I haven’t been around much, posting, this last week because I’ve been busy with stupid things that I shouldn’t have had to be busy with.
One of the congos I stock at, “Their Own Knitted World“, had their monthly stocking last week. The featured fiber artist was “Becoming Art“, a fairly popular yarn and fiber dyer in the community. I was pretty excited about this stocking. I knit a sweet little skirt using some Becoming Art yarn that had been handspun by a good friend of mine. It was so darling and I was so happy with how it turned out, that I wished I had knit it in Evie’s size, so I could keep it if it didn’t sell.
I had no idea what to charge for this skirty. Handspun yarn tends to be a little pricey, but it was a small skirt and I wasn’t sure, in this economy, how much people would want to pay for something like this. So I put it up as an auction with a fairly low starting bid price, decided to let the customers decide how much it was worth.
The auction started Friday night and was set to go through Sunday morning. I got a few bids and was happy with each bid that came in because it meant this skirty would be going to a new home and would be loved. At least I hoped so.
When the auction was over, I emailed the winner as is customary, letting her know she won and as soon as she submits payment, I’d get the skirt out in the mail to her. A little less than an hour later, I heard back and was disheartened to hear from her that she no longer wanted the skirt. The excuse was flimsy, at best. It did make me wonder if she was experience buyers remorse and simply didn’t want to spend the money. She suggested I email the person who had bid behind her to see if she wanted to purchase instead. I was unsure what to do as I’d never experienced this situation before. I looked to other sellers for advice and responded later that evening. I told her I was sorry to hear her reasonings, and that she was welcome to not pay but that if she did not then I would need to place a “flag” on her account for non-payment, according to the Hyena Cart user agreement, which I linked her to online. I mentioned that I had emailed the other bidder but hadn’t heard back and didn’t especially expect to as she had no obligation to purchase, whereas she did. The responsibility here was hers and hers alone. I asked her to let me know what she planned to do as soon as possible so I could proceed accordingly (ship the skirt to her if she paid, leave the flag if she did not, and possibly re-list the skirty in hopes that I could still sell it to someone who would want it).
I didn’t hear anything from her for two more days. I was advised to ahead and leave the flag and plan to relist the skirt. The flag is simply a note in her account, only visible to myself, her and to the powers that be at Hyena Cart. I put up the flag and put a note on the auction listing that I would be relisting the skirt due to non-payment. This is standard practice, and often you will see auction or regular listings relisted due to non-payment. It is sad, but it’s true. Well almost immediately I received an angry email from the lady, demanding I remove the flag and the note on the auction about relisting due to non-payment. She viewed this as a public outing and was very offended. She said she had been very ill the last several days and unable to email. She also chided me for my lack of compassion. I was STUNNED at this. No where had I lambasted her publicly and her sudden shift to attack mode had me thrown off.
I responded right away, as calmly and professionally as I could. I told her I was sorry to hear she had been so ill but that Hyena Cart policies were clear on this matter. I quoted the policies to her and linked to them as well.
If you would like to flag a buyer for non-payment in the case of a drawing or auction, you can do so via the Order History page (use the Flag link all the way to the right of the order table). These flags are not visible publicly, but if a shopper is flagged by multiple sellers, he / she may be blocked from shopping at Hyena Cart.
I felt this proved that the flag on her account was not public as she seemed to think. I told her I would not remove the flag as the issue of her not paying for the skirt was still unresolved. Simple enough, yes? Policies state that an item will be re-listed (and appropriate feedback left) if an item is not paid for 2 hours after purchased. I waited two days. I thought I was being very lenient. But apparently not, according to her.
Several hours later, I received notice she had paid for the skirty. I thought that meant the issue was over. I wasn’t happy about sending this beloved skirt to someone I knew wouldn’t appreciate it, but at least the issue would be resolved. I planned to print a shipping label and get it out in the mail as soon as possible, and put this whole thing behind me.
But then, shortly after she paid, she sent me an email saying she had paid for the skirty and left negative feedback against me on the cart. She also mentioned she had posted on two separate Yahoo Groups about this issue. I know some ladies who belong to one of the yahoo groups and they said the posting mentioned me and my business by name and was heavily skewed to portray me as a mean spirited and uncompassionate individual. I was rocked. She accused me of calling her out publicly when I left a private flag and she goes to post to two public Yahoo Groups? I didn’t even know what to SAY about this.
I wrote a short email that I planned to ship the skirt out first thing in the morning and that I had removed the flag, since she had paid. I asked her to remove the feedback (which was hurtful and full of misinformation to boot, since she accused me of not sending her the skirt when she had only just paid just before leaving the feedback!) and that I still wished to come to a peaceful resolution. I also asked her if she would rather I refund her for the skirt instead of shipping it out. I then responded to the feedback she left, trying to give my side of the events.
I shipped the skirt out in the morning heard nothing from her and the next evening I had by chance happened to check the feedback, to see if she had removed it, only to see she had responded to MY response. She had copy and pasted my email to her, as well as stated she did not want the skirt and she would be sending it back to me as soon as she received it. She said she didn’t care if she was refunded. She also mentioned again that she was ill and her particular illness causes her to get sicker with stress. She wanted a public apology before removing the negative feedback and she hoped I would give the skirt away to someone as a result.
I was stuck on that she didn’t even want the skirt and felt sick that I had mailed it to her at all. Why hadn’t she emailed me after I said I would be mailing her the skirt? I had mentioned that I would refund her without a flag on her account if she wanted. I couldn’t figure out what she wanted. As for a public apology, that was simply laughable. What did I have to apologize for? Had I smeared her on two separate Yahoo Groups and left hateful negative public feedback? No, all I had done was expect payment from someone who had won an auction. I had nothing to apologize for.
I emailed her again, against my better instincts, trying yet again to explain my side and ask her what her motivations were. I wanted to know how I could make this all just go away as it was really upsetting. Her response yielded no new information, however, just more of the same. Except this time she mentioned she expected immediate reimbursement when the skirty was returned (as opposed to not caring about being refunded as she stated in her feedback). I never expected not to refund her immediately but found the difference interesting.
Mostly, I’m just sick at heart over all of this. I have put in a support ticket with Hyena Cart to get the feedback removed and they are reviewing my case. At the end of the day, this is still a beautiful little skirt and I loved to knit and would still love to see go to a loving home. But seeing all the drama that is now attached to it, my hopes of that happening are fairly low.
So that brings me to today. I’m very frustrated and rather depressed about the whole thing. It has me questioning all sorts of things. I’m just not sure where to go from this point forward.