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First real customer... dissatisfied. Just need some encouragement or advice.

My first customer I sold a product to (something I make myself) called after pick up and complained. They wanted half the money back, I asked for a little more than half and they agreed. He said "Why pay that much when I could have gotten it for a quarter of the price and Sam's Club?"
I, personally, was terrified they wouldn't like it and it happened. It was a different medium than I am used to, and I told them that I usually work with another popular medium. I think they were expecting the cleaner finish of that other medium. I sent an email after the call apologizing again and asking them to try me again for a product with my usual medium at cost only, to possibly restore faith in me. Did I do the right thing? Do I just need to pick myself up off the ground and get back on the horse? Thanks!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:31 PM on May. 22, 2010 in Money & Work

Answers (12)
  • There's always gonna be at least one person who is gonna complain. Don't worry. Keep goin, for every ONE that is gonna complain, there will be TEN that will love it. Chin up! :)

    Answer by TheDiva320 at 8:35 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • Do you mind if I ask what the product is?

    Answer by carlye828 at 8:46 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • Thanks... cuz every time i've made a cake for people I know, they have raved!!!! And my mom is brutally honest and I showed her a pic and she said it looked great! and my husband said if he had thought it looked bad he wouldn't have let me sell it. He thinks that the lady's kid is some punk who will probably get the extra money out of it. But I'm overly critical of myself and I felt like it looked bad. SHE didn't say anything upon pick up. Should I have said, "No, I'm sorry. Should have said something at pick-up." or is giving a partial refund the way to go? Hubby is PISSED BEYOND BELIEF b/c he thinks it was fine and that I worked so hard on it! I just feel so... like a failure.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:48 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • Cake... and I had remnants of it that my husband took to work (that I had to carve off to ice it) and his coworkers were like "OMG! Your wife needs to make our birthday cakes for the office." I feel awful. But I usually use fondant, not frosting.

    Hubby is saying that since her son called, I need to call back and say no refund deal. She should have said something upon pickup and my agreement was with her, NOT her son.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:50 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • EXACTLY my thoughts, anon... I think it would be bad to call back, too. I said what I said, and next time (UM there won't be a next time! mwahhaha... poitive thinking) I'll just say, "sorry, should have said something when you picked it up."

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:59 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • Yep, keep on with what you're doing. If they wanted a cheap Sams Club cake, they should have ordered one from them. My mom & I do cakes & there is no comparison to a store cake, with taste or creativity. I wouldn't give a refund unless it will keep you up at night since you already said something. If they didn't like it, they could have said something at pick up or refused it. They took it & ate it. And you know what, we who make cakes are super critical of them because we know how good we can do & expect perfection from ourselves. Most people think a 1/4 sheet with a star tip picture on it is hot stuff. Do what makes you feel ok this time, but keep making those cakes!!!


    Answer by carlye828 at 9:24 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • Send me a picture of the cake! Were they dissatisfied with the taste or the decorations?

    Answer by mmmegan38 at 9:33 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • decorations. I already talked to a friend who owns a business and know what im going to do. im giving the refund this time (in another way, ill post after i do it) and from now on there will be a contract, no refunds. thanks carly... i am criticalof my work and never think its good enough, but people love them (except this one time) so since i already emailed re: the 90 (so its on record) i will refund the 60... but yea ill detail it on like monday when i get all the steps done. thanks ya'll!

    they didn't like the decorations

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:00 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • I think you're on the right track. I would do a contract BEFORE you make the cake. It should stipulate that any problems with the cake should be discussed upon pickup. Once the cake leaves your possession, no refunds. You could even do half of the payment up front, the other half upon pickup.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:11 PM on May. 22, 2010

  • Keep in mind that this person who hired you probably can't make a cake themselves. Don't feel bad! Just make something different next time!!! :-)

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:18 PM on May. 22, 2010

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