Go Ahead and Be Suspicious

Monday, 21 November 2005 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

I’ve had my eye on a certain new cell phone. I was thinking about getting it on eBay as it might save me money.

A new seller came on yesterday with zero feedback. Well we’ve all had zero feedback at one time or another. He (I don’t know the gender, but I’ll say "he" anyway) offered my phone and had 2 listings for other high end cell phones. I emailed to ask if the phone had been used at all. He wrote back that he had powered it up to make sure it worked.

I always hate the sound of that in an eBay listing. If you get your items from a good source and you can return them if they’re defective, you don’t have to power them all up. Powering phones up don’t necessarily tell you if they’re fully functioning anyway. So it always makes me think these phones were used for at least some period of time. Even the Sprint store doesn’t power up their phones "just to make sure."

In this case, zero feedback, 3 different models of phones for sale, all vaguely used, and 1-day auctions added up to something not good. Not tangible really, just a bad feeling.

So I wrote him back that I was suspicious of the whole thing and I would not be bidding. He wrote back, "OK, that’s your choice." Well, that made it worse! If someone wrote me that he was suspicous of my item, I’d be emailing images and serial numbers and anything I could to remedy that. I wouldn’t say, "OK, go ahead and be suspicious."

My suspicion paid off. I just checked back to see how that listing ended. I was right. All of the listings had been ended by eBay and the user was completely suspended. All within 24 hours.

Trust your gut, your instincts.

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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