Saturday, February 23, 2013

People of Walmart should shop on Craigslist

Have you ever listed an item on Craigslist or eBay and received a snarky e-mail complaining you're asking too much? I get them occasionally. Most of the time I let the comment ride with a generic response. But sometimes my gut reaction is to respond back with a smart alecky response. On one occasion I wrote back to the complainant asking, "Really? So I guess you won't be buying it then?" Another time I responded to a snooty lady claiming to be an "expert" and accusing me of way overpricing an item. She was way off-base so I sarcastically wrote back, thanking her for taking time out of her obviously very busy life to personally share her "expertise" with me. In another classic episode, a guy ridiculed my listed price of $50 for a race car set, claiming I'd be lucky to get $20 for it. Later, when the set sold for phenomenal $103 dollars, I sought my revenge with an e-mail to him that simply read, "103". This set the guy off further with a string of cursing and f-bombs directed at me and the "idiot" buyer who bought the set. His over-the-top response only made me enjoy the victory more!

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....

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Big-Bobber-Floating-Cooler/7757565

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






 
SPRING WILL BE HERE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT! BE READY WITH THE "BIG BOBBER" FLOATING COOLER.
THIS COOLER IS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION, VERY LIGHT-WEIGHT . HOLDS A DOZEN CANS OF YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE WITH ICE AND MEASURES 14" X 14" X 16". LID IS HINGED AND OPENS UP LIKE A GRILL. 
Check out what Dick's Sporting Goods are selling them for... http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3948436
 

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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11 comments:

  1. I recently had an eBay experience wherein a buyer wrote back with all kinds of complaints about the product, her disappointment in it, sorry she paid that much etc., in spite of my careful descriptions. I sweetly wrote back that I would gladly refund 100% (she would need to pay return shipping, though). I then received an email asking if I would refund $15, so she could get it for a better price. I politely declined, knowing I could sell these collectibles, no problem. A couple days later, I received an email saying she decided to keep the items, maybe she should have asked more questions about them etc. In this eBay transaction, the buyer knew the price was fair, but she was working for a better deal. (A reseller maybe?) Sometimes there are buyers who like to plant those seeds of doubt about pricing. I say, in most cases, give it a try, and if it doesn't sell, you can always relist for a lower price. I would say that in this case, I called her bluff!

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    1. Nice job calling her bluff. I've been in similar situations and in many ways it's like defusing a bomb. One wrong move and the whole thing can blow up in your face. In other words...negative feedback!

      Because of eBay's terrible buyer/seller policies, most buyer's know they have the upper hand. But that's excellent it worked out for you. Thanks for sharing the story....Dude!

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  2. I had a pair of Converse shoes listed and they were red, white and blue with a star. I thought it was just Converse version of the U.S. flag. I had another seller messaging me saying they were actually the flag of Puerto Rico. I questioned why would Converse put a Puerto Rican flag on their shoe? well upon further research, he was right but he wrote back that he knew because he had sold the same pair and then added but you will never get your asking price. I looked to see what his had sold for and he had them at auction and ended up with $20 something. I changed my listing but not my price. I sold them for $45

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    1. becky-Ha! Don't you love it? I'll bet he 'watched" the auction too, which makes it even sweeter. Like my bobber guy, your buddy actually helped making your aware of the Puerto Rico connection. You probably threw that in the listing title and bam....kicked up the interest.

      Great story, not to mention now I am going to keep an eye out for those style of Converse..Thanks...Dude!

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  3. I solicite on Craigs List that I buy toys. I get my postings flagged several times but many are fine. Since Craigs List is basically a free-for-all, I simply go back to an earlier posting of my "solicitation" and repost it. Still not certain my items get flagged for content/solicitation or if they get flagged by any competition.

    Recently, one person actually e-mailed me to ask why my posting wouldn't get flagged. I guess he didn't realize that it had and I had already reposted it again. But why he thought I'd have any reason at all to respond to why my post on Craigs List wouldn't get flagged was beyond me. I simply deleted the e-mail. Ha!

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    1. Sean-That's funny. Some folks like to be the CL police I guess. Although I wouldn't doubt if your competition is doing it. I have a similar situation where I am listing a High-Tide/Low-Tide Clock under Boats on CL. I've been flagged twice, but I figure if you need a boat, you need a tides clock too! Oh well...

      Good story, thanks for passing it along....Dude!

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  4. I've actually emailed people who had their items wrong. Especially the names of cartoon characters. Surprising no one has ever replied. I just want to help them sell their item.

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    1. Veronica-I've been the recipient of those type of e-mails and they're very helpful. I always thank the person when they take the time to do that.

      Recently I listed a Vera Bradley purse on eBay but was using the wrong name for the pattern. (There's only like, a gazillion pattern styles!) Anyway, a nice lady wrote to me and told me the true name of the pattern, which I quickly revised.

      So folks like you are the best-Thanks!....Dude!

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    2. Similarly, I've e-mails a few folks on eBay to let them know the name of an action figure they are selling where they didn't know the name. Admittedly though, I'll also sometimes bid to try to get the item for cheaper since the name is not on the listing.

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  5. FYI - I don't know if your link really helps you as the reviews of the product on the Dick's site would keep me from ever buying it (if I were looking to buy it)

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    1. Ha! I read the review, he didn't beat around the bush did he? The Walmart reviews weren't much better. But for a guy, it's more of a novelty to have a bobber ice cooler. There's way better/practical coolers to keep your beer and food cold when fishing.

      ....Dude!

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