Seriously?!? Who wouldn’t want something free, that they supposedly love, with no strings attached or any catches? Well, apparently they’re out there!
Back in May my parents had a community yard sale, and I went over and participated with them. Since I now have a handmade craft shop on Artfire, I thought the yard sale would be a good way to promote it. So I decided to do a real live giveaway – anyone that was interested could sign up on a list to win a free pair of earrings. I had a specific design picked out for the earrings, but I was leaving color choice up to the winner – semi-custom! I would then either drop them off to the winner’s house, meet them somewhere to hand them off, or even ship them at no cost to the winner once they were completed. I managed to get 6 interested ladies to sign up, and picked a winner that night with a computerized random number picker that my hubby created for me with his programming skills (because at the time, neither he or I knew about random.org). I e-mailed those that left their e-mail addresses to let them know they didn’t win, but if they were still interested in anything they could browse my online shop, and I called the winner to let her know she won and find out what color beads she wanted. I had to leave a message for her, and finally got in contact with her almost a week later. She told me she wanted something along the turquoise and silver scheme, and when I told her I could have them completed in a day or two since I had to go buy the beads, she said she would be too busy that weekend to collect them. This was also the same week/weekend that hubby and I were going to his parents for his brother’s college graduation. So, I wasn’t able to complete them before we left, but did get them finished later the following week. I called her back on Memorial Day to let her know they were finished and figure out how to get them to her. She actually answered, and as soon as I said who was calling (“Hi, this is Steph calling about the earrings you won”), she gave me a very rude, short response of “Today’s not a good day, call back on Tuesday.” CLICK! I know it was a holiday, but wow, I couldn’t believe that response! I’m calling to give you something free, that I designed specifically to your liking, and that’s how you respond to my call?!? But, I did call her back that Tuesday, and again had to leave a message… Needless to say, I haven’t heard from her since! I’m very torn here – I feel as though I shouldn’t have to try sooo hard to give away something free to someone, but at the same time, from a business standpoint, I feel like it doesn’t look good on my part to “give up'” and not communicate with possible future buyers. But at this point now, is it really worth my time and energy on this one person who probably won’t even remember the earrings or the yard sale where she signed up?? BTW – this is the pair of earrings created for her:
For my first giveaway, where the item cost and such was coming out of my own pocket, I didn’t pick one of my more costly items, but I think they’re still pretty, and FREE! The woman said she absolutely loves earrings – she even reminded me of the pair that she bought at the yard sale (one of my old prefabricated, store bought pairs that I was just trying to get rid of).
So, here I am, stuck with a pair of packaged up earrings created to this woman’s specifications, and no response from her. At this point, I feel it’s too late to see if one of the other people that signed up wants them, especially since the point of the giveaway was semi-custom made, and these are the colors winner #1 chose for herself.
What would you do in this instance? How would you handle it, would it bother you as much as it has bothered/offended me? Have you ever had a giveaway winner sign up for your freebie and then not want it?
Really, I ask again – who wouldn’t want free stuff?!?