6 Ways Setting Up Your eBay Buyer Requirements Will Save You Money

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Let’s face it, customer service is tough in any environment. People are throwing money at you in these tough times (for whatever reason you’ve been able to convince them to do so) and they want to make sure that their parting with said money was justified. If you make the slightest wrong move to make them feel it wasn’t, get ready to feel the fury.

Add to this the faceless internet where people feel they can really let out their savageness, plus an eBay feedback system which allows sellers to leave nothing but positives for their buyers, and a non-committal kind of attitude from internet users and selling suddenly becomes a slightly scarier business.

Well, for all your special Cost Coach readers, I have 6 ways to cut down on some of that stress and help you weed out some of the most troublesome of buyers and circumstances before you ever run into them. Especially, those pesky Nigerian buyers…

eBay Buyer Requirements

eBay has set up a special page full of functions that help sellers maintain control over who can bid on their items and who can’t – the Buyer Requirements page. You can find and set up these buyer requirements by first going to your My eBay page, and mousing-over the Account tab (for those of you who don’t know what a mouse-over is, it’s when you put your mouse over a particular spot on the page without clicking. If that particular area is programed to react to mouse-overs, you’ll usually see a menu pop up or down. Sometimes, mouse-overs cause text to appear. Now give yourself a pat on the back – you’re slowly joining the 21st century). When you mouse-over the Account tab, a menu will pop-down, from there, click on Site Preferences. On the next page, find where it says Buyer Requirements. Click Show. Now click Edit. Voila – the eBay Buyer Requirements page.

Now, for a jump-start guide to selecting the right requirements for your business.

Cut Down on Bid and Run eBay Buyers

By selecting the option for blocking buyers who don’t have a PayPal account linked to their eBay account, you’ll significantly reduce the number of buyers who mass register, bid on items, don’t pay, get suspended and mass register all over again.

The reason for this is that in order to pay or receive money with PayPal, you generally have to have a linked bank account. If you’ve registered with eBay before and been suspended, this will extend to your PayPal account status. If you try to open a new PayPal account to circumvent the related block on the first one, PayPal will pick up that you’re using the same bank account you used with the first suspended PayPal registration. To make this chain of mischief work, you’ll need to also create new bank accounts, and that my friend, gets too cumbersome to actually try – and fraudsters are used to putting a little bit of work into it, but if they were going to put anymore work into it, they might as well get a real job.

By selecting the option to block bidders who don’t have a registered PayPal account, you’ll have to file less Unpaid Item Disputes with eBay and will be able to turnover your merchandise faster.

Block Buyers Registered on eBay in Countries to Which You Don’t Ship

Gosh, that was a mouthful. I honestly sat here thinking for like… 45 seconds, on how to word that neater, but, then I got bored.

Now, here’s a little secret that eBay doesn’t generally tell you up-front (they’re not necessarily hiding anything, it just takes effort to talk to you proactively): you must set up this buyer requirement to protect yourself against receiving orders from countries you specifically said you wouldn’t ship to. Why? They say it’s because it’s your responsibility to make sure that your items aren’t visible to those buyers who will be subsequently disappointed when you don’t end up shipping it to them… or something. I’m not going to speculate too hard on the fairness of this mentality, I’m just going to make sure that you know to set it up.

Never ship to Nigeria…

So, I’ll repeat (for all you slow learners):

You must set up your eBay buyer requirement for blocking buyers registered in countries to which you don’t ship in order to be protected!

It’s the second option down on the eBay Buyer Requirements page, and what it does is pretty self-explanatory. To go hand-in-hand with this one, you also need to make sure that on each auction, you’re setting your “Ship-to” preferences correctly – selecting the countries you’re willing to ship to and de-selecting the others.

Protect Yourself From eBay Buyers With a History of Not Paying

There’s an option for blocking buyers with a certain number of unpaid item strikes within the last certain amount of time – use it.
I say “a certain amount of strikes” and “a certain amount of time” on purpose. You can change these two options. The default is generally 2 strikes and 1 month so that the parameters of the whole statement are: “block buyers who have 2 strikes within the last 1 month.” Change 1 month to 6 months for maximum protection.

Block eBay Policy Violators

I mean, who wants to do business with a violator?

eBay allows you to block people who have been reported for violating eBay policy. It’s a little like rejecting people who have been charged with a crime, but not convicted – but convictions can be hard to get even for the guilty, even on eBay, so this can prove useful to you. Someone has too many reports against them? Block them.
Keep in mind that these reports could be for anything from listing counterfeits, to extorting feedback, to leaving unfair feedback, or sending mean emails.

Block eBay Buyers Who Have a Feedback Score Lower Than Zero

In the years since sellers could no longer leave buyers negative feedback, this is becoming obsolete. Unless your potential buyer has sold a few items and gotten negatives on all of them and, for whatever reason, suddenly wants to pick up buying, this’ll block them.

Don’t Let Those Trouble Makers Bid on Too Many of Your Items!

You can block buyers who are winning a certain number of your other items within the last certain number of days. Again, you can select the number of items and the number of days.

I’d recommend this if you sell higher-end items. It’s perfectly normal for someone to bid on 30 pairs of chopsticks from you or 4 dozen sets of party-favors – 10 engagement rings, on the other hand? Not so much. This will block people before they can do too much damage. (Btw, if you order the Chinese zodiac chopsticks, always specify what sign you want, otherwise, you’ll end up with the pig… and that’s just embarrassing to look at while you’re eating).

So go ye forth now (or something) and start warding off those more worrisome eBay buyers!