Feedback 10/05

4 min read

This story appears in the October 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Accidental Readers
I read your editorial about liars ("Editor's Note," August) and have only one question: Entrepreneur magazine has a competitor? Someone might be selling magazines in the same field, but I find your magazine actually has no competition.

I came about my subscription in an odd fashion: After purchasing a magazine subscription from a teenager selling door-to-door, we found that he [actually] did not carry the magazine we ordered. So after receiving two different lists from the parent corporation, we "settled" for a two-year subscription to Entrepreneur.

My wife has spent her whole career in banking, and now that she's near retirement, she has her heart set on a restaurant catering to seniors--which is why we "settled" for your magazine.

[Now], after receiving your magazine, I let it sit for at least a week, because once I pick it up, I don't put it down until I've read it cover to cover, generally several times through. Then what do I have to read for the remainder of the month? Keep up the great work.

Jim Waldrep

Attention, Podcast Fans!
I enjoyed Gwen Moran's article, "Peas in a Podcast" ("Forward," July), and no sooner did I read it than I secured my first sponsor for my Enlightened Spartan podcast. As the first college football podcast in the world, the ES podcast features rants and raves about Michigan State Spartan football from a superfan's point of view. Though I have found a tight niche, the podcast draws from around the globe, with subscribers from Norway, the Persian Gulf and Thailand, among other [places]. The podcast has brought more advertisers to the ES website, generating direct dollars in sponsorship and greater advertising revenue.

All in all, not only do podcasts provide an opportunity to get the word out about your product, but they provide real revenue opportunities. Entrepreneurs should get into the act both by creating podcasts and by advertising their products on podcasts. As a brand-new medium that is not going away, it's about the best value for your dollar.

Scott Hirko
Owner and podcaster
The Enlightened Spartan
East Lansing, Michigan

Negative Ramifications
In reference to "eBay Made Easy" by Cliff Ennico (May), I must, as a longtime seller, implore you to correct a statement made in the article: "Unfortunately, some customers will threaten to leave negative feedback if you don't do what they want, even if they are being unreasonable. Most of the time, you're best advised to meet their demands because 'the customer is always right,' and because you want to avoid negative feedback on eBay at all costs."

This is totally incorrect information and dangerous to the eBay community. What Ennico states is equivalent to bowing down before a blackmailer.

As a frequent poster on eBay's Community help boards, I see these instances often. People truly believe that with negative feedback, their eBay careers are ruined. That is simply not the case for those given negatives due to threats or bullying. I am shocked that you would incorporate this very idea into an otherwise well-written article.

To know what it really takes to sell on eBay, come by the eBay discussion boards and read the situations other users bring to these boards every day. Without payment, we give the best advice on eBay to anyone who requests it.

Ruth West
Oswego, Illinois

Cliff Ennico responds:The situation the reader refers to, in which a buyer unfairly leaves negative feedback, is one sellers should absolutely contest--eBay has some excellent resources for that. However, in the article, I was focusing on the need to avoid negative feedback in the first place by doing all you can to keep the customer satisfied, even if the customer is a little unreasonable, unsophisticated or immature, and even if you occasionally have to let the buyer out of a transaction and post the item again to avoid negative feedback.

Clarification: M5 Networks' PR agency ("Say It Isn't So," August) is New York City-based Euro RSCG Magnet.

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