I can't say I still don't have an occasional knee-jerk reaction to snap back at snarky e-mails. But with age comes wisdom and a more mellow attitude. Nowadays, when a eBay complainer writes me, I try to look at it as a help and not harsh criticism. It's sort of like market research with consumers voicing their opinions on various products. When someone writes me to offer their opinion on an item, it's really consumer feedback. How's that for turning lemons into lemonade? Let's face it, none of us are experts on everything we try to sell on eBay. So when a bidder writes me complaining a price is too high, I really try to keep an open mind. Who knows, they may actually be right!
An example of this occurred a few weeks ago. I was selling a big ice cooler made to look like a fishing bobber. It opens up just like any ice cooler and can hold a lunch, soda, beer, ect. The bobber even floats too...pretty cool! I paid $3 dollars for it at a garage sale and thought it was a unique find. Turns out, it ain't that unique-most sporting good stores sell them. But I listed the cooler on Craigslist anyway, asking $30 dollars. But shortly after listing the bobber, a Wiesenheimer sent me an e-mail complaining they could buy it new at Wally World for the same price. They attached this link as proof....
Reading this, I began to slowly stew as I conjured up the appropriate wise-guy retort to this WalMart price check. It was bad enough big retailers like Sears and Target have to compete against Walmart, now I had to go up against the Goliath too?
After some further pondering I realized that while the guy's e-mail was annoying, he was actually trying to tell me something useful. The bobber could be purchased new for the same price I posted on CL. Thanks to this guy's accurate point I revised the CL listing, lowering the price of the bobber five bucks and adding a link of my own. Check it out:
THE BIG BOBBER FLOATING FISHING COOLER - $25
Anyone reading my newly revised CL ad could clearly see that at only $25, my bobber was an amazing bargain! I even mimicked my critic by providing a convenient link. But the link was not to the Walmart bobber. Oh no, no, no! My link brought the buyer to a pricey $40 dollar Dick's Sporting Goods bobber! Obviously, I couldn't take credit for the idea...my critic thought of it first! The revisions worked great. It wasn't long after inserting the link to Dick's Sporting Goods, that a fisherman eagerly paid me $25 for the bobber.
So if it wasn't for that guy's annoying (but useful) e-mail, my bobber might still be floating on Craigslist. Not to mention the nice $25 dollars extra in my pocket! From now on when I receive those sniping e-mail critiques, I am going to look at them as someone just trying to help me. Well.....most of the time anyway.
How about you? Do you hate it when folks write in complaining about your price? Do you blast them or just take a deep, cleansing breath and go with the flow? Share your story in the comment section below....
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