You’re not the only one who spends time online looking at all of the neat stuff available for this hobby. Some of you might spot a great deal or hard to find item and on impulse decide to order it BEFORE checking on the vendor first. All to often I read threads on the various forums (besides those to this particular hobby) about bad experiences with a vendor. Usually these experiences are first time (with the vendor the complaint is about) buyers who aren’t aware of any of the issues others have had or are having with the vendor.
It pays to take just a few minutes to open another tab on your browser and do a quick search on the vendor. Typically if there are issues, they’ve been vocalized on the web, so finding out about a less than reliable vendor is easily done. If you do locate negative feedback, read through the posts to see if the issue was or is being resolved. If it was see how it was and how long it took. If not, close that open tab where you were about to place the order and find someplace else to shop.
Last year I was approached by a business wanting to secure our services to help them promote their business. The owner started explaining the problems he was having with others…customers and employees which was his perceived reason for his business not doing so well. The more he spoke the larger the RED FLAG grew in my mind. Following the advice I gave above I quickly Googled his name and business name, not only were there posts about the poor quality workmanship or lack of work performed but also complaints from employees over poor labor practices. Now one has to take each review with a grain of salt, but when you have to empty the salt shaker…there is a major issue at hand. Needless to say we politely advised we could work miracles, but his reputation required something greater than we could achieve.
So as the saying goes, Buyer Beware. Do your homework before getting yourself into a situation with a vendor you know nothing about. Something which you could have easily been prevented! Educate yourself not only on the product but the retailer as well. If either give you reason for concern…don’t. Don’t become the author of a new thread about vender XYZ who ripped you off by not sending you the products you paid for.
If you do fall into the pit (because you didn’t check to see if the vendor was reputable or not first) be sure to pursue the issue first with them before vocalizing it on the web. More than one consumer has found themselves in court over statements posted on the web, especially if the company has deep litigation pockets. Inform your bank or credit card company of this vendors business/transaction practices. The government is slow to act so reporting it to the authorities though good won’t put a hurting on the business as fast as the credit card companies can. The banks, especially the credit card companies want to keep you happy so they’ll exercise more influence over that business than you’ll ever have. They can prevent their cards from being used for purchases with said business.
“There is a sucker born every minute.” P T Barnum – Don’t be one!