Communicating with Your Trading Partner
The key to successful transactions on eBay is direct communication between buyers and sellers. However, from time to time, misunderstandings do happen.
Here are some tips that can improve your ability to work things out with your buyer or seller:
Presume good faith from the other side. Don't assume that your buyer or seller is acting unfairly or unreasonably. Usually problems are a result of simple miscommunication or mistaken assumptions. Make it clear to your trading partner from the start that you see the situation as resolvable, and that you don't assume they've acted with bad intentions. They will usually reciprocate, and you'll work out the vast majority of problems.
Focus on the problem, not the person. Talk about the situation you want to resolve and potential solutions, not your assessment of your trading partner's character. It may feel temporarily satisfying to "tell off" your trading partner if you think they've acted in an inappropriate manner, but it almost always makes the situation more difficult to resolve.
Threats and insults almost always backfire. Every eBay member's reputation is dependent on feedback left by their trading partners. Threatening a member with negative feedback or insulting them usually stiffens their resolve and makes them less accommodating and cooperative. While leaving negative feedback is sometimes appropriate, resorting to harsh measures too quickly can make the situation worse than it is. Try to use negative feedback as a last resort.
Look for creative solutions. Think of solutions where both you and the person you're trading with get what you're looking for. Believing that any gain for you is a loss for the other side leads to a combative, me-versus-you situation. Instead, think about common goals you share with your trading partner. If the seller sells the item at a fair price and the buyer gets something they desire (which was why both of you came to eBay in the first place) then both of you go away happy.
Remember the broader picture. Instead of getting caught up in the emotions of the moment, remember this is just one transaction among many more to come in the future. Looking at the situation through the eyes of the person you're trading with may help you understand the perspective from the other side. Sometimes the "winner" can really be a loser in terms of wasted time and negative feedback. Keep your perspective and you'll be much better off in the long run.
Customer satisfaction is good business. Sellers, sometimes being accommodating to your buyer can be good for your business in the future. Research has shown that buyers are 10 times as likely to spread word of a negative buying experience, as they are to talk about a positive buying experience. Buyers are more loyal to sellers that they've worked with to resolve transaction problems than to sellers where no transaction problem has occurred. Consider your reputation as your most valuable asset.