Wednesday, February 26, 2014

on re-appointments and pressing on

Well, I didn't expect to be posting again so soon, but well, this was on my mind. Remember how I'd mentioned in my last post that a lady had requested that I reserve Ophelia for her? Well, she not only wanted me to reserve her, but also to do layaway. Layaway -- or payments by installments -- is common in the world of art dolls (or maybe expensive things in general); artists who accept it generally expect an initial immediate deposit and the rest of the payments within a reasonable period of time, usually a month or so.

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.

Let's write a letter. How about: "Dear everyone, a reservation to adopt is a commitment and we are stepping out in faith. It breaks our hearts when days later, you back out and leave us, when our real mommy might have come along, and then left, because we were 'reserved'".

Don't be sad. In life, we are all called to be strong.

Keep your chin up baby.

And today I posted:

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 :)


Jane Chérie said...

Poor Ophelia. But don't fret, there are other mommies out there and her turn will come soon :)

I saw the photo of her crying on your facebook and was wondering what has happened. I am sorry you had to deal with something like this but since people did show much interest in Ophelia, I am sure she will get adopted soon enough.

But I understand your frustration! You really shouldn't have to write many emails reminding about the first deposit. It landed you in an uncomfortable position and it shouldn't be the case since you were entitled to that payment and it was the rule of the deal.

I hate haggling and I am a terrible seller. I can't stand it when people don't commit to the agreed terms. Let's hope it will be smooth sailing from now on. :)

The Dainty Dolls House said...

So sorry about that doll, it's always a shame when these things happen. I know it's hard when family troubles come up, but you have a business and this is how you create and make money too, so you have to be firm not only to guarantee people purchase straight forwardly, but also for your state of mind too, it's too much stress for you when someone does these things. You wouldn't go into any other shop and delay payments and things if they don't provide those services, so stick to your rule about it and don't give in. Maybe if the person guarantees to pay, but if they don't you have to say no more and go with another buyer as it looses you having the chance of it getting bought by someone who is really serious about buying it straight away!! Don't feel bad, you aren't being mean, you're just not letting yourself be taken advantage of. Let's hope all will go better from now on!! Keep positive. Lots of loves to you xx

Audrey said...

Well, Ophelia is GORGEOUS! And I'm sure it won't be long before she finds her Forever Mom. Sorry to hear about the bad experience though....not fun.

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

Sorry you had to deal with this. It would be nice if people stuck to their word and honored their commitments but sadly there will always be flakes. Total aaa at the pics of sad Ophelia. She's lovely and I just bet she will find a loving new home soon.

Rowena @ rolala loves

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Oh, I'm sorry that happened. I would be very frustrated! I think people sometimes get ahead of themselves only to realize that it was a bad decision; maybe something they couldn't afford to begin with. This doesn't excuse their behavior, of course; we should all be more responsible, and make proper decisions. In any case, that precious doll will find another home. She's just too adorable not to.

Unknown said...

Oh darling Ophelia! YOu are as charming as your name suggests and I wish I would win some money so I could buy you!!

So very pleased with myself for finding this blog!

Unknown said...

So sad. I am sorry that Opheilia had to go through all that trouble. It is really heat breaking to find out she is no longer wanted. I am glad to hear a new buyer has come along. With her adorable face, she is sure to be loved.

Magic Love Crow said...

I am so sorry this happened to you! I don't understand why people do this? If you can't afford it, just say so! If you have to do a payment plan in 4 months, ask, but give a good down deposit at first. Work with the seller! I am always open to working with my buyers, as I know you are! I just did a special order and the lady paid up front totally! I have never had that before and I was so grateful! The pictures of Ophelia are so adorable! I know she will be adopted soon! She is a special girl! Big Hugs and keep on smiling ;o)

Introverted Art said...

that's really crappy :(


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