Greetings fellow tailors. I’ve been reading the posts about tailoring, and the one thing I’ve noticed is that we all have the same “social” problems in terms of customers and time issues. So I’ve drafted a little guide for new (or veteran) tailors on the practical aspects of having a life outside tailoring. Please feel free to comment or add to this guide.
#1 – Decide What Kind of Tailor You Want to Be. Then Set Your Boundaries.
There are many different ways to play, and it’s up to you, not to your customers, to decide what works best for you. Ask yourself the following:
Would I rather take custom orders or vendor sales?
Would I rather work with a customer about what he or she wants, or would I rather the customer send me a detailed list of every item?
Would I rather make the items while the customer is there, or make the items at my convenience and leave the items for pickup?
Would I prefer tells or e-mail? Will I make exceptions?
What do I want to promise my customers in terms of pickup times?
Do I want to let friends take priority over customers or do the friends get in line, same as anyone else?
Do I take rush orders? On what terms?
Do I want to take anyone’s custom order, or only do custom orders for friends/guildmates/referrals?
Do I want to do re-dos if the color comes out wrong? Do I want to do re-dos if the style doesn’t work?
Do I want to take returns? If so, under what conditions?
Do I want to do “pro bono” work? If so, for what sort of player?
Do I want to give discounts to guildmembers/friends? How much of a discount? If so, will that create more work for me (because they can’t just grab what they want off the vendor at regular prices)?
When am I on-call? Do I want set hours? Set days? Do I want to have times when I’m unavailable to everyone, including my friends/guildmates? Unavailable to all but my friends/guildmates?
Do I want to do repairs? Sell repair tools?
Do I want to do bioengineered clothing? On the vendor or custom order only? Using the customer’s tissues?
Do I want to ban people from my shop who annoy me, or simply refuse to do custom orders for them?
Do I want to be involved in my town’s affairs? For example, if someone is banned from the city, do I want to ban him from my shop as well?
Do I want to accept resources in trade for items? From certain people? For certain resources?
Do I want to accept large orders, such as guild uniforms or weddings?
Do I sell crates? At what prices? To grinders or to legitimate crafters only?
Do I want to play fashion consultant and create entire wardrobes for customers, or let the customers choose what they want without help?
Do I want to travel to my customers? Meet them halfway?
Do I want to train fellow tailors? When do I want to do that? Do I expect payment?
There are no right or wrong answers. Once you figure out where you stand on these issues, though, be firm.
Example #1: I am off to entertain at a friend’s cantina. I’ve decided that I’m not going to be taking custom orders at this time. Therefore I leave all my materials and crafting tools in my house. One quick fleshwrap can turn into a line of customers. I simply say “I left my pack at home, but I’ll be happy to make x for you tomorrow when I get back to my shop. Please e-mail me with your order.”
Example #2: I have exams. I am not taking orders or restocking until they’re over. A good friend asks me for an item. I say no, not until after exams. He says, I’ll wait. See, very easy.
Example #3: Customer wants a ring made. I tell him I can make it tomorrow because I’m at a wedding. He says he needs it tonight and that he’ll pay me extra. I tell him to find another tailor.
Don’t be afraid to set your boundaries. The important thing is to think about how you want to deal with these issues before they come up, so you don’t end up making a decision on the spot that you might regret (as you’re churning out 50 guild uniforms saying to yourself “this is not worth it!”) Figure out how you want to play, and stick to your guns, and don’t feel guilty. Repeat after me: “games are fun, I play in a way that maximizes my fun.”
Final tip: When in doubt say “I’m not sure, can I get back to you on that?” Will save you headache in the long run because you won’t make promises you later regret.
#2 – The AFK Flag: An Unwieldy Tool, but Your Friend.
Without an effective /anonymous system, the AFK flag is the one buffer between you and the cruel world. The person who gets the AFK message could be anyone, friend, customer, pain in the… you get the picture. That’s why it’s important to craft a good AFK message. It’s equally important to decide whether you’re going to answer tells despite the flag being on, and if so, from whom.
Messages should be short: Nobody wants to read a long afk message, and any important information will get lost.
Messages should be specific: People want to know why you can’t take custom orders, whether you’re ignoring them, and generally what is going on for your end. The following messages are probably ineffective for deterring impatient people.
I am currently afk.
Hi, I’m currently busy, please visit my shop at XXXX XXXX.
Hi, I’m probably with a customer right now, please e-mail your order and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Very nice, very generic, but they don’t get across the feeling that you’re busy! It gets across the feeling that you’re screening your calls for undesirables, and no customer considers him/herself undesirable. Here’s what I found work:
Really, truly afk doing laundry.
Drunk, shakin my booty, e-mail me if it’s important.
Can’t talk now or the pubam warlords will spear me, please e-mail me and I’ll get back to you later.
Not taking custom orders today because feeling sick and pouty. E-mail me and I’ll get back to you by Friday.
Something like that indicates that you are busy right now, explains why, and makes it clear that you’re probably not going to make an exception. Also helpful is to explain how the customer can contact you, and when you will be available.
Change your message often: This way people know that you have your afk on intentionally and that you’re really truly busy doing the event that you say you are.
#3 – Trust Your Instincts
This may be controversial, so judge for yourself if this is advice you want to follow. Sometimes you can just tell that someone is going to make you do 40 color redos, is going to find another tailor to do the same order quicker and fail to pick up the custom order, or will haggle with you over price. If you are pretty sure this person is going to be a pest, you don’t have to deal with him or her. Remember, don’t do anything that really stresses you out. It’s a game. Usually, I find that the problem clients are usually ones who want things now, so a simple “I’ll be able to do that tomorrow” may be enough to send him or her looking for another tailor.
On the other hand, trust your instincts on whether to break your own self-imposed rules. There are certain friends for whom I’ll drop everything and rush 4 planets over to make them whatever their little hearts desire (even though they would never ask.) Why? Because if I were to tell one of them “I need Nabooan scaley hide” they would immediately fly to Naboo and abuse some scaley creatures for me.
#4 – When You Feel Ready to Quit: Re-examine
Many of us feel frustrated and helpless sometimes. Sometimes it feels like more of a chore than a game. First ask yourself why you want to quit. Then is the time to step back and ask yourself what you can do to make things better. A vacation? Stricter rules? A break from custom orders? A planetary move? A new guild? Remember, this is your gaming experience, and you have the power to make changes for the better. Don’t let the actions of others bully you into quitting: figure out how to fix the root causes of why you want to quit.
Please feel free to add any suggestions or comments. Thanks for reading!
Excellent work, as always Thank you for sharing your tips n'Jessi I recently did a planetary move, really worked wonders, as did sewing in the local cantina. It's nice to see some human movement rather than my boutique wall
Also, as a little addition to what is already said, figure out what you want to do when you are master. You can for instance try to stock your vendor with lots of different types of clothing and in different tones, or you can focus more on the popular garments.
What Ive tried to do, somewhat successfully, too, is to strike a balance between luxurious and limited base of goods. I make 1-3 pieces of the same clothing, either in identical or different colors. As a master, I almost only do the clothings that cost around 10k. So, my shop is mostly for women And I dont do wookie wear.. At all!
I only do custom orders when I specifically go to Theed or where ever and shout "Master Tailor offering her services! Pst or email ". If Im being contacted by tell when Im not doing that, then I am polite and say that I need them to send me their orders per email, and Ill see what I can do. I also make them aware that I might not be able to complete their orders the same day.
What has worked really well with me is stocking my vendors with doctor dresses in the more popular colors that has +25 +25 injury and wound treatment. I sell them for 33k a pop and they go faster than I can restock. Which is nice.
I must admit I feel a little guilty by your comment on the afk messages lol! I think I need to shorten mine down a bit... My afk message actually has paragraphes
wow n'Jessi, thank you ...awesome post. I really appreciate the time you took to do that, and am going to go through it part by part, set myself some ground rules, and use your suggestions about /afk messages.
Due to some serious in game stress, enough so that I have been avoiding logging in to play my master tailor char, and have seriously considered dropping Tailor altogether... I came here to read this guide to keeping your sanity again.
I've tried doing all these things. They all work, to a certain degree, some of the time. But lately, the stress of tell hell and hundreds of emails and backlogged orders... I just groan and log out again. Which is not going to get any of that backlogged stuff done. But it's not fun. Logging in to see all that is work, not fun. I used to have fun playing a tailor.
My real life son is getting married this month, and I simply do not have time to log in and "Play" at "Work" for the amount of time it would require to get everything done. Not in a timely or my usual fast turnaround fashion that my guild mates and regular customers have become accustomed to. When I do log in now, I end up spending all my limited time clearing out mails and batting away tells about "Is it done yet?" Repeated tells from the same persons. Persons I have already told over and over WHY I am behind. Tells stacked up before I am even done loading in game. Tells in response to my AFK, despite the fact I do not answer... "I know you are there. hee hee, can you make me a ____? I'll be there in just a minute to pick it up." AGH! If I answer to say do not come it will not be getting made today, then I end up in further discussion again, about why not, etc. Bah. Anyone who's been a tailor a while knows how that conversation goes and how long they can last. /sigh
Add to all this, I just moved all my vendors out of my large house/shop and into a merchant tent, because it was just too time consuming to maintain it all and be there for customers and run all over doing factories and retrieving supplies from far-flung storage buildings, etc. Dang it, but I can't remember the last time I logged in to just go have fun or sit in a cantina (haven't seen the new entertainer droids yet!) or just go exploring or hunting with friends.
And then I have guild mates, very graciously and generously offering backpacks FULL of HDLs, HDCs, CCTs, Quest Schematics... for free to my vendors. There are other tailors in the guild, but not any that are actually online very often, nor do they keep an insane amount of items stocked on their vendors, like I do. I try to get guildies and customers to use the other guild tailors more often, but I fear my pleas fall on deaf ears. I am hoping the other guild tailors get up to speed soon, or start getting enough business to want to... I despair...
I am drowning in loot comps and quest schems right now. I am trying to get them all into factories and run off as many as I can; some for guildies, some for vendor sales.... people are waiting on me... people are asking... "Are they done yet? Are they done yet? Are they done yet?" But it takes time and concentration to organize and inventory all those packs of comps so that I use them up in the most efficient and least wasteful manner, considering the limited use of these quest schems. And to set aside the ones that were special ordered in a certain color from the ones I plan to put on a vendor. And I have to juggle multiple packs specifically per which item I am trying to set up a factory run for. And I have to deal with the occasional ghosted packs and relogging issues. And the tells and mails interrupting my focus. And losing track of where I am in the process or where I put that last darned pack with the complete chef apron Everything-I-Need package ready to go load into the factory...
And the stress and guilt of, "No, I am sorry, it's not done yet. I am trying." /cry
It's not fun anymore. To the point I have avoided logging in on my tailor and am angry and upset and about to quit being a tailor. When I do have an hour or so to play, I've been hiding on my alt chars. And having fun. Till last night. My most generous schematic and loot comp benefactor sent me a cross server tell. "Don't forget to pick up those packs I offered to your vendor." I didn't answer. I had my AFK message up there too. I was just sitting in a med center healing up from a rather enjoyable butt-whipping a Kliknik War-something had dealt me... but that cross-server tell just depressed me so much... I logged out.
Still depressed when I logged in today, I tossed up my AFK and sent a long mail to the guild, explaining my RL and in game situation and begged for mercy. And logged out. I don't even care if it hurts business or offended some of them. When the demanding and impatient requests are so bad that I won't even play my favorite char... then it was time to have a guild rant.
I need a sanity check. Tailor used to be fun.
Sorry for the rant.
AFK is not OK Clicky - AFKers are disruptive to my Gameplay - Clicky ************************************************** Qitu & Tabu Tailor & Entertainer ************************************************** *May your future endeavors prove to be interesting and rewarding experiences that fulfill your dreams and enrich your life.*
Most of us have been (or are) there. I find myself in a similar position…I started moving skill points around between my alts and after getting rid of the vendors from the toon dropping merchant I just kind of stared at the empty spaces in the shop and shrugged. I still haven't created new vendors.
The point is…this is a game, and sometimes we get a little too successful and it's no longer fun. Take a break. Scale back. Come at it from a different angle. I've been playing two alts, both straight-combat toons, one on my tailor's server, another on TestCenter. I've been having a blast. When I am ready to relog as Eicia I'm seriously considering getting rid of the shop entirely and going travelling tailor. I always did have a lot more fun dressing entertainers on the fly than I did cranking out hundreds of items for my vendors.
But, if dropping tailor is the only way you feel you can cut off the tells, emails, and well-meaning guildmates…do it. You pay $15 per month same as everyone else, for the same reason—to have fun. If you're not having fun, do something else. But kbow that should you decide to drop, you'll be missed…and you'll always be welcomed back if that's what you choose.
œ Slone Varnillian œ Eicia Obai œ Panda-Sy œ
Most of the universe's problems can be solved by the application of a brick to the side of the right head.
The problem is if you don't have a big enough brick or can't find the right head. The devil is in the details.
I think we've all been there. It's hard to keep your tailoring skills and still have a "life" so to speak. I just took a little hiatus because of exams and mother being in town - there was no way I could keep up with everything. It's okay to say "I'm not tailoring until x time, period" and just be firm about it. Put your shop sign on "no restock" and walk off.
The important thing is not to feel bullied into dropping your skills. Something about your situation isn't working for you, maybe the guild, maybe location, maybe a simple communication issue.
Remember, RL comes first. Your sanity comes first. If you don't want to logon your tailor for a while, don't do it. Don't feel guilty, just don't do it. Nobody can "make" you. You're still a "tailor" whether you take a break or not.
OMG I can so totally relate to this!! Although, I've pretty much already made my decision on the matter.. I'm taking a leave from the game entirely.. Well, except reading the boards and popping in now and then to move a few things around and play dress up by myself (LOL).. I was pretty much feeling the same way, which is what led me to that decision.. I can tell you that although I really really miss the game, there are a lot of things that I really really don't miss right now.. I don't miss feeling like I HAVE to log in every day.. I don't miss logging in EVERY day, and rushing through the all the "work" that I have to do, desparately trying to get to the fun part, but never being able to keep up with the "work", enough to do the things that I enjoy about being a tailor... I don't miss restock days.. As a matter of fact when I made my choice, I let about 500 items (what was left of my inventory after not stocking for a month) go poof, rather then restock them or do anything with them.. It felt SOOO good!!! It's nice to remind yourself that it's just a game, and there really aren't any consequences for being irresponsible.. I still miss it, and I do hope to come back in a few months, but for now I'm enjoying my freedom.. I don't HAVE to do a damn thing, and it's soooooo nice!!!! I still think something is wrong when one needs a vacation from a game..
Good Luck Qitu! It would truly be a great loss to the proffession if you choose to go..
Fashions by seki-*-Officially Closed -*- -Hanging out on the forums until I see enough improvement to make me want to play again, or I get pissed off enough to cancel-//Thunderheart said: So for the cost of two skill trees, players are getting full pet access. That bargain is too good to be true and it demeans the CH profession because they work through the whole tree without being rewarded much of an advantage.BLAH! TELL IT TO THE MERCHANTS!
I work mostly from Vendors, but i spent weeks just stocking them, they have roughly 3-4000 items on them.
The only custom orders i tend to get are people who hear from me from word of mouth and havent seen my vendors (i do the order anyway) or people who know what they want and/or want a lot of something (wedding outfits, city council uniforms or such).
When i do get orders tho i dont really have a standard, if someone comes into my shop ordering something i will do it right there infront of them. If they email me an order i will do it i as soon as i get the relevant information from them.
I generally try to get orders done and out fo the way asap tho i dont like keeping a line of things, and to be honest i dont get that many, id like to think its because most look on my vendors first and notice i have what they are looking for already.
Reason i work mostly from vendors is due to being european playing on a US server (wasnt euro servers when i started, and i dont want to move now) so my prime time allows for a lot of time to do stocking and such, and for US prime time im asleep for the most part.