Friday, May 05, 2006

New Site Showcases Marketing Deception – eBay Sellers Take Note

If you want to understand what kinds of customer service and marketing practices drive customers and prospects crazy, take a look at this new site:

It’s a site that gathers stories about customer service nightmares, legal fine print, marketing deception, and broken promises.

This could be a really good resource for getting into the consumer mind-set. Obviously, there will be some garden variety cranks showing up with comedy routines, a la “what’s the deal with airplane food.” However, I suspect that they’ll be gathering some good stories that honestly uncover the real nonsense that goes at some companies.

How does this apply to eBay? Well, you’re in the customer service business if you sell on eBay. Your shipping terms, payment terms, description tone, restrictions/legalese and more all have an effect on prospective buyers and bidders who’ve already won the item. All this stuff impacts your future ability to gain market share and build biz.

Check back with this hogwash site to see the latest results. They’re getting quite a bit of media attention, so I’m guessing that they’ll start to rack up some nice stories soon.

While you’re there, take a look at the ads that run on their pages. Pretty savvy marketing if I don’t say so myself. The site is sort of a blog that produces stories about how customers are getting hosed. Then they turn around and promote advertisers whose sole “brand” or marketing concept is to provide service that counters those trends. The example I’m seeing today is their ad for SunRocket, “The No Gotcha Phone Company.” This is a nice little business model. We’ll see if it works.

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