Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Big Disappointment and a Lesson Learned

As i mentioned before, i was working on a big custom order. It was the single largest one i ever received. So i busted my ass and finished the 70 inch rug, even added fringe to it. Then i finished the mixed squares afghan, and was 3/4 of the way finished with the pillow cover. Next in line was to make 3 more afghans.All this was in addition to the countless correspondence back and forth confirming colors, patterns etc..then i got the email.

The other night, the customer had some unexpected expenses, and needed to cancel the  afghan orders and the pillow case. Well i was disapointed, but figured i could just list the afghan in my shop, and turn the pillow cover into a couple of rugs later on since i was making them from t-yarn like the rugs.
At least i didn't start the other afghans.

The next morning i didn't even have my coffee in me when i read another email...
Now after discussing their budget with her husband, she has to cancel the whole order. I was crushed. She apologized up and down. I now listed the rug up for sale as well. I haven't even replied to the email. I don't even know how to.

I partially blame myself though. The customer had asked me from the beginning if i required a deposit. I normally do not charge a deposit unless it's something i wouldn't be able to sell should something happen. I would have if i needed to buy supplies, but i had everything i needed to get the job done. Plus this was a huge order, i wanted the sale!

But from now on, i also have to consider my time. So now i will be charging non refundable deposits on custom orders, at least to compensate for my time.

Rag Rug 70 inches

Afghan 39 x 66


Stitch 'n Frog said...

You do Beautiful work, and IMO you should require a non-refundable up-front fee of the cost of the materials. That way if the order is cancelled, you at least have made the cost of the materials, as part payment for the work you put into the item/s.
You can later either sell the item/s, give them away, or donate them.

SarahBeth said...

I don't blame you for charging a deposit... so sorry that happened to you. The customer was probably disappointed as well :)
Love the afghan -- it does look like a quilt! Had to hop over to your shop and give it some love!!

lunatica said...

That rug is AMAZING. I hurt for that poor woman but also for you. I was once married to my best friend who never learned the deposit lesson and his business went under. It's nit mean and has not as much to do with getting the supplies but more as a guarantee that you will at least be compensated for your time should the sake go through. Keeps everyone honest, basically: you are committed to making it, the customer to buying it. Don't ever apologize for reasonable and sensible business practices. It's what keeps our lives running as smoothly as possible!