Expand Your Service
So, what are you going to do next? Sit back and enjoy the profit you have made, and then get back to repeating this process? If you think your duty ends here with the sale, you are terribly mistaken. Recall what I said. Look at this as your standalone business, not as something you do once in a while.
As a businessman, you take care of your customers and vendors and other service providers, email them to check if they are satisfied with the services you have provided or take time to give feedback to your vendors. You need to do a similar task here, at least for the next three to four months, especially when you are new to this field.
When you start off your arbitrage business on eBay, you will have a low limit because you need to establish your business. Once your business starts growing, you will need to increase the limit on your listing.
When I did a course on entrepreneurship, I visited a coffee shop to understand how the coffee shop functions, what is the ambience of the place, the number of customers who visit per hour, and the kind of products they sell to their customers. Later, I made an assessment to find out what could be the possible investment for the area, and how the owner / franchise would have started operations.
I had a brief chat with one of the employees at the coffee shop, and figured out that they started with limited products and cash reserves in hand for the next three months, and then expanded to include a number of other products on their menu.
Everywhere, people do not start with too many things on their plate. You start with a limited number of listings, and then you will have to start growing your listing.
In order to do this, for the first few months, at least the first three to four months, it is important that you create a strong working relationship with eBay. Call their helpline to check out your performance. Give them feedback that you are having a great experience selling products on eBay. Understand what your current limits are, and keep seeking avenues to expand your limits.
Do not attempt to ask for a raise in limit the very first time you talk to them. Ask them if there are any other and better ways to list products. eBay organizes webinars every week to help you understand numerous issues. The first three to four months will be a learning exercise and you can take advantage of the webinars that eBay organizes to understand more about the way you can manage your listings.
As a thumb rule, start with one or two products, build a customer base and then move on to adding more products in your listing.
With eBay arbitrage, while you are the customer of the online wholesaler, you have customers too, who buy from you.
Hence, give due importance to them too. Your customers leave you feedback, and may have a number of queries regarding the products that you sell or the service you provide. Some customers may be rude, while others may be polite. Still, others may have a very indifferent attitude. You can gauge this from the feedback that they give you.
Take time off to respond to their feedback. I know it is not possible for you to comment on the feedback that each and every customer gives you. Hence, allocate an hour or so to reply to their comments. It could range from a simple “Thank You” to an elaborate reply to a very nasty criticism.
Let me tell you a story here. It actually drives home a very important point on customer satisfaction. This happened with Home Depot and has become a classical case and anecdote in teaching customer relationship management.
On a hot afternoon, a middle aged lady came into a Home Depot store and said, “I need to replace this set of tires of my car. I have a receipt to show that I bought it here.” The employee of the store was flabbergasted, and did not know how to react. He tried to reason with the lady that it was Home Depot, and they don’t deal with tires.
But the lady was adamant. She insisted that she gets a replacement for the tire, and did not budge from her place. The employee called the manager of the store. When the manager spoke to the lady, the lady said, “The note outside your store says you replace anything. So, why don’t you replace the tires?”
The manager calmed the lady down, walked across the road to the tire showroom, bought a pair of tires for her, and handed it over to her. He even ensured that the showroom guy installed the tire to the wheel. He personally paid the showroom for the car tires and gave the receipt to the lady and sent her off. The lady went off happily.
Later in the day, he hung the tires outside the store with a note, “Satisfied a customer today.”
This, my friend, is customer satisfaction. Well, not everyone will be the middle-aged lady, as in Home Depot. The people who buy from you are your genuine customers because they have placed an order on your eBay seller’s page.
Hence, it is critical that you have a one-to-one relationship with them. The more you interact with them, the more you make them feel part of your online set up. The next time they come to eBay, they will first check out your store before proceeding to other stores because they know that you will give them valuable time.
This also brings to focus the importance of understanding customer behavior on online retail firms. The online purchasing behavior is very different, and people seek to buy a number of items on impulse. I have bought a number of items on various platforms but I purchase them only when I require them. Whereas, many people buy because there is a massive discount.
There are online stores like Flipkart that offer “Big Billion Day Sale” when prices of many products are extremely low. Well, the concept of low is debatable because it never remains low for more than 5 minutes from the beginning of the sale. Once the sale starts, items are sold like hot cakes, and within no time more than 10,000 different items are sold, and the price jumps to its standard or fair price.
The above example of the “Big Billion Day Sale” is to highlight the importance of understanding online consumer behavior and this will affect the way your page will perform.
Over time, you will learn to create a strong working relationship with both the online wholesalers and customers that will help you to grow your business on eBay.