"Art is messy, art is chaos — so you need a system."
—Andrew Stanton, Director of Finding Nemo
Those little blue plastic boxes that house some metal stamps no longer work for me. Even if I try to keep them organized, as soon as I take out more than two stamps, they jumble together. I'm more likely to make mistakes when that happens, mixing up O and Q or J and L. Despite this, it's always hard to spend money on something that's not a tool or bead. It was only after I ruined a few metal blanks with mixed-up letters that I started looking for a way to organize my stamps.
I found these wood stamp stands by Urban Metal Supply on Etsy. Simple, affordable, pretty, and well made. But what really sold me (and had me going back for two more stands) was the amazing customer service.
A Tale of Two (or Twenty) Shops
I'll be the first to admit that my experience as a buyer on Etsy has been mixed, especially with the supply shops. There are definitely some terrific shops. Then there are shops that mark items immediately as "shipped" but don't ship for a month or more even if the customer follows up with repeated emails. There are shops that send the wrong product and refuse to correct the mistake or send packages postage due. I've received items in thin, worn, torn-up envelopes that made me surprised that the item arrived at all.
After ordering from Urban Metal Supply, I received an email thanking me and letting me know when my package would ship. The stand was well-packaged against damage and arrived in perfect condition. Shipping was unusually quick, too. It must have been mailed either the same day I ordered or the very next day.
When I wanted to order another two holders and there was only one in the shop, I sent an email and was surprised to receive an answer within an hour or two, especially since the shop announcement said that the owner would be gone for a few days. (I'm used to waiting a week or longer for replies to emails.) Not only did the owner tell me that she had additional stands, but inquired about the size of stamp I'd be storing so she could make sure she had the right size. It never occurred to me that the holes needed to be different sizes for different stamps (duh!), so I was happy she had asked. Overall, it was one of my best Etsy shopping experiences.
Awhile ago a shopper expressed disappointment on a forum that an item she'd received from an Etsy shop didn't have all the bells and whistles she expected: a long, handwritten and personalized thank you note, elaborate gift wrap packaging, a host of freebies, a discount code for future orders. It made me realize the huge range of expectations when it comes to customer service. I simply want the item I ordered to arrive in good condition and in a timely manner. I also want any questions I have to be answered promptly. As a shopper, I don't normally save thank you notes or even all of the freebies I receive. I tend to lose paper coupon codes. Gift packaging for a handmade gift is nice, but lack of it wouldn't cause me to not shop there again. (And honestly, for a supply shop, I'd be annoyed to find my hammer or anvil gift wrapped.) I realize that my views may not be the norm.
This week I'm enjoying the new little corner of organization in my work area and thinking about customer service. What are your expectations?
Quotation Source: Brainy Quotes.