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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Less-than-helpful dealer

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Bobstamp
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23 Aug 2016
08:38:45pm
I sent a personal message to an eBay dealer inquiring whether he might have some particular first-flight covers; he specializes in airmail postal history, and has hundreds of ffc's in his eBay store. If he didn't have any copies of the particular covers I was looking for, I asked if he could recommend a dealer. This was his response:

Quote:

"New message from: ... Top Rated Seller(16,925YellowShooting Star)

I might but I just do not have time to look. Really that busy...sorry.

Todd "



Bob



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2010ccg
23 Aug 2016
08:48:55pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Guess what ? he might post in a day or two....I`d keep watching his items. I had a similar thing happen to me...The seller posted the item with a high buy now amount...but I didn`t bite

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michael78651
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23 Aug 2016
09:17:42pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

A better response from the seller would have been:

"I might, but I am very busy right now. If you could give me a couple of days I'll take a look and see if I can find what you're looking for."

With his attitude, but I bet you if you were looking for a $100 item he'd jump at your command, if he's not willing to even try, then I'm not willing to even buy.

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dani20
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24 Aug 2016
05:50:55am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Such a response would never, ever,come from our own Roy. Have you checked him out for what you're looking for?
Dan C

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vinman
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24 Aug 2016
07:56:21am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Bob,
I wouldn't take it personally. He did give you an honest answer even though it wasn't what you wanted. I checked out his ebay store and he has 4200 items listed so he may actually be that busy. It don't look like he specializes in any one item, many listings in many different categories.

Vince

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Webpaper
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24 Aug 2016
08:19:03am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

A little hint from someone who started with Ebay back in 1997 - avoid the Top Rated sellers like the plague.

They always seem to be the ones with questionable stock, poor descriptions, etc.

At least that has been my experience.

There are hundreds of small part time dealers on Ebay more than willing to offer personalized service. A little creativity will even get you past the Ebay email bots and let you deal with them directly -

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StampCollector
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24 Aug 2016
04:00:03pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Bob, at least you did get a reply, this what I got from ebay, guess the dealer didn't have time either.



"Hi. No one likes to be ignored - we get that. Choose to buy it now or check out our similar suggestions."

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philb
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24 Aug 2016
08:07:39pm

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re: Less-than-helpful dealer

I think i would drop him from my watch list ! There are too many other dealers looking for business.

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StampCollector
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24 Aug 2016
08:40:10pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

You are right Phil, I get lousy service only once, don't like to trip on the same stone twice!

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DavidG
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APS member since 2004
24 Aug 2016
09:13:55pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Bob:
If we don't have the type of material a customer is looking for, we usually try and point them towards a dealer who may. But we are a bricks and motar store, not some guy in his Mum's basement.

David Giles
Ottawa, CANADA

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michael78651
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24 Aug 2016
09:31:26pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Quote:

"not some guy in his Mum's basement"



No excuse not to provide proper customer service.
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ikeyPikey
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25 Aug 2016
05:59:10am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Quote:

"... No excuse not to provide proper customer service ..."



Q/ Are you on a deadline to complete an exhibit?

The guy already scans & texts & posts his inventory on a public site, which anyone is welcome to browse & re-browse to their heart's content.

In the time it would take to custom search X covers, he could scan & text & post Y covers ... where everyone could see them, including you.

Declining to do custom searches of any off-line inventory is a perfectly reasonable response.

Just because he is selling on eBay does not mean that he knows a whole lot about his competitors ... how would he?

Give the guy a break.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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HungaryForStamps
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25 Aug 2016
10:39:12am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

I agree with the above. The dealer responded and gave an honest answer and all his material is online where the customer can search if they have the motivation. Likely he would be doing the same search as a customer. Perhaps he should have said, "you are free to search my store if you like". He didn't provide the most helpful answer but certainly doesn't deserve lambasting and blocking.

If I walked into a busy (even not busy) brick and mortar store and the owner said "I'm not sure I have what you are looking for, but try looking in this area" I'd be perfectly satisfied.



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michael78651
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25 Aug 2016
11:07:12am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Quote:

"If I walked into a busy (even not busy) brick and mortar store and the owner said "I'm not sure I have what you are looking for, but try looking in this area" I'd be perfectly satisfied.
"



And if the owner said, "I'm not sure, but I'm too busy to help you."??? That's basically what happened here according to the original post.
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Bobstamp
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25 Aug 2016
07:40:22pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

HungaryFoSstamps said,

Quote:

"The dealer responded and gave an honest answer and all his material is online where the customer can search if they have the motivation. Likely he would be doing the same search as a customer."



Do any dealers have all of their material on-line at any given time? I've never known a dealer who wasn't buried in stamps and/or covers and was constantly trying to keep them moving by maintaining the interest of potential buyers. They don't accomplish that by saying, "I don't know if I have that stamp/cover, sorry, good-bye."

Before contacting the dealer, I did search his eBay store. Since he had some FFCs from the airmail route I'm interested in, I assumed that he might have the ones I am looking for but hadn't yet scanned and uploaded them. Was I being unreasonable?

I have asked many dealers in on-line and in brick-and-mortar stores if they happened to have this, that, or the other. Most of the time they hand a binder or a box to me and let me look to my heart's content. Sometimes they say they might have, and they look. Sometimes they say, "No, sorry, I don't have that. Is there anything else I can help you with?" Sometimes they contact me later with either good news or not. Some dealers (Roy Lingen is one of them) keep their customer's interests in mind and contact them when they find something you might interested in. Brian Grant-Duff at All Nations Stamp & Coin here in Vancouver does the same thing. The Americasstampshop guy didn't even pretend to be helpful, and didn't bother making any suggestions about other dealers. The "sorry" at the end of his message somehow just didn't seem sincere. Obviously, he's not Canadian!

Bob
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tomiseksj
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25 Aug 2016
08:10:48pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Quote:

"Welcome to the e-store of America's Stamp Stop, a brick-and-mortar, full-service stamp store for over 30 years. If you don't see what you're looking for, send us a message and we'll try to get it listed. We stand behind what we sell and guarantee it to meet your satisfaction."



The seller has a 100% positive feedback rating for the last 12 months with over 1700 5-star ratings.

And if you believe the introduction on his ebay store, his brick and mortar store has been in business for over 30 years so he must be doing something right.

Perhaps he responded when he was having a bad day...or maybe he really was swamped.

Were it me, I'd heed IP's advice and cut him some slack.
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Webpaper
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25 Aug 2016
08:34:16pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Perhaps it's just my age showing but I found the dealers response cold and rude - period. Have we become so rushed in our day to day that there is no longer any time left to spend a few seconds and come up with a civil answer. I know that is asking a lot - I don't think that they teach civility in schools anymore - or history for that matter.

"Benjamin Franklin taught at the first public high school and the first opening of the first school..... Franklin said, ‘the purpose of the high school shall be to teach civility, because without civility democracy will fail.’"

Ben Franklin was a smart man.



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HungaryForStamps
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25 Aug 2016
11:08:00pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

How and on what planet was that not a civil answer? It was curt, but apologetic. I'm not saying it was the best possible answer, but certainly ranks above no answer or " go pound sand" which would be uncivil. Perhaps he really was just that busy. Perhaps not. So little slack in these modern times.

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Bobstamp
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25 Aug 2016
11:40:32pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

You know, I actually agree with some people who are critical of my original post. I probably shouldn't have named the dealers, so I'm going to edit out his name from that post. But some of the responses I received in this thread are far less civil than the one I received from the dealer, and indicate that the writers didn't even bother to carefully read what I wrote. I do sometimes wonder why I bother to post anything.

Bob


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musicman
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APS #213005
25 Aug 2016
11:58:27pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

The anonymity of Ebay makes it easy to be unresponsive and unsympathetic to buyers wants

and yet continue to be successful.


Did he apologize? Yes, barely.

Was it believable? Not in my thinking.


I agree with Carol/Webpaper.


Bob -

please continue posting as you wish.

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phook
26 Aug 2016
07:48:09am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

It sounds like the sort of reply a busy person might make.

Who knows. Maybe they had a hundred jobs to do that day, and were getting behind, but were thinking 'I really need to answer all these enquiries today. I'll whizz through them quickly'.

Or maybe they weren't. Who knows...

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vinman
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26 Aug 2016
08:09:20am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

I am starting to see Bob's point of view.
The store is called "Americasstampstore". No need to remove who the dealer's name at this point, it makes your statements very clear if you leave that bit of information in your original post so it is clear why you have a problem with this dealer.
It must be an evil enterprise run by one of those evil Americans. Why did you point out that he is not Canadian?
Just buy Canadian, even though you can't find a decent binder up there for your stamp collection.
It is pretty clear why you post , it is so you have someplace to post your views of America and Americans. I do commend you on leaving the US. You didn't like it here and left. good for you.
Vince

Ps How soon will I hear cry's of "Shut down this thread".

Edit, correction.
americasstampstop

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whitebuffalo
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26 Aug 2016
08:15:48am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

It could be as simple as a lack of communication skills. I have a sister in law who is as nice as they come, but there are times when the "way" she says things comes across as a total...well you get the idea. She doesn't mean anything by it, she just doesn't hear it in her own head, they way others do. That can be compounded through the typed word communication, too. I'd take the high road and message him back and thank him for his time and trouble. You never know, it could lead to bigger and better things in the future.


WB

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ikeyPikey
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26 Aug 2016
09:03:12am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Quote:

"... But some of the responses I received in this thread are far less civil than the one I received from the dealer ..."



I do not see one uncivil response up until the point at which you posted this.

The request was for a search of off-line merchandise. That could be many thousands of covers, and hours of work.

It is not reasonable to expect or demand that any person, at any time, who has any amount of merchandise on the net or under their bed, stop what they are doing and spend a few hours indulging your individual interests ... particularly when, sooner or later, if they have the cover you want, they will get a round tuit and it will appear on their site.

Unless, of course, you are in a legitimate hurry, which is why I asked:

Q/ Are you on a deadline to complete an exhibit?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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copy55555
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26 Aug 2016
12:30:25pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Seems I can't find Americasstampstore on Ebay. Is this a theoretical discussion or based on reality?

Tad

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
26 Aug 2016
01:42:29pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

I don't see anything wrong with the dealers reply. HE REPLIED. He could have ignored your query. That is the kind of quick reply people send when they are 50-100 emails behind. I understand that, I'm always a week behind on my work emails. The volume is incredible.

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vinman
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26 Aug 2016
02:23:22pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

Correction to my previous post. It is americasstampstop

Vince

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HungaryForStamps
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26 Aug 2016
03:02:21pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

I'm probably all wrong about this, but I'll say it anyway since we all value communication.

The other thing to consider is this is an Ebay store. Its unethical in my opinion (I think, maybe) for an Ebay seller to give special privilege to an individual even via Ebay contact. If the dealer did have what Bob wanted, what then? A special deal outside of Ebay or merely an email notice to Bob when those items are put up for sale? Either way, that's unfair to other buyers that don't have direct contact and only see what is currently listed. After all, this is not a question about a listed item.

I'm not at all implying there was motivation to circumvent the Ebay system here, but perhaps this has some bearing on the dealer's curt response (perhaps not). The correct response may have been a very curt remark so as not to appear to be favoring one buyer over another. Maybe the most appropriate response would have been no response.

What I am about to relate is nothing like this situation, so I am not implying anything, but it helps illustrate my point. At least once, I have bid (Buy It Now) and won an auction for a fairly valuable item that I know others more widely connected that I desired. When I went to pay, the item magically disappeared from the dealers inventory. The dealer forgot he sold it at a weekend show or some other nonsense. What really happened is the dealer got a private email offering more than the Buy It Now price I paid.

This is different than Bob's situation for sure, but illustrates the troubles that come from assuming an Ebay store is or should be like a brick and mortar store or even a private web store. (I know that some dealers list their wares on more than one site, which I consider less than entirely forthright as well.)

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HungaryForStamps
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26 Aug 2016
04:39:47pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

To be fair his Ebay store does say the following and Bob did just that:

Quote:

"If you don't see what you're looking for, send us a message and we'll try to get it listed."



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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
26 Aug 2016
05:59:20pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

There is a difference between entering the last, or next to last, brick and mortar store and receiving this response to a query ;
".... I might but I just do not have time to look. Really that busy...sorry. ..."

or getting the same response to a polite e-mailed question.

We communicate by not just sound, by words, by written words, but also by facial expression, general demeanor and overall body language.

"It was now the Virginian’s turn to bet,
or leave the game, and he did not speak at once.
Therefore Trampas spoke. “Your bet, you son-of-a--.”
The Virginian’s pistol came out,
and his hand lay on the table,
holding it un-aimed.
And with a voice as gentle as ever,
the voice that sounded almost like a caress,
but drawling a very little more than usual,
so that there was almost a space between each word,
he issued his orders to the man Trampas:
“When you call me that, SMILE.”
And he looked at Trampas across the table.

Yes, the voice was gentle.
But in my ears it seemed as if
somewhere the bell of death was ringing;
and silence, like a stroke,
fell on the large room."


Using electronic means of communicating
it is almost impossible to convey all the silent body signals,
the verbal nuances that alter the meaning of a simple respomse.


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bobstew617
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26 Aug 2016
08:26:33pm
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

If this dealer was someone I had regularly dealt with, I might give the benefit of the doubt (but I might wait a bit until the next time)

If it was a new dealer, that would be my last communication. After all, it's MY money!!

I shake my head at those who would call that uncivil. Carol said it all.

BOB in ORLANDO

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
27 Aug 2016
05:48:04am
re: Less-than-helpful dealer

You cannot force a dealer to behave as you want. If you do not like the response, reword your question (maybe with a little sympathy) and try again or shop elsewhere.

Al

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