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Thread: Awkward client - luthiers please read and respond.

  1. #1
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    Default Awkward client - luthiers please read and respond.

    I have had close on 30 'enquiry' emails from a potential client claiming he is from Thailand - I'm getting exhausted answering his many and detailed questions. His name is Thiti Skoolisariyaporn. Anyone else out there been contacted by this guy andhad a similar experience? I just can't make up my mind if it is a wind up or not...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    His name is Thiti Skoolisariyaporn. Anyone else out there been contacted by this guy andhad a similar experience? I just can't make up my mind if it is a wind up or not...
    LOLWUT? I just had to google that...

    http://en-gb.facebook.com/thiti.skoolisariyaporn
    Now you may call him a tramp; But I know it goes a little deeper than that;
    He's a highway chile... ~ Jimi Hendrix ~


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  3. #3
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    To me, 30 emails just screams "nut job"...

  4. #4
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    Not had anything from him but I have had similar enquiries that go on and on and on.....
    They always end the same way. The 'genuine' interest was never there from the word go. Otherwise known as time wasters and boy can they waste your time. As though this business isn't difficult enough as it is.
    Now I can sniff them out much faster. I ask for a 'healthy' deposit. Kind of put up or shut up. The messing stops.
    Last edited by Michael N.; 11-05-2011 at 06:07 AM.

  5. #5
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    Ahhh, clients and long drawn out correspondence. Yeah, happens all the time, and when it does turn into an order, make sure you do one document that has all the specs on it that the client approves and signs of on. I've made instruments that lacked a tiny feature mentioned in email #6 out of 30 and the like.

    Also, if you're selling direct, don't assume you can sell for what would be "wholesale". You need to make the retailer's portion of the final price as well as the builder's portion. Too many beginning luthiers simply do not understand that it takes time...therefore money...to sell their ukes and guitars. Every minute you're talking, typing on your computer, showing, going to festivals, etc., is a minute you're not at the bench building. Selling ukes costs money. Who pays for that? Your clients have to, simple as that. Do NOT underprice your work thinking that you'll gain market share or break in that way. And understand that the first ten decent ukes are easy to sell to your acquaintances, fellow club members, etc. The next ten take twice the time to sell. And the next ten...well, not easy. After that, you're either going to be a pro or spend all of daddy and mommy's money being an amateur 'til the money runs out.

  6. #6
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    I wonder if there is some kind of cultural factor in here as well? The number and kind of questions involved in a negotiation (which is what you are doing with potential clients) are sometimes ways of communicating trust. In some cultures it takes more time to establish a business relationship (see many Asian countries--western folks in a real hurry need not apply...). I don't speak with any knowledge of this man and his culture (and I certainly can't tell you whether he is a waste of your time), but he may be more comfortable in his own language spoken, rather than in English written in emails. Just my $.02.
    Craig


    Beau Hannam Spiral Rosette tenor
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  7. #7
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    I know the Okami's just came back from Thailand - `ukulele is BIG there, so this may be one of those that is looking to get something that no one else there has. If he's looking for a custom, that's what I'd think. If he's looking for something that everyone else has, and he's coming to you, well. . .

    Aaron

  8. #8
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    Oct 2011
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    Los Alamitos, CA
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    30? Too many red flags. Sounds like OCD. The money isn't worth the heartache. My 2
    Kamaka HF-3 Tenor Ukulele
    Kala Acacia Soprano
    Kamaka Pineapple
    Kala KA-TG

  9. #9
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    Rick - I'm not a beginner at this I know how to price my work. Thanks for the advice tho... I was curious to see if he had contacted any other builders. Was worth a shot. I know how this is going to go from the last email sent after this post

  10. #10
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    Is there really that much to discuss about an instrument? The standard questions that I get from customers are nut width, neck thickness, string spacing and wood selection. When people start asking really detailed questions I get very suspicious. Several times I've had people ask me really detailed stuff that most players wouldn't ask about so I have to believe that their asking questions on how I build my instruments and not about buying an instrument. If they were up front from the get go and say, "I want to build a uke with a bolt on neck how do you do yours?" then I'd be fine with that but the covert stuff just turns me off. If they really are a potential customer that is so wrapped up in the details then I don't think I'd be able to please them no matter what I do and would simply state that I don't think I could build an instrument to meet their expectations. If you want one of my instruments then you get what I want to build. I don't cater to every whim anymore.

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