Taking Time to Organise Your Shop Policies

by Allison Whitehead

Allison Whitehead is a UK-based writer and eBay PowerSeller who provides PowerSeller Tips for eBay Confidential.

If you have an eBay shop, then you have to have policies to put in it. But let’s face it – policies just aren’t as interesting as stock listings are they? And that’s why some sellers come unstuck when they first consider having a shop. They will naturally want to stock it with all their wares so that people can find it and order whatever they need. Sales are what make the money, aren’t they?

But don’t let those shop policies get away from you. Because if you forget to put them on your shop pages and you get a problem with a customer, you might end up with a problem that goes much further than simply being an inconvenience. It might take a while to set up all the ones you need but the journey is well worth it as it will enhance your shop and make you look like a much more professional seller.

In order to set the pages up that you need, you should go into your ‘manage shop’ option and select the From there you simply follow the instructions and set them up for yourself. If you need some ideas you can always visit a selection of other eBay shops to see what they use – but be careful when you do. You should always make sure you write your own content rather than copying anyone else’s for starters, and remember that your own shop will have its own unique needs. What someone else does may not always be suitable for you and what you are selling.
Right, so with that little warning out of the way, let me reveal what is in our eBay shop pages at the moment on this subject.

1. Payment

This is always an important page to have, even if the majority of people don’t read it! And in fact this brings up an important point to think about – if you know most people won’t read it, why should you bother putting it in there at all?
There are two answers really. The first one is that a small majority of people will look for it and they will read it, so it should be there for them. And secondly, when you get an email from someone saying that you didn’t state that they couldn’t pay by postal order, you can politely send them the link to the page where you DID say just that…!

This information should be on all your listings of course, but it never hurts to include it in your shop also. People might find your home page before finding a specific item, so they can see the information is available to read there regarding payment. Our page is really no more than simple and straightforward instructions regarding how we accept payment. We have also made sure that the name that any cheques should be made payable to appears in a different colour and underlined for clarity. And yes, some people still do get it wrong!

2. Postage

This is the page where we state how we work out postage and what the expected delivery times are to certain destinations. For example, we’ll give an estimated time for UK customers and an estimated time for international orders. We also give advice on what to do if the item does not arrive, and what we do regarding refunds or replacements.

Everyone has their own ideas about how they should operate in this area, but you should state clearly in your shop pages how you work. This will enable people to know what to expect, and that does seem to foster more trust between you and them.

3. Returns policy

We never get too many returns – in fact I think that out of the hundreds of items we sent out over the Christmas period, we only had one item returned, which we refunded right away.

But this page is where we tell people what they should do if they are not satisfied with the item they have bought. This has nothing to do with items that may arrive broken or are faulty in some way, as these would be refunded or replaced ‘on our dime’, so to speak. Basically, we give a time limit for returns of this nature, and the customer must bear the cost of returning it. And once again, because this appears for everyone to read in our shop, if anyone says that we haven’t stated this we can send them in the right direction.

4. Safety Centre

This is a page that you may not need to have, depending on what you are selling. But because we are selling toys more than anything else, we do need to state as clearly as we can what the ‘rules’ are. For example, we have given some information about the CE mark and also about the 0-3 symbol. You know the one I’m sure – it’s got a very unhappy face inside a red circle with the numbers 0-3, and a red line through it. We need to assume that people aren’t familiar with this, and so we explain it on this page.

Consider carefully whether there is anything you should put in your shop which mentions how products should be used, or any similar problems that may occur. So you can see that it’s not just a case of knocking together a quick page or two to go in your shop. It might take you a while to create all the pages you need, but once you have done so there should be very little need to ever update them. The only one we change is for postage, and even then we simply add an additional page from around October onwards, which we keep as a Word document ready and waiting for that purpose. Take a look at your shop now – does it have the policies you stand by on display?

This article first appeared on Auction Genie. Read more and comment here