The importance of trust in a retail transaction

Earlier this month I decided to bite the bullet and do something I had always wanted to do and learn the saxophone. Of course with only a recorder from my school days to my name this involved a few hours surfing the net to find out what I should buy and where I should get it from. Having found the perfect option online that offered a hire deal and purchase option as well as interest free credit at the end I thought I’d found my place –  and therefore felt a little cheeky a few days later going into a local music store for a little extra advice.

But the music store reminded me that the internet isn’t always the best. Everyone in the store knew that as soon as I put the sax to my lips I wasn’t going to leave empty handed. But perhaps the most amazing part of the experience was that it reminded me of the one element that is often lacking in today’s environment – that of trust.

The sax I came home with is also on a hire option and so I walked out of the store carrying a product worth hundreds of pounds for which I had only paid a fraction of the price. And yet there was no double checking of the address I’d provided, no request for direct debit details or any other means of securing my ultimate payment. Instead the shop owner let me go with only a carbon copy of a hire form as his assurance I would be back within three months to either return or buy the product. It seems such a simple gesture – perhaps a foolhardy one – but in a world where retailers can sometimes treat every shopper as suspicious it was a hugely powerful one. And that shopowner can be assured I will be back very soon.

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