Saturday, March 13, 2010

Expanding support? Should it be from within?

Bonanzle is growing! And like many sites that grow, they found the need to expand their support team. To do so, they always look to their family of sellers and see if any are up to the task. Many marketplaces do this, but is that always the best move? Simple answer is no.

Yes, any company usually promotes from within first, that way insuring the person is knowledge about the company and fostering company loyalty. But when you are dealing with marketplaces, especially those with forums etc, this practice is not always the best move. Why? Human nature.

Sellers form friendships and bonds with other sellers. And you also have those whom don’t get along. And when you pull one, no matter how respected they are, and give them a role that involves possible censorship of other sellers on the site, this is a formula for trouble.

Don’t get me wrong …. There are many good people whom can take their personal feelings and check them at the door, per se, and are able to do their job, but that is not always the case. And even those who can do their job professionally, will the others that they have to correct see this?

Human nature is to trust those you know. When a friend comes to you and says, this is bad, this one is causing trouble, that’s a fake, human nature causes your opinion to already to be ever so slightly tainted by this. Just the same way when someone you really don’t like comes along and says the same thing, your opinion is tainted somewhat the other way. It is human nature.

I have in the past years seen sites just simply take major nosedives due to sellers given power. Some have handled it just fine, but others have let their friendships get in the way, not meaning to, but it happens. And it can be something as simple as a friend saying something like this thread is toxic, that seller is scamming, or that item is a fake and needs to be removed. Trusting their friends judgment, they can make the wrong decision.

Again, I am not saying this is the case on Bonanzle. But a move of giving a seller a promotion, whether it is to support, or a moderator, or anything involving the workings of a marketplace is a risky move. Just one look at eBay pinkslips, Blujay’s forum and PSU will attest to that.

Just my opinion … what say you?

Renagade is an online dealer of Vinyl records, indie CDs and other items at several sites, including Bonanzle and eBay As well as at

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