Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Pet peeve of the day:

This was going to be called “Make Offer,” in reference to people who place classified ads, but don’t list a price. Listen, if you want to auction your stuff, eBay makes it easier than it’s ever been by a mile. If you want to simply sell something, tell me how much it costs. I’m not interested in this game. “Look, I’ve got some stuff, you give me some money, okay?” No good!

Then I found this gem, which has changed my subject line to: how NOT to sell something.

“Zipp 404 clincher wheelset, 700c for Shimano with skewers. Came on a bike just bought, so there. Dimpled version, so the latest model. CX-ray spokes. You would never know they weren't new. If you need a photo, you don't know what you are looking at. These are flawless. If you don't agree send them back for FULL refund. I am Moots10 on ebay, 274 positive feedbacks. Let me know what you think. We all know Colorado Cyclist get $1750 for front & rear. If your offer is out of reason, I will not reply. Thanks.”

Oh, yeah, that’s going to work. List an expensive item with no price, just ask for offers. Furthermore, what you need to do is INSULT your potential buyers. “So there!” you say, emphasis added. Then you don’t offer pictures, and, for good measure, insult your potential buyers, because they “don’t know what they are looking at.” Don’t worry that the reason many people want pictures of an item is to prove that it’s real and in your possession. Next, declare that you have a lot of feedback on eBay. Okay, but then why aren’t you selling these on eBay? How do I have any idea that the user with that name on eBay is you? The point of feedback on eBay is that it’s a verifiable system, a way to tell whether you are who you say you are. You can’t just declare that you have feedback on eBay and expect to do well. Then, for good measure, you ask for an unspecified 4-figure amount of money, and then finish it off by insulting your potential buyers.

And then you say thanks.

No, thank you. Or, rather:
No, thank you.


While I’m on the subject of selling, I’m going to talk to you about several companies that clearly don’t want to sell me anything. Amazon is one of them. I’ve never actually ordered from these fine people before, but I’d heard they had a product I was looking for, and clicked on over. Yes indeed, it turned out they stocked what I was looking for, so I went as far as putting it in the virtual basket and hitting up the virtual checkout counter. When the virtual cashier asked me what I wanted to do with it, though, I got so mad I just walked out of the store, leaving the virtual product to be virtually restocked.

No sale!

Where’d they go wrong?

It’s the shipping. Since this product cost over a certain amount, I was told that it qualified for “free super saver shipping.” The virtual checkout clerk, though, told me that the method they used for this was basically to hand it to a hobo who was hitchhiking cross-country in the same general direction as yours truly and hope it got here. That’s why the default, highlighted shipping auction was “standard shipping,” which still took up to a week as you’d expect ground shipping to take. Fine, but what does that cost? Or if I’d like to upgrade to 2-day shipping, how much does that cost? It didn’t tell me. I’m sure it would’ve mentioned it at some point, but I had to enter in my bank account information first.

Look, I’m not giving you my back account number if you don’t at least tell me how much you’re going to be charging it! This is worse than those informercial “free sample, only $19.95 shipping (and handling)” deals.

To cap it all off, it also tried to tell me my total was $30 less than it really was, with the default payment method of the shiny new Visa I was supposed to apply for right there.

Re – Jected. Go back to the jungle, Bezos.

Add: there was a link I eventually found that lead to some more information about their shipping and policies. I'd already rejected the purchase, but I clicked on it out of curiosity. Dead link. Oops. Nice work, again.


  • At 5:15 PM , Blogger ryan said...

    Amazon used to be a pretty decent service, and I actually still buy a lot of used books from there (for some reason a lot of their affiliated independent merchants sell their books for around fifty cents), and they also have video games on the cheap, but this business of the super saver shipping is totally and completely ridiculous. Your description is dead on.

    Also, just reading your experience with infinite hoops they kept throwing up made my blood boil. This shit is infuriating.

    By the way, I went into a small minimart specializing in cheap(er) tobacco, and indeed, their prices were very reasonable, but they charge fifty cents on all card transactions, regardless of amount purchased, and proceed not to tell you until after they've conducted the transaction. I actually had cash! I would have used it! ¡Bastardos!

    To top it off, I think their cigarettes might be counterfeits from North Korea. Either that, or they are so old that they have become equivalent in taste to generic brands.


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