Some other artisan sellers may consider my approach to taking custom orders as “too nice.” I beg to differ. I try to handle my custom orders exactly how I would want them to be handled if I were on the other end as a buyer. I do not require a deposit of any kind, and I show the customer pictures of the finished pieces before they have to commit to buy. After all, I want to make sure they will absolutely LOVE their personalized creation before having to shell out their $$$. To me, it just seems like poor business taste to force someone to buy something that wasn’t what they thought it would be, or perhaps isn’t quite what they were looking for. I’m not exactly hunting down reasons for negative feedback, to say the least.
A result of this method does leave me with some trial and error pieces. Sometimes the finished product isn’t exactly what the customer was looking for, so I chalk it up to experience, list the item in my Etsy shop for the public to decide on, and create a different version for the original customer. If I’m lucky, it won’t matter that the original customer changed his or her mind, someone else will fall in love with the piece and purchase it for his or her own. Being a custom creation, it wouldn’t have existed otherwise.
Some of the “rejected” custom creations in my shop right now:
Does this discourage me from taking custom orders? Nope. Do I answer my own questions? Yes.
I’m even not at a point where I would consider taking a deposit or a down payment yet. The majority of the custom work I do get purchased by the happy customer, and I love making that something extra special just for them. Some complications may result, but most of these will simply end up getting picked up by someone else, so I’m not too worried about it.
Have you ever ordered anything custom made? Were you happy with the results?