Let's talk about feedback. We all know that feedback is an essential component of eBay, in fact it's probably a large part of why the company has been so successful. In marketing terms we might refer to feedback as social proof. I'll explain what I mean. We all make decisions based on what others do, yes we are influenced by others to an extraordinary degree.
If someone tells us that they enjoyed a great meal or watched a really good movie, chances are that we'll do the same, based on their recommendation. That's social proof.
The principle works on eBay too. When we read the feedback comments left by buyers and sellers we take note. If those comments are predominantly positive then we naturally trust the person behind that account.
So not only is feedback an essential aspect of eBay that virtually all buyers and sellers devote significant amount of time to reading, it is one that deserves more attention than you give it now.
For most sellers, leaving feedback is a few rushed words, fairly generic, and posted without much thought. The renegade seller on the other hand realizes that there is an opportunity to make more of this important aspect of eBay.
Firstly, don't leave feedback to chance. Rather than letting buyers write the first thing that comes into their heads, prompt them a little. How can you do that without seeming impolite or demanding?
Send out an e-mail around the time you expect them to have received their item, and politely ask them not to leave feedback until they are 100% satisfied. If there's something that needs to be fixed, tell them you want to do that. Let them know that you live for happy customers!
Next, guide them as to what to write. Suggest to them that your customers are delighted because of the fast shipping, friendly service, fair mailing costs, quality of items, and any other benefits you can think of. This is an NLP technique that plants the thought in their mind, so that when they come to leave you feedback, you've already told them what to mention! Is this deceiving customers? No, not if you genuinely do deliver these benefits. You are simply helping to remind them.
Another important renegade feedback strategy is to include a marketing message in the feedback YOU leave. For example, instead of the usual, "Great transaction, recommended eBayer etc etc" that most buyers and sellers default to, use the space to further promote your items.You might say, "Thanks from BobMillsPosters.com -- eBay's #1 Collectable Poster Store."
In the above example, notice that the feedback message points people back to a domain name, which would be either the eBay store or your own website. Also, notice that the first letter of each word is capitalized -- an effective marketing technique to make the wording stand out.
Remember, feedback comments stay on an account for a very long time, so use that precious 'real estate' wisely.