Hello all of you eBay shoppers out there. Are you planning on purchasing a chandelier from a home lighting store on eBay? If so read on, there may be some information that could make the process a whole lot easier, and enjoyable. Just knowing how an eBay store works may keep you from becoming frustrated and disenchanted with on-line purchasing. The differences between an eBay store and any other Web based store are minimal, so the information below would apply to both. Also, a lighting store is probably pretty close to any of the other stores selling a wide range of different products on the internet.
One real misconception about eBay stores is this – very seldom is it a large warehouse of products sitting somewhere in the world waiting to send you the purchased item, just as soon as the order is placed. I would venture to say that most eBay stores have little to no inventory and rely very heavily on a support structure of suppliers that warehouse the product and/or manufacture it. This is important to know for several reasons –
1) when you place the order the eBay store in-turn has to place an order with their supplier. This is not a bad thing because there usually is a very good working relationship between the two, but sometimes it can mean that there is going to be processing time, sometimes hours, sometimes days. Most eBay stores will let you know that there is going to be order processing time, now you know why.
2) Most often the eBay stores will pay an extra fee to have the product shipped directly from the supplier to the eBay buyer. This is referred to as “Drop Shipping”. This is in most cases a good thing; it gets the product to you, the buyer quicker. If drop shipping was not done the supplier would have to ship the fixture to the eBay store and then they would ship it to the eBay customer, adding time and extra cost. One of the negatives about drop shipping is that the eBay store turns over the shipping process to their supplier, so they have little control over how and when it ships. Most suppliers know that it is in their best interest to be very efficient at shipping, but, shipping is not the perfect process, and many unforeseen factors can come into play that will extend shipping times.
3) Most eBay stores rely on the stock status of the supplier to keep their store inventory current. Again remember the store keeps either a small inventory or no inventory. Using the supplier’s stock status is about the only way for the eBay store to stay current, but, has many built in problems. The supplier’s stock status may be wrong, they may have just sold the item to another one of their customers, or they may be counting on a shipment of new items coming in that gets delayed. Now add these problems to some encountered by the eBay store itself: it is difficult to update eBay stock if you have thousands of items, the store may have just sold the item to another customer, there may be several eBay buyers putting in offers on the same item. As you can tell stock status is not the most reliable, especially if the quantity shown on eBay is very low, like 5 items or less. If the stock status shows less than 5 call the store.
The bottom line is this-be patient and understanding. If you are dealing with a store that has high ratings, they are not out to cheat you. This is their business and livelihood; they want happy customers that are going to return. They want long term relationships with customers. Supplying a product on the internet is not a simple process and can have problems. Don’t expect to get something for nothing. The profit margins for on-line stores are usually quite small and they are relying on larger volumes to make up the difference. Most stores offer free shipping, even though it is not free to them. Shipping cost are going up every day. There are eBay fees and PayPal fees. Suppliers charge drop ship fees, processing fees and packaging fees. Be aware of these cost when you put in “best offer”. Today our store had a customer put in an offer of $100 for a $900 chandelier. Get real.
Shipping and processing times. Read the policies provided by the store. They are required by eBay to provide this information to the best of their ability. Be aware that problems can occur. Our store had a customer purchase an item one day and then email every day there after asking where the item was and why it had not shipped. They received the item well within the time frame outlined in our policy, the customer then gave us a negative rating. In our policies it states that processing time can take up to a week and shipping time can take up to two weeks. It is true we usually ship next day and one week and the most, but this does not always happen, and when it doesn’t, it is the standard not the exception. Every eBay store has supplier’s that handle thing differently. One brand may ship quicker than their policies state; others may take exactly the length of time they specify. The eBay store is at their mercy.
Returns. This is a big issue for eBay stores. Again read the policies prior to purchasing. Most stores want to be honest with customers and provide a means for returning product that is defective, or not what the customer expected, but it has to be within reason. Buying on-line is not the place to try out several items, then pick the one you like best. This buying strategy is going to cost you money. Most stores (if not all) are going to charge you a restocking fee for returning an item just because you did not like it, and, you are going to have to pay the return shipping. Why? Because the eBay store supplier is going to charge the eBay store a restocking fee. The eBay store will lose the money paid to provide the free shipping for the item to get to you, so they certainly are not going to double their loses by providing the means to return the item. If the item is damaged, that it is a whole different story. Most stores in their policies will have the option of refunding the money or providing new product, at their discretion. They will most likely also cover the shipping. If it is shipping damage they may ask you to file a claim with the shipping company.
Now there are stores that sell different style and designs of crystal chandelier. If in case you cannot find the perfect crystal chandelier for your home, you can always move to next store. Never pick the one which will not be perfect for your home just to avoid going from one store to another. Yes, it is really tiring but for sure you will never regret buying the right one once you see your home beautifully decorated. Now there are already specialty stores that can make you a customized design of crystal chandelier. You can always give them the design and style that you want and they will do it for you.
Reproduction versions are however pricey, but are a great deal additional very affordable. They look like exact replicas of elk antler and have a wonderful finish. Which provides me to my following topic in this elk antler chandelier tutorial – the place do these antlers come from? Perfectly, just a small hunch that these wondrous calcified pieces of gold are not specifically hand picked out of the Rocky Mountains. Alternatively, I would suspect that creators of elk chandeliers get them from elk farms. Some of the bigger designers may perhaps even have their individual elk farm where they can breed the elks to make horns possessing wanted genes and thus sought after features.
Prior to purchasing on-line do some research? Know exactly what it is you want and it is you are ordering. If you have to get out a tape measure and verify that it fits, then take the time and do it. With lighting we tell our customers to cut and shape a cardboard box into roughly the correct dimensions of the fixture they want to purchase. Then place it, or hang it in the provided space. You will be surprised at the information this can provide. If you find an item that you like, but are unsure of the design or color, do some internet research. You can probably find the item on another site, with different views or descriptions. For example: let’s say you found a Sea Gull chandelier on our site but were unsure about the metal finish. Go to the Sea Gull manufacture site, and search for the same item. It’s very possible they may have photos of the same item, but in different views.
Hopefully this information helps. At least you understand a little better how the process works. In order to make your purchase a pleasant experience, do some homework, on the store, on the product, and about your needs. Internet shopping has many advantages, including cost, convenience, and access to variety. It sometimes lends itself to impulse buying, especially if you get caught up in the bidding process. Show restraint, do some research, dedicate some time, it will pay off in the long term.
Co-Owner and Operator of Lighting The Web – http://www.lightingtheweb.com or visit our eBay Store under the same name