I debated with myself for a long time before deciding to write this post. It is not one of my typical posts and leans toward the ranty side so I completely understand if you want to skip over this one and not read it, I will not be offended in the least.
The seller name & item have not been included in this post though I really want to tell you who it is and to stay away from their shop.
At the beginning of May, I decided to treat myself to a little something from Etsy. I went through my favs and decided what I wanted to order. What I decided on was from a local seller who lives less than 20 miles from me. Perfect, I’ll be getting something awesome and I’ll be supporting a local artist. I bought and paid for the item and quickly received a message from the seller thanking me for the order but there was a problem with the item. The item had several parts to it but one part wasn’t available so a new one had to be made but it would be mailed soon.
So I waited for the item to come, one week, ten days, two weeks, went by when finally three weeks after ordering I emailed to ask where my item was. I was told that a family emergency had come up but that the item would be shipped that evening. [For the record, it wasn’t exactly a family emergency; it was a sick godson, not an actual immediate family member or even blood relative.] I’m not one to want to make things harder during a stressful time so I politely said to not rush and gave my condolences. The seller must have taken this as “mail it next year but only if your life is peachy” because I never received that package that I was told was being mailed that evening.
Fast forward to the beginning of June, it has been one month since I have ordered so I sent another email waited for two days for a response but didn’t get one. I thought that maybe my email got lost in the Spam filter so I sent an etsy convo… and waited… and waited… after a week of not getting a reply from either the email or the convo, I reported the transaction to Etsy and filed a PayPal dispute. Another week went by when I finally received a response from the seller through Etsy & PayPal. The seller said that I had told them that it was fine to take their time and that I would receive a refund.
I checked my account, nope, no refund there. I sent a message through Etsy & Paypal stating that I was told I would get a refund and that I hadn’t received it. *cricket, cricket* No response. I waited another week, sent another message saying that I still haven’t received a reply or a refund. Still no response. I contacted Etsy to ask if there was a next step or anything else I can do. No response from them either. (I could, at this point, go on a rant a dozen pages long about Etsy Admin and their complete lack of competence or customer service but I will save that for another day).
Two weeks after the last response from the seller, I received a notice from PayPal that my dispute would be closing very soon and if a resolution had not been met then I could escalate it to a PayPal claim where they would investigate. So I did. We will see how that goes.
I never wanted it to get to this point. I am really disappointed. I was so excited to be supporting a local artist because there aren’t many of us around this area. I live in a small rural area where the school system and community only supports & cares about the football team. We recently received a donation for an Astroturf football field, Titan-tron scoreboard, and new field house (I know ridiculous huh? It’s freaking High School football!) but the marching band has to do fund raisers just to pay for transportation to away games, the art lab is in a one room trailer (not even connected to the rest of the school), has very little funds and has to do fund raisers to buy basic supplies and we don’t even have a theater group. Other than taking classes at the community college, there aren’t any available art outlets for adults; we do not even have an art/craft supply store. I want to see the arts community here grow. I want to see the community take an interest in something other than sports and the false hopes & dreams of the high school football players. I want to do every little bit I can to help foster that growth even though I’m just a small drop in a big pond (or should I compare it to a stagnate swamp).
But I digress… I really hoped that, like me, this local artist, would be happy to find another local artist on Etsy. It just really upsets me that they would act this way and not want to work it out. They are just content with keeping my money, not sending me the item, and not even responding to my messages. Do I believe that the godson was actually sick? Maybe. Do I believe that in two months time the seller didn’t have time to check email, pick up their own mail or go to the post office, no. It was just blatant disregard for me and my messages. In all my years of buying from various sites like Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon, I have never had a situation that had to be taken this far to (hopefully) find a resolution. In fact, I can’t even recall a single transaction that I didn’t receive the item. Had they just responded to my emails & messages I wouldn’t be as upset by this whole thing as I am. After nearly two months, it is getting pretty old. I just want my money back and to be done with it. I’ll stick to buying local art through local places from now on.
Just a bit of advice to sellers out there: If you are in a situation where you will not be able to meet the demands of your shop for what ever reason, even if it is just one sale that could go wrong, please put your shop on vacation. Please don’t leave your shop open where buyers will end up confused and frustrated at you, your shop, and lack of communication. It may not be a priority when the stress comes but it will only add to your own stress if something like this happens.