Want to eliminate returns and increase your customer satisfaction? As with most things, putting in some extra work can pay off. Here are a few tips to help improve your overall online sales – no matter where you sell.
Stick to the facts
Don’t let all the fluff of a sales pitch cover up the real condition of the items – buyers may be disappointed and your customer returns will increase. Accuracy, subject and flaws are key to a good description. So, do your homework to confirm the catalog number is correct – especially for older stamps that may require checking details like perfs, watermarks, or color. Next, be sure to thoroughly check each item, noting hinging, thins, creases, pencil markings, perf imperfections, etc. Do not include subjective information or grading terms such as nice, fresh, well centered, fine, very fine, etc. unless you have a certificate confirming this condition. Additionally, listing a few key words of the general subject for each item will help those who search by subject/topic to find your material.
As with anything you are selling, presentation sets the stage. So properly mounting your items for a clear, quality scan is important. The APS StampStore scans the items exactly as they are mounted by the seller. If material is mounted sloppily, that is what the buyer will see.
So, take the extra time when mounting to ensure individual items are straight, sets are clearly visible, and the items are securely mounted to the submission sheet, dealer card, or other background. Poorly mounted, loose items can result in losses or damage during shipping.
For StampStore sellers, be sure to securely affix items in the large black area on our submission form using a clear mount (tips for how to submit larger items are available). We recommend using the “Flap Seal Crystal Clear Bags®” available from ClearBags.com – which are made from acid-free archival safe material, come with an adhesive strip on the flaps, and feature optimal clarity and durability. We have identified several sizes for mounting stamps and covers – visit aps.buzz/SellOnline and click “Affix Items Neatly and Securely” for recommended mount sizes and discounts offered.
We recommend that sellers competitively price their material to fall within a range of 40-60% of the catalog value (unless a certificate is provided to confirm grading). More successful sellers price their items below the 50% level.
Faults, such as pulled perfs, thins, tears, scuff marks, no gum on mint stamps, etc., should reduce the asking price considerably. For our suggested guide to pricing flaws, read this previous column from May 2018 - aps.buzz/EveryLittleFlaw
Keep in mind that if you price items higher than other sellers, your sales will suffer in comparison. So again, do your homework – visit sites to see how others are pricing similar
items of the same condition. Also consider price reductions for those items that don’t seem to be moving. Buyers are bargain shoppers and often search for reduced items.
Hopefully, these general tips will help to improve your sales. Just remember that a successful sale requires an accurate description, quality presentation, and the right price.