PDA

View Full Version : Proper Marketplace Protocol



Mezcalero
11-03-2016, 06:06 PM
I just wanted to share an experience I had regarding the sale of an instrument today here on Marketplace. It is the 3rd instrument I have sold to fellow UU member. The first 2 went very smoothly, mainly because one person expressed interest, and the sale happened very quickly. The 3rd one was more chaotic and I believe I could have done a better job with communication. I hope by sharing my experience, others can learn from my mistake.

So it all started out innocently enough. I saw someone else's post saying they wanted to buy a Baritone. I replied to the thread saying I had a Kamaka HF-4. The original poster P.M.'d and we quickly determined my instrument was out of his price range. Then things got crazy. Within a few hours, I had 4 members express interest in my Kamaka HF-4. I tried to keep some sense of order in the process, but ended up having 3 people believing they were 1st in line to buy it. One of them even used this exact terminology "Please put me in line". Ultimately it sold in less than 24 hours, and at least one of the 3 who had expressed serious interest was left disappointed by the way I managed the process.

What did I learn? There is a protocol for when multiple members express interest in the same instrument. From what I can understand, based on chronological order, you should create a que, and allow the first person to decide/accept terms. If they clearly state they want it, then allow them a timeframe to decide/make payment. If they pass, then go to 2nd, and on and on.

Sorry for any disappointment I caused today!

lfoo6952
11-03-2016, 06:15 PM
I agree. First come, first served, and apply a deadline for deciding to buy or not buy.

mds725
11-03-2016, 06:38 PM
Thanks for starting this conversation. Virtually everyone I've dealt with in the Marketplace has had the best intentions and has been honest and pleasant; people who want a bidding war typically go to eBay or some other auction site. As you point out, though, things can get chaotic quickly and that can lead to unintended consequences. When I've sold an instrument here, the first thing I tell people when they contact me is their place in line (i..e., "you're the second/third/fourth person to contact me") and to let them know that I am going to give the person or people ahead of them a chance to buy the instrument in the order in which they contacted me. That alleviates disappointment on the part of the person or people who aren't first if the instrument sells before I get to them. Of course, I run the risk that people will bail, but I do think it's the fairest way to deal with people in the randomness of the marketplace.

I don't think of this as a rule as much as common courtesy to everyone who has expressed an interest.

Mivo
11-03-2016, 06:45 PM
Personally, I wouldn't base the decision who to sell to on the order in which the queries were received. If I had five people express interest in buying an expensive instrument from me, I'd sell it to the one I feel is the safest option for me. I'd also favor a buyer that I had previously contact with or that I bought something from (or sold something to).

Perhaps it's the horror stories I read when I researched common pitfalls on ebay (when I sold an expensive synthesizer) that make me want to take this approach, but selling (and buying) something online always comes with risks, and I'd want to minimize these as much as I realistically can. I don't mean to imply that dealing with any of your potential buyers would have been risky, my comment is just of a general nature, not specific to your case. I don't know who contacted you, after all.

mds725
11-03-2016, 08:04 PM
Personally, I wouldn't base the decision who to sell to on the order in which the queries were received. If I had five people express interest in buying an expensive instrument from me, I'd sell it to the one I feel is the safest option for me. I'd also favor a buyer that I had previously contact with or that I bought something from (or sold something to).

Perhaps it's the horror stories I read when I researched common pitfalls on ebay (when I sold an expensive synthesizer) that make me want to take this approach, but selling (and buying) something online always comes with risks, and I'd want to minimize these as much as I realistically can. I don't mean to imply that dealing with any of your potential buyers would have been risky, my comment is just of a general nature, not specific to your case. I don't know who contacted you, after all.

That's an important point about feeling safe and I'm glad you brought it up. However. what would you do if each of the people who contacted you felt equally safe to you? When someone initially contacts you, do you let them know that other people have contacted you? Do you do anything else to set people's expectations?

stevejfc
11-04-2016, 02:49 AM
I agree that it should be first come, first served..............and when there is multiple interest, I make it clear where one is in the que. However, I do set time limits, and I ask more questions and require more information and better conformation from newbees or unknowns.

Rllink
11-04-2016, 03:55 AM
Sorry, I'm not in the first come first serve club. Until money changes hands, it is your uke and you can do with it as you please.

R

cml
11-04-2016, 05:34 AM
You as a seller have full rights to sell to whoever you feel most comfortable with. Easy as that. What you can do however is to be honest about that you're entertaining different offers.

But there's no need at all for applying a general "rule" of first come first serve.

lfoo6952
11-04-2016, 07:54 AM
Personally, I wouldn't base the decision who to sell to on the order in which the queries were received. If I had five people express interest in buying an expensive instrument from me, I'd sell it to the one I feel is the safest option for me. I'd also favor a buyer that I had previously contact with or that I bought something from (or sold something to).

Perhaps it's the horror stories I read when I researched common pitfalls on ebay (when I sold an expensive synthesizer) that make me want to take this approach, but selling (and buying) something online always comes with risks, and I'd want to minimize these as much as I realistically can. I don't mean to imply that dealing with any of your potential buyers would have been risky, my comment is just of a general nature, not specific to your case. I don't know who contacted you, after all.

Good point. I see your point of view. Another factor that I would consider is the location of the buyer. If a buyer was local and could hand over the cash to you during the exchange, then I would favor this buyer over someone who is not local, because the ukulele would have to be shipped, and the money would have to be wired electronically. This is fraught with danger because of potential damage or lost during shipping, and also the danger not receiving the money due to fraud.

mds725
12-14-2016, 09:00 PM
I acknowledge the importance of being comfortable with a buyer, and I am not advocating for a hard and fast first come first served rule, but I do think, however, that once a seller has offered to sell an ukulele to a buyer and the buyer has accepted that offer, or says something like "yes, I want to buy it," it's inappropriate for the seller to sell the ukulele to someone else simply because the seller who agrees to buy it hasn't paid for it yet.

Mivo
12-14-2016, 11:21 PM
but I do think, however, that once a seller has offered to sell an ukulele to a buyer and the buyer has accepted that offer, or says something like "yes, I want to buy it," it's inappropriate for the seller to sell the ukulele to someone else simply because the seller who agrees to buy it hasn't paid for it yet.

How long should the seller wait, though, before taking another offer? The window of opportunity can be small, and the need for more money dire. I don't know how fast ukuleles typically sell here (I sold the ones that I let go to a buyer directly, without advertising them), but I sometimes see threads in the marketplace that linger for quite a while, and then suddenly there's interest by several parties. I could see why the seller, who has been trying to sell for months, might want to complete a transaction quickly and without taking the risk that everyone changes their mind. Do buyers frequently change their mind after they had a few hours or days to reconsider? (I don't know, it's not a rhetorical question. I have changed my mind on some planned purchases, usually because necessity or a surge of responsibility won over the desire for something new, or because the financial situation changed.)

bunnyf
12-15-2016, 08:14 AM
I am not hard and fast on first come first served. I think he seller has every right to take into consideration any factors that he thinks might be significant to the sale. I would just advise potential purchasers (by a pm) that you have multiple offers and then proceed to get the information you need to make a decision. Don't string people along, be upfront, don't make promises and then not keep them. Otherwise, feel free to find the right fit for you.

tenor madness
12-15-2016, 03:59 PM
I've bought a couple of instruments in the Market place and do not believe that the first to express an interest has any special rights. Until an agreement is reached by both parties on price, condition and shipping, I think sellers have right to choose whichever buyer they prefer. It is nice if the seller holds a place for you, but if I am asking about condition, photos, shipping, etc and another buyer comes along meeting all your parameters the seller has every right to proceed with the sell.

dwh
12-15-2016, 05:20 PM
I have bought and sold many items off of forums such as UU. I buy and sell on several telescope, and firearms sites, and have had tens to hundreds of transactions. I think the first "i'll take it" is deserving of being placed first in line! Place a time frame on communication, and move on to the next in line if that time frame doesn't reap a transaction. Communications is key. There are lots of tire kickers on the interwebs. Focus on being serious. Remember we are members of a community. IMHO this is the best way to insure everyone gets a fair shot!