Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Farewell, Streaks on the China

Some time ago, I was wasting time browsing links to other blogs on sites I read (does that make sense?).  I was on the lovely Angela Pudding's blog, Fluid Pudding, and I started to flick through the blogs with interesting titles.  Now, Gentle Readers, you know that I'm clever, but I'm not that clever.  I could never come up with something as witty as 'A woman who sews, her slightly daggy** husband and his worm farm', or "A woman who works in IT but wishes she'd trained in Upholstery when she was 17", or, my all-time favourite, "The slovenly woman's guide to day-wear when you're 48, not working and don't have to go outside ".  

Anyway, I was quite taken by the idea of Streaks on the China.  It had resonance of 1950's America, where women wore stilettos and aprons, actually ironed their husband's underwear and produced fabulous gourmet meals from packets of dried, reconstituted mushrooms, mince and non-dairy creamer.  Apparently.

So, I started to read.  I read about Sara's life, which was not about dried mushrooms and non-dairy creamer at all.  I followed her struggle with grief after a truly terrible event, her humour, her hubby, her dog.  I liked her.  She sounded a bit like me.  I even went right back to the beginning, and re-read everything she'd written.  I hung in there when she had a break from blogging, willing her silently to come back to it, which she did.  But now, it's finished.  She has declared her blog is dead, and she may or may not pop up in some other blogging endeavour.  I hope so.  I'm going to miss her.

I wish you well, Sara.  Ciao!

**daggy - slightly disinterested in fashion, likes to wear tracksuits, sit in a beanbag and fart a lot, which he blames on the possums.

So, now I'm a little peeved

You know how it is, Gentle Readers, you see a bargain, you impulsively jump in & buy, and then, wham, you get stung at the end, so that the actual bargain ends up costing you more than it would if you'd just bought the damn things outright.

This has just happened to me.  I bought a bunch of stuff from an Etsy seller who advertised herself as 'going out of business'.  OK, so she's keen to get rid of her stock.  Yup, no issue with that, and the things were quite nice.  So I bought a lot.  Quite a lot.  They're useful, they last forever, they don't take up much space.   They're hard to get here.  Enough justification, I would have said.

Anyway, they arrived, 12 days after I ordered them. From the States to here, that's OK.  I can deal with that.  However, what I can't deal with is the absolutely total dishonesty of charging me $22 to ship something that cost her $4.80 to ship.  I've been buying stuff from Etsy and the internet for some years now, and without exception, my sellers have refunded overpayment of shipping.  I even had a refund of shipping costs within Australia just last week, and that was about $2.00 - something I would not have batted an eyelid over.  But $17.20?  That's five cups of coffee and a biscuit!  That's two day's lunch money.  That's 15 minute's parking at Sydney rates.  That's definitely refundable.

So, anyway, I thought I'd have a look at her feedback.  Silly me, of course I should have done this first, but who does?  I've always had such a good positive experience with every other Etsy seller that it didn't even occur to me that somebody would rip me off.  Anyway, there was quite a lot of negative and neutral feedback, and a number of comments about the shipping costs being outrageous... Guess that should have alerted me.  I've never seen any Etsy seller with less than a 99% positive rating before.  Silly silly me.

Anyway, I did a bit more digging.  Her shop has been 'going out of business' since August 2008.  How long?  Yes, Gentle Reader, August 2008.  What should that have told me?  She's picked on a great way to get people into her shop, and then is gouging them on the shipping.  Not nice, not nice at all.  So, if you're thinking of buying paper tags, be warned.  The sharks are circling.