Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Comes from a smoke free and pet free home..."

I personally don't like this comment on eBay listings. The first think I think of when I read "comes from a smoke free pet free home" is a long-haired sheepdog and a dirty ashtray. It is the power of suggestion at work here, and I don't want to put those types of images in my customers' heads. (Editor's note, I love animals, but mentioning them on an eBay listing about clothing won't help your business.)

Here is another example. Say you go to a fine, upscale steakhouse. The menu will say something like, "8 oz Filet. Thick, succulent cut of USDA prime beef, seasoned to perfection, sure to melt in your mouth." They don't say, "Worm-free, doesn't have a hair on it, and was not sneezed on. Hasn't been dropped on the kitchen floor."

See what I mean about the power of suggestion? Don't even go there. Same concept with "free of rips, tears, or stains." What is the image in your head RIGHT now after reading that? Rips and stains, right?

Words are very powerful. And when that is all you have between you and your customer's mind, you have to be careful.

Just food for thought.


Anonymous said...

Good point.

Whenever I see that phrase in a listing, I always ask myself why I don't use it in my listings since I don't have any pets and I don't smoke.

Of course 99.9999% of everything I sell is purchased second hand, and I have no idea how many pets the previous owners had or how many packs of cigarettes they went through a day.

Suzanne A. Wells said...

Great point, Gary. I often wonder that myself - so many sellers resell items that have come from thrift stores and God knows where - there is no way they can know the history of that item, or who would want to? Something to think about! Thanks for visiting.

Anonymous said...

Love this article. Never thought of it the way you put it. This will save me a few seconds on each listings. I guess I just seen others with more experience adding the 'free home' tidbit and thought buyers cared. Now that i think about it, i think everything i have bought does not have the pet and smoke info. As always your help is appreciated.

Unknown said...

I recently purchased sewing fabric from a seller who did not disclose that her home smelled like a local bar. I could smell the smoke radiating from the package as soon as I opened my mailbox!

I believe that those who sell clothing and fabric SHOULD include SMOKE FREE home in their descriptions.

Comments please ...

Michelle said...

I agree about not putting the pet-free/smoke-free comment. I never thought that was necessary. (also I have a dog)..I often put the no holes/cracks/chips/etc though..even if I don't put that in the description, potential buyers will ask me that in a question. I understand your point though.

Suzanne A. Wells said...

That is true about non-clothing items. I usually make that statement about ceramic or glass items. Good point!

Anonymous said...

I see exactly what you're saying with the power of suggestion - that having been said, after having been burned once buying a baby activity gym that arrived smelling like an ashtray, I will no longer buy from sellers that don't state the item comes from a smoke-free home. Maybe there's a better way to put it, though... something like, "Items all smell clean and fresh" or something.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point, great post! Perhaps we could phrase it something like "comes from a clean, fresh smelling home" or maybe something a bit less cheezy but along those lines.