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How to Increase your eBay Sales

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Any sales professional knows the old adage: "The best customer is an existing customer". You don't have to "woo" an existing customer - they already know you. You don't have to worry about their ability to pay or about the sort of feedback they'll give you. You'll know whether they are going to be the whining type.

So you should concentrate your efforts on selling stuff to people who already bought from you! How do you do this?

When you post an item to your customer, always include an invoice. This lets them see exactly what they paid, who sent the item and how to contact you. It should ALWAYS include your web site address so they can order from there and you avoid the eBay fees. Remember that selling on eBay is never as cheap as selling from your own web site. And since a web site can cost as little as £20 a year, you'd be crazy not to have one.

Anything you include in the package is effectively free advertising (ignoring the miniscule cost of paper and ink). So go for it!

You can include a list of other items you have for sale, special offers and a discount voucher for a future purchase. Tell your customer to pass it to a friend, in the "unlikely event" that they are not interested. Remind them of the link to give you feedback, otherwise some will forget.

I personally buy a ton of stuff each year and I absolutely HATE IT when the package arrives with no invoice, no paperwork of any sort or no return address. It screams to me "I don't care" and "I am a Mom & Pop operation working from a bedroom". The chances of my buying from them again just fell by 50%.

If the package gets lost in the post, it can never be returned to the seller. How stupid is that?

So be professional when you post goods. You should always include:

  • A return address label at the bottom right corner
  • An invoice
  • Details of other products, special offers and a discount voucher
  • A reminder to give you feedback
  • A big THANK YOU for placing the order
  • Your web site address

Email is free!

Use email to get more orders. It's free so use it! Acknowledge every single order with an email, thanking the customer for the order, pointing out other items and special offers that might interest him/her. Include a link to your web site, and invitation to join your mailing list or discussion forum.

Follow this up with a similar message to confirm that the goods have been dispatched. And follow that up, a week later, with a message that begins something like "I just wanted to check that your order arrived safely and that you are happy with it. If you have any problems, don't hesitate to get in touch. Thank you once again for ordering from us. Please don't forget to leave feedback." And follow that with other items and special offers that might interest him/her. Include a link to your web site, and invitation to join your mailing list or discussion forum.

So you get FOUR opportunities to make contact with your customer! Three perfectly legitimate emails (not spam) and the paperwork you send with the order. That's FOUR chances to sell more stuff AND to avoid paying eBay fees when you sell it.

Some people have written to me to say "I never include paperwork - I'm thinking of the environment".

Well, I'm sure that makes you feel very proud. Presumably you don't drive a car or take foreign holidays either? (That's pretty much a given because you won't be earning enough to afford those things).

OK, but you MUST include a return address label on the package and a tiny printed card or slip of paper inside. There's no "environmental" excuse for not doing that. And you MUST send those emails. Again, there's no excuse. You can even automate them so you type them ONCE only.