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Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

Is what you see what you get?

Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007, at 9:58 AM

In our classes, we promote using pictures in an eBay listing as a positive marketing tactic, but there are a lot of variables to discuss about their use. This particular blog is aimed at insuring that "what you see is what you get".

Each week eBay nominates a "store of the week". As I was reviewing this week's winner I noticed that they place a lot of value on being honest, yet had 4 negatives in the past 12 months, so I was curious and checked their feedback.

Before I got to the negatives I ran across a disgruntled customer who warned other customers to be sure of the quantity they were buying from this seller and felt the seller was less than honest. It seems they thought they were buying three pairs of socks and only got one.

Viewing the actual listing, the problem was obvious in the picture. The seller had three pairs of socks pictured but made no comment in their listing that this was just for one set. When they filled out the listing form they listed the quantity as 1, but that could have been as the buyer thought, 1 set of 3, or as the seller apparently was thinking, 1 set.

The seller never seemed to catch on that the picture strongly implied 3, so they were upset that anyone should question their honesty. They eventually blocked the buyer from buying from them again.

Be ready to sell what you have in the picture, or explain CAREFULLY and REPEATEDLY what you are really selling. The seller could have avoided the confusion by stating what they were really selling in the body of their description.

From the buyer's side, if the price is really good, write to the seller and confirm what is being sold. It may keep you from being disappointed.

If we had made this mistake (and we have) we would admit it, and offer to refund the full purchase price, along with postage. Depending on the value versus shipping costs, we might not have had the customer return the item.

On a side note, the seller is still picturing some items in multiples, when in actuality they are selling one, so they can expect more disgruntled customers.



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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.