Friday, December 29, 2006
Can E Bay Save America?
Capitalism is alive and well on the internet and there is no finer example than E Bay.
The on-line auction was brought to life through the creation of E Bay and the concept of selling good stuff at reasonable prices. There you know the product by description, you are able to contact the seller regarding features of the item and are able to make an educated purchase of said items.
The E Bay system is a merit system of sellers and buyers based on feedback from both parties. With feedback you know whether the person you are buying from is reliable enough to be trusted. If not the feedback percentage is lowered through previous buyers rating their experience with the seller, bad feedback means people will not return to the seller for future purchases. Unlike retail store sales where you find out about bad stores when you try to return an item and receive significant grief in an attempt to do so.
The customer service level of retail stores often leaves something to be desired, young sales persons without the product knowledge or store knowledge to direct or advise you.
I have been taking up a new hobby of folding knife collecting recently and found E Bay to be an excellent place to find different and unique knives at very reasonable prices. I know that the sellers are not going to rip me off because their reputation is riding on feedback from me.
This is very similar to days gone by when the local Mom&Pop store would make every effort to be courteous and dependable, because their business's existence depended on their reputation.
I recently purchased a small die-cast AMC Gremlin (I like orphan cars) from a fellow in Wisconsin and along with the car received a personal note from the seller thanking me for my purchase. Just try and get that from Wally Mart! The respect for the customer and the sincerity of the note said to me, this person really cares about his customers, even with something inexpensive and small.
Folks this is what we need in our country, a genuine caring attitude and attention to the customer. Granted not all sellers do this but ones that do rate very highly in my book.
You will not get this at the giant discount stores, they want to move product off the shelves and count on the hordes and masses of consumers to do that for them. Personal service in those places is a thing of the past. Used to be downtowns across America had stores where the owners lived in the community and were members of the Chamber of Commerce, then Wally Mart showed up and drove them all out of business with 'deep discount prices' and the rest was history.
E Bay oddly enough is the internet equivalent of the Mom&Pop store, they provide many of the same things the big boys do with even cheaper prices and superior customer service. With so many of our consumable goods coming in from other countries today, it is a good thing to buy on E Bay and let an American get a piece of the capitalist action.
Sellers on E Bay are Americans playing the role of discount merchant with a reputation on the line and as such are motivated to be helpful. By supporting these people versus the big stores we give them a piece of the American dream thought to be lost long ago.
Please do your part to revive the small business person and check E Bay first before giving your money to some corporate big shot that cares not about you but their bottom line.