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Custommade going whereee


#1

As many of you know and for those that don’t I am a Maker on
CustomMade. I recently got a letter from them and they are making
major changes to the site. It is suppose to take place at an
undetermined date some time before the end of July and to happen all
on day.

As a maker you will no longer be able to get money orders, checks,
credit cards or PayPal payments. I will have to sign up for a wepay
account period.

CM said they were doing this to save the makers money. At PayPal it
is 2.9% +.30 per transaction it is the same on Wepay.

As a maker you will no longer have the option of % of payments i. e.
100% upfront, 100% upon completion, 3 way split. 60- 40 split. The
only way CustomMade will do payments is a 50-50 split.

To get money from wepay without giving them access to a bank account
you have to have them send a check (7-10 days to get) or let them
have access to your bank account. They have no debit/credit card that
can attach account funds. They have no access to shipping thru the
site like PayPal.

CM will have daily access to the Wepay account. This is because
anytime there is a transaction they will take 5% to cover your % to
them without them having to invoice us any longer. A maker will no
longer get an invoice; we will have to keep track of payments
received and payments made to CM.

Wepay takes credit card payments from buyers unless the buyer opts
to have wepay have access to their bank account. Most buyers will opt
to use a credit card I am sure which can take 1-7 days to process
through wepay before we have the monies for materials for that
particular project. With no access to the wepay account another 7-10
days to get a check. This begs the question :(most of my vendors take
PayPal) no one has heard of wepay how do I get producte? I now have
to wait for the check or put it on a credit card and pay interest.

What do you think ee will you stay with CustomMade or do something
elsee?

BTW I have all of this documented with screen prints and emails.

Robin dazed and confused but still making


#2

Hi Robin,

I can’t speak to the CustomMade issue. Don’t know a thing about
them. But I would be suspicious about their motives. Or, at very
least, prepare a fallback position if either CM goes south, or the
terms of the deal get worse. Having a backup plan is never a bad
thing.

You seemed a bit worried about letting them have access to your bank
account. Rightly so. I won’t even let paypal have access to any of
my real accounts. I just opened up one of those little free checking
accounts, and pointed paypal to that one. For a time, that
particular account was even at a different bank than my primary
accounts, so they were totally firewalled from each other. Money
comes into sacrificial account, money goes right back out again.
There’s never much of anything there to mess with, even if PP wanted
to.

These bozos want access to a bank account. Nobody said you
couldn’t have several.

Equally, I’ve got a couple of low-limit sacrificial credit cards
that I use for online stuff. One of those gets compromised, it’s no
big deal to blow it away.

Welcome to the 21st century. Get paranoid.

Regards,
Brian


#3

Oh by the way- If a site that claims to be promoting you demands a
bank account or any personal info. and you can’t dictate how you want
to be paid. keep looking for a better way to use the web to your
advantage.

As for CM Jim Haughwoult is the CEO and claims to have 12,000 makers
and has just (in June 2013) garnered 18 M in funding from Google
Ventures and Atlas Ventures as well as 5 or 6 other VC"firms"- I’d be
separating my personal banking from business banking as soon as you
can get to the bank! You can bet this guy and his associates are out
for a big buyout as opposed to actually being concerned with your
gaining anything. A 50/50 split is ridiculous particularly with their
purported funding. They were after all originally BUYERS not craft
artisans but software engineers ! if they are levying your "account"
with the other makers that have had less than 42 sales in over two
years I’d be wondering where the CM CEO is getting his projections
that make CM look profitable down the road as a 50/50 split doesn’t
cover* your* costs and labour (I looked over your work and the other
jewellery maker’s on the site and compared!).

I urge you to read http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep80e6 if you
haven’t it’s from Custom Made on their funding and venture and may be
telling to you as a participant. If they aren’t in the business of
making a livelihood from art and craft they have no connection to any
of the forms their site represents. They are motivated by business
models and changing an already heavily weighted towards admin’s
profitability site (in their favour) to an overly weighted site that
splits profits. it’s time to leave this organisation - that is with
the mailing list you have made from your contacts there and with the
agreement that you are allowed to put up some kind of " bowing out
"statement that will allow CM site visitors to contact you (or code
it to redirect the visitors in the contact you as a maker section to
your site and don’t take on custom work unless its through your own
site)/ This site is defintiely not out to do their Makers any
favours.(even though it reads as though they are) with at least 16
salaries in London and Las Vegas to provide, and their hiring, your
50% of each sale is helping you expand. how? but it’s certainly
helping them expand. so if it’s truly Ok for you to be giving away
50% and you are making more money than before and your sales are
increasing from repeat business from this site, and you can stand
their payment policies. and you aren’t feeling a bit used. then maybe
you can “grow” with them, until they get a big fat offer from X (I
could name a bunch of potential buyers of this business) and the
entire outfit is reformed and again policy changes. with no notice or
your participation on a profit sharing collective approach gets
presented by all the maker’s joining forces and saying - ENOUGH- as
one, they would have no business to stand on. and opress. So I urge
you to consider what they are doing for you and the other makers.
contact the other makers and get yourselves organised to say no to
being manipulated while your work is what they are depending on and
your voices together may be what it takes to get an equitable return,
as the split as I see it should be weighted in you, the maker’s
favour, not the website designers and “software engineers” who are
well funded already. rer


#4

good job paranoia online is good I use a prepaid american express
card to purchase online serve.com there are a ton of them out there
some you can buy at Target stores setc that way if lost or stolen
there is a limit to what is lost also the serve one allows me to
transfer paypal to it so I ccan use a non-paypal debit and avoid any
connection to my real bank accounts.

several free utilities to help from online tracking and abuse of
your e-mail address(I create one for business that is separate from
my impt one to keep spam out of my real email account) available for
most browsers donttrackme and for shopping or ordering online maskme
look them up they can be disabled in the browsers tool section
should you need to do so but prevent a lot of computer background
software. It is a good idea to go to your programs installed list
click on date installed and check to be sure each week that nothing
has been added without your knowledge. aka bargainhunter is not a
program I installed but there it was tracking me. I think the
browsers are installing these extensions because we have given
permission for updates.

Have fun be safe
Teri


#5

Why would you want to deal with a company like this that takes a
50-50 split for one, and has changed its policies after. not very
long in business. This is exactly why I wouldn’t get involved with
anything but an established organization that gives you something for
your percentage like “Artful Home”- a juried, well marketed vehicle
for quality handmade art and craft products in which you have both
recourse if problems arise and are protected from fraudulent buyers
or payment schemes if tried.

Many of these kinds of art and craft sites are popping up worldwide.
many offer zero to the artisan but will allow anyone of any skill
level and then don’t last long, change policies or branding and do
almost no promotion other than pesky emails that border on spamming
from lists you provide them (in putting your friends and clients on
them), and they make money on in reselling, and once the artisan’s
combined small business “adwords” or other marketing channel’s. click
through, etc credits are maxed out do no other advertising or even
PPC campaigns…

A good rule is to look at the bottom of any of these artisan/
crafters “consignment” site’s webpages. Go straight to the" who we
are", or “about us” sections and look at the 'whois" account holders
and do some investigating as to who owns the site, what their other
sites are, what financial info you can find out about them, sites
they may have started and how long in business and then contact some
sellers and get an idea of how much more business being a "member"
has generated, and what costs or other investments has the outlay.
been. and whether they would get out if they had not signed or agreed
to some period of time or other commitment. If you are not free to
pull your work at any time once orders have been fulfilled that
should be a flag too. Also if it costs anything other than a small
percentage, check it out fully first. Do not presume they will market
unless it is specified and how will they market a new "member’s"
work, if at all. Where do they advertise? What presence other than on
their site is there on the web? Has anyone you know bought from the
site (easy to survey if you are into using social media like
facebook) or tried to return anything and who handled that? Many of
these sites saw Etsy and try to imitate it- and can’t. Actually one
site like Etsy is enough in my opinion and the other sites I know of
have less exposure unless you personally know someone that
participates in a similar venture that is maybe “craft specific”.

I think it is the business of independent jewelers to have their own
websites and handle their own branding, marketing and client
cultivation*if using the web for sales *and not simply for a way for
clients and prospective business or marketing contacts, shows,
juries, etc. to look at your work and contact you IMO (whether or
not you do the actual maintenance or IT on the site may not be your
thing, nonetheless it’s possible to retain control, maintain a great
site, and make it profitable without a knowledge of anything more
than how to communicate with clients, converse about ordering and
fulfilment, up to to offering them design discussion in conference on
a shared whiteboard without paying a staff to deal with your website
or for a bunch of apps that make selling easy and can be gotten for
free). Local high schools and community colleges often have excellent
website designers that will do the work you can’t for very little,
and get a very functional, secure and safe site for far less than a
professional design firm/ If you want to look over when you signed up
with them. I’d personally be quite curious as to how long it’s been
since you signed on and what agreements or “Terms of Use” you agreed
to and their policy -encapsulated if you care to contact me off list-
perhaps I can be of some assistance. rer


#6

I read somewhere online that Jack Dorsey/ of Twitter/ SQUARE fame is
working out the kinks on a paypal/system for online charges and CASH
deposts. Overwhelming for me, but check it out. New solutions from
competitors every day. Maybe the USA still has a chance…


#7

RER

On CustomMade there is no way to get from maker to maker CM doesn’t
want that!!! I am starting a FB page for CM makers. CM even removed
the forum they use to have onsite for makers to speak with each other
SPOOKY caca

Robin


#8

Brian

I have a separate bank account now and a dedicated credit card. I
had used PayPal for all of this and it was never linked to any of my
accounts. Now since we will not have PayPal as an option a separate
bank was what I had to do. This does not stop CustomMade from having
access to the account to take their cut every time there is a
transaction. With all the funding they received recently, yes this
makes me very paranoid!!!


#9

RER it is not a 50-50 split CustomMade takes 10% the 50-50 split is
how a maker can get their money 50% upfront 50% on completion.

Robin


#10

I have used PayPal for 6 years now and never had a problem. I have a
business account with no connection to any bank account and a credit
card for that account as well


#11

I started a Face book group for CustomMade makers where we can have
a forum and share with CM what are problems are. At this Time I have
not invites anyone from CM to join
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep80ec

Robin Bean


#12

I just spoke with wepay and CM and received emails about my question
from both.

If you are a maker on CM and are not an American living in the USA
with a SS# and bank account you will not be able to be on CustomMade
when they change over!!!

Robin. getting prissier by the minute!!!