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Do You Replace Things You Sold That Break?

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How would you handle this?  A woman bought a handled tray from the gallery where I co-op about 3 months ago.   There were no cracks or weaknesses when I put it in the shop, but I was not there when she bought it, and many people could have handled it before she bought it.   When I sell one of these pieces at an art fair, I tell buyers to treat handles with care even though they are functional, they are the weakest part of a pieces. Never had a buyer back off from that.

I got an e-mail from her yesterday with a picture of the tray with one of the handles snapped off. She says she has not used it since the purchase day and wants to know how she can repair it.  She has not asked me for her money back or a replacement.

She is a volunteer at the Art center where the shop, might handle sales for the shop when she is there, and sees everyone that comes into the center. She is also a good bit ditzy and could have whacked the piece and not realized it. I do think she is honest about what she thinks happened.

  How would you deal with this situation ?  I don't have any more of this piece, I have similar that I have develop into more complex pieces and will price 30% higher when I offer them to this gallery, if they go there at all.

 

 

Do you label things with more fragile parts in some way?

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As Chris says, replace it. At the same time, it is one of the best sales strategies you can use. Sometimes the person will buy another piece off the bat. Often you will become their go to place for pottery when they see you at a show. Good customer relations are really important, and word of mouth can go a long way.

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First let me say that I make a large baking dish 13x18? with shell handles and when its wraped and bagged up the handles are the issue as yours are.

So I feel your pain.Last weekend while doing an out of state show I gave two customers free replacement pots-one was a woman who said her mug leaked and woiuld bring it the next day. I said do not bother help yourself. The other was a large dinnerware sale and the guy broke a ceral bowl getting them home

I replaced both with zero hesitation.

I think the bowl was his fault but sometimes it way better to take the high road.

In your case I would offer a replacement while at the same time telling her how to glue it.

That way you letting her decide which option to take and she may surprize you. Either way thats the best thing to do

 

Back to labeling fragile parts no I do not I always tell my customers but when Galleries make the sale I'm not there.

Since she worked in the gallery she should know but this very thing happened to a friend with a 200$ teapot where the sales woman broke it during the sale-she was a dizt as well-

Mark

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I'd replace it. One thing I don't like replacing but do are lids on casseroles because of the fit. A bit of a tedious job if you don;t make batches of casseroles  with the same dimensions.

As above, not always in contiol of how your ware is handled by shops. I replaced a large platter because the Gallery which sold the platter placed it in a recycled plastic carrier bag. The buyer then walked 2 kms home,and yes along the way there was the big bad wolf, Gravity, which seized and smashed the platter.

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I'd replace it. One thing I don't like replacing but do are lids on casseroles because of the fit. A bit of a tedious job if you don;t make batches of casseroles  with the same dimensions.

As above, not always in contiol of how your ware is handled by shops. I replaced a large platter because the Gallery which sold the platter placed it in a recycled plastic carrier bag. The buyer then walked 2 kms home,and yes along the way there was the big bad wolf, Gravity, which seized and smashed the platter.

Babs I learned long ago to write in the inside of the lid the centimeters-say if its 27 I write with a slipped finger 27 and glaze over that. You can read this still and customers never even see it-that way when its broke I ask what it says and I can make a new one that fits easy.

All my butterdishes/garlic roatsers are 17 so thats easy to replace over the past 35-40 years.

Mark

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OK, I agree that it is best for me to replace it.  I don't make that exact item now, and don't have another like it for her.  What I am now making is more complex and will sell for more.  Should I go back and make an exact replica of what she bought? ( which she will have to wait for , not at that place in my work cycle) , or give her the pricier upgrade?

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I would ask her what she prefers but slant the conversation so that you are promoting the original one that she liked and bought so she hopefully goes in that direction. On the other hand custom work can be such a pain and you would probably make a couple of them just in case the kiln gremlins get one of them so maybe just to cut your losses and give her the upgraded version would be faster in the long run.

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I offered her whichever she wanted, told her she was such a good supporter of my work that I wanted to make her happy..blah.blah,  Just heard from her, 'no, Thanks, she wants to repair it, what kind of glue do I recommend" ?

 

I don't know what I would use.  E6000 is good for gluing the pin frogs in the bottom of the Ikibanas I make, but it isn't quick set.  The way the handle is shaped, it needs to be held together until the glue sets.  Now what?

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If she's handy enough to use a 2 part epoxy, that would be a nice strong bond too. Or I think KrazyGlue works for ceramics, it's supposed to be very strong, but I've never used it so I don't know first hand.

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Krazy glue will past for a couple of years under heavy use, but will eventually let go. (This according to he knob on my favourite sugar bowl.)

You can re attach using crazy glue, but you have to soak all of it off with acetone.

Come to think of it, the weight of a platter might not be held by crazy glue.

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I would not recommend a glue ... Nicely advise her to ask at her local Ace Hardware for a recommendation.

 

You recommending a glue puts the onus back on YOU ... Who needs that?

You are out of this now since she said no to a replacement, let her deal with the problems of fixing it.

Sounds mean, but remember that no good deed goes unpunished.

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Is this a tray for light meringues, or cream filled sponges?? Just thinking of the weight bearing load of the handle, tray for mugs filled with hot liquid?/ More casualties?

Hard one here, because of her decision, I'm with Chris. direct her to the glue experts.

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I'm looking for some nice way of saying, essentially, that I don't sell things that have broken and been repaired, so I don't know about what would repair it.  I've already told her that I don't think either of us will be happy with any glue job that she or I would do, and I won't do this job for her. I'm thinking I need to go ahead and make a redo of that particular design when I make another round of these, so that when she decides 2 days before she "JUST HAS TO HAVE IT" , I will have it made and glazed.

Chris, you know you are right, NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED.

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do not feel bad for refusing her.  just say no.  one of our very big name, long time top of his game, many times published, a name anyone would recognize potter, famous all over the world of potters, refused to make a new lid for my teapot because he "would not be able to make the correct size anyway". :huh:

 

my daughter was with me when i heard this news and said "just give my mom some of your clay and she will make it."  now, that is support!

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