Questions, Questions, Questions

Ah, the days of being an employee at a large firm.  I woke up, took the train to work, got my morning coffee and sat down at my desk.  When the day was over, I took the train home and left my job behind me.  Now that I work for myself, I get up, walk from my bedroom to my office and the day begins before I even have my coffee.  I open my email and the first thing I see are QUESTIONS.  So many questions.  I guess it is my own fault for not walking first into the kitchen and getting my coffee.  I really should – it might help.

Yes, I know that this is not a brick and mortar store and that the potential buyer can’t pick up the item and inspect it with their magnifying glass (funny, I’ve never done that in my life, but yes, that is what these people expect).  So many questions.  I try to answer them to the best of my ability – but remember, I am selling these items for clients and sometimes I just don’t know where my client got the item and how many years it has been in his/her family.

A lot of questions are about foreign shipping costs, and these are pretty easy to answer.  In the old days, I was hesitant to ship First Class to some countries because the post office doesn’t offer tracking on First Class International mail and if the buyer said they didn’t get it, and filed a claim against me with PayPal, I would invariably lose – the item cost and my shipping costs.   But when eBay forced sellers to pay for insurance on all packages, we switched to a private insurer which was (1) cheaper than the post office and (2) promised us they will pay on lost mail sent First Class internationally.  So I basically tackle all shipping questions first.

Next come the detail questions.  Sometimes these are subjective and I have to be careful how I answer.  I used to offer more descriptions in my auction listings, but this opened me up to the “item not as described” option that some buyers would dangle in my face if they didn’t like what they bought.  So I try to write my descriptions as best I can and then Richie takes tons of pictures.  They say a picture says a thousands words.  Richie’s pictures are terrific – he shows close ups of all flaws and we have even sent more photos upon request.

Then there are just the dumb questions.  For these, I get up out of my chair, go to the kitchen, and get the coffee going.  It’s all part of the business.

Published in: on July 8, 2010 at 7:45 am  Leave a Comment  

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