Dear eBay Queen: I always think it’s fun to ask other eBay Sellers: “Why do you sell on eBay?” 

When I first started selling on eBay six years ago, it was to help us get out of debt. We accomplished that goal in the first year, and the second year I paid off my daughter’s braces.

I’ve always wanted my own businesses because I don’t want to work for anyone or punch a time clock. I have a beautiful home, a husband, child and three wonderful doggies that I get to still enjoy while I’m “working.” It’s fun being a like an “adoption agency” and finding a new life for the treasures I find. It’s never the same. I’m always learning and being challenged. I can work it in during the slow times in my photography business. I get to continually decorate my home all the time while waiting for things to be sold. I could go on and on with all the benefits. My least favorite part is packaging. Yuck.

Why do you sell on eBay? — Amie

Dear Amie: Those are great reasons. Mine are similar. When I started selling on eBay in 1998, I only had two children; now I have seven. I was (and still am) a stay-at-home mom when I started selling. I saw eBay as an excellent opportunity to help our family reach our goal of paying off our land and building a bigger house (done), and to get rid of the excess stuff that came with the items I bought at auctions.

I am truly grateful for the changes eBay made in our life for the better.

Dear eBay Queen: I have a question I hope you can answer. I have two similar situations with two very different outcomes. Why are some customers so forgiving, while others wouldn’t forgive their grandma for burning the biscuits?

Situation No. 1: I had a “Life is Good” mug I was selling “as is” with a 1 centimeter hair-line crack at the rim. As I packed it up, and wiped down the mug one last time, I noticed the crack had spread. I immediately sent the buyer a message, and a picture of the new damage. I offered to send the mug for shipping cost only if the buyer still wanted it; if not, I would refund and cancel the whole thing. I then found another mug that someone was selling “Buy It Now” for way too cheap ($11 and free shipping). I sent the link to the customer letting them know: “Here is a seller with good feedback (over 5000), and you can buy an undamaged mug for less than mine cost. I am going to send you a full refund so you can buy this mug.” I got a message from the buyer: “We would still like your mug.” What? I thought she was crazy for wanting a damaged mug when an undamaged one was cheaper. I refunded the cost of the mug minus shipping and mailed it out.

I got this feedback this morning: “Wonderful to work with. Went out of way to make sure all was right with purchase.”

Situation No. 2: I had a pair of vintage boots that zipped up the side. The winning bidder sent me an email asking me to measure the inside of the boot from toe to heel. When I did that, the zipper broke when I unzipped it. I offered that buyer the same deal. I woke up this morning with this negative feedback:  “Seller says she broke my zipper. I doubt it.”

Why are these people so different? — Lara M.

Dear Lara: I wish I had a good reason to give you, but unfortunately I think some people just cannot be made happy, while other people are happy no matter what the world throws at them.

Have you contacted your boot buyer and apologized again, offering a photo of what happened on this one also? If you haven’t, I would do that immediately. Have you called your local shoe store asking what it might cost to fix the boots? That might help get your negative removed.

In my years on eBay, I have found more often than not, buyers are nice. And if you are over-the-top nice to them, they will be the same. Some people you cannot please, and you just might have found someone like that in the second situation.

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 200983127170. Starbucks offers many unique mugs and drink tumblers. I’d never seen one go for this much. As I drink my white chocolate mocha this Black Friday, I’ll be looking to see if I find something I think might be collectible later. “New Starbucks Japan 2007 Coffee Cup Mug Year of the Rat Shape By Handle.” It sold for $992.99 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Starbucks-Japan-2007-Coffee-Cup-Mug-Year-Of-The-Rat-Shape-By-Handle-/200983127170

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen