An Etsy Tale of Woe…

Hello readers!  Today, I’m back with another tale of Etsy, but unlike my previous ‘adventures’, this one doesn’t have a cheery, jolly ending.  In fact, it’s left a bitter taste, and I’m feeling a bit bummed.  *sigh*

Well, I’ll start at the beginning and finish at the end.

I came across a shop called LadyTA on Etsy, and found some of the items to be very cute and girly.  A button-down skirt in particular caught my eye, and I thought it would be the perfect addition to my summer wardrobe.  I have been using one white skirt for almost every day since June.  It’s getting pretty tattered, and I was desperately in need of a new bottom!

Off I went to check her feedback –never buy anything online without checking the seller’s feedback first!—and thought that her score wasn’t too bad.  At the time, she had 600+ positives, 20+ Neutrals, and 3 Negatives.  Neutrals that weren’t happy with the colour not being exactly as seen on screen, I immediately dismissed.  I know for a fact how inaccurate colours on a screen can be.  She had a neutral for cheap quality dresses, and one for buttons coming off after the first wear.  That wasn’t too good, but I was sure that if that happened to me, sewing them back on would be a quick fix.  Negatives ranged from not receiving the item, to concerns about the lining not being hemmed, or of poor quality and mismatched seams.

I wasn’t sure what to think.  99% positive feedback is still a very high score, but a lot of her feedback seemed to have no comments, or positive ratings with not-so-happy comments in them.

I finally decided to buy the skirt anyway.  I really needed a skirt, and I also really wanted to support another small business.  I suppose I can say that I gave this seller a fair chance!

As you can see in the picture below, one other person who had bought the skirt that I was looking at thought it adorable and well made.  I took heart, and took the plunge.  It took about 3 weeks to get to me, which I was ok with.  She was in Thailand, after all!
Lady TA feedbackAt first sight, I squealed.  It was terribly cute, and there were pockets!  Pockets, people!!!!  But then, I took a closer look, and saw all the flaws.  The poorly done button-holes, the two buttons that fell off on the second day of wearing the skirt, and the unraveling hemline and pockets.  It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was still pretty bad.  I found myself pulling on threads to tighten the stitches, and then going over them with needle and thread to keep them secure.  I sewed the buttons back on.  I even tried to fix the button-holes myself.
Lady TA Skirt I then left feedback, neutral feedback, mind you, and not negative.  I wrote, “Cute as a button, but stitching is lacking/crooked in parts of the skirt all over. Will need to touch it up myself. However, shipping was fast. Thanks very much.”  I felt that under the circumstances, that was the fairest feedback I could give.  A few days later, she sent me a message to ‘kiss and make up’, an Etsy feature that allows seller and buyer to change their feedbacks and work things out. I responded, hoping to get things resolved, and more than willing to change mine to a positive. She never responded, and left me neutral feedback the very next day!

Below, you can see our conversation history.
Feedback EtsyAs you can imagine, I’m very upset and disappointed that despite my positive efforts to reach out, she never responded or tried to do anything.  I might even break my ladylike rule, and say that I am… ticked off.  This wasn’t just about a poorly made skirt anymore.  This was about principles.  Her behaviour explained all the other ‘positive’ feedbacks that had less than positive messages in them.  I understood this to be LadyTA’s bargaining chip.  Leave her a negative/neutral feedback, and she will do the same if you don’t kiss and make up.  And by that, I mean she doesn’t even try to rectify the situation.
Etsy Feedback

After much thought, I changed my feedback to a positive one, but with almost the same message, adding that the seller was not communicative.  To me, it was not worth having an undeserved neutral for such a petty reason as that, but I wanted to be sure that others knew about my experience with her, and that is mostly the main reason that I am writing this post.  (The other reason is to vent, lol…)

Now for the million dollar question –would I buy from LadyTA again, and would I recommend her to other people?

The answer is: No, and maybe… but not really.

No, I won’t ever buy from her again.  I can’t respect someone whose way of dealing with ‘hiccoughs’ in running a business, is to avoid actually solving said problems, but playing the cards so that in the end, he/she pretty much ‘walks away with it’.

Maybe I would recommend others interested in her items, to take a good look at her feedback and decide whether they think they might run into any problems themselves, or if they will be one of the lucky ones to have a perfect transaction.  It’s up to them.

Some people that I have already shared this story with have been of the opinion that we just shouldn’t buy from overseas countries anymore.  I am not of that mind, and think it is entirely unfair.  There are amazing, wonderful sellers like Thiriya of Ickady Bag out there, and I would hate to say no to foreign talent simply because of one sour grape.  My advice to anyone thinking of purchasing from an overseas Etsy seller is to look very hard at the feedback.  If the positive feedbacks seem to have a different tone, usually there is an unresolved dissatisfaction behind it.  Lesson learned, be wary!  Green doesn’t always mean go!  Or in this case, buy.

Have you ever had an unsatisfactory experience?  How did you and the seller work to resolve it?


— Miss Cathie


  1. August 30, 2012 / 2:22 pm

    Wow. That’s just horrible business ethic – I’m sorry you had to go through that! I honestly don’t understand how shop owners like that get so many sales and don’t get called out more often. It’s so annoying! Hopefully you were able to fix the skirt and make it wearable! How much was it? Eek.


    • Cathie
      August 30, 2012 / 2:29 pm

      The skirt, shipping included, was $37.99. I got a skirt at Simons for $19.00, and it was way better quality than hers!

      Etsy is a scary place when you run into sellers like that. The feedback system is not perfect, and Etsy won’t step in unless you never got the item. I’m pretty sure a few sellers would get called out more often, if the feedback weren’t basically a ‘tit for tat’ system.

      It’s a bit annoying, and I’m still fixing the skirt up, but I’ll make it work! 🙂 You’ll see it in a future outfit post, (MAYBE) soon… lol

  2. August 30, 2012 / 3:43 pm

    Yikes! How utterly unscrupulous and manipulative of them. :/

    So far, I’ve actually never had an internet-based transaction turn out bad. *knock on wood*

  3. September 24, 2012 / 2:21 pm

    interesting read, thanks for sharing your experience. i think you did everything you could as a customer to solve the situation….it’s too bad she was so unresponsive.

    • Cathie
      September 24, 2012 / 5:53 pm

      Definitely too bad. 🙁 But on the bright side, I have another skirt to wear on lazy days at home. 🙂

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