Capitol City Visit

Capitol City Visit
Madison Wisconsin

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I now have the plague!

I Now Have the Plague!

Warning: this is a little heavy for a bright Wednesday morning. Feel free to read my previous post on Earth Day instead, if you don't want to read this! Thanks!

Two days after receiving my first and only, negative feedback on Etsy, I now feel like I have the plague! My shop views are down and I have not had a sale since that 99% has been posted as my feedback rating. The heck with the 170+ sales I've had with 100% feedback AND some great customer satisfaction comments! I know etsy has a policy about not calling out. I am not doing that. However, since this is my blog and etsy does not give me, the seller, a chance to explain my negative feedback, I feel compelled to do it here.

Okay, what happened you ask? Well, a necklace I made broke shortly after the customer received it! Obviously, that should NOT happen and I do feel terrible about it. But, let's face it making is an art and occasionally, and I do mean RARELY, something untoward happens to a piece after the customer has it in their possession. IF the customer would let me, I would do anything and everything to correct this for them. I initiated a kiss and make up (after I figured out how to do it) and offered to repair the necklace free of charge or offer a FULL refund. That was two days ago, I have not heard from the buyer. Apparently, I am stuck with the 99%. This basically amounts to a scarlet letter on etsy, since virtually all of the shops have 100% feedback. The 99% is glaring, my eyes automatically go to it upon opening my page.

What I am really frustrated about is that all the extra work I put into this sale (YES, the one I received negative feedback for) is not visible to potential customers at all! This was not an ordinary sale...........I went above and beyond for this customer (as I do for all my customers).

You see this person contacted me about the piece of jewelry that she liked. However, she revealed several things to me;

1) she could not purchase it right away
2) she needed it about 4-5 inches longer and told me what SHE would pay me to make that happen ($2.00 extra dollars).
3) she wanted it for a special occasion

Well, anxious to please and make a sale, I told her that I had checked my supplies and could remake the necklace at her desired length AND do it for the $2.00 she suggested. So, I set to work. I had the necklace done well before she said she would return and buy it (April 1st).
I made several fatal errors here in judgement, obviously. The most important of which is that I didn't value my time in remaking the necklace. $2.00 wasn't going to do it. But, I agreed, and that was that. I didn't say another word about it.

Well, April 1st came and went. I posted the RESERVED listing and finally, after several days of worry about what I had done and a convo or two telling her it was ready, she came back and bought the necklace! I had to hold the necklace until she arrived in her new home, across the country! I did so, willingly. Once, there she notified me of the address to send the piece to. I did so immediately.

And that's the story folks. I had heard nothing from her until the negative feedback was posted two days ago, delivering the dreaded plague with it! As you can see this was not just an ordinary transaction! It was a transaction that I worked hard to accomplish for the specified desires of the buyer. I know her necklace is broken. As I said, I would fix it or refund her money, IF she would only let me. But, I guess that's not what she wants. I now have the plague and that may be more satisfactory to her (or maybe she doesn't even realize this).

All is not lost, however! I have learned several important lessons from this experience. Number one is that I will no longer remake a piece for a customer. I will make a NEW piece as a custom order, if a similar piece is desired. I will also demand payment up front (before I do any work). And I will pursue by own website......I actually have one but I will be setting up a meeting with a computer expert to optimize my SEO for it.

Interestingly enough, I found a thread on etsy that is asking them to look at the feedback system and revise it so that perhaps some of the burden placed on the seller is relieved. If you have more interest in this you can check here;

Finally, now that I have purged my feelings about this unsatisfactory experience (and I thank you for listening), I will move on...........I have a show this weekend and am hoping that restores my faith in the buying public. I do have a 100% satisfaction guarentee and will do everything I can to deliver that to the customer. I take solace in the fact that many, many of my customers are repeat buyers. Several have returned to my shop within days of receiving the jewelry they purchased from me to buy another beautiful and yes, high quality piece!

So, all I am asking for is that people look beyond the 99% satisfaction feedback and not be afraid to buy from my shop! Truly, I do not have the plague!!!!! I will satisfy the customer 100% of the time (as long as they let me)!!!

Thanks for listening! Have a great week!


  1. I am SO sorry to hear this! I have been dreading the day I get negative feedback from someone. It is kinda scary.

    Hopefully she is just busy and hasn't seen your kiss and make-up request yet. Crossing my fingers for ya! :-)


  2. Carol, I'm so sorry you had this unhappy experience with what sounds to me like an unreasonable buyer. I hope by our next Blog Day, you'll be able to report that you heard back from her and have Kissed and Made Up!!!

  3. So sorry about the feedback! Unfortunately some people just aren't happy with anything. Etsy really does need to fix the feedback system - but you know how well they listen to the sellers :(

  4. Don't worry so much there are some top sellers on Etsy who dont have 100% positive. I think we sellers are making a mistake to feel held hostage by the feedback system.
    Plus it will return to 100% when you get more sales and good feedback.

  5. I'm sorry to hear that. Try not to worry to much. I know there are a lot of us out there who have received a negative one. I had one in my other shop.

  6. Thanks for all the supportive comments! I knew I would get some from this great group! My husband doesn't want me to worry about it or think about it at all......he doesn't think it should matter (he's against feedback of either kind).

    Anyone know of other shops without 100%......I've tried looking for them, but can't find any! Thanks. I know that eventually (somewhere I read at 200, I will be able to get back to 100% with more sales and feedback). I am hoping that is true!

    Thanks, again. Keep posting. I'll be back later to read yours! :)

  7. Hope it gets better soon! I am there with you.

  8. it's been just 2 days - I hope you get to a satisfying agreement soon! You can always start a new shop on Etsy too if it doesn't work out...

  9. So sorry that this happened to you! I had one neutral comment from a customer who said she hadn't received an item --- then she realized she actually did!!! I initiated a kiss and make up, even though it was her mistake, but she has yet to accept it, so I'm stuck with that neutral. It stinks!!!! :( Oh well, we all know your work is awesome!

  10. I consider 99% an excellent score and a sign of a trustworthy shop. We ALL know that you can not please everyone all the time and there will always be that one-off, unreasonable person to deal with.

    Shake it off and keep on with the beautiful work you are doing!

  11. What I difficult customer!
    I hope it will be fixed with her.

    99 % is a great score!
    I often order from shops with 97%, 98% and 99 % score. :)

  12. im sorry to hear about your horrible experience. Unfortunately, it happens and you cant blame yourself for it. you offered to have to replaced and/or refunded and the seller isnt "nice" enough to work with you. 99% isnt bad at all. anything under 90% would be a problem haha~ cheer up. Your jewelry is amazing. Keep your chin up itll make you stronger.

  13. sorry to hear about this!! 99% is still great, it stinks that things have been quiet since though :(

  14. So sorry to hear that, but I think you are worrying too much about the impact it has:) 99% feedback is still excellent and if you have 170+ sales with positive feedback, then personally I figure the 1 negative is a picky or weird customer. I wouldn't shy away from purchasing from you from 1 negative feedback!

  15. That is terrible! I hope you hear back from her...and hey, maybe you don't have the plaque..maybe everyone is still broke after paying taxes >.<

  16. I am very sorry that happened to you. I wonder if she even knows about kiss & make up. I hope buyers will look at your 170 positive feedback and realize that there is nothing that last forever and everything breaks. Good luck!

  17. Aww that stinks :( But once you get a few more good ones it will bounce back :) Hope you get a chance to get it fixed

  18. Oh that is horrible...sorry this happened to you but it sounds like you did all you they say you can not make everyone happy!!

  19. Wow, that's tough. Some customers are so hard to please! Sometimes it's more worth it to let a sale go :( Good luck and I hope the customer responds to your kiss and make up offer.

  20. I feel really bad for your situation. I used to be on Etsy, first as a jewelry artist and then as a jewelry supply shop. I never got negative feedback from anyone, but, I do remember a couple of items breaking and me repairing them at no charge including shipping. Stuff happens. Wonder what happens to the jewelry people buy from big box stores that breaks. There is no one there to repair it for them. There are always going to be irritable customers no matter what you do for them. So, that said, you "be the better person". That way you will have no regrets in the end. Good luck with your shop. Best Regards.

    Rosemary, Garden Gate Designs

  21. so sorry to hear about this bad situation in your shop but I think you have to left your chin up with your stunning jewelry! Keep up the good work.
    Lovely Orange donut necklace:)