Posts from March 12th, 2012.

Problem Sale What Would You Do?

Here is a not uncommon sales problem, one which could be a business killer on eBay. Elsewhere, not so much, just time consuming and annoying.

The problem

The story begins with a ho hum normal transaction. A $10 item is sold and paid for with Google Checkout. Shipping is included in the price, item is shipped within 24 hours, postage cost $1.64

Ten days later USPS returns the item as undeliverable.

Seller sends buyer a friendly email at the address provided by Google Checkout requesting confirmation of the shipping address, including the item description, venue and transaction date, explaining the package has been returned as undeliverable. Zero response from buyer.

48 hours later seller contacts buyer through the venue message system duplicating the first email and telling her that there has been no response from the Google Checkout email address.

48 hours later an email from the buyer arrives. A confused and confusing email.

“Adress  (redacted) Ihave already recevied fabric so should be in records   thanks”

  • Item sold was not fabric
  • It hasn’t been received, it is back where it started from 15 days earlier
  • The different address provided in the reply was in an abbreviated format only comprehensible to the buyer. USPS is quite definite, it is also undeliverable.
  • The telephone number on record at Google Checkout has no voice mail and is unanswered.
  • Cost of sale to date: $2.65 fees and postage, plus lots of time.

Possible solutions

  1. Send invoice for postage, ask for deliverable address, explain why there is a charge, use short words, big font.
  2. Refund purchase price less fees and postage. This may upset the customer.
  3. The bury head in sand gambit. Wait until buyer contacts to find out why item never arrived, then start over.

What would you do?

Y’all come back!
Henrietta!