Monday, June 2, 2008

the downside

I've been trying {really hard!} to keep this blog positive, encouraging, uplifting. I've written a lot about all of the creative and talented women I've met online, the growing success I've had selling on Etsy since November, and how wonderful it's been to find work that's a creative outlet and truly fulfilling.

But to be honest, I've also had several bad experiences that have left me so disappointed, and today I just need to vent.

I've had spam posted on my blog with a link to a hard-core porn video (hence the word verification and comment approval). I've had people blatantly copy my designs (and my item descriptions along with them!) I've had some ridiculously bad experiences with USPS employees (too many to count!)

Then a couple of weeks ago someone posted Neutral feedback in my Etsy shop with a comment saying that she hadn't received her order yet. I had shipped it the same day the order came in and sent an email with the tracking number, which she acknowledged. I never heard anything else until I read the Neutral feedback. I checked the tracking number and saw that it had been delivered two days after the order was placed. But instead of contacting the USPS or contacting me, she just left Neutral feedback with a negative comment saying that it had never arrived.

Now why would someone do this? Why wouldn't she contact me asking where the order was? I would have gladly tried to track it down and/or sent a replacement at no charge. It made no sense to me and was very frustrating. My initial reaction was, I can't wait to get my own storefront website up and running so that I'm not subjected to comments like this that I can't remove from my shop.

And then today someone left Negative feedback, again without contacting me first to let me know they were disappointed with the product. Not to mention that her comment was that the product didn't seem professional... "Etsy: your place to buy and sell all things HANDMADE". Arghhhh!

Anytime someone tells me something was damaged in shipping or wasn't quite what they expected I ship a replacement at no cost that same day. I would have gladly refunded the purchase or sent a new product if given the opportunity. I'm not in this to make a quick buck or to try to deceive anyone. I'm trying to provide beautiful unique products that will bring people joy, and sell them at an affordable price. And this is the thanks I get?

Again, my initial reaction was, that's it, I'm shutting down my Etsy shop, and I'm done selling until my new storefront website is up. But maybe I just need to develop thicker skin and just keep moving ahead. I just can't help but wonder WHY someone would leave negative feedback instead of contacting me to express their concern. I can see leaving negative feedback if a seller won't work with you to resolve a problem, but I was never even given a chance.

Okay, I need to go work on something else and get my mind off this for a while... I hope to return with a more upbeat post next time!


Sarah Rachelle said...

I work in retail and I have a list a mile long with similar situations! Don't let it get you down! It's good to vent because this happens to all of us!

You know you are better than this!

Anonymous said...

I read feedback with a real big grain of salt. So many people are unhappy no matter what you do, so when looking at feedback I rarely take it too seriously. Your neutral or negative feedback in your etsy shop wouldn't keep me from placing an order-- I hope that helps?
PS- You really should be able to dispute it! said...

hi sara! so sorry for your trouble with things. I know the issues you were having with the dirty comments. please don't let a few people get you down with their comments. it is really frustrating, I had it happen a few weeks ago and it took me a few days to get over. just know there are a lot of people who LOVE your products and know you are the ORIGINAL creator!

Chelsea said...

Hi Sara,

I can commiserate. I received negative feedback on something I made, too, which, it sounds like the issues were with the products I used...something I hadn't run into before. The person contacted me and I offered to provide a refund or make her a new item and I never heard back from her. THEN about 2 months later I get a negative feedback on my etsy shop. I wanted to wring her neck! I tried going out of my way to fix the problem and then I get radio silence? c'mon, people. I ended up changing the profile in my shop and then just let it go. I really wish I could take it down but of course, not a chance. I just don't think some people understand how much of a 'community' etsy is. It's not like eBay where you can wave your negative feedback around whenever you're upset. That's just ridiculous.

I stopped actively trying to sell on my shop because it's just not worth it anymore. My heart isn't into it and I don't seem to have the desire.

I think you have a great and unique product. I read on someone else's blog today about their items being used without permission. (

You might want to contact etsy admin if someone is using your designs. You have the copyright on it. If you read up on copyrights, all you have to do is have a copyright symbol on an item.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Little Sweethearts said...

Hello Sara,

I'm so sorry this happened to you but hopefully you're feeling better now that you've been able to vent. Sometimes it's just good to get those things off your chest.

I would hate it if someone put something on my blog, especially a link like that!

As far as the negative feedback is concerned: Personally I would feel upset as well, even more so because you were never given the opportunity to discuss the matter. But then I would have to convince myself that I must be doing something right because out of a hundred people 99 were really happy!!


Carissa said...


No matter what some people may say, you have beautiful and unique products. Even if you did everything perfectly all the time, there will always be people who are unhappy and have to take it out on the people around them. Please know that as a buyer, I am not overly concerned with negative feedback as long as there is plenty of positive feedback too.

Brandie said...

I have to say that I am glad you decided to share the negative. I am in the early stages of starting my own girl's clothing and nursery linen line and was considering selling on Etsy until I can get my website up and running and a full inventory. I was concerned about negative comments because I have heard similar stories from other designers who have gotten negative comments from customers. The diffrence with them is, they don't sell on Ebay or Etsy where those comments are made public. I am nervous about that not because I think that my product is'nt good but because there is always someone out there who will be unhappy. I guess it's arisk anyway you go but it sucks. Good for you that you've decided to push on and keep at it. I personally think that your products are lovely!

Carlie said...

It's hard when you have people unhappy with something that you put your heart and soul into. I always told myself I didn't ever want to make enemies in life. Well, it's impossible and the more successful you are, the more you get. I've just decided I can't let myself feel those same feelings in return. Good luck, your stuff is darling!

belleandboo said...

Hey Sara, just surfing Etsy & one of your beautiful silohette prints caught my eye, so I thought I would pop along and catch up with your blog. I just wanted to say that a TOTALLY understand. I was also left neutral feedback from a customer that had ordered 3 months before they left the feedback. They said it wasn't packaged well enough and the print was creased. Well as you and I well know, occasionally that happens (I don't know how the postmen manage it, i swear must play football with the parcels, especially the ones marked fragile!) anyway like you, when a customer lets me know I post a replacement immediately. I contacted the unhappy customer saying how sorry I was and I would happly send another and then... nothing, I heard nothing....?
Keep smiling, keep creating and I am so pleased you resolved it.
Mandy :)

Meg said...

Sara, it sounds like venting helped you, and after reading the post above this one I am happy to hear that the situation resolved itself. However, I agree with a lot of your commentors here that this (negative feedback, negative people) is indeed one of the downsides of retail. Don't ever forget that some people are just plain crazy. Or have terrible mood swings. Or a combination of both. Best thing you can do is to put it behind you (already done) and prepare yourself so that the next time it happens, you won't let yourself be as hurt as you were. Strange as it sounds, I don't think the negative feedback is personal. It's just people being crabby people.

Candice said...

I totally know how you are feeling. The feedback on Etsy is frustrating because it's there, permanently, for everyone to read but I never even look at it when I am making a purchase, it doesn't even factor in to my brain when I am buying from someone I have never bought from before....only when I buy on Ebay! Hang in there, your stuff is awesome!!

prettywithribbons said...

Be a duck. That's what my friend told me (let it roll off you..). There are a gazillion people more that like you than the 2 that don't, so don't let them get you down. Your stuff is adorable, and also congrats for your ME showing!