Online Shopping Experience: Trust – Double-Edged Sword

You will agree with me when I point out that trust is the key of buyer and seller relationship, especially when it comes to transaction in the virtual world. Needless I say, we don’t intend to be deceived. Trust is not something that you can buy but it is formed by numerous personal experiences or listening/reading others’ experiences (read: testimonials). That is why in our beloved forum, there’s a thread discussing about these online shopping experiences specifically, right?

Taking from buyer’s side, trust can be a shortcut for us to make a decision to purchase something from a particular seller. On the other hand, trust can mislead us. In this case, we may trust too much then we feel like we don’t need to ask something that in fact, is the fundamental part. What I mean by fundamental is that this question may relate to your hope on something you purchase. You want to buy this pair of red shoes from seller A because you imagine that you can wear them on your date, you dream of numerous occasions when you can exhibit them with your beautiful legs, you may imagine how many people will be envious of you. Just admit it, sometimes you don’t buy something because you need it but you want the dream that can be delivered by the product. Dream is something personal, something you desire. Therefore, I can say there’s nothing worse than crushed dream.

Let me tell you my experience on this. I was and still am disappointed with an apparel I purchased online because it was totally different from my expectation. It’s not that I never buy something from this seller. In fact, I bought from this seller, twice and the products more or less delivered to my expectation. Ok, I bought a leather jacket for less than IDR 160,000. Looking at the price, the pic, and reading the ‘label’ the seller put on the product (“brown leather jacket”), I concluded that this jacket was made from faux leather. When I thought about faux leather, it’s the artificial leather that’s based from plastic, but resembles pretty much like leather from the animal. I presumed that this was the universal language meant by faux leather.

However, when I opened the package, it’s a jacket made from shiny brown jersey. It certainly crushed my dream. At first when I saw the picture on the online shop, I imagined that I would look like a cool bohemian chic with a little rocker edge, wearing this with my tribal dress or my flower dress. I don’t know about you girls but jersey was not included in my dictionary of edgy look.

I still hope that the seller might send me the wrong item, but it’s not the case. After a series of texting and replying, I got the impression that what she meant by faux leather was any kind of material that looked like leather from afar, and it didn’t have to resemble the leather experience when you touched it. If I could turn back the time, I should ask: what kind of faux leather do you mean? is it anything like faux leather on bags or shoes? or other definition of faux leather?

I believed when the seller said that the photo displayed on the online shop was the real product. However, we ought not to forget that a lot of factors, such as lighting, might contribute on the photo result. It might ‘blind’ our perception on what the real object looks like.

The bottom line is: don’t be shy to ask, stay critical, be detail-oriented. Although we trust one, don’t forget that miss-communication may bound to happen and this can jeopardize the relationship between buyer and seller.

Olivia, July 18th, 2009

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