Buying and selling etiquette: A love/hate story...

I've been thinking about some of our more typical buy/sell interactions and I'm starting to think it may be time for an intervention...

You know, even as a business owner, I still find myself having to dial back my "customer rage-mode" when I'm met with an obstacle to getting what I want out of an interaction. Maybe it's a website (like ours, not that I'm pointing fingers at myself...) that occasionally goes rogue and doesn't {shut up and take my (or your) money}, or perhaps something as simple as a page loading too slowly, but either way: I simply want what I want and I want it now, so website, do your thing, right?

It's weird, when you think about it, to consider how wildly and completely we're all so easily connected, yet it feels as if we have less and less to say with each passing day. I mean, exactly how far ARE we from being strapped into a chair and being jacked straight into the Matrix? (I know Kung-Fu!!!)

As I've said previously: unintended consequences are often, well... unintended, so what do we do when the system that's worked for years begins to break down?

Well, today we talk about it.

I'm starting to think the very first skill-set that we're losing is our ability to speak to each other directly while simultaneously deploying a sense of common courtesy and kindness.

What's that? You'd like a specific example?

I thought you'd never ask.

I'm sure you've ALL tried to buy something on Facebook. Maybe it was Marketplace or, if you're like me, from one of the 100 groups catering to your exact kink... uh... I mean desired parts acquisition portal, only to be met with "That Guy (or Gal)" that's either buying and doesn't know how or is selling, but really sucks at it.

You know the ones. The...

I'm a master seller... maybe... ok, maybe not:

Them: Here's my thing for sale and I've saved you the trouble of inquiring by attaching one blurry picture of a bowl of mixed nuts. Hand me money, peasant!

Us: Hey man! I'm interested in your item. Would you mind sending me some pics and telling me about any rust issues it might have, anything you think it might need, and any other generally pertinent information that will make me want to buy it from you?

Them @ Day 1: Silence (dude, we can see you read our message...)

Day 2: Still crickets

Us @ Day 3: Hey man, just a quick bump to see if your thing is for sale.

Them: Five pictures and not a single answer to a question about literally anything we asked.

Us: Thanks for the pics. Can I see the interior and some pics under the hood?

Is there any rust or body damage?

Them: ... We're back to silence for three days...

Us: *blinks*

Anyway, I'm not saying we're all Dunning -Krueger about it, but we're almost never as smart or capable as we think ourselves to be, now are we?

Here's your homework, in 3 (ish) easy steps:

1. If you're selling, we need clear photos and reasonably accurate descriptions of what you're selling. If you post crappy pictures and two-word descriptions, expect two things to happen:

A. You're going to be asked the same question.

A lot.

No, really: Uh-LOT

B. You're going to get frustrated because you're blaming the victim here, chief.

2. If you're buying: don't be an asshole.

That's right: I said it. *fights the air*

Contrary to popular belief, every person selling you an item isn't doing so because they're in trouble and need the money. Some people simply like to walk through their garage without 3 sherpas and a llama. So, selling crap from 20 years ago that lives in the 5 foot tall pile of "I might neeeeeddd this one day!!!" sort of makes sense.



3. If you're a buyer OR a seller: be nice to each other and if it's not the product or experience you're hoping for, be quick to walk away with a "thank you" and a "good day".

While we're at it, how about we also try not to forget that you're dealing with a person with the SAME interests as you do, ya' big dummy!

*Stares at you Sanford-ly*

Listen, I get it.

No, really, I do.

We all do the same two things ,exactly: we'd RRREEAALLLYYYY like to sell for as much as we can (because we like money), while simultaneously wanting to buy for as little as possible. (because no one wants to feel like they overpaid, even when they're already stealing it)

The problem is: very few people are comfortable enough with talking about buying/selling directly (don't lie. you know I'm talking to YOU), so they start out as confrontational and let it get worse from there.

So, to coin a phrase: "Don't be an asshole."

That's a lesson that'll take us far in life, but temper that with "thanks, but this is a little more than I wanted to spend. If I see anyone else looking, I'll be sure to send them your way."

Life is easier when we're nicer to each other, ladies and gentlemen. (Lentlemen?)

As always, feel free to comment or email us at wtih questions, comments, or snide remarks!!!

Be safe,

Your Main Man Vowelz

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