The Golden Rule

I occasionally buy items on E-Bay, and sometimes I sell on there as well. I’ve been doing this for awhile so I have some idea of what I’m doing. Lately I’ve noticed an issue that has probably always gone on as long as E-Bay has been in business, but it seems to me to be getting worse. You find an item that seems to have a fair price on it, and then you notice the shipping charges have been jacked up. I have a pretty good idea on what it costs to ship a lot of the items I’m interested in, and when I see charges that are double, or more, than that I know someone is trying to rip me off.

I continue to maintain a perfect score of 100 percent on E-Bay. I honestly tell people what the items are like that I am selling, and I don’t sell broken or damaged items. I’ve only had one item returned. It was a cap that the buyer said was a reproduction piece. I didn’t know they reproduced caps, but I didn’t argue with him. I returned his money and he was quite satisfied. My shipping costs are usually very close to what I charge. Occasionally, the costs are more than I charged, and I eat the loss. On very rare occasions the shipping costs have been much less than I charged the buyer. In those cases, if the amount is more than one dollar, I reimburse the buyer for the excess shipping fees and send them a note telling them I’ve put money back into their account and the reason why. I’ve done this even though I’ve never been asked to do so by a buyer.

The Golden Rule teaches that we should treat people the way we would like to be treated. It’s a much better way of doing business than “Let the Buyer Beware.” People want to do business with people they trust and like. The best buyers are those who have done business with you before. There are some sellers on E-Bay that I have bought from more than once because I know they are trustworthy. Their satisfaction scores indicate this, and my previous experience with them has proven it.

I try to treat people the same way in my auction business. In one sale an individual who frequently attends auctions bought a larger item. When he took it to his truck to load he noticed that it had a small crack. He came back into the auction and spoke to one of my workers. They told me about the crack which none of us had previously seen. In every auction you will hear the auctioneer say that everything is sold as-is where-is. It is up to the buyer to inspect the items before purchasing. However, I didn’t hesitate but told my clerk to tear up the ticket. I announced to the crowd what had happened, asked anyone who might be interested in the item to come check it out, and I would sell it again with everyone understanding that there was a small crack. The original buyer was happy, and I sold it for almost as much as it brought the first time. After the sale a lady who was attending her first auction of mine said that she had never gone to an auction that was conducted with such honesty.

We have several auctioneers in this area who would have done the same thing I did. We have some who would not. I’m not trying to make myself out to be a saint. I just know that if you treat people right, the way you want to be treated, they will want to do business with you again. When you rip people off you might do OK for a while, but eventually it will come back to haunt you. The Golden Rule: It’s a great way to conduct business and a great way to live your life.

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