Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mama Bean stews in Disappointment, and blogs for your edification

You know, there are so many things we do differently in this electronic age. We communicate differently, we spend our money and our leisure time differently, we raise our kids differently. It's all so different. For so many of these new things, the rules are still being written. It feels like some kind of Brave New World. And as a momma, I wonder how I'm going to teach my kids to navigate this world, and still behave in a proper and respectful way. Sometimes I wish there was just some sort of Guide or Book - Here! Read this! And you will never make a mistake on the Internet EVAR!

Haha. If only.

Let me present this scenario, which is woven through and through with Sour Grapes, so keep that in mind - but let me present it anyway, for the google searches of the future, for the people out there looking for the Dos and Don'ts of this Brave New World; When you're selling something on kijiji, don't tell someone they can buy your thing and then sell it to someone else. (In fact, when you're selling something anywhere, but for the sake of this post, we'll talk about the great K.) If the Great Rule Book of the Interwebz is ever written, I think that should be in there.

Shall I get more specific? I shall. Let's say Seller wants to sell a Doodad, and lists it on kijiji for $45 OBO. Let's say Buyer A offer $40. Let's say Seller says, sure I'll take $40. Let's say Buyer A asks for a pickup location and time. Let's say Seller doesn't answer. Let's assume (accepting the inherent risks of ass-making of u and me) Seller has received a better offer from Buyer B. Let's say Buyer A asks again for a pickup location and time the next day. Let's say Seller has already sold the Doodad to Buyer B.

Let's say Buyer A feels angry.

Just for an example.

When you're selling something on kijiji, don't tell someone they can buy your thing and then sell it to someone else.

There are no rules in the wild wild west of the online garage sale that is kijiji. It's all Seller and Buyer beware - we're all flying by the seat of our pants up in here! But I think there can be an appeal to human decency, and here it is, my appeal, "Please, don't do that! Don't be a jerk!" I know there isn't some Terms of Use that was clicked on without being read (because nobody reads those things, srsly) that says you have to be nice. I know we're not business people, and there's no public way in which buyers can offer feedback about sellers, and there's no obligations for anyone to do anything but buy and sell their crap. I know. But in the interest of Keeping the Peace...

Shall I get specific again? I shall. Let's say Seller heard from Buyer B(etter offer), but had already agreed to sell to Buyer A(waiting purchase). Let's say Seller is excited about the better offer, but realizes it's necessary to chat with Buyer A first. There's no rule that says Seller must abide by the terms with Buyer A, but there's also no rule saying Seller can't negotiate new terms. And in the interest of Keeping the Peace, with a little effort, new terms are easy enough to secure. Let's say Seller tells Buyer A about the better offer, and Buyer A is unwilling to pay full price (or match the better offer, whatever). Buyer A says no thanks, Seller still sells Doodad. Let's say Buyer A is willing to pay full price, or more out of gratitude to Seller for being such a nice person. Buyer A is a happy camper, and Seller still sells Doodad. A little extra effort for the sake of Keeping the Peace, and money and goods still exchange hands.

To be fair, there's a disappointed party in each scenario. But it's my blog, so I'm writing from Disappointed Scenario A(ngry). And I realize the caveat "OBO" gives sellers plenty of leeway, in the online and offline worlds of business. I totally agree that any Seller has the right to get as much money as possible for their Doodad. I wouldn't be writing this if I hadn't been told my offer had been accepted. And I also wouldn't be writing this if the solution to avoiding disappointment and hurt feelings wasn't so simple as whipping off a few extra emails.

Bottom line, I just don't think it's okay to tell someone they can buy your thing and then sell it to someone else.

So, Buyer B(etter offer), I hope you enjoy your Doodad. I'm off to search for a different Doodad to buy. And at least this situation has provided the Internet with one nugget of Webizen etiquette for all posterity. Say it with me, kids! Don't tell someone they can buy your thing and then sell it to someone else.

/ end rant.

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