A lesson in listening.
I’d advertised my childhood collection of playing card jokers. My ad featured a panoramic photo of all 177 permutations.
Certain of a bidding war between rabid collectors, I refused a prospective buyer’s request to flip the cards over. He even suggested I scan my cards in groups of eight!
I couldn’t see the point of laying all the cards out again to photograph their mangy backs – let alone processing them in tiny batches.
Then a second prospective customer made a similar request.
Before I could knock her back, she explained that the joker fraternity was a lunatic fringe of the much larger swap card sorority. If clearly shown the backs of my cards, the ‘swappies’ would likely far outbid the ‘jokies’.
I’d owned these jolly cards for 35 years, yet never turned them over to see the fascinating pictures on their backs.
Humbled yet again, even at play, I admitted my ignorance, conveyed my appreciation and did what I was asked.
At once, the number of eBayers watching my ad rocketed. Though bidding has yet to reach my frenzied fantasy, I’m already richer for this experience.
I’ve learned that even with something modest and small, that I’ve dealt with for decades, I can’t afford to ignore customers, take them for granted or think I know best.
This time, therefore, the jokers are on me.