For the past week or so, I've been on a number of merchant sites, communicating with different dealers from around the world.
Truly, there are many kinds - there are some who are friendly and chatty and others who are purely business-like with no room for small talk; some who are quick to reply and others who take a long time; some who are accommodating to requests and others who refuse to make any changes.
It's quite an experience to talk to them and I learned that, above all else, clarity in communication is very important, since many of them do not speak English as a first language though they do try hard.
The other thing I learned is that timing is crucial. Sometimes, the timing needs to be gotten just right in order to strike a good deal for both parties. For example, I managed to get a delivery of some gems that I bought through the overseas dealer's Singaporean friend who happened to be coming back to Singapore the next day. I didn't have to pay shipping or fund transfer fees! It's hard to predict such things, but when they do happen, everybody is happy.
Clarity and timing. My two takeaways from this week.