Help me respond to this.

21 posts / 0 new
Last post
AnnaRO's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033
Help me respond to this.

I received the following message regarding an Etsy sale for a child sized ring sling.

Anna,

I was so happy to receive your sling today. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the tape off so I had to snip the corner of the package which cut directly into the sling. I did not know this was not wrapped in something else, so now there is a huge hole in the sling.

Can we work something out?

Last week I accepted a return for a full refund because a lady who ordered a child sized ring sling didn't pay attention to the measurements of the sling and apparently wanted it for an older child so it didn't fit. She made a stink about the cost of shipping and so I took the hit and refunded the full price, which means I lost out on about $10 worth of shipping costs plus paypal fees. Anyway, I'm really not interested in losing more money because she didn't like how it was packaged and because she was careless and cut a hole in it. I'm offended by her email, honestly. Am I out of line? Do you think I'm obligated to 'work something out?'

I guess this is the end of my Etsy store.

cactuswren's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

That is so annoying--don't let it be the end of your Etsy store just because a couple of people are dumb, though! Maybe just put a disclaimer on there. In my opinion, you are well within your rights just to tell her sorry, she's out of luck. If you're really feeling nice, you could email her and basically say it's not your fault she doesn't know how to open packaging (?!) but if she wants to mail it back to you at her cost you will send her a new one for just the cost of shipping. That's about as far as I'd go, though, and I don't even think you need to do that.

Really. Come on, people.

BuckeyeK's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

Offer her 20% off on her next purchase :evil:

BuckeyeK's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

If she was able to cut into the fabric, she should have felt some resistance and realized she wasn't just cutting a bubble envelope. :roll:

momW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

if SHE pays to ship it back, is it something you can fix?

AnnaRO's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

She also used the term "huge hole". Huge? Did you cut the package in half?

cactuswren's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

I know. I'm thinking it sounds pretty ridiculous.

TiggersMommy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

This isn't the end of your Etsy store. You're simply discovering that most people are morons. A lot of what makes Etsy great is the personal touch. I know that when I buy something I'm buying from a real person. A real person who will understand if I make reasonable human mistakes. I often buy from sellers I've heard good things about and I always talk up the sellers I've enjoyed buying from.

So, I think that in order to keep up a good reputation you have to eat it. Build the cost of what you eat into the price of future items. I think you are SERIOUSLY underselling yourself on some of the items you're selling. Learn from these "complaints" and safe guard yourself. Have Lyla model the slings so people can gauge the real size. Package things in those bags with the pull rip thingy. Put the dimensions in BIG HONKING FONT. Develop a return policy.

cactuswren's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

"TiggersMommy" wrote:

This isn't the end of your Etsy store. You're simply discovering that most people are morons. A lot of what makes Etsy great is the personal touch. I know that when I buy something I'm buying from a real person. A real person who will understand if I make reasonable human mistakes. I often buy from sellers I've heard good things about and I always talk up the sellers I've enjoyed buying from.

So, I think that in order to keep up a good reputation you have to eat it. Build the cost of what you eat into the price of future items. I think you are SERIOUSLY underselling yourself on some of the items you're selling. Learn from these "complaints" and safe guard yourself. Have Lyla model the slings so people can gauge the real size. Package things in those bags with the pull rip thingy. Put the dimensions in BIG HONKING FONT. Develop a return policy.

I disagree. I agree about all of it except entirely eating it. If *I* made a mistake and the person was nice enough to say they'd repair it for the cost of shipping, I would think that was totally reasonable.

AnnaRO's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

"momW" wrote:

if SHE pays to ship it back, is it something you can fix?

I'm moving on Friday, so all my stuff is packed up. I have no idea how long it's going to take for me to be settled enough to get my sewing stuff back out. I'm sure I'd have to replace it entirely, which means double the labor. My prices are so low that my profit margins are nearly non existent because I was just trying to build up clientele to establish myself. So if I did replace it, it would be at a loss after the cost of fabric and then to ship it back again.

TiggersMommy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

So maybe don't eat it but meet her halfway. Certainly don't tell her to go F herself. Make sure you tell her that its going to take you awhile and perhaps not get there before Xmas.

AnnaRO's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

This just comes at a seriously bad time. I would have to tell her to ship it back to my new address, and I'm not sure she's intelligent enough to handle that much (sorry, that was mean, but come on!) And I'm not sure I have any more of that fabric either, That particular fabric was rather high end and I don't think I have enough to make another one, not to mention that I'd feel obligated to scramble to set up my sewing stuff in the middle of a huge move, especially if this is something she's wanting for Christmas. . .

I do agree Erin, that IF I reopen my store, I'll have a very explicit return policy and really beat the dimensions into people in the description. And apparently I also need a disclaimer about packaging now too! Gah!!!

momW's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

Maybe talk to her and tell her about your move first and foremost. Try explaining to her that your profit margin is uber low (possibly with a colorful chart so she can keep up LOL) and that you'd love to do xyz (whatever you think you can offer and yes, you'll probably have to "eat" some of it but if it keeps a customer happy, then sometimes you just have to do that) but you cannot do it until after Christmas because you were not planning to do any sewing during the move. And see what she says. She may be fine with it and just happy to have you help her any way you can. She probably feels like an idiot.

AnnaRO's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

Here is my reply. Now I have to go figure out what box I packed that other sling into. Ugh, I bet it's buried in the bottom of the mountain of boxes.
ETA: I attached a copy of the sling I'm offering as replacement.

I'm sorry to hear that you inadvertently damaged the sling. Unfortunately, this comes at a difficult time for me personally as I am in the process of moving to a new town and attempting to get ready for Christmas traveling. Due to the move, I have temporarily closed my shop and packed away all of my sewing supplies and merchandise. I certainly do understand that mistakes happen and my goal is happy customers. I try to offer quality items at a low price, so I make almost no profit on my stuff, therefore accepting returns means I immediately lose money. Though I would not ordinarily accept returns for an item that is damaged in transit or by a customer, I am willing to try working this out.

I don't know if you noticed it when you purchased the sling you bought, but I had another made of the same fabric, but with red trim instead of grey. I would be willing to exchange it if you will return the damaged sling to me immediately. If this is good with you, then please send back the damaged item and once you email me the tracking number, I will immediately mail out the other sling to you. This way if you need it before Christmas it will still arrive in time. Please reply to let me know if this will work for you.

abacaxi's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 02/27/10
Posts: 363

I know I'm late to this thread, but I just wanted to add that if this happens in the future, please just offer to repair it if she returns it at her cost. You shouldn't have to accept a return when a customer cut the sling.

If she does send it back to you, and it is badly damaged, maybe you can cut it down into a child size and sell it to someone else?

And in regard to the other customer who didn't read the dimensions, you should have made her pay for the return shipping. It isn't your fault people are illiterate. You've got to take a stand and not let people bully you. What's the worst that can happen, negative feedback? Personally, I always read the negative feedback on Etsy sellers to see if it is something I should be concerned about, and when it's things like "I wasn't expecting the product to be this size" then I just assume the buyer is an idiot and don't hold that feedback against the seller.

stacymh's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: 03/16/10
Posts: 1807

That email you responded with seemed very reasonable. I do hope you are not planning on closing your shop entirely because of stupidity of other customers. It is understandable if you needed to close for a few months while moving, Christmas, etc. I agree with Sara, you can tell from feedback, even negative, if something is the seller's fault, or if the customer is stupid or just never pleased. Good luck.

gardenbug's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

Also, some customers feel that trying for a free replacement is always worth a try - but they don't really expect too much and don't follow up in the end. You may not hear back at all.

jolly11sd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

I think you offered a really nice reply.

In the future just be really firm on your policy. If they went to a IRL store and tried to explain that they cut a hole in the thing while taking off the tag then they'd be SOL. I can see doing a whatever % discount on a new item if they sent the old one back and wanted to purchase a new one. But even that is being really generous. And yes, up your prices some to pad when things like this happen. I had to learn to stand my ground in business because a kind heart sometimes get taken advantage of.

BuckeyeK's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

I think you handled it much more nicely than I would have. lol
The only other thing I would have suggested is maybe if she paid for shipping to and from you, that maybe you could patch it. Something cutesie or with her kid's initial or something. Since it is a kid's sling ring, it wouldn't have to be as sturdy as a sling that was going to actually hold a baby.

alwayssmile's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

Ditto that you're nicer than I would have been.
I wouldn't ever expect a seller to fix or replace an item free for my mistake.

Charge more and set some policies. ((hugs))

AnnaRO's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

One reason I felt I had to handle it this way despite how peeved I am about it is because I didn't have any policies posted in my shop. That has been corrected so that I won't feel obligated to do this again for the next idiot. It now clearly states that I am not fond of returns but will work with my customers to keep them happy if there is an actual issue. It also states that any shipping for returns will be on the buyer and advises my buyers to pay attention to item descriptions as they include measurements for all my products and that I am not responsible for items damaged by the buyer after I've shipped!

I think what really gets my goat about this lady is that the tone of her email insinuates that it's my fault she cut her sling because of the packaging. I should thank her for setting me straight about making sure my policies are well defined.