3 Feb 2010

To celebrate Imbolc, here's a photo I took at sunrise on the 31st of January this year, from the bottom of my garden. The days may well be getting noticeably longer, but that night the ground was white with frost and it was f-f-freezing!

OK, I really need to get this off my chest as it's been bugging me for a while now... WHY do so many buyers fail to leave feedback for the items they buy online?
Maybe they don't realise feedback is the only way for an online seller to gain a public reputation about the quality of their work and/or customer service, so they don't believe it's important. Maybe they're uneasy about condensing their buying experience into a single sentence (although on Etsy the length of each feedback comment is unlimited, so you can write pages and pages if you like or just check the positive box and not bother writing anything at all!) Or maybe they're just too idle to bother with it. Whatever the reason I find it really annoying, especially as often finding feedback left for an item is the only way I have of knowing it's arrived safely. I don't approve of sellers "blackmailing" their customers into leaving feedback by stating that they won't leave it until it's been left for them... it feels unfair NOT to give someone (good) feedback for choosing your item and paying promptly as soon as possible after the transaction. I also find it slightly worrying that the people who don't leave feedback after buying from me have as their reason the fact that maybe they can't actually think of anything NICE to say so prefer to say nothing! I tell myself that's not the case, but still I'm not quite convinced. If a buyer has a problem with something they've bought I'd much rather they told me about it (although maybe NOT in public feedback, but privately so I can do something to fix it!) In common with all the online sellers I know, I value each and every positive feedback I get... reading people's comments about the things I've made and they've bought not only makes me feel good about myself and my craft, but also leaves a lasting testament to prospective buyers about the quality of my work... and in a virtual market place where folks can't actually handle the goods this is an extremely important tool for people to get the feel of what they might be thinking of buying. Up until today, on Etsy I've been fortunate enough to have had 364 sales, but only 289 feedback comments. That 70-odd people who haven't bothered to leave feedback is a large proportion of my customers and I'd dearly love to know their reasons. I'm fully aware that there are some folks who prefer not to acknowledge their purchase of magical tools, but I've only ever had ONE customer request me not to leave feedback for them for privacy reasons, so I don't believe that's what's behind most of the "feedback neglect". Oddly, a lot of people take the time to write me a little thank-you note which of course has to remain private, saying how pleased they are with their item, but STILL don't leave public feedback!

So please, all you buyers out there, leave feedback for the items you buy. Be honest about the item in question and the entire buying experience, as your words will help to guide many others into deciding whether or not to purchase from that particular seller. But try to be kind as well and if you have a problem tell the seller FIRST and give them a chance to try and sort it out... if they don't do everything in their power to fix anything that may be their fault then they deserve all the negative feedback they get, but don't condemn them without letting them try to make amends.

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