If a Price is Too Good To True...
Have you ever heard the phrase "If a price is too good to be true, it probably is"? Well, let's just say, I got a recent dose of reality over the past 24 hours. Indeed, this has been a nightmare in every sense of the online way it can possibly be.
I bought some pearls you see and I was SO very excited to get them. Unfortunately, the nacre was a total mess and the colour completely off from what I had expected. Now I know from my own attempts at photographing my work that colour is a tricky thing! That's why I end up posting sooo many pictures of my work on facebook and etsy. I want my clients to know what they are getting. I bend over backwards because jewelry is my pleasure, my hobby that turned into a hobby business and it is what I do when I need to relax or escape from all of lifes little annoyances. My jewelry is about being positive. It's about making ME happy and the pleasure I get when I know that the person buying or wearing my work feels good.
I hunt for the best quality supplies to work with and when a shop is good to me I will praise them to the world and keep coming back. Even if the product is not great I will at least respect, appreciate and praise good customer service.
That's what happens when you grow up in a family business dead center of a village where - if you lose one client - you risk losing everything. Even when a client drives you crazy or is being unreasonable.... you apologize, you offer to fix the problem and you be nice to them. Because that's your job. If you have to do any customer service, it's your job to make those customers happy. You don't rate your buyers. A good buyer is one who pays you. End of story.
But somehow, in the online Etsy world, reality has gone askew! Since when do you 'rate' buyers? And since when does a seller suddenly gain the ability to blackmail a buyer??? If I post 'neutral' then the seller can come along and post all sorts of nasty comments and add a negative to my buyer feedback. And the result is... people who come to my shop who won't know the whole story or just how crazy this pearl seller is! So what to do when in an online world your entire presence is based on positive reviews? What do you do when you have worked so hard to find quality supplies, to build a facebook page, a blog, learn all these new skills, try like the dickens to take nice accurate pictures, create an Etsy account and join a million circles, forums to network and create positive connections. Making treasuries, sharing the love, letting people know when they have created something you think is just awesome because heck - isn't that always nice to hear when it's the truth?
What's the point when a seller can come along and destroy your online presence with the simple click of a button. It's online bullying - plain and simple. If I don't change my review to positive - then this pearl seller will blast me and my shop (even though she's never bought from me before!) Well, I could cave but I won't. Nope. I'm not going to do it.
This seller is blackmailing me and that's not right. Hopefully, my clients will see that one black spot and know that it's in the buyer section - NOT the seller section of Etsy. I also hope that they listen to my clients rather than this pearl seller.
Some of you might think I'm biting my nose off to spite my face. That I should just suck it up, apologize to this nasty pearl seller, lie and say the pearls were great. But at the end of the day, there is only one person in this world that anyone needs to live with. That person is yourself. And if you can't honour yourself - then what's the point of anything at all?
So screw it. I'll open a new buyer account so that these kind of vindictive people can not touch my shop anymore and I'll hope that people focus on my clients and on my work. I will also try to remember why I started making jewellery and selling it in the first place! That reason was happiness, beauty and the joy of creating something beautiful.
I'm gonna keep doing my thing. I'm not going to change who I am or what I believe. I care about my customers, I care about my work and I do my very best... always. That's enough for me.
As for the vindictive nasty pearl seller - well she can shove it up her you-know-what.
- Tara, Treasure Trunk Designs