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Mon Apr 19 2021 15:58:49

Sellers, Don't Look a Gift Gnome in the Mouth

By: Ina Steiner

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The phrase, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," is an admonishment to be grateful when receiving a present and not to find fault with that present, according to the Grammarist. That was the general sentiment of sellers when a colleague became wary of a buyer, which we described in today's editorial (substitute "gnome" for "horse").

Here's what we wrote in the editorial (which is available only to subscribers of the free Newsflash email newsletter):

"After 2 decades of perusing marketplace seller discussion boards, I thought I had seen it all. Then comes this thread on Etsy: "One customer is buying too many Gnomes. Should I worry?" 

"The headline is cute, and so are the plush gnomes the seller makes, but the seller's concern is real. "I have one customer and she is buying a lot of my Gnomes. I send like 6 Gnomes in last 3 days, I have 7 in progress right now and she ordered 2 more like an hour ago. Should I worry about it? Can customer charge us back? She doesn't respond to my messages."

"Another seller responded that she had had similar concerns when a buyer of two of her felted mice with dresses came back a few weeks later asking for 50 unclothed mice. "I was slow to respond as I too thought "Why"??!!" But it turned out they were destined for a film studio. The lesson: you just never know!"

A reader emailed us his advice to the seller: "definitely don't turn a cold shoulder to those kind of sales (Home Runs), otherwise you'll forever be in a hole and looking for small sales."

He said the seller's concern reminded him of a few of his largest sales - one was when a large store sent him some emails before placing a $20,000 order. "Besides getting paid up front in stages, I was still sweating bullets until the last check cleared and they approved the merchandise."

Sellers who responded on the Etsy thread were likewise reassuring to the gnome-seller. One seller quipped, "She probably wanted to see if they were as cute in person before ordering more. Perfectly gnormal." 

Hopefully this story will end well. Do you have stories of orders that made you nervous for one reason or another, but that had a happy ending?

Comments (8) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Apr 19 17:43:40 2021

Not uncommon at all...
I had a very famous hotel in New York order an item to check the quality, packaging,  and turnaround time, I got an order for 200 of them a week later.
It Happens  :o)
Could happen a little more.....

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by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 19 18:24:37 2021

I have had return customers come to buy multiples of items.

Usually I have already established a relationship through messaging.
By then you can get a good idea if someone is more genuine. (and you have better confirmation of commitment)

Just had a message last week,
''when will you get these back in stock?''
- sort of an empty request as there was detachment in the message, and I never heard back after my reply.
Those buyers always make me nervous.

Most times scammers want as much distance from the person they're trying to rob. (Just look how the corporate reps and executives behave)

It is a good idea to get payment in full, really it should be the standard.
Hopefully they crated one big listing so they don't get steamrolled by listing fees.
If it was a large amount, I doubt that would have made that big of a difference.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Apr 19 18:43:10 2021

I went and looked at the gnomes. The seller is LLCraftingStore in case anyone else wants to check them out. They are really cute.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 20 10:41:37 2021

Never assume you know what’s in the other guy’s pocket, or why they might want to spend it.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Apr 20 13:56:52 2021

It's the venues' lack of protections  for sellers that make sellers fear these types of sales.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Apr 22 02:03:19 2021

There is literally a Gnome shortage this year in certain parts of the world.  Which is why they are likely selling for that seller.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 22 07:19:40 2021

Why not just ASK the buyer why?

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Apr 22 15:08:31 2021

@Marie - The seller in question does not sell garden gnomes, she sells soft-bodied toys with no legs nor arms, and a big nose sticking out from under a gnome hat. She could just as easily call them wizards.



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