Wednesday, August 13, 2008

For what it's worth

I'm not trying to jump on any bandwagon here, but I do want to say that I'm with Kevin on this one.

Originally I had a whole, long-winded post thought out on it, but it's really pretty simple: Telling people not to buy something you're trying to sell — for no reason other than it doesn't match your personal taste — is not good business.

And let's stress that particular point: If you have opened a shop with the intent of selling comics, you've opened a business. And the goal of a business, any business, is to make money. That doesn't mean you deal with your customers dishonestly, it doesn't mean you become a huckster trying to blow sunshine up people's asses, and it doesn't mean you sacrifice customer service for profit. But it also doesn't mean you preemptively discourage sales, either.

But if you just opened a shop to build yourself a clubhouse where you can immerse yourself in your hobby ... well, good luck to you. Hopefully your membership will be large enough to support your business.

For future reference, though; taking a product you eventually want to sell and telling potential customers to "Not Buy" it makes no sense.


Jeff Hebert said...

I dunno, I go to my local comics shop guy for honest advice. I'd appreciate him telling me something was crappy. I might buy it anyway if it was just a matter of him not liking that particular genre or whatnot and a matter of taste, but I'd want him to be honest.

Maxo said...

I agree with you to a point, Jeff. If I asked about a particular comic, I'd expect the shop person to be honest with me, too. I'd be pretty pissed if he wasn't, especially if I got home, read the book and found out I was just fed a bunch of misinformation for the sake of a sale.

I think the issue here, though, is that the retailer offered an unsolicited negative opinion as part of something that was meant to promote sales at his store. Promoting sales by telling people not to buy something seems counterproductive.

In the original item, the retailer mentioned another X-book as a possibly better alternative to the one he was criticizing; it would have been more productive to positively promote that book (he could even compare it in passing as a better choice than the other title) and encourage his customers to pick it up the next time they were in his store.

Thanks for commenting, Jeff!