Using Ebay feedback to your advantage

As a small business you may have to routinely make small purchases, and one of the places you may turn to for the purchases is Ebay. After all, you could, with a bit of hunting, find what you need at a lower price, if you are prepared to do the mouse work.

When you make purchases, what is the most important consideration? For the most part, cost is. Would you want to pay more if you can get it for less? But of course there are influential factors. If you had to choose between two similarly priced items, you might go for the one with the more suitable delivery time. If you could get it quicker, why wait longer? Or would the £15 saving justify waiting an additional two weeks?

A third tie breaker is feedback. All other variables equal, feedback is the most important variable in determining who to buy from.

A supplier with good and a high number of feedback over the last month may mean it is more trustworthy. But beware, as it may mean they could be too busy to fulfil your order quickly. I sometimes order from the supplier who has a positive feedback rating, but not a high number of feedback, because it may mean they have less orders to fulfil and mine may be processed quicker.

If a supplier has recent negative feedback, it may mean the business is going through a bad patch and you should order from them with caution.

But it is not just about numbers. Read what customers say about them – you can glean a lot of information from the comments.

If you are selling on eBay and have to leave feedback for buyers, use it to your advantage. Don’t just leave a perfunctory “Thanks for buying” message, leave something along the lines of “Thanks for your support and buying from me. I appreciate the quick payment.” Why? Because taking the time to leave good personal feedback is an indication you care enough. If people are checking out your business on eBay, it is a signal to buy from you. You demonstrated you care from a purchase the customer made. It is free PR.

Resist the urge to promote yourself on feedback though. I once bought from someone and their feedback for me was “Thanks for buying from (their company name), (their byline)”. That is taking advantage of your customers. It puts off future customers from buying if they know they are going to be used by you. Needless to say, I thought twice about buying from them again.

Ebay feedback can work for you, both as a buyer and a supplier. It is certainly something to consider leveraging to your advantage.