Special Order being Returned!

Baby Afghan & Pillow Set - crochetted this green baby afghan and pillow set are edged in forest green satin ribbon.
@byfaithonly (10716)
United States
March 5, 2008 2:03pm CST
I don't expect a lot of responses to this discussion but I'm rather upset right now and really need to vent right now. As some of my friends know, I crochet baby afghans. I've been making afghans for over 30 years and have never had a complaint about a single one. For the last year I've been making baby blanket and matching pillow sets and selling them online. I've sold over 20 sets as well as several single afghans. Still, not a single complaint. Well, a little over a month ago I was contacted by a lady with a special request - a different color and design from what I normally do but very close. The stitch I had to use was more time consuming and difficult to do so it took even more time than usual to make the set. I mailed the set Friday and received and email from her today that she is returning the set she's not satisfied with it.... I am upset - I could have been doing many other things rather than working on this set that was not what I would have picked myself (her colors). Ok, for discussion purpose now that I've vented. Have you ever put a lot of time and effort into something for someone else whether being paid for it or not only to have them totally reject your work? Did you take it personally? Or just blow it off and go on? The picture here is not the custom order but one of the sets I normally sell.
17 people like this
33 responses
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
5 Mar 08
ah, I am sorry about that. That is great, though, that it is only one complaint in all these years of making the sets. maybe if another special order comes in you will have to stipulate a restocking fee or something er other to protect your investment. I do hope you will be able to list the custom set and sell it elsewhere. what color did she opt for? did she give reason for her disatisfaction? maybe she just did not like her own choices, too bad that you have to pay for her mistakes.
6 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Yes, I will most likely try to sell it but honestly I never would have picked these colors - 2 shades of purple (which I love) and grey :( for a baby??? I questioned her on this and even sent her samples of the colors - she also wanted butterflies which was a ton of work for me. She said it wasn't 'soft' and she would never give it to a baby - I used the same exact yarn I've used for the last 3 years and it's the softest every, even softer than most baby yarns.
4 people like this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
5 Mar 08
They only time I did a special cross stitching order like that I had troubles too, so I stopped doing it. Right now I don't really sell any of my cross stitching I just do them for family and friends. I am not fast enough to make any money at it. Too bad she return the set, maybe you could sell it on ebay or etsy. Perhaps next time you should take a non-refundable down payment on custom orders. I am sure it had nothing to do with your work, she just decided she didn't want to pay the price for the item. People are so callous sometimes.
5 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
5 Mar 08
That is an excellent idea, non-refundable down payment. Maybe a percentage of the total cost. I'll most likely end up putting it on my web site with the others but at a discount as I don't like the colors myself and really have a hard time selling something I don't like.
3 people like this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
6 Mar 08
I can understand that. Its hard to be excited about something you don't like.
2 people like this
@busyB4 (875)
• United States
4 Nov 08
Most crafters I know have a non refundable half down deposit for a special order. Then at least, you have your supplies paid for. If it is one just in normal colors it wouild be one thing, but when it may be unsellable to someone else, it would be worth knowing you have your costs taken care of. So sorry for the return!
@terri0824 (4991)
• United States
5 Mar 08
I've been to your website and viewed your afaghans, they are beautiful. Maybe you need to add a clause on your website with no returns on special orders! Yeah, I have for my children all the time. Now that they are getting older though, they are beginning to show appreciation!
4 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
5 Mar 08
LOL - kids, my kids for the most part are the most unappreciative in the world but even they love the afghans I've made for them. 3 years ago all 4 kids got new ones colors to fit their homes of the 3 older. The younger one went to the store with me and not only picked out the yarn he wanted but also told me what stitch he wanted me to use :) It matched his bedroom but I wouldn't have picked those colors for him pale blue and dark green. Thank you so very much for the compliment on my work, it really means alot to me particularly right now as I am taking this personally. As for returns, I am seriously thinking of not doing special orders in the future unless for someone I know. I've only had one other special order request and that was through a friend and they were thrilled with the afghan - it was for his mother who is from Mexico and he wanted it the colors of the Mexican flag - red, white, and green. LOL it looked very Christmasy to me but those were/are the colors.
3 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Oh wow - I have never had so many people comment on a photo and was greatly surprised.. Yes, I do use the shell stitch, it's my favorite and is so lacy looking for the baby blankets but most of the full-sized ones I do I use the same - it's just so easy for me and goes so fast, plus you don't seem to see a lot of people using it or at least I haven't.
4 people like this
@terri0824 (4991)
• United States
6 Mar 08
LOL, I usually don't even comment on pics, I will rate them when I think about it. I like the shell stitch, but I usually do the granny square, because it turns out even on all sides for me, as when I work from side to side, it is lop sided.
2 people like this
@Annie2 (594)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Well, I do stained glass commission work and people want very difficult time consuming designs. They expect to pay $20 or less for something that takes a week or longer of full days' tedious work. I'll bet they would not work for $20 or less a week! Usually I don't have any complaints about the work. People are usually in awe of stained glass, but not enough in awe of it to want to pay for it. However, one time a man brought me his patterns for 2 large windows and asked me to make them. I did the first one and had him come see it. He then measured it and it was much smaller than his window. He complained and said he couldn't believe I would have the audacity to construct a window without coming to his home to measure it. Excuse me! He brought his pattern with his measurements. So, I had to take off the framework and the outside pieces and re-construct it adding more to the outside edges all around. I will never, ever again make anything to someone else's pattern and measurements.
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Oh that is horrid what that man did and I don't blame you one bit.... Dear I knew we were going to be great friends :) I am going to be picking your brain like crazy. Just a the week before I ordered 2 books on stained glass - I've wanted for years to learn how to do it and we decided to add that to our collection of hand made arts and crafts.
3 people like this
@Annie2 (594)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Maybe you can find a stained glass shop near you where you could take a beginning class. I would recommend it because the teacher will have already been through all the mistakes and hard lessons to be learned and can help you avoid all that. It is a very rewarding art, but it can be very frustrating in the beginning. Once you get the hang of scoring, breaking, grinding and fitting, it will go so much easier. Sometimes universities offer stained glass classes as part of a non-credit continuing adult education program. I have taught that type of class at our local university. Good luck! Enjoy!
2 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Thank you, I did some months back find a place that offered the class but it was a long drive from our house and very pricy - that was why I decided to order the books. One is no help at all but the other is great - step by step instructions as well as lots of tips, common problems, and with each step very detailed instructions and list of tools and supplies needed - lots of pictures too, I love that :)
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Oh that really sucks..to put it mildly especially as you went out of your way to do a color scheme and pattern that you don't normally do and was doing the set according to her "guidelines" of what she wanted. I can relate in some ways...different circumstances though. One of the pet rescuers who took five of my kitties contacted me. She was going to have a fund-raiser event to raise money for her pet rescue and asked me to design and print up flyers ( a lot I might add) for her...it was something I've never done before. She couldn't do it herself as she is one of the few people in the world that doesn't have her own computer...So I said sure, no problem...she OFFERED to pay me for my trouble at least in the cost and expense of using up my ink for my printer. Now under normal circumstances I would have done it for nothing as she was great in taking in some of my cats, but since she DID offer I jumped at the chance. It took me a long time to design and it did indeed take up a lot of my ink...then to ensure she got them on time I mailed them Priority Mail..an extra expense...well that was in October...has she paid me yet? I keep reminding her, sent her "formal" invoices...nothing...and believe me I could use that extra money!
4 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
6 Mar 08
Now that is low - has she taken the kitties or was the fund raiser to raise money to have the kitties transported to her? If she offered to pay for the work and hasn't paid I would be leary of how trusting she would be with caring for the kittens also. I know in the future I'm going to be much more careful about doing special orders and as someone else suggested requiring a non-refundable deposit.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
6 Mar 08
She took the cats (these were full grown cats) in May of 2006...she asked for this "favor" only last year...the fund-raiser was just a general one to bring in more money for her rescue--so the money she wanted to raise had nothing to really do with my cats. I would have asked for payment first or at least half before making up the flyers but it was kind of a "rush" job to boot and she needed them as quickly as possible
4 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
7 Mar 08
Oh well at least the cats found a home but it's still not right of her to offer to pay and then not, I would certainly be upset.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Mar 08
I will also charge a 50% non-refundable fee if I've never sold to the customer before and/or need to locate specific items for the piece. I had a custom jewelry order from hell a few years ago and even thought the bride and her Mom both approved of the pieces, the bridegroom's Mom raised a fuss--- less than a week before the wedding and only 4 days before I was going on a vacation (thankfully the groom essentially told his Mom to zip it...but that was after I frantically looked for supplies to "fix" the problem) I did turn down another weeding job since then because the future bride and her Mom didn't see eye-to-eye and just kept dragging things out. I've had other incidents, but this was by far the most hectic. I don't mind custom work, especially when it's for a customer that knows my style and is clear on what they want, but when it comes to unknown customers, I think it's a 1 in 3 chance there's going to be a problem.
4 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
5 Mar 08
That is an excellent idea, I'd never thought of charging a non-refundable fee but will certainly do that in the future - right now all I have in writing (on my web page) is the money will be refunded minus the shipping cost. If I can't sell or do something with the set though I'm stuck bitting the bullet on the yarn and my time both. I'm going to be working on the site this evening and rather than stopping all custom orders think I'll add the non-refundable fee - I'm sure that will deter people from requesting special orders but at least have myself somewhat covered and customers less likely to return if they know they are going to loss money. If worst comes to worst I'll tear it apart and reuse the yarn at least I'll save that much.
3 people like this
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
6 Mar 08
I am sorry to hear this faith, you do a wonderful job and I am sure you can sell the one you made..In the future though, maybe you can charge more for custom orders?
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
6 Mar 08
Thank you dear - actually I did charge more for this order, mainly because she wanted so much more detail than my normal sets with butterflies on it and multipule colors. I am however in the future going to charge a non-refundable deposit as someone else suggested here - I think that will help for future orders (if any).
3 people like this
• United States
6 Mar 08
Oh, I must have missed that, they really should make it that you can visit your friends discussions without replying first from the e-mail..*rolls eyes* That does sound like a great idea..:)
2 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
7 Mar 08
Oh I know that's been a little pet peeve of mine since the first month I joined - why can't they put a link in those so you can see the whole discussion first?
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
6 Mar 08
Feel free to vent, this is the right place for it. We can let what's on our chest out and know that we have friends here that understand. As for what happened, I'm not sure I would allow myself to take it personally, although that would be my first reaction. I think that just for such cases maybe you should make it clear on your site and on your contact with the person that there will be no returns on special orders. I know some people that do that. WIll you be able to sell it on your site even the colors are not the ones you use? I will take a look at it, after, but I am responding trough my email, so I can't comment on your picture. Big hug:)
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
6 Mar 08
Thank you dear - I am very thankful for having myLot to vent on and have actually gotten some great encouragment and advice. I don't think I'm going to do 'no refund' but do think I'm going to require a non-refundable deposit on special orders in the future. I am hoping I'll be able to sell it but honestly I will probably just tear it apart and use the yarn for something else - I'm not sure at this point. The picture here isn't the one I did for her, it's one of the style I normally do. And hugs to you to dear - I needed and appreciate that :)
3 people like this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
6 Mar 08
I can see it now :) I understand it's not the one you made special order, but it's quite beautiful, probably more beautiful depending on the colors she asked for :) My mother in law - yes , she does have some good points LOL - made one for my daughter when she was born. But she made it with ...hmmmm what is that called , it's not wool, it's the stuff they use for tablecloths and bead spreads sometimes. IN any case we still have it. My daughter has it on the wall. I like your idea better than mine. A non-refundable deposit for special orders seems fair for both sides.
2 people like this
@mimatexas (1835)
• United States
6 Mar 08
Faith, I completely understand your being upset, I have been there too! I don't make crocheting projects but I do sell Forever Living Products. I had this lady, my neighbor, who ordered about $50 worth of products and told me she would pay me until next Monday, so come Monday I went to her house and she told me,"you know what, I don't want the products anymore" I was soooo upset but didn't show it to her. I could have sold the products somewhere else. It's okay to vent, let your feelings show a little!
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
6 Mar 08
I've never heard of 'Forever Living Products' could you share more about them. That was certainly not right of that lady. I have vented and please don't take this wrong but I'm almost glad to hear that I'm not the only person that this has happened to - it actually sounds common. I feel better now and will continue on. I'm working on 2 white sets right now, same lady ordered both and has ordered 10 or 12 over the last 2 years. She certainly has had no complaints :)
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 08
This is simply crazy! because when I saw this picture orginally, the first thing I told my mom was that I wanted one for my baby sophia. You know their are just those people in life that you just cant please. Dont take it personally because you do a fantastic job. Some people are just out to be rude and get things free. or arent happy unless they are complaining about something at all times.
2 people like this
@terri0824 (4991)
• United States
7 Mar 08
Yep, you sure did. Glad I knew what you were talking about since, I had responded to this discussion earlier in the day! Got to get the yarn! What color or colors this time my dear?
2 people like this
@Gwatson (58)
• United States
6 Mar 08
Okay, I'm really angry! I just spent five minutes writing out a really detailed and encouraging post, just to have it disappear...I'll try this again... When I was working as a freelance writer, I had a client who requested that I refund them for a project or provide a rewrite. Either way, I would lose time or money. I spent a lot of energy and time to get the project ready by its deadline. I was very peeved and took it very personally! Have you considered a "no refund" policy for custom orders since they require more time, resources, etc.?
2 people like this
@squaretile (3833)
• Singapore
14 Mar 08
oh dear, so sorry to hear that sweetheart. I think there should be some clause in your commerical sales that there is a non-refundable deposit. i know you do sales based on good faith, but this is just unfair to tailor order something and reject it because it came out ugly (which is what you probably could have told her in the first place since she chose weird colours - I'm guessing). Perhaps just to avoid future situations like this, for first time buyers, i think it is perfectly acceptable and reasonable to request for a non-refundable partial deposit. hope this helps. Perhaps you could post pictures of it on etsy or ebay and someone with eclectic tastes might decide they want it! all the best!
2 people like this
• Philippines
13 Mar 08
Me, i have rejected so many times. And it hurts even it was happen many times. I don't know why some other people don't have a little consideration of a piece of work, do they know that you put all your effort on that and they simple say i don't like it. I am doing hand made earrings , i discover that i have a talent over it last summer and a friend of a friend seen it and want to have something like that but suggested something that fits their every day jewelry and so i did it, and when i finalize it i mailed it to their house. And they put the earrings back to me after rejected it. Actually the earring just came back to our address and i just curious about it so i ask and they said they rejected it because they don't like the color etc... so i felt sad. This people have no consideration, they don't care what other people might feel if they just reject that easily.
@venshida (4837)
• United States
12 Mar 08
I have never had anyone return any of my items. I personally think this person has issues, please put some stipulation on your website for future orders.
• United States
11 Mar 08
I have not had any items returned yet, however at many craft fairs, you can't help but hear comments while people are passing by or looking over your merchandise. I never take it personally, you just can't please everyone. My policies for "special orders" are different than my ready to sell items. I tell the client to please make sure they are happy with their chosen colors/design because they are non-refundable. As for ready to sell items, one of my requests are that if you are not satified with your purchase, you must give an exact reason why. Perhaps the person who ordered this changed their mind last minute and it was their way of getting out of paying for it?
@KrauseHome (36738)
• United States
8 Mar 08
All I know if this would have been me, I would definately let her know this would be the last time I would deal with her, but at the same time apologize for it not being to her liking. But actually when she returns this too you, if it is still in the NEW condition, I am sure you can find someone else who would be interested in getting this. That is really nice, and very pretty. But I can relate as a lot of times I have had this happen to me over time. That is when you just learn to brush it off your shoulder, count it up as a lesson learned and move on. Wishing you the Best from now on.
@sallysue (326)
• Canada
8 Mar 08
The amount of time, work and effort you put in should have been rewarded. How discouraging that you were treated that way. I am quite an avid crocheter myself, in fact I had to stop because I developed carpal tunnel in both wrists. But, as far as I'm concerned a person that is doing a craft never recoups the money for the hours they've put into it. I have a friend of mine whom does that all the time. I've learned by many rejections no matter how much she wants something I won't make it for her. She can make it herself. I think it really hurts and eventually I go on, but at first it stings.
@shaggin (50955)
• United States
7 Mar 08
That is always upsetting when you work hard on something and then someone doesnt like it. What was her reason for not wanting the item that you made and sent to her. If it was something you werent used to doing and say you didnt do a good job on it I can see her returning it but like if it was just the fact that she didnt like the colors together or the style then you shouldnt have to give her money back its not fair. Online through like ebay is not wal-mart your not mass producing items and making a ton of money off things and can easily take a loss on an item.
@cjsmom (1423)
• United States
6 Mar 08
I can't believe the 'gall'...After requesting something "out of the norm" for you and all your hard work. I have made baby afghans as well but not in several years. I do have to start one for my only grandbaby. I call them, "Birth Announcement Blankets"...They have their name, "It's a Boy/Girl", the date they were born, weight, inches, etc. I have never sold any; not that I haven't tried but gave up on that. It does take a lot of time to make them and you'd think people would be more appreciative. Just let it go...Say a prayer for the woman.
2 people like this
@comfort55 (1574)
• India
6 Mar 08
I can understand that you must have been very upset for the rejection of work for which you gave so much of your time just to satisfy your customer. But the thing is that she didnt want it hence all the excuses for that. In future you should take some down money specially for the new customer when you take an order. Best Wishes!