Running a successful eBay business takes time, effort and dedication, but even the most zealous of online entrepreneurs needs to take a break from time to time. The trouble is that with so much to think about, is it really possible to take a break and go on holiday when you have an eBay shop?
All too often eBay sellers are caught out by orders placed while they are on holiday, and the effects on your Direct Seller Rating (DSR) can be devastating. Recently some sellers are finding that even though they have placed their eBay shop ‘on holiday’, they are still receiving orders with an estimated delivery date before they’ve returned from their trip.
Here are the steps you can take to put your eBay shop ‘on holiday’ without ruining your seller rating:
Using eBay’s holiday settings
eBay allows you to add a message to all of your listings letting buyers know that you’re on holiday, and you can choose to put a message on your shop front as well. However, this message is easily missed by customers and doesn’t prevent orders being placed.
You can also choose to put your fixed price listings on hold, by selecting ‘Hide and block purchases from my fixed price listings’, when you’re setting up the holiday settings. The downside to this is that it can take several days for your listings to be hidden. And, when you turn off the holiday settings it can take a while for your listings to appear in search results again. While hiding your listings ensures no customers are ordering without realising you’re away, it also means that you will be making no money at all.
‘Out of office’ automated emails
If you absolutely can’t take your laptop (or a smartphone with the eBay app and emails) away with you then it’s essential to set up automated responses. Letting customers know that you aren’t ignoring their questions and queries is important to maintain your standards. You can easily set up an automated reply to eBay messages to tell them you’re away.
It also helps with people that order despite your holiday messages, to set up an automatic response to PayPal emails. If you let customers know that you’re away, and there will be a delay in dispatching the order, they’re likely to be understanding.
Extend your handling times
Even if you use eBay’s ‘on holiday’ settings, the estimated delivery date doesn’t take your absence into account. If you choose not to hide your listings and someone orders a product then the estimated delivery date will still be based on your handling times, so it’s worth considering extending this while you’re away. This gives you a better chance of avoiding negative feedback.
The key to taking a holiday while selling on eBay is to plan it out in advance. Set up your holiday messages a few days in advance to allow time for your listings to be hidden and to clear your orders so that everything is packed and posted before you leave.
Unless you end all your listings, which means a complete cutoff in your income, potential loss of returning and new customers, and the hassle of relisting everything, there is no completely ‘safe’ way to take a holiday from your eBay shop. However, these steps will put you in the best position to maintain your seller rating and avoid negative feedback while you’re away.
For more information about how to use eBay’s holiday settings read this article.