Sunday, January 30, 2011

Customer Appreciation - A cape finds a good home

One of the fun things about having an etsy shop and actually selling things, is imagining the new life the item is going on to live.  I'm always curious about the buyer and usually check out their profile and any links they might share, like blogs or twitters or what have you.  

Even though you are given an address and might glimpse a fraction of their online life, shipping an order off is still a bit like putting a note in a bottle; sealed with a kiss, wished bon voyage and then flung into the ether.  Maybe not that dramatic (well it kind of feels that way with international shipments)... and fortunately I haven't had any packages go missing.  *knock on wood* 

In my opinion the postal service is fairly reliable.  Of course Stew always tells the story of the lost love letter he sent me when I was interning in NYC summer of '97... ever since then he triple checks his envelopes, tapes on his stamps, and rarely leaves stuff in the mailbox for the carrier to pick up... he prefers to personally drop it in a blue box when possible.  

For all my domestic US sales, I generally ship by Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation; not only because as a customer myself I value the slightly expedited shipping, but also because the geek in me loves to occasionally(daily) check on the progress of my various shipments.  I use a Click-N-Ship account now, which makes it easier to keep it all organized.  Plus printing the postage labels is fun.

I'm always relieved when I see or hear that packages have been delivered.   Kind of like the sitcom scenario of a parent watching their child walk down the block and giving them one last wave before they go play at the neighbors.  Usually I wait a day or two after delivery and then I assume the customer is happy.  As a final wrap-up -that last little wave- I leave feedback on the transaction at etsy.  Leaving feedback is not required, only a courtesy, and I'm mildly surprised at how many people don't.  Maybe they wait until the next time they log in and then forget?  Transactions without any feedback left for them feel unfinished to me; they irk me for a while but eventually I let it go.  It isn't a big enough deal to hound them about it.  The most I do is to include a friendly reminder about leaving feedback when I send the "it's shipped, here is the tracking #" email.   

Possibly my hang-up about interest in feedback stems from when I was first selling stuff on eBay, back in 2003.  eBay stresses the importance of feedback and gives you a gold star once you've received 10 positive ratings.  I mean who doesn't want a gold star?  Heck, they go all the way up to a silver shooting star.  Basically feedback on eBay = street cred.  Your reputation as a seller.  The more feedback you have, the more transactions you've got under your belt, the more trustworthy the merchant.  Now, I never rose above the eBay gold star- I'm no power seller or anything, but at least I've got my little claim staked over there and grew comfortable buying/selling online.   

Some customers leave feedback right away.  Others leave feedback only after I leave my feedback, like a handshake.  ISometimes it might just be a + (positive) with no comment.  

Or funny comments, like:
Left for a "Members Only" jacket I sold on eBay in May 2003.
Or lots of punctuation points and/or letter grades, like:


On etsy, possibly more frequented by laid back creative types, the feedback isn't quite as excitable- but it can be fun, and more descriptive too (eBay has a shorter character limit):

However the coolest thing about etsy's feedback system is that you can leave an "Appreciation Photo."  I've had a few customers do this and I think it is just the coolest thing.  I mean, hello? seeing your little message in a bottle washed up on shore and presented in all its new finery?  How is that not awesome?

My first ever sale on etsy was a pair of grandma's vintage shoes, some low heeled brown mary janes. The buyer surprised me by uploading a photo about a month later.  I asked her if I could blog it and she said yes... but then I never did.  Voila:
She's on the right, see the shoes?
A year and a handful of sales later I sent off a "purple pleated sexy librarian dress" to Ohio, where Midwest Darling was kind enough to upload a photo AND blog about it!
and here is her blog post
One customer that bought a dress left me this as an appreciation photo:
Um, okay.  
And last, but not least... the most recent buyer to upload a photo raised the bar even higher (sorry Jesus). First of all, how perfect is this hooded cape now loved by musical therapist Cassandra?  

When I emailed her to see if I could blog her picture, she not only said yes but sent along another 8 shots!  She and her fiance Joe "enjoy photography" (read: got skillz) and appear to have had a fun little wintery New England evening photoshoot.
    
    

Plus check out their great joint photo study (hers & his) of an abandoned Connecticut beach community.

So with this post I'd like to send a ++-:¦:-•:*'"*:•.-:¦:•* BIG THANK YOU*•:¦:-•:*''''*:•-:¦-++ to all my customers- old, new and future ones! You are all A+++++++!!!!!!! It is fun sending stuff off to you and if you're game, I'd love to see its new home.  However, as long as you're happy, I'm happy.  :) :) :) :)

2 comments:

  1. That is awesome! I love every aspect of buying/selling on ebay and esp. etsy. I totally connected with this post. The pics are fantastic, I wish my buyers would send pics. The girl with the cape is so CUTE! and the purple dress girl...WOW! love it!!
    PS: When I get international orders I ALWAYS daydream about who is wearing it and where toooooo...

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is awesome! I love every aspect of buying/selling on ebay and esp. etsy. I totally connected with this post. The pics are fantastic, I wish my buyers would send pics. The girl with the cape is so CUTE! and the purple dress girl...WOW! love it!!
    PS: When I get international orders I ALWAYS daydream about who is wearing it and where toooooo...

    ReplyDelete