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wtcollectibles



Posts: 2728

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:54 am    Post subject: GCO email preferences Reply with quote

I'm sorry that this is a duplicate topic because it's been discussed so much over the years, but right now I can't find a good appropriate old thread to join. Embarassed Also, I'm trying to find out if things are different from the way they started out.

Every so often I start considering adding GCO but probably the largest stumbling block for me is the inability to contact a buyer if I need to. I don't spam people or send them ads or crap, but occasionally I do need to ask something and I always like to send a shipping notification. When it started, I understood that once a buyer chose GCO, they became Google's customer, which is STUPID, and they could select email preferences to prevent my contacting them.

Is that still the same? Has it caused anyone any problems? Does the buyer get any sort of shipping notification?

I don't need the "offer both" argument because that makes no sense to me either. If they are so rabidly anti-PayPal that they won't buy from me, so be it. They are probably rabid in other ways too! Laughing If they are using a bank card, I doubt they care. Personally, I like to shop using my PayPal balance sometimes and I suspect others do, too.

Mostly I just want to know about the emailing. Thanks!
Becky Smile
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cosmicray



Posts: 7025

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GCO is the payment service. GCO is not the sales venue. With respect to an actual order, you have the right to contact the customer. As far as shipping notifications, GCO requests that they send one out, and not the seller. I don't know how much they police this, but if you have to send via the GCO email anonymous re-mailer, they probably can see it.

Some orders arrive with an actual email address (because the customer did not request the anonymous re-mailer). Some orders indicate No as far as contacting the customer with additional newsletters, offers, etc.
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wtcollectibles



Posts: 2728

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmicray wrote:
GCO is the payment service. GCO is not the sales venue.

Which is how I want them to be. But it's been posted here so much that they "become Google's customer." Every time I read that, I drop the idea of adding it.
Quote:
With respect to an actual order, you have the right to contact the customer.

Even the "No" customers?
Quote:
As far as shipping notifications, GCO requests that they send one out, and not the seller.

That's good to know, that they do send one. I wasn't sure about that.
Quote:
Some orders indicate No as far as contacting the customer with additional newsletters, offers, etc.

No newsletters or anything, I just want to make sure they get a shipping notice and if I have a question specifically about their order, I want to be able to contact them. Like if they ask "do you also have the red version of this car" or if they give me an incomplete address or something.

Thanks very much! You've answered several questions I had!! Very Happy

Edited to add - I just realized that they can't ask a question with their payment because there is no Notes section, right? They would have to use the ASQ link.
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RustyFarmall



Posts: 1300

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the customer "hid" their email address, you can still contact them through GCO. (I think) never had to do it.


GCO has a provision to supply shipping info to the customer. Just click on the "ship" button, select the shipping service you use, and then enter the tracking number in the box. An email will be sent to the customer with the shipping and tracking info. Also, by providing that info to GCO, you are one step ahead of the game if the customer contacts GCO and claims they never recieved the item.
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cosmicray



Posts: 7025

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wtcollectibles wrote:
Quote:
With respect to an actual order, you have the right to contact the customer.

Even the "No" customers?

As far as I know, the "No" has nothing to do with the current order. It is only telling you not to contact the customer for anything other than the current order.
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cosmicray



Posts: 7025

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RustyFarmall wrote:
Also, by providing that info to GCO, you are one step ahead of the game if the customer contacts GCO and claims they never recieved the item.

My experience has been, that should the customer file a dispute, GCO wants you to provide the tracking number again. I'm assuming that GCO wants you to double check that the number you provided is the correct one.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16635

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WT, I always fill out the ship thing at Google and if the customer is a yes on email I always send one of mine. I don't care what google thinks about that as they are my customer and I want them to know straight from me that their order has shipped and anything else about MY business that I want to communicate. If someone has put No to email, I don't email them unless they initiate the contact and then I do email them. Never heard about the they are google's customer bit. I never even realized till someone mentioned it the other day that you can fill in tracking numbers on PP too for them to send shipping notifications. For both places, my feeling is they bought from me and they need to hear from me. I've had over 1600 GCO transactions and what I do seems to be working. Never had a problem with using it.

I have had a customer write to me concerning the DC number that GCO gave them and even though it was directly copied from my endicia program to GCO it didn't work so I had a chance to email the customer and give them the correct link and thus establish email communication. I try to always have the last word with customers even if it is as simple as saying 'you are welcome' when they write a thank you to me. We want our customers knowing that real live people are behind our stores and ones that also know the stuff we are selling. One email to me makes me feel that we have implied consent to email them.
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bigtallmensclothing
moderator


Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmicray wrote:
wtcollectibles wrote:
Quote:
With respect to an actual order, you have the right to contact the customer.

Even the "No" customers?

As far as I know, the "No" has nothing to do with the current order. It is only telling you not to contact the customer for anything other than the current order.


EXACTLY!
It means no emailing them EXCEPT for something about this purchase.

Quote:
I don't need the "offer both" argument because that makes no sense to me either. If they are so rabidly anti-PayPal that they won't buy from me, so be it. They are probably rabid in other ways too! If they are using a bank card, I doubt they care. Personally, I like to shop using my PayPal balance sometimes and I suspect others do, too.

Funny, I am just the opposite. I think customer like a choice. and since it makes no difference to me .. why not give it to them?
I never every shop personal using my business account. I don't mix the business money with my personal money. I think that is an accounting nightmare.
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FoxAndFish



Posts: 1566

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: GCO email preferences Reply with quote

wtcollectibles wrote:
Every so often I start considering adding GCO but probably the largest stumbling block for me is the inability to contact a buyer if I need to.

What inability? You as seller can contact the customer for whatever reason you deem relevant to the order.

wtcollectibles wrote:
occasionally I do need to ask something and I always like to send a shipping notification. When it started, I understood that once a buyer chose GCO, they became Google's customer, which is STUPID, and they could select email preferences to prevent my contacting them.

Not exactly. A buyer can select a preference to prevent you from contacting them for marketing purposes. Not for issues regarding their purchase. The preference that is selected is called "Email Marketing."

In the GCO Merchant Help article "Communicating with your buyers":

"During the Google Checkout process, buyers can specify whether they would like to receive promotional email from merchants. You may send promotional email to any buyers who have opted in to receive marketing information from you." Doesn't say anything about not contacting them about the order.

wtcollectibles wrote:
Does the buyer get any sort of shipping notification?

Yes. When you as seller fill in the "Ship" information on the GCO order, you get a yellow popup bar that says something like: A shipping notification has been sent to the customer.

In the GCO Merchant Help article "Communicating with your buyers":

"Google automatically sends an order confirmation email to buyers....Google will also send buyers a shipping confirmation email after you confirm the order....To minimize the number of emails your buyers receive, we recommend that you refrain from sending another order confirmation email." Doesn't prevent you from contacting customers, doesn't prevent you from sending shipping notification. It simply recommends that you do not duplicate information from GCO, which you can disregard or not.

I do not contact buyers unless they contact me. I do fill in the GCO Ship information for the benefit of both GCO and the buyers.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16635

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WT -- In an amazing flash of light during my break-nap today, I realized that you are a perfect test case for the PP or GCO or both question. You have been here a long time with a fully functioning store and know what your average sales range per month, logical enough to be able to tell if it makes a difference in sales, etc. If you add on GCO even for a month or two, you would be able to see if you increased sales, decreased sales or they stayed static. If you had trouble with GCO you could fire them and if not you could go ahead and leave them, especially if you notice your sales have increased 50% Very Happy You go girl!
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MaggietheCatsMeows



Posts: 2799

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never not been able to contact a buyer via GCO whether they have a hidden email or not. I always go to my Google account and send the Google shipping notice after I have shipped. I do not send a second on my own.

What I like about Google is that every transaction is automatically sent to my bank account.
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vintagecornerstore



Posts: 151

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use them here at eCrater and on my main website, but don't really like them. On my website it is okay, because I always get their email address and shipping address. (Though hardly anyone uses them there.)

Here, if they buy anon., I believe the google TOS says you cannot contact them for any reason. Hence, a "thank you and your order will ship on ..." is not allowed. And if you send it through the anon. email address, I'm not sure they get it, and since it is against Googles rules to send it, you are leaving a clear record that you are breaking Googles rules. Google says they don't want buyers to get ANY extra emails. (So in effect, they are saying the customer is now theirs, and not yours.)

My thank you note always includes a link to the listing (because I think many people fail to copy that when they buy), and that can't be done when items are paid with GCO anon. Hence, I don't like them much.


Last edited by vintagecornerstore on Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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thecheapskirt



Posts: 2123

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vintagecornerstore wrote:

Here, if they buy anon., I believe the google TOS says you cannot contact them for any reason. Hence, a "thank you and your order will ship on ..." is not allowed. And if you send it through the anon. email address, I'm not sure they get it, and since it is against Googles rules to send it, you are leaving a clear record that you are breaking Googles rules. Google says they don't want buyers to get ANY extra emails. (So in effect, they are saying the customer is now theirs, and not yours.)


So, if you have a problem with the order, you can't contact the customer unless you cancel and refund? Interesting.

The only way I could get ecrater to remove unreasonable negative feedback a buyer left me for their Express mail purchase was because I could prove to them that I contacted them ahead of time (after they ordered but before I shipped) that their package would have to be signed for unless they asked me to mark the package that the signature requirement was waived.

I will continue to notify customers of this to cover my end, whether they pay using Google or PayPal. If this means Google removes my ability to use Google checkout, then so be it. But I won't wear unwarranted feedback from customers who tell me that someone will be able to sign for their package, and then are too lazy to go to the post office and pick up their mail for 3 weeks, but say MY same-day-within-hours-of-payment shipping is slow. Sorry. But it's not going to happen.
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wtcollectibles



Posts: 2728

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vintagecornerstore wrote:

Here, if they buy anon., I believe the google TOS says you cannot contact them for any reason. Hence, a "thank you and your order will ship on ..." is not allowed. And if you send it through the anon. email address, I'm not sure they get it, and since it is against Googles rules to send it, you are leaving a clear record that you are breaking Googles rules. Google says they don't want buyers to get ANY extra emails. (So in effect, they are saying the customer is now theirs, and not yours.)

This is what I thought I read when Google was first added here and I didn't like the sound of it. But if they will send a shipping notice for me, that would be acceptable. I'm getting the feeling that not many buyers actually mark the "no" choice and I'm worrying about a non-issue. I do have a tendency to worry about more than is there!

Thanks very much for all the input! Very Happy Obviously I will have to try it to know for sure. I will come back and post if I find out anything that is germane to the discussion, since other people in my boat may be following this.
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FoxAndFish



Posts: 1566

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vintagecornerstore wrote:
Here, if they buy anon., I believe the google TOS says you cannot contact them for any reason.

Could you post where the Google terms states that? B/c I can't find it.

This is what Google Checkout Program Policy states at http://checkout.google.com/seller/policies.html : "To provide a consistent shopping experience, Google will send order confirmation emails to buyers making purchases with Google Checkout. We strongly recommend that you reduce the number of redundant emails your buyers receive by not sending your own order confirmation emails."

Nowhere does it state you cannot contact customers for any reason.

vintagecornerstore wrote:
Hence, a "thank you and your order will ship on ..." is not allowed.

Could you post where GCO prohibits that?

vintagecornerstore wrote:
And if you send it through the anon. email address, I'm not sure they get it, and since it is against Googles rules to send it

Could you post the rules that specify that?

vintagecornerstore wrote:
Google says they don't want buyers to get ANY extra emails.

What GCO says about redundant e-mail is posted above and in my previous post.

vintagecornerstore wrote:
My thank you note always includes a link to the listing (because I think many people fail to copy that when they buy), and that can't be done when items are paid with GCO anon.

Why not? Nothing in the Policy prevents sending a thank you note to the buyer, whether the buyer has anonymized the e-mail or not.
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