Friday, July 17, 2009

The Psychology of Buying...

This is the first in a series of articles on marketing in the online marketplace. I'll be looking at things from all sides - delving into pricing, promotion, and product choices ... and definitely looking for your opinions! What is the magic ingredient that really drives success when it comes to a "successful" sales process? Or is it basically just luck of the draw? Like most other people with a product or service to sell, I often find myself overwhelmed by the number of "sure-fire" plans to assure success, simply for the reason that they're sometimes so completely dissimilar!

So, today I'd love to share your input -from a BUYER's perspective. What seals the deal for you? If you find something you love, will you shop around until you find the absolutely best price you can? Are you an impulse buyer or do you carefully plan your purchases? Do the words "Free Shipping" or "Sale" make you pull out that credit card without comparing prices or looking at quality? Are you wary of shops with prices that seem too low? Too high? If you're a seller yourself, do you take into account all of the costs of doing business (supplies, time, marketing, shipping, packaging) when determining what a "fair" buying price is? Do you prefer the "little extras" like gift boxes or freebies or discounts for returning customers even tho they may ultimately drive the prices a little higher overall? Or are you a bare-bones buyer who'd rather pay less for a quality item without all of the marketing bells and whistles? Is buying local important to you? Do you like clear, concise, technical descriptions of products or do you "connect" with the product (and its seller) through a more personalized description? Do you feel quality is necessarily contigent on perceived cost of components? Do you shy away from certain words or material descriptions? Do you ask questions if something is unclear? Would you prefer to "keep looking" if you don't find something that fits your exact needs but is very similar, or would you approach the seller to find out if an item can be customized? What one thing will drive away your business?

I (as well as everone who reads this from a seller's perspective) would love the feedback, so please leave a comment and let the world know what matters to you as a buyer... and check back in a couple days to see what my own personal buying habits are when I discuss them as well as your responses!!!


Jennifer said...

Its really just luck who's shop I stumble across. I've found purchases through the search, and through people in the forums, but never from an actual ad.

The only time I buy something impulsively is if its less than $5 and I absolutely love it. Anything else lives in my favourites for a while.

'Free shipping' completely turns me off. I assume that the person built it into the regular price and is trying to be sneaky. I don't like .99 endings for the same reason.

If the prices are outrageously low/high, I move on.

I do take into account the shipping, marketing, etc. That stuff takes a lot of time. Also if I pay $5 for shipping and the label on the box says $3 its not the end of the world. Boxes aren't free! (usually).

"Freebies' aren't freebies if the seller is raising their prices to cover the costs. Usually I don't like getting freebies, though I've gotten some really well picked ones, too. Sometimes it feels like the sellers read my mind...

I like clear descriptions, not flowery ones. I like to hear a story behind the piece, but I still need to know what its made of and how big it is, eh?

I usually stay away from things like 'silver plated' because I don't fancy having green fingers. I don't ask questions if something's unclear, I just move on, there's tons of listings. I wouldn't ask for customization either, for the same reason.

The biggest thing that drives me away as a buyer is people not answering convos. I've sent messages to tons of sellers and they just ignore me.. while being active with renewing/listing items.

Sorry that this comment is so ridiculously long - I tried to answer all the questions you asked.

Jennifer said...

Wow that was longer than I thought, sorry! :O

Tealwater said...

Jennifer, I truly appreciate your honesty and that you took the time to answer this post. As a seller this information is so helpful so thanks!!

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