MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

BUYING LOCAL AND ON-LINE

BUYING ON-LINE

RISKS:  BICYCLE FIT

RISKS:  SCAMMING

RISKS:  SHIPPING DAMAGE

RISKS: BAD COMMUNICATION

BUYING: PAYMENT OPTIONS

 

 

RISK FACTOR #4 - POOR COMMUNICATION

Poor communication will lead to lack of understanding.  Lack of understanding could, and likely will, lead to disappointment.  And guess who's responsibility it is to ensure that communication is good?

The Automoto pictured is a good example of poor communication.  I failed to ask if there was any obvious frame set damage.  And guess what?  The top and down tubes were bent a wee bit.  Now this is not the end of the world, but I should have asked the proper questions before sending the money.

Before I enter my first bid on anything on Ebay, I contact the Seller and request a shipping quote.  I don’t care if there is a shipping calculator included in the listing.  I want the cost to ship the item that I intend to buy stated in black and white.  No surprises!

I bought a set of brake cable brackets – the kind used to clamp the rear brake cable to the top tube of older bicycles.  The clips set me back $1.00 USD.  Shipping was just a touch under $25.00 USD.  I was stunned when I prepared to send my Papal payment.  Stunned!  Then angry!  Then, really angry!  However, I was the one at fault in this situation.  I didn't find out everything that I needed to know before bidding.

I believe that the Seller was scamming me, by inflating the amount that he/she charged for shipping.  I have shipped many packages, from Canada to the US.  A package, the size of the one used by this unscrupulous seller, should have cost about seven dollars to ship.  To the shipping cost, it would be fair to add about three dollars, to compensate for the time required to sell, communicate about, package and send the clips.  Had I been charged seven dollars for shipping and another three for handling, I would not have batted an eyelash.  I might add that when the package arrived, the postage was just under eight bucks.  The Seller charged me $18.00 to put the clips in and envelope and drop the package in the mailbox.

Though angry at the situation and the Seller, I did take the time to double check the original listing.  I wanted to see if any mention of this high shipping cost was indicated.  Nope!  But the listing did encourage potential buyers to contact the Seller “prior to bidding” with any questions that the buyer might have.  I didn’t do this and I, quite literally, paid the price.

If I had contacted the Seller, asking pertinent questions, I would have never bid on those stupid clips which I still have not used.  Through good communication, I would have learned that this person was going to send the parts by Royal Carrier Pigeon or some other equally exotic and expensive courier.  I will never do business with that seller again, even though the nasty surprise was partly my fault.  The simple fact is, I feel that he overcharged me on purpose.

The problem was created by NOT communicating with care. It is up to you, the buyer, to ensure that you actually do understand exactly what you are buying, how it is being packed, who it is being shipped with, if it is insured and who deals with claims.  Then of course there are the more or less standard questions that frequently present themselves for each item offered on Ebay or any other On-Line source.

Questions pertaining to shipping are the most common.  Questions pertain to Fit are equally common.  Hidden damage questions surface frequently.  The list, of course, goes on and on depending on what is being offered in the listing.

Good communication starts with you stating that you are interested in the item and would like to know…?  In addition, how answers are delivered is of considerable importance also.

Once you enter into a situation of communication with the Seller, consider how long he or she takes to respond to your first question.  If you get a timely response, great (same day or with-in 24 hours is considered timely).  This means that the Seller is paying attention to business and will probably respond to all phases of the auction, in an equally timely manner.  If, however, the Seller takes a long time to respond, or fails to respond at all, go somewhere else.  If the Seller displays lack of care prior to getting your money, how will he or she act once your cash is in their pocket?

Consider if the responses to your questions are on the mark.  If I ask how much to ship an item and the response is general, I consider going elsewhere.  I want to know exactly how much shipping will be and ball park figures are unacceptable.  If asked if the bicycle will be a good fit and the seller declines to comment, consider going elsewhere.  If any question goes unanswered without a good reason, go elsewhere.

Good communication is your responsibility.  And while on the subject, make sure that you ask what forms of payment are acceptable.  Believe it or not, there are many ways to pay for an On-Line purchase.  Some good and some absolutely unacceptable.

NEXT - RISK FACTOR #5 - PAYMENT OPTIONS

 

 

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