Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Good and the Bad : My First ebay Experience

The experience started when I had an impulse attack to declutter last weekend. My usual targets are my bags and clothes. I started with three bags, a Longchamp Le Pliage, leather tan bag from Warehouse and a laptop bag I accidentally discovered. I also added two blouses from Kamiseta. I took photos of each, uploaded, assigned prices and enumerated my terms and conditions.

I never had positive expectations about my items. I'm prepared that nothing is bound to happen. My posting will expire without anyone bidding. A few minutes after getting things done, I was surprised with a notification from my email. Someone decided to buy my Longchamp Le Pliage. The buyer didn't attempt to bid. The buyer took the bait of my selling price.  

Being a stranger to ebay, I navigated and discovered that I need to send an invoice and further instructions. I did what I learn and felt like I was a successful entrepreneur. A few minutes later, someone showed interest for my two blouses. I followed the same process and was looking forward for a fast, quiet and smooth transaction. All the while, I was convinced that ebay is heaven for me. 

My happiness subsided when my patience was tested by what I thought as "heaven sent" buyers.

Case 1 - The buyer of my Longchamp Le Pliage became a pain in the ass a challenge. Let me enumerate the series of unfortunate events.

1. After getting the notification of purchase, I immediately sent the invoice and payment instructions to this buyer.

2. A day after, I didn't get any reply from the buyer. I learned that I can report a non-responsive buyer after two days. I decided to send the buyer a private message. I asked the buyer if she is really serious in buying.

3. Buyer replied that she can't pay because she is attending an out of town work. She is part of the team that handles the filming for this local soap opera. (Insert Filipino Figurative Language: I felt strong winds and an upcoming storm. But really, I don't feel impressed at all.)  She promised to ask her PA (Personal Assistant or Production Assistant?) to process the payment.

On a personal and unrelated note, I don't admire bosses who ask their staff to do personal errands. But who do I care? At some point, I also have a feeling that I might be selling an item to an actress?!? Whatever, haha

4. After this conversation, it was already her PA who communicates with me. I initially felt bad for the PA. Unfortunately, my unsolicited sympathy for the PA turned to annoyance. 

5. I was out of town when the buyer or her PA settled the payment. I gave them a lead time until weekend. PA's text messages became demanding. PA was claiming that I should  ship it immediately. This happened around 11 pm. @#$%^  I wanted to tell them, READING IS FUNDAMENTAL. I clearly stated in my ebay's terms and conditions that it will take 3 to 5 days to ship the item. I don't want to display a rude and sarcastic image. To avoid further stress, I promised to ship the items the day after.

6. The PA does not realize that I also need to sleep. She kept on asking questions. Where did I buy my Longchamp? Where is the care card? etc etc etc I was getting pissed off. I was almost in the brink of telling her READING IS FUNDAMENTAL!!! You should have read my terms and conditions. I admitted that my Longchamp has minor stains. It has been used! It has flaws. Why the sudden interrogation? You should have bothered me before hitting that "buy now" button. 

I kept my composure but deep inside, I want to scream and vent out. WHY DO I HAVE TO TRANSACT WITH TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE? READING IS FUNDAMENTAL!

7. I had the item shipped tonight. I have a feeling that this PA will complain for the Boss. Despite all the warning in the item description, I will not be surprised if PA will pester me. (I'm praying it won't happen.) Even though I declared NOT to accept return and exchanges, I might give in if the PA and her Boss will complain. I hate arguments. I hate dealing with unreasonable people.

Hopefully, this story will totally end.

Case 2 - The buyer of my Kamiseta blouses

1. She asked for further discount. I gave in because she seems to be nice.

2. I gave her all possible means of payment. Unfortunately, she failed to settle the payment after two days.

3. I gave her the deadliest deadline. We agreed Friday. Hopefully, she will really pay. Otherwise, I have another case of bad experience.

So after the encounters with my first two buyers, here are some things I learned from being a newbie ebay seller.

1.  The following provisions are a MUST in the item description, even though eBay already requires you to input these information. 
     1.1  lead time for delivery
     1.2  forms of payment
     1.3  methods of delivery
     1.4  time for responding to queries - Otherwise, oblige yourself in answering text messages or emails 24/7.

2. eBay only provides maximum of 6 photos for the free posting. In case 6 photos do not suffice, use photo hosting sites and linked it to the description box. Be sure to capture sharp and clear photos.

3. Show all the flaws of your product. This will save you from unnecessary complaints.

4. Place a limit to your compassion and understanding to buyers. Don't give in to all the demands of the buyers. Learn from my experience. Unless you chose to project a desperate seller image to your buyers.
 
5. Insert this clause, "Once buyer decides to buy or bid for this product, it signifies acceptance of the terms, conditions and flaws of the items"

Despite the dominance of the negative experiences, I still intend to continue selling in eBay. I just hope that my succeeding experiences will yield better and happier experiences.

Anyone who has been selling items in eBay? I would appreciate tips and advices. :) 

PS You can access my eBay shop here. Pardon the shameless plug, I'll have more items uploaded over the weekend. :)


5 comments :

  1. Hi. Sorry to hear this. I've always used eBay, but always as a buyer. I do hope to sell in the future, though, and reading this is a big help. I'm a great buyer, however, as I settle my account the day I win or click the "Buy It Now" button.

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    1. Hi Rose! I really hope all buyers I would encounter are like you :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Gorabells! Kahit may kasamang sermon, feeling ko lang kasi ang stupid ko with my first experience :)

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  3. Hi Diane! I sell on eBay too (you can look me up - dbrightspot). You need to extend your patience talaga sa mga ganyang buyers. Hehe! But it's a fun experience, you'll learn how to deal with diferent kinds of people ö

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