8 Things to Say in Your eBay Listings to Drive Buyers Away

Rope "bull-running"
Image by Daniel Rio Tinto via Flickr

Granted, these things might not drive all your buyers away. The ones who buy recklessly or are mostly illiterate will still purchase your item… and those are the ones who always give you the least amount of trouble, right? It’s a vicious circle… you first attract the ruthless buyers by having ridiculous disclaimers that drive off the reasonable buyers, then the high ratio of unruly buyers rolling in causes you all sorts of trouble, you get frustrated and create even more strange and un-helpful caveats to bidding on your items.

But, hey, it’s your business, right? Run it into the ground as you please. Below are 10 things you can say in your listings to help speed up the process. Oh, and I’m not making these up – some eBay sellers have actually already implemented these tactics.

“Image Used is for Reference Only, Your Item May Appear Different.”
Well… but… what if I want to know what mine’s going to look like?? I sort of… I really prefer to throw money at things that I want and you know… have seen.

And, if you can’t even show me a picture of it, how do I know you really have the item?

“By Bidding on This Item, You Agree to Not Leave Me Negative Feedback, This is Legally Binding!!”
But what if you suck? I don’t want to take the chance that you won’t. Even if they deliver the item perfectly, I “neg” them anyway just because they are so annoying.

Also, good luck getting a judge to actually uphold those “legally binding” terms – or getting eBay to not remove your listing.

“Shipping and Handling Charges are Only Estimates, I Will Send You the Real Handling Charge at the End of the Auction.”
Um. How do I know this “shipping charge” isn’t going to end up costing more than my car because technically you said it could be “more?”

“I Only Do This As a Hobby, So I’ll Ship Your Item Out Whenever”
Just like your old boss doesn’t care that your marriage is on the rocks, which is why you seem to never be able to make into work on time lately, your buyers don’t care if this is a business or a hobby – they just want what they paid for.

“Sold as-is! Absolutely No Returns for Any Reason”
The only way to scream “horrible customer service” louder over the internet is to put it in all caps.

“Know What You’re Buying!”
This basically translates to “know that it should’ve just been thrown in the garbage.”

“All Non-Paying Bidders Will Be Reported to eBay, Given a Strike, Will Receive Negative Feedback and Will Be Pursued to the Greatest Extent of the Law”
Aww, there’s nothing like starting out with threatening your customers to build rapport.

Here is proof of the “Greatest extent of the law:” Judge Judy in action.

The strike thing pretty much goes without saying. You don’t need to be all threatening about it before they’ve even not paid you.

You can’t leave buyers negative feedback on eBay anymore, but nice try.

And the greatest extent of the law is how long the judge will laugh at you.

And Finally: “If You Don’t Agree to These Terms, Please DO NOT Bid!!!1!!11!!!”
Well, when you put it that way, how ‘bout I go spend 75 cents more on a better seller’s iPod…

3d human with a tree in hand