Computers; I'd be lost without one. There is a saying "I love my computer because that's where my friends live." Every morning I check in with my friends and family via computer. I keep tabs on my bank account, pay my bills, look up recipes, order products, sell products, research items, etc. For me it's a way of life.
But some people just don't trust them and for good reason. There are stories on the news every day about hackers, nscammers, and personal information being gathered and tracked without our knowledge.
I have several customers who are ummm. "of my mother's generation" (I hesitate to say the word "elderly" ever since I got an invitation to AARP in the mail on my birthday). These wonderful customers of mine like to do business "the old fashioned way". They call me on the phone to discuss items I have for sale. They also prefer to send checks.
I welcome these buyers with open arms. In a lot of ways I prefer them. Sometimes a purchase order will come in quickly followed by a payment notice. I package the item, print postage online, and send it off hardly even noticing their name. It's all very impersonal.
Then there are my phone customers. Several of them purchase from me because other dealers (or sites) don't accept checks, or don't even list their phone number so that a customer can call. Being able to speak to a dealer over the phone establishes a sense of trust that they are dealing with a real person, not just a website. I've come to know several customers on a first name basis. Because of our conversations, when I send their items, I'm able to include a more personalized note. The next time they are looking to purchase an item, they often call me first, before doing an internet search.
I know a lot of dealers like to keep everything neat and organized via a purchase order system. That's not a problem. On Ruby Lane, when I get a phone order, I manually mark the item as sale pending. When the check arrives and the item ships, I use the report a sale function. The sale is right there in my statistics and reports. It makes it easy to keep track of for inventory and tax filing purposes.
Is there a risk in taking a personal check? Sure. A check could bounce. But also a credit card charge or PayPal transaction can be reversed. Cash can be counterfeited. Still I think the risk is minimal.
The choice of course is personal. If you have had a bad experience or just don't want to take phone orders or checks, that's fine. Send those wonderful collectors my way.
Written by Donnah Brnger