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 folks......jewelry 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! BUT........now 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!