Monday, March 26, 2007

7) Ask questions first.

SECRET NUMBER FIVE. Ask questions first. When it comes to collecting anything, there are a variety of questions that need to be answered and answered up front, even if you're purchasing it in person. Collecting Luther and Reformation items can be an expensive and ultimately unrewarding experience if you don't have crucial information at your fingertips and potential problem areas resolved -- before the purchase. What is the difference between attempting to resolve problems before the purchase and after? The difference between being in the position of negotiating or walking away from a less than desirable deal and being in the position of having to bite the bullet can be a very big one. Issues that need to be resolved: options in payment, contingencies if the condition is different than what photos/scans show and actual, procedures to guarantee your payment arrives intact and arrival is documented, the quality of shipping (protection from breakage or damage to the item), documentation that accompanies the item, specific costs for shipping and handling, and the option of combining items bought in the near future to lower shipping and handling costs. "What if the shipment is lost?" "Will I have to pay any additional fees?" "What specifically do you mean when you say the item is 'mint'?" Keep in mind that some sellers will extend more generous policies to those buyers they have had experience with in the past or buyers who can demonstrate they are more trustworthy than others. The bottom line: if you have a question, ask it -- in a clear and respectful way. Sellers appreciate a sale that goes well, even if they have to answer a question or two.