You're an idiot, thanks for asking

There's an old expression, "too clever by half".
Here is one permutation of that in real time.

We woke up yesterday, checked on our Etsy store, and there was a sale
from one Rhonda Ryan. Hurray. Nice way to start the day. Or so we

Checking with Paypal revealed no payment, but this could mean all kinds
of things. so we wrote:

"Hi Rhonda,
We have received your Etsy order for the 2Roses Frugal Earrings.
Paypal shows that payment for the order has not been placed.
If the order was placed by mistake, that's OK. Just let us know and we
can cancel it on Etsy. If you still want the Frugal earrings, we'll be happy to ship them as
soon as payment is confirmed.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Corliss & John"

The next day we received this response:

"Hi Corliss and John!
Sorry about that, I was trying to add it to my favorites, not buy it
right now. I'm a blogger who gets a whole group of things that I'm
inspired by, and then pick a few as 'giveaways'. Please let me know if
you would be interested in sponsoring a giveaway. Thanks, and again,
sorry about that.
This is the last and most successful giveaway that I've done.

Now, we have a pretty hard time believing anyone could mistakenly hit
the "buy" button when attempting to add an item to their favorites.
Particularly since Etsy engineers the interface to make this damn near
impossible unless you are suddenly taken with an epileptic fit while

We don't care about the phony "purchase". Its an inconsequential amount.
We are offended that Rhonda would use a dishonest tactic like this to
initiate a business relationship. Does Rhonda think we are so stupid
that we would not notice the bait and switch routine? Or perhaps we are
so hungry for publicity that we will overlook the ruse?

If this is how Rhonda starts things off, is it reasonable to think that
she won't continue lying? We are appalled at such a pathetically
ham-fisted attempt at getting free merchandise to promote her blog. Most
telling is, why does Rhonda feel this kind of tactic is necessary?

One answer lies in the blog itself. Rhonda has nothing to say.

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Comment by Lorena Angulo on April 22, 2011 at 7:48am

This has happen to me also and of course I nicely said, Thanks but NO thanks.

There are so many scams out there !!

Comment by Brigitte Martin on April 20, 2011 at 3:40pm


A black board where everyone can "tack on" the lowly scams they come across. Hmm. Great idea ! I'll start that group here !


Anyone up for designing a logo for that group ?

Ideas for a title ?  Maybe just SCAM, that would do it...


Comment by The Justified Sinner on April 20, 2011 at 2:18pm

I think that there is a case for starting some sort of a bulletin board on here which alerts us all to things like this. There have been some horrible cases in the UK of people pretending to make purchases in order to then bully and pester them into expensive "marketing": this got so widespread that two of my students who have Etsy shops were contacted in this way.

Thanks for bringing this up.

Comment by Harriete E Berman on June 23, 2010 at 9:09pm
I am so tired of these promotional devices including give-away promotional items or contests I immediately leave. It is a total turn off.
Comment by 2Roses on June 21, 2010 at 1:39pm
Julie, you are not being impolite at all. A big part of the discussion is when is this type of promotional strategy appropriate. Whether its a fashion show, the Oscars or a blog it's neither appropriate or very smart marketing to just throw stuff down the hole and hope that it turns into sales. Which brings us to the big disconnect that happens in the logic of all this. If you do not have a plan to connect the dots between "increased awareness", "getting noticed", etc. and how you are going to use that to increase your sales, you are indeed wasting your time and simply giving away free merchandise. The main issue is not that the technique if flawed, its that most people simply don't understand how to use it. Layer on top of that the people who flat out abuse the technique for their own gain and we have come full circle to our original topic.
Comment by Julie M. on June 21, 2010 at 12:09pm
Oscars are wow, of course. Gratulations. But I still have to disagree on the free giving opinion. I see it at the fashion shows, and I do not agree with giving out pieces for free, even if they are celebrities. I see this: they get lots of pieces thrown at them they just toss it aside and the chance that something makes it to a headline is very near zero. I think I do not care about that aspect at all that would explain my negative attitude.... If some celebrity likes my piece, they can buy it. merci. do not mean to be impolite i am just fed up with this free giving .
Comment by 2Roses on June 21, 2010 at 10:46am
We have participated in the Oscar awards on several occasions. The swag isn't about giving free stuff to rich people. Its all about courting market influencers. As Julie points out, these people can afford to buy anything they want. The purpose is that by giving them a gift of your product, they may like it, wear it and thus become a tacit endorsement for it. The selling power of a celebrity name is worth a LOT of money. Consider that many companies pony up multi millions of dollars for an association to a celebrity. If you can get that for the cost of a free bottle of perfume, or whatever, of course you would do it.
Comment by Brigitte Martin on June 19, 2010 at 6:49am
Julie: I couldn't agree with you more.
Comment by Julie M. on June 19, 2010 at 6:47am
At fashion shows there are always a lot of giveaways, bags of items with perfume and so on. I always felt that this was such a waste of money. The people going to the shows, those lucky enough to get in, are able to afford EVERYTHING, why do they need anything free ? What value does "free" giveaways have ?

I am not on this etsy you are talking about but I looked around after reading here. I must say, that giving this type of work away fro free does not make any sense to me. How can one ask for people to buy your work if you "give it for free" around the corner ?
Comment by Harriete E Berman on June 18, 2010 at 3:33pm
Thanks for the explanation which is very helpful and clear.
I hope everyone reads this.

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