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guarantee/exchange/return policy

updated mon 30 sep 96


Talbott on mon 23 sep 96

Please send me information on what you might have in regards to a
guarantee/exchange/return policy AND also how to care for your pottery
information would be useful. I am in the process of developing a
brochure--I would appreciate any input that you would share with

Marshall Talbott
Pottery By Celia
Route 114
P.O. Box 4116
Naples, Maine 04055-4116
(207)693-6100 voice and fax

Dave and Pat Eitel on tue 24 sep 96

>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>Please send me information on what you might have in regards to a
>guarantee/exchange/return policy AND also how to care for your pottery
>information would be useful. I am in the process of developing a
>brochure--I would appreciate any input that you would share with
>Marshall Talbott
>Pottery By Celia
>Route 114
>P.O. Box 4116
>Naples, Maine 04055-4116
>(207)693-6100 voice and fax

Marshall--Over the years we haave adopted a pretty open policy--but only
after a lot of agony. Actually, we've always had a no questions asked
guarantee of our pots if they crack in use within a reasonable amount of
time. In 19 years I think I've had to replace one casserole...and that's
all. One customer returned a teapot and said when she put it on the stove
to boil to water for her tea it broke. Since it was not flameware and not
intended for use on a burner, I told her I could not give her a refund.
She accepted that with no problem.

Exchanges are no problem. You bring it back undamaged and with some proof
that you purchased it from us and you can trade it in for anything else or
for a credit toward a future purchase.

We give cash refunds if the customer does not want an exchange. Our worst
customer relations story occurred when a young woman bought a piece from
us, our clerk wrapped it and the customer left the store. About an hour
later she returned with the piece, still in the wrapping but in several
pieces and demanded a new one. After so much unpleasantness that I don't
care to go into here, we finally gave her a new one and decided that it was
worth it if this were to happen again just to give a new piece rather than
endure the stress this customer caused. Actually once every 2 or 3 years
someone has come in with broken pottery bought earllier in the day and
asked for new stuff. Now we just give it to 'em.

The reason for this foolishness? We believe customer relations should be
our number one priority--in a tie with providing a great product. Some
things are mighty difficult to swallow, but an angry customer isn't likely
ever to return, and is likely to tell their friends what a bunch of jerks
we are, so their friends won't come to our shop either. Conversely, it we
can make an angry customer happy, they're likely to return often. It works
for Bloomingdales.

Our losses for returns, exchanges and refunds are minimal--probably under
$150/year and the gratitude we earn with it is probably worth at least the

I'd be interested to read what others think.


Dave Eitel
Cedar Creek Pottery
Cedarburg, WI

Peggy Heer on wed 25 sep 96

There are two (2) rules when dealing with customers....

#1. The customer is always right.

#2. Refer to #1 ;>}}}}}}}}}}}}

As Always in Clay Peggy

Peggy Heer / Heer Pottery E-Mail
Edmonton AB, Canada

Betsy Parker on sun 29 sep 96

Hi Marshall - I have been told that in retail, it's a good idea to state a
definite length of time during which returns can be made on your sales slip -
e.g. Items may be returned within 30 days. You can also state whether or not
you will refund money or only make exchanges for goods. When I was doing
work in the home show format years ago this seemed to make sense. Now I sell
predominantly at juried shows and wholesale to shops so I tend to be less
rigid in the retail end of things. I have a policy with my shops that they
can trade in work (which has maintained its good condition) for other work if
they find after a while certain items do not move in their market. They have
seldom used this policy, but it tends to make them less nervous about trying
a new item they're unsure of in their market. And for me - I can always use
something else for the shows I do so it's been a win/win policy.

Re: use and care - I make sure they know about food safety of glazes, about
dishwasher safety and also specific areas of use - e.g. how to hang bells to
minimize breakage, etc. I also find (especially in the retail juried show
format) that my customers like ideas for usage of items. I've actually had
customers say to me - "Tell me what I can use this for." Having it
identified as multi-use increases sales.

All that said - I agree with the other respondents from the list that you
want your customers happy. Happy, satisfied customers are worth all the
expensive advertising you can buy!!!

Hope this is useful to you. Good luck!!

Betsy Parker
Packrat Designs in N.J., feeling a little more like fall these days!!