Here is something that bugs the hell out of me: when people
put badly done work out there. I was searching on Etsy and came upon a seller
making Coptic bound books. The covers were fantastic. So I looked at a bunch of
their work. I found several books in their shop that I’d have been embarrassed to
list myself. Why? Loose and sloppy stitching, crooked stitches, and spines that
were lined up with the holes in the books and not the spine edge of the cover. This
was selling for top dollar too. The seller had listed it with the rest of their
listings as if it were the same quality.* ARGH.
I have 2 main issues with this practice by sellers. First it
gives sellers of handmade goods a bad impression. By selling that book that
seller is making all bookbinders look bad in the eyes of the buyer. As sellers
of handmade goods we have to remember that we represent ALL the other makers of
the same goods. When that book fails it will leave a bad taste in the mouth of
the buyer. That seller is looking to make a quick buck but ultimately will
tarnish his/her image.
Here is my second issue: Its bad customer service. Pure and
simple putting out a subpar product will only damage your image in the eyes of
your buyers. Craftspeople have a hard enough time selling our goods without
people selling badly done work. No matter where it’s sold it doesn’t matter
when you put your work out there you represent your work and all the other
people who make something similar. Buyers who learn through use and looking at
other handmade items will soon learn the flaws of a poorly made item. They will
be unhappy. They will not be back. They will feel scammed.
A note to buyers: If you’re looking for some Coptic bound
books where the seller has pride in their craft, does great work and has some
spot on design skill? Check these sellers out:
KateBlack.Etsy.com Her books are amazing, well designed and
MyHandBoundBooks Very well made and fun books
Kristincrane.etsy.com Well made fun and funky and a lot of
Additionally, buyers should feel like they can ask a seller
questions. ASK questions of the binder. Ask how long they have been making
books. My suggestion ould be to not buy books from anyone who been making them
less than 6 months. Bookbinding is not an easy to learn craft and one that take
patience and practice to get good at. I’ve been binding for close to 10 years
and when I take a break from a particular binding style, I always make a few
screw up books, and Coptic is one of those styles you foul up on. Even when I
am making them on a regular basis I screw up regularly.
So for those of you who are sellers, if you must sell a
piece please label it as a second, list the quality faults, be honest with your
buyers and represent all of us well.
this was a flaw, but before going on my tirade I looked at the rest of the shop
and found several books made properly and many books with different designs.
This was obviously a seller who knew better!