Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Retrograde



I awoke this morning to a convo in my Etsy shop regarding this necklace which read:

"about your necklace are you seriously charging that much !!! i saw one idetical but with jade and it was only $50 your price is ridicolous besides a kid could make this minus the edging around the pietersite"

Now, my first reaction was to think, "That's just great. You can go buy that other necklace. You must have confused my work with that which is made by child labor in a sweat shop for a dime a day. So sorry." My other reaction was to send her back a long-winded reply about the time and particular techniques involved in this piece, but I decided to do neither.

My one-word reply to this crazy person? "Whatever."

I mean, come on, seriously? Surprisingly, I was not at all offended by this insane message. First of all, I found it highly amusing that she misspelled words like "identical" and "ridiculous" but somehow managed to spell "Pietersite" correctly.

Second of all, she obviously has no clue that the "edging around the pietersite" which is the only part of my necklace that could not be done by a child is, in fact, what makes the necklace handmade and unique.

And third, if she thinks my price is too high, well, she doesn't have to buy it. I don't care if she buys it. In fact, I would prefer that she NOT buy it, because she obviously has no respect for beautiful handmade objects and would most likely not care for it properly.

But I have to wonder, what did she think I was going to say?

"Oh, my goodness! I didn't realize that I was overpricing my work! How helpful of you to drop me such a direct note to let me know that I'm heading down the road to failure because I am charging too much for my handmade work! Would you like me to knock $85 off the price for you? And can I get you some cocoa with that?"

Or maybe...

"Wow, I had no idea that this is so overpriced. Thank you so much."

Or maybe this...

"Whatever."

Which brings me to a good story from a couple years ago at my farmer's market.

It was a lovely Sunday morning, warm and breezy, and it was getting to be near the end of the market that day. This was when I was selling my fused glass pendants and jewelry, and I had a lovely selection of brand new work displayed on my black velvet pads. I was especially proud of a new set of 1 3/4" dichroic glass pendants that had just come out of the kiln, all with sterling silver bails.

That day, I was set up next to a couple of guys in their 50s who were selling some absolutely amazing handmade rustic and birch bark furniture. Like, real Adirondack Great Camp style work. Well made, with dovetail joints and the whole bit. Real luxury stuff.

A woman came along to my table, two little kids in tow. She looked over my pendants, then picked up the largest piece, which incidentally, I had also decorated with traditional henna tattoo patterns using enamel paints. She held it up in the sun and admired it, then turned it over to see the price marked on the back.

"Forty-five DOLLARS?!" she gasped. She tossed it - literally, threw it! - back down on the table and huffed off with her children.

I hadn't even had time to react when one of the gentleman next to me leaned over and said, "Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers..."

I burst out laughing at that point, because what he said was absolutely true and was something that I had learned that summer while selling my work at the farmer's market. I do not sell jewelry that has been made in a sweatshop or by child labor for pennies a day. I sell handcrafted wearable art. Not everyone is looking for my kind of jewelry, and that's fine. The reason I sell my work at farmer's markets and fine craft shows is because, yes, there are people out there who are looking for unique, well-made, handcrafted jewelry. That simple.

So, hey, I'm not going to worry too much about that message from this morning. Because I know that this necklace will go to a good home when it's time, and I'm really not going to let this insane, unappreciative person who can't spell or punctuate to save her life get to me.

But at least it was good for a few chuckles when I shared it on Facebook this morning!

6 comments:

Bobbie said...

Good for you! it's really tempting to rise to the bait, but "whatever" is the answer it deserves. I recently put a sign out at my shows that explain beadweaving, and how the pieces they see have taken anywhere from 2 to 200 hours...they may not purchase the piece, but at least they understand the difference between my work and what they see at WalMart!

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel said...

Perfect answer to a very silly convo.

Carol Dean said...

"whatever" You, my friend, are absolutely priceless! :D

I cannot, absolutely cannot, fathom why someone would bother to write a message like that unless their spirit was dark, desperate, and mean. It's one thing to think it, but something entirely different to actually write it down and then send it. Sad.

DeShawn Marie said...

My answer would be "shop elsewhere please"

Something I have changed in my mindset over the years is "the customer is always right" I'm sorry but they just aren't and this is a perfect example of that. Everyone has a different market and appreciation for different levels of quality, etc. Some times you have to tell the customer that they are wrong. The response of "whatever" told her that she was wrong LOL!! Good for you!

Knotty Raven said...

Priceless!!!

stephenCollines said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.