The cheapest online shopping – in this case; eBay – is about a little give and take sometimes. If you want the cheapest price, or the best deals while shopping at home, you have to give up some part of the buying experience. If you want great service, excellent communication, fast shipping, and a flawless product, you should walk into a retail store, and purchase the product at full price.
There is a cost involved with each of those factors mentioned above. It costs money to have a full time customer service team, it costs money to have a fully stocked warehouse of items, and so on. It is extremely hard offer all four of the parts of the shopping experience above, at a discount price. Discount stores are discounted for a reason. They are saving money at some part of the product buying/storing/selling stage, and are able to pass the savings on to you. But this usually comes at a compromise of at least one of the four factors.
That is why negative feedback on eBay is overrated. In my selling experience, I would say that 90% of negative feedback is due to a buyer expecting all four aspects of a great shopping experience, but at a highly discounted price – which again, is hard to deliver. Not all negative feedback is due to a negative experience! Most of the time, 2 or 3 of the factors mentioned above are met, along with a discounted price. But for whatever reason, those who buy online on eBay expect all 4 factors, and a cheap price. With all other things in life; you get what you pay for.
A large amount of sellers on eBay are one (or two) man operations, and the majority are some form of a small business, without the capability or means of providing all four aspects, at cheap or discounted price. They simply can not compete with the big box sellers that way. At the same time, negative feedback – while not a true indicator of a seller’s performance – greatly impacts a seller’s ability to continue selling. So when you leave a negative feedback for a silly reason, you make it harder for that seller or store to continue offering great deals. And if these sellers are wiped out, that leaves us with just the big box stores, selling at full retail price.
So…to find the best deals on eBay, you have to learn how to tune out the silly and frivolous feedback. Look at a seller’s feedback history. Is it above 99%? If so, you probably have found a good seller. Are the negative feedback from buyers claiming that “this seller is the worst seller on eBay”? That is most likely frivolous feedback. Are there multiple claims of buyers not receiving what they ordered with no contact from the seller? That is something to consider.
Try not to insist on “free shipping” as that really isn’t a benefit – something I covered in an earlier post that you can find below. Look at their listing description. Does it look like a 5 year old wrote it, or does it look professional. If it looks like time was put into writing out a clean and/or descriptive listing, that is good. Some people get caught up with a need to find the most creative descriptions. Focus more on a clear and descriptive listing. Bullet points can be enough sometimes. If you see phrases that remind you of listings from 10 or 15 years ago – like “happy bidding” – move on.