It’s now the time of year that everyone wants a break from work and a few days off with their families over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Unlike traditional retail outlets the Internet never sleeps and people will be online making purchases over the whole of the holiday period.
It’s important to be clear as to when buyers may expect to receive their items, and with Christmas falling over a weekend there are four days when couriers won’t be calling, and many also won’t collect on Christmas Eve making a fifth day with no collections. If you’re leaving your eBay shop open make sure you have a message displayed to inform buyers when their purchase will ship and how long it will take to be delivered. Also consider extending your normal handling time to include a couple of extra days over the holiday period.
What many sellers will choose to do however is to close their eBay shop over Christmas. The real benefit is that you won’t have to worry about low Detailed Seller Ratings or non-positive feedback as buyers simply won’t be able to purchase goods until you’re able to recommence deliveries after the holidays.
One option open to sellers is to simply cancel all their eBay listings and to relist them after the Christmas season when they’re back at work. This is a particularly bad strategy as doing so will lose you all of the benefits you’ve built up in search results from recent sales in Best Match. Ideally you would never allow a listing to end that’s attracting sales and although if you run out of available stock you may be forced to do so, to manually end the listing isn’t something to do lightly.
Fortunately you don’t have to end listings on eBay to prevent people from buying while you’re on holiday. eBay have holiday settings which can hide your listings and prevent unwanted sales.
“It’s worth noting that eBay have improved holiday settings from previous years. In the past it was a common complaint that sellers enabled holiday settings in their eBay shops and yet buyers could still purchase items.”
It’s worth noting that eBay have improved holiday settings from previous years. In the past it was a common complaint that sellers enabled holiday settings in their eBay shops and yet buyers could still purchase items. Normally this was because they’d had the item on their watch list or made a previous purchase from that listing.
This year eBay have added in more options to Holiday settings and you can now hide your listings and block buyers from making purchases until your return. You can also display a message on your listings and in your eBay shop, as well as displaying a return date when you’ll be back at work.
It’s important to remember that your eBay shop holiday settings only affect your fixed price buy it now listings. If you have eBay auction style listings running these will be unaffected by holiday settings.
Finally don’t forget that just because you’ve put your eBay shop on holiday doesn’t mean that you can totally ignore it. You will continue to be charged eBay fees, listings will continue to expire unless you have relist rules set, and importantly buyers will continue to be able to leave feedback, open disputes send you messages and request returns.
One of the most important things to do before going on holiday is to set your Out Of Office reply in eBay My Messages. This can be found by clicking the “Change Settings” link within my messages located on the right hand side of the screen. You can set a start and return date as well as a custom message which will be sent to all buyers who email you through eBay. This can be used to assure them that their message has been received and what date you will be responding to them.
Finally don’t forget to take your holiday settings off a couple of days before you get back to work. Making your fixed price listings available to buyers again will ensure that you’ve got funds coming in and items for your warehouse to process when they return to work in the New Year.