|Forum topic by closetguy||posted 850 days ago||1451 views||0 times favorited||18 replies|
850 days ago
You don’t get to my age without having picked up a few wounds in the back from being too good-natured. I guess I just trust people a little too much and occasionally, when I’m not looking, here comes another knife in the back.
I first started making these dovetailed post office box banks about 10 years ago for my wife to give as gifts. It wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I started getting serious about the banks and put them in my Etsy store and selling them at shows. They have been a big hit and I have sold a boat load of them. I didn’t invent these banks, and I didn’t invent dovetails or box joints, but I seldom saw these banks made any way other than butt or mitre joint. I figured as soon as I started selling on Etsy that there would be a gaggle of “me too” copies since no one was yet making this style (or selling this style on Etsy). It didn’t take long before someone listed a few made with half blind joints, but they were using the cheesy cheap coin slots so I didn’t consider it much competition. It’s been surprising to me that there hasn’t been a flood of them on Etsy, which is good for me and helped me to build a brand around that style.
A fellow LJ emailed me last month asking for information on building the banks. Of course, being the type of person I am, I sent a detailed email back on how to build them. Over the course of a few weeks I answered many emails from him on how to mount the doors, size of screws to use, cleaning, the nuances of working with brass versus bronze versus zinc, hardware sources, etc. All the things I have learned through trial and error or mistakes were laid bare. I didn’t ask, but I assumed he was making them for gifts or to sell at shows. He even asked for a picture of the back, which I didn’t have, but I took the time to make one and sent to him. I always adhere to the LJ creed to help others when they ask.
So guess what? Last week, he started listing his boxes, which look just like mine, on Etsy. The sad part is he made a comment in one of his emails to me that my prices were too low for these boxes. I guess it wasn’t enough to short cut his venture by taking advantage of my good nature and experience, but he felt the need to price them the same also. He is buying the doors off Ebay, so he is already paying three times what I pay for my doors. I wish he had stated in his first email “Hey Closet Guy. Can you help me out so I can build bank boxes just like yours and compete against you on Etsy? I don’t have the initiative to figure it out on my own.” Yep, my response would have been a little different.
I always knew there would eventually be more people listing this style of box on Etsy, especially when they saw how many I have sold in a short period of time. I just never thought it would be from someone I helped. No, I’m not pissed, just a little disappointed.
-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com