For the second installment of our Craft Show Horror Stories series we bring you… Worlds Worst Customers. Or non-customers as the case may be. It’s always the people with the worst behavior who decide not to buy anything, isn’t it? Luckily 99.9% of craft show patrons are 100% awesome. Every show has the usual kids-who-touch-things, that guy who spends an hour making you pull out different styles/sizes and then doesn’t get anything, and people with an oversize sense of entitlement. But every now and then… you run into one of these folks:
“I Could Make That”
Every show seems to have one of these folks. People whose only comment on your work is that they could do it. Yeah? Right. Artbytrudy ran into a particular gem at a high school craft fair:
I did a craft show at a high school a couple of months ago. I was so excited because I was accepted at the last minute ($125 for day). They stuck me in a hallway with 7 other crafters and we had 9 people all day! People would walk in the front door, go in the gym and leave!
I saw a 20 something girl look at my sunflower [painting] and I thought “good I got a sale.” Well she screamed, ” MOM CAN YOU PAINT THIS FOR ME!” Mom (who looked like a Jerry Springer candidate came over picked it up, studied it, and screamed back, “Sure it can’t be that hard!” and took a picture of it on her cell phone! Now I can be as assertive as the next person, but I was so slap happy that I laughed until I cried.
That’s too Expensive
Some people seem to have a skewed view of what handmade items should cost. Each show has that one person who feels the need to tell you so. A friend had someone tell her she was “taking the food right out of my mouth,” as she purchased a $2 item. $2. Less than the price of a Super Value Meal.
Here’s my own story from when I was selling under priced hand forged jewelry:
A kid who looked about 10 came up to my booth, with his mom behind him. He was touching various necklaces (*cringe*), and pointing them out to his mom, who just sort of grunted. Then he checked the tag on one, saw that it was $30, and yelled “Jesus Christ that’s expensive!”
His mother immediately yelled “Bobby! Didn’t I tell you…”
and I’m thinking “phew, she’s going to correct him for being rude,” oh no,
“… Didn’t I tell you not to take the lord Jesus’ name in vein?”
And then they walked away.
Even without Swine Flu floating around, some things are just common sense. Like not licking the merchandise:
At the end of a very long and hot day, a woman tried on one of my rings. She then found that she couldn’t get it off but no problem, she had the perfect solution. She put her whole hand in her mouth, got it good and wet, then deposited the ring into my hand with a big smile!
Or maybe she was just hungry? Like a woman Livinginthepast ran into?
I was at a miniatures fair and I was demonstrating polymer clay. I had these miniature candy canes that I was giving away to people- they were 1:12. On the label I had ‘polymer clay candy canes, please take one!’ I’d been telling the children that no, you can’t eat them.
A lady came by and picked up one. She looked intently at what I was doing, and at the packets of clay I was using. She then put the candy cane in her mouth and bit it in half as I went into slow motion ‘nooooooOOoooOOooo’ mode, saying “you can’t eat it!!!”
She took the broken bit out of her mouth and said “Oh, I always taste things.” And wandered off…
Ok so this one isn’t really a category of person, I think this story is unique to StymiepieStudios. But it’s a good one to keep in mind next time you have trouble ridding your booth of clowns. No, really.
I did a popular large craft show during the last holiday season that was over a weekend. On the first full day, a strange woman , dressed like a regular person but wearing clown makeup, came over to my table several times. I thought she worked at the show, you know, face painting….something. She bought a bank, made small talk, etc. Strange but friendly.
The next day I show up early and she’s sitting at my table, has coffee for me and the Sunday paper, and show time approaches and she won’t leave! Customers are browsing and she’s selling my pieces and telling people she made them and I’m her assistant (and she’s still got the clown makeup on). I was reluctant to get rid of her, she sold ten things(LOL) but finally I gently (well, maybe not so gently) suggested that she leave. At the end of the day I saw her in the parking lot helping a guy pack up his van while he pleaded with her to leave him in peace.
Luckily the bad customers are the exception to the rule. Got your own worst customer experience? Share it in the comments! Next week we’ve got tales of the most awful booth neighbors imaginable, folks that are supposed to be professionals! If you’ve got a good (er, bad) one, send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org