Buyer Fails To Read Product Description and Demands Refund

I feel like sharing this, but it’s relatively minor compared to most of what ends up on NAR, so didn’t think it worth submitting as a potential story. Still, it made me raise an eyebrow and my friends seemed interested enough to justify sharing with a larger audience.

I sell things online via my Etsy shop. My best seller is the Raccoon Butt Magnet. I strive to have my products clearly labelled with all relevant information. So far, I’ve had no actual complaints. Until now.

Someone bought a raccoon magnet. All seemed well until a few days ago. I received a message from the buyer:

“I must say, I’m already disappointed in this order. When I ordered it, it appeared that it was ready to go. Today I checked and you only have 1 more?? I don’t know why it’s taking so long, should have had it by now. Would prefer to just get my money, you keep the magnet. Very disappointed! Aug 26 to Sept something. You’re in the US, shouldn’t take a month to ship.”

I literally sat on my hands, chanting “I will NOT respond immediately” over and over for a long while. My kneejerk reaction to hissing is to hiss back, but I knew that would not end well for me.

My (eventual) Response:
“I’m sorry for the confusion. My magnets are made-to-order items with a two-week manufacture window. I received your order a week and a half ago, on August 5th. The raccoon rear is currently enjoying it’s final clear-coat drying session, and was slated to go out tomorrow. If you’d still prefer a refund, I’m happy to do that for you. Let me know for certain whether you’d like a refund or the magnet tonight, and I’ll get it done.
Again, I’m sorry about the confusion between ready-made and made-to-order.”

Early the next morning I received a reply. Very short and to the point: “I will take the magnet.” The sale was saved (yay), and I managed to resist my first impulse to tell the customer that they were an idiot for not actually Reading the clearly-stated product information before they bought a magnet. So now, on the advice of another Etsy-selling friend, I’ll be adding an extra image to all my listings stating “Made To Order; Takes Up To Two Weeks” so this hopefully won’t happen again.

You would think after so many years of reading NAR that I’d know People Don’t Read. Silly me. (Although, in the buyer’s slight defense, Etsy had taken to cutting off half the product description with a “click to read more” thingy. Still, if I go to buy something, I read the full details instead of relying on pictures and half-hidden words.)


Any chance of some pics of these Raccoon Butt Magnets, please?


I can understand the frustration, but I wonder if this has less to do with ‘not reading’ (although I’m sure it is partially), and more with the fact that once Etsy changed who they allowed to sell on the site it became less of a “one of a kind, handmade artisan” marketplace and more of a… Ebay fleamarket which got flooded with factory-made knockoffs. I buy from Etsy occasionally but these days I find most of it is just resellers who ofer the same stuff you could get anywhere else. (Or maybe that’s just what I’ve been browsing for lately? :woman_shrugging:)

In that sense, I think the expectation that things might require made-to-order timelines has probably also decreased. If 90% of the stuff there is now mostly what you can get from Amazon, people will just assume it’s in stock and ready to go.

… But absolutely yes, people don’t bother reading :roll_eyes:


Another grand band name: Racoon Butt Magnet


The Saga Concludes. I was surprised to get a PM from the buyer this afternoon.

Message From Buyer:
“Received it today. Very nice. Since it is a gift, I appreciate the box and wrapping. I’m sorry about the misunderstanding. Can’t leave a review just yet, but will.”

They APOLOGIZED! I’m in shock. That ended much better than I first thought it would. I sent a polite “glad you like it; I’m taking steps to make sure this confusion doesn’t happen again” reply so they know I am taking the issue seriously.

Now, Stephen requested pics, so…

I also do other animal rear magnets (rats, foxes, cats of all sorts, bees, etc.) but I only ship within the US for Reasons. (I have looked into international things, but there’s some aspects that make it daunting for my tiny-business self.)


That looks excellent! Thanks for sharing.

BTW, what does it say about my brain that I read “racoon bum magnet” and want to interpret ir as “a magnet that attracts racoon bums”?


Two things: I’m glad the sale went well after all! And second… ok, now I know why they might have responded that way. That magnet looks factory-made to me. Had I not known ahead of time I wouldn’t have thought that was handmade. (Which is a compliment even if it sounds oddly backhanded! :laughing:)

I think you are right, adding an image (or text to your images) to note that it’s made to order would probably help. The way the site and apps are designed they put pics so front and centre it’s hard not to miss details in the descriptions.

Seriously though - cool magnet! I’m glad I wasn’t drinking, I did a rather large snorty laugh :grin:


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