I've been thinking about how to express my thoughts on this subject for the past couple of days now, and I had a good handle on what I was going to say.....until I had a couple beers with a buddy of mine tonight.
That's changed my approach a bit. I'm going to look at it from my point of view (since it is after all....my opinion), but I'm also going to take into consideration the other person's potential point of view.
To me, communication is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT when conducting any sort of transaction, purchase, trade, what have you. Be it in person, via hobby boards, on ebay, anywhere. Period.
To me, letting the other party know of your intentions, actions and experience when it comes to a deal is paramount. I think that when entering a transaction with another person (or even in the initial discussions), prompt, courteous communication needs to occur from both parties in order to severely minimize any future bumps in the road.
I also think that it's common sense and a common courtesy.
Now, before I continue, I will openly state that I'm not batting 1.000 when it comes to this. I realize that I'm not perfect. But I do feel that I've got a very respectable batting average.
So why am I bringing this subject up? Because in the last month or so, I have experienced about 7 or 8 instances where (what I feel is) less than adequate communication has occurred. And at times, it has left me trying to figure out the status of the transaction.
I feel that if I say I'm going to send something out by a certain date - that I do so......or I communicate to the other person that I've been delayed. I also expect the same in return.
I'm in no rush to receive my end of transactions (unless I'm being charged extra for the prompt shipping). I do however expect to be notified if there's a delay in my item, money, customs to be built, whatever in being mailed off.
Why? I think it shows that the person is 'keeping up' with where the transaction is at, and I also think it shows a level of respect for 'the process'.
By not communicating, by not keeping track of what is going on, by not answering concerns I might have, it shows me that you are not concerned.
And that concerns me.
Again, I don't care if you take 3 months. But keep the lines of communication open. Let me know what's up.
That said, if it's taking 3 months........why? There's a big difference between "something came up and I was unable to" and "oh, I forgot" or "I didn't realize that......(enter reason here)".
More often than not though, I've been the one having to ask what is going on.
Now, in looking at it from the other side, I feel it is one of two things. I think there are those who feel that nothing is wrong since I haven't said anything about it. Fair enough. I think that it is my responsibility to express my concern about the bigger issue of communication should it be starting to manifest itself into a potential problem.
I also think that there are those who just don't care enough. Call it lazy, call it a low priority. It just doesn't matter. Or maybe it's that the other person doesn't have that expectation bar set to the same point as I do. Is there a 'right spot' for the bar? I don't know. Like I said earlier, I'm not perfect either.
At the end of the day, it's a hobby. And hobbies should be fun. Will anyone die if I don't get my card by tomorrow? No. I should hope not. Will it be the end of the world if my card gets shipped out 2 weeks after I pay for it? Nope.
But the hobby is more fun when things are a little more on the same path. And that road is definitely a two-way street.
Thanks for letting me communicate that.
Sal Barry talks hockey cards on “Hockey Today”
14 minutes ago