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Get the Right Kind of Feedback to Sell Expensive Goods

By Aron Hsiao  on March 19, 2018

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Most eBay sellers understand that several key strategies are critical to eBay Sales:

  • Optimizing for good placement in eBay search

  • Pricing competitively

  • Providing free shipping

  • Offering generous return and exchange policies

  • Maintaining great feedback

From the items on this list, feedback is less talked-about than the others these days. This makes a kind of sense; over the years, eBay has become a much stronger advocate for great shopping experiences and has firmly nudged sellers that struggle in this area toward either better service on the one hand or selling elsewhere on the other.

Lots of sellers do well selling high-priced items on eBay, but you'll need the right kind of feedback if you want to be successful in this club. © Pitchathorn Chitnelawong / Dreamstime

As a result, shoppers generally no longer need to worry about accidentally doing business with sellers that have legitimately poor feedback scores, as they're unlikely to encounter one.

There is one area, however, in which feedback still matters in a big way: high-priced item purchases.

How Feedback Matters for High-Priced Items

eBay is one of the world's most important online marketplaces for high-priced goods of all kinds, from iPhones to rare collectibles to Rolexes. Yet shoppers are rightly cautious when it comes to buying these kinds of goods online, particularly from independent sellers on a large marketplace—even one as large and respected as eBay.

This is where feedback comes in. Shoppers about to make an expensive purchase have far more reason to carefully comb through a seller's feedback when they're about to trust that seller with hundreds or thousands of dollars.

If your plan on eBay is to sell items that are likely to be "major purchases" for your shoppers, then it's in your interest to keep your feedback in tip-top shape. But you can also go one step farther; there's good feedback and then there's really great feedback that reassures precisely these buyers about the investment they're about to make.

What Great High-Priced Item Feedback Looks Like

Really great feedback isn't just about the score; it's also a matter of what past buyers say about you. And when it comes to reassuring expensive-purchase shoppers, the most common types of feedback really don't help you much:

  • "A+ seller"

  • "Great seller A+"

  • "Thanks"

These throwaway descriptions aren't meant to tell buyers much about you. Buyers provide them just to be able to complete the feedback form and check the "Positive" box. If you're selling expensive items, you want more.

In fact, if you're selling expensive items, there are four kinds of comments that you really, really want in your feedback history.

  • Shipping speed compliments. Buyers who send hundreds of thousands of dollars via PayPal are instantly antsy. They've sent their funds out into the ether, but have nothing to show for it yet. Feedback that says "Delivery was amazingly fast!" or "Received it before I expected it!" tells a shopper that they won't be stuck in this uncomfortable position for long.

  • Fulfillment quality compliments. Buyers of expensive items are also justifiably worried about what may happen to their item during shipping, and about the risky back-and-forth of expensive item returns. They'll be impressed by feedback that says "Packed very, very well!" or "Item was exactly as shown and well-protected!"

  • Communication compliments. Also reassuring to such buyers is feedback that indicates your availability to monitor the transaction and to discuss and resolve problems. Shoot for "Awesome communication, answered questions, kept me informed!"

  • Service compliments. If something does happen to go wrong during an expensive transaction, you're at risk for negative feedback—but you can turn lemons into lemonade by providing rapid, conscientious service to earn a "Seller provided hassle-free service!" or a "Seller went the extra mile to make sure I was satisfied."

How to Earn This Kind of Feedback

Earning feedback like this is deceptively simple. There are two steps that you need to take. The first is to actually provide these things:

  • Fast shipping

  • Reassuring fulfillment and box-open experience

  • Proactive and helpful communication

  • Excellent service in case of difficulty

These needs aren't unique to sellers of high-value items, but it goes without saying that if you're not providing them, you won't be complimented on them in feedback.

The second step is to communicate with your buyer quickly after delivery and request good feedback in a way that encourages the description you're hoping to earn. Use your messaging to target the type of feedback you'd most like to receive at the moment:

"Was your item delivered as quickly as you'd expected?

Yes: please leave us positive feedback and say so!
No: Please let us know immediately so that we can take care of you!"

By providing exceptional service and targeting the types of feedback you'd like to receive, you can build a feedback profile that reassures buyers about your ability to sell high-priced items safely and professionally.

Over time, you can even include references to this feedback in your item description:

"Buy with confidence! Check our feedback and be reassured that we:

• Offer lighting-fast delivery
• Deliver what you bought and protect it on the way
• Answer questions and concerns professionally
• Quickly provide support and resolve problems"

Feedback like this is evidence of a highly professional seller who provides great service that shoppers can trust. Over time, this will translate into more sales—because buyers that see it will pay more for a safe, predictable transaction.


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