Has social media and online shopping become the new window shopping?
Lately, I have been joining Facebook groups to try and sell things I no longer need. It has been going somewhat well, however; it would be better if people would actually commit and pick up. So I’ve been thinking is online shopping the new window shopping?
Window shopping was one-way shoppers could shop for potential purchases by visiting store window displays or shopping in the store, thus coming back when they have the funds or a sale comes about. However, in this day in age, we have sites like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Buy/Sell groups and other selling websites to shop from the comfort of your home. So you can basically shop anywhere, anytime.
People use these websites to buy and sell from people. This is a new way to shop you can get things for great prices and you only have to pick them up and hand over the cash not a hard thing to do right? Wrong! People are claiming to be interested in items you’re selling only to leave you hanging and missing other potential sales because buyers are not committing to the purchase or picking up when they say so.
So why do people do this we will never know but some people have no respect for other people like they have nothing better to do but sit around and wait all day for these people show up. I see it happening more and more each day and it’s happened to me several times as well. I just don’t understand why people act interested in things that they can’t afford, get or want that makes no sense another thing that bothers me is all the scammers that show up in these sale sites. They want everything free or cheap so they can profit off others generosity. That story is a whole another post in entirely.
Some ground rules you can set up when shopping or buying online through websites and groups:
1. State your policy on holding an item. Will you hold it for someone? If so how many days, if you don’t hear back from an interested party in x amount of hours/days should you “release” it someone else?
Suggestion: Ask for a partial payment via PayPal (although most people don’t seem to have a PayPal account this might not always work)
2. State your policy on pickup. Will you meet someone to pick up an item? Will they pick up from your house? Tell your buyer/seller what your plans are for purchasing.
3. Do you accept credit cards (like have a card reader) or cash only? Would you accept a trade or offers? These are a clear-cut way to help buyers flock to you if you state how you accept payment. You do have to watch out for the people who are just looking to make a buck off you to resell.
4. Take good pictures and videos. Someone suggested in a group taking a picture and recording a video with the interested buyer name on it to show that electronics are in working condition. This is helpful to elevate the difference between working and nonworking order items being passed off especially if you’re meeting in a public place.
5. Get a phone number to contact the person. Always send a message or call before you leave to visit your buyer or seller. It would be a good idea to contact the person the day of the sale to see if they are coming to buy or not. If you don’t hear from them more than likely they are going to be a no-show. Life is busy but it only takes a few minutes to send a message or place a phone call to let someone know.
Following some of these rules can help make your online buying and selling experience a little easier. Not everyone follows rules and there will be those people who will press your buttons so whenever possible use your best judgment. If your city/county has a Buyer Beware page it might be wise to check this before you commit a sale or purchase from a person who seems shady.