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Getting Over a Bad Review

Tayyaba from ReservedOnlyShop tells us about her bad review experience and how she overcame it.

This year I opened my Etsy shop. My shop, Reserved Only, was my mark to do something. I felt confident, motivated, and ready to start my handmade business. I planned out products and considered my audience and pricing. My friends and family were supportive. They helped spread the Reserved Only shop link. Over the course of year, I had a slow but steady lead in sales. 

Then it happened. A bad review! 

The review was devastating and discouraging to read. I eventually crawled into my bed and asked myself, 'how did I go wrong?' I felt like I was going through a grieving process. So what did happen? The Buyer purchased my pocket scarf listing and everything processed like normal. I had nothing but 5 star reviews on my items so I felt confident. 

This Buyer broke my streak and my confidence. 

I swallowed my pride and emailed the Buyer. I told myself it's about customer service and improving yourself. I asked the Buyer to help me understand what was wrong with the product and how can I fix it. The Buyer’s response shocked me; "It wasn't something that looked like what I bought from the store." 

It made me think of sellers on Etsy who had a similar experience like me. Many creatives on Etsy pour their heart and souls into their shops. They may not be perfect, but isn't that what platform is about? Not being corporate or manufactured. 

I had no choice but to ask for the product to be shipped back to me and offer a refund - even if it wasn’t my fault. 

The situation wouldn’t be a big deal' for many companies, but it was for me. It really made me reflect back on what handmade means to buyers versus seller’s perspective. Selling your handmade items mean more to sellers. Most of these sellers invest in the time to create something they are proud of. It also means they are vulnerable to criticism from people they may not know. The difference is how these sellers learn and grow from these experiences.

This bad review is a humbling experience. It helped me under the reality of being a shop owner. I am not going to give up and shut down my store. Instead, I will use this as a motivator to continue to improve my shop and products.

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