Folksy Ltd

Custom made item

(Kim Blythe) #1

My interpretation of a custom made item is:

  1. Someone contacts me and asks me to personalise an item with a name, date or special message.
    2, Some one asks me to make something I don’t normally make, and I make one just for them.
  2. Someone asks me to make something I have listed, but maybe in an unusual colour that I wouldn’t normally do…maybe pink with green spots or something…

But, if someone was to list something pretty normal…say a basic blue baby cardigan…and say it’s made it to order, but is still able to despatch in 3 days and have listed it as a custom order…is that a custom order, or just someone trying to get around the distance selling regulations?
I ask because I have spotted a few items like this just recently and it doesn’t seem right…

(Susannah Ayre) #2

I guess that depends whether it has in fact been made to order- with knitted clothing I’m assuming it’s down to size and possibly colour.
I know my nana can easily knit an item of clothing within 1-2 days, so she could get something custom made out to a customer within 3 days.
But there probably are people out there trying to get around the distance selling regs I’d imagine. Where there are rules there will be people who like to break them I guess. :confused:
I agree with you on what you class as a custom made order though. For me and my lino prints this also includes framing as I don’t usually supply them framed (just mounted) so as the customer chooses the sort of frame they want, I count this as custom made- as I get the frame professionally framed to their choosing.

Should Folksy be spot checking to make sure these things are correctly listed? Or is it just down to the person listing to self-police so to speak? I’m not sure how it works to be honest.

(Kim Blythe) #3

I’m not sure either. I suppose it wouldn’t matter until someone challenges it by wanting to return something…
The item in question didn’t offer different sizes or colours…it was as it appeared in the photo from what I could see.
It wasn’t a baby cardigan, I just used that as an example as I don’t want to point the finger at any one…I have a baby cardigan listed and it’s just a normal listing, but have said it can be made in other colours and sizes by custom order…it just made me wonder if I’m doing this correctly or whether I should change the original to a custom listing and say ‘made to order’ and just use the one in the photo as an example…it would save having too much stock made up and just sitting there…

(Eileens Craft Studio) #4

A customized order is something that is personal to the buyer and as a seller you’d not be able to sell it to anyone else due to say a name or name and date. Or something of a unusual size ie made to measure it would only fit that particular customer so couldn’t ever be sold to anyone else. Ie in the past I’ve made to measure trousers for someone with a dysformed hip on one side. That was a true custom order as those trousers would never fit anyone other than the customer I made them for. ie I could not put them into general sale.

I’ve made to order items but they have been items I could of sold to anyone simply because the customer has asked for a different colour of knitted teapot cosy, than was already available in my shop. I didn’t have to buy specialized materials or create it for a one off sized tea pot.

(Kim Blythe) #5

This is exactly how I have always thought.
Under the new Consumer Contracts Regulations , they describe the exclusions as ‘Tailor made or personalised items’… so what constitutes ‘Tailor made’?
If a customer ordered one of my baby cardigans in yellow, and to fit 6 months, I would not consider that tailor made, however if she gave me exact measurements to follow, that are unusual, then it probably is…or if she wanted an unusual combination of colours that I don’t normally do…
Basically I think that ‘made to order’ is not necessarily ‘Tailor made’ or a custom item, as you say, it has to have specific requirements for that customer which would make it difficult to sell to anyone else.
So in regards to my first post I think that a few people are just trying to get around the regulations, but may come unstuck if a customer was to challenge it…

(Roz) #6

I would agree with what has been said but I don’t believe that people are necessarily trying to get around the regulations. There may be a few that are but equally there are probably many who just interpret a custom order and something that is made to order and don’t realise there is a difference. Like many selling regulations (cosmetics/food/toys etc) a lot of the time people break the rules because they are ignorant of the regulations - I know that doesn’t excuse it but I don’t think everyone breaking the rules is doing so deliberately. I may be wrong but I don’t think Folksy are required to police these things - they are only providing a platform for us to sell on and we must be responsible for our own shops.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #7

I completely agree with @Rozcraftz and @KBCreations

(iamHayley) #8

It’s something which has caused me a headache recently, to the stage of damaged friendships - never work for friends or family, but that’s a whole different topic.

After a request to paint a mutual friends deceased cat, at a very reduced price may I add, as we both wanted to be part of this gift, they decided post painting completion (over 7 hours of work, not to mention materials) that she didn’t have the money any more. So I’m now stuck with a painting of a dead cat, he’s not an everyday cat either so not something I could easily sell, or would be comfortable with. And a dilemma.

For that reason I now always require deposit, or sell vouchers, which can be prepaid and gifted, so a recipient can then custom order their gift with me.

I guess it can depend on people’s turnarounds, if I’m not booked up, I can usually get a small portrait done in a day and out, so three days would be no issue. I’d like to think people aren’t using malicious loopholes

(Kim Blythe) #9

Turnarounds can also depend on how busy you are. If someone orders something and you only have that one to do then most of us could get it done within the 3 days, but when I listed my personalised stockings for Xmas, I put a despatch time of 7 days,which was fine until I got 6 ordered all at once! I then changed the despatch time to 2 weeks just in case any more were ordered as I knew I wouldn’t be able to do them in time…
I think if I was going to just make to order I would increase my despatch time…just in case of multiple orders… 3 days would be pushing it if more than 1 item…depending on what it is of course.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #10

Oh my that’s horride after all your work and materials. You would think your ‘friend’ would say look I’ve having problems at the moment with money so can we work out some sort of payment plan.

(Sonia Adam) #11

I agree with all your points above. I think there may be some confusion between ‘made to order’ and ‘custom order’. I would say the first is any standard item you make but they are not made until ordered (but could be re-sold) and the second is a unique possibly personalised item that is made once ordered (very difficult to re-sell).
I’m not sure anyone is trying to dodge distance-selling regs, just confusing the terms.

(Christine Shephard) #12

I think that if something is made to a customer’s specification (e.g. individual size, non-standard colour, their own design or any personalisation) then it is a custom-made item. You would normally have to source special materials, adjust a pattern, agree details etc., so it should be obvious.

Made-to-order items are usually standard items that are just made on request rather than having them in stock. They might include a choice of size/colour but wouldn’t usually require any other changes to be made.

As Sonia says, I think it’s probably more a case of confusing the terms rather than any deliberate attempt to mislead.

(iamHayley) #13

It is, but you live an learn. I wouldnt care so much, but shes trying to start up a craft business, so is aware of the frustrations, but hey ho

(Deborah Jones) #14

A shop owners knowledge of what they can sell on is also a consideration I think.
To Joe Public ordering one of my rings in their size may not seem like a custom order, but if I know that it is a size I rarely get asked for and the materials are going to cost me £50 I don’t want to be stuck with it. I have offered to send the stock one in the past so that the customer is sure before they comit.

(Christina Green) #15

Yes, what an awkward situation! I’m afraid some people don’t actually see painting as work, they see it as a pleasurable way to pass your time and so don’t have any qualms about letting you down! After all, you do paint because you like it, don’t you? :wink:

I’m not agreeing with this point of view, of course, as I’ve done a number of different crafts myself and encountered the problem many times! Even when I was a professional theatrical scenic artist, the most physically arduous work I’ve ever done and seriously long hours (tiny wages, naturally!) people would say to me, “It must be so rewarding!”. And it was, but work is work… I’m sure you do love to paint but the money is a token of respect for your skill and recompense for your time. Hayley’s idea of paying by installments is a very good one. Otherwise, I’m afraid you’re stuck with the dead cat and writing off the time and if this is a good friend, trying to forgive her…