That Time I Got Into an eBay Fight…


Email marketing, Funnel optimization /

The story contains a valuable sales copy lesson, though, so all was not lost.

So, there I was, on eBay. And I found the holy grail:

My beloved discontinued jeans in my exact size, in my favorite wash, basically brand new. Only $23?

Shut the front door–sold!

But when they arrived, I could barely get them past my thighs.

What the…? This can’t be right. I’d been doing HIIT cardio THREE days a week, y’all!

And that’s when I checked the label–they were two sizes smaller than advertised.

I contacted the seller, and I received a refund and a link to begin the return process.

But when I clicked that link, I was taken to a page that said:

“This return is now completed…You don’t need to return this item to the seller–you can keep the item.”

Uh, okay. Guess we’re done.

Days later, I get an email from the seller, demanding to know why I hadn’t returned the jeans.

I told her what happened. I sent a screencap of the message from eBay.

Her response: “I would have explicitly told you I didn’t need them returned if that was the case. Please let me know when they are in the mail.”

Hey Crazy, you don’t seem to understand. There is no return label.

“Ok. Please contact eBay directly–there seems to be an issue on your end. It may be because you waited so long to print it out…”

Ha! This chick was funny.

And wrong–eBay determined the whole thing was her fault.

Anyway, lots of customer service lessons in there…

(Like maybe give your customer the benefit of the doubt…)

However, the COPY lesson in the story is this:

Do not expect your customers to do your work for you.

In sales copy, any extra work you create for your customers is going to cost you sales.

That might look like an opt-in form that has seven different fields they have to fill out, rather than taking the time to edit it down to one or two fields…

Or asking them to review your podcast in iTunes, and not creating a link that takes them DIRECTLY to the review page…

Or assuming that they’ve read every email in your autoresponder, forcing them to “dig” for key information they’ve missed…

9 times outta 10, they’re not gonna do any of it.

(Just like *I* wasn’t going to waste my time dealing with eBay customer service on behalf of Crazy eBay Lady.)

Because it’s OUR job–and the job of our sales copy–to make life easy for our customers.

So easy that they not only buy today, but then come back and buy your next product, too.

-April