Preface: In no way do I think I’ve got everything figured out when it comes to eBay (ha! I wish), nor do I think there is only one right way to do most things. But, this is an aspect of my business that I’ve figured out works well for me, and I am puzzled when other sellers react with strong opinions against it.
It’s one small simple thing, but I think it benefits me in many ways: I e-mail each and every one of my buyers after I have shipped their item to let them know it’s on the way.
The message usually looks like this:
Just wanted to let you know that I dropped your package off at the Post Office this morning. Thanks!
Some sellers will be quick to say it is not a good idea because we are then open to be rated on communication, where if no communication has passed between buyer and seller it is (theoretically) an automatic 5-star rating. This is where risk vs. reward comes in. Do I risk getting less than 5 stars on “communication”? Sure. But what are the possible rewards? Here are a few off the top of my head:
1) Buyer knows the item has been shipped.
2) The speed in which I have shipped their item is emphasized (next day or when possible same day ~ sooo many of my feedbacks say some variation of “super fast shipping!”)
3) I have opened a door of communication between us. AND – I think it’s a good thing! Hopefully I have given the impression of a friendly seller who is willing to take a moment to follow up on their purchase. And if/when an eventual problem does arise I am hopeful that the buyer will contact me first responding to this e-mail vs opening a case or taking another avenue.
4) I have received SO MANY cool stories back about why buyers buy what they buy. And I wouldn’t have heard any of them without sending the “your item has shipped” e-mail.
5) The e-mails from the great buyers help me keep the rare bad buyer in perspective (they don’t come along often, but they can sour the whole experience when they do, can’t they?!)
6) I don’t buy items off eBay very often (I know, shame on me), but when I do I am ALWAYS left with the option of rating the seller on communication even when no communication has passed between us. So, I’m not convinced that the “automatic” 5-star rating actually works the way we think it does.
Sure, sending the e-mails at the end of each day takes a couple minutes. But to me the rewards far outweigh any time invested or potential risks.