Ebay V Amazon V Etsy Customers
Right then, just a quick one today! I thought I would take a look at the 3 big boys and my experiences with each of the customer types when selling print on demand products over the last couple of years.
One thing I will say for all, if you are selling enough with POD or dropshipping, then come November / December you will be getting a lot of messages, asking when things will arrive!
So let’s jump in
Ok so Ebay by a long shot has the rudest and most incompetent buyers in my experience. While they make the usual mistake of not reading any the stated ship out / delivery times, they are much quicker to fire off a super aggressive message.
WHEN WILL YOU SHIP THIS! (CAPS! ALWAYS CAPS!)
I paid for my order, where is it!!! I will report you if you don’t send it asap
While this used to instantly make me want to hulk smash and furiously type an angry answer, I have found that if I make a kind of over the top, sarcasm-laced satire response saying hello dear sir etc it usually has the effect of turning them super nice.
Using ridiculous sarcasm like this turns it from a negative experience for me into a kind of funny game.
They also seem a more price sensitive bunch and quite often will message to negotiate, although sometimes their skills leave a lot to be desired…
and of course
Not much to say here as most of my big time Amazon selling was done with private labeling products (importing and selling via FBA) but selling Pod stuff is always a tricky dance on Amazon (unless you are sending stuff into FBA) because the average Amazon buyer is used to Prime and super-fast delivery.
They don’t message much or leave reviews much, in fact, the only notice you’ll probably get will be when Amazon automatically refunds a customer months later for some ridiculous reason!
If you do get a message, it’s usually about shipping times.
So you won’t be hearing much, but expect a more entitled customer to say the least!
Ok, when you sell enough volume, you will always get bad or angry customers, but generally, I have always found Etsy buyers to be the politest and most patient buyers.
Sure there was the time a lady ordered 3 of a necklace thinking it was a dog collar charm, then changed her mind about buying 3 times and the lady in Australia who didn’t get her package and blasted me saying it was the worst shopping experience ever, when in fact, it was the Australian postal service! (she later apologized, explaining that she was quitting smoking as was extra pissy).
So yes I have a lot of love for Etsy.
But one thing to keep in mind with Print on Demand
You will be dependent on the postal system and therefore when the UPS man decides to steal the package to drop kick it into a bush (where it later gets stolen) you will be eating the customer support shit sandwich.
99% of customers will blame you for delivery, even though it’s not under your control of course.
The only remedy is working with a good POD provider (you can read my break down of them here) who will re-ship to an alternative address in case of failed delivery.
I’ve always found Teelaunch to be the most accommodating when it comes to this stuff, Printful not bad, but not as great ;)
As for customers, let me know what you think and some of your funny customer experiences in the comments :)