Monday, January 24, 2011

Others Experiences

I was contacted today by Vanessa Barfield, an independent clothing and accessories designer who had previously designed cosmetic pouches for sale via GlitterSniffer Cosmetics. I present her story here as I received it, unedited, with her permission.

My name is Vanessa Barfield and I have been following the whole Glittersniffer debacle, not as a jilted customer, but as a jilted business owner.  I own and operate Mean Look.  It's been very difficult for me to keep quiet during this whole thing, but I think I've been quiet long enough.  Lela has seen fit to ignore me the last two times she was contacted, so it's time for everyone to hear my story now.  Please feel free to post this on the blog and on the Facebook page, which I will be joining after I send this email.  

If you paid attention to my shop/Lela's shop/Facebook several months ago, you would know that Lela/Glittersniffer was selling my cosmetic bags in her shop.

It started out with her asking if I did wholesale. She had bought a bag from me and I guess she liked it. I told her sure, we could work something out. It was actually the first time someone had asked me if I did wholesale. Then she came back and said actually she wanted to do better than wholesale. She would sell my pouches on a consignment type basis. But she would only take $1 per pouch to cover fees/whatever. And she would return whatever didn't sell. I thought this was so amazing and wonderful of her.

Here is her message:

“Hey Vanessa, I actually think I may have a better idea and one that you make you more money. I really like your stuff and have a proposition for you that will further benefit you. Instead of me buying wholesale from you (and potentionally bring you less money for your hard work) how do you feel about a consignment of sorts. When I sell "kits" or collections, they generally sell out within the week. This is without packaging. With my experience, I can nearly gurantee that if I offered one of your cosmetic pouches in one of the kits, they will sell even faster. If you were wanting to sell them for 8$, I would include that in the price (minus 1$ for each sale to cover Etsy & Paypal fees). I would prefer to pay you once per week instead of with each sale. I've never offered this to another seller, it's kind of like giving them a piece of my pie with my high traffic stats, loyal customers, etc...but you have been loyal to me an I would love to help you at the same time as myself. I would say that 3-5 different types would be appropriate, my shop is known for unique, punkish, type items. If you're interested, we could discuss styles further. I am proposing this to you instead of wholesale because I'd like to see you succeed. I would include a link to your shop and everything. This doesn't make me any money and I would hope that given my seller status, you know I'm good for it. Let me know ?”

I showed her all the fabric I HAD in my possession and she chose several that she liked, so I made all the pouches I could with the fabric I had. I sent them to her, and when she listed them, 14 sold in the first 2 weeks. The sales got to be less and less until the listing expired [I guess]. 

She wanted me to pick a day of the week for her to pay me. I chose Tuesday. It was fine at first, until she started having to be reminded, and then she told me to just invoice her every Tuesday. 

I asked her if she'd want me to make any more. She told me that she wanted to do tattoo ones because the others didn't fit the image she wanted to convey with her shop. Well, whatever....I mean it was fine but she DID choose the fabric....that's the only reason that comment irked me a bit.

“I am going to send the old pouches back, I just don't think they're GS style, ya know? It is important to keep a certain image, I'm sure you understand.”

She sent me a link to a page of tattoo fabrics. I asked her which ones she liked best, or if there were any she did NOT want me to use, and she never answered me. I asked her twice, and got no response, so I had to just guess which ones... Just to note, she's one of those people who answers only part of messages, never the whole thing.

She sent me $60 to buy the fabric with. She told me she wanted 6 different prints with 10 pouches of each print. I estimated the cost of fabric [because she asked me], so she sent me the money. I asked her how it would work now because normally I would've paid for the fabric. She said it would still be the same, $7 a pouch, because she wanted to help me. I was so happy that she would do that. I couldn't believe she would...after things going so not great lately.

Part of her message:

“I will buy it for you and we can still sell it at the same price, I want to help you out :).”

It ended up costing $60 for only 4 yards of fabric since I could only FIND 4 of the ones she wanted, and they were all at least $8 plus shipping. I had a tattoo print of my own that she said would be fine. I told her I couldn't find any more, so she said 5 different prints was okay. So anyway, the fabric came and I made 50 pouches. I shipped them.

She got them, and she posted on her Facebook that she would be listing them later that day. People commented saying what they wanted and liked and so forth... The pouches never went up. I finally had to message her....two weeks went by before they were listed, and she NEVER promoted them once.

Just to be completely detailed, I shipped the pouches on June 11.  On June 30th, she said she’d try to get them up that day.

In July, she told me she was going to do a "big" craft show and she wanted to know if I'd like to send her some more pouches to sell, "maybe at a lower price" of course. :/ She actually said I should sell my smaller ones for $3 each. I thought about sending her some, but then I realized it wasn't worth my time. Not to mention she said it was "at the end of July." She didn't ever give me a date, even when I asked. But she had all the tattoo bags anyway to take with her.

I also moved in July. She told me she was going to send me back the old pouches that didn't sell. So before I moved, I told her I was moving, so if she wasn't going to send them soon, I would need to give her my new address. This was in June.

July passed by and I never heard a word from her, so again, I messaged her and asked how the show went. She said not well, and they left early.

In August or September, Lela all but closed her Etsy shop and opened her own web site. When I saw that my pouches weren't listed on the web site [I hadn't expected them to be, but of course I had no idea what she was planning on doing with them]. At this point, she had sold 6 of the 50 pouches.

I was getting rather annoyed at the whole thing, so I sent her a message with my new address and asked what was the plan with the tattoo pouches. Her full response: "I still have them and will send them back to you." This was on September 15th.

I messaged her again, and when I got no response, I noticed she'd deleted her Facebook page [*Please note: At the time, I thought she had deleted her page because I couldn’t find her on Facebook anymore.  I didn’t learn until later that she had actually just deleted and blocked ME]. Her personal page was the one we'd been messaging through. So I emailed her on October 15th. I said it's been a month, where are my pouches? She said she mailed them. I asked when, and she said "last week." Again with the lack of details. I emailed her again on the 25th and the 27th, with absolutely no response from her.

I gave her a deadline of November 8th to either have my pouches returned to me or to pay for them.  I heard nothing back, so on the 8th, I sent her a Paypal invoice, which she promptly canceled.  She told me to “stop trying to get your pouches and my money.  Not happening.”

In a moment of anger after she canceled three money requests in a row, I said she was lying about sending the pouches back.  She responded by saying that she would have sent me half the money if I hadn’t been so “inappropriate.”  I found this confusing….if she sent the pouches, why would she say she would’ve paid me half the money?  

Not long after this, I began hearing from people that Lela had been giving away my pouches in the “make-up” orders to people.

We emailed her again at the end of December stating our cases and that we would take legal action if necessary.  I figured up every little detail including how many pouches she never returned or paid for, and exactly how much money she owes me.  That sum is $448.  She responded right away saying for me to send her a Paypal request and she would pay as soon as she could.

She has been emailed two times since then, but she did not respond to either.  I just want my money back.  The pouches would have been gladly accepted, as that was the original agreement, but she's given some or all of them away, so this is where I'm left.

8 comments:

  1. This is really awful. So many women have been treated like this and it is horrible. We all just want what is rightly ours.

    I am so sad Vanessa has/had to deal with all this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Unreal. That is the only word that comes to mind. I am so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm speechless.. and I'm disgusted. How can anyone treat another person like this? I'm so sorry Vanessa is dealing with this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. She must think she is God.. she wanted to give Vanessa a piece of her pie. Wow. That is all I can say.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This has angered me to read this. I am so sorry! I think going on Judge Judy or Judge Alex would be quick & appropriate!

    ReplyDelete
  6. She needs to see about filing fraud charges, possibly mail fraud, as she sent items and was not returned them.

    The fact that it is over $200 makes it a felony in most states.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks everyone for the support. :)

    wolfsilveroak: Thanks for the advice. I will have to look into that. I really didn't want to have to go this route, but it looks like I may have to. All she had to do was return the pouches. I still can't understand it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is fraud in MI, sadly, I'm in the same state and area as this woman and I'm sure it will make people eager to buy my safe, and cleanly made product. I hate what a cruddy reputation she has. Anyway, it is a felony because there was a mail exchange and she lied repeatedly about mailing them, but you'd have an easier time in small claims court. You're in MI too? You should be able to handle this easily. At least it goes on her credit rating when she loses, I don't think she's going to pay you. No more consignment, wholesale only!! I'm sorry I'm in mommy mode, but I am furious at this woman and what she's done by not following the laws and guidelines. It makes it so much harder for the rest of us.

    ReplyDelete

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