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TIPS FOR SELLERS



To fine tune your business and take it to the top level on Ideal-marketplace , just follow these quick tips:

Make sure to always get POSITIVE Feedback: The key to getting positive feedback and ratings is excellent customer service. Always quote your items accurately and honestly. Make your terms of sale easy to find and understand, especially concerning payment terms, shipping, and returns. Respond to questions quickly, be patient and courteous and be sure to leave positive feedback to encourage your buyers to exactly do the same.

Do your research and analyze statistics: Detailed business analysis sets the most successful sellers apart. Analyze your sales performance, understand key growth contributors and identify opportunities and areas for improvement.

Go Global: Don't limit your sales to domestic customers. International trading is a great way to expand your market and your sales. For many companies, foreign sales represent more than 30% of their total sales.

Buyer Confidence: The more customer-friendly your policies, the more you will be able to convert potential buyers into customers. A few policies of particular importance are:

Payment Method: Buyers are more likely to buy from sellers that accept most payment methods available in the market (money orders, checks, bank deposits, wire transfers, credit card, Paypal, etc.). Make sure you make things easy for them to pay you.

Shipping Terms: Specifying reasonable shipping costs is a common best practice, and is now even more important. Buyers on Ideal-marketplace now have an option to sort search results by price, by seller´s reputation, by availability (on-hand stock), by lead time and now by distance. Suppliers closer to the customer may have a better chance to win the orders unless your shipping charges are reasonable and do not charge excessive shipping costs. Remember that the profit must come from the sale itself and not from shipping.

Focus on great service to maximize rewards: Providing great service to your buyers is key to successful selling. Currently, Ideal-marketplace evaluates seller performance based on seller ratings as well as the rate of cases opened or complaints received from you by sellers. Some strategies for avoiding buyer claims are obvious, such as supplying only NEW items, providing great customer service and resolving problems promptly and courteously.

Avoid stock-outs: Learning that an item is out of stock right after you've purchased it is not a pleasant experience. When you quote an item specifying “Immediate delivery” and a buyer decides to buy it from you, both parties enter into a contract that they are expected to honor. Sellers who don't honor their contracts create unhappy buyers and are in violation of the Ideal-marketplace Ethics code and the User Agreement.

Buyers should be confident that the item they've purchased is available and will be delivered in the promised time. As a seller, you are responsible for ensuring any items offered for sale are in stock and are delivered to your customer as promised.

To avoid issues with stock-outs, always give yourself some extra time for any unplanned event, if you know anything can happen and go wrong, then offer 3-5 days delivery instead of immediate one. It's always better to surprise the customer with a lower time than making him upset for not delivering it on time. There may be times when inventory problems occur beyond your control. It is your responsibility to either quickly let the buyer know when the item will be available or issue a full, immediate refund.

Also remember that buyers expect to receive items that look exactly like the product they need. As a result, supplying items that are not brand new or original (counterfeit) can be frustrating, which is also forbidden.

Terms and conditions: Make your terms of sale easy to find and understand so that buyers know what to expect. Terms should include:

•  Shipping and handling information, shipping cost and method used

•  Forms of payment accepted

•  Return policy

•  Restocking fees, if applicable

•  Taxes, if applicable

Have in mind that sellers are fully responsible for ensuring buyers receive their items in the condition they were promised. There is no chance to blame someone else if this does not happen.

Return Policy: If you accept returns, chances are that you'll be a more successful seller. The reason is obvious; buyers are more comfortable shopping from sellers accepting returns. Also, our research shows that only a very small percentage of sold items are actually returned.

If you don't already offer a return policy, we recommend you consider developing one that works for you. Think about how you would issue a refund—would you give money back, or a credit toward a future purchase? Are you willing to accept all returns with no questions asked, or do you have some limitations? Finally, who pays for the return shipping, you or the buyer? Explain how your return policy works, so that buyers understand their options while returning items. Consider including details like these:

•  Time limits: How long buyers have to return the item after they receive it?

•  Refund type: Do you offer money back, merchandise credit, exchange?

•  Return shipping charges: Clearly state who pays for return shipping, you or the buyer.

•  Restocking fee: State if you charge a restocking fee and, if so, what it is
Item condition: Clearly state the condition of the returned item that you require. For example, "unopened box" or "opened box with all original materials".
If you sell internationally, clearly state any international limits to your return policy.

 

Note: Sellers are required to accept a return if Ideal-marketplace determines that the item was significantly in bad shape once received by the buyer.

Communication: Proactively communicating throughout the transaction gives your buyers confidence and sets expectations about when the item will arrive. Plus, it can head off questions from buyers for additional information.

Be aware of the downside of not communicating! If you don't respond, respond very slowly or send responses that don't answer the buyer's question, you may get BAD feedback. Use these strategies to make your communications as efficient as possible:
Tell buyers how to reach you and how quickly they can expect a response. Be sure to follow through on the expectations you set.

Keep all of your contact information up to date. Also, check that any spam-blocking software you have installed doesn't limit a buyer from communicating with you. Answer emails quickly. Many buyers use email to test your responsiveness and gain trust. If an issue comes up, keep the buyer informed as you take steps to resolve it. They'll feel better knowing that you're on top of things.

Provide great customer service: Feedback is all about meeting a buyer's expectations, so put yourself in your buyer's shoes and treat them the way you'd like to be treated. When you package an item, include a handwritten thank-you note. End the transaction on a good note. It's important to keep communicating even after the buyer has paid—buyers will base the FEEDBACK they leave on the entire transaction.

Make sure to leave feedback for your buyer: Leaving feedback after receiving payment provides another opportunity to connect with buyers and gives assurance that you have their best interests in mind. In doing so, buyers will be more likely to leave feedback for you.

Shipping Time: The amount of time between making a purchase and receiving an item affects a buyer's satisfaction with a transaction. Buyers who know when their item has been shipped, get tracking information, and receive their item within the specified timeframe tend to be satisfied with shipping time.

While you can't control exactly when a package will be delivered, you do have the power to set the right expectations. Plus, using best practices when you ship is a great way to avoid “item not received” cases that can impact your selling status. Here are some important best practices to follow:

Specify your handling time: This is the time between when you receive funds from the buyer and when you put the item in the mail. Same day turn-around is best; most buyers are looking for two days or less of handling time. If you do not ship on weekends, state that in your description.

• For international buyers, explain customs, duties and tax responsibilities. Let international buyers know they are responsible for customs fees and may experience delays due to customs. If you include this message, Ideal-marketplace will remove negative or neutral Feedback given on those listings due to customs delays or fees.

• Specify your shipping policies in the shipping details section of your listing.

Offer a shipping service that provides tracking numbers: "Where is my purchase?" is one of the most common buyer questions. When buyers can track the progress of their shipment, they're more satisfied and leave sellers better FEEDBACK, and you spend less time answering buyer questions. Tracking and delivery confirmation also play important roles in Ideal-marketplace dispute resolution for items not received or items significantly not as described.

Package Properly: Ensuring that your item gets to your buyer quickly and safely goes a long way in creating buyer satisfaction and positive Feedback for you. Here are some tips for packaging your items:

• Choose a box that's slightly larger than your item.

• Double box fragile items such as glass or china.

• If you're reusing a box, cover any previous labels or cross out a previous address with a heavy black marker.

• Pack bubble wrap, raffia, peanuts, foam, or paper all around the item. Close and shake the box. If the item shifts, add more packing material.

• Put a shipping label inside the box.

• Tape the opening of the box and reinforce all seams. Use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape, or paper tape that is at least 2 inches wide. Don't use masking tape, cellophane tape, cord, string, or twine.

Shipping and Handling Charges: Today's ecommerce buyers expect reasonable shipping, that's the key to keeping low scores to a minimum in this area. Simply put, sellers who use shipping and handling as way to make money from buyers will end up with lower FEEDBACK scores.

Put yourself in their shoes, what would you do if you purchased something, paid for it and then found out that the seller charged you twice as much of what the real shipping cost was? Would you be happy about that? Even tough sellers are free to charge reasonable shipping and handling fees to cover the costs of mailing, packaging and handling, for you to be most competitive and ensure buyer satisfaction, you should minimize the amount you charge for shipping and handling.

Offering free shipping is a strategy that can improve your scores in this area. Sellers will always choose to buy from sellers that charge no shipping cost or the lowest ones.

Follow these best practices to appeal to buyers, set expectations and reduce shipping costs:

HELPING SELLERS ACHIEVE FAIR FEEDBACK.

Ideal-marketplace.com encourages all buyers to leave the scores they feel are appropriate on a transaction. However, there are instances when Ideal-marketplace will take steps to ensure that the fairness of the system is being preserved. Here are some of the instances where we will get involved.

• Free shipping. When you offer free shipping for example, Ideal-marketplace will automatically defend you in case the customer gets upset about anything related to delivery time, since he was not charged for it, then he has no right to get upset with you.

• Feedback extortion. For buyers whose conduct is inappropriate, such as threatening to leave negative Feedback for you unless you provide goods or services NOT included in your original quote, we can help you.

• Buyer abuse. To protect sellers, we are continually increasing our ability to detect and act on abusive buyers.

• Unpaid items. Buyers are immediately blocked from leaving Feedback or even using their account to buy again, if they haven't paid.

 

 

 

 


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