Is it still available?

For about a week, now, I’ve had my jewelry-making stash for sale. A small kiln, beads of every size and shape, sterling rings for making chain mail, books. I have pictures on my website and links at the site I’ve posted the items.

Two kinds of replies are flooding my email: from people who, it turns out, have no interest in the sales items but feel a need to tell me what they don’t like about my website, my blog topics, or coaching. They scold or advise on topics I have not expressed a need to be advised on. Are they interested in the beads? No. Just want to express an unasked for opinion.

sterling jump ringsFar more confusing are what I have come to call the interested vanishers. The interested vanishers all ask the same question: “Is the [item name] still available?”
“Yes,” I write back, “it is.”
And then. . . they vanish.

A few promise to write me right back, ask for my phone number so they can make payment arrangements, or tell me to “put it on hold” till the next day, and then. . .poof, they disappear, too. But the ones that puzzle me the most is who just ask, and then disappear.

It’s not a money question. The price of each item is plainly stated. So what happens to them? Why ask if it’s still available if you don’t want it? Is this the bead version of “I’ll call you”? Once it’s available, does it make it too easy? Or too available? It’s a mystery.

Maybe they interested vanishers are the ‘be backs’ of the Web. Any artist who has ever sold at a show will remember the “be backs.” They are people who look at your art, ask questions, then need a graceful way to get out of your booth without buying. So they say, “I’ll be back.” You never see them again.

The odd thing is, the interested vanishers don’t need an excuse. They can look and leave. Perhaps they are waiting for me to give them away. That’s not the next step. Ebay works well for beads, and I’ll actually get more for them because I will sell them in smaller lots. But meanwhile, I’m selling the beads to those who act.