While thousands of shoppers will flock to the eBay Ireland site this season, in search of festive bargains, Patrick Munden, head of its business development, says the most common mistake people make when browsing and bidding is not checking the listings thoroughly.
Munden advises that bidders first check the sellers rating. “If people deep dive into the seller rating, they can see the history of what the seller has bought and sold over the last 30 days and go more in depth. It gives you an idea of whether the seller is trusted by the community.”
Secondly, this ‘deep dive’ will give a buyer a good idea of the track record of the kind of items the seller has been offering because, in a fraudulent system, says Munden, someone might sell quite a lot of low-value items to get their seller rating up and then all of a sudden sell a high-ticket item.
Another built-in protection against online fraud on eBay, which will reassure customers, is that if someone is consistently selling fraudulent items it will soon be reflected in their feedback, explains Munden.
“First of all it will start showing up as negative feedback; secondly people will begin giving details about why the seller received negative feedback. So, if you found that someone had sold 100 items this month and got 99pc positive feedback, then that is the built-in reassurance.”
From the sellers’ perspective, Munden advises that, the better the description, the more likely the item will sell. This may sound obvious, but most people are not availing of easy-to-use video clips that research shows instills more trust in the consumer when they can see footage of the goods in question.
“A really important, yet overlooked, strategy is to put up details on your ‘My eBay’ and ‘About Me’ section. If you do the research, you will find that successful sellers providing an About Me page are happy to tell the buyer a little about themselves and how long they have been in business.
“It can be quite hard for a seller who is starting off with no rating or a zero rating – how do they get people to buy off them? Set up an About Me page immediately.”
By Marie Boran