“MINE SIS!” — an expression that has now become iconic and meme-worthy thanks to the rise of online selling. Any avid online buyer would know the glory that comes with successfully “mining” a much-coveted item. Sellers, too, rejoice when their paninda get sold out in just a single posting or live selling session. But here’s something “miners” and sellers don’t talk about: live selling anxiety.
Ano raw?! I don’t even know if that’s a legit thing, but I’m sure I’m not alone. At one point, the thought of racing against time and other “miners” on live selling platforms (usually Instagram or Facebook) had me sweating! I call these live selling gigs “mine wars” just because they feel like battlefields filled with eager “miners” ready to pounce, fingers poised to type “MINE” at lightning speed.
Yet ironic how, as I write this, I am revelling in sheer glee because I just won a raffle prize from a Facebook live selling hosted by my tried and tested Benguet succulents source. And so while I wait for my big, beautiful Echeveria Luella to arrive, allow me to flesh out the things that trigger live selling anxiety for buyers like you and me; and how we’ll still dive right into it anyway if given enough incentive. Bonus: We’re throwing in a few tips to combat live selling anxiety — for budol’s sake, and for the sake of supporting Filipino online sellers who do it.
Live selling anxiety triggers
Privacy goes out the window
I’m the type of person who prefers making purchases in private. That said, live selling just makes me feel too seen. Every comment you make is viewable to everyone paying attention to the ongoing live selling session, and will still be there when the re-watchable video is posted. To those hiding purchases from parents and partners wanting you to save more: You know the struggle to keep yourself in stealth mode is real.
Naturally, the first realisation that dawned on me was: OMG, everyone knows what I’m buying. In my introverted, overimaginative mind, a spotlight shines on anyone who types “mine” during live selling; that’s right, all eyes on you while making a conscious decision to spend money. Yikes.
Even inquiries are made more complicated for self-conscious customers who brave online live selling. With everyone seeing your questions asked in real-time, it’s easy to overthink. In fact, I end up not asking any questions after talking myself out of it.
“Nakakahiya ba yung tanong ko?”
“Will people judge me for being too nitpicky?”
“Will they get irritated that I’m ruining their ‘mining’ spree with all my follow-up queries?”
“Does my question even make sense?”
“Natanong na kaya ito?”
And the list goes on.
FOMO is real
The lack of privacy in live selling goes both ways. You also witness what other customers are running after, which intensifies FOMO or the fear of missing out. I get so worked up when I see an item getting hyped — even when I didn’t want it to begin with. The more people “mine” on an item, the more curious we get about it. Kailangan ko rin ba yan in my life?
Therefore, the budol force is strong in live selling. Sometimes, the excitement makes for quite a thrilling shopping experience; other times, it’s just anxiety-inducing.
Buyers are under time & peer pressure
Then, there’s the factor that is time pressure. Live selling sessions last for how long or short sellers want them to be. Because we have no idea how long the item on display will be available, we as customers feel, more than ever, that we are under time pressure to decide if we’re buying it or not. They can also clash with your schedule for the day, so there’s the possibility that you might miss the live selling altogether.
Add to that the thrill (or threat, depending on how you see it) of having other “miners” around eyeing the same things you want. This is why speed is crucial in “live buying.” The faster you type mine, the bigger your chances of taking the item home. You could say that time pressure hastens our decision process. It also empowers us as consumers to take what we want with conviction.
Then again, sometimes, we’re just swayed by the desires of other people. Charge it to budol; or call it peer pressure if you want. I once found myself gutted for an entire evening after finding out that someone had “mined” a plant I’d been eyeing for days. Sadly, the greenhouse had only one item in stock, and teaser posts had me drooling all week. I even set aside the budget for it. But my Internet connection refreshed the page too slowly. And I could see the victor who “mined” it successfully was a worthy Earth-loving opponent. Enter the green-eyed monster, whom I had to pacify with a huge mug of coffee. You know what they say, you always want what you can’t have.
You’re only as good as your Internet connection
Speaking of Internet connection, this brings me to my next point — and one that truly triggers live selling anxiety. At the end of the day, you’re only as good as your Internet connection. You can be on your toes, refresh pages again and again, but if your Internet connection makes you slow, you lose the game. It’s as simple as that.
Overcome live selling anxiety
So, whether you’re prone to jitters or just really value privacy, joining live selling groups and sessions can be an emotional rollercoaster ride. The only reason why I finally overcame my aversion to it was because a local seller I wanted to support held live selling sessions. (Shameless plug: #LoveLocal!) So here are a few tips to get past your initial reluctance:
- Focus on the positives. What are the pros of buying from live selling? You can see the item from all angles and could get a more accurate idea of its physical appearance. No more surprises when it gets delivered to your doorstep! Aside from that, live selling gives you the chance to build rapport with your seller as his or her suki because it’s as close to actual interaction as you can get in these times of virtual everything.
- If you’re feeling super self-conscious, try not to focus too much on yourself. Chances are your fellow customers are out to secure their own purchases, so don’t dwell on the fact that they may be watching your every move. Trust me, they aren’t. In fact, you might make random friends while on a “mining” spree because you always “see” each other when your go-to seller goes live.
- Remember that you have rights as a consumer or client! It’s okay to keep asking questions. You might be helping others who are wondering the same thing, after all.
- Have a backup Internet connection just in case your primary WiFi or data doesn’t make the cut.
- If you’re out to really go after an item from a seller you like, sit down and take the time to pay attention to what’s being offered. You don’t need to finish the entire session; as soon as you “mine” what you want, you can go ahead and stop viewing to resist added budol.
- Lastly, don’t sweat it. If you successfully “mine” an item, great! If you don’t, there’s always next time. We don’t always get what we want, right?
‘Live buying’: embracing the good and the anxiety-inducing
I won’t lie; I still get bouts of live selling anxiety every now and then. If it’s really not your thing, there are many local sellers who still post items for sale or pre-order. All of them will accommodate inquiries and requests via direct message — yes, even the ones who rely on live videos.
To sellers, please don’t get tired of your introverted, privacy-loving, worrywart customers. I assure you, we tend to be the most loyal clients because we aren’t fond of talking to many people online. And to customers like me, step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. I often compromise for sellers that I trust. If I like them and their products enough, I will dive headfirst into any live selling session, fingers poised to “mine” away because they’re worth it. Happy shopping!