Creating Customer Loyalty On Ebay

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eBay is great for selling bargains and low-cost products and everybody seems to be looking for cut-price items on eBay. However, while this is true, people also want to buy from sellers and businesses they can trust and many regular eBay buyers can become loyal customers and buy from you time and time again. Most marketers spend the majority of their time trying to attract new customers, yet it costs six times more to attract a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer, so it makes sense to cultivate repeat business.

Many buyers will probably come straight back to you, rather than spend time comparing products and other sellers. In fact, it has been estimated that repeat customers actually spend over 30 percent more than new customers. So, one of the best ways to sell on eBay -- or anywhere else that matter -- is to spend more time building a trusting relationship with your existing customers and treat them really well. You will find that you can increase your sales enormously just by following this rule. Make your existing customers your priority and make sure they know how they can find you again by keeping in touch with them on a regular basis.

Be professional and personal

When you contact your customers, make sure you do it in a professional way -- if you are e-mailing, use professional templates and if you are providing links through to your website, make sure your website is up to scratch. If you are e-mailing, you can use the eBay platform, which is a professional way of doing business. Make sure you answer any e-mails and queries promptly.

Also, when you are trying to build a relationship with your customers, speak to them on a personal level and make sure they know who you are and that you have a physical address and a real phone number, which reassures them that you are a legitimate and trustworthy seller. Try to make any communication fairly chatty as if you were speaking to a friend and give them every opportunity to ask questions and verify anything they need to understand before they make a purchase.

Delivering the goods

Once your buyer has won your item, they need to have an automated e-mail to thank them and let them know how to make payment -- this can be done very easily through PayPal and is usually the best way to get payments in as it is safe and provides reassurance for both buyer and seller. Avoid accepting checks and other methods of payment as these are often used by unscrupulous sellers and will ring alarm bells for prospective purchasers. Stick to the safe and tested methods of payment online and it will help your customers to trust you.

Make sure your packaging is secure and looks professional. It's cheap enough to buy quality packaging boxes and envelopes and it goes a long way to giving your customer a good first impression when they receive your goods. Make sure the packaging is the correct size for the item you are sending as it looks very amateurish to jam items into a tiny box or pad things out with layers of newspaper because it's rattling round in a box that is too big.

Always include a note to thank your customer -- most eBay sellers don't include any form of paperwork, they just shove the item in an envelope and send it out. However, they are missing a great opportunity to make further sales. Make sure you include some marketing materials, a website address, or at least a business card and preferably a short handwritten note to say thank you -- it only takes a minute and really adds to the impression you make with your customer. You could also consider a small gift as a bonus -- something inexpensive that will create good feelings. It doesn't have to cost much, but it will go a long way to building that vital relationship with your customer.

Get your item out quickly, once your customer has paid. Get it in the post within 24 hours if you possibly can, as this will also add to those good first impressions your customer has of you. It's always a good idea to e-mail your customer letting them know when they can expect delivery of their purchase.

Leave positive feedback for your buyer -- you will not be allowed to leave negative feedback for buyers on eBay anyway so leave positive feedback and hope that they will leave positive feedback for you in return as this is vital to your credentials as a seller. Many customers will prefer to buy from well rated sellers so do all you can to avoid negative feedback.