Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ebay is not for Singaporeans

I am a longtime ebayer .. both seller and buyer. In fact since the inception of Ebay and Paypal itself.

I haven't been selling my items to Singaporeans, because of many reasons. And low prices not being one of them. It is more the hassle. Yes .. it is more hassle to deal with Singaporean buyers than overseas ones trust me.

And the most annoying reason that makes me reluctant to sell to Singaporeas? ... drumroll please .... "Buay steady", "Not gentlemanly", "Does not keep their word"

Here are 2 cases where it is self explanatory.

Case 1:
I placed my ipod on ebay listing. The price was put there as $200. And I mentioned that I will not go below $150. Yet people are still SMSing me about prices that is below that. I choose to ignore them after a while.

And Singaporeans have the tendency to ask questions that is already clarified on the posting. Most primarily, "is there warranty" when I would have stated very clearly, "YES" or "NO".

Then this guy emailed/messaged me and enquired at length about the product. We agreed on the price, and then agreed to meet up at Orchard Road (town) to deal. He was saying he needed it urgently cos he needed to get it for his brother's birthday. So I drove to Orchard to meet him almost immediately.

Then when we met, he still said "No warranty leh. I buying present for my brother la .. can gimme $20 less somemore from the agreed price?" At that point I said "No ... sorry .. i am not selling anymore."

I walked off. And this is not the only time something like that happened.

Case 2:
I posted a LCD TV on ebay. $900 and specified please "no offers below $700". The usual offers below that ensued.

Then this SMS came: "Gd morning, is your LCD still on sale?"

I replied: "Hello. Yes it is still available"

He then text back: "Hello, can I get @400 anyway if 4 my young children"

I responded: "No."

I DON'T F #$#ING CARE IF U WANNA GET IT FOR YOUR DOGS TO WATCH. Or for your brother's birthday or funeral. Why even bring it up?!?!? Can you not read English? The reason there are hardly "30 days back guarantee" in Singapore is precisely because Singaporeans do not have integrity.

In Singapore, we describe these behaviors as "Not gentleman" or "Buay steady". And it all stems from a selffsh standpoint and an unwillingness to be considerate.

And sometimes, this is why Singaporeans complain about the bad level of service (or the lack of good service) in Singapore - they have to learn to start being reasonable customers too .... Stop using bad merchants as an excuse to not behave like a gentleman. You should behave like one regardless. No one's pointing a gun at your head to part with your cash if you do not want to.

When everyone starts being reasonable and understanding ... everything thing will work out great! We'll start seeing good customer service because merchants are more willing to give, and customers will start enjoying better service too. Vicious cycle works both ways - for good behaviors as well as bad ones.