Posted by Alex Jackson on August 26, 2016
It happens to the best of sellers you go out of your way to create a pleasurable shopping experience great pictures, accurate description, clear terms and conditions, carefully packaged and promptly shipped and yet there is a problem. It may be a mistake on your part after all we are all human and it does happen. Perhaps it’s an issue with your shipper perhaps the item was damaged or lost in transit, a lot of the time an issue arises from a perceived problem by the buyer so how do you address these issues when they pop up and how can you avoid these issues in the first place?
Clear and concise is our advice- The first step is always prevention. In a previous blog we discussed keeping your returns to a minimum by accurately describing and presenting clear and accurate pictures of your merchandise. To take this a step further particularly for you eBay sellers is to make sure your description is not taking a back seat to your terms and conditions or banners of your other listings. Have you ever seen a listing on eBay that has three words on the item and then two hundred on their terms and conditions after a big scrolling banner? Does it seem like in this instance the description was an afterthought? Make sure that not only are your listings accurate but easy to navigate don’t bury your description in a page of terms make sure they stand out and are easy to read.
When your wrong your wrong!- Again it happens we are all human sometimes we make a mistake maybe a mis-shipment have you ever been in a rush to get done with your shipping for the day and put the wrong shipping label on the item? Perhaps you have multiples of virtually identical items and you sent the wrong color or model? Don’t feel bad everyone has done this at least once so when you make a mistake own it. Notify the customer if you discover the mistake as soon as possible be polite and apologize, issue a return label or request that the recipient return it and reimburse them. 9 times out of 10 most customers are very understanding and won’t make a big stink but if they do, be respectful and polite again it was your mistake so own it.
Where’s my order??- One of the more frequent frustrations of sellers is that they are at the mercy of a shipper like USPS, UPS or FedEx who can lose damage or delay your shipment at any given time. Frequently an anxious customer may ask about the status of a shipment when it may have just been shipped the day before. Explain to your customer when you shipped and the average transit time for this type of shipment with your particular carrier understanding and being able to explain the various transit times is very important for handling the anxious client. When the shipment goes MIA and is days outside of the delivery window get on the case ASAP submit a search request these can normally be done online or by phone depending on the shipper frequently these delays are caused by seasonal spikes in volume or hub sorting facility issues. When the item arrives damaged or not at all get a claim started for those insured shipments most carriers will ask you to provide some documentation of the damage or loss so if the customer receives a damaged item request that they provide some photos for the claim. Depending on the merchandise you can either ask that the client return the item or that they keep or discard the item and issue a refund. Again be polite to your customer although the item was damaged by no fault of your own you are responsible for it assure them that either a credit or If possible a replacement item will be provided. Word to the wise if you are shipping without insurance be prepared to be out of pocket when the package goes missing or is damaged for USPS users priority mail is your best bet with built in insurance for those items under $100 in value.
This is not what I ordered!!!- Get an email in all caps with dozens of exclamation marks, rude or accusatory tone? Lots of details about how disappointed they are? You may be scratching your head and saying to yourself, is this person nuts I did nothing wrong here. First identify the issue and attempt to defuse the situation. If the client says it’s not what they ordered politely let them know that this is what they ordered and let them know if they are not satisfied with their purchase that they can return it. Are they claiming that you did not describe a defect? Show them your description where you stated the condition issue and show them the photo. This is a knockoff? Explain that you only deal in liquidation merchandise from trusted national retailers and that it is authentic. It may be very tempting to get into a nasty back and forth with your customer it can be very frustrating when you have done nothing wrong to be accused of misleading or outright lying in your listing. Always stay professional be polite and accommodating sadly a lot of these complaints are groundless the buyer may not have read the description or perhaps did but is trying to get a discount. Your best bet in situations like this is to just have the customer return the item.