As a long time ebayer (since before 2000) I have had my share of experiences good and bad as both buyer and seller. Most of my transactions are fairly smooth, mainly because I am careful about my bidding and because I have reasonable expectations for used items. It is rare, however, that I will go back to the same seller twice. So how does a seller successfully convince you to save them to your favorites and return to see their offerings when there is just so much out there on ebay? Well, my latest transaction illustrates what worked on me.

I was recently on a quest for a pair of Allen Edmond dress shoes and, since the retail price on a new pair is around $350 and up, I decided to do something I have never thought of doing before: buy a used pair of shoes. My reasoning for this is primarily because Allen Edmonds offers a refurbishing service at their factory. You send them any pair of Allen Edmonds, and they replace the leather soles and the heals and refinish the leather on the entire shoe all for $99. I figured that if I could score a used pair in reasonable condition for around $50 I could have a nice dress shoe at half the price that would probably last me 10 years or more. So, I start my hunt. I craft a special search and save it, I install the eBay app on my iPhone, enable push notifications, and I watch every pair of Allen Edmonds that are in my price range for about 6 weeks. Finally, the eBay gods smile on me and I find a pair that is both in great shape and in my price range.

The auction ended at an odd time and on a weekday which worked to my advantage and I snag the  shoes for just $36 with my first and only bid. I pay for the shoes and shortly after receive this message from Jon, the seller (click image for full size):

how to sell to me on ebay

So let’s analyze this confirmation for a moment and bask in the goodness of an ecommerce retailer who really seems to care about whether I give him my business again. Then, think about your latest ecommerce transaction and ask yourself if it comes even close.

1) He acknowleges my payment and thanks me. Pretty standard.

2) He confirms that the item has shipped and gives me the method of shipping, the tracking number, and even tells me how to track through ebay. He doesn’t assume that I know how to navigate the ebay interface. He also adds delivery confirmation, a good idea to head off any potential issues and something that, surprisingly, is not done by many who sell on ebay.

3) He tells me that he will be leaving me positive feedback and he did so the day he shipped the item. You would be surprised how many ebay sellers hold positive feedback hostage in case you ding them they can exact revenge.

4) He expresses that he hopes that I am happy with the purchase. Simple, I know, but it’s the small things right?

5) He states that if, for any reason, I am not able to leave a perfect 5 star rating that he wants to know. This is something every single retailer should include in email confirmations. This let’s the customer know up front that you are willing to help them if there is a problem. I imagine this guy does not have many issues with this kind of attitude. And yes, he does have 100% positive feedback.

6) He uses his real name. That’s something that used to be standard on ebay but most sellers opt for the automatic email features that ebay provides and few even take the time to personalize the robo-messages at all.

ebay thank you

After I left feedback, he sent another message thanking me again and politely suggesting that I add him to my favorites (I did) and wishing me a great weekend (I did have one, thanks Jon). By the way, the shoes arrived in 2 days via priority mail and are in great condition.

If you are in the market for a nice pair of name brand shoes, visit Jon’s ebay store The Blind Squirrel.