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The eBay Challenges - A Year In Review

So far so good with my eBay experience as a member of the Parent Panel. I've made some decent cash to pay some bills here and there but it hasn't been a 100% skip along through la-la land. And I'd be remiss if I didn't share some of the downsides with those of you who are dipping your toes in the water or at least considering it.

1. Returns - Having someone request a refund for an item is one of the most deflating experiences you can have as an eBay seller. You worked so hard to get that listing to look just right, you spend considerable mental energy describing your listing and now the person who was so excited to receive your item and probably gave you positive feedback wants their money back. As long as they are within the return guidelines that you set there is really nothing that you can do other than to be as much a cheerful returner as you were a seller. Maintain the same level of professionalism and it is highly unlikely that your feedback will be in danger. Just make sure to cancel the transaction so eBay doesn't charge you for a what is now a non-existent sale.

2. Feedback - My formula for maintaining a high feedback score is to communicate. As in any relationship communication is the name of the game and if you want your buyer to get the warm and fuzzies about you as a seller then communicate, communicate, communicate. Let your buyers know when their items ship, provide them with tracking/shipping info if you have it (make sure to insure the package so that if there are any mishaps during shipping you and your package are guarded against a long drawn out buyer-seller dispute process).

3. Shipping - This uncharted land is an are that I have yet to master. Buy a scale, make sure you know the rates for whichever shipping service you are using. But the trick of it all is to figuring out how to price an item to include shipping, especially when up against larger more established sellers who have mastered the shipping equation. My advice would be to do what feels morally correct as far as pricing (and financially sound). People visit eBay for the deals that beat most other online retailers. You're wasting your time listing items for a gabillion dollars because you don't want to take a hit on the shipping. The question you have to ask yourself is do I want to sell something I may have either paid nothing for or no longer remember buying or do you want to get every single penny that the item is valued at. The same thing goes on in the housing market and we all know how that's working out.

Ultimately, hard work, staying the course and not being discouraged by the occasional challenge, some of which I listed above, will keep you on a straight path on whatever selling goals you have on eBay. Take all the things you've accumulated in 2011 --- items you know you aren't not going to find a use for in 2012. It can be done and there are plenty of success stories. Such as the one featured below. Decide what's you think you can sell and give eBay a try!

Happy New Year!

Note: This is a sponsored post. However the opinions expressed here are wholly my own.

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