Author Topic: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!  (Read 7142 times)

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Slartibartfast

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No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« on: March 04, 2013, 02:57:38 PM »
Text of an email I got this morning from a friend of my mother's:

Hey!  I was talking with your mom about a bunch of things that I am trying to get going...  I own a career counseling business and I also am doing some crafty magic.  :)

There are two things that I am interested in talking with you about:  1.  Doing some mutual referring on etsy, and/or luring you into doing some card making   2.  Blogging and/or self-publishing on Kindle (which is way easier than it sounds  :)  )  and actually 3.  I want to hire people in a lot of different cities and train them to do resumes with local clients (or anyone else that you know).  That can be done from home on a super-flexible schedule.  I do a lot of coaching over the phone.  Do any of those things sound remotely interesting to you?

Anyway, please give me a call and we can talk more about any and all of the above possibilities!!


Some points to mention:
1) This lady lives more than a thousand miles away from me
2) If she's as good a friend of my mother as I understand, she already knows I'm an author (I know how self-publishing works!) and that I make jewelry
3) She has even less background suitable for coaching resumes than I do.

My response:

Hi!  I've already got quite a bit on my plate as it is, but good luck to you!

I thought that would be the end of it, but I got another email from her this afternoon:

Have you ever thought about including cards or other papercrafts in your etsy store?  Would you be interested in having my daughter (she's 16 and a HUGE Dr. Who fan) make some for you and see if you like them?  There is an AWESOME "tardis" stamp available right now for free!!  We could make some for you "on consignment" and see how they go...  she wants to go to Germany for a six week immersion program this summer and NEEDS to make some money!!  She could also make cards that "match" the items in your shop and you could offer them as a package...  I am working on that with a local shop here in town.  Let me know...  Right now you can get Stampin' UP products at a 50% discount so it is a great time to buy cool cardmaking/scrapbooking supplies.  I don't scrapbook, as we discussed, but I do love the cardmaking!!!  7% of our profits always go to charity... and if you wanted to join our "online referral network" we could mutually refer customers and have it be a win-win!!

My reply to that:

If she's interested in selling things on Etsy, I'd encourage her to go for it and start an account!  It's really easy to get started and VistaPrint offers business cards for ridiculously cheap.  Unfortunately, it's hard to sell copyrighted things (like Dr. Who / TARDIS) on Etsy, because it can get your shop shut down and it's a legal gray area :-(

I'm hoping that's the end of it, but (based on her previous behavior around my mom) I'm guessing it won't be.  How can I be any more clear that I don't want to go into business with her?  If she wants to make bootlegged cards that's fine, but a) I have no interest in papercrafts, only jewelry, and b) I live a thousand miles away, so it wouldn't be reasonable or economical to sell her cards anyway.  And c) I definitely don't need her to help me self-publish a book, when I have as much or more experience in publishing as she does!

Mostly I'm posting this as a "what the heck?" moment, but I really would appreciate some advice if y'all can come up with a good angle for me to take.  She's not a close friend of my mom's, but my mom is her best friend (if that makes sense) - she joined my parents' church a few years back and it's pretty much her entire life now.  My mom is nice to her but quite frankly this lady is a bit odd and has had a lot of frustration recently (bad divorce, can't find a job, medical issues, etc.) so she's at loose ends for something to do and tends to jump both feet first into new ventures which may or may not work out. I have no interest in becoming part of her newest idea.

MrTango

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 03:05:08 PM »
Ykes.

I think your first response was perfect.  After that, I would have just not responded to her emails.

RebeccainGA

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 03:07:25 PM »
Ykes.

I think your first response was perfect.  After that, I would have just not responded to her emails.
Parking my POD here - I'd just stop responding at this point. She just isn't going to get it. Good luck to you in untangling yourself!

Margo

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 03:11:09 PM »
I agree. your first reply was clear. If you respond at all I would be a bit more explicit "I wish you all the best with your projects, but I'm not interested."

I wonder if she is spamming all her friends and their relations?

Amara

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 03:11:19 PM »
"As I mentioned before, I really cannot take on anything else."

gingerzing

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 03:22:55 PM »
I agree with most of the others that any additional emails from her can be responded to by "As I mentioned before, I am really not interested." or something to that extent.   Don't not say "Not interested at this time"  since that denotes that she can keep bugging you later.

Though it was nice to let her know about the copyright thing since companies who see copyright infringement will take action usually as soon as possible with a cease and desist order. 

ETA there was a "to be" verb missing.  ACK.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 05:08:35 PM by gingerzing »

Slartibartfast

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2013, 03:37:08 PM »
To be honest, she would be FAR from the only person with Dr. Who-themed merchandise on Etsy  :P  I have made jewelry with copyrighted characters on it before, actually, but I use images cut from legally-bought media (such as comic books) and I only sell them as special orders or in-person shows at science fiction conventions.  It's legal for me to make them, it's legal for me to sell them, but it's not legal for me to advertise them using trademarked names.  So it's okay for someone to say "Ooh a dalek necklace!" and come rushing up to my table, but I can't label it "dalek necklace" or imply that it's licensed as Dr. Who merchandise.  I know that many other artists in the science fiction community don't bother to abide by copyright rules but I don't want to take the chance  :)

lilfox

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2013, 05:14:04 PM »
Among her other ambitions, it sounds like she has a home business with "Stampin' Up" and was soliciting OP (in the second email) to buy from her stock.  Her negotiation appears to be, well if you (OP) don't want to buy, how about her daughter makes stuff with the supplies and you sell it for them. 

I think, although this is tailored to the OP, it is probably part of a larger push to all her contacts and that's why she's included references to at least 3, possibly 4, home businesses that she's starting or promoting.  Casting a wide net and all that.

I think OP's responses have been perfect so far - a general no-thanks the first time out and a "misunderstanding" of the point of the second email by suggesting Daughter starts her own Etsy shop and not addressing the rest of it.

If there is another email I'd also vote for no response, or at most go with Amara's wording.

JenJay

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 06:05:01 PM »
I think she should have come out and said "My DD wants to make and sell crafts as a fundraiser, but she doesn't have an established clientele like you do, so will you sell them and pass the profit off to her?"

Uh yeah no.

If she contacts you again I'd reply "Thank you but I'm not interested." Then I'd call my mom and say "Gah!! Don't tell your wacky friends about my business!" Okay, maybe not that last part. Or maybe so. Your call.

blarg314

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2013, 08:27:41 PM »

You've responded twice, making it clear that you aren't interested. It sounds like she's mainly interested in hijacking your Etsy store to help her daughter's craft fundraiser, and indicated twice that this has zero appeal for you.

From now on, I think you're fine ignoring further emails, rather than getting into a long discussion.

frostflower

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 09:46:23 PM »
I don't have any etiquette advice, but isn't Etsy really strict about not allowing drop-shipping? It might be something you could point out should you choose to respond to her again.

kudeebee

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2013, 11:27:45 PM »
You have replied twice, that is once more than was necessary especially as  your first email was very clear.  Delete any further emails from her and contact your mom to tell her to not give out your email address/phone number/mailing address to anyone else without contacting you first.

BeagleMommy

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2013, 01:04:12 PM »
POD to those who've said to stop responding.  Can you block her email?

Slartibartfast

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2013, 02:29:00 PM »
POD to those who've said to stop responding.  Can you block her email?

Not really - at least, if I did block it and she realized it, she'd probably do a lot of complaining to my mom and I would rather not put my mom through that.

She did write back to me yesterday:

I do all of my business cards through VistaPrint, too.  They are awesome!  I am hiring a graphic designer this week, though, so I am hoping to get a logo done and then be able to "shop local" with my friend's printing business.  She is on a ton of local boards and they do a lot of charitable giving.  It will cost more but is a good investment, I think!  I may end up doing one more round of VistaPrint before I make the switch, though.  My business has waxed and waned over the years, but thankfully my last business card still has all current contact info, so I am just using that for now until I figure out what needs to come next!  I really need to have at least two versions of my card, but I am dragging my feet on that.  It's so complicated!!

I did set up my own account on Etsy, so I can have her start selling stuff through that...  I am always looking to partner with someone with more skills and/or experience and/or a good sense of my "target market."  That's why your mom suggested that I talk to you!  Thanks for the info on the whole copyrighted thing... that is definitely good to know.  SIGH, so many things are more complicated than they need to be!!  Do you think that she would be able to sell cards with a blue phone booth on them if she did not reference Dr. Who in any way??


I haven't responded yet - I think I'm going to call my mom and give her a heads-up, just in case she hears some complaints from this lady that I haven't gone along with her grand plan  :-\  I really don't even want to link to her on Etsy, because I'm worried she'll go through all the rest of my friends on there and spam them.  (Not sure if she can - Etsy just changed how their social system works, and I haven't really played around with it.  If she can't see my friends, I have no problem with us favoriting each other's stores.)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 02:30:41 PM by Slartibartfast »

lowspark

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Re: No, I don't want to sell your stuff in my store!
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2013, 03:17:20 PM »
I agree that your best bet is to just stop replying. If you really feel compelled to reply, though, for your mother's sake, then I would keep it totally non-committal staying completely away from specifics. You've already given her more than your two cents' worth of knowledge and advice and you really don't want her asking you for more advice. So don't answer any more questions. At most I'd just say something like "well, good luck with everything!" or "I hope it all works out for you!" End of story.