Master Europa

A Wide Spectrum of EBay Customers: A Classification of Various Users

For over two years now, I have run a successful online eBay auction business. Like all jobs, I have the “fun job” of communicating with potential customers. Most of the time, this is the part of my job that I dread. The phrase “retail would be great without customers” rings true every day for me. These customers can be classified into groups. There are the extremely impatient buyers, the buyers looking for an angle or loophole to benefit themselves at my expense, buyers who refuse to read the auction and ask questions that are already answered in the item description, bidders who think that they are special and should be entitled to something extra, and the buyer who searches for a reason to complain. Every so often, I am fortunate enough to do business with someone who does not fit into any of these categories, instead he or she actually makes the process enjoyable. My job has revealed to me the true nature of mankind; very few people in society today are honorable, decent people.
If I did not have to deal with so many impatient bidders, the number of hours I have to work each day would decrease significantly. Every day, after logging in and checking my messages, I find that there is a group of people who email me every few hours asking about the status of their item, even after they have been informed that their item was shipped. It is as if they expect me to be on the phone with the mailman, checking in on him as he drives his truck around. Other buyers simply can’t fathom the idea that I have more than one customer. A potential bidder will ask a question about the item, which I have no problem with, but if I am not able to send a response within the hour, he or she will send me a duplicate email until I have a chance to get to his or her inquiry. They are like young children on Christmas Eve; they just can’t wait to get what they want. If people would relax and learn to be patient, life would be much easier for everyone.
The worst category of customers that I have to interact with are bidders who are looking for any possible way that they can exploit my auction and benefit themselves. If there is a single typo in the auction, they will cite it and file a claim with their credit card company that the item received was not as described, freezing the funds and leaving me without the item. Other more brazen bidders will simply claim that the item was never received or was defective upon receipt. Most of the time I am able to dispute these claims, but they still could be easily avoided if more people were honest. In addition, I receive countless scam emails from citizens of other countries, promising me all sorts of benefits. Fortunately, I only have to deal with a few of these “scammers” every week, so it isn’t a major problem. However, it shouldn’t be a problem at all if people were more honest and respectable, the world would be a better place.
Another type of bidder that causes me to spend more time than necessary working is the bidder who will not read the brief auction description and asks an unnecessary question. Most of the time, the answer to his or her question can be found in the opening lines of the auction. Of course, I can’t point out to the bidder that the answer is right in front of him or her, so I am forced to write him or her a personalized email. I once made the “mistake” of simply referring a prospective buyer back to the auction page and pointed out the answer to the bidder. Instead of thanking me for clearing up his concern, he became enraged and thought that I was questioning his intelligence. He sent numerous angry emails and then purchased an item just so that he could leave a negative comment on my seller history. Since then I have learned that it is just easier to repeat the answer, even though I shouldn’t have to. People need to slow down their lives and learn to think for themselves.
Buyers who think that they are better than other customers also pose problems for me. I don’t know why certain people feel that they are better than the rest of the population, but all of the people with these personalities seem to buy something from me. Of all of the “problem buyers,” these customers appear the most often. All of these customers tend to think that they are doing me a favor simply by buying my items, so the favor should be returned in the form of special treatment. Lots of these types of bidders try to get a reduction of the shipping and handling cost after they have won the auction. Usually, they send their message saying, “Reduce the cost, or I’m not paying.” They put me in a tight position, since at that point in the auction process I am already charged auction fees, and if the bidder does not pay, I am forced to re-list the item, which pushes the time that I have to hold the item back a week further. Other bidders seek a different kind of special treatment; instead of asking for a discount, they ask for either an upgrade or additional items. I have had buyers who demand faster, more expensive shipping services so that they will not have the inconvenience of waiting an extra day for their item. Not once has a buyer offered additional money to cover an alternate shipping service, which would be another type of preferential treatment, since it wasn’t offered in the first place. Another time I once received a request from a buyer to drop the $10 item off at his house since he only lived 30 miles away that way he would be able to save on the shipping cost. For the most part, people are greedy and think only about their own needs.
If it weren’t for the good, honest customers, I wouldn’t have a job. They read the auction, answer their own questions, and are overall pleasant. Most of the time sales are completed without a hitch. I consider a sale successful as long as the buyer does not have an issue, so usually I never receive a single message from the customer. Every so often I’ll receive a “thank you” email, which I appreciate at times when all I seem to see is a sea of angry emails. These first-rate bidders have learned to be respectable human beings. They don’t expect something for nothing and have the patience to deal with any situation that might arise.
People in today’s society are quickly losing their human decency; they are becoming overly self-centered, caring for no one but themselves. People always want something for nothing, even if the cost is at another person’s expense. Despite the pain that many eBay bidders cause, I still enjoy the job and plan to continue, and hopefully expand the business into a larger entity.

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