Notes from the Past

Selling On-Line

The following is a change of pace from previous items in this series.  This is a paraphrase of some advice provided by Fred Bauman in Stamp Collector, July 17, 2000.  Its headline is "A few simple principles can help you sell on-line."  It reiterates much of the advice provided on the Stamps Board over time.  If you have a chance, take time to read the original.
Provide Information:  Make sure you adequately identify your offering by catalog number.

Do Your Homework:  Make sure your stamp is properly identified.

Serve the Customer:  Take care to respond promptly and courteously to e-mails regarding your offerings;  each represents a potential customer.

Show an Image:  Lots of people won't buy unless they can see the offering.  Provide an image -- it's one of the beauties of the internet.

Don't Overgrade:  Don't call that off-center Columbian Extra Fine when it is barely fine.  Such judgments should be left to the view provided by the scan.

Neatness and Accuracy Make an Impression:  The care paid by the seller in making up the auction page suggest the care he took in examining the stamp and the reliability of the description.

Don't Scream:  Find the capital lock on your keyboard and DON'T USE ONLY CAPITALS.  It's impolite.

Just the Stamps, Ma'am:  Avoid extraneous distractions on the page.  The offering gets lost in the bouncing frogs, family pictures, and frenetic music.  Lots of buyers just move on.

Be Hospitable:  Don't let your auction page become a threat of retaliation if the buyers don't pay up.  You wouldn't post a sign in your store that "I Don't Trust Customers so Don't Ask for Credit" would you?  Maybe you wouldn't give credit but don't advertise your distrust.

Help Seal the Deal:  Include the relevant data in the ad, particularly specific shipping and handling costs.  Also remember that stamps are inexpensive to ship and that should be reflected in your costs.  Readily available contact information is also important.

Posted July 17, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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