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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Amazon and eBay BUYERS Can Drive You CrAzY!!


At least be honest folks. Don't make the Seller look like it was their fault.
I already mentioned the buyer who said she never got the package although UPS (or was it FedEX?) showed that it was "delivered on porch." Yes, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and refunded her in full. I had to, it is Amazon policy.

Then I had a buyer who marked a return as "Not as described" meaning the product I sent him was not the same as what was described in the advertisement listing. However, the comment included in the same "return request" was:

"Buyer Comment: My husband and I realized that we just can't afford this coffee brew at this time and hope to get it in the future. How do I go about returning this item? Do I pay? Do you pay? Thank you!"

Not only does it make it look to Amazon like I'm shipping products that don't match the description but it also means that, thanks to someone's impulse buying, I now have to pay return shipping for an item that was EXACTLY as described (to the tune of about $38). I'm currently in negotiations with this buyer.

I'm sharing this not to complain, although I am complaining ;-) , but mostly to let you know that if you are going to sell stuff on the internet...you are going to have to deal with problematic customers. Let me go do a quick tally...ok, done. I'm up to 176 orders either pending or processed.

I have received two official complaints (negative feedback) which I've already discussed.  Neither of which deserved to be negative feedback. But that's the nature of the beast. It's like surfing comments on YouTube and being shocked that people make absurdly rude comments. 99% of your buyers will not care one iota about how much hassle or money they cost you. The lady that left me the negative feedback that couldn't figure out how to reverse it (or so she says) ...contacted me eight more times asking me how to find a serial number on her new coffee maker so that she could answer a question someone else posted on someone else's advertisement for the same coffee maker.

At the moment, I'm dealing with a guy in Conneticut whom has decided he does not want the vacuum cleaner that he bought from me. He'll return it once I send him the return shipping label, which will cost me $56 for a large object. After a little finesse, he has agreed to return it to his local Walmart. You see, as I mentioned before, sometimes you run out of stock and still get one straggler sale that you couldn't prevent as it was stuck in Amazon's "pending" queue. Being the nice guy I am (smirk), rather than just canceling his order (which would have dinged my Seller's account as not having inventory), I went to Walmart.com and bought one for him and had it shipped to his house. I thought it was a win-win situation...until he decided he didn't want it after all.

Luckily, after a quick call to Walmart "site to store" service, they instructed me on how to access my order online and  generate a return receipt complete with barcode. I saved this file and emailed to Mr. Don'tWantItAnymore with instructions to present said receipt to the Customer Service counter at this local Wallymart. Once I see the credit hit MY account, I'll refund HIS account.

Sheesh.

That being said, this concept is still producing income and I am getting better at it. Although I've had SEVERAL setbacks in the month of March, I am still ahead for the month. I'll know exactly how much after the dust settles.

What is becoming more and more clear is the need to create my own product. This has always been in the back of my mind. It has been a long standing joke for someone to say "I'm in the import/export business" but that is what eCommerce truly is...buying from someone and selling it to someone else. If you an figure out how to do that, and make a profit, you are succeeding in one of the oldest trades on the planet.

Remember this guy?
But what is better than "buying low" and "selling high" is creating a product yourself. Something with your own two hands. One of my back-burner projects is to become proficient at ammunition reloading. (Thanks to a good friend, I have a good head start on books) Ammo has been around for centuries and will continue for many more (hopefully). We all saw the gun and ammo scare in the recent couple of years that made everything all the way down to .22 LR ammo harder to find than a Tickle Me Elmo in 1996 (I sold on eBay back then, fun times!)

If I had stocked up on ammo reloading supplies before the Obama years, I couldn't have not only SAVED myself a lot of money (by not purchasing practice ammo at high prices) but could have MADE money selling my reloads.  SurvivalBlog has a terrific archive of time tested home based businesses. (Psst, blogging is one possibility).

In my other universe,  I blog and sell reloads, Wifey sews clothing and other tangible goods, Sis crochets hats, scarves and gloves while entertaining on her piano in local restaurants, Macky blogs about book reviews and publishes her own best selling books, and we all create enough income to live happily ever after on our own little farm....with chickens and goats and stuff...

~OJD

5 comments:

Miss M said...

If not for the customers, selling would be so much easier! LOL

Thankfully, we're experienced on eBay, so that's a start. I had only one issue with selling something on there. That was when my (10-year-old) son decided to sell his working Cyberman helmet (Dr. Who). He had bought it at a yard sale for a few dollars.

Naturally, I listed it internationally, since Dr. Who is popular here, but HUGE in England. I had the note in the listing that basically said, "if you're an international bidder, please request a shipping quote before bidding". Well, the winning bidder (from England) did not request a quote. He quietly paid the total. Then, before he received it, he gave me a negative feedback because of the high shipping cost!

I replied that I had actually undercharged him for shipping by a couple of dollars. Thankfully, the shipping cost was right on the label. Once I saw that he had received it, I held my breath and contacted him. I didn't have many sales in the past year, so one negative feedback impacted my rating hugely!

He admitted tersely that the shipping on the label was less than he had paid, so I told him I would send him a feedback revision form, and pleaded with him to change his feedback, so he wouldn't be punishing me for something I had absolutely no control over. To my great surprise and relief, he actually did.

I started an Etsy store, and I made one sale before we moved (and I abandoned the store for a while). I posted the largest photos I was allowed, and all 5 allowed, and gave a detailed description. It was for a pair of elastic-waisted, satiny dress pants.

A while later, I received the pants back in the mail, with a note to the effect of, "These are like pajama pants! That's not what I was expecting! The description was misleading!" Well, lady, no it wasn't. I stated that it was a pair of elastic-waisted pants made of flowing, satiny material. What exactly did you expect? It isn't my fault that the description also fits a nice percentage of pajama pants. However, these are not pajama pants, and that is obvious by looking at them... and by reading the rest of my very thorough description. My grandmother wore them to high-society parties, with beaded and sequined tops, necklaces, rings, and earrings, and high heels, and danced all night in these pants. 35 years ago.

I gave her a refund.

*sigh*

Anyway...

Anonymous said...

When your ready to start reloading let me know. We can get you all set up with some great equipment. I to have been looking at reloading. Since I have my Manufacturing (07) Federal Firearms License(FFL)
Doc
DarkSkySolutions.com

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

Dang it! I posted a big long reply to Miss M and explained my latest deal on a Shark Vacuum and how I made about $80 each on them after buying from Kohls. THen I hit the Log Out button instead of the Post button and lost it all! Grrr.

Doc - I'm just about there. Thanks for the offer bud. I stuffed it into my mental rolodex. I can't wait to start reloading.

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