Folksy Ltd

Ever get asked by customers if they can come round?

(Nana Louise Nielsen) #1

I have had a few requests from people suggesting that they come to my studio to look at items or to ‘save on postage’.
This makes me rather uncomfortable and I always squirm and say no in what I hope is a polite way.

I guess it is perfectly legitimate of customers to want to hold a ring before they buy it, but I would rather not let strangers into my studio.

Am I being paranoid?


(cindyheadley) #2

Not sure If it is paranoia, but I am exactly the same, I had one guy ask me if he could pay me to teach his girlfriend to make something as a gift for her birthday…lovely idea, but I freaked…my studio is a MESS! (it is also my lounge/bedroom)

(Nana Louise Nielsen) #3

Glad I’m not the only one :smile:
Mine is such a mess too.

(Deborah Jones) #4

I get asked too , I generally say no unless it is someone local or who I have met at a fair.
I also get asked to teach and take part in open studios , which I also turn down as 1 my shed is chaos and 2 I feel quite vulnerable.
I think If you allow customers to come to your studio you have to be specifically insured , I seem to remember my husband saying mine had had to go up because of it.

(Roz) #5

I have once in regards to my craft work but often get asked by people in my day job (I work as a chiropodist and visit clients in their own homes) if they can come to me. Fortunately my insurance doesn’t allow for it, its OK for them to trip over in their own home but not mine, so I can politely refuse. The thought of people coming into my house fills me with dread - I would have to do the housework! I suspect if people are visiting in a business related capacity to view/buy your work you would have to make sure you have specific public liability insurance (and probably insurance to cover any potential damage/theft by them) so I would just use that as an excuse not to allow it if it makes you uncomfortable.

(Christine Shephard) #6

I have a space in my garage where I sometimes work, and I’ve run small workshops in there occasionally. I opened it once to the public for an art trail, but prefer not to have people coming into the house. I’ve had a couple of things collected by local buyers, which was fine. My insurance does allow for workshops, so I’m covered for that.

(Sasha Garrett) #7

We have a very good open studio scheme here in Cambridge which runs in July and although I don’t let people into my studio (too small and messy) they do get to view all my work set up in the kitchen/ diner so I’m used to clients coming to my house and I have appropriate insurance in case they fall over etc because of it. The kitchen diner set up has the advantage that they don’t see the rest of the house as they can come down the garden path and in through the patio doors. my other half then acts as refreshments manager which also lets people know that I’m not in the house on my own and if he can’t be around he makes sure I have someone else about. If I am doing a commission for someone I would normally travel to their place (they are the customer after all so why should they have to go out of their way to come to me) but have on rare occasions had people come to the studio/ work shop - these are normally repeat customers who are well known to me so I feel safe doing it. I wouldn’t let someone unknown to me come round if I was on my own.
There is nothing paranoid about not wanting to let someone in your studio/ home - you could always offer to take the item to them (or a neutral other location eg cafe) if they really want to see it before purchase but I’d explain your returns/ refunds/ alterations policy to put their minds at ease about buying sight unseen as you politely say no they can’t come and visit.

(Nana Louise Nielsen) #8

Thanks all. I’m glad I’m not the only one.
Deb and others - that’s a really good point about insurance. I hadn’t thought of that actually.
I prefer to do workshops in other locations unless it is people I already know.

The open studio scheme is a fantastic idea and different I think, as it is not just one person. I was considering joining in that, but will have to get my insurance sorted first.
But insurance is also a perfect polite excuse. Love it.

(Susannah Ayre) #9

I’ve had a few people around when they’ve asked. My studio is in my basement which you access through my living room.
Initially I was a bit uncomfortable about the idea but after someone popped around for the first time I’ve never been too fussed after that.
I never initiate it- just if they ask. For example I was recently found on Instagram by a new restaurant owner near mine- and after seeing all my prints online he wanted to see them in person- which given how many he wanted and how much he paid me I found perfectly reasonable.
I wouldn’t if people just wanted to come around for the sake of it- conversation has generally happened for a while before hand.
It can be interesting- and can be worth a fair bit of money sometimes.
I’ve done Lino printing tutorials as well- but they’ve all ended up taking place elsewhere- but can also be profitable. :blush:

(Minerva) #10

I’ve never been asked, I guess there is no point for the work that I do. All my knitwear is stored in air tight containers, so I wouldn’t take them out and show them kind of thing.
But I would feel uncomfortable if I didn’t know the person and didn’t have an open studio specifically designed for people to stop by. I also don’t tend to meet customers in person, do deliveries, exchange cash / package in public etc. And I wouldn’t like to say ‘yes’ to some people and ‘no’ to others.
The shipping is definitely a consideration, so I guess you’ll have to look at each case separately.
Good point, about insurance though. Thanks, that’s something to keep in mind.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #11

I would answer no sorry as this is an internet based business and I don’t have the legal liability insurance to cover customers coming to my home.

I did once but oh no never ever again as much as I liked the lady a friend of a friend she took ages at my place chatting and asking to see this and that. All that time I could have been getting on with something else, she took a great chunk out of my day.

This was even before I even thought hang on I’m not insured to have customers in my home.

(Sams Gemstone Jewellery) #12

If I had a studio which wasn’t part of my house I would let people visit but I wouldn’t let people come round if it was in my house. You wouldn’t invite a stranger off the street into your house so why would you let someone in just because they say they want to see what you make or to save postage. Sadly these days, even though its wrong, you can’t assume everyone is genuine :frowning:

(Nana Louise Nielsen) #13

Hehe. I think we’re all pretty much agreeing then.
I also have two indoor cats who are rather shy of strangers. Wouldn’t want them spooked, but the insurance excuse sounds more professional :wink:

(Minerva) #14

Over the years I have met people I ‘found’ on the internet…to flatshare, to play sports, to do language exchange etc. Most people were ok, but there were the odd cases where the guy thought it could be something else. One even told me he could give me a ride to the bus stop when I had just met the guy an hour ago! That was the last time I met someone like that and haven’t done so for years.

I don’t want to assume the worst, but I can’t be naive either. It’s just not the kind of thing I do anymore. When it comes to work, I prefer everything professional, with proof, post office, PP, written records etc. I’ll be more covered like that.

(Stephanie Guy) #15

If someone wants to view a specific painting or collect a commission I always arrange it for a public place (Costa Coffee are very good about business meetings being held on their premises). If it’s just for a general viewing then I always decline due to the insurance issues.

(Rosesworkshop) #16

I would never consider letting complete strangers into my workshop. I am nervous enough about the guy who reads the gas meter in the hall! Ok, most people are honest, but they could be perfectly genuine and still trip over something. What about the weird or dishonest ones?

I can’t see why any of you selling jewellery would let in someone you don’t know. You probably have thousands of pounds worth of stock and materials; now they know where you keep it, they can check your locks and alarm system. They can ask casual questions like can I come on Tuesday? No, you say I’m at the dentist. Yippee they think, the coast will be clear, I’ll bring the van round!

Stephanie has the right idea - if you must meet somebody go somewhere very public.

(Angela Callanan) #17

You are not being paranoid :smile: I think this is strange.

Taking it totally from the buyers view - if I buy something on the internet I do not expect to able to go and see the item in person - that is the whole point of buying online - I realise that is the deal - I don’t get to see the physical item.

If I want to buy something and I want to be able to see, touch and feel it - I go to a shop. If they asked the question - do you sell the item in a shop/gallery where I could look at it - that makes more sense - but not “can I come around to save on postage”.

I understand people have studios and customers come to their studio but I think that is a separate thing.

(Diane Burton) #18

I’ve never been asked but would feel a bit ‘cautious’ if the request came from a complete stranger, I have a lady from our village who has given me a few personalised orders and she comes to the house to give me details & collect her cards but I know her reasonably well (she’s a dinner lady & cleaner at the primary school my kids went to and her son lives just a few doors away) so it doesn’t bother me (apart from the mess in the house but that’s life in our household) if it was someone local who I didn’t know I might do as @StephanieGuy suggests and arrange to meet in a local but public place.