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10 Trust Signals That’ll Help You Win Customers and Influence Sales

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Last Edited 04:04:36 PM by News Team



Over the years, we’ve asked buyers in countless focus groups this question:


Which factors affect your decision to buy something on eBay?


The answers have changed over time, as you might imagine, but trust is always at the top of the list. So we put together a list of ways to help you bridge that sensitive gap with your buyers:


  1. Win their attention with professional-looking photos. The product shot is usually the first thing a shopper notices about your item. And since one additional photo added to your listing can increase the chance of a sale by 3%, it’s a good idea to showcase your item in all its glory, from every angle.

Buyers have even told us that fuzzy or dimly lit photos tend to cast a seller in an unprofessional light and that they’re more likely to overlook such listings entirely. With the right tools, this is usually an easy fix.

  1. Keep your listings clean and concise. Thorough is the name of the game when it comes to the details in your title and description. But don’t overcomplicate your listings. Buyers have confessed that animated GIFs, large wonky fonts, or a long list of the do’s and don’ts for buying from you, turns them off. It sends an early warning signal that the transaction might be difficult.

Also, you probably know this, disclose all flaws. Hiding them only has a negative ripple affect in terms of trust, feedback and repeat business.


  1. Offer same-day or one-day handling. The stats don’t lie when it comes to handling time.. Based on our data, 43% of shoppers have abandoned their carts based on delivery times. That’s almost half. This means they don’t trust that they’ll get their item in a timely fashion. With other online retailers offering lightning-fast turnaround times, it’s in your best interest to compete fiercely when it comes to handling.


  1. Consider free shipping. If you can commit to a same-day or one-day handling time and offer free expedited or standard shipping, you’ll also increase the likelihood that the Fast N’ Free logo will display automatically in your listings. This is like a big flashing trust signal. Shoppers read this as a virtual guarantee that you’re committed to delivering their items quickly.


  1. Offer a reasonable return policy. Nobody likes returns. Not even buyers. However, many shoppers will purchase the same item from another seller (and pay a little bit more) if it means they won’t be stuck with something that doesn’t fit. That’s why it’s no surprise to learn that return policies really just serve to bolster your credibility.


  1. Donate a portion of your sales to eBay for Charity. Not surprisingly, buyers have confessed that they feel good about purchasing an item that also benefits a worthy cause. As a result, the eBay for Charity ribbon that accompanies your listing, serves as yet another visual badge of trust for shoppers. It all but says “I’m a compassionate human being.” Priceless.


  1. Watch your seller status. This won’t surprise you. Buyers have also indicated that once they’re drawn in with stellar photography, clear details, quick handling times, and free shipping, they tend to check your seller status for trust cues. If you’re a Top Rated Plus seller with over 100 sales under your belt, you’re speaking volumes about your ability to conduct business in a professional manner.


If you’ve been hit-or-miss in the customer service department, you might have to work a little harder to establish trust with your shoppers. That’s why it pays to resolve issues immediately and professionally.


  1. Write a thoughtful bio about your business. After shoppers have gone all Nancy Drew on your seller status, feedback and recent transactions, they sometimes check your seller bio. You know, the 250-character, About Us-type paragraph in your profile? You might have just entered a few hasty words when you set up your account. Consider revisiting that section and penning a succinct elevator pitch that speaks to your trustworthiness as a seller. This is your first chance to show them who you are as a person.


  1. Be responsive and courteous with buyer communications. Customers inevitably have questions. They might even ask about things you’ve covered in your description. Consider this an opportunity to establish a personal rapport with your potential customer (please don’t block them for asking questions).

Shoppers have told us that sometimes, especially when shopping for expensive items, they just want to get a better feel for the human on the other side of the computer. You can’t blame them. Consider this a trust exercise.


  1. Brand your business. Nothing shows that you have your selling act together more than projecting a cohesive brand (Dan Riley is a master at this). When all of your business properties (eBay Store billboard, logo, social media channels, etc.) have a consistent look and feel, shoppers are more assured that you’re not a fly-by-night seller. They can see that you’re invested in your business and will trust that you care about them.

There are more ways that you can subtly send trust cues to your potential customers before the sale, but these are the biggies: the signals that can literally make or break your sale. And we want you to have more “make” in your life and less “break.”


Have some tips for sending trust signals in the consideration phase? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to share this article with your eBay peers via email and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

1 Comment

I've been a seller on eBay for about 18 months. I was the absolute novice about how to sell on eBay.  My early listings violated all the above selling rules. Then I found Griff and Lee's eBay Radio Show. I listened and learned from them, they helped me with advise, suggestion, taught me the eBay way to sell. Today all of the above are a part of my selling philosophy.  Lee and Griff helped me to become a TRS Plus, and occasionally I see the Power seller logo.  I'm a much improved seller but have more to learn. Every day I learn something new. I'm well down the eBay road and am enjoying every step on my journey.

See ya

Ron (AKA oilerman21)