5 Worst Online Seller Mistakes & How To Avoid Them
- NOT TALKING TO POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS
Every question a customer poses to you is a valid question in that customer’s mind. No matter how ridiculous you think the question is or the fact that you already provided the answer in your listing is an irrelevance to the way you handle an answer that customer’s question. Whenever you get a question, just pause for a few seconds to ensure that you have not created confusion in your listing. You may fully understand the details and the complexities of the listing.
You may know your products so well that you’re using an internal language to that of your industry that your customer does not understand. Also, your customer may be from a different background or culture, or may have issues in reading. So never stop communicating with your customer regardless of how you will personally feel about his or her question.
- OVER PRICING AND UNDER DELIVERING
There are a number of people selling on eBay and Amazon who have decided they will put extra money on the postage and packaging charges so they can make a little bit extra. This is short sighted for several reasons. The customer is not so stupid as to not to be able to work out what a fair shipping price is.
If you’re just an occasional seller, then you may not know where to find cost-effective shipping. We go in to a lot more detail with practical webinars in our member’s site.
Top Tip: Before you list your product work out the shipping cost so that you do not get caught out by selling an item and not charging the correct shipping amount.
- POOR PACKAGING
Nobody likes receiving a parcel in an old tatty box covered with tape wrapped in a black thin polythene dustbin liner with a piece of paper taped, ripped, and torn with appalling hand written felt marker address details. This just does not look professional, especially when you have given a wonderful description of the item that you have sold them.
A clean Jiffy bag or a nice new cardboard box lined with bubble-wrap, and good quality brown tape with a neat self-adhesive address label with return contact details in the top corner make the recipient feel as if you care about the product that you’re sending.
Top Tip: Make a flyer with an offer, maybe 10% off your next purchase or freepost or even a free gift. Do not lose this valuable opportunity to allow the customer to come back to you directly and make a further purchase.
- NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF GREAT PHOTOS
I recently saw an item on sale on eBay with the picture of the item taken on the kitchen table. In the background were the kitchen cupboards and various items of crockery and food on the work surface, and there were also stains and marks on the table that did not look good.
- Would I seriously want to buy that item?
- Can I actually see the item correctly in the picture?
Top Tip: Use a white background, which can be a sheet or a piece of board. Take a good photograph of the item. If the item has serial numbers and manufacturers reference numbers, take a close-up photograph of those, place that as your second photograph. If your item has any marks or flaws then take a picture of those too.
- SHAKY OR UNPROFESSIONAL VIDEO
It’s forecast that over the next few years streaming video is going to be the best way to get your products on top of the search engines. Google already likes video but you’ve got to know how to use it to its best advantage. As with taking pictures, a shaky video doesn’t look professional, so you need to invest in a little bit of equipment.
When you’re showing an item that would benefit from a 360° view, then a little turntable makes all of the difference, and a five second video may just allow the buyer to press the buy button against that of your competitor. Videos are now easy to make with mobile phones, reasonable quality cameras and free online software; all you need is a little imagination and a few extra minutes. It can make the difference between a sale or no sale.
During the course of reading my book you will gathered that I’m quite an advocate of good customer service. I empower my team to deliver excellence and occasionally it costs money to put something right. We are all capable of making mistakes, but as long as you learn from the mistakes then at least you will not repeat them in the future. Sending the wrong product to a customer is very annoying to both parties, but the way you deal with the solution can turn that customer into a lifelong repeat spending advocate of your web shop. Never forget that the opportunity to put things right can lead to repeat business and new business because of your actions. However, if you can’t be bothered and you don’t care, then please don’t get into the business.