Building Trust With Hesitant eBay Buyers
In June 2006, I went to the annual Train Collectors Association Convention in San Antonio. I was surprised by the number of people at the TCA convention who have never bought something on eBay.
Now this is a diverse group. People came from all over the country to buy and sell toy trains. One guy even flew in from Japan. But, as a group, these members don't buy things on eBay.
Part of the reason is they do not feel comfortable with computers and the internet. I think it's a generational thing. The average TCA member is 59 years old, and has never spent the time to learn how to use a computer much less browse the internet.
Without the knowledge you and I take for granted, these people are lost. Imagine not knowing how to use a search engine. . . imagine not understanding eBay is laid out in categories. . . imagine being overwhelmed when you turn on your computer.
I understand this very well. I bought a new laptop last month. I am an experienced computer user, but found the whole process of setting up the computer very frustrating. If I am frustrated by a new computer and all the garbage the manufacturer installs, it's got to be worse for someone without my skills.
Here's an example. My stepmother still has the "create an AOL account" shortcut on her computer. She is afraid to delete it because she thinks the maker put it there for a purpose. Their purpose is to sell her an AOL account.
My father found it hard to use his new computer because of a constant stream of pop up advertisements. He thought he had a virus because he'd read about them in the newspaper, but the truth was simpler.
You see, Windows comes with Instant Messenger enabled and as soon as he went online, his messenger account was bombed with Spam. He doesn't even know what IM is let alone know how to turn it off.
I heard stories like these over and over again in Texas.
To make matters worse, the media thrives on scaring people. They run a near constant stream of stories about people getting ripped off. These stories cause users to be overly cautious.
Remember, these train collectors are willing to spend money on trains. After all, they paid to attend the show. The hotel rooms were $140 a night, plus parking. We paid almost $700 for the gas to drive to the show. Others drove even farther.
If you sell to this market, you need to help these older users buy from you. As an eBay seller you cannot do anything to help people use their computers, but you can make it easier for these people to buy your items.
Here's 8 Simple Ways To Build Trust With eBay Buyers
While we're speaking about people who aren't comfortable buying online, I buy a lot of items on eBay to sell at local shows. A lot of us get so caught up in buying items locally so we can sell them on eBay that we forget it can be done the other way too.
I look for items that are listed in the wrong categories, have misspelled brand names, poor pictures, or other mistakes.
In fact this week, I bought a lot of train stuff on eBay from a Midwest consignment shop for $1.99 plus $19.95 for shipping and handling. I love the big eBay consignment shops. It's like taking candy from babies, but they don't start screaming.
PS Someday I'll have to write about these eBay consignment franchises. Based on the items I buy from them, they are doing a really poor job. I guess it's better for the owners than giving the items to goodwill, but not much. PPS Here's an article about eBay Arbitrage.
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