Saturday, January 30, 2010

When Bad Judgment leads to Self-Enjoyment

It is 4am on another sleepless night.

I have spent the last several months watching a business person make a complete fool of themselves. Why you ask? Well because I am a people watcher and one of my pet peeves is watching someone else build them self up by degrading another person. So this particular situation caught my eye.

Can I do anything about this? No, probably not, but I can give an example.

I am in antiques, so we will use an example from what I might sell.

Lets say one person has an autographed picture of someone famous, and another person does not believe the autograph to be real. So the person who does not believe this to be true, makes a report against the person who has it.

Well, that's good, because really who would want to buy something that is not what it says it is? Not me, and I would certainly want to know if what I thought I had was indeed not what it appeared to be. So.. ok, now the report has been made, there are emails, and verification, and then everything appears to be settled. In the ensuing weeks and months, all is quiet and the person selling the autograph is doing good, and going about their business.

Then all of a sudden, out of the blue this issue pops up again, on this same autograph. The one that has been verified. So what is this seller going to do? To stay professional and keep their reputation intact, they need to address this. So, off go some more emails and then.... poof... silence.

THEN, the bomb... it appears since the person who has done the reporting, based on little to no reasons, is now slamming this other person because they feel this person is being "protected". "protected"? From what you ask? Why does this person have such a stake in something that has already been verified?

So you may ask how I would handle this, or how you your self would handle this, but at this point, I think the best thing to do is let this person, who has NEVER contacted aforementioned seller, hang themselves.

I saw a blog post recently done by a very good friend of mine, Susan Leak, "Are you talking to me, YOU, taking to me"? Found here>>> Well you should read it, because they are. All over the internet and it is very easy to track down someones reputation and see what they are saying about people that maybe they should not be saying. very bad for business, very bad.

and here's the thing.... now they know who you are!

Enough said. Here's the deal people, when you try to ruin someone else, you shoot yourself in the foot. It is bad business to talk about another seller in a bad light. If you have an issue, take it up with them in private. If it is not satisfied to your liking, then there is not much you can do about except to move on. Slamming the other person, and insinuating horrible things about them, only makes you look bad, not the person your trying to discredit. It can also lead to lawsuits, based on defamation of character. I don't think any of us wants that. Do you?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What makes you an expert?

In the past year, I have learned many things about on-line selling and marketing. Most good, but some has been questionable. So here's the question: What makes YOU an expert.

I follow many blogs, forums, groups, pod-casts, and other media tools to learn how to market myself. I have joined social media sites, and gone to webinars, that have given me value for my business. I also have google alerts set up. Google alerts tell me whats happening around me, when I can not fit in to my schedule all the things I think I would find value in, so I can go to my alerts later when I do have the time, and read to my hearts content.

One of the alerts that come up is on forums. I have set mine up generically, so I sometimes get forums I do not read or follow. Remember here, I am looking for content in my business, ie, Antiques and collectibles. However I do get the odd piece in once and awhile so need more than just the antiques category's. So I do read some of the forums I would not normally turn to for research value.

A lot of the forums, I question, not because I think they may not be reputable, but I see comments come in to my alerts, fairly often when a person is basing thier expertise on a sellers, feedback or how much they may be selling the item for. Now personally, I have only sold on-line for a year, so my feedback is going to be lower than people who have done this for 10 years or more.

Here is just an example: I have some LLadro's listed in my store. My prices are market prices. However, I could conceivably list way below that if I paid way below that.... get the idea here? If I purchase a "lot" of ephemera at auction for re-sale, I can lower my price, based on what I paid. I want to make money, not have a store house full of items I can not sell because some may be to high priced, or for that matter to "low" priced and a potential customer believes it may be fake.

My point is there are many people out there who claim to be experts, but who are really only giving an opinion based on sellers feedback and price. This practice is arbitrary and can do damage to someone starting out, new to on-line, but has been in business, and has integrity and honesty in dealing with people.

Advice? Be careful who your giving "opinions" to. Talk to the person, find out who they are, find out their history and area of expertise before you possibly put someone out of business because you may not agree with pricing or feedback.

SO, what makes YOU an expert?