The Free Shipping debate on www.listia.com and other gripes

So, this website that I am addicted (it used to be swapping was favorite hobby online) to- www.listia.com, can be a little trying at times, well, I should say some of the people are a tad frustrating. Honestly, I’ve got some great things, things of value, that not everyone  on this site has, like Tommy Bahama- resort wear that is expensive $$$, the mens shirts are around $125 each, Hawaiian Aloha Wear, Jewelry, Bath & Body Works (full size bottles cost around $10.50 each), Crafts items, and designer bags (Coach, Dooney & Bourke). In the beginning, I offered Free Shipping on many items. Those costs added up! Well, to date, I listed well over 12o items, and I cannot offer Free Shipping on every item. Some of my items were lots (groups of things). So, in essence, I’ve given away more than 120 things for free (not junk- I have good stuff, seriously), and well, some people still want Free Shipping (they want it all for Free). So what I am saying is that some people on this site are moochers and some of them are really cheap. I mean, they have no shame in asking in the “comments” section of my listing, “Will you do Free Shipping?” I simply don’t respond nowadays, since I specify what shipping costs in the very first line of my item description. Or sometimes, as an incentive, I specify “Free Shipping if highest bid reaches over 3500 credits,” depending on what it is, the condition (new vs. used), and/or the availability of the item. If I know what the retail value of my item, I specify that in the item description. Let me remind you that cost for shipping has risen recently (last sunday).

I am surprised by this focus on Free Shipping, because if I really want the item, I will pay for the shipping cost. If it’s of any value to me, I don’t mind it, so long as the pricing is fair, not overinflated (excuse me, don’t charge $10.95 for something that really cost $4.95- use flat rate envelopes- it’s my favorite to ship lots or heavy things less than four pounds). Since I deal with the shipping of many items, both at work, and personally, I am well familiar with pricing and different types of mail- priority, first class, media, and parcel post. Listia rules on shipping, that one can charge for “postage and handling,” so some people night actually charge for the packaging material as well (ie. bubble wrap mailer, tape, filler, kraft paper, etc.) I’m fair when it comes to pricing, sometimes I undercharge for shipping. I really need a scale.

Other problems with the people on the site, in terms of communication: (1) no sense of urgency with follow up or (2) leaving feedback. I am talking about after winning the auction, the communication stops. The winner doesn’t respond to my e-mail messages. I still have a few other packges to send off. I’m still waiting. I’ll send out more e-mail messages, for good measure, so that it’s recorded in the thread. Leaving feedback is crucial to my credibility as a seller (just like in ebay), and it’s the least someone could do, if that person wins something from me. Again, I’ve sent several e-mail messages as a reminder, a nice nudge to do what’s right. But it’s like that saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

I’m so on top of the communication part of the transactions, it’s not even funny. Once I get the item (winner part of the equation), I promptly leave feedback. I suppose, that I understand the importance, being on the other side of the transaction, so I make it a point. But I guess that’s just me. I pride myself on honesty and think that people should also hold the same regard. Yes, I make mistakes, I am human, after all. But I always try to find a solution to the problem- before leaving negative or neutral feedback. I learned a tough lesson- leave feedback after the winner leaves me feedback, unless I know that person (like some of my favorites- swappers I’ve got history with, years).  

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still finding this site to be really rewarding- I’ve gotten some really nice things for free. I enjoy it, but it might be time to slow down a bit, which means less listings at one time ( I may have done too much in the very beginning). Better take my clothes to Buffalo Exchange soon. Stay tuned.

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