Thursday, August 26, 2010

E-Bay Circumventing Ignorant Cod-Bag

Yesterday we encountered a new breed of Cod-Bag. At least he was new to us. This may happen in big cities all the time... dunno.
A guy had seen a vacuum on eBay and decided to come to the store to buy it. On eBay it was a $99 auction with a $134 Buy-It-Now price. Coincidentally we had it for sale in the store for $134. So this old guy engages one of my employees claiming it is for sale on eBay for $99. My guy, wisely opens a browser session and offers the keyboard to the old fart to find the listing. Of course gramps starts back-pedaling, knowing full well that it was a starting price he was looking at, so he started negotiating from the standpoint of, "well it doesn't have any bids, so it is probably going to sell for that price."
My guy is a good salesperson and doesn't get flapped up very easily, (unlike me) so he calmly explained the concept of eBay. However, the codbag continued to play dumb and started griping about driving all this way and "woe is me for the gas I spent" and eluding to bait and switch, wha, wha, wha. Then he hits my guy with, "So what can you do for me?"
Now, my team has some leeway on prices and this could have been handled without me getting involved, but I think my guy just felt like pulling the pin on a grenade to see what would happen. He told the guy he would have to check with the boss and it was GAME ON!
Me and the guy went through an abbreviated version of the conversation I had just overheard, ending with the same question: "What can you do for me?"
My initial tact was to explain how snipers come in at the end and bid items up and that the vacuum would not end for $99. But then something wierd happened. Before my very eyes this old codger miraculously transformed into an eBay expert. Suddenly he knew everything about how it works, what stuff ends for, all eBay's fees, PayPal fees and the whole bit. Now his point was that I could avoid all those fees buy selling directly to him and it was a valid point, but rather than impress me with his knowledge he just pissed me off. Now I realized that, rather than a newb, I was dealing with a con-man. This was the pitiful old man version of the classic "Yo no jable the inglish" or the Phil Hartman caveman "Your strange ways frighten and confuse me." negotiating tactic.
Realizing I was being had, I shifted gears and decided to abbreviate the bullshit.
"Well sir, here is what I can do. If you'd like to buy it here in the store for $134 you'll save $20 on shipping. Or you could go home and bid on it and hope to get it for $99 and then drive back up here and pick it up. Of course we both know it's not going to sell for $99, so you will have to factor that into your decision. I've got a lot of stuff to do, so I will let you dwell it over and tell the cashier your decision." and I walked away.
I'd love to say the guy bought the thing for $134, but I think he had a little too much pride. Oh well, last I checked it was at $126 with 10 watchers on eBay. I think we'll do OK on the vacuum.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Enough CAPTCHA! Seriously... Enough!

Craigslist! I understand the need to filter out douchebags, scammers and automated spiders. I get it! but goddamn CAPTCHA is just ridiculous. The only people confused by nonsense words are people who speak the english language. Nigerian con-men and spider programs would be just as easily confused by real words as by the garbage words captcha produces.

That said, today Captcha reached a new low... I may be old and stuck in my ways, but I think everyone would agree that the characters you need to type in should at least exist on the keyboard. See the image below. This was an actual screen capture as I tried to sell an item on the local craigslist.
I realize everything is made in China, but has it really come to this?