Advanced eBay tips: How to turn the Contact Seller function into a major asset

Trust and transparency are two of the biggest factors buyers consider when bidding on eBay. Customers want to know whether the auction or Buy-It-Now listing they are viewing is what it seems at face value - no tricks, no clever wordplay, no secrets. If an eBay member is bidding on an Xbox One console, they expect to receive the physical console and not simply a photo of the console.

As a result, it might be prudent for potential bidders to contact the seller just to clarify any questions or issues regarding a listing. This can include requesting additional pictures of the item in question or enquiring further about the item's condition.

In addition, a buyer may have questions about an item they have already received or a party might be unsatisfied with the financial transaction. Therefore, contacting the seller is a great way to resolve any questions and eBay's 'Contact Seller' button can actually be turned into a major asset in an eBay sellers' arsenal.

Contacting a seller

If a buyer has a question about an item, they can visit the Contact seller page in order to resolve their issue.

First of all, buyers must click the 'Ask a question' link in the listing in order to contact the seller. On the 'Find Answers' page, the buyers are presented with a list of topics that might answer their question as well as a Q&A that may contain a resolution.

If you can't find your question on the aforementioned Q&A, you can contact the seller directly and type a question in the space provided. Not all sellers accept questions before you buy an item but all sellers accept questions post-purchase. In addition, if a buyer can't reach the seller via email during a current or recent transaction, buyers can request the other member's contact information, such as their name, city and telephone number.

Is it worth opening yourself up questions before an item is purchased?

Build rapport

EBay is at its most effective when buyers and sellers don't necessarily work together but respect the platform as a two-way marketplace. As a seller, you want potential bidders to know that you are a reputable, credible user, ensuring buyers won't hesitate to purchase products from you in the present and future. You need to connect with buyers and build a rapport.

One of the best ways to build a rapport with your audience is through the Contact Seller function. Making sure you are a veritable open door before and after purchase makes you more transparent in the eyes of sellers. Answering questions and queries also helps put a personality and a face behind the username. Furthermore, any questions you answer will be shown in the 'Questions and answers about this item' section of the listing the query is referring to, ensuring other users won't ask the same questions in the future (though this is certainly no guarantee!).

Buyers can also gauge from a seller's response to these questions whether the seller is worth dealing with in the long-run. If they receive short, sharp emails that don't satisfy their request  - not a great first impression - the seller might be worth avoiding in the future.

Moreover, not answering questions or responding to emails can put off potential bidders as they might not want to deal with the unknown, despite eBay's strict rules and regulations ensuring transactions should - theoretically - go as smoothly as possible. Buyers simply won't take the chance, even in the face of a potentially enticing price.

Getting feedback

Opening yourself up as a seller can also have ramifications for your eBay feedback. If a customer feels encouraged to communicate with you, they are more likely to purchase a product and leave a note of their positive experience, showing to other members that you are a trustworthy, credible user. This can be especially helpful for sellers without much eBay experience who need to build a solid base of feedback.

Overall, allowing yourself to be contacted can increase sales through the creation of buyer engagement and a rapport with fellow eBay users. Most importantly, it encourages visibility and shows others you're not in the business of ripping others off - you're simply looking to sell an item on the platform for the right price. That's exactly how eBay should be used.

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