Official Blog of the Tophatter Auction House
I’m a huge fan of the Bath & Beauty and Bon Appetit auctions! Not only are the products great, but the Sellers are too! I did, however, notice one thing I wanted to ask about. When I was reading the descriptions of the items in those auctions, I saw that they list ingredients & allergens their foods (hello, peanuts!) or products? Should I do that for all items that come from my house, even though my items are Jewelry? I have an Alaskan Malamute that sheds enough to make a whole other dog, and my teenager sometimes likes to be a rebel and smoke in the house. Should I mention that in my listings too?
Worried in Waukesha
What a great question to ask! It is only required to note allergens for the Bath & Beauty and Edibles (Bon Appetit & Gourmet) auctions. This is especially important because of the severe reactions that some people can have when exposed to things like peanuts. I’ve also seen some diabetic and gluten-free offerings in the Edibles auctions, which I think is great. Just because your body doesn’t process sugars properly doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a treat now and then!
So, in response to your questions, I think that would be a great idea to note in your listings whether your items are from a pet-friendly and mostly smoke-free home or not. I took a quick look online and was surprised to find that so many people in the US are allergic to dog and/or cat dander.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America,“Allergies to pets with fur or feathers are common, especially among people who have other allergies or asthma. From 15 percent to 30 percent of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs.People with dog allergies may be allergic to all dogs or to only some breeds. Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies.”
A lot of people know me as a “crazy cat lady” with 6 cats and 1 dog…and I’m allergic to them. But, my allergy is not severe and I only really feel the effects when they all shed heavily. So, in that sense, I’m really lucky. On the other hand, some people have really awful and serious allergies to dogs and cats, and knowing that you have an animal-friendly home could really help! If you only have a dog, you could say dog-friendly. That way, people who only have cat allergies can still purchase your items.
As for cigarette/cigar smoke, that’s useful information for those who already have other allergies. I’m sure we’ve all heard people say that they are allergic to cigarette smoke. Technically, that’s not true. They could be allergic to a component of cigarette smoke, or it could just be that secondhand smoke is a known irritant to existing allergies, as published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The study confirmed what many had suspected: "Secondhand smoke can exacerbate allergic responses and…patients with allergies should avoid tobacco smoke.”
So, noting that your items come from a “sometimes” or infrequently smoking home could be very beneficial information for someone who has bad allergies or asthma or has a child with those problems. If adding that note can prevent an allergy and/or asthma attack, then you’ve done a great thing!
Overall, include whatever information you can in your listings so that everyone can make a more informed decision about purchasing an item. Buyers will find you a trustworthy and professional seller. I know I’ve unknowingly purchased items from a smoking home, and I just remind myself to set the package aside to air out a little bit before I use it. But, if I’d known ahead of time, I could have stopped by the garage to open the package & let it air out.
Thanks for being so thoughtful when it comes to your fellow Tophatters!