Dissatisfied Jewelry Customer on the Other Side of the World

by Z J.
(SE Asia)

question-mark-tan-on-blue-denimI recently sold a piece of jewelry. The online boutique through which it was sold mis-represented the piece, presenting it (showing pictures of it) as coming with 3 charms as opposed to the 2 very special charms it comes with.

Customer buys it, receives. I send a holiday card, and my message back states her dissatisfaction about the piece itself, plus she claims the charms were lost (fell off of her chord within a few days of wearing it).

Also this online boutique does not have any return/ exchange policy, everything is on my end, yet the customer is not connected to my website to have access to that.

I do not have any way to know if this is true, nor do I have any reason to doubt what my customer is saying. She lives on the other side of the world so returns are not very easy for me, shipping quite expensive, product also quite expensive.

Any recommendations on how a situation like this could be handled?


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  • Laura says:

    Apologize profusely, send her a third charm with instructions re: how to attach it &, finally, cease doing business with a company that puts you in this bind first by misrepresenting your work (!!!!) and then by having no policy to handle problems such as this!! just my 2cents!! 🙂

  • That is such a difficult situation, especially when you’re not in control of the process.

    Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. She placed an order in good faith relying on the description. Not only was the product not as described, but the piece fell apart. (Though I wonder why she would wear a bracelet that wasn’t as described if she wasn’t happy with it.)

    I’m a little confused. Did the picture show two charms but the description state three charms?

    Basically, how would you want this handled if you were the customer? Would you want charms sent to you and figure out how to attach them? Would you want to return the item for a full refund including return shipping? Would you be happy with a partial refund? Sometimes you have to cover losses out of your pocket to make it right.

    Then you must decide if you want to continue selling through the boutique. I’m unclear how the boutique expects you to handle problems if the customer has no way of contacting you. Please clarify.

  • Sarah Reid says:

    I would eat the cost on this one and send her a new set and discontinue working with the company that organized the sale. Sometimes these things happen and although it may cost you a little more money and effort I think it is good to end on a positive note for both you and the customer.

    Use this experience as a learning tool for the future. I sell on Etsy and I am always so careful to describe everything as accurately as I can. I also list in my policies info about natural variations in stones or colors.

    Don’t let this one get you down! Good luck in the future.

  • Diane says:

    I would also make this right with the customer and cease doing business with the website. I know that no one likes to loose money, but we are talking about the reputation of your business. Your reputation is much more important than loosing out on the money from one sale. Word DOES get around and customer service is such an integral part of a business, especially a hand made business. I like what Nelson Jewelry and Gemstones said about putting yourself in the customers shoes and if you were on the other end, how would you want it handled? To keep your reputation untarnished, you will have to bite the bullet on this one and make it right with the customer.

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