data for your eBay listings but don’t expand the data and take advantage of the marketplace’s helpful product listing features.
Consequence: EBay recommends that sellers include data to match their specific brand, such as clothing, electronics or sporting goods. You can do this through your item specifics and eBay categories – features that can enhance your eBay presence and help your products be found in search results. Failure to use these tools and increase your data could see consumers struggling to find your listings and, subsequently, not making it onto your item page to buy the product. If, for example, you were selling a laptop on eBay, you could use item specifics to enhance the visibility of the product. Include details such as the laptop brand, size, color, memory, etc. – all relevant
information that a consumer might be searching for.
Solution: Pay attention to your item specifics and categories and use them to enhance your listings. If you’re not sure which item specifics you need, take a look at eBay’s Item Specifics help page .

10. Taking Policy Violations Lightly

Mistake: Your account is at risk after receiving too many violations. You don’t take this seriously and haven’t resolved the issues.
Consequence: Ignoring your policy violations is a big mistake. Reasons for receiving a policy violation can include posting the same item multiple times, selling forbidden goods, listing offensive material and more. After you receive a certain number of policy violations, eBay will give you a first warning. The number of policy violations you commit before receiving a first warning depends on the severity of the breach. For instance, selling embargoed goods is a bigger violation than a duplicate listing. If you ignore the first warning, your account will be shut down for seven days. If this happens again, your account will be permanently suspended.
Solution: EBay wants its buyers and sellers to have the best experience possible and will therefore crack down on any violations, whether they’re on the side of the retailer or the consumer. If you receive a policy violation, take action immediately. Review the situation, find out how it happened, determine how you can fix it and, most important, take action to prevent it from happening again.


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