Policy Changes at the Blue Brick Etsy Site


A few mishaps of late have motivated me to make some changes to the Blue Brick’s Etsy store, due to the number of folks who think they’ve ordered a knitted item and not a knitted pattern.

Despite the following:

  • The listing itself is called a knitting pattern
  • The coloured bar across each image specifies that it’s a knitting pattern, not a knitted item
  • The ‘Instant Download’ bar for each listing
  • The part in the listing itself where I say “Please note, this listing is for a knitting pattern, not the actual knitted item”
  • The fact that after purchasing a pattern you get an email with a download link
  • And even the fact that, mysteriously, I am not charging anything at all for shipping…

…I’ve had an astonishing number of folks order up a pattern, download it, wait a few weeks and then write to me demanding to know where their gloves/boot toppers/ hats are. I’ve even had a few who, frustratingly, got quite abusive right off the bat, and many who, having waited this long for a shipment that wasn’t coming, wrote to me demanding that I not only ship it instantly, but include tracking information.

Unfortunately, that sort of treatment wears down one’s ability to deal with such things. I go from ‘Sorry! You appear to have misunderstood my listing’ followed by a prompt refund to ‘Look, even if I stole the gloves, for $4.50 with no shipping I still couldn’t afford to send you gloves in the mail, much less a tracked shipment, are you baked?”

I don’t like it when I feel like writing the second email instead of the first. It’s been frustrating, and I’ve honestly made it as obvious as I can that I don’t sell my knitting at all, much less for an amount that would mean I pay myself 35 cents an hour to make things that I then ship for free.

So, as much as I’ve tried to avoid it, I’ve had to change the Blue Brick’s pdf sales policy.

  • If someone has bought a pattern in error, and they have not downloaded the pattern from the link Etsy provides, I will still process a refund. After all, mistakes do happen.
  • If someone has bought a pattern, and proceeded to download the pattern, then I consider the transaction complete and will no longer process a refund.
  • If someone starts the dialogue with an abusive email, then it’s pretty unlikely I’m going to want to devote any time at all to them, much less the time it takes to cancel a sale on Etsy, process a refund through paypal and then write a letter to the buyer explaining what happened. This is particularly true if the sale happened months ago.

I’m sad to make these changes. I’m also sad that I’m frustrated enough to rant on my blog – a place for happy artsy pursuits only. However, it’s happened often enough that something needed to change, and I hope this does the trick!