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Cali Craft and Gems

Question about selling things online and in store

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

I have been presented with an almost nasty situation:

 

Most of the items I have on BoB are in our physical store as well so almost on a daily basis, something is sold in the shop and has to be taken off BoB. To date there have not been any problems until today.

 

I sold a pair of Smoky Quartz earrings to an instore customer yesterday and was only able to go online this morning to delete it from my listings. This time round there was a bid on the item (bid placed around 2pm) after the item was sold so I had to delete the bid before deleting the item. Had to give the reason "error in listing" as there was no other suitable reason listed.

 

Problem is now that the buyer emailed me wanting to know "why" I deleted her bid to which I gave the above explanation. She has now replied stating that I am in direct violation of bidorbuy policy and that I have breached the contract of sale and that she is considering legal action!

 

As far as I know, I have not broken any rules or regulations as the auction had not closed (bid only stage) so the items was not "hers" - or am I wrong? (it's not like she won an item then I sold it in the shop!)

 

Opinions or suggestions anyone?

 

(and I can't exactly take all the instore items off BoB because then I'll have practically nothing online! I just monitor the sales several times a day and adjust or close listings accordingly)

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Just Beachin    10
Just Beachin

Perhaps you could offer her a free cuppa coffee and send a discount coupon to use on her next purchase when she visits your store with the best groveling letter you can write, I doubt she can or will do anything about her disappointment, or even show up at your shop, but it's all about goodwill in the long term:smile1:

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

Good idea, but I think you misunderstood me...

 

The problem buyer is the online one - not the instore one!

 

Item sold at the physical shop around lunchtime. Bidorbuy user placed her bid on the auction around 2pm, and I deleted her bid when I closed the listing first thing this morning. It is the BoB user that is choking on a hairball!

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Just Beachin    10
Just Beachin

No I understood you, but like you said, she had only bid and not won, so her loss was in her anticipation....It could have been a loss to a higher bidder, Like I said, she may never make it there but if she does, the goodwill softens the blow, makes her feel special and if she does show up and is made to feel important, she has something nice to talk about to her friends.

 

Hope that doesn't sound to disjointed, I have a curser that jumps all over the place, drats to windows 7

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svw    10
svw

Unfortunately mistakes are going to happen try as we may we are only human - it always makes it difficult though when someone is adverse to being understanding! As was previously suggested she could have quite easily been outbid - no doubt she really liked the earings!

 

Do you not have a similar pair that you can maybe offer to her at a discounted rate or at least list them and give her the listing number of the auction. Then once again try telling her that unfortunately mistakes like this do happen and this is the first time in years of selling that this has happened...

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

This was the one and only pair like it and I don't deal with that particular supplier any more as she has become too expensive.

 

Oh well... let's see what her reply email is going to be in the morning. But still, as far as I see it, there are no grounds for "legal action" as I agree that anyone could have outbid her if the item was not sold in the shop!

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Little Miss Muffet    20
Little Miss Muffet

Sometimes a white lie is better than the truth

If this happens again tell the user the earrings weresold on a previous occassion--True--and relisted in error--White lie.:rolleyes:

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

In reply to Geewhiz - not such a great idea as one can always view the items recently sold and see that it is not there.

 

I guess that a difficult user will always be just that... difficult!

 

I would however appreciate Cuan's input on this matter as I don't want to be doing anything "wrong".

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Colin_P    10
Colin_P

I'll stick my neck out here and put forward the buyers viewpoint, as most of you are sellers and have a slightly different perspective.

 

You consider a bid to be binding, and most sellers get quite irate when a buyer bids and doesn't follow through. As a buyer, I consider your listing of an item to be binding. As binding as any bid I may make. If you wish to hold a buyer to a bid they made and have later changed their mind, then you should honour your listing and make sure that you have the item to sell.

 

The argument that she may have been outbid is invalid - by removing the listing you have also removed her right to counter bid.

 

Sorry to say this (and I'm quite preapred to accept any flaming that comes my way), but the attitude that the seller may change and cancel listings but that buyers bids are sacrosanct smacks of hypocrisy.

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

So ultimately to play it "safe" if an item is online, I must not have it in my physical shop and vice versa?

 

Then I have to close one of my businesses and I'm sorry to say, but bidorbuy will be the loser at the end of the day!

 

There are many bidorbuy sellers' who have brick and mortar shops with their wares in both "stores" - I don't see them having to choose between one or the other?!

 

Ultimately I am not doing the buyer in nor denying her the right to purchase something she has seen in our online store, but just as it so happens, the one and only item that was sold that day was the item that she bid on after the item was sold in store.

 

This is the first time in all my years of trading that I have had to delete a bid for a 'sold' item, but perhaps will not be the last. It is stated clearly in my listings that we have a physical store so I'd imagine that most people would understand that there is sometimes a few minutes / hours time difference with regards to taking things offline once they've been sold instore. I am after all only human and do not work at the speed of light... (sold items are removed as soon as I have a break in between customers or in quiet times)

 

Would it have been better for me to lie to the buyer and state that the item had been damaged or stolen? I still believe that honesty is the best policy - no matter how deep it gets me into the "you know what"!

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voldermort    10
voldermort
I'll stick my neck out here and put forward the buyers viewpoint, as most of you are sellers and have a slightly different perspective.

 

You consider a bid to be binding, and most sellers get quite irate when a buyer bids and doesn't follow through. As a buyer, I consider your listing of an item to be binding. As binding as any bid I may make. If you wish to hold a buyer to a bid they made and have later changed their mind, then you should honour your listing and make sure that you have the item to sell.

 

The argument that she may have been outbid is invalid - by removing the listing you have also removed her right to counter bid.

 

Sorry to say this (and I'm quite preapred to accept any flaming that comes my way), but the attitude that the seller may change and cancel listings but that buyers bids are sacrosanct smacks of hypocrisy.

 

I am first & foremost a seller & yet I agree with every word you have said. Having said that though, it has happened twice to me that items a buyer had bid on were sold ages before on BoB & were relisted in error.

However believing that honesty is always the best policy I explained to both of them what had happened & in the very same email offered them two other items (double the amount of the item they had bid on) free of charge - happily enough both understood & accepted.

Unfortunately mistakes can & do happen.

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Colin_P    10
Colin_P
So ultimately to play it "safe" if an item is online, I must not have it in my physical shop and vice versa?

 

I can't answer that - I have never sold on BoB, and have never read the terms and conditions of listing an item, so I don't actually know what the rules state regarding selling an item listed here. I do suspect that BoB's policy is likely to tend towards favouring the sellers (who are after all BoB's customers). I was just offering my personal opinion on the matter. I know I would be annoyed (and possibly even threaten to sue) but at the end of the day I would just walk away if that happened to me.

 

 

Would it have been better for me to lie to the buyer and state that the item had been damaged or stolen? I still believe that honesty is the best policy - no matter how deep it gets me into the "you know what"!

 

I think that your honesty is probably the only thing causing a problem here - most people would just tell the buyer that the item is no longer available and and leave it at that (whether that is right or wrong). The very fact that the situation bothers you is a credit to you. :-)

 

 

Unfortunately mistakes can & do happen.

 

Agreed, but I have noticed an attitude in the discussions on here that is a somewhat intolerant of errors made by buyers, particularly newbies.

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

Thank you for your input and comments Colin - it is appreciated to see the "other side of the coin".

 

But in brief... if the auction had closed before I could take the item offline, then I'd understand why the buyer is reacting like she is, but this is not the case. She is merely very angry at the fact that I had the audacity to delete her bid and to have offered the item in our physical store where it sold before she could get it.

 

How many times in our lifetimes have we lost out on something because it had "sold out"? This is basically the same situation.

 

If she had won the item and I had only thereafter sold it, then I could understand that I would be very much in the wrong. Our policy or procedure is that the minute something is sold in the store, it is taken offline (okay, perhaps a few minutes!), and as soon as I see an item has a bid on it on BoB, it is removed from the shelf.

 

Frankly there is nothing more I can do to keep online and instore buyers happy at the same time...

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voldermort    10
voldermort
If she had won the item and I had only thereafter sold it, then I could understand that I would be very much in the wrong. Our policy or procedure is that the minute something is sold in the store, it is taken offline (okay, perhaps a few minutes!), and as soon as I see an item has a bid on it on BoB, it is removed from the shelf.

 

I am completely bamboozled. You say that you delete items off BoB that are sold in the store within a few minutes but higher up you said that this buyer placed her bid at about 2pm Tuesday & you only deleted the bid yesterday morning?

Perhaps this is the reason she is so ticked off?

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booksallsizes    10
booksallsizes

Cali - this has happened to me recently. I deleted a bid because, for the life of me, I have no idea what happened to the book. Searched frantically but couldn't find it. And, when it comes to deleting a bid, there is no place to explain to a buyer what has happened. Only the few terse options that must look rude to a buyer.

Luckily (although I was at first reported to BoB), the buyer was very understanding - a really nice man who was only ticked off because he was utterly in the dark as to why his bid was deleted. There really should be a way we can contact a buyer when we have to delete bids - at least to apologise, if not to explain what happened.

 

Your buyer is upset like mine was at first - but I would attribute this to our being unable to email them and apologise to them immediately after their bid is deleted, explaining the situation. We have NO way of contacting them unless the item is sold.

 

I hope she sees the light - we all make mistakes and I completely understand how you are feeling. And I agree with Colin too - the sellers do give the impression of intolerance from time to time... I have had very few hassles with buyers that couldn't be sorted out extremely amicably - but that's a two-way street.

 

G'luck, Cali - hope it's sorted out soon.

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voldermort    10
voldermort
Cali - this has happened to me recently. I deleted a bid because, for the life of me, I have no idea what happened to the book. Searched frantically but couldn't find it. And, when it comes to deleting a bid, there is no place to explain to a buyer what has happened. Only the few terse options that must look rude to a buyer.

Luckily (although I was at first reported to BoB), the buyer was very understanding - a really nice man who was only ticked off because he was utterly in the dark as to why his bid was deleted. There really should be a way we can contact a buyer when we have to delete bids - at least to apologise, if not to explain what happened.

 

Your buyer is upset like mine was at first - but I would attribute this to our being unable to email them and apologise to them immediately after their bid is deleted, explaining the situation. We have NO way of contacting them unless the item is sold.

 

I hope she sees the light - we all make mistakes and I completely understand how you are feeling. And I agree with Colin too - the sellers do give the impression of intolerance from time to time... I have had very few hassles with buyers that couldn't be sorted out extremely amicably - but that's a two-way street.

 

G'luck, Cali - hope it's sorted out soon.

 

I am more confused now than ever because as you rightly say, unless a bid has ended & item basically bought (which both of mine had) we have no way at all of contacting the buyer which obviously would add to their frustration but Cali said the buyer did email her?

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booksallsizes    10
booksallsizes

Maybe this is someone who purchased before? Dunno.

 

I was contacted via the Q & A - thank goodness. Gave me a chance to explain myself.

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems
I am completely bamboozled. You say that you delete items off BoB that are sold in the store within a few minutes but higher up you said that this buyer placed her bid at about 2pm Tuesday & you only deleted the bid yesterday morning?

Perhaps this is the reason she is so ticked off?

 

Under normal circumstances, I have a few moments in between to go online to delete anything that is sold - I actually try to do it the moment the customer walks out the door, but for once "Terrible Tuesdays" (ie minimum sales) was very different this week - it was almost non-stop tourists all afternoon! The first chance I had to go online was when I got up the following morning - I actually go online before my first cup of coffee for the day! This is the only reason there was a delay.

 

And without having the buyer's details available, I could not contact her first to explain that the item had sold in the shop. I must also point out that the reasons for deleting a bid are very limited - the only suitable one I could select was that there was an error in the listing which is obviously untrue and not really suitable at all!

 

Another option should be "Other" and the seller can give a brief explanation (which would have been perfect in this circumstance!)...

Edited by Cali Craft and Gems

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Colin_P    10
Colin_P

I think one of the problems here is the difficulty in communicating, which I suppose is due to BoB not wanting the buyers and sellers to trade offline and avoid fees. But it does make life difficult if you need to communicate with each other.

 

The method offered by BoB when I asked how to contact a seller was that I could email the question through to BoB and they would forward it to the seller, and this worked smoothly enough. Perhaps if enough people did that, they might be tempted to make it easier to communicate with each other?

 

The whole concept of keeping buyer and sellers separate falls down once you have bought something from someone once. And if they happen to be on this forum, you can contact them easily. So why not have a system for sending a message to a buyer (or a seller)?

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Little Miss Muffet    20
Little Miss Muffet
I'll stick my neck out here and put forward the buyers viewpoint, as most of you are sellers and have a slightly different perspective.

 

You consider a bid to be binding, and most sellers get quite irate when a buyer bids and doesn't follow through. As a buyer, I consider your listing of an item to be binding. As binding as any bid I may make. If you wish to hold a buyer to a bid they made and have later changed their mind, then you should honour your listing and make sure that you have the item to sell.

 

The argument that she may have been outbid is invalid - by removing the listing you have also removed her right to counter bid.

 

Sorry to say this (and I'm quite preapred to accept any flaming that comes my way), but the attitude that the seller may change and cancel listings but that buyers bids are sacrosanct smacks of hypocrisy.

 

If I list something on the crazy Wednesday and it sells for R1 and even if I lose money the buyer will get the product.

I honour all bids and sales.

Having said that on a few occassions an item previously sold has been listed in error or what really happens is that it is listed twice in error. In other words running to end on say 7th then running to end on 14th

This is just a human error which has happened unintentionally.

Cali checks her listed stock everyday and this happened within a few hours of selling the item in the shop and a bid being placed.

Fortunately the times this has happened to me when I am unaware that I had the item listed twice I could prove it(I dont have a shop)

The buyers have been understanding and have not taken on a "legal binding regimental attitude"

Naturally a sale and bid are legally binding--There have to be rules and laws-- but mistakes happen we are only human.:colbert:

Edited by geewhizz

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

Well said Geewhiz - thank you! (from another overworked, exhausted human being...) :rolleyes:

 

But on a serious note - this is what my average week looks like:

 

Mon to Fri 07h00 to 08h00 - BoB (five minute drive to the shop)

08h00 to 19h00 - at the physical shop - if no tourist busses overnighting, then we close at 18h00 (fifteen minutes including shopping to get back home)

19h15 to 21h00 - time out - supper, etc.

21h00 to 00h30 (sometimes later) - BoB and admin work

Sat - same routine except shop closes at anything from 14h00 to 17h00, same two hour break, then back to the office for the night.

Sun - housework and responsibilities from time of getting up to lunchtime, then to the shop to trade from 13h00 to 17h00. Then same evening routine.

Add in the KKNK festival at the end of this month, and you'll wonder how I manage to get to sleep at night! LOL

Working hours per week on average (shop and BoB) = 102 hours per week! Yes I am nuts, but doing the business right is what I am trying to achieve. (my late Dad always said being your own boss was one of the most challenging things on earth)

 

And before you "shout" that I need help... SHE is arriving on Saturday! (YAY)

 

The eldest daughter (18) of a long-time friend is coming up to work for me - on a trial basis first to see if she likes it, but hopefully for long-term as I need to start delegating! (hubby just does not listen like he used to - he is however a super star in the shop despite the grumbles!)

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Colin_P    10
Colin_P
Naturally a sale and bid are legally binding--There have to be rules and laws-- but mistakes happen we are only human.:colbert:

 

When you file the SNC use the option "No payment received" then you can give a negative rating but buyer cant rate you.

:shock:----Nasty mood I must be in to give such advise.

 

Just a hint of double standards here? The sellers (who are mostly experts at using BoB because they do it all the time) can make mistakes, but a buyer (who probably doesn't know the system nearly as well) bidding on something in error must be pilloried?

 

Don't get me wrong - I don't expect perfection, and I realise we all make mistakes, what annoys me is the attitude that sellers demand a different set of standards for buyers to live up to.

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Little Miss Muffet    20
Little Miss Muffet
Just a hint of double standards here? The sellers (who are mostly experts at using BoB because they do it all the time) can make mistakes, but a buyer (who probably doesn't know the system nearly as well) bidding on something in error must be pilloried?

 

Don't get me wrong - I don't expect perfection, and I realise we all make mistakes, what annoys me is the attitude that sellers demand a different set of standards for buyers to live up to.

 

Take a look at the thread "How would you respond" under the selling on Bidorbuy and see my response.

This situation involves a far higher value item and my response to this seller was to tell her she could recover her listing fee and give a negative rating for wasting her time and she has lost R180

All buying and selling involves differant circumstances and as I said "We can't make transactions a black and white regimental issue."

My buyers get ample consideration and my ratings speak for themselves and so do Cali craft and gems ratings speak for themselves.

Imagine if sellers say"I have decided not to sell the item" because it did the reach the price they hoped for

.

Edited by geewhizz

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voldermort    10
voldermort
If I list something on the crazy Wednesday and it sells for R1 and even if I lose money the buyer will get the product.

I honour all bids and sales.

 

Indeed this is true - I remember the two 1930's Picture Annuals I bought from you on a Crazy Wed a few years ago for a silly price - still have them & still love them :cool:

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Little Miss Muffet    20
Little Miss Muffet
Indeed this is true - I remember the two 1930's Picture Annuals I bought from you on a Crazy Wed a few years ago for a silly price - still have them & still love them :cool:

 

Did I?? I want my annuals back.:sad:

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