Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Opposite of Holiday Cheer

So, today I had two strange/annoying messages sent to me on the Bay(eBay). I won't get into them, but let's just say it took every fiber of my being to not respond in a snotty way. Well, the third one I was just sent via Etsy, became the unlucky gal with a mega snark response. Now, I know it is quite close to Christmas and I am supposed to be nice here, but let's take a look at her message:

"Just to be honest, I found this exact pair in size 9 at a thrift store for $4. Same brand and everything. They are awesome quality and I grabbed them up! I just don't think it's fair that you're selling them for $50."

Now, I won't say her name here, because frankly, I don't want to get sued, but seriously? I think the best part has to be that they're not even in her size! They're a 7. She felt compelled to message me about a pair of boots that wouldn't even fit. That's dedication/a serious amount of time on your hands.

So, now you're all curious about my response, correct?

Sure, you are.

I won't deny you that gem of a message. In its entirety no less:

Well, just to be honest, that's your opinion. This has to be the strangest message I have ever gotten on Etsy. I have been running a vintage clothing business for 3 years and have been on Etsy since February. Take a look at my recent sales and you will see three pair of similar boots (one Danexx) that I have sold this week for similar prices.

They are marked 50 because I am having a 20% off sale, so the program I use will auto mark them down to 40 later tonight, but I am sure, just to be honest, that it is still too high in your opinion.

If they're not even in your size, don't you have better things to do than to message a random seller to complain about their prices?

And what makes you the ultimate source for what is fair on Etsy? This isn't some charity where I am ripping people off. Of course I am making money off the sale of these boots, that's why I sell things on here, you know, to make money. This is a business and selling vintage is my full-time job, so I'm pretty sure I know what I can and cannot mark my shoes. You have no idea how much I paid for them, so you should probably hold your judgment next time.

Perhaps you can take the time you spend messaging sellers that you don't know about the price of items you're not even interested in buying and put that towards more $4 thrift store finds. Hey, you could even start your own Etsy store and charge what you think is a fair price.

Thanks for the tip tho!


It was a bit mean, sure, but it was the wrong time for a message of that nature, lady. So glad we got that settled. I know that the customer is always right, but the person who has no intention of buying your item, can be wrong. You know, just to be honest.


A Wild Tonic said...

Jenn! Slight overreaction, but I don't blame you at all. It's not like I go into department stores or Walmart or Prada and tell them how to price their items. That person needs to mind their own business.

Crystal said...

Sure you might get lucky and find an awesome vintage piece at a thrift store for a few dollars, that's the whole reason a lot of people shop thrift stores. I think people use Etsy because they would rather pay a bit more to get an item they like than spend months or longer trying to hunt it down in a thrift store. Of course you're going to pay more, but you're paying for the convenience.

If the buyer had actually wanted the shoes, I would think the better way to approach the subject of price, if they think $50 is unfair, would be to send a polite message saying they're interested and asking if you ever offer discounts or sales. Just complaining about the price for no reason doesn't make sense!

vintage eye said...

All bow the the Queen of the snotty convo comeback zinger! Long live the Queen! You are my hero, Jenn! I completely agree with Crystal (commenter 2). I think the "they aren't my size" thing may have been a tactic in a ham-handed attempt to get a better price through the distract & insult technique (rarely successful, btw)Thanks for striking a blow for sellers everywhere!

Jessica / Lola Vintage Clothing said...

I love the way you handled such an unthoughtful email! Some people underestimate what it takes to be in this business. The hunting down of the goodies, the washing & cleaning up, the photos and editing, uploading and listing. That is all part of the price that people are paying for when they purchase an item, in my opinion. And I agree with comment # 2, part of the price is the convenience of being able to purchase what you want NOW instead of *hoping* that you'll find it later. . . SOMEDAY while out thrifting.
You're sticking up for all vintage sellers when you tell it like it is! :)

Vintage Seen said...

excellent. people pay us to hunt the pieces so they don't have to, great she found a pair but man she would have SO many emails to write if this is how she feels, hello welcome to retail. That coffee she had this morning cost 10 cents to make and 3.50 to buy. Geez, some peeps.

Megon and Julie said...

What shoppers on etsy DON'T understand is that not all of us are grandmas living in houses full of vintage stuff that we can sell. I'd say the vast majority of vintage sellers are young women who wanted to turn their love of fashion and thrifting into a business. That said, it takes fucking TIME to find this stuff. It also takes gas money and mileage. It's not like I can walk down the street to goodwill and find an amazing dress. There is a reason things are expensive on etsy. It's called margin. And, let's face it, EVERY business does it...that's why they are, um, IN BUSINESS. good job for you for standing up for yourself!

Aelwyn said...

I was going to say exactly what Megon and Julie said!

Add in time (minimum wage here is $10.25 an hour. Say it took you two 6 hour days to find those boots, that would be $123 minus taxes (let's say $100).

Plus gas (it's about $1.10 a litre here, so say you used a half tank of gas, so about $25).

Then buying the boots (could have been $15 for them).

Plus the time to clean the items for sale(another 2 hours, so about $20).

Then the time to take pictures and put them up on Etsy (another $20).

SO, in total the boots are ACTUALLY worth $180, if you count EVERYTHING in.

So damn STRAIGHT you should reply to her the way you did. You actually held back much more than I would.

Everyone wants a deal (I was standing behind a woman in line at Zellers, who was buying a shirt that was originally around $40, that was now $15, and she wanted an extra 50% off--WTF?), and they'll do ANYTHING to get it--email sellers and complain, haggle, and switch price tags.

Sellers need to stand up for themselves, because, unlike the old adage, the customer is NOT always right.