Monday, February 22, 2010

Pet Peeves of online shopping - Sellers beware!

When shopping online the size of the marketplace DOES matter when it comes to what the buyer expects from the site, just how far they will venture into the site., and what can turn them away from a marketplace.
EBay, Amazon, they are given more ‘free passes’ for the things that if found on the smaller venues, would cause a buyer to leave in a hurry.

On eBay and Amazon, you can find poor listings and or lack of description, seller policies that scream at you, pictures that, for the lack of a better word, simply suck, forum communities that are vile and toxic in spots, but yet the sales keep happening. Why? Their SIZE. They are big, and for some reason, buyers simply trust that if it is on eBay or Amazon it has to be a good product and the seller know what they are doing.

Now, when those same buyers come into eCrater, Esty, Bonanzle, or scores of the other smaller venues, the glasses that they use to look at the big boys come off, and the super magnifying pair go on. And the examine every little detail. Why? The site is smaller, and since smaller the trust factor is lower. A simple thing of the same in-you-face I will- You wont - policy from the same seller, that they have no problems with on eBay, can send them packing on Bonanzle.

Yes on the smaller site you have more freedom as well, to ‘dress up your place’ to fit your taste. Have fun playing buying selling games, and gab in the forums. Do you even realize that these things many be costing you, and the site as a whole sales?

I have had several people come to me, both  publicly and privately, to convey what turns them off as a buyer. The list is a good one, and I hope , an eye opener for Sellers and Site owners alike.

Just what are some of the Pet Peeves of online shoppers?
Shipping is a BIG factor:
  • When I put several items in my cart and shipping comes to 50 dollars. In turn I ask for combined shipping and they say I cant do that.. Well you lost a sale.
  • Sellers who seem to think that the only way to ship is with flat rate USPS priority mail boxes. Several times I have had to point out to a seller that they could ship their item for much less using a regular priority mail box, or a plain cardboard box with a priority mail sticker. Flat rate priority mail boxes can save money, but usually only for heavy items shipped longer distances, like all the way across the US.
  • Even if they offer free shipping, I would like to know HOW it is being shipped.
Listing/Shop/Site appearance:
  • Listings that are carry overs from other sites. Makes it confusing and crappy looking. If they can’t clean up a listing I hazard to guess how reliable they are.
  • When a place looks like a walking billboard, one half of the entire first page is nothing but advertisements and nonsense.
  • As a buyer I will leave a booth/shop immediately if I start clicking on the categories and nothing is there.
  • Listings with poor titles. I look for Wisconsin bottles, and some sellers don’t even put it in the description. It makes it VERY difficult to find things to buy.
  • Poor Photos - I can remember dozens of times (at eBay) having to squint at photos, or having to email the seller as to what the embossing/lettering is on a bottle.
  • When first thing they are smacked in the face with are ad banners and listing after listing for freebie promotions and information that has nothing to do with a venue that exists for sellers to sell their wares.
  • I have never seen so much junk for sale in my life. The real treasures are lost because no one can see them for all the stupid games people are playing.
  • What’s with all the bullet lists??? I don’t need every word bulleted for me to read.
  • Titles that do not say what the item is, they give the brand, and size but don’t tell what the item is.
  • Listings where the description is half a page
  • Listing where size , color , etc… have not been stated
  • Huge pictures in the description, overly long descriptions, blurry pictures, any mention of auction or eBay on sites other than eBay
  • Way too much flash and stuff for me. Took to long to load the page. If I have to wait, I am out of there.
  • Terms I don’t understand in listings. I am looking to buy a item. I don’t understand nor want to play the games you sellers enjoy. So why are the games titles and rules in the listing description?
  • Where are the sellers policies? How are they shipping, when will they ship? Do they accept returns? I don’t like digging for this information.
  • Terms of Service that are harsh, unfriendly and with lots of demands. Out of there quicker than flynn.
  • Having to ask if they ship to Canada and how much. Puleaase… either say you do or say you don’t – so that I’m not wasting my time.
  • Venturing into the forums and seeing them complain about a buyer in public. THAT Makes me think twice about shopping there.
  • The promotions forum  full of sellers offering the most desperate looking and ridiculous markdowns
  • Sellers with 100s of feedbacks for nothing but low cost junket $1 items.
  • Inflated postage. Item - $1 - shipping $20 .
And AFTER the sale:

  • I like when a seller keeps in touch such as notification of receipt of payment and notification of item sent. Communication is great customer service.
  • No communication from the seller. It takes maybe 30 seconds to send a message that says thanks for the order, I’ll be shipping tomorrow (or whenever). Isn’t my business worth that 30 seconds?
  • Shoddy packing…I have received on a few occasions items just thrown in the package. No tissue, no nothing; not even a business card or receipt. That just speaks volumes to me that they don’t care and just want it ‘out’.
  • When you pay $6.00 Priority shipping and when you receive your package, you notice that the seller sent it First Class for $1.48. They will never see me again.
  • I have received items that smell like perfume. I cannot stand any perfume, never did as a kid, and still don’t like it. I have tossed items as well so I don’t have to smell the stuff.
  • As a buyer, the biggest turn off for me is an item that I buy that smells like smoke. I have literally thrown the item out.
  • Sellers who describe an item as being mint, but it has this big crack in the back. If it’s damaged it isn’t mint.
  • when dryers sheets are packed in or a bottle of febreeze is used to attempt to mask an odor.
  • Freebies - I like getting freebies
  • What is up with them packing extra junk in? I bought a piece of vintage glass, and got a McDonalds Beanie Baby thrown in as a gift? Please, keep it unless it goes with the kind of item I just bought.
This is just SOME of the responses I have gotten and have heard, and I know everyone got their own pet peeves when buying from online sellers.

What are some of yours? Where do you find the best service from? The big boy places of eBay and Amazon? Or the smaller venues of Bonanzle, eCrater etc? Your input can help a seller give you a better experience the next time you shop.


Renagade is a dealer of music and other collectable items on eBay, Amazon, Bonanzle as well as

Thanks go out to fellow sellers on Bonanzle and to non eCommerce friends whom made this blog post possible. I myself have learned a lot!


StudioHaus said...

Thanks for sharing all the pet peeves for selling online. My etsy shop has almost been open a year and I always feel like I need to learn something new everyday about customer service. I agree with the perfume husband and I have alergies and I hate receiving things that have strong odors!

Gypsy Trading Company said...

Hmm... great post, but very disturbing to hear that buyers are communicating this is public. Unfortunately I have also had buyers say this to me about purchases made on certain sites. I agree with the buyer 100%. This does not bode well for some of the smaller venues.

I just had this conversation this weekend with a woman I am networking with in New York. It should be the sellers reputation that brings the sales, however, it is not always so. In this case, your spot on renagade. The smaller the site, the bigger the magnifying glass. Sad really, when a couple of the places mentioned have had great starts and major potential.

I hope that site owners and sellers pay attention. However it is been my experience in the past couple of years, to know they will not. At that point, it is time to reassess where we are and maybe move on.

Solomon Valley's Two-Cents Worth said...

WOW...sure hit the nail on the head with this post!!!

Brenda said...

Excellent post! But here is my #1 pet peeve: I cannot count the number of times I have gone to a seller's site looking for a specific item or category, only to find that the seller hasn't bothered to categorize. Or maybe they have some categories, but the one I want has 3,482 items listed in it, with no way to drill down to what I'm actually looking for. I am a patient person, but I am not going to spend all day going through all those items. I MIGHT check the first 2 or 3 pages, if I'm in the right mood, have the time, or am totally desperate to find something but, most of the time, I am out of there faster than a scalded cat.

Anonymous said...

This is great post lots of information here about what not to do as a seller. I think this is important to talk about as some sellers do not take in consideration these issues. Another thing I see often is not enough pictures. Pictures to me as a buyer proves the product I am selling. It shows I am not hiding anything and I am confident in what I am selling. I use free image hosting to assist me with this. There are a lot of image hosting companies out there that offer free tools and stuff but I have only found one that has everything I need. The one I use has free templates and a free cross-sell gallery for ebay too. Its called, but you are right also about emails and keeping in contact with the buyers. That too is vary important.


evision said...

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