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Thu Aug 2 2012 12:15:55

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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As I'm on vacation this week (yeah, really!), I had to take steps to prepare for being away while minimizing any sales losses. First, before I left, I tried to ship more to Amazon via their FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) program, so those items could sell whether I was on vacation or not. (So far this week I did sell one valuable book, so that's something!).

I also usually let any auctions end a couple days before I leave so there will not be hectic packing and shipping of eBay and Amazon items while there is also hectic packing for my vacation. However this time I still found myself packing and shipping a pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes that sold on a "Make Offer" the night before we left. I needed to see those shoes go!

This eBay Guide by "Powerwheelerchris" has some good tips for dealing with vacations, including: 

- "Make sure any auctions you have end, allowing buyers a reasonable amount of time to pay for the items before you leave town."

- "During the last week before your vacation you may want to email buyers alerting them to your vacation and politely explaining to them if they want the item shipped before you go out of town [they need to pay beforehand]."

- "Set up an auto responder through your email provider that will automatically send out an e-mail while you are gone to anyone who sends you an email.  In the auto responder (or away message) you may want to alert buyers when you will return, and when the item will be shipped at the earliest."

- "If at all possible you may want to try to check your e-mail occasionally to handle urgent buyer needs.  (Many hotels and other locations have WiFi access at low rates or free)."

On that last one, I do recommend it, and do it myself, although some may say that you're not truly on vacation, then. Can we ever truly take a vacation from online selling, though? In this day of smartphones and ubiquitous wifi networks, it seems we're expected to check in at least every couple days.

How do you deal with vacations and online selling, and do you stay connected while you're away? Post a comment here!




Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

by: rqtball This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 2 13:06:05 2012

I go away for 9 days from the weekend before memorial day to memorial day for the last few years with ZERO issues..I have 3 day handling and I normally sell 40-50 things during the week.

I cant afford to close everything up as this is how I pay bills.

BUT with ebay penalizing sellers now for not uploading within the stated handling time AND the new flag on 3 day or more handling AND taking away the top seller badge if you use 3 day handling I have no clue what I am going to do next year.

This is another ALL SELLERS ARE THE SAME that ebay treats everyone as.

I should not be punished for wanting to take a vacation which ebay is doing.

as an FYI, even if you closed up shop, all watchers can purchase still and you can still get hit with bad feedback and dsr's

and again in 5 years I have never had issue with buyers...I email all buyers during my vacation when they pay and everyone has been amazing...

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

by: Wire This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 2 13:11:30 2012

When I was on Ebay, I would make sure all my listing ended two weeks before, so that I could ship and make sure the order got to the customer. However, since I've been on Amazon with FBA, I was able to take a 3 week vaction without any headaches at all. And had plenty of sales while I was gone. Gota love that FBA at times.

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Aug 2 15:24:18 2012

Vacation? What's that? Haven't had one in 14 years.

When I go on business trips I drive and take my entire listed inventory, my computers, printer, and packing supplies.  I ship along the way to my destination and ship as I normally do once I'm there.

I think the sadistic, sociopathic teenagers who run ebay should have their vacations cancelled until further notice, should have their paychecks placed on hold until we can determine whether the issuing financial institution has sufficient funds to cover them, and give them a toll free number in Uzbekistan to call    when they have questions.

Ebafia has now gone way over the line -- sellers are de facto unpaid ebay employees.

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Aug 2 16:48:13 2012

For eBay, I just shut it down. For my web store, I'll post an announcement and give a coupon discount (or upgraded shipping) for anyone who orders while I'm away.

eBay buyers are too mean and impatient. There's no way that a discounted price a little extra service (or freebies) would make them content to wait for their purchase a few extra days. So why even try?

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

by: rstpete This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 2 18:21:44 2012

I close all ebay listing to prevent problems, which have occured even with the vacation banner on.  At all other venues people are great and understand and are willing to wait until I get back to ship. See what ebay built!

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 2 20:34:31 2012

As we don't partake with the carrot jumping at fleabay we have never had a problem going on vacation. We have a 7 day shipping policy and just leave...People don't want to purchase from us then they are free to buy from someone else..

Fleabay doesn't support our life style it only feeds the dogs.

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Thu Aug 2 20:49:55 2012

Powerwheelerchris does not sell on eBay any more. He has not sold there for at least a year.

He was a huge supporter and even a Griff listener.

He got fed up and left.

Chris is a really nice guy. I wish him well.

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Aug 2 23:26:48 2012

I think I have Ming beat; I haven't had a vacation since 1994. But I spend most Sundays at Disneyland so that works out okay.

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 2 23:47:37 2012

Vacation? What's that? Haven't had one in 14 years.
LOL, I hear ya Ming! I'm fortunate enough to have an employee (my daughter) hold down the fort while I'm on business trip  and (not sell on Ebay). I still take laptop and be sure to stay in WiFi accessable hotels just to oversee what's happening while gone.
I don't agree with using auto responder email or even advertise being gone whereas there's always the chance (unfortunately?)someone will break into your home and steal everything knowing your away.

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

by: dkkdolls This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Aug 3 00:03:31 2012

When I go away or have a situation like illness or heavy rain so I can't enter the packed storage building and process orders within the 3 days Ebay expects, I put up a vacation notice and make my Buy-It-Now listings invisible until I am ready to go again. Of course, I am still paying for the 2 or 3 days or week of time the Buy-It-Now (run them 30 days with list until sold). I never have auctions in those situations. I have an Ebay store. I do not want to pay another $.20 or listing fee. I prefer not to have auctions closing. I simply put a notice up as to when I expect to be back. If it is only a day I may leave everything up with a notice that I am away from the day and make sure I have processing time to allow it.
Donna

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 3 06:08:46 2012

@Ming

So well said, so WELL said!!!

To steal a line from Blazing Saddles: Vacation? We don't need no stinking vacation!

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Fri Aug 3 08:20:22 2012

"Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!"
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre -
1948, starring Humphry Bogart, directed by John Huston.

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Fri Aug 3 08:23:54 2012

Update - a little research...

The film is the origin of a famous line, often misquoted as "We don't need no stinking badges!" (homaged in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, also a Warner Bros. film). The correct dialogue is:

   Gold Hat (Alfonso Bedoya): "We are Federales... you know, the mounted police."
   Dobbs (Bogart): "If you're the police, where are your badges?"
   Gold Hat (Bedoya): "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!"  

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 3 10:35:53 2012

I have found that the only way to avoid issues on ebay is to just close down.

I agree that in other venues you can just send a note or post a banner but ebay buyers do not read banners, ignore auto messages and all smoke signals letting them know you are closed, on vacation etc.

Heck I even get them demanding combined shipping at 10pm-7am.  Then by 8am-9am they are sending another combined shipping demand and informing us this is their SECOND request.

This is just another reason why I am very glad to be leaving ebay.

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Aug 3 12:44:37 2012

If you are an Ebay seller there is something you need to be VERY aware of if you are going to place your store on Vacation Hold.  There is a glitch in the system.  OH SURPRISE !!!  And just to add insult to injury, Ebay has known about the glitch for a least a couple years as that is when I personally reported it.

What happens is that the vast majority of your listings will be put on hold just fine.  No one can purchase.  HOWEVER, if any of those buyers put ANY of your stuff on their "Watch" list and then go into their Watch List and do a purchase, it WILL go through.  

Just wanted to let you all know, in case you had not experienced this.  The problem does still exist.

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 04:12:58 2012

abebooks, amazon, alibris all get turned off so no one ca see or purchase.  

previous to this summer i used to put a big out of town banner where my store logo would be, turn the vaction feature half on to say i was out of town, but still allow people to purchase and be very communicative about receiving their paymet and when the book would ship.  this worked GREAT for 10 years, never a problem, complaint, or less than pos feedback.  so of course ebay had to fix it with their 1 day handling requirement.  i can do as i have done and lost TRS status, or i can shut my listings completely down and lose money.  i wish there was a way of knowing exactly how much these best match bump ups actually help.

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
Web Site

Sun Aug 5 13:59:56 2012

Rqtball, good point re: if someone does buy from you when you're on vacation, even if they're OK w/ you shipping later (when you get back), it can lead to a TRS ding. Another reason why some sellers may just not try to keep up this status.  

How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?   How Do You Handle Online Selling While on Vacation?

by: NullApps This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Aug 6 02:17:05 2012

@ Ming

That is exactly what I used to do.  Take about two weeks worth of my most profitable products and ship them while traveling to my destination, ship them at my destination, and then ship them while coming back home.  And that was before best match existed which cripples anyone that takes a break.

But now as a third party developer I just started my vacation yesterday.  All I had to pack was three laptops and three cell phones.



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