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Old August 5, 2006, 06:38 PM   #1
dairycreek
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What do you expect from a craftsman?

I just got off the phone with a craftsman from whom I ordered a holster some weeks ago. I am somewhat "steamed" and want to ask all of you some questions about your expectations of internet craftsman, in this case a holster maker. Although I am irritated I am going to some lengths here to be general in my remarks because, in no way, is it my intent to identify anyone specifically.

When I ordered the holster the craftsman assured me that the holster would arrive in X to Y weeks which was okay with me. I noted that my credit card was billed as soon as he got the order! Well the X to Y week period has come and gone so, today, I phoned him. He said that he had been fishing and had fallen behind in his orders, apologized, and assured me that the holster would be here next week. We'll see. But, the situation raised some questions in my mind. When you order a holster from a craftsman on the internet what are your expectations? Mine are simple. I expect a quality item, for the agreed upon price, in the time specified. I also expect that billing my credit card will take place upon shipping - not before. If, for any reason, the delivery date can't be met I expect an email informing me of such. Those are my expectations! What are yours?

What are your expectations when doing business with internet craftsman?
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Old August 5, 2006, 09:14 PM   #2
'75Scout
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The same. Often quick turn around is a pipe dream and I have only had one person I believe to have very quick responses. I have recently ordered several items from Mark Garrity. I found his site at combatcarry.com as he and I are both members. His response to emails is incredibly quick. Some were within the hour.

With another holster maker I have waited several weeks past the ETA for only a belt and emails are answered in a day or two.
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Old August 6, 2006, 10:12 AM   #3
Tom Burks
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Pretty much the same as yours. Communication being up top for me. Let me know the status of my order, starting with letting me know you received my order!

I am an "internet craftsman" in my spare time as I have a full time job and a family. I know that with the limited time I have during the evenings and on weekends, I don't take on more orders than I can not complete and ship around 1 week of it being ordered. I can put my web store "on hold" keeping any more orders being placed.

So when unforeseen items like having to work late in the evening or unexpected guests show up it can throw me off by a day. If it will put me past the original ship date, as soon as I am able, I let my customers know of the delay and a new ship date. Works good for both parties.

I also have a problem as far as my credit card being charged when the order is placed AND the delivery date is more than 1 week out unless I have ordered something that is custom made and takes the duration of those additional weeks to make.

A good compromise for "internet craftsman" would be to charge your CC when it's time to make your "craft" and your "purchase order" pulled for the details. Since we are talking "custom" holsters, I consider it "bought" once the first cut into the leather is made. Charging me upon shipping would be considered exceptional customer service.

Myself, I take payment up front because I don't do enough business to justify a CC terminal (virtual or physical) but take payment via PayPay (which takes CC's) and I usually start my "craft" within 24 hours of receiving payment, shipping within 5-7 days.

Honesty is a good one as well. Fishing? Can't get anymore honest than that!
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Old August 6, 2006, 07:31 PM   #4
K-Man
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In my opinion, honesty is the best policy. I know I have fallen behind the estimated turnaround time that's been quoted to customers. That has mostly been due to a huge continuous influx of orders, and our shop was closed recently for a couple of weeks while we moved to a new location. The turnaround time should be back on track in a few weeks, as I've already seen an improvement in the ability to get the holsters out quicker since moving to the new shop.

There are things that happen on a day to day basis that may affect the ability to get a holster/belt/magazine pouch out on time. They are too numerous to mention here. You try and operate in a quasi-controlled environment, but anything is possible that can affect the process.

With respect to the credit card being charged, I do not do that until I start on the holster. I've just found that it's easier on both parties doing it that way. One - it's an indicator to the customer that their holster will be shipping soon (if they check their online account activity). Two - if there's a change to the original order that affects the price, it's easier to run that through once rather than going back and forth with debits and credits. Some holster makers do charge as soon as you hang up the phone. There could be any number of reasons for that. I know some holster makers will charge right up front and even do not provide for refunds. My recommendation would be to talk with the holster maker at the time you place the order so you know all of the parameters. You should always retain the right to cancel the order and be provided a refund if your card/account has been charged/debited. If a holster maker (or any business) will not provide a refund, I'd be looking elsewhere.
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Old August 6, 2006, 07:44 PM   #5
XavierBreath
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I do not think your expectations are unreasonable at all. I share them.
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Old August 8, 2006, 09:14 AM   #6
FirstFreedom
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When will business owners learn that it is far far better to overquote the delivery time than underquote it - it's all about the expectation of the customer. If they like your work, they will order anyway, even with the longer quote.
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Old August 8, 2006, 10:25 AM   #7
Wild Bill Bucks
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I've been in business a long time, and still beleive what my grandfather told me years ago. "YOU TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE TAKEING CARE OF YOU".

If I tell someone I will have an order to them, on a certain date, then they will HAVE that order on that date. That's what keeps me in business. I would expect no less from any one else.

There is more to being a Craftsman, than just being able to build something. A TRUE craftsman will live up to his WORD as well as his product.

In business, you are only as good as your word, Fishing is not an excuse!!!
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Old August 8, 2006, 10:56 AM   #8
dairycreek
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Quote:
There is more to being a Craftsman, than just being able to build something. A TRUE craftsman will live up to his WORD as well as his product.
Amen to that!
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Old August 12, 2006, 08:02 AM   #9
WESHOOT2
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me

I accept(ed) check or MO only; half upon placing the order, the other half due after delivery.
After.

If, for any reason, what was promised was compromised, customer was immediately notified and discussion occurred until happiness once again reigned.

Repeat customers seemed comfortable sending the entire amount at ordering, but it was their choice.


Burned one time only. Once.
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Old August 13, 2006, 02:38 PM   #10
Eric Larsen
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Well...all I can say is I know how you feel...from the other end. K man said it when you have no idea what and how much effect anything and everything can screw up your production.

I do what I can to make it right with the people who are bothered by the situation I/life creates for them. Thats all any of us can do....

Sorry to hear about your dilema DC.....hang in there.

Shoot well and god bless
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Old August 13, 2006, 06:34 PM   #11
dairycreek
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Quote:
Well...all I can say is I know how you feel...from the other end. K man said it when you have no idea what and how much effect anything and everything can screw up your production.
I know that things out of a person's control can really change things around and that does not bother me one bit. I can even contenance going fishing instead of working on my holster. It shows that the guy has his priorities straight. Going fishing instead of working on a holster for dairycreek? That's even a no brainer for me - GO FISHING!

Just let me know what's going on and don't leave me hanging, wating, and not knowing. That sounds to me like common sensed customer relations, and that makes sense to me.

Hey ERic! Good to hear from you and hope things are doing well for you. DC!
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Old August 15, 2006, 11:48 AM   #12
moredes
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You pretty much summed up what I expect out of the plumber, mechanic, gardener, and the maid; but your standards are a tad high for holster-makers and gunsmiths. Ask me how I know... I've dealt with a LOT of 'smiths, and most have/had national reputations (though none are on LTW, interestingly enough). If I made a list of all the wrongs and butchery that occurred, ya'll would slam me as a troll. In my experience, there are only 3 'smiths and 1 holster-maker I'd trust to perform to your standards. The rest are no better than roofing contractors--like they say--their word is as good as a 'tail-light guarantee'. In my experience, ya pays yer money and takes your chances...

My Visa account was on March 23 for an order for 2 holsters that were promised in 11-12 weeks. Since then, the website pledged wait time has been changed to 14-16 weeks. We're at week 21 now; 3 weeks ago, "the craftsman" said it'd go out next week. He is one of the top 3 holstermakers mentioned when folks bandy about the "best" names in the business. I'm still waiting. I wish this SOB would stop spending time on the internet and just get back to work.
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Old August 18, 2006, 08:58 PM   #13
torrejon224
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Absolutely, I won't buy from anyone that charges up front and most of the best like Sparks, Alessi, etc do not charge till the order ships. Ony my recent order with Alessi, Lou didn't even ask me for a card#, just said he would contact me when the holster is ready to ship.
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