Unfiltered Story #211685

, | Unfiltered | October 17, 2020

I work for a retail store that specializes in reselling vintage products, as such a large majority of our business is done online, since we deal mostly with overseas clients. Because much of our business is done online and overseas, we are accustomed to giving specific measurements in Millimeters, as the majority of the world uses the Metric System.

The other day my coworker showed me this online conversation that happened between him and a potential customer who was interested in one of our products.

(I have corrected a large number of typos and removed specific product and part names from the customer’s messages to make this conversation easier to understand and also provide anonymity.)

Customer: “What is the {obscure part} width?”

Coworker: “44mm”

Customer: “I need 1 3/4.”

Coworker: “In inches, it’s 1 3/4! Let me know if there’s anything else I can answer for you.”

Customer: “44 mm is not 1 3/4. It’s 1.73!! Do you have calipers? How about a good steel ruler? Want me to contact the manufacturer so that we can find out?”

Coworker: “We just used the digital calipers, and snapped a picture. Looks to be 1.74″ I have attached a photo for you as well.”

Customer: “Ok, so, its 1 13/16ths. From the photos, it seems to be about 16″ wide and about 5″ deep.”

Coworker: “15 5/8″ wide on the lower portion, and 4 3/8″ deep. So, close to standard, but on the smaller side.”

Customer: “Difficult to know what to bid. On one hand its wider than I’m used to, so thats a problem. On the other hand it’s a really interesting {product}, visually, if you are a person who could like a {product} with such off the chain aesthetics. I’ll bid $24 on it and you can let me know where we go from there.”

(This product was being listed for around $3,500. The above conversation took place over about an hour, as my coworker was also working our retail store and did not have time to immediately respond to each message.)

(The following occurred maybe 20 minutes after the above messages, by which point someone had clicked “Buy It Now” on one of the sites we had this product listed. They paid full price and bought the product. We immediately took the product offline on all sites, as it has sold and was no longer for sale.)

Customer: “So, do you want me to keep guessing? Or would you like to send me a counter offer? :) I am interested in the {product}, but it makes the process a lot easier if i know what “offer” you want for it, so that i can make a decision.”

(By this point my boss has stepped in to take over answering our online messages.)

Boss: “It just sold at full price, if something changes we’ll let you know.”

Customer: “Congrats! Maybe next time :) And yes, do let me know if anything changes.”

(The following messages then took place THREE DAYS LATER when this customer decided to start messaging us again out of the blue.)

Customer: “Hey again. You know I was thinking about how this {product} ended up getting sold when before… I was trying to deal with you about it way way too long concerning trying to find out what the {part} width was, and its frustrating now to think about it being sold and not to me. So, i have 2 questions. First, as this is an American {product}, why was I given millimeters as the width? Second, who is the person there who was so incorrect, so badly misinformed about the width, regarding telling me the (44mm) size was so much smaller then I eventually found out was the actual (45mm) width, and kinda too late for me to have any time to deal with you about the {product}, before someone… Apparently walked in and bought it, locally.
I spent 5 minutes bidding before you declined me and I responded… And about 40 minutes before trying to find out the width of the {part} as if this was a trick question.
Had this not happened, I would own the {product}, instead of sitting here still thinking “wow”. So, if you could, answer my questions I have asked you.”

Boss: “Sorry you missed it, I’m at an event and will respond to you later. Best regards.”

Customer: “Looking forward to hearing from you.”

Boss: “First of all I am sorry for your disappointment. While we were working with you another buyer bought the product at full price. As you can imagine we were more than willing to accept a full price sale. Also as a not, I usually do not counter offers when they are substantially lower than asking price and in this situation we also had several who were willing to purchase it at a much higher price. Best regards.”

Customer: “I understand that you are stating that my offer was a low ball offer. I get it. And I understand that someone saw this {product} online, and busted their bottom getting to the store to buy it. I get that also. But, what I’m saying is… This buyer, would not have had the time to get there, and make the purchase had I not been wasting time with your shop trying to get an accurate measurement. For some reason, your store, sent me an incorrect MILLIMETER width size, when I asked for the size of the {part}, as I need to know that it’s not too small. I’m not a collector, or shop, or both, reseller, who got this {product} and will now try to rob the real users with a ridiculous price.
DAMN!!!! So, I got the wrong width information…. To begin with. Then, I had to keep sending requests to get the right information. And, in this process of TIME WASTED doing this…. Had I got the right width and not a millimeter answer, that was not even close… Had I not been spinning my wheels with your crew, or you trying to get a simple measurement, then the 2 minutes that the buyer had to get the {product}… I would have been instead, getting the money right and buying it, and they could have had the disappointment when I ended up getting it, when its not my fault that you can not measure a {part} correctly. wow.
And to send the wrong answer in MILLIMETERS? What is that? Is this Asia, or Europe?… We don’t use that HERE!! So, this time wasted… Giving me the wrong info, about the size, in Millimeters…. All that time, that was wasted with this… Cost me this {product}. And that is YOUR FAULT, or whomever it is that created this waste of time it took for me to even get the WIDTH question answered, so that I could then start the process of getting it based on the fact that you listed this {product} to receive “OFFERS”.
And in that waste of time… The end result was I was making offers instead of paying you, for the one you would have accepted, but I didn’t have time to find out, as my time was already wasted due to the width issue, that allowed the buyer TIME to steal the {product} from me.
I lost my TIME, because of this ridiculous issue of your shop not being able to get me a correct width, and by the time that was solved, and I was able to make an offer… It gave the buyer his time to buy it. This is just horrible. This is not professional. This is nonsense that has cost me time and regret and pain. But not to you, as you got paid, while I got jerked around and lost the {product} because someone there can’t tell me an American width, correctly. Just unbelievable.”

Boss: “Again sorry for you disappointment.”

Customer: “Me too. And, will you please remember me, if said buyer walk back in with that {product}. I was meant to have it, and got derailed… So, things happen. Everything changes. Let me know if I can again own it, and we won’t waste time with width issues. I will just give you money and I am free from this pain.”

(Just to recap, this customer was nit-picking us about a 1 millimeter difference of an extremely small portion of this product, which when we tried to convert to inches for her, got upset that it was a fraction off. We have never ever had someone in the 30 years we’ve been in business become so outraged about a hair’s width of difference.)

(In addition to all that, we clicked on this person’s account on the website we were using to see if they had any bad feedback, only to find that it redirected us to a vintage product reseller page! So not only did this person lie to us about not being a reseller, but we looked a little further, and they only products this person had ever purchased on this website, she then went and immediately sold on the same website, using the same pictures, to make a profit.)

Some people…