Best Practices for Answering Buyer Questions
Answering buyer questions is part of doing business on eBay. But what if you could answer your buyers' questions before
they ask? By providing all the relevant information a buyer needs to make a timely purchase decision, you can eliminate the buyer's need to ask a question—and close the sale faster.
Provide robust information when listing
Including information in the following areas in your listings and Automated Answers
will reduce buyers' need to contact you for more information.
Customize your Get Answers page
- Shipping: Approximately one-quarter of all questions from buyers are related to shipping. When you list, taking the following steps will ensure your buyers have all the information they need right on the item page:
- Specify shipping services and costs
- Specify handling time
- For international listings items, explain customs, duties and tax responsibilities
- Specify shipping policies in the shipping details section of your listing
- Offer a shipping service that provides tracking numbers
Buyers who know when their item has been shipped, get tracking information, and receive their item within the specified timeframe have a much better chance of being satisfied with shipping time.
Learn more about shipping best practices.
- Item specifics: To ensure your buyers have detailed information about your item, try these steps:
- List your item's features, attributes, and condition with the item specifics provided by eBay. You can also customize item specifics if the ones provided don't meet your needs.
- Specify item condition—it's one of the top purchasing criteria for buyers
- Include pictures showing your item from different angles. Pictures provide the buyer with visual information that is sometimes hard to capture in your listing description. Including pictures is a great way to help reduce the need for your buyer to contact you with a question about the item.
Learn more about item specifics.
- Additional SKUs: If you have additional colors, sizes, versions, etc. of your product, take advantage of multiple variation Fixed Price listings to showcase them to all your buyers in one listing. Not only does it increase your chances of making a sale, it also reduces the need for buyers to contact you asking about additional variations of your product. Plus, you save on listing fees!
Learn more about multiple variation Fixed Price listings.
- Catalog: If your item matches a product in the eBay catalog, list the item using product details. When you do, your listing is automatically populated with key information such as photos, item specifics, dimensions, descriptions, reviews, and other details. This saves time, creates a more complete listing description, and gives your item exposure through the product details page.
Learn more about the eBay catalog. Parts and Accessories seller? Try new parts compatibility listings.
- Return Policy: Buyers are more comfortable shopping from sellers who offer clear return policies, even though buyers rarely return items. In fact, sellers who have clear return policies on their listings typically sell a higher percentage of their items than those who don't. All sellers on eBay are required to specify a return policy, regardless of whether they accept returns.
Automated Answers (also known as Smart FAQs) is a free feature that draws live information from your listings to answer the most common buyer questions before buyers email you through the "Ask a question" or "Contact seller" links.
If you enable this feature, buyers are taken to a "Get Answers" page when they click the Ask a question link on the item page. There they'll see frequently asked questions with answers drawn from your listing. If they don't find the answer, buyers can click on the Contact seller link at the bottom of this page and submit their question to you as usual.
In addition to the auto-populated information available in Automated Answers, you can customize your Get Answers page to better serve your buyers by:
- Adding customized questions and answers
- Disabling individual auto-populated questions/answers
- Choosing not to show any questions and answers on the Get Answers page. If you choose this option, your buyers will see only the Contact Seller link which will lead to a pre-addressed email with the item ID in the subject line.
Learn how to customize your Get Answers page
Set your communication preferences for checkout comments
We understand that not all sellers are set up to handle communications that come in from buyers during the checkout process.
Starting November 17th 2012
, sellers will be able to control whether or not buyers can send them instructions/comments when placing an order via the checkout process. This communication preference, once set, will apply to ALL of the seller's listings. The default communication preference setting will accept comments/instructions from buyers. In order to change the setting, sellers will need to go to "Manage Communication with Buyers" under "My eBay" and select "edit" to change preferences. Sellers will then need to de-select "Allow buyers to provide special instructions during checkout". Any changes made to the preference settings will be effective immediately.