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Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:48 am
by Ironhide
Hey, if you don't specify and allow others to infer it means worldwide. Then so be it.

Specificity. It clears up all things.

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:55 am
by JohnHwangBT
OTOH, if someone is dealing internationally, they should ask the question what "free shipping" means.

It's a 2-way street.

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:03 am
by Ironhide
No. If you put up an ad, and say "free shipping", and don't specify that it is "US only", and then come back and say it was supposed to be "US only" after someone has replied to it, then you have just false advertised. You can not just expect your trade partners to assume it is "free shipping in the US" unless you specify it is.

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:13 am
by MagickalMemories
JohnHwangBT wrote:Gee, I'd think only "Free shipping worldwide" would mean free shipping anywhere in the world.

But hey, what do I know...
It would... but, if you make a promise without setting limitations, then you can reasonably be expected to keep your promise for anything which meets your guidelines.

If I say, "I'll give anyone $5," it's the same as saying "I'll give anyone in the world $5."
If I say, "I'll give anyone $5," it's not the same as saying "I'll give anyone in the US $5."

If you're going to have qualifications, you need to make them known.

Eric

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:24 am
by JohnHwangBT
If the point is to be ticky-tacky with the verbiage, then the obvious fallback position is that there is a high charge for the "handling" associated with fulling out International customs forms.

Then, technically, the Shipping can still be "free" worldwide, but the handling bit is going to get you...

After all, Handling was never quoted or stated...

:twisted:

It all comes down to "reasonable expectations", and from what we generally see, free international shipping is simply NOT a reasonable expectation on anybody's part, given that it costs considerably more than domestic shipping with extra hassle, etc.

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:38 pm
by Cervantes3773
If you post the following:

"I'm selling one box of widgets. $10 USD, free shipping. PM to accept."

You've created an offer which anyone can accept. So let's pretend I accept by PM; we now have a contract. If you decide to be clever and inform me that I now owe you $25, $10 for the widgets and $15 for the handling, I would not be obliged to pay the additional amount as handling was never mentioned in the offer.

If I then paypal you $10 and you refuse to send the widgets to me, you would be in breach of contract.


The point is two-fold.

1) Be very clear in your posts. There is a reason contracts have pages of fine print.

2) Phrase your posts as advertisements and not offers. If your post is an offer, there really isn't much, if any, room for negotiation of terms subsequent to someone accepting.

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:14 pm
by s_o_r_r_o_w
Cervantes3773 wrote: 1) Be very clear in your posts. There is a reason contracts have pages of fine print.

2) Phrase your posts as advertisements and not offers. If your post is an offer, there really isn't much, if any, room for negotiation of terms subsequent to someone accepting.
I certainly don't want Bartertown deals to involve pages of fine print. is it so very difficult for posters to just add those few extra words?

Free shipping (US only). Free shipping (UK only).

Doesn't seem that onerous to me.

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:27 pm
by Cervantes3773
s_o_r_r_o_w wrote:I certainly don't want Bartertown deals to involve pages of fine print. is it so very difficult for posters to just add those few extra words?

Free shipping (US only). Free shipping (UK only).

Doesn't seem that onerous to me.
Agreed. I think a big reason many of like Bartertown is that it's relatively easy to use. I was just trying to point out that if you decide to write something like "free shipping" hoping that everyone understands that you meant "free shipping in the USA", you don't really have a right to be upset when people interpret it differently.

Be clear and you should be able to avoid most hassles.

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:00 pm
by JohnHwangBT
Cervantes3773 wrote:I would not be obliged to pay the additional amount as handling was never mentioned in the offer.

There is a reason contracts have pages of fine print.

2) Phrase your posts as advertisements and not offers. If your post is an offer, there really isn't much, if any, room for negotiation of terms subsequent to someone accepting.
What you miss is that breaking the offer is precisely the point of requiring additional handling charge for international handling.

The other point is that Btown intends not to have pages of fine print as part of listings - that would be huge amounts of bandwidth for no good reason.

The last piece is the basic choice not to do business with someone for whatever reason, and being overseas is certainly a valid reason. I think that's a pretty obvious guideline, too!

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:26 pm
by Cervantes3773
JohnHwangBT wrote:What you miss is that breaking the offer is precisely the point of requiring additional handling charge for international handling.
I don't understand. Either you write a well thought-out post stating your terms of trade and you stick to them or you leave the terms of trade out and negotiate them after finding an interested party. Are you saying that after stating "includes shipping" or "free shipping" you find out it will be an international shipment, that it's okay to break the agreement?
The other point is that Btown intends not to have pages of fine print as part of listings - that would be huge amounts of bandwidth for no good reason.
Agreed, but you still need to be clear when making an offer or advertisement. The only assumption anyone on Bartertown should make is that if something can be interpreted multiple ways, it will be. Furthermore, adding "US/UK/Japan Only" is hardly pages and pages of fine print.
The last piece is the basic choice not to do business with someone for whatever reason, and being overseas is certainly a valid reason. I think that's a pretty obvious guideline, too!
Agreed. However, let's go back to my example. If your post is "One box of widgets, $10 USD, includes shipping, PM me to accept." The first person to PM saying "accept" has made a contract with you. At that point, if you found out that they lived in Brazil and you now wanted to charge extra to ship, they would not be obligated to pay that additional amount.

If you then say, "fine, I won't sell to you", they'd be well within their rights to leave a "backout" as demanding specific performance would be difficult and money has not yet changed hands. If they decide not to pay your additional fee to ship, you would be in no position to leave a "backout" as you changed the terms/breached the contract.


As far as I'm concerned "free shipping" or "includes shipping'" means anywhere. If you don't actually mean that, then you're trying to attract buyers/traders with misleading advertisement. And that's poor form.

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:47 pm
by starslayer
How often has this ACTUALLY come up??
A misunderstanding like this is another reason why location should be mandatory.
Someone expecting free shipping (or very cheap) shipping should make sure. Both parties should be clear on the terms.
Expecting free shipping to another Country is ridiculous. International shipping is expensive.
I think this kind of thing will just discourage anyone from dealing with someone not in their own Country.

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:59 pm
by Ironhide
I've seen two instances of this in the past few months.

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:18 pm
by starslayer
Ironhide wrote:I've seen two instances of this in the past few months.
Do you remember if they had their "locations'? :wink:

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:24 pm
by Cervantes3773
starslayer wrote:How often has this ACTUALLY come up??
A misunderstanding like this is another reason why location should be mandatory.
Someone expecting free shipping (or very cheap) shipping should make sure. Both parties should be clear on the terms.
Expecting free shipping to another Country is ridiculous. International shipping is expensive.
I think this kind of thing will just discourage anyone from dealing with someone not in their own Country.
Agreed. However, if you say free shipping/includes shipping then you need to qualify it (in the US, Canada, Germany, wherever) or stand by your offer/advertisement.

I also agree that location should be mandatory, and I think the Powers That Be have requested that current members add it, but I'm not sure how many have. Maybe a mass PM to ALL bartertown members saying "add or update your location information" is in order?

Re: Unofficial Guidelines

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:25 pm
by MagickalMemories
starslayer wrote:
Ironhide wrote:I've seen two instances of this in the past few months.
Do you remember if they had their "locations'? :wink:

One did, for sure.
His profile says Brazil, plain as day.


Eric