My first ezine of 2010. Here’s to a great year and we are off to a super start!
- Lynn Recommends: Dinnerware Success Story–a new 3-volume eBook!
- Special Announcement: On the radio with Griff & Lee
- Feature Article: Dealing with Unruly Customers in 3 Easy Steps
- The Queen’s Update: Requesting More Stories from You
This ezine is published every two weeks.
January 14, 2010 Volume VI, Issue 1
Happy New Year! I had a great New Year’s celebration and got to spend it with my friends and family.
Here I am with my brother, mom, and Maureen
at a Thai restaurant on New Year’s Eve.
I also got to ring in the New Year with two of my favorite high school friends, Tina Burke and Tracey Nockleby. What a blast! Tina’s brother is Billy Burke (He plays the dad in the Twilight movies) and Tina and her husband have a house here in Palm Desert at the gated community across the street from me. What a small world!
Speaking of Twilight, Caroline, a Queen’s Court member, sent the most amazing Christmas presents for Houston and Indiana.
Indiana received a Twilight bracelet and floral necklace. And Houston got a Wheaties Box with his home run photo from Cooperstown on it! When he opened the present he was like “I am in awe, I am in awe, How did she do this?” Thank you, Thank you to Caroline! She also sent us some homemade cookies and bread. Wow!
I want to update you about the shoes from the last ezine. The only pair of shoes that sold were the après ski boots. Oh well, I had priced the other pairs quite high so that I could protect my investment. I will be raising the price even higher and putting them in my eBay store.
Here are the neat Apres ski boots.
Another crazy couple of weeks here in Palm Desert! Houston’s new baseball team finally won a tournament. It was so exciting! The boys played five games in 24 hours. Each game was seven innings or two hours (whichever came first) and all the games went at least two hours–Yikes! Their first game was Saturday night at 5:30 pm.
Houston pitched the first game and did an awesome job! We won that game and then they had to play again at 8 pm. They lost the second game and then won the third and fourth games on Sunday Morning putting them in the championship game at 2:45 pm.
In the championship game, the boys were down three to nothing in the bottom of the 7th. There were two boys on base and Houston got up to bat. I yelled and said if he hit a home run he could get a new bat.
He didn’t hit a home run but got a solid double that brought in two runs. It was 3 to 2. Somehow we got the bases loaded and scored two more runs on two singles. It was sooooo exciting and I am so proud of all the kids!
Here is a photo of the baseball team.
The Queen’s Court Plush Christmas present has been a fun experiment to watch. Here is a quick update. Edith in Cincinnati got the Steiff monkey and it sold. He is so cute!
Check him out here and see how much he sold for!
Marcia’s St. Jude Bear was sold to an ezine reader and all the money ($24.99) went to the St. Jude charity. Thanks Marcia!
Check out this darling Steiff Barista Bear
that Vicki in California got and listed.
In the Lynn Recommends section, read more about my three-part dinnerware ebook–Dinnerware Success Story. As many of you know, selling dinnerware is a cornerstone of my business. It can also be a cornerstone of your business and I am writing an amazing eBook to help you get your dinnerware business up and running without making many of the errors that I made on my road to dinnerware success!
In the Special Announcement section, I was on the new eBay radio this past Tuesday with Griff and Lee. Please read this section to learn more and get a link to listen now if you missed hearing it.
This week’s feature article is about how to deal with unruly eBay customers. And believe me, with the economy the way it is, these faceless customers are getting more brazen than ever! Don’t miss my feature article, “How to Deal with Unruly Customers in 3 Easy Steps.”
By the way, we have sold 13 seats for Live Boot Camp 2010. If you are considering joining us, we recommend that you reserve your spot early. This one is going to sell out quickly. Here is a link.
Finally, we are looking for more of your stories. Read below to find out how to submit your stories for consideration.
Lynn Dralle, ‘The Queen of Auctions,’ Creator of the best-selling eBay Boot Camp in a Box.
Important News Update:
URGENT — INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING PRICE CHANGES
As many of you know, the USPS raised its Priority International mail rates on Monday, January 4th, 2010. Not great news, but the increases were not too bad. The USPS will not raise first-class international prices until sometime mid-year. I have redone my INTERNATIONAL shipping chart with these new increases.
If you aren’t already using my International Shipping Cheat Sheet, I highly recommend it. It saves us literally hours a month in quoting shipping rates to our international customers. The international market is a great place to get more exposure for your auctions so why not start selling to a wider audience and see what happens to your bottom line? My cheat sheet will make it faster and easier to quote the most commonly asked question you get from international buyers.
A downloadable version will be the Queen’s Court gift for January and is on the forums for download now.
If you want to get the laminated hard copy version – so handy to keep by your computer to make quick shipping quotes – with the 1st class domestic retail page on the backside, you can order it here at a great price and be ready for the new changes! I know I can’t live without my laminated USPS International rate chart and use it about five times a day.
Click here to order yours.
UPS has also announced price increases, but I am not worried about these at this time. I have been quietly adding 50 cents to $1 to my base UPS s/h/i prices in anticipation of this change.
Dinnerware, China, whatever you want to call it, these items are the cornerstone of my business on eBay. You might even call them the bread and butter (plate)! Ha Ha.
Anyway, I talk a lot about dinnerware, teach about it, and feature it in my Live Boot Camps, but I know that an in-depth eBook is a necessity for you to be successful. One of my new year’s resolutions was to write this eBook, and I can’t think of a better way to start this year off than to offer it to you at a special preorder price.
Because there is soooo much amazing information, this dinnerware eBook will be published electronically in three separate volumes. Volume #1 will be available by January 25th. Don’t miss out on the special preorder pricing. This is an awesome bunch of information! (Queen’s Court members, don’t forget to use your discount.)
I have started writing the 3-volume eBook and it will cover the MAJORITY of these topics–I am still fleshing it out.
- Brands to buy
- Tricky Brands
- Patterns to Buy
- Good Color Combos
- Good Themes
- Different Countries
- Types of Dinnerware–Pottery, Stoneware etc.
- Best Selling Patterns of all time
- Single pieces to purchase
- How to identify the different pieces
- Terms & Definitions
- Pricing and How to Sell
- Condition and Seconds
- Where to Buy?
This eBook is a no-brainer money-maker for YOU! Don’t miss out on the special intro price. Click here to order now. Volumes #2 and #3 will be available to purchase and download by February and March, respectively.
Check out this salad plate that I paid $2.99 for. You won’t believe what it sold for. One sale like this will pay for half of this amazing 3-part eBook at the intro price. Just one salad plate!
See the salad plate auction here.
The Arabia plate above is the one I talked about on the Griff and Lee Radio show on Tuesday. If you missed it, you can listen here.
I always have a great time with Griff and Lee. This radio segment started out with Lee telling us that her house is starting to “look like a Mexican Restaurant.”
That fits in perfectly with one of the things we discussed, selling items from Mexico on eBay. You won’t want to miss this segment.
‘Dealing with Difficult Customers in 3 Easy Steps!‘
by Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions
This Christmas, Houston and my mother could have been difficult customers. My mom bought Houston a soccer jersey on eBay for one of his Christmas presents. The jersey he picked out was Lampard, but the one we received (from China and not Canada as we assumed from the listing) was Ballack. Houston and my mom were not happy!
The seller was not overly nice about it and insisted that we return the item to Canada. The seller would pay for the shipping and refund our purchase price plus s/h both ways. I have to admit that it was a pain to return it. And we have the post office and UPS picking up from us daily! I can totally sympathize with customers who have to return items that don’t have the luxury of daily pick up.
Anyway, we got it returned and are waiting for the refund. Hopefully, it will come through soon, so Houston can buy the correct jersey.
Here is what the jersey was supposed to look like.
The holidays are a time when both buyers and sellers can get frustrated. I just spent 20 minutes in my eBay office with Carmen discussing how to deal with one unruly customer. And while we were talking, the customer sent us three rude emails. Help! What a waste of our valuable time! I am sure many of you can relate to this scenario.
We shipped an order to this “new” eBayer. She only has 26 positive feedback points. She claimed that 1⁄2 of what she ordered is missing and that of the six dinner plates and four cup and saucer sets she should have received, she only got three dinner plates and two cup and saucer sets.
To back up her claim, she says that the box only weighs five pounds but that on the UPS label we claim that it weighs ten pounds, so she knows that her dinnerware did not get sent to her.
Carmen remembers shipping the entire set of six plates and four c/s sets, and in fact, everything in this pattern is missing from the original shelf where it was stored.
What to do now? Here is how we deal with these types of problems.
1. Kill them with Kindness
Because eBay is all web-based, we never actually get to meet or talk to our customers. We think that this is one of the big reasons that customers can come across as being rude. They are “faceless” to us and we are “faceless” to them. This is why it is important to try my first step in the process and “Kill them with kindness.”
My grandmother always said, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” and she is right! The first thing we do is email the customer and be overly nice. Here is a sample email;
We are so sorry that your order appears to be incomplete. We do remember packing all of your dishes and we have nothing in this pattern left in the office. Would you do us a BIG favor and go through the box again? Oftentimes, the missing pieces get lost in all the packing peanuts we use to insure the safe arrival of your items.
Thanks so much for your business and sorry for any inconvenience.
Then we wait for them to respond.
If their response comes back and our original email didn’t work, we request their user ID information and actually call them.
This is a great part of “Killing them with kindness.” Most customers are SHOCKED to actually receive a phone call about their order.
Here is a link on eBay to where you can request a user’s contact information.
Once I have their phone number, I will call them and go over the problem with them by phone. More times than not, they won’t answer and I end up leaving a message.
Once we have tried by email and phone, with still no resolution, we move on to step number two.
2. Offer a Partial Refund
Offering a partial refund works wonders. This can really keep your return costs down and make your customers very happy.
When someone is not satisfied with their purchase, or we have shipped the wrong item, or part of a shipment arrives damaged, here is the type of email we send.
We are so sorry that your item arrived damaged. Would a partial refund help? Please let us know how much of a refund would make you happy.
Thanks for your business, sorry again and thanks for understanding.
Asking them to name the price also keeps the cost down as most people will be embarrassed to ask for too much.
If your customer doesn’t go for the partial refund and expects a full refund, and it really doesn’t warrant a full refund, ask them to return everything by mail to receive that refund.
I can’t stand it when a customer thinks that just because a tiny part of the order was wrong, or something broke in shipping, they should get everything for free. This happened to us recently with some rooster bowls (that I listed during Live Boot Camp 2009). There were 3 Williams Sonoma Rooster Pasta Bowls in the order that had sold for $9.99 each–a bargain.
Here is one of those bowls.
The woman first insisted that one of the bowls was broken and she wanted her entire purchase price plus shipping refunded. Give me a break (haha)! When we wouldn’t refund the entire price, she then claimed that two were broken.
At that point, Carmen and I decided to ask her to ship everything back for a full refund. She did ship us back two bowls and the 2nd bowl that she said was broken had a small nick on the footer. Not a break at all!
A nick on the footer just doesn’t matter, so I relisted the two bowls in my eBay store at a higher price, $19.99 each, to cover the cost of the shipping for the refund. Hopefully, they will sell soon!
If all else fails, and you are still being bothered by a customer, move on to step number three.
3. Block their User ID
Because there are some bad eggs out there, who will hold us for feedback & PayPal hostage, we do have one final option. These customers who expect the moon and are not happy with any of our attempts to make them happy will be blocked from ever buying from us again.
To block a buyer, all you have to do is copy their user ID and paste it into the bidder block list. Here is what eBay says about Blocking Bidders:
If you don’t wish to sell to certain eBay members, you can put them on your blocked list. Members on that list will be unable to bid on any of your listings until you remove them from the list. You can block up to 5000 User IDs.
- To block a member, enter the member’s user ID and click Submit. Separate user IDs with a comma.
- To remove members from the blocked list, select the members’ user ids and delete them. Remember to inform the members so they can resume bidding on your items.
Here is a link to find that page.
Here is what it looks like on your “my eBay” page under favorite links.
Even though eBay says you can block up to 5,000 bidders, in my 12 years of selling on eBay I have only had to block 21 bidders. Remember, most eBay buyers are wonderful people, and being nice will always help you come out on top.
WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?
See Lynn’s past ezines here.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR ON YOUR WEBSITE? Yes, you may – just as long as you include all links as they are and append this complete blurb with it: The Queen of Auctions and eBay Power Seller, Lynn Dralle, publishes ‘eBay Tips & Tricks’ a weekly ezine with 10,000+ subscribers. If you’re ready to jump-start your eBay business, make more money, and have more time, get your FREE tips now at www.thequeenofauctions.com
We are looking for your eBay success stories to share with our ezine readers and possibly make it into a book of our reader’s best eBay stories.
A big thanks to everyone who has already submitted a story! We are looking for more great stories of your eBay adventures. We know there are many great tales out there, so please submit your story along the lines of the stories from the 100 Best Books and a great side story with photos will help. If we use your story, you will receive a $35 merchandise credit on my website and you will have your story featured–along with your user ID–in my ezine! It may also eventually end up in a published book!
By the way, when I mention my ezine readers’ user IDs with links to their auctions–it actually helps their sales! Amazing how that works. Click here for the guidelines for submitting your stories.
eBay PowerSeller and third-generation antique dealer, Lynn Dralle, is the creator of Boot Camp in a Box, the home-study course where you can learn to implement the Dralle Method to maximize your eBay profits.
If you liked today’s issue, you’ll love this step-by-step course that is guaranteed to be the most complete and enjoyable guide to selling on eBay that MAKES YOU MONEY.
Read all about it here.
The Queen of Auctions also offers articles, teleseminars, how-to books, tracking guides, DVDs, eBay Boot Camp training, and other resources to help entrepreneurs make their eBay business a six-figure sales machine.
The Queen of Auctions/All Aboard Inc.
PO Box 14103
Palm Desert, CA 92255
Lynn is an experienced eBay Power Seller, author and teacher. If you want to know the eBay tips, tricks, and tools that Lynn uses for buying and selling at an online auction click here.