An article in the latest Coin News magazine discussed how the age old premise of caveat emptor (buyer beware) has effectively given way to caveat venditor (seller beware). My take on the article is that the latest round of technological changes have greatly increased the power that consumers have - no longer is information tightly held by "experts", but it is now made freely available online to those that choose to search it out.
Not only that, but in many arenas today (eBay and elsewhere), consumers are easily able to share stories about negative purchasing experiences with their fellow consumers, which is another factor that should cause sellers in the Australian numismatic industry (collectors as well as established dealers) take consumer satisfaction very seriously.
We've made a concerted effort over the past few years to ensure that we represent our products in a clear and accurate way, and although we don't get things right 100% of the time, we're happy to provide a refund or exchange to any customer that is disappointed with anything they've bought from us. I know as an online buyer of coins and notes myself that credibility comes through what a dealer or online seller does, rather than through simply what they say or how the represent themselves. I don't think that buyers think that a fair dinkum online seller is any nicer or is going to get to heaven any quicker than a dealer that tries to overstate the condition of their items or doesn't go the whole nine yards in allowing an online buyer to satisfay themselves as to what an item is, but the direct approach is simply what works in the online world. To operate any differently is to deny the apparent fact that visitors can leave a website with a simple click of a button if they aren't comfortable!