I’m absolutely impressed.
It has been my sincere effort to approach the subreddit with positivity and encouragement, and I apologize for the tone I am about to strike, but I don’t know any other way to phrase it.
I read that all people want is an apology. There is an apology. And now it’s like the apology is the worst possible thing that could’ve ever happened. It makes me think that, even if Suzy were to do something as drastic as refund everyone, nobody would care, or it would make people angrier.
Not to mention this person who is criticizing Suzy at the heart of all this detective work has been harassing Suzy’s customers under multiple twitter handles and, from what it looks like, fabricating evidence? Suzy has made countless reports to Twitter for this person’s alternate accounts and unethical actions.
The only difference between Suzy and me here is that Suzy is selling a product and my product is free. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing running a business, and I’m sure I’ve made some equally careless if not EVEN MORE careless moves in my business practices. The point is that they’ve been owned up to, and that is what Suzy has done, and yet she is being vilified. She is not saying “no no, guys, I swear, the parts were bought locally!” she admitted they were not and apologized, without much of an excuse aside from admitting that she’s human. Have any of you here bought from her store specifically because she said her parts were bought locally? Surely Suzy would love to make good on that claim if that happened to you.
However, the request to refund all customers is bananas. People are upset over a post on this Subreddit seen by, at most, 3000 people, who I guarantee are not the target demographic for her shop. Not only that, but it was a reactionary post, and not a post overtly advertising her shop to the subreddit. There’s no text anywhere in her store stating her parts and accessories were bought locally, and she apologized for claiming they were elsewhere. All the descriptions in her shop are honest and fair. If you have a problem with the semantics of claims like “handmade,” then there is really no arguing, that’s like arguing a fruit snack is deceptive for listing it contains “natural flavors.” If you’re worried about her selling a product that contains parts from other sellers then you should be holding artists who sell perler bead sprites of existing characters as necklaces and magnets under as much scrutiny for not making the Perler beads or the magnets or the sprites themselves. Not saying that they should be, because they shouldn’t.
So what “shady” business practices are left? That she sells her items for a price that she researched via art shows and found out what people were willing to pay for her work? How is that shady? Is it shady that Jackson Polluck’s paintings sell for millions? Art is subjective, and it is simply a fact that something as trivial as a dot drawn on a piece of paper has a fluctuating value based on who drew that dot. We’re not Wal-Mart, we don’t have to sell absolutely everything we make as artists at cost.
If someone’s not interested in buying Suzy’s items for whatever reason, that’s fine, but this sort of micro-policing is absolutely ridiculous. Reveal all of her sources for parts and specimens? When has that ever been a common practice among product makers aside from marketing stunts (which are mostly lies anyway)? Did anyone ever demand that Hasbro tell their sources for that 100 dollar Transformer because it was way too expensive for a hunk of plastic? No, they would say “that’s too expensive for my interests” and go on with their lives. No one researches Hasbro’s sources in a deceptive manner to find out that it only costed them 4 dollars to produce that toy and then personally attack those responsible. You strive as a creator of a product and the owner of a business to make your products at as low a cost as possible while retaining as much quality as possible while finding a price people are willing to pay for what the product is. It is always a balance, and it’s careless and silly to buy only expensive things just because they’re expensive and justify the cost. You can see by Suzy’s Etsy rating that her customers are happy with the quality of her items, because if the items were cheap, or bad, she wouldn’t have such high ratings, and I have no reason to believe the ratings are because the customers assumed the items costed a certain amount of money to produce since nothing like that is implied in the descriptions of the items. Simply put, it is not a selling point.
I’m disappointed that this sort of highly vitriolic discussion is happening on this subreddit, which as of late has been very fair and goodhearted. To entertain someone obviously trying to vilify more than “save future customers” seems highly indicative to the overall tone I have seen toward Suzy, although I’m sure that’s a very controversial thing to say since no one wants to admit they don’t have saint-like level-headed perspectives of the things we do. This subreddit and moreover /r/ventgrumps does not strike me as a place teaming with “future customers” needing to be “saved,” but rather an easy place to get a rise out of folks who already have a negative disposition towards Suzy. The sort of language being thrown around from the get-go to describe the topic in discussion is just malicious at its most fair, although I won’t discount the few who have said as much as I have in terms of what should actually be considered an issue or not.
What I don’t think anyone understands or knows is that Suzy has refused again and again to post about her shop on her channel, and it wasn’t until I hounded her to do so that she reluctantly did it. She did NOT want her sales to be influenced by her fanbase, she wanted her work to speak for itself, and she wanted her success in business to be as a result of the skillful handling of her shop. I’ve never talked about her shop on Grumps and we’ve never done a call to action on any Grumps social media, so to claim that she’s taking advantage of hers or my fans is silly. I have very little patience for people trying to bring someone down for trying to make something of themselves while owning up to the things that they’ve done wrong. Suzy is not trying to pull one over on anyone, she’s an independent online shop owner who is figuring out the do’s and don’ts of the trade by diving in head-first and doing craftwork that brings her joy.
To hear her ask me “should I just stop being on Game Grumps?” in the most sullen, defeated tone I’ve ever heard in order to protect the one thing that fills her with excitement the most breaks my fucking heart. Of all of us, Suzy has been the one who has come up with the most ideas for acknowledging and appreciating fans. She was the one who thought of sending signed postcards to people, she is the one who opened up the instagram and proposed the ideas of “takeovers” to give fans a more personal look at us, she is the one most consistently retweeting and acknowledging fan-made content on her Twitter and the Game Grumps twitter, and she is the one who hangs up fan-made art in the office. When you hear her say that she gets frustrated with fans, she is talking about instances like this, not the fanbase as a whole, and I can certainly see where she’s coming from, because I, too, am very frustrated.