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Communicating with your trading partner

The key to a successful sale is often effective interaction between buyers and sellers. Sometimes, though, misunderstandings happen. Resolving an issue quickly is often a matter of good communication.

Here are some tips that can help you work things out with your buyer or seller.

Focus on the problem, not the person.
Start by assuming your trading partner is doing their best. Problems can often be the result of simple miscommunication. Anyone can have an emergency, or a payment problem that's not their fault.
Make it clear to your trading partner that you see the situation as solvable, and that you don't assume they've acted with bad intentions. They'll usually respond in kind and you can resolve the problem quickly.
Talk about the situation you want to resolve and potential solutions, not what you think of your trading partner. Insulting your trading partner almost always makes the situation harder to resolve.
Think about the big picture.
No-one enjoys having to work out problems, but try to keep your perspective. Rather than getting caught up in the feelings of the moment, remember this situation is just one transaction, with many more possible in the future. Try to see your trading partner's side of the situation too. In the end, you want to resolve the issue quickly, get the best results you can, and avoid negative Feedback.
Look for creative solutions.
Be flexible and find solutions where both you and your trading partner get what you're looking for. For example, if a buyer has a hardship that makes it difficult to pay, rather than opening an unpaid item request, you might consider cancelling the transaction and relisting the item.
Don't use Feedback as a threat
Every eBay member's reputation depends on Feedback left by trading partners. Threatening someone with negative Feedback usually makes them less cooperative. It's also against our Feedback policy and can result in more problems for you.
If you're unsatisfied with the outcome of the situation and feel the other member acted unfairly, you can leave negative Feedback then, if that seems appropriate.
Remember that customer satisfaction is good business.
Research shows that buyers are 10 times as likely to talk about a negative buying experience as they are to talk about a positive buying experience.
Sellers, you can prevent problems by creating effective listings, responding swiftly to buyers' questions using Q&A and by email, and posting quickly after you've received payment. This can get you great Feedback and bring back buyers for more.
Respond quickly and fairly to transaction problems so that neither party has to ask eBay to step in and help.

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