Audi Lee

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Tips For New Online Sellers

Posted by Audi Lee on Comments comments (2)

These are a few things that I learned the hard way.. spending unnecessary money.  I know this information would have been helpful to me before I wasted money on things I didn't have to or need to spend. Maybe it will help you, too. As far as the feedback section, this is something I personally feel is of great value to sellers.. new or established..


PACKAGE LABELS:

You don't need self adhesive paper (that you peel and stick). You can print the label on regular typing paper, cut it out and use your shipping tape to secure it. You don't want to tape over the barcode area.. I tape over the customers name (if anything happens such as rain or tearing) the address is still visible. I tape the top and bottom of label. I use scotch tape to secure each side. Cost is minimal compared to buying those adhesive labels!


PACKAGING MATERIALS:

You don't necessarily need to buy bubble wrap or "peanuts (also called popcorn). Most small stores get this plentiful in their supplies and often just throw it out. I used to work at a health food store and we would constantly be getting both of these. We would bag them and save for customers who asked. When I started selling online, I was able to take as much as I wanted. I'm retired and the store closed but there is another local one I now go to and they save these for me.. BUT other customers too so it may be "first come, first served". Ask your local stores about this.. it was and still is always free for me and I bet would be for you as well.


PACKAGING BOXES:

If you need any PRIORITY boxes, packages, envelopes, etc.. they are free at the post office. You can pick them up when you are there OR you can request them at the USPS website and get as many as you need at no cost and also delivered free. I RECYCLE.. if there is a clean box or package from an item I purchased online or not, I will use it. I try to keep as lightweight as possible (popcorn and peanuts are great packers) I use various boxes such as soda pop,  yogurt and etc... just make sure they are unscented as nobody wants their item to smell like cheerios or similar.  I also use lightbulb and similar size boxes for smaller items. I completely open them, turn them inside out and retape them with strong shipping tape so they receive a plain cardboard box. I also use padded and plain manilla envelopes in small and larger sizes. For the plain ones, I wrap my items(such as jewelry) in bubble wrap and fold the small envelopes in half. I tape over the flap, top and bottom just to be extra safe. You want to try and keep your item fairly flat as possible.. you may need to add a piece of sturdy but lightweight cardboard to do that so you can position the shipping label in an area that it can be easily scanned.


BUSINESS CARDS:

These you really should consider and I encourage you to invest in. They give your business a very professional appearance, leave a good impression and they have your card so they can remember your awesome store and return again!. It's favorable and nice to have and include them in the buyers package. You can give them to people you encounter in your daily life and also your friends and family who will promote you ;)  You can design and purchase great business cards online such as Vista, Zazzle and I'm sure many more. Some online sites offer great discounts for first time buyers, some include free shipping. You can also design and create them at local stores such as Office Max, Staples, Walmart, Walgreens and etc. Some stores may even be able or willing to guide you through the process. Do a little cost comparison research to find the best deal.


FREE THANK YOU GIFTS:

Who doesn't like to receive a little "surprise" in their package?? It may be a simple sticker or a charm.. maybe they ordered a book.. how about a bookmark? For me, I always like to include a little something and the more they spend, the larger the freebie. I LOVE sending free gifts, it's a good feeling and helps build good buyer relations.. when they feel appreciated, they often return!


RECEIVING SELLER FEEDBACK!

This is really important, both for you and the customer. You need positive feedback for yourself, it shows you are a responsible seller that your customers can trust and feel safe purchasing from you. REPUTATION is everything in sales!! Some buyers, no matter what you do or how awesome your product is, even if they love it.. they may not leave you seller feedback. That's ok! Hopefully you will have more that do then not. Just treat your customers like they are your #1 priority and more often than not they will respond in a friendly, positive way. The more positive feedback you attain, the more secure and confident they will feel purchasing from you. Personally, I have maintained 100% positive feedback since I first started selling online in 2006. Is that easy to do? Well, if you treat your customer like they are your #1, that can happen with you, too.


LEAVING BUYER FEEDBACK:

This seems to be a very controversial subject. Some sellers believe the customer should leave them seller  feedback first  because it shows the transaction is complete and they are happy with the item. Sales are not complete until that happens. Also and sadly, I believe that some of those sellers are not secure in their product so they want to make sure that everything is ok and that the buyer won't leave them a negative feedback. You can usually respond to buyers feedback, positive or negative, at most selling sites. So that is one way to look at it, I guess. Personally, I believe that a seller should leave their customer feedback first. As we are online and not in a "brick and mortar" store, this is our opportunity to say thank you for your business. If I go into a local store, I expect that the cashier or owner will say thank you for shopping here, we don't thank them for allowing us to shop in their store. I feel confident in the items that I create, the products that I sell, the packaging and safe receipt of their purchase that I'm not concerned they will leave me negative feedback. Do as you will.. we all have our own views on that, this is my personal view and as a buyer, I feel appreciated when a seller leaves me immediate feedback.  Again, it's up to you.. it's your business to handle as you will.


I hope you find these tips useful and if you are reading this as a new or established seller and have some additional tips or thoughts that you would like to contribute, please feel free to leave your comments in the comment section below this post.


I wish you much success and many happy sales!!!

~Audi


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