As a new RL seller, I haven't participated much in the group here...feeling that it was more appropriate for me to read and learn. It's been 6 months now and I have to say that I've never been happier with a decision that I waited so long to make. Responses to the few questions that I've had (customer service), have been quick, professional, friendly and thorough.
It's a pleasure to be on a site with so many professional vintage and antique sellers...so thank you!
That being said, in my recent email from Ruby Lane, "News and Reminders", I was thrilled to read the following segment. Wonderfully written, to the point and definitely warranted in these changing times.
I thought I would re-post it here, for those of you who may have missed it. Also, as an RL rookie, my perspective is slightly different. In my opinion, this is the proper way to handle situations that may arise now, that have never been an issue before. It's not just about online selling but societal changes that effect our online businesses. I commend Ruby Lane's management for having the foresight and/or vision of how to thwart off those problems before they become an issue.
Taken from Ruby Lane's "News and Reminders"...
"A Word About Netiquette: Online Response Times
As society changes, so do accepted and expected standards of behavior. What might once have been regarded as beyond redemption, in many instances has nowadays become the norm. Whether every change or relaxation is for the better may be a moot point but what remains a constant is the need at all times for good manners. Social and commercial etiquette is, at heart, just that - good manners expressed by respect and consideration for others.
Updated for a technological age, Netiquette is an ingeniously coined portmanteau word, tailoring standard behavioral rules to fit the online world: Don't 'shout' (write in all upper case letters), always be courteous, treat others in social networking venues as you would like to be treated – these are commonly acknowledged rules of the cyber-road. However, this social code for the Internet is not an Etiquette-Lite replacement for other established social and commercial conven tions.
Our daily interactions are oiled by the social niceties and this can be all the more true in e-commerce, where contact is filtered through cyberspace, stripped of the subtleties of facial expression and intonation of the human voice. A chirpy emoticon which attempts to substitute for the absent eye contact and friendly smile would generally be considered inappropriate in a business context.
Most online shop owners instinctively observe Netiquette, founded on their own natural code of Etiquette, and are aware of the increased importance of Message Courtesy: timely and polite responses to transactions, promptly replying to inquiries and acknowledging purchases. So it is curious that a similar policy is not always followed when a shopper Makes an Offer which, falling outside the parameters the shop has set for automatic acceptance, will require some response, whether that be to Accept or Decline the Offer, or maybe make a Counter-Offer.
A shop owner is likely to be sufficiently familiar with their inventory to judge immediately if an offer represents a reasonable return on the original investment: whether a smaller than anticipated profit might be preferable to no profit, should the item eventually sell at cost price and only after a lengthy time in inventory. Or the shop might prefer to decline an offer for a recently acquired item, considering it to be as yet untested in the marketplace.
While there is currently no set time in which a Ruby Lane shop is required to respond to an Offer, professional online courtesy points towards a prompt reply. Were that offer to be made in person in a bricks and mortar store, the shop's owner would not expect the customer to wait unattended, maybe for many days, before receiving their attention.
It is as well also to keep in mind that, just as that dispirited customer, waiting with dwindling patience on the doorstep, can wander away down Main Street, never to be seen a gain, the online shopper has even easier opportunity to be diverted, to lose interest in the original prospect and move on to make their purchase elsewhere. If you have some reason not to make an immediate decision on an Offer, you might consider responding to the shopper to let them know that their Offer is appreciated and you will contact them again within the next twenty-four hours with your answer. This way, a potential customer is aware they have 'caught your eye' and that their interest is receiving your serious attention, even if the eventual answer may not be in their favor.
Team Ruby Lane "