Bizarre Misinterpretation of Numbers

I sold an original watercolor, matted and framed, signed and labeled. It was one of my favorites, and I was happy to see her go to a good home.

The Problem:
A couple of days later I get an email from the buyer saying he saw the same painting framed online at my FineArt America (FAA) site for a much lesser price and basically thought he got a raw deal. But, what he was seeing online were the print prices. For the same size, matting and framing, he would have paid a little more than half the price of the original, plus postage. FAA only sells prints. Originals are only available from me.

I emailed him that those were prints, not originals. He bought the original watercolor. I said if he felt that he wasn’t treated fairly or wasn’t happy, then please let me know. I really wanted him to be a happy buyer.

He responded by saying he gave the “print” away already, thought it was #175 or #176, something about a lesson learned, yada yada. Boy was I confused.

The Solution:
After stomping around a bit in frustration, I realized that he mistook the inventory # for that of a print #. He didn’t realize he’d bought the original, so was comparing his purchase price with the price of a framed print quoted on the FAA website.

Wish he’d just asked me about. I could have cleared it up. Never would I have thought someone could look at an original watercolor and think it was a print. The paper, for one thing. No matter how hard you try to flatten out the paper, it still has a little bit of undulation. Prints don’t do that.

I hope whoever received that gift from him falls madly in love with the painting. Obviously he didn’t, or he would have kept it.

I have since changed my label to say clearly INVENTORY #. And I’m issuing receipts with Certificates of Provenence and Authenticity before they can say Boo.

Someday I hope to laugh about this. It certainly took the joy out of this sale.