Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Apr 10, 2012

Feeling cranky (he he)...

Friends, first a rant:  If there's anything I can't stand it's poor communication from online sellers, which I've experienced twice in the last week.  First there was the Etsy seller who sent me the wrong housecoat pattern, then told me she'd send the right one out the Monday before last.  When it hadn't arrived by Friday, I reached out to her and she said:  
Sorry Peter this week has been crazy with our Spring Break (kids). I pulled the pattern from my stash of "On Etsy" patterns and then set it down somewhere and I'm frantically searching for it! I will try and send it out today - I am SO SORRY!!!! I'm usually not this frazzled...

That's what they all say.  So, to review, she said she'd mail it Monday, still hadn't by Friday, but hadn't thought to communicate this to me.  Finally, I asked for a reimbursement and ordered the pattern elsewhere.  She reimburses me and then writes:

I can only hope I did send out the pattern Monday (or Tuesday) and will arrive tomorrow or Monday as I can't find it! This week just has been crazy hectic.

So now she's saying she actually might have sent it after all!  P.S.  It never arrived (which is just as well).  BTW, this is the pattern we're talking about; it's not rare or anything.

Meanwhile, remember the sewing machine I won on eBay last Wednesday?  Well I paid for it minutes after the auction and I haven't received any word from the seller.  It should arrive this week but I'd like a delivery confirmation number, is that too much to ask?  So I emailed her yesterday morning and so far nothing.  Are my expectations unrealistic, readers?

So I might as well tell you what the machine is -- actually a few people already guessed correctly.  It's a Singer 66K with Lotus decals from 1920.  It comes in a more modern (50's-era?) case, but I prefer that to those clunky wooden boxes they originally came in.  Here's a pic:

My intention is to convert it to a handcrank.  I ordered an aftermarket hand crank from Jenny at Sew-Classic (with shipping it came to just $21.35 -- best price out there) and it arrived yesterday.

I couldn't wait so I attached it to the Singer 66 in my treadle table this morning.  Friends, it took 15 seconds to attach (all I had to do was displace the treadle belt, which I do every time I close the table by pulling the little doohicky near the wheel, and screw it on.

Seconds later I was hand cranking!  Three stitches per rotation, same as the treadle (the hand wheel is exactly the same).

See that little "finger" that sits between the spokes?  That's what rotates the wheel.  And the finger flips back, so if you want to revert to treadling, you don't have to remove the hand crank.  Clever, no?

I must say that the finish quality on this Chinese-made crank is sad -- tragic, really, when compared to the vintage machine it's now attached to -- but it does work perfectly well.  I was surprised at how easy it is to use; I didn't miss having my right hand free to control the fabric at all.  And of course, due to the slow speed, it's easy to be extra-precise.  Whether one will eventually suffer from repetitive motion strain is anybody's guess.

In closing, readers, I'm hoping this week brings my new Singer 66K and my long-awaited pattern. Meanwhile, I'm ready for post-apocalypse sewing -- woo hoo!

Question: If you're an online seller yourself (on Etsy, ebay, or elsewhere), do you communicate promptly, or only when absolutely necessary?  (Enquiring minds, and all that....)

Have a great day everybody!


  1. I love the hand crank attachment! I've joked about post-apocalyptic sewing, but it would be really great to have the crank even if the power just went out in the middle of a project (which can feel like the end of the world).

    Also, I think you're perfectly reasonable in your expectations re:online sellers. Some can be really flaky!

  2. sellers and communication is a sore point with me. I recently ordered the Vogue sewing book from a US based Etsy seller. I paid immediately. I waited 6 long weeks with no communication on whether they had sent the item or not. I emailed them...waited 24 hours; zilch. I emailed them again and waited another 24 hours; zilch again. Two days later i emailed them that if i didn't hear from them in 24 hours i would be opening up a PayPal dispute....All i wanted was some darn communication about when the item was sent; apparently that was too hard. I still didn't get any communication; instead i received a refund. It was all too weird....why would they give me a refund when all i wanted was to communicate; it just made me think the book was never sent since i was never given any confirmation that the item was shipped unlike other Etsy purchases. This was the only time i've ever given negative feedback and i stated it was because of the lack of communication. I finally heard from them when they gave me feedback whinging that i gave them a negative rating after receiving a refund. I never asked for a refund; just communication....sheesh. I feel your pain Peter.

    I must say...imma liking your hand crank!

  3. LOVE the hand crank and the fact that it can co-exist with a treadle. (Hear my heart racing with glee? I really must get a life!)

    I'm not an ebay or etsy seller because I would be horrible at following through...I know my limitations. I'm interested in something for 3.2 seconds and then I move on to the next thing without nary a remembrance of what has previously transpired.

    Perhaps I'm getting "eccentric" in my maturing years.

  4. I tend to cut small independent sellers more slack than larger businesses that should have systems in place. BUT I totally understand your frustration. Smart sellers who want repeat business communicate well.

    The crank is SO cool!

  5. Usually when I start to think about the bad communication of one of the other seller, the item arrives! Maybe I have had luck...

    I love to work with the hand-crank and it has something therapeutical! Yours 66k is beautifull and it will become a great hand-crank... you did a bargain again!

  6. I'm an Etsy seller and your experience is appalling. Lazy and/or unprofessional sellers give us all a bad name. I ship orders within 24 hours and always send an email letting the buyer know it has shipped. If I am lucky enough to have someone buy my stuff, I really appreciate it.

  7. I'm a buyer by profession, and tend to have the same attitude whether at work or shopping as a customer. If I were to let communication slip between me and my suppliers it could cause huge problems for the business as a whole - and this is a huge juggernaut of an international company. So, it's hard not to take it back home too. I usually find a simple "This is very poor communication. Please answer my 2 (or more!) simple questions" gets people into gear though! Being direct also helps clear up misunderstandings - nobody can claim they didn't know what you were wanting to communicate, and, as in your case, it gives them a second chance.

  8. I think it is completely reasonable to expect communication by now, and I would be getting royally peeved by now if it were me.
    Enjoy your hand crank. I recently invited a 99k with original (I'm fairly sure!) crank home with me, and she is lovely to work with

  9. I agree with the others. I collect vintage pyrex bowls because they are items that I use and they are so funky, especially the ones from the 50's and 60's.
    I ordered one online at ebay. It was in mint condition according to the seller and was still in its orginal box. It was a wedding gift from the 60's
    I paid for it, and several minutes later I got a message to say that they will refund me because they broke it. ?????? Strange. Maybe they did, but my gut instincts tell me no. Change of mind probably.
    Oh well. I don't buy from Ebay very often, I have a huge collection of vintage photographs and I have stopped buying them now. I don't really need them. Love the fasions though. My granny sewed with a hand crank.

  10. I'm drooling now, Peter. See, while I'm not one of those insane preppers, we're subject to enough power outages around here to make a hand crank sewing machine desirable!

  11. I don't always read blog posts the day they are written, but I'm an Etsy seller, and I always communicate with my buyers, and often ship patterns the day they are ordered! An email after shipping is almost always sent as well. If it's a hectic week, or I'm out of town or something else unusual, I would certainly let a buyer know that.

  12. I want some sort of communication. Don't need much just some sort of acknowledgement that there is someone out there who is actually working on my order. No email, not even the little paid icon thingee on etsy, makes me wonder if I've ordered air.

  13. Wow, I can't believe your experience with online sellers. I sell on both ebay and on etsy and I try to communicate with buyers within 24 hours.

  14. I sell on eBay rarely but ALWAYS send a tracking number and a follow up email to let the buyer know that I have shipped their item. I have had bad luck buying sm on eBay and am awaiting some reimbursement even now for a damaged case. Feedback is meaningless IMHO.


Related Posts with Thumbnails