When I say message boards, I generally mean any social media. Facebook groups, eBay community, etc. As a seller, I’m on three Facebook groups that deal with online selling. These boards are a great way to find more information on online selling, the eBay Seller Culture, and even dealing with the selling platform themselves. Over time, I stopped becoming active in these boards for a number of reasons. One reason is the same questions that pop up over and over again by newbies. I get it. I was a newbie at one point. Selling online is not as easy as it is made out to be by some eBay/Etsy Gurus. Here are some questions I find to annoy/anger members of online selling groups.
1). *Posting a picture with a bunch of different items* ” Are any of these items worth selling?”
Doing this is just as annoying as the lazy dumb kid that’s trying to copy off the smart kid. You need to do the “homework” yourself. Learn how to search sold/completed items on the selling platform. If you don’t develop the intuition to figure out if an item will sell then you will not enjoy online selling.
2). “Why won’t this customer leave feedback?“
Because it’s not a requirement. When your starting out, you want feedback. It gives the customer peace of mind to buy from you. I understand why you might want build your feedback score but it’s annoying for a customer to get it. Eventually you will get more feedback if you sell more. You do plan to sell more right? In my experience probably only 50% of my customers leave feedback.
3). “Can you look at my store and tell me how to improve? My sales are down.”
Ok this question isn’t annoying. It’s the person asking it. 9 out of 10X they take it personally when someone replies with constructive criticism. Pictures are bad? Not enough information? They’re probably right. If you are easily offended then you need either realize it’s just business or quit. Because this is a sign you probably are eventually going to quit when a bad buyer comes along.
4). “Why are they raising fees again?”
Because it happens every year and it’s just business. Either you have to change your business model or decide if online selling is still right for you.
5). *Along with a picture at a garage sale, thrift store, etc* “Should I spend $X on these items?”
I’m still surprise people still do this but I notice it’s more annoying if the same person does this on a regular basis. It’s ok to ask every now and then but don’t be surprise if you are replied with ” Look up complete, sold on your phone.” Snippy? In your eyes but the time it took for you to ask on the message boards is the same amount of time (even less) for you to search for yourself.
6). “Why do I have to refund when I don’t allow refunds/returns?”
You are listing at a platform that wants to give it’s customers the peace of mind of buying from them. You may be only a mild seller compared to someone who does this for a living/second job, but to all online customers they expect a certain security when they shop. This includes accepting returns, and quickly answer questions on an item they already bought. It’s the reason why selling platforms such as eBay and Amazon stand out from all the little online sites that lack this.
7). “Is everyone’s sales down too?”
The reason why this question is annoying is that it brings negativity to the online community. A message board isn’t there to vent your frustration on lack of sales but more of to find ways to improve your sales. This question is hard to answer as well. Not all sellers are selling the same things as you. There are seasons and months where items seem to fly off your storage but there are some where dust is collecting. It’s up to you to find out if the current month or season is a low season or peak season for your niche.
I hope this blog posts answers some of your questions about online selling . It’s a rewarding experience if you do the research, and give your time. Even though my part-time job is helping me save more money, I hope to leave it soon to focus more on online selling (I never stopped, but I haven’t focus on it as much). I miss the flexibility, thrifting, and research.