My wife and I are expecting our first sometime in July. As such we have been outfitting a nursery with all the typical items you expect: a crib, changing table, a dresser… the list goes on and on.
As I mentioned previously, I like the concept of Etsy for the unique items you can get either “stock” as sold by the seller or customized to your liking.
And for us the experience has been mostly positive.
Our Etsy Ordering Experience
As is natural with any new parent we want to have nice things in the nursery. As a personal finance aficionado I’d like those things to be as affordable as possible.
Etsy, for the most part, has been able to fit the bill pretty well at least in comparison to items that you can’t go down to Target to buy. We’ve ordered six items thus far and accepted delivery of four of them.
The only problem with the other two is we ordered at the end of March. It’s been well over a month since our order. One of those items I am not concerned about… the other… is having problems.
When you are selling on eBay, Amazon, online forums or on marketplaces like Etsy you need to communicate well. Being descriptive with your item and communicating well with potential buyers will solve about 95% of all problems with online selling.
This translates perfectly to our situation with the two sellers whose items we have not yet received.
Seller One: Clear Description and Communicating
The first seller described her item very well. She also noted — and this is what I love about Etsy — that her current processing time was 4 to 6 weeks. This means I shouldn’t even start wondering about this order until the middle of this month.
Even if I were concerned, she’s done one thing better.
Apparently she too was expecting a child. And her baby was born prematurely. One of the first things I noticed when I was checking on orders is she had a new message up on her store’s page explaining the premature birth which was going to put her behind in getting orders out. She was actively working on them and planned to get them out as soon as possible.
I’m great with that and not really concerned at this point.
Seller Two: I Know You’re Alive…
The second seller has not been so great. She was originally supposed to ship the item on April 5th.
As any expecting parent can relate, things have been hectic. (Not to mention my birthday was a few days later and we traveled on a weekend.)
Needless to say the April 5th ship date slipped my mind. I checked on my orders at the end of the month and kind of scratched my head. Everyone else that said they would ship by a certain date, had.
Except this one.
So I started Etsy’s problem resolution process about 3 weeks after I should have. Which means it won’t be resolved until this week.
The great thing about Etsy is, as a seller, you can win repeat business over your own… on your own website. I’m not sure if this against Etsy’s terms of service, but if you can get a customer to buy an item on Etsy and then turn around and get them to buy in the future from your own business website you can cut the middle man out of the picture.
This seller is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and has her own blog. She’s driving to be out there in the community. (In fact she was posting on Facebook trying to get people to vote for her in some business contest.)
So I did what anyone else would do: I checked to see when her last activity had been. At first I was concerned because it showed her last Facebook and Twitter activity as early April, and her last blog post was on April 9th. I feared something might have happened to her — she had 72 ratings on Etsy with 99% satisfied — but seemed to have disappeared.
Then she posted on Facebook on April 25th. Then May 1st. Then May 3rd.
So she’s alive. She has an internet connection. And apparently she is ignoring both the messages I am sending her as well as those from Etsy.
…which should result in her store being suspended.
Long story short: you can save money and get unique items on Etsy… but just like with any other site, issues can pop up if the seller and you’ll need patience to go through the review process. If all else fails I’ll just do a chargeback on my credit card.