Thursday, November 1, 2012

eBay Buyers vs. Bonanza Buyers

As I open this post, I want to emphasize that nearly all of my transactions with buyers go flawlessly.  Buyers of vintage series books are great, and fraud is almost nonexistent.  The books category has always been known to be a low risk category where sellers seldom have to worry about problems.

I recently had a credit card dispute filed against me, and this caused me to reflect upon my experiences with buyers on eBay and Bonanza.  eBay has the reputation of a site in which buyer fraud is high, and sellers live in fear of credit card disputes.  I have never once had a case filed against me on eBay, even though I am supposed to expect it.  Inversely, I have had disputes filed against me on Bonanza, where I am not supposed to expect it.

I have noticed some curious differences between my eBay buyers and my Bonanza buyers.  Let's start with my eBay buyers.  As stated at the beginning, most eBay book buyers are great.  However, a subgroup of buyers exists, and that group contains buyers who nitpick every little detail.  They pick at the postage cost, wanting it to be less.  They pick at the way the seller wrote the description and send critical comments to the seller.  They leave low DSRs, making sure they hold the seller accountable down to every little detail.

This subgroup of buyers loves to ask questions.  They will ask me if I have large numbers of other books available in hopes that I can offer any type of set of books they desire.  If I have a lot for sale, they ask to buy just one book and at an extremely low price, not realizing that the lot price is a bulk price and an individual price would be higher per book.  They ask strange questions about the condition of the books, questions that would usually never be asked.

But none of them have ever initiated a credit card dispute against me.

Like on eBay, most all of my Bonanza buyers are great.  But oddly, I find on Bonanza that some of the buyers have little idea how to navigate the internet and suffer from extreme confusion.  I have buyers who ask me how to check out.  Maybe they cannot see the button?  I had a buyer who wanted to know how to find the Nancy Drew picture cover books in my booth.  I explained about the list of categories on the left side, and the list of categories includes Nancy Drew.  The buyer could not find them.  I had to explain in minute detail exactly where the list appears on the page so that the buyer could find the link.

And the credit card disputes.  I have now had two Bonanza buyers initiate disputes against me, and both seem to be due to confusion.  The first buyer filed the dispute because she did not remember the transaction one month later.  After I sent an email about the dispute, mentioning what she purchased and asking what the problem was, she remembered the transaction and dropped the dispute.  I am not sure how a buyer forgets a purchase of over $100 only one month later.

The second buyer filed the dispute most likely out of confusion as well.  In any case, the transactions I had with this buyer were not normal, and the buyer made multiple mistakes the entire time.  This person seemed to have problems.

A third buyer did not file a credit card dispute but did file a complaint with Bonanza's customer support because she had not received the books.  I pointed out that all she needed to do was send me a message.  She thought that a complaint being filed was the correct way to communicate with me.  Clicking on "contact seller" would make more sense.

I had another Bonanza transaction in which, much to my amazement, a package was returned to me four months after I mailed it.  This was a $200 transaction, and the buyer had not picked up the package at the post office.

The first mystery is why the buyer's post office held the package for four months.

The second and much more puzzling mystery is why the buyer failed to notice that a $200 package was missing.

I contacted that buyer and received a very prompt response.  She did not understand why the post office had not let her know about the package.  She gave me a new address that was not a post office box.  I did not understand why four months had passed without her asking about the whereabouts of the package.

I have been very lucky that these various problems have not occurred on eBay, or my eBay account would be in serious trouble.

Another observation is that certain buyers of series books only buy on eBay. These are people known to me from ten years ago who used to buy from me all the time on eBay.  They have never purchased from me on Bonanza.  Whenever I list certain types of books on eBay, they bid.  The books upon which they have bid were previously on Bonanza for many months.  In one case, I moved the book from Bonanza to eBay, kept the same price, and one of these people purchased the book on eBay.  If that person had been open to looking outside eBay, the book would have cost less with my Bonanza coupon code.

In conclusion, people who buy from me on Bonanza are more adventurous than the ones who purchase on eBay.  Unfortunately, some of them suffer from extreme confusion.  My eBay buyers seem not to be confused, but some of them do like to ask questions and complain.

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