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General Business Discussions This is a general purpose forum open to business related topics concerning Reptiles and Amphibians that are neither appropriate for the Board of Inquiry, nor sales, purchase, or trade solicitations.

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Old 02-21-2012, 04:09 PM   #1
AbsoluteApril
First to pay or First to contact?

An interesting discussion was going on in the BOI and it's a situation I've seen referenced many times so I thought it would make for some good discussion.

Who has 'first rights' to buy a snake?

As a seller - how do you prioritize? Is it the first person that contacts you or the first person that pays?

What about the situation where someone online wants to buy or has sent payment and then someone locally wants to buy and has cash on hand?
 
Old 02-21-2012, 04:33 PM   #2
AGoodwin
I go with first to contact, within reason. If someone contacts me and says, I can pay you tomorrow, or on x date, as long as that is acceptable to me, I will hold for them. I myself would be upset if I called and made plans to purchase something and then it was sold to someone else, so I like to be as considerate as possible to others in that respect. Obviously if someone is either unsure of the purchase or cant pay for two weeks, then I would continue looking for other buyers in most cases.
 
Old 02-21-2012, 05:16 PM   #3
hhmoore
I don't think it is always a black and white answer....or that one has to stand by the same policy in every situation (though some consistency certainly helps if an unhappy rejected buyer decides to complain).

A hobby breeder has a lot of flexibility with this decision, and can wait a couple weeks for payment if they choose...it's as simple as pulling the ad, and shrugging off the annoyance of people not completing the deal. What if said flexible hobbyist finds himself in need of money? First contact policy out the window, now it's first pay wins.

What if it's a brick and mortar shop that posted ads online? Face to face deal with a paying customer...or wait for the guy that has sent 3-4 emails? It's pretty hard to turn down the person standing there that wants to buy; and what if the seller does say, I'm sorry, but it's sold. It isn't necessarily a given that other interested parties will purchase after they have been turned away...and they have overhead that the hobbyist doesn't need to consider (at least to the same extent).

As a seller, I have exchanged multiple emails with prospective buyers, and declined sales while waiting for payment that has never arrived. I have also given up on prospective buyers and sold an animal...only to have the first person try to purchase after I've taken payment from somebody else. It's part of selling; and all we can do is try to handle these situations in the most professional manner possible.

As a buyer, I have committed to a purchase & been waiting for payment information that never came. When I contacted the seller the following day, I was told that I failed to make payment so he sold the snake. Yes, I was upset...and have not considered a purchase from that seller since. I understand his position.....but how was I supposed to pay when he didn't provide me with the means? Conversely, I have also committed to purchases by email, and been unable to make the phone call to pay by credit card for a few days (I hate phones, and am rarely available to make/receive calls during some people's normal business hours) Sometimes the sellers had waited, sometimes they hadn't. Business is business, no hard feelings there; but I definitely appreciated the ones that had waited for me (in most of those cases, there was an existing relationship...and they knew that I would complete the transaction).

But let's add a twist to this.
Is a seller required to sell to the first person that makes contact, or the first person that pays? What if a person sends an email, and immediately follows with a payment; so the seller comes online to find both...but doesn't want to sell to that buyer? Anybody have a problem with that (aside from the scorned buyer, that is)?
 
Old 02-22-2012, 08:53 AM   #4
rcarichter
In most circumstances, I will change the post immediately to read "sale pending". We agree on payment time, say "right after work today". I tell them I'll hold the animal until, say, midnight. After that, the ad is changed to read back up for sale, and I notify the person as such. We are selling one-of-a-kind merchandise, and our success is entirely dependent upon healthy animals and happy customers.
As a buyer, I always assume that the animal is not mine until I pay for it.

Noelle
 
Old 02-22-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
Lucille
If I say I'll hold, I'll hold. If payment or deposit is sent, even if an easier local buyer shows, I'd sell to the payer or person who gave a deposit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhmoore View Post

But let's add a twist to this.
Is a seller required to sell to the first person that makes contact, or the first person that pays? What if a person sends an email, and immediately follows with a payment; so the seller comes online to find both...but doesn't want to sell to that buyer? Anybody have a problem with that (aside from the scorned buyer, that is)?
For me, it depends on the reason you refuse to sell. If you simply don't like the person, or don't think they care for their critters adequately, I don't think you have to sell.
On the other hand, if you don't want to sell to a person because, for example, they are Catholic, or Hispanic, or etc., (just an example, not directed at you Harald, I don't think you would do this) I think that is not an adequate reason to refuse sale.




Quote:
Originally Posted by hhmoore View Post
I don't think it is always a black and white answer.
I agree with this to an extent, this situation has so many variables that it is difficult to come up with every possible permutation.
But I think if one has actually promised to hold a critter for a specified length of time until a buyer comes up with payment, one should do so. If one has taken a deposit, agreed to hold, one should hold. If one has agreed to sell and actually been paid, one should sell to that person.
 
Old 02-22-2012, 09:43 AM   #6
hhmoore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucille View Post
I think if one has actually promised to hold a critter for a specified length of time until a buyer comes up with payment, one should do so. If one has taken a deposit, agreed to hold, one should hold. If one has agreed to sell and actually been paid, one should sell to that person.
One would think that the above would go without saying....but, sadly, it has been shown repeatedly that common sense and courtesy should not be taken for granted.
 
Old 02-22-2012, 10:55 AM   #7
Gary O
Quote:
Originally Posted by hhmoore View Post
I don't think it is always a black and white answer....or that one has to stand by the same policy in every situation (though some consistency certainly helps if an unhappy rejected buyer decides to complain).

A hobby breeder has a lot of flexibility with this decision, and can wait a couple weeks for payment if they choose...it's as simple as pulling the ad, and shrugging off the annoyance of people not completing the deal. What if said flexible hobbyist finds himself in need of money? First contact policy out the window, now it's first pay wins.

What if it's a brick and mortar shop that posted ads online? Face to face deal with a paying customer...or wait for the guy that has sent 3-4 emails? It's pretty hard to turn down the person standing there that wants to buy; and what if the seller does say, I'm sorry, but it's sold. It isn't necessarily a given that other interested parties will purchase after they have been turned away...and they have overhead that the hobbyist doesn't need to consider (at least to the same extent).

As a seller, I have exchanged multiple emails with prospective buyers, and declined sales while waiting for payment that has never arrived. I have also given up on prospective buyers and sold an animal...only to have the first person try to purchase after I've taken payment from somebody else. It's part of selling; and all we can do is try to handle these situations in the most professional manner possible.

As a buyer, I have committed to a purchase & been waiting for payment information that never came. When I contacted the seller the following day, I was told that I failed to make payment so he sold the snake. Yes, I was upset...and have not considered a purchase from that seller since. I understand his position.....but how was I supposed to pay when he didn't provide me with the means? Conversely, I have also committed to purchases by email, and been unable to make the phone call to pay by credit card for a few days (I hate phones, and am rarely available to make/receive calls during some people's normal business hours) Sometimes the sellers had waited, sometimes they hadn't. Business is business, no hard feelings there; but I definitely appreciated the ones that had waited for me (in most of those cases, there was an existing relationship...and they knew that I would complete the transaction).

But let's add a twist to this.
Is a seller required to sell to the first person that makes contact, or the first person that pays? What if a person sends an email, and immediately follows with a payment; so the seller comes online to find both...but doesn't want to sell to that buyer? Anybody have a problem with that (aside from the scorned buyer, that is)?
What he said lol....
 
Old 02-22-2012, 05:16 PM   #8
EricIvins
The person who pays is the person that gets the animal. I run a Business, so everything is treated as a business decision. I may get 4,5,10+ E-mails a day with either general inquiries or "I'll buy it in a few days" on any one thing I'm selling........Factor in running 20+ adds on 3-10 different sites, forums, and Facebook Pages, so you can see where that becomes rediculous. At this point I would be belly up if I did so......

So the first confirmed buyer, is the first served buyer......My experience is that 60% of my E-mail volume is tire kicking at best. I don't mind general inquiries, specific questions, or people actually telling me their backing out of a deal. The la la la E-mails I get more than likely are deleted instead of replied to.......
 
Old 02-23-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
mxracer4life
I feel the same as Harald. Its going to be a base by base decision on how to handle it. In most cases, I have been promised WAY to many times that payment is going to be sent and then never receive it. My rule of thumb is when they make contact, I let them know a deposit is needed to hold the animal. I am pretty flexible with time once a deposit has been made. But anyway, this is how I go about it.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 03:40 PM   #10
~Just Curious~
Personally if I'm contacted by somebody else (Even a local with cash in hand) after getting an earlier inquiry, I will apologize to the new person and tell them that somebody already inquired beforehand/a sale is pending.
If it's real early in the first transaction (Like just a "Is it still available?" inquiry and then no reply afterwards) I'll often finish the message by asking the new party if they wish to be notified in case it falls through. If so then I will also let them know if things get finalized, that way they're not left hanging.

If the first person doesn't respond back then I'd send a few inquiries their way and eventually after a week or so (Again varies by how far we are into things, but this is all before payment or deposit) a warning that I'll be passing the sale on if they don't get back to me.

I try to be as accommodating as possible for folks, so I don't really have a policy set in stone...
 

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