Monday, November 19, 2012

Let's hear your Etsy Feedback Horror Stories!

So, yesterday I received my second instance of  non-positive -- in this case, neutral -- feedback in my Etsy shop.
The customer purchased this vintage Christmas tablecloth.  For $22.
 Tablecloths like this, of this age, are going on Etsy for two or three times the price.
This one was priced lower because it has some areas of discoloration that may or may not come out in the wash.
I felt that it was still fun and iconic, and had many uses -- either as a tablecloth or to be re-purposed into pillows, etc.
This is how my listing description read:

This is a wonderful tablecloth that is probably from the 1960s; it is white cotton with a bright red, olive-y green and metallic gold printed design. The design elements are ribbon topped and tied, stylized Christmas trees; and fancy glass decorated Christmas ornaments hanging in holly garlands. I really love it all! It is bright, cheery, and very retro!

This tablecloth has been used and bears several areas of discoloration; the low price reflects these flaws. It measures ~58.5" x 53.5". Please look closely at the photos to be sure you love it in this condition; vintage and sold as is.

Whenever someone purchases from my shop, they receive an email which contains a statement in which I ask  for their understanding because I am committed to using recycled shipping materials.  (This is not true in my handmade shop, only in my vintage shop.  In my handmade shop, I make a real effort to provide pretty packaging for my art.)  'Year-round, I package my vintage linens in plastic because I know that one ill-timed rainstorm is all it takes for cardboard box or envelope to soak through onto the purchased item.

So, I received this wonderful feedback today from the US customer for the tablecloth:

I love it! Thank you so much.

But, she also checked the box for "neutral" rather than "positive" feedback.  So, I emailed her to ask what I could have done better to garner positive feedback.  Here is her reply:

Hi,Yes I love the tablecloth.The retro design is really my favorite although you did very fast sipping for me. Thank you very much. So you wrote about the tablecloth"bears several areas of discoloration",but I feel many stain on it. I wanted to watch more zoom photo. And it was poor wrapping. I was disappointed because it'sTJ-max parasitic bag.

I will use it every Christmas! I feel a great deal of fondness for the retro Christmas tablecloth.
Thank you so much!


If I read it correctly, it seems she was unhappy that it has stains (which were photographed/described in the listing) and that it was wrapped in a plastic bag, which, although it might not be deemed real classy, was also disclosed prior to shipping.  (I am selling junque, after all!)

I find this kind of thing disheartening.  The only other non-positive feedback I've received in all my years of online selling was also on Etsy, from a woman who was disappointed that the bowls I sold her did not have lids.  Although I never said they did, showed none in the photos, gave an item count which should have told her no lids would be forthcoming, and sold them as bowls, not storage containers.

So -- those of you who sell online, tell me your favorite cracked customer stories.  I know you have them, and, especially today, I'd like to hear them!

12 comments :

Linda Sue said...

Oh DANG! I always try to contact my buyers and get a conversation going to be sure that they really want to buy my shite! AND if it is damaged in any way i try to talk them out of it...There was this one guy who bought a 'lot' of vintage jewelry and beads including lockets and watches- I just had too much so put about 25 things in a lot for about 5 bucks...he "neutral-ed" me, even though ETSY sent a "kiss and make up" note as did I ...he thought I was coming on to him and he was "married, thank you." idiot...I left him a big fat negative!

Cindy Is Crafty said...

My biggest whack job customer was a lady that I listed the wrong color for a baby dress in my post. I listed pink, but the dress was blue. All the pics were pink, though. I immediately contacted her and let her know I would cancel the auction and would refund her $5 extra for my mistake.

She then told me to cancel my other auction where I indicated everything correctly. I explained to her I couldn't as there was nothing wrong with her auction.

She then told me she wanted the pink one. I explained I didn't have it. She then dropped off the face of the earth. She didn't pay for it either so she left me in limbo for over a week.

I mad ethe mistake and felt bad so I sent her $10 as an apology via paypal. She then after she had the $10 contacted me and demanded that I give her the dress for free! I told her i would be happy to when she refunded my $10.

That went back and forth for several days. I then said you can either send me the $10 back and I will send the dress or you can keep my $10 and there will be no dress. I think the big light finally went on and she refunded my $10.

I sent her the dress and she gave me positive feedback. I held my breath for days!

Don't know if Etsy has it, but I block bidders that give me drama from my auctions so they cannot bid on them. Cause the whackos always come back!

Dont sweat a couple of neutrals as your feedback is overally positive. :O) Look at it collectively!

Marion said...

I think I'd send copies of all of these conversations to Etsy and let them determine if the rating was deserved. I think she's a bit crazy myself. You gave her a very thorough description and I think you should have gotten a positive rating. That's just not right!!! xo

PS: Have a nice Thanksgiving!!

The Junque Seeker said...

You certainly deserved a positive if she loved the tablecloth as much as she said. I can't imagine giving a negative over packaging unless the item was damaged. I had a buyer recently who apparently just joined Etsy to buy my item. He asked me to e-mail him about expedited shipping and said he was willing to pay for that. I emailed him with the info but he never responded. I paid the extra few dollars to upgrade to Priority Mail to get it to him on time - he wanted it for an event - and convoed that I was doing that and creating a custom listing for the extra postage. The package was delivered the day he wanted it, but I've heard nothing from him, nor did he pay for the shipping. Oh, well!

Marilou Bain said...

Just remember "you can't please everyone all of the time and you are doing wonderful to please just some, some of the time" that is the way I see it as no matter how hard you try there will always be a few that you could not make happy no matter what.
Happy Thanksgiving you are doing a good job!
Hugs Marilou

Linda said...

i don't seel on etsy but i buy. i think your explainations of the items is always very clear and i know if i buy vintage it may not be perfect. the wrapping was done to protest the piece and insure she received the item without damage-other seller do it also. don't see anything wrong with that. i've always had a positive experience ordering from your shop.
Happy Thanksgiving!

The Vintage Seamstress said...

I sold on ebay for years, I had my share of crazy people. I would always let it make me a nervous wreck and then one day I figured out it was funny. So I would let them go ahead and neg me and never gave in to their foolish demands, and always responded in my feedback a funny line like " rolls newspaper and smacks buyer on the nose, bad buyer...." it probably won't be your last crazy person but take em with a grain of salt, and smack em with a rolled newspaper!

autena said...

I probably escaped poor feedback and instead got(and gave)no feedback to a buyer who purchased an item right before I was leaving town for two weeks this summer. If they had paid the regular PayPal way, I would've been able to send it, but they used an e-check via PP. That takes several days to clear & they advise you not to ship until it does. So I notified the customer (a business) about all of this (my delayed shipping announcements were posted everywhere in my shop too). Never heard from them, until a week or so later, wondering where it was. I wrote and said I was out of the country,and all the rest, blah, blah, blah.

Next thing I know I get an email from someone else at the company who forwarded a nasty note from another person (presumably their boss). I think he or she didn't realize it, because the subject line was not for public viewing, if you know what I mean. Turns out they were a design firm, who needed the old camera equipment for their client, Instagram! Oops!

Felt bad about it, but if you don't read the not-so-fine-print, then buyer beware.
(we have to pay the price for it too though).

Angela said...

That was actually a tablecloth I wanted (and had favorited) but was bought before I had the $ for it! Sorry she wasn't thrilled with it, I know I would have been! :o)

Susan said...

I was upset when I got a neutral feedback on Etsy. I hadn't heard anything from the customer so I wrote and asked if there was a problem with the item and told them if they were unhappy with it I would take it back. She wrote back and said she did not want to return it. She was just in a bad mood that day and realized that the idea she was going to use my item for wasn't going to work. ??? So she gave me neutral feedback for not liking her own idea. Seriously?

Tami Hacker said...

There are always dissatisfied customers for one reason or another. Reasons that may or may not really tie to your item or business - unfortunately it happens.

When I sold on eBay, I had a similar situation. eBay backed me completely against the customer.

Although frustrating, try to keep it from upsetting you. It's not worth it.

You have a great shop! Your business is a reflection of you... fun, honest, and detailed-oriented.

Simitras Exquisite Things said...

I am in a European country and I had a buyer purchase an item for her wedding which was in 3 weeks. I warned her I could not gaurantee transit times and you guess it - the item arrived 2 days late due to customs delays at her end. I told her I was happy to accept a return but at her cost because we had done nothing wrong.

Although we had shipped in good faith within 24 hours the buyer left a neg - asserting that we (in Europe) had promised to deliver to her (in USA) in 3 DAYS. She stated she had recieved poor customer service when in fact she got prompt shipping and great communication.

She also got a return negative - the first I have even given on Etsy. It took her down to 50% while I stayed at 100%.

Nowadays I never leave feedback til the buyer does unless its one of my regulars whom I can trust to contact me first if something goes wrong.