Advanced eBay Tips: How to Become a Preferred Seller on Competitive Items
The benefits of becoming a Top-rated seller on eBay are vast and only expanding with every month of growth for the flourishing global ecommerce sector. People from all over the world have now grown accustomed to visiting a website, filling up a virtual shopping basket, paying for their goods and having them delivered right to the front door, with less shoppers deciding to visit their high street as a result.
For many retailers and small-time sellers, the web presents a world of opportunities. This is a place where the story of David and Goliath plays out every single day, with smaller stores using their knowledge in the market to steal precious business from their bankrolled competitors.
Online auction house eBay is particularly useful for selling, especially for the little guys. It's here that web design, Facebook followers and even brand awareness count for pretty much nothing as a shopper's decision to opt for one seller over the other often comes down two factors: the cost of the product and the seller's rating.
Of course, being competitive is less of a problem when you're one of very few people selling a particular item, but if you're looking to shift your stock of TVs, iPhone chargers, footballs or bean bags, you'd be surprised how hard it is to rank highly when someone searches for one of these products.
It's therefore well within your best interests to become what eBay calls a Top-rated seller. As the name might hint, these people are rewarded for consistently delivering the best customer experiences and their prize is as follows.
Every company that meets the Top-rated seller sales and tracking requirements - as well as eBay's performance standards - sees the placement of a badge highlighting these qualities next to their name. However, sellers aren't just in it for the pretty icon; they're after the business that comes with being a preferred seller.
Qualifying for this status means your listings enjoy improved visibility in Best Match search results, which usually come up as standard when someone clicks on a popular item. You also receive a 15 per cent discount on your final value fees, which should come in handy when your selling picks up.
So, how exactly do you enter the elite world of eBay selling?
First things first, you can't expect to become Top-rated seller as soon as you've set up an account. Your profile must be active for at least 90 days regardless of how much you sell over that period.
The next step is to qualify for another eBay scheme, called the PowerSeller programme, which is for people that have a proven track record of sales. Companies can gain membership by selling a significant volume of items (at least £1,000 per 12 months), providing a high level of service to buyers and maintaining a positive feedback score of at least 98 per cent.
You might argue that keeping your feedback above 98 per cent to become a PowerSeller and eventually a Top-rated seller is a feat in itself. Well, as long as you package up the right item and hire a courier service to deliver it on time there's no reason why you wouldn't get positive feedback.
In addition to this, you can't have received more than two detailed seller ratings of 1-2 stars (out of five) over the last 12 months. The site also doesn't take on sellers with more than two Money-back Guarantee cases closed without seller resolution, while you must have followed the eBay's selling practices policy from the start.
So, after all that, is it worth it? Of course it is; feedback will win you many customers during your time on the site as that's the only place shoppers can find reassurance in buying from people like 'CrazyAl1987'. Keep your feedback high and the business will follow.
If you want to rank highly for a popular item then what are you waiting for? Get back on eBay and figure out ways of selling more.
The site's ranking system will continue to raise your grading if it sees that you're either selling enough of a particular item or offering great customer service to the people that buy with you. You can increase your sales through investing more in advertising your product (investing in larger pictures among other listing options) and tweaking your item descriptions to ensure a conversion at every opportunity.
Providing good customer service when something does happen to go wrong is also crucial to your reputation. For example, you can save having negative feedback against your name after a customer receives a wrong item by offering to put the matter straight, either through a full refund or exchange.
Still, if you honour the site's terms and conditions whilst pushing a product you think will prove popular, you'll become a Top Seller in no time.