Sunday, February 04, 2007

Answer Me This

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Well, yesterday's post sure hit a nerve! So today I thought I would write about crazy customers. I first thought it might appeal more to you artsy types but, I've decided anyone with a BRAIN can relate.

1. Can anybody tell me, if someone knows EVERYTHING there is to know about a given subject, WHY would she spend perfectly good money to take a class? Just to annoy the teacher? Is she that lonely?

This person was in my class yesterday, again! Interrupting my lecture and correcting me. It's ART lady! There is no RIGHT way, there is only the way that has worked for me. I left class emotionally exhausted and still can't figure out why this know-it-all keeps showing up.

2. Why is it when people are dealing with a small business run by an individual, they feel the need to ask for a discount? "Gee, my total is $100 bucks. (A hundred bucks! WOW! That'll pay the mortgage!) You need to give me a discount."

I hear this daily (even for 20 dollar orders!). A) Do they possibly think this is original? B) Do they do this at Walmart (Macy's, Michael's)? It's not like I'm Williams Sonoma with a 300 percent markup! I'm a little business. I pay cash for everything. I carry accessories as a convenience to my customers and when you take into account minimum orders my vendors have, stuff can sit here for months. I'm barely making a profit.

As for my jewelry, I have to account for my TIME. If you could make it, then go home and do it.

3. Do I appear to be crazy? I ask this because of a woman that calls every time our cookie show airs on television. She insists I should mail her a cookie kit and some stamps and she will, in return, mail me a post dated check for a few months down the road. Her excuse is, if she had the kit, she could make some money to pay me.

I explain to her that I am a cash and carry business, no cash, no carry. I explain to her that she should just mail me the check when she has money in a few months and when it clears, she'll have her kit. She does this several times a year. Funny thing is, when the few months later rolls around, I never see a check. Yet, like clockwork, the show airs, here she is on my 800 number again...

4). Do I attract the mentally ill? At least once a month since I took on this business, I get an email from a woman on the East coast. I remember her because we share the same first name and her last name is very unusual.

Her emails are always the same for several months, then she changes tactics. Her first emails read, "Send me a free catalog." I wrote back for months with the link to purchase my catalog. (Too many catalog collectors out there...just can't afford the $10 bucks to print something and give it away.)

Then her emails changed to "Do you take money odear?" (her misspelling, not mine.) I would write back explaining that I do take money orders and give her my address and ask her to please contact me before purchasing the money order to be sure she is allowing enough for shipping. A few weeks later, "Do you take money odear?"

Now her emails are asking for my "tole free number" which is on my website but a little hidden on purpose (easily found in the shopping cart). I cannot simply pay to be some one's new best friend.

All thoughts and comments appreciated. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. I promise a funny Mabel Lou post next.


Linda@VS said...

I came back to comment on yesterday's post (hands were busy eating lunch when I first read it) and discovered that Kim had already said pretty much exactly what I wanted to say. So...ditto.

As for today's entry, I firmly believe most people are good hearted and well balanced...but the crazies and the meanies seem to be gaining in number. Maybe it only seems that way because their abnormal behavior grabs our attention, while normal behavior slips right on through our mental filters.

Pretty Things said...

This post made me laugh out loud -- I loved it!

Anonymous said...

I hear you Holly! At art shows a standard response we hear to price on jewelry is..."$XX for that!!! I happen to know silver is selling for $XX an ounce on the world market!" Our response? "Well gee, maybe you should buy an ounce of silver and make your own."

And on the request for discounts, Mike's standard response is..."How would you feel if your boss suggested you give him a discount on your wages since you made so much this week?"

It is so easy to get burned out by your customers.

Anonymous said...

For God's sake - some people just never quit, do they?! All you can do is smile, and repeat your terms, price, etc. - and let it be THEIR problem, not yours. I love the responses on life at star's rest - give them a try! And just keep hanging on to your good humor.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...


Thanks so much! I agree that the negative behaviors do seem so overwhelming sometimes, you wonder where all the good people are.

Lori, Thanks for the visit!

Carmon, Yeah, I have a few responses like that. My favorite is when they pick something up, examine it closely and then drop it saying, "I could make that." I often reply, "Yes, but you're so busy, when would you find the time?" I've actually made sales like this!

Jackie, Humor is all I got these days! LOL!

Sunflower Optimism said...

I used to get the same in my decorative painting biz - "will you discount if I pay cash?" or "can you do better than that?" or "do I have to pay tax?"

Then there were those who wanted me to leave a sample board so they could shop around.


Stand firm, don't discount your art. If they want it cheaper, then scale down the work. Discounting cheapens art.