29 November 2007


I have a silly question for you folks today. I was thinking about "reserved" items and wondering if maybe you would share your input regarding the matter. See, I usually reserve items on my etsy for people if they ask, and I have no problem with doing that. I know that other crafters/ artisans don't necessarily do this, and they have their reasons. It seems to me that one major reason that some choose not to reserve items is that some folks think it's not fair. I am not sure if it or isn't fair, but I thought I would throw the question out there in hopes of a discussion. In addition (and for the fun of it), I have put up a little poll on the sidebar where you can vote:

A) Reserving items is fine. Keep doing it.

B) Ehhhh, not so fair. It should be on a first come-first serve basis.

So please let me know what you think. I am extremely interested to learn what people's thoughts on this are, especially right now when I am producing things in limited batches, not for the sake of making an exclusive or elusive item so much as because I am having a hard time managing my time and moving as fast as I would like to move. I am updating the shop tomorrow by 2 PM, and sadly, it will only be small batch of items. Monday's will be larger, but please do stop by tomorrow anyway. I hope you'll see something that you like. Thanks!


Barbara Prime said...

I really think this is something that each seller must work out for herself, depending on how she is comfortable doing business.

My reserved items are maybe a little different. They are actually commissioned pieces - toys people have requested me to make just for them. I ask people to reserve a spot for a custom toy. This way they can request exactly what they want, and I can manage my time better. As for the other toys I make, it is on a first-come, first-serve basis - not that I have people knocking down the door to buy my toys :)

Barbara Prime said...

I just noticed the full wording of the vote, and feel a little dumb...

Mama Urchin said...

What is really the difference between a reserved piece and a commission? I realize for a commission the buyer may have more say in what the piece looks like but isn't a reserved piece just a commission where the buyer said make me a mouse (or whatever) however you as the artist want?

I personally have no problem with reserved items in shops.

Marisa said...

I've been reading your blog for a little under a year (I was slow to the "blog thing"), but until today I didn't realise that you were receptive to people emailing and "reserving" items. As a result, I have carefully watched a couple of your shop updates and been disappointed that the item(s) I liked came up as "reserved". I thought maybe my browser was slow, and that those people had gotten there first but had PayPal issues or whatever that needed to be resolved, or maybe they were personal friends. As a "stranger", I would never have been bold enough to email you and ask to have something I'd seen in your blog updates "set aside" for me (not that I don't love my Andre minimantis!)

Which is my own issue, obviously. One of the things I really admire about your business model is that you are very honest, friendly and fair (you refunded me a couple of dollars on shipping when it turned out to be cheaper than expected...that is not common!) However, unless you state somewhere (on the blog sidebar, or in your Etsy description or something) that you are willing to set things aside for people who ask, I have to admit that I do think it's somewhat...cliquish. Obviously I'm speaking as someone from the "losing" side, so it may savour strongly of bitterness (as they say). But I won't stop reading your blog over it, or stop watching for shop updates (in fairness, as a 27-yr-old not-mom, I don't neeeeed softies!) So, that's my buck fifty on the subject.

maritza said...

Sorry, Barbara. I should have been more specific in the post itself about what I meant. Yes, I was talking about non-commissioned items. That was my bad there. Sorry. :)

Mama Urchin - The difference between a reserved piece and a commission, is usually as you said, in how specific the buyer is about what they want. Sometimes, however, I get people who email me about something they saw on the blog or on my Flickr that I am about to post on etsy, and they ask me to reserve it for them. As I said, I have no problem doing this, but I can also see how that would alienate people who are patiently waiting for me to post said item on my shop. That's where the conflict comes in for me because I don't want to make my softies some sort of elusive item.

Marisa - Thank you so much for reading. I'm sorry that I never announced on my blog or on Flickr that I was open to reserving item. It kinda never occurred to me to do so, as silly as that may seem. (Believe me, sometimes the most obvious things don't occur to me.) People just contacted me, and I reserved items. Then recently it hit me that almost everything that I put up on my shop one day was already spoken for, which was great for the shop and obviously made me happy, but I felt bad because I also realized that this meant that anyone who just happened to stumble upon my shop or who may have just been waiting for an update wouldn't be able to buy anything.

I appreciate all of your feedback. I hope I didn't come across as tacky or insecure by asking this, but it has been something that has been weighing on me a little and I wanted to hear what you guys thought about it. So I am glad to read your honest responses. Thank you. :)

Ashley said...

As one of your customers, I find it awesome that I can say "oh pretty please can that delightful mouse be mine!" :)

I am always at work or out of town when my favorite etsy-ers update, and reservations have allowed me to be able to buy a treat!

Sonya said...

Now that is a nifty poll taking device. I throw my lot in with the reservers - having had things reserved for me.

t must make things complicated though, if you have people chomping at the bit for your wares, coupled withe the potential of people flaking on following through. Oh crazy life.

Eva said...

i think it's fine. when i first started shopping at etsy, i bought a lot of stuff because i thought- i'll never be able to get something like it again. but then as i got more familiar, i saw "reserved" pieces, so i just emailed one of the people who's stuff i really liked and asked them whether i could have a commissioned piece and she said yes. so i just put two and two together, that if it says "reserved" they A. either asked for a custom piece, B. emailed the person ahead of time and reserved it, this way you can know that you'll eventually get a piece- not everyone is stuck to a computer like me every day and i think it's nice to know you can guarantee a plush for yourself.

you could always have a few reserved pieces and a few non-reserved pieces to make everyone happy. :)

Congrats on the popularity of your plushes!

Marisa said...

As a minority "dissenter", I just wanted to emphasize that I don't think it's unfair to reserve pieces, nor do I begrudge the people who figured it out more quickly than I did (the most obvious things don't occur to a lot of people!) But I do feel like it is necessary to pick a side: either reservations are 100% fine, or everyone has to wait for the shop update.

But you know what? Whether or not I get a softie, the thing I care about most is that Maritza makes money. Period. And if that means every piece is spoken for before she even cuts out the cloth, then that is honestly and truly totally fine with me. But I do still feel that (as long as I am being asked my opinion), the New Normal could be made more transparent. I know I had an advantage over other people because I work from home and could obsessively hit 'refresh' at 2pm, and I certainly didn't wait until 5pm to make my purchase just to be fair!

So I guess, in the end, I have been won over to the "Reserve Away!" side. Not that I wasn't teetering before, but my argument has won me over! And I think this makes it a fiver.

Alice @ kathrynivy.com said...

I am excited to see what goodies you put up in the shop tomorrow!

About the reserved thing, I would probably be too shy to e-mail to you reserve something. If I waited around for a shop update (seriously, I kind of stalk Etsy when you say you're updating ;) and everything that popped up was reserved, I must admit I'd be kinda sad... Now that I know how the reserving system works though, I'll feel free to message you if I see something I like before the update!