Sunday, October 14, 2012

Confused Buyers

Have you ever had a potential customer contact you about one of your items only to find out they are actually thinking about items from a completely different Etsy shop?  I was pretty excited when I received a message on Etsy about wanting a pair of my tatted baby booties. The current listing is for booties done in a cream colored thread since someone had requested two pairs of them. Unfortunately, that buyer hasn't come back to make the purchase.

The customer who sent me the message wanted to know if I had any done in white without having to special order them. I let her know that I had a pair that was partially done and that I could hurry to finish them and get them in the mail to meet her deadline if she was committed to buying them. Her response really confused me, talking about dupioni silk shoes with white lace.  I wrote a message back asking for clarification and repeating my offer to finish the tatted booties in white.  She responded with a more detailed description of the silk baby shoes and her phone number.  When I told her that I only had tatted booties, not silk ones, she was surprised and replied that she thought all the baby shoes were in one shop. Since she had already purchased the silk shoes, she wasn't interested in buying from me now.

All this confusion was from someone who joined Etsy just for this purchase. Etsy newcomers seem to struggle some with how it all works. I look at Etsy as a kind of mega shopping mall with lots of fun little shops. Some are large and some have only a few items. Customer service varies from shop to shop and it's good to check around to see which shops fit your needs and your personality.

I'm learning to clarify with buyers what exactly they want before I get my hopes up too much. I'm also learning that I need to have customers purchase special orders before I make them or else I may get stuck with putting time, effort, and money into unsold merchandise. What is your experience with this?

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