Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Posts That Unintentionally Offend

The most popular blog posts are the ones that mention eBay and various aspects of buying and selling on eBay.  Invariably, those are the posts that offend people.  There is something that happens when prices are mentioned that gets people worked up.  People get offended when anyone suggests that they have priced something too high.  A post this fall offended a seller.

I had no idea that my post had even a slight chance of offending anyone.  In fact, I usually don't even get a negative response to posts that I consider risky.  Whenever I get a negative response, it is unexpected.  I began that post as follows.
Recently, a collectible Nancy Drew item was put up for sale on eBay at an exorbitant price.  The item is probably worth around $25 to $35 and was priced at $1,500.  The seller stated that money was being raised to pay for medical bills.  Unfortunately, the item will likely not sell for an amount that will help unless the seller gets very lucky.
All I was doing was using an overpriced item to lead into what I wished to discuss, which is what books I would select to sell if I had to sell books quickly to raise funds.  I did not link to the eBay listing, since the point of the post had nothing to do with the listing.

Nevertheless, the seller of the listing became deeply offended and let me know how she felt on Facebook.  She thought I was judging her for listing an item high.  She took offense that I made a statement about how she would need to get lucky for the item to sell.  She chided me, telling me that I had better hope I never needed to raise funds to pay bills.  Er... I think that was the point of my post.  It could happen to me, so I was reflecting about how I would approach the situation.

I was glad that after a couple of hours that the seller came back and deleted her comments.  It was turning into an ugly situation, since another collector posted a comment bluntly critical of the seller after she complained about the blog post on Facebook.  This type of stuff doesn't need to be aired publicly.  I didn't need to know what she paid for the item or anything about her personal issues.  The seller also removed her item from eBay at about the time that she deleted her comments from Facebook.

It's never a good idea to respond to perceived criticism.  I learned several years back after some skirmishes in the comments of this blog that I should ignore any comments that have a critical tone.  I simply do not respond to them.  I said what I wanted in the post, and the reader made a response.  That's it.  There is a reason why many blogs do not allow comments.  I like getting comments when they are not negative, so I continue to allow them.

I do have an upcoming post that I think could offend some people.  If that happens and you are the one offended, remember that it's best not to go into a tirade to tell me off.  In fact, you should just ignore me and consider me an idiot.  It's a very effective technique.

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