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Thread: Hypothetical Question Worth Pondering

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Hypothetical Question Worth Pondering

    Here's a chance for folks to exercise their minds a bit, if they're inclined to do so. What do you make of the following hypothetical situation?
    There are two people. One earns a living by selling something. The other has purchased from this seller in the past, and currently still wishes to buy what is being sold, albeit not necessarily from this particular seller, but in general. But the seller says in no uncertain terms that they will not sell to this particular buyer under any conditions. What conclusions would you draw? What if the situation existed with multiple sellers? I'm particularly interested in hearing from people who sell things for a living.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    Back when I was a reptile breeder, there were at least 2 people (that I remember) that I flat out refused to sell to. Their modus opernandi was always the same. They were shipped animals in perfect condition every time but there was always some problem shortly after it arrived. Refunds and/or replacements were always demanded. The issues with the animals were always injurious in nature, injuries that in no way happened in shipping. The occasional incident is to be expected but when a pattern with a certain individual is apparent, then it's time to rethink the seller/customer relationship. While money is needed to keep the wheels of any business rolling, sometimes it's better to sever ties with certain customers.

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    I used to operate a mail order nursery and there were definitely people who ended up on our "No Buy List" (we refused to sell to them). In fact, over the years we compared our No Buy List with other nurseries we routinely conversed with and lo and behold - there were the same names on most everyone's list!
    Reminds me - I had a friend who managed a nursery that also did a fair bit of mail order, and there was one customer in Florida who ALWAYS found something to complain about with plants received (lots of clearly manufactured problems), and yet would place multiple orders every year, over and over! My friend eventually changed the nursery policy to state that "we are no longer allowed to ship plants to FL", just to avoid this obnoxious buyer.

    Harry Selfridge was misguided: the customer is not always right - sometimes, the customer is a sociopath (or just plain nuts).

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    I know if I have ANY issues with a buyer that seem off in any way they go right on the ignore list. I'm not really running a business, just a hobby that sends out a hundred or so boxes a year....so I don't have time to make sure the customer is right 99% of the time I'm not selling plants for the money, so any annoyance at all is too much.

    Over the 10+ years of doing this I'd say the legitimate complaints are well under 1%, somewhere in the 1 in 250ish range. Which is amazing when you thing about it. I'm not a business but calling what we have been doing a hobby isn't right either. Somewhere in the middle I'd say.

    Oh and yes sellers do talk and exchange blacklists I could name off many people that I have never sold too that I just would not sell too unless the $$$ was just silly, and then I would require cash without any chance of refunds.

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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    I don't sell products, but I offer services. I wouldn't have a problem blacklisting a customer who knowingly mislead me about their samples. If other people offering similar services contacted me to let me know that this person/group had abused the service agreement and provided misleading documentation for their samples, I'd be very wary to interact with them. I supposed offering a service is a little different, but imagine it's similar to if someone wanted you to send them something and they falsified the import permits that they need you to use when shipping the items -- it puts your name and livelihood at risk.

    That being said, if there was only one other lab group that'd had a hard time with a person seeking service, I'd need more details to justify the headache of denying service.
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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    I agree with Est. I would want to know why the person was denied service if it was with a single dealer but I would be wary. There have been occasions where more personal disputes have arisen between dealer and customer and those translated into inclusion on a 'no sale' list. Though I am more of a hobbyist than a real dealer I tend to err on the side of trust, at least the first time.
    - Mark

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemax View Post
    I tend to err on the side of trust, at least the first time.
    Absolutely! I trust people until they give me reason not to.

    As far as I'm concerned, folks get only one chance to do things right and if a person makes me think there's a red flag there, the door to future transactions is closed. The vast majority of people I've encountered in this hobby are wonderful, generous, kind-hearted people who emphasize giving rather than receiving, but the Bad Apples certainly stand out when you do encounter one!

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    I'm of the same mind myself in that in the absence of any evidence I lean towards trusting people. And I completely agree that personality conflicts can create issues that really aren't related to how one conducts their business, and may not matter at all to someone with a different personality. However I firmly believe in the statement that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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