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Breaking Customers Privacy?

Contacting one or two of my clients customers...

     
2:05 pm on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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As the webmaster to a growing online shop, I have access to all the admin side of the shop, ie customer orders, their details etc.

The shop deals with both retail and trade customers. Trade customers give their website as part of their sign up details, and I often have a nose, just to see what our "resellers" are up too. This helps me feed back ideas etc to my client and also helps track down people using our pictures etc without our permission.

The majority of the websites I see are very amateur and some could profit enourmously from a decent online shop.

With my clients permission, I'd like to approach one or two or them regarding building them such a site.

However do you think this would be inappropriate? Technically my client would be parsing on his customers details to a third party company. Our privacy policy does state "We will never give this information out to other companies or individuals without your approval." so maybe this is a no no

How do you suggest I go about this? Should I just forget the idea altogether, or do you think it would be appropriate for my client to contact the customer on my behalf asking permission to supply me his email address?

Any thoughts would me much appreciated, sorry for the essay ;)

Thanks

12:34 am on May 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If your client has no problem with it, why not ask him to "recommend" you to them? This way it seems that he is simply offering them it and if they want they can decline, without feeling that this trust has been broken.

I found myself in a similar position two times, and I just contacted that customer and told them my proposal without even mentioning how I found them.

1:03 pm on May 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'd be cautious. The end result is several well-optimized websites selling the same products. When the resellers own many of the SERPS, it gives the resellers a lot of leverage to bully the original retailer.
5:47 pm on May 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your comments.

I think the "recommendation" is the safest way to go, although this may not create the right angle. Something to think about.

The customers I'm chosing are selling completely different products.
To the point I wondered why they had even signed up for the trade accounts in the first place...

The site would look completely different to the end user, as my code works just as the core eccommerce engine with the site on top.