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Surfing online auctions for finds can be fun. I do it all the time, seeking things I want, both for resale and for personal use.
Online auctions are to me the virtual Big Flea Market and as in a real flea market one must wade through tons of miscellany to spot the finds.
It's faster and more convenient to do it online of course and yet, there are some things about auction listings that do annoy me.
Perhaps you too?
I shop mostly for silver flatware so my examples below are geared to that type listing.
Here's a partial list of my Pet Peeves in auction listings:
1. Poor spelling.
I don't mind grammatical errors so much; we all make them sometimes. But not spelling important search words correctly, manufacturer and pattern names f.ex., bothers me.
The word PIECE is often spelled peice, a very common error. It could be a typo but when repeated several times in a description, I conclude that the seller never checked it.
Silver is often spelled sliver, siver, and even sivler. The name ONEIDA, a well known silverware manufacturing company, is mangled no end: Onida, Onieda, Onidea, Onedia, and a few other variations thereof as well. The silverware pattern name REFLECTION usually has a plural s added to it, and is also mangled different ways.
Yes, these may be typographical errors most of the time but so what? When "hanging out" wares to sell, isn't it important to check spelling before the whole world sees the errors?
Somehow I don't trust sellers who expect high monies for things whose names they don't spell correctly, sorry. I can't help wondering if they are as careless with other aspects of the transaction also.
2. Bad or Confusing Images.
Images with lots of background around tiny objects, usually showing non-essential items or just the mess around the seller's room, or are murky, out-of-focus, or so over-exposed that the object is a white blob on black or the opposite. Or too small, or absurdly large.
What turns me off especially is a hand holding an object. I don't want to see chipped nail polish or dirty fingernails when trying to examine an auction item. There are better ways of propping up an object than holding it in hand.
Other things I don't understand why they're included in images:
Why include an inch ruler (often so worn that the numbers can't be read)? International bidders on the metric system can't visualize proportions to it. It's a needless distraction just as are the one-dollar bill, quarter or penny. They don't mean a thing either to bidders in other countries who've never seen U.S. currency in real life. Even Americans don't want to see them in images; they detract from the featured item and don't really accomplish the seller's objective which was to show proportion.
A very big Pet Peeve is distracting backgrounds with lots of strong colors, stripes, squares, flowers, trees. If the auction objects are literally swallowed up by a fancy background and can't be seen clearly, what's the point? Those sellers get no points for creative image composition but demerits for irritating the eyes of bidders.
3. Aggressive Language in Listings.
Maybe this should have been Pet Peeve Number One but who's counting:
When a seller describes the item in 2 lines and adds 300 lines or more of Seller's Rules for Bidding, my eyes glaze over. Especially if the language is angry and/or aggressive, i.e. negative. I skip such auctions fast and don't care if they're giving away gold for a penny.
4. Huge Fancy Templates.
When an auction description takes several minutes to open with colorful fancy wallpaper and borders, large scrolled fonts, animated icons, and, perhaps the worst, music or other sound input, I am out of there fast. I don't even bother to finish opening the auction listing, it's that bad. My browser has collapsed on some of those so I won't want it to happen again.
What do I want to see in an auction listing then?
1. A title that immediately tells me WHAT it is, with pattern name and total number of pieces. No LOOK! or Rare! or MUST SEE! or ESTATE captions are needed. These are not search words so take up precious title space unnecessarily.
2. A clear concise description list of the item(s), including sizes and numbers and a grand total if there are more than one, such as silver flatware. A "complete service for 8" doesn't explain anything as it can be any number of pieces, see my explanation page here. I don't care to have to add them up myself, it takes too long. And I don't care to know where the seller got the item whether at a yard sale or from grand-mom. I also don't care to read how beautiful the seller thinks the item is or where he or she thinks it should be used or displayed. All that is too much information not encouraging anyone to bid.
3. Several clear images where the pattern is clearly seen, preferably a good closeup of a fork or spoon handle. If the pattern can't be seen and is not named in the title or description why should I have to guess at it or want to bid on it? I'll forgive a seller for not knowing the name of a pattern but with a good image I can find it myself.
4. I want to see defects disclosed in descriptions. If I win an auction only to find that there are many bad defects not mentioned I find the seller dishonest. It is better to exclude poor pieces from the auction than to include them and not say anything about their condition. I don't want to pay for goods only to have to throw it out when received. And I don't need the hassle of complaining to either the seller or the auction's dispute venue.
There are probably a few more things that annoy me and also more I want to see but I can't think of them right now.
What do you want see?
Please post your comments on my blog?