Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pushy buyers

Since I’ve started selling online, I’ve been blessed with some wonderful customers, most of whom buy my product, then ride off into the sunset without a word spoken between us.  Amazon and eBay consider no communication between buyer and seller a good thing, and so do I.

Over the weekend, though, a pushy potential buyer happened upon my auction for a large lot of action figures.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, she bid, became the high bidder, THEN emailed me to ask if I would accept a cashier’s check.   My listing specifically said PayPal only, and I said as much in my email to her.

Her return email:

“i did not get your message in time and I won the bid. it would have to be casheirs check or money order. i am so sorry but i had paypal and it was hacked into and i will not get another one.”

OK, first off, she hadn’t “won the bid,” since there was still a day left on the auction.  Secondly, no, it wouldn’t have been a cashier’s check or money order because I don’t accept those kinds of payment. 

I then told her, via email, that she could either retract her bid, or if she won, she could cancel the sale.

I can empathize with her PayPal story, but that doesn’t give her any leeway to change the terms of my auction.

Thankfully, I didn’t hear back from her, and she didn’t “win the bid.”  Had she won, and not been allowed to use her preferred method payment, I probably would have received a negative feedback.  After the auction, I added her to my blocked bidders list.

On a totally unrelated subject, I’ve been busy this week trying to clear out our Great Room/”Warehouse” before Ella returns from Ohio later this month.  It’s a mess (a good mess, but still a mess), and one of my friends suggested that I would be a prime candidate for the TV show “Hoarders.”  She was kidding, I think.  However, as a precaution, I don’t answer any phone calls from the Hollywood area code.


  1. Hey Barry,
    I agree about the no communication being a good thing. It shows that you've described the item clearly and spelled out how you do business...I do wonder though about feedback. I've sold close to 350 books on Amazon and have a feedback of only 35, it is 100%. But I'm wondering, do you ask for feedback? Or just let it happen? Oh, yes, and totally block that person...humph!

  2. From my marketing/advertising classes in college, I learned that response rates (i.e., direct mail, polls, feedback, etc.) tend to be about 2-3 percent if you are lucky. You seem to have a 10 percent positive response/feedback rate, which sounds low, but statistically speaking, is quite high. But to answer your question, I "just let it happen." If I do my job right, the sales will come, as will the positive feedback.

  3. Oh, Thanks Scott! Great, I can now forget about having to develop that email follow-up and figuring out how to automate it...good, one less thing to do. And thanks for the stats...made me go look at my total items sold for 2011 and 2012 - which is 381 - and my Y-T-D feedback is 34 with at all time feedback of 37 - so 10% is really good? Gosh, I feel happy! 8-)