SquareTrade are eBay's chosen provider of dispute resolution services. If you want your buyers to have a little more confidence in you, you can get a SquareTrade seal, and put it on each one of your auctions. The chances are that you've seen these seals around. They show SquareTrade's blue and green logo, along with the eBay user's ID and the current date. This is followed by the text "SquareTrade Verified Seller, Click to Learn More".
SquareTrade is also used on sites other than eBay, for example Yahoo and eLance ? it's an Internet-wide trust system. So why will this little seal increase your sales? Well, it signals a number of things to your buyers. Your identity has been verified. Before you can get a SquareTrade seal, you need to let them confirm your real name, address and phone number, which they can do in various ways.
They can check you out with a credit reference agency, ask you to fax them a utility bill, or send you a letter in the real mail with a code you need to enter online. You are committed to resolving disputes through SquareTrade. If you ever refuse to resolve any dispute with a buyer through SquareTrade, then they'll take away your seal, and you'll never get it back.
This lets buyers know that there's someone independent they can go to for help if you prove not to be trustworthy. Real people will review their case. Buyers like that someone will actually take the time to read the emails, establish the facts and all the rest of it ? they feel like eBay normally traps them in a chain of automatic responses.
You meet SquareTrade's criteria. SquareTrade monitor your feedback, and if they feel you're not up to scratch, they'll take your seal away. They also operate an anti-fraud 'early warning system', which keeps track of the kinds of items you buy and sell, and takes action if your account starts doing unusual things. Buyers are covered for an additional $250 against fraud. This is very important to buyers ? eBay's standard purchase protection isn't very much, and this more than doubles it. If they get PayPal's fraud protection as well, then they're covered for quite a lot overall.
How Do I Sign Up? If you want a seal of your very own, all you need to do is go to http://www.squaretrade.com, choose 'eBay seller' under the 'eBay seal services' heading, and click 'Apply'. Enter your name, address, phone number and eBay details here.
You should note, though, that SquareTrade costs you $9.50 per month ? it's up to you to decide if it's worth it. Ultimately, it is often worth signing up just to get the facility to effectively dispute and remove negative feedback. If you think you can maintain a good record alone then it might not be worth subscribing to yet another service to use with eBay. Here's a warning: there's one thing that, if you don't do it, could land you with an awful lot of negative feedback.
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