If you run an online business, then chances are you may feel “too old” to dress up for Halloween (unless you have kids – then the decision is kind of made for you). Let’s say though, you were to go to a costume party or out to terrify the neighborhood with your ghoulish antics. What would you go as? As an online seller, what costumes would be the scariest for you? What business boo-boos keep you up at night and threaten to trick-not-treat your company?
Here are what we consider to be the most bone chilling problems prowling in the night, according to the white-hot fears of an online retailer. So go ahead, get your scare on. Maybe no one else at the party will get it, but we will – and we’ll be terrified right along with you.
They lurk in the shadows, waiting for an unsuspecting victim. They spy, looking for sellers with expensive products that they don’t want to pay for and an excellent refund policy, then bam! They order a perfectly good product, claim damage, and want a refund with no chance of returning the item. You contact them repeatedly, hoping to get your product back and follow Amazon policy, but they suddenly disappear. Read through the scammers tag on the Amazon seller forum, and you’ll drown in the overload of sellers who fell prey to a scammer. It can be hard to protect yourself from a scammer, but if you suspect one, we recommend documenting everything, and getting Amazon involved immediately.
If you’ve never had a “ghost listing,” consider yourself lucky. Ghost listings occur when a seller lists an item only once, but a listing mistakenly duplicates on a marketplace (technology isn’t perfect). Things get really scary when a customer buys a ghost listing, not realizing the item is dead and gone and already shipped to someone else. Sellers usually have to cancel that listing’s order, which can really hurt their metrics. A sucker punch like that to your account will definitely haunt you.
Stock Out Scream
Similar to a ghost listing is the horrifying stock out situation, and the bloodcurdling scream that erupts from your body when you realize you sold a product you no longer had in stock. This costume is much scarier though. Even though the results are similar, stock outs are worse because they are not part of a marketplace error, and they could have been easily prevented. Inventory management software automatically pulls in sales orders from your marketplaces, and will update your inventory everywhere to reflect a sale, in real time. It puts the stock out scream to rest – for good.
We hope we didn’t scare you too much. Being an online seller can be risky – you may run into a dishonest buyer, or experience marketplace glitches, or even wait too long to buy software and suffer the consequences of over selling. But don’t let the horror stories keep you up at night. Being an online sellers is also very rewarding. You become your own boss, you can forage success your way, and you get to become a part of this incredible, steadily growing ecommerce industry – and that should be enough to chase the spooky stories away.
Do you have any horror stories? Feel free to share in the comments. Tell us the spookiest stuff you’ve got!