Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Avoiding Shopping Cart Abandonment

Recently, I participated in a message thread on Bonanza about shopping cart abandonment. I made the following comments:
I have abandoned two shopping carts in the last couple of months. In the first case, it was on a seller’s individual website in which a shopping cart system was set up. The site clearly stated that PayPal was accepted, but when I went to check out, I was prompted to enter a credit card number. The cart had no way to pay through PayPal. I did not want to pay by credit card, and I did not want to have to contact the seller to work out how to complete the purchase through PayPal. I left.

The other abandoned shopping cart was here on Bonanz[a]. I found a book I wanted to buy. I added it to my cart, and the cart showed no shipping. It stated to see the item description. I looked at the item description, and nothing was mentioned about shipping costs. I did not want to have to contact the seller to find out what the seller would charge. I did not want to submit an offer and wait to see what would happen. I removed my book from the cart.
After I made my comments, someone else made a response about never having left a cart due to no shipping quoted and seemed to think that someone who would is an impulse shopper. I wish to further explain my thinking.

The book was a common book, and I had many choices in my decision. Why on earth would I tie myself up possibly a day or so while waiting for a shipping quote? Furthermore, I did not want to submit an offer and risk having the shipping be more than I was willing to pay. I did not want to possibly be obligated to pay a higher than desired shipping amount. That is why I removed the book from my cart.

I understand why sellers on Bonanza and other sites do not have the shipping amount available when the items are heavy or irregular in shape. The alternative sites do not have adequate shipping calculators. For books, media mail is not zoned, and it is easy to figure out the correct shipping amount to all zones. I see no reason why sellers cannot have a flat rate media mail option for books.

I also want to mention other reasons why sellers fail to make a sale. I wanted to buy the two Penny Allen books since I am currently reading the Adventurous Allens series. The two Penny Allen books borrowed heavily from the plots of the Adventurous Allens books. I want to read them after I finish the Adventurous Allens series.

I was able to find one book easily on Bonanza with free shipping, and it was the nicest of any books up for sale at that time. That one was an easy decision. The other book proved to be more difficult. There were around 12 copies available, but none were on eBay or Bonanza. None of the available copies had pictures. None of them had good descriptions. Most of them were stated to be in "good" condition with few details. Some listings had a boilerplate description about how the book might have highlighting, etc., like an old children's book would have highlighting. Please.

I would have gone with a slightly higher-priced copy if a good description were present. Since none of the sellers could bother to describe the books, then I had nothing to go on. I went with the second lowest priced copy and hoped the condition would be okay.

Sellers need to have a clearly stated postage amount for books, and they need to have a good picture of the book with an adequate description. The description does not have to be long but it should state if the binding is secure and should mention any flaws. If a listing meets all three criteria, then I will be much more likely to purchase that book than a different one.

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