Thursday, October 2, 2014

Staying Positive...

I have shared on the blog how crazy the last few weeks have been. Added to the stress was an unhappy Etsy customer. She ordered a planter with a carved leaf design. She didn't want a combination of the shino and green, just the green. I finished the planter ahead of schedule and shipped it priority mail on September 4th. On September 15th, the buyer messaged me and said the shape and size were perfect but she was disappointed in the color... it wasn't green enough. Was there anything she could paint it or glaze it with to make it greener? I was a little baffled that it took her more than a week to say she wasn't happy, but long story short, I said she wouldn't be happy with her planter if it were painted and that she could return it for a refund. 

This is how I received it...

It's definitely not how I shipped it! The newspaper wasn't even packed tightly. I am not sure if she thought that little bit of extra paper inside the planter added protection. Luckily it was a planter and not a piggy bank, believe it or not, it did survive the trip. I learned a couple of lessons from this transaction.

1. Be sure to include in your shop policies, and in conversations with buyers, that all returns are to be shipped in original packaging, as originally delivered.

2. Shop policies are a good thing to have in your Etsy shop, but the bottom line is if the customer files a claim with Paypal or Etsy, you will most likely have to give them a refund even if the return is past the return policy date.

I ended up refunding this woman's shipping as well as the price of the planter, even though my policies state that the buyer is responsible for return shipping. I consulted the Etsy forums (there is great information and experiences there) and learned that you are better off to refund everything or risk a complaint... even if your policies state no refunds on shipping. Paypal and Etsy most always side with the customer.

I really shouldn't let it get to me. This has been my only return since selling on Etsy. I felt a whole lot better yesterday, when I received an e-mail and feed back from two very happy customers.

Focus on the positive.
Let go of the negative.

So to end on a positive note, here are a couple of new mugs out of the kiln yesterday...

and a super cute pig that is a custom order...

Have a happy Thursday.


  1. Oh Michelle, that's just so gross of that woman to be so "out of it" which is the best that I can say. Good for you to move into the space of angels...and I hope that you continue to make the lovely things you do. I could make other comments, but they would just feed the negatives, and you are flying into positive zones here!

  2. Thank you Barbara. Onward with the positive!

  3. Ac..centuate the positive. E...liminate the negative...

  4. there is always one and one in a million is not bad.

  5. So sorry about your experience, I think greens are the hardest thing for folks to pick out, the person obviously doesn't know about pottery wondering if she could paint it, much was due to her ignorance it seems, but I think you were more than generous taking the item back and thank goodness it didn't break. I've yet to reopen my etsy store but when I do I'll review my return policies and make them more specific keeping this in mind. thanks for taking the time to post about this.

  6. It's amazing how one moronic etsy customer can screw up your day. In the past 5 years I've only had 2 returns. Both times the reason was really stupid. I made note of the the customer name and put them on my "No pottery for you" list. This year I 86ed 2 customers. One was just plain crazy and the other was using a 3rd party credit card.

    The Christmas rush is coming, Hang on tight!

  7. I had a gallery return work to me packed like that, my pieces weren't so lucky, every piece was broken and I had to fight to get my money back. Shipping pottery is so sketchy. What a stupid person, wanting to paint your work?! OMG! She doesn't deserve to own handmade craft!

  8. Well, that sucks, it sounds like you really over-delivered and did the best you could. That planter will find it's perfect home, I'm sure.


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