In addition to blogging and working a full time job I also run a business at home doing custom embroidery. The majority of my business has always come from word of mouth and local customers but for awhile I sold my products on Etsy.
I belong to a couple online forums for others who embroider and aplique and on those sites I had read horror stories of Etsy Crazies. But nevertheless I opened my own online store.
I must say I did have some good customers through Etsy but the bad outweighed the good.
One such Etsy crazy ordered a custom shirt for her son’s 2nd birthday. She received the shirt and there were no complaints at first. Then about two weeks after she received the shirt I received a message from her stating how disappointed she was in the shirt because when she received it there were red stains on the front of the shirt.
Now, if I received an item and when I opened it I saw that something was wrong I would contact the seller immediately. Secondly I always take a picture of the item before packaging and shipping it. There were no red stains on the finished product when it left my house, as a matter of fact nothing on the shirt was red so it couldn’t have been thread or fabric that bled onto the shirt when washed.
Something smelled fishy so using my detective skills I visited this customers facebook page. There on her page were pictures of her child sporting this custom shirt at his birthday photo session and at his party and low and behold there were no red stains on the shirt! I did notice however, that the child’s cake had red icing and there were several pictures of his icing covered face.
Hmmmm now I wonder how those red stains got on that shirt?
If I felt that the problem was in any way my fault I would have offered to create a new shirt or issue a refuse or a free product in the future. However I knew that these mysterious red stains were not my fault. This lady just thought she was going to get a free shirt. I replied back to her message and stated that I was sorry to hear about the red stains on her child’s shirt but that the shirt was in pristine condition when it was shipped to her. She replied back again asking for a refund and insisted the stains were there when she opened the shirt.
By this point I was getting mad! I replied back and let this lady know that I saw the pictures of her child in the shirt, minus the red stains. I also suggested that possibly the stains could have come from the red icing on the cake!
Amazingly enough I never heard back from her.
She was just one of the many crazies I dealt with. It got to the point that I was spending more time dealing with crazy customers than I was actually working. That is why I decided to close my Etsy shop. I may reopen it again in the future but there are several things I will do differently next time.
Have you ever sold or bought on Etsy? I would love to hear your experiences.