|Mon Nov 4 2013 22:17:26|
Vacations Can Be Costly for Online Sellers
By: Ina Steiner
It's difficult to go on vacation when you have your own business. Some entrepreneurs bring their work with them. But online sellers can't ship items without access to their inventory unless they have trusted staff who can ship items or use a fulfillment service.
An eBay seller recently wrote about her experience on a discussion thread - she had put her eBay Store on vacation, but received orders while she was gone, thereby losing her Top Rated Seller status for failing to post tracking information within the required time period.
A few other eBay sellers shared their stories of problems stemming from hospitalizations, funerals and Hurricane Sandy (that seller was able to get her orders in the mail, but the post office was unable to provide her with tracking numbers!).
Another seller asked why a store that had been put on vacation mode would still accept orders. This eBay help page explains that placing an eBay Store on vacation only displays a message in listings letting buyers know the seller is on vacation.
"If you'd like to hide your fixed price listings and prevent buyers from making purchases from them while you're away, select Hide and block purchases from my fixed price listings."
The page also recommends sellers on vacation set up an "out of office" reply "to let anyone who tries to contact you know that you're not responding to your messages. When you set up an out of office reply, any email you receive will be replied to with the message you create."
What's your strategy for taking a planned vacation, and do you have a plan in place for coping with unintended downtime?