Dos and don’ts of online selling is a highly debated topic. Online selling has its benefits, but in order to be successful there are certain basic rules that sellers should be aware of. Well maybe “rules” is a little harsh, so i guess guidelines should be more acceptable. We shall call them “the dos and don’ts of online selling”.
When we opened our packaging and paper supplies etsy shop i did do some research beforehand and even tried approaching a few experienced sellers in order to get some tips. Now, more than two years and several hundred sales later (those intermediated through etsy), i can say i’ve dealt with plenty different situations and plenty different clients. Also, maybe the most interesting thing of all, i’ve gotten to see and hear plenty sellers’ opinions.
Probably the most important DON’T for online sellers is: DON’T be rude to your clients! No matter what, you can’t be rude to your clients. Of course, there will be times when clients are unreasonable, that’s a given (you can’t satisfy them all!), but the way you handle these situations is very important.
– DON’T reply right away! It’s very frustrating dealing with difficult customers; you are very well aware of the time and effort you put into creating your items, so it’s only natural to feel hurt, but being rude to those clients would actually do more damage to your shop than help in any way. Think it over and only reply once you’ve calmed down. “Sorry” and “thank you” are a huge part of dealing with such situations, so DO use them! Yes, even if the client is obviously unreasonable, they don’t say “the client is always right” for no reason. You might feel inclined to disagree thinking: how could i possibly apologize and be thankful to a client who is rude from the get go? Yes, DO start your message by thanking the client for the feedback (even though negative) and apologize for the fact that your item is not exactly what was needed. Grit your teeth and DO that. It will be a lot better on the long run. It might actually change the client’s opinion in fact. On the other hand, if you’re rude back, the whole situation would just escalate.
– if you’re an etsy seller dealing with a public negative review, it is even more important to use diplomacy. I did talk about etsy reviews a while back so you can find more information about this over there. It is safe to say that difficult customers are not that many, so for the majority of normal, regular customers it will be important to see how you manage a not so favorable situation. These potential buyers will read your reviews and if there are unreasonable comments, they will also realize that. But they will also see your replies and if they are rude, the fact that the initial comment was unreasonable will not matter as much. If, on the other hand, you did use those “thank you” and “sorry” words, the potential buyers will know that they’ll be dealing with professional people
– DO communicate! No matter what the situation is, DO reply to your clients / potential buyers. DON’T leave issues unsolved and try to find solutions that work for both parties.
– DON’T lie! If you’re having difficulties with the deadlines, try to explain it to your clients the best way you can. DON’T tell your clients their items have shipped if they actually haven’t. Provide accurate information and accurate photos of the items you’re selling.
Well i’m pretty sure we’ll be having other similar posts as there are many DOs and DON’Ts in online selling, but the ones above are, in my opinion, the most important ones. Please feel free to add your own DOs and DON’Ts based on your own experiences!
The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!