27 September, 2012

Naivety and Freshly Squeezed

I'm bummed...properly and truly bummed.
You know when everyone does everything they can to collect the kids sticker book cards or football cards and you trade with people, swop, buy that extra pack of crisps that you really don't need but the kids beg you cos you get 5 extra cards....well this last few days it's been a bit like that on pinterest and freshly squeezed.
I'm really disappointed in the whole challenge and the naivety (or was it a clever marketing ploy) of the owner Randi.  I've followed her blog, I've browsed her shop in the past but no more.

It's not that I really need the fabric (well who says no to free fabric) it's the whole manner in which the challenge was handled.

I emailed her before her blog post with the newly changed time frame of 3pm MST and so had a valid entry.  She didn't email me straight back saying ohhh I'm overwhelmed and can't possibly commit to all these bundles, she left me thinking i'd get the bundle, why did she change the timeframe if she had no intention of honouring the entries anyway.

Today I received this email from her,

The PIN IT TO WIN IT challenge turned out to be much more successful than I imagined, and I honestly thought that I would be lucky to have 3-5 winners.  It was apparent within 12 hours that the challenge was going to be bigger than I imagined.  Over the course of Monday evening and Tuesday I really struggled with how to handle this.  Unfortunately I was not as pro-active as I should have been, so I am now in the position to be unable to give away enough fabric to fulfill all of the winnings pins.  For this I am sincerely sorry!  My intention was never to garner publicity for my shop without being able to fulfill all of the winning requests.

So why didn't she close the competition after the 12 hours or say I only plan on giving bundles to the first 5... ok, she's given 10 bundles away so say 200$ worth plus postage but her site traffic must be through the roof..

oh and she's given a 20% discount off her store... another clever marketing ploy or a true act of generosity ??? cynic in me there

Anyway, I've posted this on her blog in the open for all to see.

I'm a regular reader of the blog and check out the etsy store, I haven't ordered from you before because generally your prices are slightly higher than what I can get elsewhere. To be totally honest without wanting to cause offence, the whole competition was slightly naive of you. Firstly, you have how many followers, if 10% or more entered ,your proposed 3 bundles would've gone within the first day. You chose pinterest which has a huge following in itself, you encouraged us to blog, tweet and facebook the giveaway which most of us did in at least one of the outlets, some all 3. This caused a huge amount of free advertising to you, your site traffic must have been off the scale.
I checked last night (once the cut off time had been edited) and it said that the giveaway had ended at 3pm MST, it still wasn't announced that the rules had changed. Yes you put limited stocks but that doesn't mean only 10 bundles.
The guidelines should have been changed on the first day once you realised that you didn't have the stock to give away. If you had 80 valid winners, you must've already received the 10 by the end of the first day. Holding your hands up then and admitting you'd mucked up, didn't have the money or the stock would've been totally understandable and no one wants to see your business suffer but you let it run it's course, causing more free advertising and site traffic.
I am pleased that you are replying to emails and blog posts, this is very professional of you and understandably time consuming.
I am however removing my pins and will not enter any more competitions.
Best of luck "

Naivety is fine but allowing the challenge to continue was not and that's the end of the subject for me, because the saying goes, all publicity is good publicity and i'm not giving her any more :O)

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  1. Here here!! I didn't bother with it from the start as it all seemed "too good to be true" - which it was!!

  2. I did say at the beginning it didn't appeal to me. However, I did enter and got 3 repins (sniff).

    This is one of the reasons why I've given up with giveaways. There are far too many and you've *still* got to jump through hoops. I'm clearing out my Facebook of all the quilting sites I've had to like, cleared out Google Reader of all the blogs I've had to follow and feel a lot better!

  3. I agree with Amy, when I read it, it did seem too good to be true, she must have known how many people were going to re-pin - it's how it works in the Quilting World. As I don't do Pinterest I didn't waste my time thank goodness. Never mind, as the saying goes.... you live and learn. Hugs

  4. Sounds a bit dodgy to me. No one is that naive. I don't use Pinterest anyway, but I know a lot of people took a lot of time and trouble to enter this. Like you say, good publicity for them.

  5. You're not the only one who thought they actually made it. I emailed my entry before the first update was posted. I was excited that I actually got my entry in before and I was in the clear. I thought, ok, the contest is still going, she's obviously still giving away fabric because it hasn't been shut down yet, only the deadline was shortened. So, yes, I was a little sad. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand the need for ending it as she'd go bankrupt for sure and she's not in business to lose money.

    There's only one thing that really bugs me. Why if she already had a "Tremendous" amount of responses/entries, was it not just closed down right then instead of letting it continue for a few hours longer? "Tremendous" means 10 or more in my vocabulary, at least. That didn't make any sense to me and it seemed a little bit wrong now that I think about it. But maybe that's just my feeling. She'd already realized there were more than more than 10 entries by that point--myself included--or there would not be a mention of a "tremendous response" or a need to close the contest early. I know she wasn't sure how to handle the situation as far as how to let us down easy, I understand that. Still, that's not really a valid reason for why she let the contest continue after she discovered she was past expectations. That post implicated to people that they actually still had a chance of winning--which they didn't--if they got their entries in before 3PM MST. That just felt to me like being close to being used. I'm sure Randi's really nice and I know she didn't mean for it to go this way, but that part at least could have been different.

    Someone had a great idea of drawing the winners randomly out of all that had collected enough re-pins. If it were me, I would have put it into effect immediately this time--as soon as I knew it went way past the response I was expecting! At least that way it's fair to those that kept pinning and promoting and not just the 10 quickest. Then the contest wouldn't have had to been cut short and everyone wouldn't feel so ripped off. Win-Win! I hope it works like that next time. If not, I probably wouldn't bother trying. I did remove all my pins and my blog post this time. I didn't feel it was right or fair to keep them up. I didn't want others repinning, or asking for re-pins thinking they still had a chance to win. I'm over it now, of course, I just had to add my 2 cents here, because you are the first person to mention your thoughts on the time aspect of it being drawn out longer than necessary and they were similar to questions that I was thinking.

    It was an awesome marketing idea on her part--Pins were everywhere. Must have been thousands. I hope next time will run more smoothly. I loved that Pefectly Perched bundle, darn it!

  6. Ooh remind me never to get on the wrong side of you. Good for you for sending the e mail it is good that someone is willing to stand up for what is only fair. If I need help in that I direction you will be the first one I come to. Go for it Pippa.

  7. Oh this sucks. Truly. Right, I'm off to remove my blog post and pins.

  8. Well I'm glad that I didn't get involved with that one at all. I would have been royally pissed. Sorry that so many others have to be disappointed. Next time hopefully shop owners will think more before they start something like this.


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