View Full Version : Any Rules to Follow in Selling?

05-03-2003, 10:28 PM
With summer approaching and the season of sidewalk art shows all over the state around the corner I'm hoping to get enough painted and framed to set up a spot in a couple of shows. If by some miracle I should sell one are there any guidelines about taking it back for any reason, such as:
a. The customer has decided they don't like it
b. Somehow a big smudge appeared on the painting that wasn't there before. I guess one way to solve that one is to offer to fix it, which shouldn't be too hard to do.
c. With any scenario such as these or something not coming to mind, is there a good enough reason to give a refund? The only thing I can think of is the painting is done so poorly and incompetently, e.g. cheap pastels, paper, mounted poorly, etc. and in that case shouldn't be out there for sale to begin with.
I am just wondering how to protect myself with a sale like this.
Any expert advice for someone who probably hasn't a thing to worry about, but would be useful for others anyway? Thanks for the help!:)

05-04-2003, 03:51 AM
If a customer has decided they "don't like it", the decision whether to take it back or not is entirely down to your good nature - or not. If you feel you might be prepared to be reasonable, you could offer them the opportunity to choose another one instead of that one. But I am not sure I would give someone their money back for this reason. They should have decided whether they like it in the first place. Not liking something is not good enough reason to demand money back - it certainly would not wash in the UK.

If the item is faulty in some way, that is another matter. Big smudges are unlikely to "appear", cannot think why you should imagine they would, but what might happen is that the painting can shift inside the mount. Then, you should offer to fix it, and return the pic to the client.

If pastel drops onto the mount and causes a mess, again, you should fix it, even if it means replacing the mount.

Any damage caused by the client is down to them, not to you.


05-04-2003, 08:45 AM
Thanks Jackie, some people can be unreasonable, and I just wanted to know what I can argue back into not refunding, they certainly should make up thier minds in the beginning. And a faulty mount, etc., I would be happy to fix it. The "smudge" thing I suppose if they accidentally spilled water on it, possibly unknowingly, and saying it was there to begin with, again, I could easily fix that. But I am very much opposed to refunding, whether or not that has anything to do with my good nature,I would be sitting there the entire day, well, all of you know about that anyway. I'm there for the reason of selling. I suppose putting up a little sign (a good natured one) saying no refunds would be appropriate? Is this the wrong attitude to have?

05-04-2003, 09:22 AM
Yep unfortunately in the states, people are a bit more ... demanding when it comes to refunds. They seem to think more then just their personal freedom should be free..lol!
I did want to mention just in case..cause it seems like a maybe...but ....
LTC you are planning on putting your work in frames, BEHIND glass....yes? Because you just have too before you sell in an open atmosphere such as you mentioned. That would prevent any smudging , that might happen!;)
You also need to make up a simple Biz Card too, so that you can have them on a table, in your pocket, and on Back of pics , so that peeps will have your info.
Keep notepads handy and take all your customers information, that they are willing to share! Write the picture they buy by their names! This will give you something to base yourself in case someone does want a return.
Last but not least....Just have a simple sign at your checkout table, saying all sales are final!:D

05-04-2003, 10:00 AM
Thats a really good idea Redsy about taking notes on what has sold etc......
You can get little business cards printed with stickly labels with matching info, very reasonable prices from places on the net.

you could always put up a sign Alan saying 'Sold as Seen'

wish you luck....... let us know how it all turns out

05-04-2003, 10:22 AM
Thanks Redsy and Dawn, I've got a couple of those covered, I do have the biz cards and do frame behind glass.
Taking the notes is a great idea, and "sold as seen" is what I'll put, sounds better than "No Refunds Sucka!"
You gave me another idea for a thread, I've been wondering about it, looking for the product at Staples, Walmart, Office Max, can't find what I need, labeler.....

05-04-2003, 11:44 AM
Just buy the sheets of lables and print from your puter!;) Use word perfect or other program, type your info and save, print right to lables!
Its better that way, then you can just stick to the back of all your pics as well! I also suggest signing the pic and date on the back in your own handwriting. More personal!:D

05-04-2003, 01:27 PM
Redsy, good for you, to mention the record-keeping side of things. I took it for granted that anyone selling pics would do this. You MUST keep records of every picture sold, who it was sold to, how much for,and anything else you can think of.

Think about how people will want to pay you. If they want to pay by credit card, as people often do, this could be a problem for you unless you have this facility, so it probably has to be cash. A personal cheque is a big risk, frankly, if they are taking the pic away the same day. If someone says they want to reserve a pic and return for it later......ALWAYS take a deposit, and make it clear that this deposit is non-refundable. Print up some sheets on your computer, little letters which say "Thank you for your deposit of $........... Please note that this will reserve your picture for you until you collect it, or it is delivered to you, when the balance of $............... will be due. Please note that deposits are NOT refundable. Thank you." This makes it quite clear that you are prepared to wait for them to return with the balance of the money, but are NOT prepared to deal with a change of heart, as you have lost the opportunity to sell that painting elsewhere in the meantime.

If someone spills something on a pastel, that is their problem, not yours, never, ever - not even if you have sold it unframed. However you really should frame all pastels under glass, you cannot possibly sell them unframed and expect them to remain undamaged - again, I assumed you realised this.

05-04-2003, 07:34 PM
Wow, great suggestions, and ones that I will be putting into practice, the labelling and the "fact sheets".
I'm really glad I asked, because anyone who is really serious about selling should be serious HOW they sell as well as keeping records. I really appreciate the advice, Alan:)

05-05-2003, 03:26 AM
Alan, if you have time, why not create some cards to have on your stand too. Take a look at my current thread about this, called "creating cards from your pastel pics". It is easy to do, and if you sell enough, it helps to pay expenses and food and stuff like that.