January 4, 2012

Etsy Woes

It is with great sadness that I feel I must warn others about dealing with people on Etsy. I know there are many sites that preach about taking care when ordering online and there are many horror stories from Etsy and Paypal. It sucks to finally be listed among that number.

I am a huge fan of Adventure Time by Pendelton Ward. So with Halloween 2011 rapidly arriving I thought, wouldn't it be cool to be Fionna and Cake for my costume! With that in mind I went shopping... I found a jean skirt, ordered socks to match hers, bought a light blue shirt and got out my Finn hat that my brother had gifted me for my birthday. I got small black shoes and even went wig shopping to find her golden hair. Then I turned to Etsy to find the two other crucial items, which I know are not sold in toy stores yet: the signature green backpack and a Cake companion.

Since the backpacks online were a little shabby I felt I could get away with finding a sword and having a cake around my shoulders as she often does in episodes. I found one seller on Esty who had an one Cake plush for sale, but at $65 I hesitated to spend so much. I understood why it was so expensive; with stretchy arms, hand made body, magnets in the paws and the size of it! But still... $70(with shipping no doubt)! So, I did what any normal person would do, ask if there was anyway to get one with less features and for a bit cheaper.

I was delighted! With over two months to go until Halloween I was sure that I would have a Cake to complete my costume in time. I completed the order, paid the $40 + $8 shipping and crossed my fingers.
I waited patiently for three weeks, hearing nothing. With the end of September rapidly coming I sent a message. With no reply I sent another on the last day of the month and finally got a response.
With a full 30 days until Halloween I felt sure that I could still have Cake in time. But two weeks later and still nothing I was getting worried again and I knew by the 20th that if it had not shipped, there was really no way I was going to get it.
Halloween rolled around and no package showed up on my doorstep. I really was upset that this point. I pulled out my old costume from last year and donned that instead. :(  I also filed a non delivery report with Etsy. What this basically means is that they open a channel for the seller and buyer to discuss the matter and Etsy themselves do nothing.

On Nov 1 2011, I closed the issue** since I, once again, assumed that here I was dealing with a real person, who was indeed sorry and saw the error of their ways AND was going to make good. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years now past, I have had time to sit down and look through my bank statements for the end of the year... Guess what I have not seen... The refund! Guess what else I haven't seen; the Cake plush/apology. Honestly, I guess I always knew in the back of my mind, that I was not going to see that 50 bucks or toy, but I didn't want to believe that an actual person, whom I had spoken to would do this to someone else. It's the kind of thing that would eat at me, but clearly was not bothering them. They had the balls to tell me to my face that this would all be ok, while clearly running off with the money.

Today I was on Etsy, shopping for a friend and realized that I had still not left feedback for this sale. It's the kind of thing Etsy bugs you about doing until you do it just so they stop asking. I clicked the link for feedback only to discover that the seller and the store are gone. I have a gmail address, which I have emailed, but have no hope of hearing back from. I have a user name and a logo, and should I see either pop up again, I will bring this back up to Etsy/Paypal. But for now there is nothing else to be done.

I guess the morals of the story are:
a) be careful of where/who you buy stuff from
a) resolve any issues asap
b) if you have any doubts, pounce or you will be taken

** Upon reviewing the article about non deliveries it is clear that I should not have closed the case until I received payment or saw that it shipped finally... however, it should be said that no where during the non delivery reporting process does Etsy direct you to this crucial article.

Please learn from my mistakes before you pay for them like I did.