Wendy Wortham Why Favors Can Be Expensive, Set Clear Guidelines…
You know throughout my life I’ve had my fair share of moments that I was asked to do “a favor.” While I never ask anyone for favors mainly because I prefer not being in debt to anyone for any reason, you would think that the person suggesting or requesting this “favor” would compensate you for your time, your expense and/or your commitment to their “favor” and, you’d be wrong!
I operate an eBay store called Texas Twins Treasures that markets furniture I’ve spent thousands of dollars for the finest luxury fabrics along with hundreds of hours of sweat to recreate the previous beauty of pieces. My items are one of a kind and of the highest quality because I would never sell anything that I wouldn’t buy.
Last year, an acquaintance asked a favor to sell their patio furniture of me and after seeing the state of the cushions, realized that I was in for it Brother! Torn, stained and filthy this piece would require hours of my time and investment and two trips to my upholsterer. After finally getting the item “market ready” I listed it on my store pages and sold it to a buyer on the other side of Dallas. I them had to rent a moving truck and deliver the item. I didn’t make any money from this transaction- it was a “favor.”
Selling on eBay is expensive! It requires seller fees, listing fees, final value fees and even paypal fees. It’s also time consuming to take numerous photos and measurements along with a description. Furthermore, if an item is returned and I’ve already given the purchase price proceeds to the “friend who asked this favor of me” I now am stuck with the refund and the item that I must now relist and pray that I don’t lose “even more money” on doing someone else’s dirty work for them! No good deed goes unpunished, you will hear me say this often because soft hearted sap that I am, I know first hand what an accurate synopsis it is.
I don’t LOVE selling on eBay and would LOVE to have my own store in order to get a away from outrageous fees and seller requirements along with the “one bad apple in the bunch buyer.”
One day, I will own a store that has a clearly legible sign stating No Returns/No Refunds. Why? Because I’ve sold evening gowns that come back worn with the tags missing because they buyer made the purchase in order to abuse eBay requirements to offer a refund and, the fact that sellers no longer have an ability to leave negative feedback. Ironically, only the buyers (who aren’t paying seller fees) have the luxury of using this ridiculous feedback system to coerce you into doing whatever they day or, “I will leave you a negative!” So, I don’t like selling for “friends” because it’s a liability not to them but to me.
Refurbishing or reupholstering furniture requires labor, fabric and time. I don’t love working on pieces- I love making a buck by selling them. When someone assumes that simply because I “know how to do it so well” that I should do them a “favor” and reupholster their items with My Fabric, My Time and My Talent- I quickly educate them that I don’t love reupholstering furniture and, I don’t do it for free!
When someone suggests that “your floral designs are stunning, I need a new centerpiece” they are assuming that I love burning my fingertips and spending hours crafting my one of a kind exotic designs- I don’t but, I do sell my creations for a tidy sum.
You see, after years of “favors” I’ve got no issues advising folks who think everybody should be doing everything FOR THEM.
The fact is that I would LOVE a vacation, I would LOVE a cruise and I would LOVE for someone else to offer me manual labor to benefit me but, let’s face it, I know how to do everything myself because I had to learn how. No one knocked on my door and said “hey Wendy, I clean houses really well and cook great too, how about I help you out?”
However, I’m not stupid enough to even suggest such an outrageous “favor” from anyone I know or have ever met.
Why? Because all my life I’ve had to work for everything I have, I’ve never had the luxury of someone breaking their back to accommodate my needs and, I’ve never asked anyone to either.
I respect artistry and I respect talent what I find ironic is the “you do this so well” line that 99.9 percent of the time ends with a different variation of “do it for me because I’m top lazy or cheap to learn how to do it myself and would rather abuse our friendship than try to learn or put forth the effort.”
Must be nice, Cindy and I have flipped our open signs on the front pitch to closed for all the folks wishing to “borrow” our items, “use” our services or, “give them” our possessions because they “can’t afford to buy them.”
I’m having one of my “blown away” days where if it isn’t bad enough that my professional favors have been misused, now a neighbor has volunteered me to a friend to reupholster a sofa?! Not in this lifetime baby!
Wendy M Wortham
The Pawning Planners