A couple weeks ago, I posted an entry about my very poor experience as a shop owner on Ruby Lane. You can read it in its entirety here
That post has received a plethora of responses, including some from other former Ruby Lane shop owners with similar poor experiences. Additionally, I’ve received a number of email messages from shop owners telling me their tales who didn’t want to post them. Sadly, what I discovered was that my experience was far from unique. My original post did NOT berate or in any way make derogative comments about the other shop owners on the site.
Yesterday, I received this comment from another Ruby Lane shop owner, who, whether he/she wanted to or not, speaks volumes about the Ruby Lane vibe. Unfortunately, this alleged Ruby Lane shop owner didn’t leave an email address nor a shop URL link, so I can’t respond to him/her directly. I’ve not edited any content and am publishing in its entirety.
Kirsty, I’ve been on RL for years and can say nothing but good about the site and the CS personnel. I can understand their viewpoint. They are managing with the same level of staff, but have to deal with this explosion of little shops who are trying to make some money by stringing some beads together and who obviously don’t possess a background in jewelry making. I am not saying your shop was like that, but RL has too many of such shops, making the same types of jewelry. The reason there is an artisan jewelry section is because there is demand for all types of artisan jewelry, even the simple string the beads together. But at this time, maybe because of the economy, or maybe because of sellers exiting eBay and trying other avenues, there are way too many such shops for this stringing beads type of simple jewelry.
I can understand the frustration of the RL customer service, because they get asked the same stupid questions over and over again, and most of it comes from the jewelry shops. You merely have to click into the Forums to read the published questions and all of the articles they take the time to write about everything the jewelry sellers are doing wrong. Yet strangely, there are very few articles written by the CS staff about the antique shops. All I am saying is I can understand the CS side of it and empathize with their workload. There are some very good artisan jewelry shops on RL and I am not referring to the shops that string beads together; I’ve made quite a few purchases from a few of the better shops and I can sing their praises.
Anyway I love RL. I make a lot of money on the site. The eBay type of sellers who open a shop tend to last just a few months and then the shops disappear. The shops who are really skilled and knowledgable are able to last and endure with steady and constant profits.**
and then, one more from my pal Lavender:
Lavender says: I should add it was another RL antique shop who passed me this link, and she got it from another RL shop, so the link to your expression of dissatisfaction towards RL is making the rounds among the better antique shops on RL.
I wish you luck on this site.
All righty then. As I stated in my original post, Ruby Lane has been around for 10+ years. By outward appearances, a respectable, well organized, established online shopping site. Those things were part of the reason I opened my shop in the first place. I expected a level of professionalism and customer service that I did not receive. Clearly, Lavender places the blame for my poor experience on the artisan jewelry shop owners, not the Ruby Lane staff. If I received less than stellar service, then, well, it was my own fault apparently.
If Ruby Lane feels like these new artisan jewelry shops are too small-time for their site, or that they are overwhelmed with “small” shops asking “stupid questions over and over again”, then perhaps Ruby Lane should consider more strictly jurying the site. As it stands, RL took my fees and did not, in my opinion, live up to its proclamation of “excellent customer service” as stated on its “Why Sell With Us” reasons.
I’m pleased to know that my blog post is “making the rounds among the better antique shops on RL”. I also checked today, and, you remember the link error that started this whole thing? It’s corrected, sort of, finally NOW. Power to the little people. LOL Hooray for the power of blogging. (The shop page STILL says “Ruby Lane is home to over 1900 independently-owned online shops from around the world, showcasing exceptional Antiques, hard-to-find Vintage Collectibles quality Fine Art, and fabulous Antique & Vintage Jewelry. “ Artisan jewelry is not mentioned in this tag line UPDATE 11/6/2008: RL has finally added a link to the shopping page for Artisan Jewelry.)
My original message of Caveat Emptor remains the same. Additionally, artisan jewelry shops should probably be aware of the animosity towards your art that exists with some of the older Ruby Lane shops.
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