Marketing Mythbusting : Caveat Emptor

For ages, we’ve heard  the phrase Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware. And for years, it has been true. It was up to the customer to do the due diligence. If you were not careful, you would be taken for everything you had, and there was nothing to be done about it.

Boy, have things changed now! Its understood that goods are returnable if proven faulty. Warranties are the rule rather than the exception. Department stores have policies in place that make it easier for you to return products.

So, how does it affect the small business person?

  • Well, it has upped the ante for you. If you are selling a product, the onus is on you to make sure that your product is faultless; or its coming back to the store.
  • Even when people deal with faceless websites, they expect free shipping even on returns.
  • Your customers expect only the best quality checked products; anything less is frustrating and disheartening. They feel cheated.
  • Customers look for exemplary service, anything less is business suicide.
  • Buyers have learnt not to worry. They know they can return it if your product isn’t up to the mark.

This is a paradigm shift as far as the customer mindset goes; and you and me better learn to adapt. The only other option is to perish and there are many examples around us of businesses that perished because they did not rise the customers expectations.

So what do you do as a small business?


  1. Explain in clear terms what your customers should expect.
  2. Explain the effort you have put into making your product stand out.
  3. Explain why your product is better compared to the competition.
  4. Explain how you stand behind your claims.
  5. Explain what you will do if your customer is unsatisfied.
  6. Provide exemplary service; go above and beyond; don’t cut corners.
  7. Expect to satisfy every customer that buys your product.
  8. Finally, keep your promise – accept a returned good and provide a refund without whining or misgivings! 

The positive effects from this are two-fold:

  1.  Word spreads that you stand behind your product; and that you keep your word. More people learn that its good business to be in business with you.
  2. The customers you treat fairly will feel the need to reciprocate and will bring you more of their business.

Follow the  few rules of Customer Satisfaction above and you will see your business grow and keep on growing.  

Here’s a similar post : How to make your customers feel special.

To Greater Profits Every Day,

Deep Janardhanan, Noble River Marketing.


Noble River Marketing is a full service Marketing Agency in Richmond,Va providing consultancy services to growing businesses in Richmond and suburban areas.

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