Monday, June 1, 2009

First bad experience on ETSY

Sadly, I guess it had to happen... I love the way Etsy is so pleasant, people on Etsy are nice and honest or so it has always seemed to me. Such a pleasant backwater of civility compared to that OTHER site that begins in e and ends in y (usually "WHY oh Why did I come back on here and put myself through this again?" ).

Last night I decided to dip my toes in the tepid waters of "Altered Art" and buy some collage sheets for the very first lime. My first port of call was Itkupilli's etsy shop and I was very pleased with what she sent me! So emboldened I ventured forth and bought some more mermaid related vintage images from a few other sellers and was duly impressed. That is until late last night when I recieved the 2 A4 sheets emailed by one seller that left me flaberghasted.

The sheet is saved at 300 dpi but the originals must have been considerably smaller or lower resolution images as the whole sheet is blurred and many of the images are simply unusable. I would hazard a guess that this is a series of screen grabs that have been blown up for resale. Screen grabs are only 72 dpi and therefore, not print quality. Unless the original screen grab is physically large and you want to reduce the size of the image, no amount of saving them at a higher resolution will help add detail that simply isn't there.

The seller says that the images in her Etsy shop are deliberately blurred for copyright reasons ( OK, which makes sense if you have already altered the source material - I personally don't consider putting a bunch of copyright free images together on one sheet to be something you can lay copyright claim to, but that's another argument altogether!) so thought she must have sent me the image she uses for her listings by mistake. Sent her a friendly email pointing out the error and requested the non-blurry version that I had assumed I'd paid for. She sent me a friendly message back and returned the same blurry images suggesting that they wouldn't be blurry if I zoomed in on them or printed them out. They are significantly blurry both on screen or in print. A refund is due surely?

I work with Photoshop day in and day out and know that it's a simple mistake, you flatten your layered Photoshop file and reduce it to 72 dpi to save it "AS" a Jpeg or whatever... except you get carried away and save it INSTEAD of the layered version! I've done it myself and only realised next time I went to open the file, cue horror movie screaming and amateur dramatics. If it's work for a client I have to start all over again and apologise for the delay. I haven't heard form the seller since I said I would like a full refund (may be a time zone thing, I realise) but have sadly since taken a look at her feedback record and belatedly read all the other negative/neutral feedback comments that mention blurry images and no refunds. I have never even thought to check an Etsy sellers feedback because I thought it was a nicer place than you-know-where.

So what do I do now? If she doesn't offer me the refund (it's only $6.50 but why should I pay for something that is unusable?) I think I should contact Etsy as leaving her bad feedback will leave me open to a tit for tat negative rating and I've done nothing wrong. Any advice?

1 comment:

Cynjon said...

Contact Etsy, I say. I have a lot of issues with this whole re-selling of images that are "copyrighted" by the sellers (I.E.: they didn't take the photographs)...beyond that, though, is selling an unusable "product." Sure the negative feedback counts for something, but eventually folks have to be called to account on a higher company level, if that makes sense.

The reason I stopped using Ebay was because of their lack of resonse to issues such as these....I'd hate to see Etsy go the same way.