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Club Business & Announcements/Tech Advice : Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

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cardstamp
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13 Sep 2015
01:09:35am

Approvals
Is it just me or has anyone else experienced the issue of buyers just ignoring messages you send them ? Many times I will send a buyer a message on various issues concerning a purchase they made or giving them a head's up to something I will be offering that they may be interested in or requesting payment and they just ignore the messages. I can see that the messages were NOT read - so it is not like they are reading them and choosing not to respond - they just do not even open them up. They must see the banner under the welcome - that shows they have a new message(s) yet they never bother to look at them ? Maybe we need something that flashes to alert them better ? In cases where they are ignoring payment - I have resorted to just sending them an email instead. And I know they have been on the system after I sent the message because I can check out their last access date & time which is always after the date and time of the message sent. Maybe I should have put this in the steamroom section - but I am also wondering if there can be anything more that can force people to read their messages in a more timely manner ? Steve
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Stevo45
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13 Sep 2015
04:12:28am
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

It's not just you.. :-)

Steve

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Webpaper
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13 Sep 2015
06:11:45am
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

Not just you but why worry about it? This is a club, it is not Bidstart or Ebay. And even on those venues I never send out a non-payment reminder for a couple of weeks. Life goes on - I am sure that some people pay monthly, some people change their minds, some people have family emergencies - it happens.

My reminder always gives them a graceful out ("If you have decided that you no longer want the material just let me know. No harm done - I will simply relist it"). I think over the years I have had three customers say they had changed their mind - one of them now buys regularly from me. And yes,some customers ignore me - so what.

I love the low key nature of this site and when I have time to put a few approval books together I find a lot of satisfaction in being able to supply people with stamps they want.

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bobstew617
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13 Sep 2015
07:49:34am
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

Hi Steven and co.--if you encounter a non-responsive buyer in the Auctions, and after repeated efforts cannot get a response, please let David Teisler (amsd) AND myself know via email so we can get involved.

If it concerns Approvals, then Ralph Anavy (rrralph) is your contact.

BUYERS--the same is also true if you are having issues with a seller that you cannot resolve.

Have a GREAT Sunday, everyone. BOB STEWART


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cardstamp
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13 Sep 2015
10:13:16am

Approvals
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

I guess I was not too clear in my original post but I am not only speaking about non responsive buyers whom I am looking for payment from but it happens with messages sent that have nothing to do with payment.When you get a message you have No Idea what it is about (no subject line like an email) - so they do not even take the time to open up the message to see what I am writing about. Here is an example - I had one person select about 100 stamps from various approval books - they paid - I sent the order and a few days later I realized I missed sending them 3 stamps when I was going thru the long scrolling list of the items purchased - it must have scrolled and I missed 3. Anyway I was just sending them a message to let them know 3 stamps were going to be missing from the shipment. I was asking do they want me to send them off or would they mind waiting until their next order (and they have bought from me almost every few weeks or at least once a month). They just would not even open the message it remained un-read for about a week and they had been on the system several times and even selected some more stamps from a new approval book - but still never opened the message. Finally a week later it was opened but never responded to. It just seems like I should just send emails outside of the message system to get some response - at least they read the email and the subject line would be something like "Missed Sending You A Few Stamps" - I am sure they would have read it there. Steve

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
13 Sep 2015
11:05:49am
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

There are folk who do not read their messages or email. These are the same folk who can sit next to a telephone without caller ID and listen to it ring without answering, and who are never on time. Some people are just like that. Then there are those of us who rush to grab a ringing phone, check our emails and messages many times during the day, and are always early for appointments. It is difficult for either group to understand what drives the other to behave as it does. All part of the human equation, I guess. Who is to say which behavior is correct, maybe neither.

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roy
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13 Sep 2015
12:53:28pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

The message at the top of the screen letting a member know that there is a message ONLY shows if they are logged in. I know that many members do not bother logging in unless they are actually going to buy something from the approvals or the auction. Remember, the Discussion Board, auction and approvals can all be browsed by anyone, whether logged in or not. So many members don't bother unless they find something.

Roy

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bobstew617
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13 Sep 2015
01:58:56pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

I would agree that email many times is the best way to go, Steven. I do have to confess that there have been times I have ignored my email as well during stretches when my work situation was extremely stressful. This is why I really like being able to click on someone's profile and see their email(s). This of course, only works when the member keeps their contact information CURRENT.

The point I want to press here is that many of us came over from BidStart/SG where we felt the only way left to try and contact a seller/buyer after all other options were exhausted was to post it in the forums. With David, Ralph, and myself moderating the sales, plus with members of the Volunteer Committee (VC) lurking around, that is not needed here.

BOB


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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
13 Sep 2015
02:03:52pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

I find it odd that one belongs to a group to whose members they then don't respond; or belong to a group and then don't do anything, like check in. but it's odd, only.

As to the buying and selling and then ignoring one's contractual obligations, club or no club, now that's a matter that gets my goat. If you buy it, please pay; if you sell it, please deliver.

For the auctioneers, who try to take our tasks seriously, this silliness amounts to a lot of unnecessary, unfulfilling, and thankless effort to accomplish what should have happened nearly automatically.

Yes, we're a club, but our auctions and approvals, while housed in a club, are contracts. We frown on those who break contracts; and we don't suffer the infringement on the enjoyment of others, and ourselves, lightly.

David, the auctioneer who really would prefer to work with HIS stamps than track down YOURS


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jozep
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13 Sep 2015
02:44:23pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

Why not include a short statement in your initial offering that announces the fact that if you don't hear from your buyer within 1 week of the close of the transaction, the item/lot will be relisted. Make sure it is very obvious in your instructions and then the onus will be on the buyer to at least answer the seller's queries. Just an idea to kick around.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
13 Sep 2015
03:57:05pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

here's the rules on auction time frames:

Reasonable Promptness
6) SOR has a wonderful communications interface, both through the membership database and through the invoicing function. We encourage buyers and sellers to use these to communicate. Even better, the interface can be viewed by the buyer, seller, and the webmaster, providing proof of sending, reading, and receipt.

Sellers must send invoices or otherwise notify buyers within 5 calendar days. Other arrangements can be made, including offers to combine lots or notices that the seller will be away during a given period, but communication must be generated.

Buyers must send payment for winning bids within 5 days of receiving invoice. Buyers who have not received an invoice within the 5 days should contact the seller, using both email and the SOR messaging system

Buyers who are paying through the mail should communicate to the sellers by email and/or the SOR messaging system when payment has been sent. Sellers should contact the buyer when payment has been received and when purchases have been mailed to the buyer. If no payment has been received within 14 days it is the responsibility of the seller to contact the buyer.

Sellers and buyers may request alternatives to this, such as delays in invoicing, waiting to pay until another lot closes, etc. Unless mutually agreed in writing by both parties, these alternatives are not valid, and no assumption should be made by either party that the other agrees to alternative arrangements.

In the interest of clarity and to determine that email is properly working, it is a useful, and polite, exercise to acknowledge receipt of invoices and received lots as well as receipt of payment.

It is the responsibility of both parties, buyer and seller, to communicate with one another. Buyers who have not received an invoice within the 5 days should contact the seller; sellers who have received neither payment nor reply within 5 days should try again, using both email and the SOR messaging system.

If there is a failure to complete a transaction, either party may contact the auctioneer. Please provide copies of correspondence, name of buyer (or seller), the lots and their descriptions, total value (exclusive of postage) involved, date(s) of sale, and any other information that’s useful to the auctioneer in resolving a potential problem.

Stuff happens: emails fail, people change addresses and forget to update records, hospital stays, vacations creep up, etc. This is to say that a single occurrence is forgivable, and once rectified, forgiven. Multiple occurrences will result in a participant’s loss of auction privileges.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
14 Sep 2015
12:57:58am
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

Quote:

"Why not include a short statement in your initial offering that announces the fact that if you don't hear from your buyer within 1 week of the close of the transaction, the item/lot will be relisted. Make sure it is very obvious in your instructions and then the onus will be on the buyer "



If a seller tells a buyer this, then the onus is not on the buyer. If I'm a buyer who doesn't read the messages sent to me, or is slow to pay, or sometimes changes my mind and doesn't pay, then the seller would be giving me an out to not complete the transaction if I don''t pay, because I know that the seller will simply relist the item, and I'm off the hook from having to pay for it. The seller could report me to the auctioneer, and I may get banned from buying, but if I'm a buyer who doesn't care if I pay or not, then getting banned isn't any big deal either.

I personally would never give a buyer an excuse not to pay for a purchase.
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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
14 Sep 2015
11:57:12am
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

I just came back from 3 days of Internet free bliss, whale watching on Monterey Bay (yes..humpback whales cavorting by the dozens, and hundreds of dolphins all over the place!). If anyone sent me a message, I did not get it!

I think the problem is often that members also don't log in. So if you sent a SOR message, they don't know about it. When they do read it, you can tell by looking at your messages sent list, it may be weeks after it was sent. Also, not everyone consults the site on a regular basis.
Also, it is a club, so people are much more casual about it, buyers and sellers alike.
When I don't get a response, after a few weeks, I send an email directly to the members listed email (check their profile). But for all here, it is a hobby, and not a business, so I think we tend to be more relaxed about responding to messages. When I ran a business, an email HAD to be responded within minutes of being received (think of it as a phone call with a written track record..or a fax)

Also it is personal and cultural. Some respond immediately, others must give it a few days of reflection.
It is just like dinner invitations. For some cultures, arriving on time is mandatory, for others, arriving on time is insulting...as you have not given your host a little time extra, in case they needed it (by the way, the correct extra time is clearly related to your nationality)! And if you arrive early, you circle the block.
rrr..

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
14 Sep 2015
02:40:32pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

When I pull up the Stamporama site on my private computer, even though not logged in, it still shows whether I have messages (I just cannot access then until I login). I do not know if this is true of mobile devices, because I am not familiar with those apps, but anyone who accesses the site from their laptop or desktop, unless cookies are disabled, should have notice that they have messages waiting.

They also get email notifications of such messages (unless they do not check their email).

Anyone who deigns to join an internet group, assumes a responsibility to routinely check for messages, especially if they are active buyers or sellers on that site. To not do so should be cause to terminate their membership.

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cardstamp
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15 Sep 2015
01:40:51am

Approvals
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

I do see that I have messages when I look at the site via my Iphone even before I log on. When I see that message I always try to log on just to read them and to clear that message alert.I really can understand that someone may not respond or respond quickly to a message but if they are logged on the system not sure I understand why they do not even read them and get rid of the alert message.

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russromei
06 Mar 2016
08:28:03am

Auctions
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

I have a pretty awful time getting buyers to pay within 5 days.
Pretty much all of the ones I have to remind, either thru email or SOR msg, don't respond.
Some continue to bid after receiving the invoice.
None payment really makes a lot of work for the seller, gumming up all their fulfillment processes.

Many buyers pay with check or cash, but don't mark the invoice paid, requiring the seller to chase them down. (and you usually don't get a response that it was paid via mail)

I think there has to be some enforcement of payment.
At some point, I think buyers need to be blocked site wide except for invoices and messaging when they have ANY invoice that is n number of days overdue

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Charlie2009
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06 Mar 2016
08:47:41am
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

I have a pretty awful time getting buyers to pay within 5 days.

Sometimes they don't pay at all !

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dani20
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06 Mar 2016
09:02:15am
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

Dear Guys,
On issues regarding payments/auctions/off behaviors in the buying-selling area's, the webmaster and/or the auctioneer need to be alerted. They may not see the postngs here on this thread, so feel free to contact them directly.
Best,
Dan C.

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Charlie2009
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06 Mar 2016
09:38:56am
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

I just ignore them and pass on.No point worrying about it.As Cardstamp says: sometimes things happen...

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philb
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06 Mar 2016
11:04:40am

Auctions
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

They can be pretty casual...if someone bids on only one 30 cent item as they often do,i hate to push them for payment. There is a difference in the relationships between here and ebay..there i would hold them binding .

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bobstew617
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06 Mar 2016
12:18:51pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

While 30 cents may be a small amount, any seller who gives a buyer a pass is enabling the buyer's behavior and allowing a small issue to grow BIG.

Buying here on SOR is a privilege, not a right.

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Charlie2009
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06 Mar 2016
01:25:00pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

Guess you got a point ;now were are those invoices ....????

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
06 Mar 2016
04:08:44pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

Quote:

"re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent
While 30 cents may be a small amount, any seller who gives a buyer a pass is enabling the buyer's behavior and allowing a small issue to grow BIG.

Buying here on SOR is a privilege, not a right."



I must say that I really disagree. I certainly am at fault for not billing small amounts, but then I treat everyone as a friend..and you don't hound your friend for a debt of 30 cents.

These expectations of immediate invoicing and prompt payments are in my view not the domain of a club, not what I expect. I would say that flexibility is what you should exercise.

It is the difference between a CLUB and a commercial site. Just as shipping charges should reflect true shipping charges, and not an attempt to boost the sales value.

In a club, you are dealing with friends, so rigid rules are in my opinion impossible. A friend is someone you give plenty of rope. You need to show flexibility. Now I would NEVER send an invoice for 30c. (plus 75c for shipping, and no paypal for small amounts accepted)
Especially in Approvals, where small purchases are common, until your fellow collector (he is not just a buyer) has built up a decent total to make the shipping charges reasonable, relative to the purchase. And it may take time.
So my approach is to wait for as much as a few months, and if no further purchases have been logged in, then to ask the buyer if he wants to complete such a small transaction buy some more or what? This is done by private message, and I understand also that fellow collectors are hobbyists with a separate life, and they may work on their stamps every day, may not log in and check every day, (as we would like them to, and faultily assume they do).
So, in my view, if you want to push for payment within 5 days, with penalties attached, go to ebay. You are getting a free ride in the selling department as far as fees are concerned. Here, I expect to be flexible and congenial.

Now I know that different expectations and payment policies create problems and just make the Moderator's job impossible. But I would not trade this flexibility for rigid rules, myself.

Also being on SOR is indeed a privileges and not a right for sellers and buyers...so the same argument can be made about sellers who have lofty expectations. Be real, as it is a club. You can go to ebay if you cannot show the flexibility expected in a club atmosphere. Just my view point.
rrr...

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philb
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06 Mar 2016
04:20:09pm

Auctions
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

rrraphy, i knew we could find common ground somewhere ! Now that i have RA in my shoulders and legs i feel a little compassion for my fellow earthlings. Happy

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auldstampguy
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06 Mar 2016
06:12:29pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

Ralph makes some good points about us being a club and hence things should be a little less rigid, but there are rules and an expectation on both buyers and sellers to complete the transaction in a reasonable amount of time. The key here is communication. You can make the settlement period whatever you want as long as both parties agree. Reduce the stress for each other and for Michael as our Auctioneer. Communicate!

Regards ... Tim.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
06 Mar 2016
06:25:32pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

i'm with Tim on this. You can do this anyway you want, as long as BOTH agree, preferably in advance.

There's really no room for unilateral decisions. if we allowed the club atmosphere to prevail, i might launch 25-stamp approval books; after all, what's the harm.

David

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Dakota
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06 Mar 2016
08:05:17pm

Auctions
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

I have started invoicing once a month. About a week before sending out invoices, I send a message to all of my buyers in case some of them want more time such as those with small purchases. It seems to be working well so far.

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Croman66
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06 Mar 2016
09:45:55pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

when I get tired of waiting after about a month or so , I resend invoice on daily basis and bug the tar out of them and start sending invoices thru paypal after that..If you don't want an item , don't bid on it.. thank you Big Grin

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
06 Mar 2016
11:11:30pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

As the auctioneer, I need to know if a buyer is delinquent paying for purchases. As was stated by one seller, "the buyer keeps bidding on other things". When I get an inquiry, I look at the situation. Often it involves temporarily suspending one's ability to bid/buy sitewide until payment(s) - notice the plural - are made. If a buyer sits on a non-paying transaction, that seller is allowing that buyer to continue buying and probably not paying. There is nothing I or anyone else can do about it since I don't have any other way of knowing about it.

Sellers need to take primary responsibility for their selling activity. It is not Stamporama's responsibility to make sure that a buyer pays timely. It is the seller's. Yes, Stamporama will attempt to offer assistance in cases that are reported (works for buyers who don't receive what they pay for as well), but too many sellers sit for too many months before even trying to get the buyer to pay.

The rules exist to keep the buying and selling transactions flowing. Letting a purchase lapse for months without any contact with the buyer results in the matter being forgotten. If it's not that important to the seller, why after six or nine months or more should the seller expect help to collect the payment for the purchase?

The rules are going to be changed in the near future. Part of the change will offer a suggested process that should (note that I did not say "must") be followed to timely complete purchases. If the process is not followed, sellers (and buyers) will in many instances no longer receive assistance with non-compliant transactions.

In the meantime, sellers and buyers must follow the existing rules. I suggest reading and becoming acquainted with the rules, and the other information regarding buying and selling such as the tutorials and FAQs. Yes, the information may be lengthy, but knowing the way that it is supposed to be done and following the rules will eliminate most of the problems being faced by sellers and buyers.

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malcolm197
15 Mar 2016
07:56:56pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

I am not a buyer or a seller here so it does not apply to me.

However, just as an aside, I would concur that some of us have a life outside stamps. I have just returned from just shy of a month on holiday ( Singapore and New Zealand ). In that time I have not checked my e-mails once, read any discussion boards ( including Stamporama... shock,horror), read a newspaper or watched ANY TV.

A holiday is a break from all normal life for me.

A month can be no time at all if you are on holiday or you or your loved ones have an accident or is unexpectably ill, so you need to be patient.

As someone said this is not a business site but a meeting of minds. If you want to be 100% commercial use e-bay - and put up with the added risk of dealing with potential crooks with no real chance of restitution if it all goes pear-shaped. No place is guaranteed crook-free,but with a little give and take I think a board like this has minimum risk to go with the minimum profit, that goes with reasonable pricing......and if you need to remind people -be polite ( at least at first !! )

Malcolm

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philatelia
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15 Mar 2016
10:28:46pm
re: Buyers Ignore Messages Sent

Of course, the problem isn't with folks who get sick or go on vacation, the problems are the buyers who continually delay payments despite numerous messages and invoices. If would be nice if they remembered that most of us sellers are doing this to have fun and dealing with delinquent invoices really is a bummer. They are "harshing our buzz, dude." LOL!!!

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