I sell rings, mostly, and what I do is tell my customers to have
their fingers sized by a local jeweller, if at all possible. I also
specify the kind of gauge to use, or ask which one was used, since I
make wide rings and that makes a difference.
I give detailed instructions on how to measure one’s own finger if a
gauge isn’t available, too.
Recently a customer wrote back and told me that one of the pair
they’d received was a little tight, and I gave him the options of
having it resized there, sending back to me, or resizing it himself,
with, again, detailed instructions. He chose the latter and was
successful, but I have gone so far as to make an entirely new ring
when the original turned out to be the wrong size.
If I have any dissatisfied customers, they haven’t mentioned it to
me or to anyone I’ve been in contact with.
No package has ever gone astray, either. One flighty young bride
gave me the wrong zip code and her rings were in limbo for a week,
but everything turned out fine.
My experience so far is that the internet works the way people
expect it to. If someone who knows the web shops carefully, there’s
no problem. People can mess it up to where they can’t buy or sell
anything successfully, by not providing adequate channels of
communication or allowing flexibility in payment, for example. I
know people who are so frightened of spam and scams that they won’t
tell anyone their email address, which means they don’t have an
email address as far as anyone can tell. I knew one person who
refused to use any online form of payment, i.e., PayPal or Kagi or
any other 3rd party payer, wouldn’t set up a credit card account, and
spent most of his time complaining that nobody bought anything from
One can also go the other way, being too trusting and open. I spoke
with one lady who had sent thousands and thousands of dollars worth
of art to Nigeria. The guy barely had to work at it at all, she just
jumped at the chance to let him take advantage of her, it seemed.
I don’t tell my customers that I’m screening them for legitimacy,
but by the time I send them anything, I already have a very good idea
of what sort of person I’m dealing with. Most times I’ve already
been paid, with the check cleared, since I’m doing custom work and I
get paid at least fifty percent up front. The closest I ever came to
losing money, a scammer from Moldova gave herself away by her
reaction to the picture I sent of her bracelet. “How much does it
weigh, in grams, and how fast can you send it?” – that’s not the
reaction of a delighted customer… I immediately sought
confirmation from the 3rd party credit card company, and they just
shrugged, figuratively, and said “No problem for us, it’s only been a
month, and if it turns out to be a fraud, we’ll just take our money
back from you.” I canceled the credit card charge and apologized
profusely, blaming the CC folks, and offered to send the jewelry as
soon as I got a valid payment by other means. Never did hear back.