We live in a free-market society, which means anyone can run a business from anywhere and compete for customers. This is a good thing, right?
Competition is healthy, as it forces companies to be accountable to the marketplace. This is good in theory and works some of the time, but the nature of modern global e-commerce undermines what should happen naturally in a free market by distancing us from the companies we buy from. Customers are steadily becoming frustrated by being put in a position of weakness in online purchases, myself included.
I run a small business, but I am also a consumer. Just like you, I ordered products this holiday season as gifts (ok, ok, and a few for myself) only to end up returning a lot of them. Some colors and styles didn’t match the pictures, the functionality was nothing like the reviews claimed it was, and a few manuals weren’t even written in English. I even spontaneously bought a few fun products off of Instagram that looked like American brands, and they showed up in a lifeless manila package labeled “Direct from China.”
The majority of all Amazon products are now coming directly from China. Items sent right to Amazon warehouses meant to undercut American sellers with untested, cheap products. These are big, faceless factories flooding the market, providing no customer service, and buying inauthentic reviews to sell products they have no emotional or intellectual connection to. It’s frustrating both as a business owner and a consumer to operate within a system that seems increasingly rigged against the customer.
But there is good news: Our customers do care that we live and breathe our brand and stand behind our products no matter what. When you email or call us, you talk to a real person in our Seattle office (probably Joanna, Simon, or Dave) who can answer any question you have. We don’t read scripts or put you on hold and hope you go away. We respond to every social media comment, email as quickly as possible, and never rest until your issue is resolved.
A friend recently asked me, “Hey, Dave, you run an online business that also sells on Amazon. How do you avoid buying garbage?” That was an easy answer: “Make sure they are earning your money, the way Guardline earns theirs.”
We’re not just earning your money when you buy our products. We’re earning it when you reach out with a question or concern and we solve it. We’re earning it when we produce weekly tech tip videos to help you get the most out of your system. We earn it when we partner with true and passionate fans to help us promote our products.
2020 should be the start of a decade where brand promises matter again. What you buy should come with an agreement of trust and should be the beginning of your relationship with that brand. Invest your time and money into the people willing to invest in you, and who are actively trying to earn your business with more than just an advertisement or the cheapest price. We can’t stop the anonymous factories from churning out junk and marketing it as something it’s not, but we can keep earning your trust every day.
If you’d like to know more about our #1 driveway alarm and outdoor motion sensor, visit our product page. Have a question about any of our products or simply want to let us know how we’re doing? Reach out to our American-based support at any time.
Until next time, be safe…