A message to eBay’ers

Here’s a little open letter to anyone who conducts business on eBay.

  • If you bid on something. Be prepared to pay for it.
  • When the auction ends, respond to the seller as soon as possible (eBay sends you an invoice, why not just pay right then?).
  • If you have a problem paying, tell the seller that there’s a problem. 99% of the time they will be incredibly accomodating. I recently had an experience where PayPal held up a payment that I made, I told the seller, and he was more than kind, asking only that I keep him in the loop.
  • If you don’t want the item after bidding on it, tell the seller, preferably before the auction ends.
  • The seller is on the hook for fees, don’t screw the seller by bidding on something if you’re not going to pay for it.
  • Read the whole description and pay attention to the seller’s requests.
  • If the seller says it’s a PayPal only auction, don’t try to pawn off a cheque or money order. Chances are they’ve been burned before and don’t want the hassle.
  • If the seller asks you pay within a certain time, make sure you can. If you can’t meet the seller’s request, then don’t bid.
  • Under no circumstances should “I’m having computer problems” be your excuse. Use someone else’s computer, go to a library, get your dog to go online for you, just honour your deal.

eBay is a pretty cool process, and I’ve had a lot of success selling things that I don’t need anymore and purchasing things I do need, but a very small number of buyers ruin things for sellers. Don’t be one of them.

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.