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It seems like there is a huge disconnect between sellers and buyers these days. When did sellers stop answering questions on the guns they have for sale? They think if they add high resolution pictures that should answer any questions that buyers would have. Unfortunately that is not true, in some cases it creates more questions because you see things you would normally not see, and you would need an explanation or clarification on these things.
This problem of not answering questions is not just coming from your casual seller, even well-known sellers have simply stopped answering questions on guns they have listed. Case In point: There is a beautiful nickel Colt Cobra listed on a popular auction site, I have been looking for a collector grade one for some time and this one is complete with the box and Colt archive letter. I have tried to contact the seller a couple of times through the auction site, and even messaged him through is own web site about a spot I see on the frame and I received no response.
I really hate to pass on the Cobra but I not willing to spend up to $3000.00 dollars on something where the seller will not answer a simple question or even acknowledge me in any way. It is hard enough to purchase something that you can’t actually hold in your hand and inspect, but when you are ignored it shows me that the seller either doesn’t care about his customers or he is just plain lazy.
I think sellers today rely too much on their reputation and 3-day return policy, or maybe it is just ego. The only problem is that I am not going to pay a 10% restocking fee and return shipping because a seller was too lazy to answer a simple question. And a good reputation will only go so far, a seller still has to make a potential customer feel comfortable buying from them.
Has anyone else experienced a lack of communication with sellers when purchasing on-line?
 

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You are 1000% correct. I’ve had one seller out of the past 6 answer my questions and do so in a detailed fashion. The rest either didn’t respond or their responses were brief and useless. Some will answer their phone but, again, are not very helpful. SO, I only bid on those that respond fully and pass on the others. The seller of my recent Colt Sauer purchase was awesome... I wish more were like him.
 

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Wow! I’m with you. $3000 Cobra. Certainly must be rare and deserves a fast response. For that matter, all questions should have a prompt response.
Keystone Arms is an upstanding dealer and offers many quality, and/or rare Colts.

Ive had pretty good luck on my questions. Although I have not made too many auction purchases recently.
Vic
 

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SBU11 (I assume that means Small Boat Unit #11) you've actually hit the solution squarely on the head; regrettably of course but don't do business with the seller and post the reason why under feedback (if you can) - "Seller Non-responsive to questions."

I buy, trade, and try to sell custom made knives - a definite buyer's market. When I was selling some knives on consignment through a friend's website they were listed as "Sold as is, no returns." There were extremely detailed photos and any questions were promptly answered. One of my knives was sold to someone in California, aware of the no return policy. When he got the knife, there was nothing wrong with it; it just didn't fit in with his collection - buyer's remorse? Who knew. He asked to return the knife for a refund. Contingent to an inspection I allowed him to return it - pay shipping.

My friend and I discussed a return or not; we both agreed that despite the no return policy and decided that it would be good for business... It was; there was a buyer waiting for it when it was re-listed. Sadly the trend does seem to point at more then a few sellers who only worry about the bottom line!
 

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You cannot equate every seller as acting the same way. There are millions of online sellers. The few you hit just haven't answered. It's not based on the era we live in, except in how busy those sellers may be, how many questions they get a day, or if they are out of town for a week or in the hospital. You cannot call someone lazy because they didn't answer YOU, you don't know their lives. But if the guy never answers, you have to do like you did, decide to keep looking.

I work remotely and have for over a decade, and I can tell you even work related emails don't get answered instantly. There is a triage being done by recipients, and they have to decide who to answer and when. Some sellers may have 1 gun for sale, and answer right away. Some may have 100 and get 25 questions a day....etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
SBU11 (I assume that means Small Boat Unit #11) you've actually hit the solution squarely on the head; regrettably of course but don't do business with the seller and post the reason why under feedback (if you can) - "Seller Non-responsive to questions."

I buy, trade, and try to sell custom made knives - a definite buyer's market. When I was selling some knives on consignment through a friend's website they were listed as "Sold as is, no returns." There were extremely detailed photos and any questions were promptly answered. One of my knives was sold to someone in California, aware of the no return policy. When he got the knife, there was nothing wrong with it; it just didn't fit in with his collection - buyer's remorse? Who knew. He asked to return the knife for a refund. Contingent to an inspection I allowed him to return it - pay shipping.

My friend and I discussed a return or not; we both agreed that despite the no return policy and decided that it would be good for business... It was; there was a buyer waiting for it when it was re-listed. Sadly the trend does seem to point at more then a few sellers who only worry about the bottom line!
You are correct sir. Special Boat Unit 11, Mare Island 85 to 89
 

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Gunpoker is not one that I use. Guns International also carries more of the types of firearms I am interested in. I think most know about Gunpokers lack of support when there is an issue. When people will not answer questions about a product they wish to sell it just tells me to move on. Yes I know how hard it is sometimes when there is something you really want......:)
 

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A few years ago I was interested in an antique shotgun advertised online and priced at $995. Due to the limited number of pictures and the one sentence description, I emailed the seller with six questions. My questions were short and concise and could have easily been answered. He only answered one completely, partially answered two, and ignored the remaining three. I passed on purchasing the gun but kept an eye on the auction.

After a few weeks went by and several auction cycles, he dropped the price to $795. I took a chance and bought it. Turned out to be a nice shotgun and a good deal for me. Funny how if he would have spent the five minutes to fully answer my questions originally he would have made $200 more.

Bottom line, unless the price is really good I would not take a chance on sellers who don't answer questions. If they don't want to talk to you when you are trying to give them money, do you think they'll be interested in talking to you if there's a problem?
 

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Devil's advocate here it seems.

I'm selling a handful of guns online right now, and have sold several in the past. I've been a sales professional for almost 15 years, so I've seen most tactics from both the buying and selling angles.

I get many messages asking "What's your best price?" or a heavily discounted offer hours or a day after posting the ad. I generally ignore these unless I know the person (longtime forum member, that sort of thing). If the latter, I let them know we can talk discounts after a week or so --- I'm trying to get full price.

Some people want better pictures. As mentioned above, I tend to humor those I already know and/or people with high post counts on forums. The guy with 1 or 2 posts who wants a stack of photos like something out of Alice's Restaurant generally gets ignored. I don't have time to run around and take twenty 8x10 glossies for everyone. Because you know what happens 7 out of 10 times when I'm running around trying to accommodate a picky buyer? Someone comes along and says, "I'll take it!"

This strategy works in just about any kind of selling. Let's face it, for most of us, selling a gun is not a huge transaction like a house, boat, or car. Nor is it like acting as a decision maker for a major account in the B2B sales world. Sure, treat people with respect, but there's a social contract involved. There is a point where the time spent answering questions and running around is not fruitful as a seller UNLESS I already know the person is a serious enthusiast/collector, and then I'll likely play ball.
 

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It seems like there is a huge disconnect between sellers and buyers these days. When did sellers stop answering questions on the guns they have for sale? They think if they add high resolution pictures that should answer any questions that buyers would have. Unfortunately that is not true, in some cases it creates more questions because you see things you would normally not see, and you would need an explanation or clarification on these things.
This problem of not answering questions is not just coming from your casual seller, even well-known sellers have simply stopped answering questions on guns they have listed. Case In point: There is a beautiful nickel Colt Cobra listed on a popular auction site, I have been looking for a collector grade one for some time and this one is complete with the box and Colt archive letter. I have tried to contact the seller a couple of times through the auction site, and even messaged him through is own web site about a spot I see on the frame and I received no response.
I really hate to pass on the Cobra but I not willing to spend up to $3000.00 dollars on something where the seller will not answer a simple question or even acknowledge me in any way. It is hard enough to purchase something that you can’t actually hold in your hand and inspect, but when you are ignored it shows me that the seller either doesn’t care about his customers or he is just plain lazy.
I think sellers today rely too much on their reputation and 3-day return policy, or maybe it is just ego. The only problem is that I am not going to pay a 10% restocking fee and return shipping because a seller was too lazy to answer a simple question. And a good reputation will only go so far, a seller still has to make a potential customer feel comfortable buying from them.
Has anyone else experienced a lack of communication with sellers when purchasing on-line?
I think they are corrupt, like most of Corporate America. Cowan's is the world's worst, in my opinion.
 

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At times I feel the blurry photos, limited description, and lack of communication is a way to sell a flawed item. The more a seller states the more they are on the hook in the "item not as described" category.

I also feel many of the sellers don't fully understand how to take clear photos and make them large enough to see details well. The postings by newbies on this forum are evidence enough of that. I swear half of the photos posted were taken under a midnight moon by someone that has had one beer too many.

And the seller probably doesn't know his product. As I look at GB it is quite obvious that many pawn shop sellers and casual gun sellers don't have a clue what they are selling. They probably put some computer-savvy millennial in charge of their Internet sales. If they attempted to answer questions they might show their ignorance.
 

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Even well known dealers do not photo/describe their offerings accurately.
In some cases ignorance, in many others, deceit.
The good ones provide excellent pics and text.
It's a treasure hunt for sure so don't buy trash
 

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I don't think the common ad with poor pictures are a conspiracy by a ripoff gun dealer cartel. I think most people just don't take good pictures. Because most ads in ANY field of online selling show poor quality. Maybe not used laptops sold by twenty-somethings with all the technical toys in their arsenal. But for the average joe selling a couple guns, he uses what he has, probably a cell phone 5 generations old.
Some of the BEST deals I've bought are from these sellers with poor photos, one line descriptions, and slow to answer questions. By FAR.
 
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