Well, I put a "reserved" sign on Ophelia's listing, and then waited to hear back from the lady about her deposit and payment plan. Most collectors know that an immediate deposit is expected -- after all, how can something be taken off the market and put aside for one without any assurance of payment? However, this lady did not get back to me till a whole day later, and then it was to say that she wanted layaway for two months instead of one.
Now it's clearly detailed in my shop policies what layaway plan I accept -- full payment within a month, with an immediate deposit of at least $100 -- but I decided to step out in faith and agree to her two-month request -- still without receiving any deposit from her. I told her it was fine, but I needed an immediate deposit to hold the reservation. Well, another full day passed with no response from her, and I decided to write her again, politely but plainly telling her that it would really be good to settle the deposit and payment details as soon as possible.
Well, almost three days from when she first asked me to reserve Ophelia for her, she finally wrote back, saying she was sorry, but some family thing had coincidentally come up right then, and she would have to back out of the reservation. And that was it. I'd put off I don't know how many other potential adopters with that "reserve" sign, and had even told another person who'd expressly inquired, that Ophelia was spoken for (yes, I contacted her again, but she said she had committed to another doll and couldn't afford Ophelia right then).
I don't know, y'know? To me, asking someone to reserve something is as good as making a commitment to buy -- just because you haven't shelled out any money, it doesn't mean you can freely back out of a transaction or go back on your word. In fact I think it really unfortunate that it's money that holds many people to a promise or a deal.
Ebay has a "commit to buy" button and there's a reason for that -- whether you pay for the item right away, or further down the road, you are expected to pay for it once you have said you would, and clicking on that button comes with all sorts of legal fine print. On Etsy however, there isn't such a button with all the legal ramifications and seller protection -- a lot of artists simply operate on plain faith and goodwill.
I'm sorry of course if she really did have some huge family problem, but these exquisitely coincidental timings tend to suggest buyer panic and remorse. Well, one should always think out big-ticket purchases carefully, but beyond that, one should also consider what implications one's words and actions may have on another. Sellers whose shops are their bread-and-butter can ill afford such fooling about. This is probably why many artists have to coldly state their payment policies within the listings themselves, and include such plain statements as, "Serious buyers only please" and even "Don't buy if you're not familiar with custom Blythes!!!"
In my disappointment, I spoke to a wonderful doll artist with whom I'd recently become friends. She immediately told me several horror stories of her own, saying, "I wasted my time more than I like to and it's always a disappointment when this happens. You feel cheated on. Now I hate to require a deposit because I always want to trust people... If I keep making dolls for a few more years, I might end up writing a book of sad dolly stories!"
Well, when things like this happen, I always find my mind going back to that verse in the Bible that says: "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes', and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one". I'd written a post some three years back on something sort of related; in it I'd written: "It's funny/sad how people often say things they don't mean, commit to things they never intend to see through, are double-minded, unreliable...
"I just wonder, huh? As in, WHY do people do this? Why say one thing when you mean another, why say you will when you won't... And if one can be like this in even small, simple things, how does one deal with bigger issues, matters of importance that require unshakeable integrity, commitment or trustworthiness? It strikes me as I write this however that it really doesn't matter whether something is small or big -- we should mean what we say all the time, be honourable and dependable in all our dealings".
This morning, however, my devotional reading was: Dealing with disappointment (I know right??) "When things don't prosper or succeed according to our plan, the first thing we feel is disappointment. This is normal, but we must know what to do with that feeling... In Phil 3:13 the apostle Paul says, "But one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead".
"When we get disappointed, then immediately get re-appointed, that's exactly what we're doing. We're letting go of the causes for the disappointment and pressing toward what God has for us. We get a new vision, a plan, an idea, a fresh outlook, a new mindset, and we change our focus to that. We decide to go on!" (extract from New Day, New You, by Joyce Meyer).
So I decided to practice shrug therapy -- just shake it off, believe the best of the person, and go on. So here are pictures I'd posted on my shop's FB page right after the fact (that is Absinthe Bear, good friend and counsellor to all dollies):
Don't cry Ophelia.
I'm still here.
Don't be sad. In life, we are all called to be strong.
Back on her feet again :)
Here's to getting re-appointed, with fresh new visions, outlooks and mindsets! Press on, press on, and have a super lovely rest of the week everyone :)