status update and consultation/report queue; how to not get fired as a customer

I started working on reports, consultations, and emails at 10 am this morning (Thurs).  It is now 3:30 am Friday.  I am caught up on light setting reports, caught up on ebay inbox messages with the exception of two people that already got a good chunk of my time yesterday (they can wait a bit before they get more, since other people haven’t gotten any yet), and finished a bunch of consultations.  The updated queue is here.  Obviously I have not made it through my regular inbox yet.

Unfortunately, since sellers can get RATED on how quickly and cheerfully they answer ebay messages, I HAVE to put ebay messages ahead of web store and direct email messages sometimes — even when about half the messages I get on ebay every day are people who want me to answer a bunch of questions but have not bought anything and do not ever buy anything.  I don’t think most people who send me a bunch of messages mean ill – ebay has trained them to expect that sellers  just sit there all day waiting to answer twenty questions about a bottle of oil they are going to make twelve cents profit on.  But after a while, if the same person keeps trying to milk me for private conjure tutoring or free spells, I just block them from bidding and filter all their messages to the trash bin.  I realize it might sound harsh, but I do explain very politely the first time that what they are expecting of me, I cannot do, and I also give them links to places where they can go to learn more.  So the people who get canned are people who don’t listen but just want what they want when they want it, on their terms, and don’t want to hear any different.  I don’t just shitcan people with legitimate questions who are not acting out of an over-developed sense of entitlement.  Questions in and of themselves are just fine – I encourage them.  I shitcan people who don’t respect my published policies and my polite expressions of my limits.

I also shitcan people who demonstrate to me that they do not read item listings, do not read payment acknowledgment emails, and do not read the FAQ. I do not shitcan them the first time (unless they are rude or threaten to do a payment reversal or leave negative feedback if I don’t jump through X hoop by Y date – there is a special place on my altar for those people, and they also get reported to ebay as abusive buyers. And every once in a while ebay listens to a powerseller with nine years in the game).  But when the item listing clearly states the handling time (or whatever), and the FAQ does too, and the payment acknowledgment that was sent directly to the buyer’s email account does too, and yet I still get an email saying "when will you ship my item," or "where is my order," I begin to lose my temper.  I respond with a form letter (trust me , this is for the best – the form letter is sufficiently polite and even-tempered, and usually when I get these emails, I am not feeling even-tempered, because every minute I am answering emails that contain questions that have already been answered is a minute I am NOT in the altar/work room actually making the damned order that you placed). 

If it happens again after that, I usually block the buyer, just because my time, patience, and good humor are finite, and I prefer to do business with people who don’t drive me crazy, instead of chasing down tracking numbers for people who have already had the tracking number emailed to them directly, AND uploaded to their "my eBay," AND had an email and a link outlining how shipping notification procedures work delivered to their email inboxes in case they missed that info in the item listing when they ordered.

SO the majority of you are not "that guy," and furthermore have already heard this before, and in any case aren’t the type of people who do this kind of crap.  So i do beg your indulgence for trotting out this tired old pony again.  But I post this for the benefit of newer customers, just as an "in general" sort of "things you ought to know" article.  But also because I have blocked more bidders in the past six months than I probably blocked in the preceding six years combined.

If you are a newer customer and you find yourself blocked, feel free to ask to be unblocked. I am very likely to comply (after we talk) unless you were a non-paying bidder, and in many cases, I am happy to comply even (after we talk) then if the unpaid item situation was a result of an emergency or crossed wires or a misunderstanding.  I often block buyers not because I just plain never want to do business with them period, but because I need to make sure we are on the same sheet of music before we do any more business together.  eBay has sellers’ nuts in a vise, to put it crudely and yes, figuratively of course; it is simply too dangerous to let potential misunderstandings proliferate unchecked on ebay.  Blocking buyers is the only protection we have as sellers now that buyers’ feedback scores are purely decorative, utterly meaningless.

So often I block a buyer just because we need to talk and make sure we know where the other is coming from.  So in many cases it is not especially personal – I just had to "put you on hold" while I dealt with other stuff.  so if you find yourself blocked and don’t know why, feel free to ask – I am not likely to bite your head off unless you have been a jackass to me first, and if you have, I probably will just ignore you instead of answering anyway, because I have way too much to do to waste time pursuing optional, unnecessary head-bitings 🙂

this PSA brought to you by an utterly exhausted Karma Zain who is all typed out and needs to go to sleep now.

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