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Wed Nov 10 2021 16:32:05

When Is It Okay to Contact a Buyer after a Sale?

By: Ina Steiner

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Remember the days when online buyers and sellers bonded over shared passions thanks to the Internet? Sometimes people even met in real life and became lifelong friends. Those days may be over, even for collectors and dealers.

A recent post on the Etsy discussion boards had us wondering, would you as a seller ever reach out to a buyer to see how they're enjoying their item or to pass along tips?

eBay grew in large part thanks to the community that sprung up around it, but these days, sites like eBay and Etsy seem to frown upon frivolous member-to-member interactions. "Frivolous" meaning anything that doesn't have to do with moving a transaction along.

And because so many sellers have experienced bad buyers who file claims many months after a transaction, many sellers seem skittish about communicating with buyers after the sale is consummated. (Let sleeping dogs like; don't go looking for trouble,...)

The Etsy post that got us thinking was written by a seller who wondered if they should reach out to a buyer of a cracked coffee pot they had sold them to let them know a buyer of the remaining matching set was interested in learning what happened to the pot to see if they could buy it. 

On the other hand, some sellers believe once a person has made a purchase, that person is their customer, not just that of the online marketplace.

Under what circumstances do you feel comfortable reaching out to a buyer after a transaction?



Comments (8) | Permalink

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by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 11 02:50:53 2021

I leave the first contact in the hands of the buyer. I know quite a few of our clientele don't care or have time to converse. If they take the time to reach out we happily will respond back.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 11 06:36:21 2021

“On the other hand, some sellers believe once a person has made a purchase, that person is their customer, not just that of the online marketplace.”

%100 correct !

Nothing belongs to eBay except their fees

They didn’t source the item, they do no advertising, they hide items, they don’t take photos or provide descriptions. They don’t pack or ship items either.

All they do is process credit cards.

Any customer you get is YOURS since YOU earned it.

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by: Fek This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 11 06:50:20 2021

I rarely contact buyers, unless I need more information or there is a problem.  I have had sellers contact me for friendship, and even one who looked to me for mental health care.  I am not a psychologist, I know nothing about mental health.  To me, the best buyers are the ones who don't need to chat needlessly.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 11 08:33:03 2021

I try to hold down contact to a minimum - I'm really busy and I found that they tend to turn into your "friend" and stop buying from you

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Nov 11 11:16:07 2021

I agree with Fek. I only contact buyers if there is a problem with their address (I have a plethora who live in multi-family dwellings yet won't include their apartment/unit number). I am so busy with my store (adding items or packing/shipping them) that I just don't have to write long emails to internet "buddies."  

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by: fusgeyer This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 11 12:31:26 2021

Be very careful when contacting a buyer after the sale through Etsy. Unless it directly pertains to the transaction, you are probably in violation of their policies. Here are the circumstances Etsy allows for buyer contact:
1) thank you for your order - to acknowledge that you received their order and are starting to process it.
2) Any issues that arrive during the creation of an item or unnoticed damages or you are out of stock.
3) Your item has shipped or any delays there might be in shipping
4) Your item has been delivered
5)Thank you for your feedback

You cannot keep Etsy customer information directly from Etsy. It is in direct violation of their poilicies and they will clsoe your shop if you get caught. Etsy considers customers as Etsy customers, not yours. Right, wrong or otherwise, that is the rule. If you want to keep in touch with Etsy customers, get them to join a mailing list that you own. Then you can contact them whenever you want because they opted in. You can market this in whatever packing lists and materials you send with your order.

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This user has validated their user name. by: MainelyVintage

Thu Nov 11 15:25:54 2021

I had the son of a LI, NY painter whom I sold a couple of his works reach out to me about contacting my past buyers so he could purchase them. The thought was awkward, so I did not. He contacted me later and said that he was successful in purchasing one of the paintings.

It occurred to me that if the buyer left feedback, they could scroll until they find it. I believe that the fact that I offered such a painting would be through a Pinterest post.

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by: LDWCallsOut This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 12 13:36:25 2021

The era when online buyers and sellers bonded over shared passions predated the arrival of the big social networking sites.    



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