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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Feb, 2011 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:

I've never asked for a in-progress photos that I can recall. I've usually received photos of complete, or nearly complete, pieces for approval. That's not unreasonable to expect. If you don't see enough detail in the photos to ease your mind, ask for more. It's cheaper and less time-consuming to ask for more photos at that point than to have to send the item back and forth for correcting issues. Asking for photos of complete pieces should take less time away from the smith than asking them to stop periodically in the middle and document the project.


I also don't normally ask for progress photos but there have been exceptions when the progress photos where part of a Topic here and mostly for the educational opportunities of following a project from concept art to finished project but not for my personal approval of every step in the making of a piece. ( Naturally if the maker wants to document the making of a piece or wants to send me some progress pics I will be happy to get them but they are not a requirement ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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A. Gallo





Joined: 08 Jan 2011

Posts: 53

PostPosted: Tue 22 Feb, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Come on, the "just went through heat treat, ship it in a week" to "dog died... i'll try to send it out this year though.. maybe" aspect of sword purchasing is half the fun. You often forget you even have a sword being made and by the time it arrives it feels like it's free Happy
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

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Posts: 8,210

PostPosted: Tue 22 Feb, 2011 7:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A. Gallo wrote:
Come on, the "just went through heat treat, ship it in a week" to "dog died... i'll try to send it out this year though.. maybe" aspect of sword purchasing is half the fun. You often forget you even have a sword being made and by the time it arrives it feels like it's free Happy


Yeah, I had at least one project that seemed forgotten by the maker and almost by me for about 2 years but it didn't cause any hard feelings because there was no money paid up front: I finally decided that, yes I did really want it, and started bugging the maker a few times to get the project back somewhere on his production cue .

In a way my fault at least partly in not bugging the maker for two years about it, but when I did remind him it finally got done within 6 months.

So in this case I almost forgot I was having something made. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool

For a maker this can also be a problem if they make something that the client just has moved on and forgotten why he even wanted it in the first place because it too long to finally make it. Wink Laughing Out Loud

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Feb, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A. Gallo wrote:
Come on, the "just went through heat treat, ship it in a week" to "dog died... i'll try to send it out this year though.. maybe" aspect of sword purchasing is half the fun. You often forget you even have a sword being made and by the time it arrives it feels like it's free Happy


I heard a smith give an excuse online a few years back on why an order wasn't filled:

"My dog ate the order form."

I wish I was kidding.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Richard Eskite




Location: Northern California
Joined: 27 Jun 2006

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue 22 Feb, 2011 7:46 pm    Post subject: I know what it's like...         Reply with quote

A very well known smith had a blade of mine for 7 years. I must admit, I forgot about it for about 5 years. It was really a pain, but I'm looking at the piece hanging on the wall next to me. It was really, really, really exhilarating when I finally actually had the item in my hands again. To his credit, he didn't charge me for the work he did, but it took a lot of effort to get what I was due.

Largely, I prefer to purchase existing items as well.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Feb, 2011 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
As to giving too much slack I agree with Chad that our expectations have been lowered to the point where maybe we give too much slack to broken promises about delivery times.

That said we are usually dealing with one person operations and we have all heard the credible excuses for a delay in delivery and as long as communication is good this doesn't bother me unless I feel I'm being " played or lied to ".


We all appreciate credible excuses more than crazy excuses. Happy However, Murphy's law and the realities of the world show that crap happens. Well-run businesses (throughout all industries) anticipate as many issues as they can anticipate then often still build in extra time just in case.

History in this industry has shown that delays beyond quoted times are more the rule than the exception. I don't know why some makers simply won't take the normal quote they'd give and add 6 months (or whatever) to cover their, um, bases. If they get done early, great, the customer loves them. If they run into problems, there's still a chance they'll deliver on time.

I get the feeling some people give delivery quotes best on the best case scenario when giving it based on the worst case scenario (plus a little extra) might be more wise.

Happy

ChadA

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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Reading list: 1 book

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Feb, 2011 8:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad yes a good policy would be to promise less and deliver more rather than promise too much and deliver less. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool

Personally I hate making any promises and not keep them so if I'm in any doubt I say, maybe or probably or I'll try whatever, but if I promise something I feel really obligated by it and feel really bad if I have to break my word ...... but should I have to break my word the absolute minimum is for me to very proactively explain, apologize and compensate should it be the right thing to do.

But I rarely have a problem because I weigh my words carefully and rarely promise anything to anyone unless I'm sure I can deliver and will still feel happy with my promise the next day ..... but that is just me and being very " medieval " about the value of a promise given.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Thom R.




Location: Tucson
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Reading list: 30 books

Posts: 630

PostPosted: Wed 23 Feb, 2011 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Chad's post lays it out succinctly. I have no problem waiting for a quality product although missed deadlines are frustrating for sure. The problem regarding missed deadlines is that as a consumer/customer it is hard to know the difference between a healthy business which has a long back log and a poised on the edge of bankruptcy unhealthy business that has a long backlog. Unfortunately, what I see happen a lot with craftsman and small one man outfits, is a tendency to work ones way into a negative net current assets position over time, thereby getting into a hole which requires cash flow from new orders this month in order to pay the time and materials to complete the old orders from previous months. .as long as the perpetual motion machine of orders is going things sort of run ok, but if that slows........ then well........ the lights go out and the last people to order and pay in are left holding an empty bag. no one wants to be in that position. its like a family living paycheck to paycheck. if you operate that way eventually an unforeseen circumstance is going to hit that is going to put you under. its just a matter of time.

As for communication - I guess I am old school. I don't do facebook, or Twitter. I need a phone number and a street address. Just give me an outlet to leave a phone message and call me back when you have the time. if you don't have the time to call me back then I guess my money can go somewhere else. In my experience email is fine for basic communication and transfer of data,docs, and photos, but when it comes to problem solving it is not an efficient way to do business. I have had a few of those "dude wheres my stuff" issues over the years too (including one just recently), but have always been able to resolve the problem over the phone easily and quickly. tr
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Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

Posts: 1,563

PostPosted: Wed 23 Feb, 2011 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Allan,
Price was not my focus, as I think you know.


Chad, I was kidding although i'd like to see a $1400 toaster. Second one down is the closest i've found http://www.voont.com/i-invite-you-to-waste-yo...appliances
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,913

PostPosted: Wed 23 Feb, 2011 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Purely remarking about this from the peanut gallery. Without ever placing a custom order, I have probably po'd a good number of makers and smiths from what may read as cavalier at times. In the grand scheme of things, I have only been watching the various boards, old and new for a dozen years or so. Some fates and stories of these guys doing the work read as peaks and valleys.

If someone is posting a deadline and then fails time and again while being unafraid to post more possibility of a dead line; It is kind of like Lucy in the comic strip Peanuts when she offers to hold the football for Charlie Brown to kick. A customer that falls for the false hope time and again will eventually be pretty bitter about the experience and rightly so.

The walls of the various boards (old and new) can certainly tell a lot of these tales and it really is up to the customer base to either absolve the negative or move on to greener pastures. There may also be a trend over the past half dozen years when some read of bad times then excused and a source again heralded and sponsored by new patrons.

Good times and bad times. I'm sure many of us had experience on both end.

As to bugging someone incessantly known as diligent, I have worked with a couple of fellows like that. These were small auto specialty shops and one would simply add misc charges for each phone call in a flat rate percentage. The other basically ran a mental stopwatch and added it to his hourly labor bill. One quite curt in conversation and the other quite amiable in keeping the meter running. I don't know sword smiths and makers that work that way (at least don't publicize that) but maybe a perspective some patrons might keep in mind.

The deposit and payments schedules are so varied and quite applicable at times that I would think a prospective patron really does need to look before they leap. at least look back in time and see how things have gone.

Cheers

GC
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