Thursday, March 20, 2014

Statement Analysis and Ebay

Statement Analysis can be successfully applied to advertising, in general, but can be particularly effective in helping "thrifters" separate deception from truth.

Thrifting is popular today with consumers looking for quality items, used, or discounted, and ebay auction has become a major vehicle for thrifters to successfully obtain that which they seek.

This means that they must also be on their guard for false or misleading advertising, as well as "knock offs" of branded items.

One company, for example, located in China, was selling tools that regularly sell for over $100, for 90% off.

It was a scam.

They quickly "sold out" of the outrageously low priced items, and entered into the Ebay system a "tracking number" for USPS to track the package.

The package was tracked right to the point of delivery at the expectant home.

In the package was not the expected item, but a 'trinket' of sorts, including a "live strong" rubber bracket.

By the time the gig is up, Ebay closed them down, only to have the company open another account in another name, selling goods at decent prices, driving up the ratings for a few weeks or months, then to have another "90% off!" 'sale' for clients.

These clients thought it was too good to be true.

They were right.

Yet, due diligence showed that the company had a good rating for months, and in a few cases, years.

Caveat emptor.

Statement Analysis can help tip the scales in your favor, though it cannot do everything.

If you suspect fraud, write to the seller and express your concerns and use Statement Analysis on the reply.

You will reduce the odds of being a victim of deception.

What Statement Analysis Cannot Do

*Statement Analysis cannot discern between opinions.  That is, if one seller believes something is in EUC, that is, "Excellent Unused Condition", another might consider the same article to be in "Very Good" condition.

This is part of the seller's internal, personal, subjective dictionary.

If you wish to "de code" the seller's internal, personal, subjective dictionary, you must look at other sale items, and see what the seller considers "EUC" versus "Very Good"if the photographs help.  You may also read the reviews left for the seller, seeing if you can match up items that sold as "Very Good" versus "Like New" or "Near New" or "EUC."

*Statement Analysis cannot tell you if a person will follow through on the deal or not.

If Statement Analysis can see deception, it is only because the will is present:  intent to deceive.  Honest mistakes, for instance, are not intentionally deceptive.

*Statement Analysis cannot see "value." "Value" is simply what one is willing to pay for something.

*Statement Analysis could not help those in the Country-wide Lending Tree scandal where signatures were whited out or forged.  This is not an issue of analysis of a statement, but of outright fraud.

Statement Analysis works best with larger statements.

Even though we can apply the principles to small statements, the greater the sample from which to work, the greater the opportunity to learn truth from deception, as well as content analysis.

Statement Analysis and Disputes

Here, analysis can shine.

Let's say you purchased an item that was in "like new" condition only to find out it had a major problem and you write to the seller.  Statement Analysis can be used to measure the response of the Seller, to see if the Seller had prior knowledge to the issue.  The more the seller writes, the more likely we will know.

This can be especially helpful when a seller sells a "knock off", or fake item, as being real.  Did you ever notice how many will write, "100% Authentic!" in their ads?  This is often the case in designer items where fakes are plentiful.

Post some examples in the comments section and let us all take a look...

The First Step?

We must begin to get a "norm" for Ebay advertisers, so that we may see what is "expected" versus what is "unexpected."

In email responses from sellers, we are able to use the analysis principles that have served us well, yet again, setting emails as a norm.


Tania Cadogan said...

I practice analysis on the fly daily using adverts both on tv (always a good source) the media, and online ads. It is amazing how much is implied in an ad without making a defitie statement they can be held to. The listener hears what they want to hear not what is actually said. There is an ad that drives me nuts, it boasts "made with real ingredients" It makes you think it is made with genuine authentic ingredients, nothing artifical yet it doesn't say that. Real ingredients can be anything, it None real ingredients are what? not existent.. Another classic many years back was a company advertising a pie filling made with cherries and showed huge cherries covered in a light sauce. The words though told us everything, made with fruit puree (no chunks) look and listen for not only what they tell you, also what they don't tell you. I find it a great way to keep my ear in

Anonymous said...

I am always glad to read about using SA for everyday life situations like this. Thanks!

John Mc Gowan said...

Two Ebay threads?

Lemon said...

Does the fact this thread is repeated make it 'sensitive'? ;-)

S + K Mum said...

I apply SA to just about everything, I don't even realise half the time! News, letters, TV adverts ..... I often laugh at adverts - my hubby just sighs but he is learning from me inadvertantly. Sometimes when people talk he gives me a little nod and a smirk lol. Even our kids ask about SA. Which I love because I know it is making them better listeners - not necessarily to catch deception but to hear what people are actually saying, if that makes sense?! :-)

S + K Mum said...

One embarassing example was a few years ago I booked a disco and dj, upon recommendation, however during numerous calls the owner told me how having a great website attracts a lot of customers, he also said other companies are jealous of his as he overheard someone (who saw his sign-written van) say his company was terrible. It turned out that his was a terrible company, arriving late, forgetting to play specific songs, the dj spending more time at the bar .... The list goes on but I should have listened properly..... He was telling me his company was crap and he gets business because he invested in a great website. Expensive and embarassing lesson!

Anonymous said...

I love ebay... I've been looking for a table. They were popular in the late 50's. They usually were 2 tone kinda like old white wall tires. They were thick and had a metal or aluminum trim around the table. And the top looks like a marble kinda. And the chairs resemble diner chairs.. well anyway I told my husband "I found one!!!!" I begged to buy it. A cool 400. I said it's an original in mint condition. He read the ad and said the owner says he watched the first land on the moon in 59 sitting at that very table. Then he looked at me and said we didn't go to the moon in 59. No. We are not buying it. Keep looking . I was bumbed.