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Topic: Buyer Frustrated With Communication.  (Read 2351 times)
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Teresa_T
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« on: December 10, 2010 12:30:21 AM »

I'm an Etsy buyer only. I've talked about how much communication means to me on a couple of threads.

Recently I found an item on Etsy I really liked. The seller had a low feedback rating for her number of sales so I sent her a convo about it. I asked if she smoked etc. I got a nice convo back from her and she stated she took pride in her items and didn't know why her feedback was so low. She didn't smoke. I purchased the item and sent her another convo, thanking her for her reply and stating I had bought the item. A smaller painting. It wasn't very expensive.

No reply back.

I received the painting quickly, in a nice bubble envelope but without any other protection. Since it was on stretched canvas, I was lucky it didn't get damaged.

Left her good feedback. Sent her a convo telling her how much I liked the painting, that I would purchase from her again and hoped her feedback grew.

No reply back.

She had a nice item, other things I liked but I deleted her shop from my favorites. She lost a return customer.

Any thoughts. Am I being too sensitive. She did leave me feedback but ignoring my convo after I communicated with her just really gets to me. I feel like sending her a message stating she lost a return customer but I don't like to be confrontational. Or mean. I know it's a busy time of year but if you are that busy, close your shop for a time.
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Eliea
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010 05:32:40 AM »

Maybe she just didn't have anything to say.

Or perhaps she did something I'm guilty of and read the convo in her email and thought she replied but never did. I do that all the time.
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Teresa_T
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010 12:00:54 PM »

I'm sure she could have thought of something to say.

It's just too bad, that this seller lost a basically guaranteed return customer based on her poor communication.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010 12:01:41 PM by Teresa_T » THIS ROCKS   Logged
azreno
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2010 06:35:12 AM »

I completely agree! I think as a crafter/artist/artisan trying to sell your work, part of the package is a one on one relationship with your customers. If you can't, won't, or don't want to do that, you should probably find something else to do. People who buy handmade don't just want to buy handmade, they want to feel good about buying handmade. They want to feel like there is that person on the other side who appreciates their business and is worthy of it as well. They want to know something about that person and feel they are approachable, warm, and friendly. If you prove you are not then you are going to lose a lot of business. I pride myself on making sure I return every email promptly, I worry when I don't get a reply back, because I think maybe they didn't get it and are now frustrated thinking I did not reply back, but I also know not all customers are going to reply back unless they need to, so I try to treat every communication with respect.
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Maggiedoll
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2010 09:54:04 PM »

I wouldn't be so sure that she "could have though of something to say."  Lots of people just aren't good at communicating.  Others aren't sure when a communication requires a response.  If the later messages that you sent her weren't questions, she may very well just not have had anything to say.  I can't imagine that this could be particularly uncommon among people who sell on etsy.  Selling online means minimal interaction with people, certainly much less than at a craft fair or something like that.  And people who make nice handmade items are likely to be more concerned with their product than their customers, although a solid argument could be made for the concern with the product actually being concern for customers.  Artisans frequently don't make great business people. 
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cherryrose
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2010 10:20:21 AM »


I myself would always thank someone for their interest in my products,
and for buying the item. Messages don't have to be long, but I would always reply back.

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Teresa_T
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2010 01:07:52 PM »

azreno and cherryrose, thanks for your replies. I do think communication is important. One big reason is we don't know who we are buying from. If someone communicates well then I think the buyer has a better feeling about who they are purchasing from. I can remember going to craft/art shows in the past where some vendors were very friendly and helpful and some looked at me like "why are you touching my stuff" I certainly didn't purchase from the latter.

It sounds like your are both good communicators with your customers.

Maggiedoll, thanks for your reply also. It's a good point you make that artists may not be the best business people. Perhaps they are more introverted. I can relate. I'm not the most social and friendly person. I'm an RN and when I'm at work, whether I feel like it or not, I need to have that smile on my face and be friendly for those 8 (formerly 12) hours I'm working. Aside from my nursing skills, it's part of my job. And I guess it would be the same for an artistic person.
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Eliea
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010 02:14:57 PM »

I'll be honest I think I just don't know what to say a lot of the time. But I do try to at least tell my buyers the following:
When I've recieved payment, When I shipped(with shipping number), And that I've left them feedback.
If they tell me they've received(which has only happened once) and comment I say thanks. Honestly I don't know what more to do than that.
Some people are super chatty and while I am for certain topics I'm not when it comes to my products besides general info like what it was made with, and care, and such.
I do try to answer all questions in a polite way even when the answer was in the item description and if the person had read it they'd know all ready. lol
But that's all I can do as far as I know.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010 02:16:12 PM by Eliea » THIS ROCKS   Logged
PixieVal
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010 07:34:47 PM »

Thank you very much for raising this question. It has changed the way I do business!
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cherryrose
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2010 01:07:50 PM »

Teresa, I am not selling anything yet, but I'm planning on it.
When I buy something myself I like good communication,
so when I begin to sell, I want to reply to everything,
because that's the way I like it myself.

Also I would seriously love it if anyone did so much at look at my crafting,
let alone buy it! I would thank them big time!
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cantafruit
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2010 11:07:22 AM »

Sent her a convo telling her how much I liked the painting, that I would purchase from her again

(...)

She lost a return customer.

I don't quite understand why you are being so sensitive. I also have my own business, not in the crafts industry but I deal with a lot of different people. Some reply after receiving files from me, some don't. Some just send me a check without a word. Etc. No harm done, business has been done, let's move on.

I think maybe you wanted to receive multiple messages from her, stating how grateful she is that you purchased from her? Or what would those additional messages need to convey, since all helpful info about the product was already exchanged?

Plus there is one oddity (see quote above). If you already stated you liked the painting and you'd buy from her again, why did you just tell us otherwise? Just based on lack of reply? I agree maybe ONE simple thank you was missing from the communication, but not necessarily so. I think the change of opinion from "I would buy from her again!" to "she has lost a customer" just based on the lac of a two-word message is pretty unreasonable. So did you like the painting or not really? Let's not get paranoid with the whole "customer is always boss" thing...
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2010 12:52:10 AM »

Just wanted to play devil's advocate here Smiley Two things immediately popped into my brain:

1) I've been on Etsy for about 4 years, and I've learned that as a seller, you can NOT please everyone. For example, some buyers expect a seller to convo them immediately after the sale to thank them etc, whereas other buyers get outright angry if you convo them, as they consider it spam. So, while you may have expected a convo'ed response, the seller may
have considered the feedback she left as her response and didn't want to "spam" you.

2) Artists are notorious for not being able to take compliments. Most of us immediately want to downplay anything positive you've said about the work, but that is very counterproductive for a business selling artwork, especially if you put down your work in front of someone who just bought it. Wink So she may honestly have not known how to say thank you without feeling awkward.

Of course, there are really any number of other reasons that are possible, and I do think she should have responded. But I have a tendency to always try to give the benefit of the doubt. Cheesy You have every right to be disappointed at the lack of response, but I wouldn't necessarily give up on her yet if you really do like her work.
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cj_stl
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2011 04:33:49 PM »

For years I have watched my mom sell on ebay...with great results.  So when I decided to open my own etsy shop I used some her practices as a model. 

I sometimes feel as though I over communicate, but want my customers to be in the loop and satisfied!

I agree with the original post in this thread...communication is a must...let the customer know they matter.
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mekenoka
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2011 06:47:28 PM »

I'm alittle weird with my messaging.  Before I ever send anything I always send a message stating what has been bought and where its being sent to and need a reply to confirm.  I do that cause I have had people yell at me and ask for a refund cause their kids bought something without their permission.  I know its not my fault that they didn't keep their password safe but I have found most kids don't message back, they buy and log off.  Now I know it pisses off people who don't want to chat but hey.. If you didn't want a message then don't shop at my store cause it stated on the front page.  I know this sounds bit like a rant but I have had trouble with buyers and being a buyer. 

But I do believe if someone sent a nice message about how they like my wares I would message back with a simple thank you.  But sometimes it takes abit for me to message back a thank you.  I have clay on my hands alot and some should know how messy and sometimes hard it is to get off..
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