Sunday, September 4, 2011

virtual seller ethics and a little lookie-look

So. In the past month alone I've had to deal with not one, but several sellers who were not honourable, or at least decent, in their dealings.

For instance, there's this one Etsy seller from whom I purchased a fairly expensive tote over a month ago. Her listing described the item as "ready to ship". But, since three and a half weeks passed and there was neither hide nor hair of the thing, I finally decided to write to her.

She did not reply till some days later, and then it was to tell me that the item wasn't even sewn up yet. She said she would ship my order out "the next day", and even added something about checking if Fedex could get it to me faster. Note though, that she was not prepared to pay more for expedited shipping to make up for the delay (is it just me, or would not paying for expedited shipping have been the decent thing to do?).

Anyway, that was on August 22nd. Can you already guess where this is going? On the 31st I wrote to ask her to please just cancel my order and refund me. Can you guess what happened next? She did not reply, has still not done so, and the item has still not arrived.

I generally have very positive, straightforward transactions with sellers on Etsy. It's certainly a much nicer environment than, say, eBay I think. But I guess once in a while... Unfortunately, it was only after the fact that I checked out this seller's feedback, and found a bunch of neutrals, as well as a negative from someone who had a vaguely similar experience.

I absolutely hate leaving negative feedback for anyone. That probably doesn't help my feelings of frustration or annoyance. Do you think, because you don't have a physical, brick-and-mortar store where you have to deal face-to-face with the actual customer, that you aren't bound by rules of honour, service, and plain courtesy?

Do miles of land and sea create a comfortable intervening distance, perfect for avoidance and dismissiveness? Does the fact that you can literally "switch off" your customer by ignoring electronic communication allow you to shirk responsibility, and avoid dealing honestly, with integrity and consideration?

My husband would ask, why am I even surprised? People behave badly, it's just human nature. Being honourable, just, conscientious, thoughtful, upright -- it just doesn't come naturally. Well perhaps he's right -- I do believe that anything truly good that we humans do, or are capable of, is inspired by God. It can only be the Holy Spirit working in you that makes you keep your word, behave fairly, put others first, do your best.

I wrote a somewhat related post earlier this year. I referred to Matthew 5:37, which says, "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes', and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one", and I wrote:

"It's funny/sad how people often say things they don't mean, commit to things they never intend to see through, are double-minded, unreliable and dishonest beneath a veneer of friendliness, benevolence or magnanimity...

"WHY do people do this? Why say one thing when you mean another, why say you will when you won't, why put on (in this case) an "image" of sincerity and bubbly affability, when the reality is an insincere hollowness? And if one can be like this in even small, simple things, how does one deal with bigger issues, matters of importance that require unshakeable integrity, commitment or trustworthiness? It strikes me as I write this however that it really doesn't matter whether something is small or big -- we should mean what we say all the time, be honourable and dependable in all our dealings".

Well well, will I get my money back? Who knows? At any rate, I guess now I shall have the fun of choosing another tote -- any suggestions? In the meantime, take a gander at these wonderful recent purchases I made from some very nice, decent Etsy sellers :)



A Slip Shop said...

Thanks for featuring our slip! Love your blog!

Unknown said...

i like the bow! :]

Anonymous said...

Janice!! Thanks a lot for featuring my ring here!! :D


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