My wife (27F) owns an Etsy shop where she sells handmade jewelry. She has some real talent and the jewelry she sells is genuinely very nice and high quality. She gets a surprising amount of sales on there too, and has great reviews.
The issue is that EVERYWHERE we go, EVERY conversation she has, she slips in something about her shop and tries to promote it. Talking to a friend? She'll casually mention a big sale she made or a custom order she got and not-very-subtly mention that she'd give her friend a coupon or something similar.
Talking to our waiter? She'll mention that she has a pair of earrings on her shop that would compliment their eyes. Talking to someone online? She'll somehow manage to say "as the owner of a small business.." She literally cannot have a conversation anywhere with anyone without trying to sell them her jewelry.
The other day was a family member's birthday, and they were having a decently-sized get-together with just other family members and a few close friends. I went with my wife, and she's a pretty social person, even outside of promoting her shop, so she was quickly making conversation with my family.
Of course not 5 minutes later she was showing someone the bracelet she had on that she made and mentioning that she sells them and talking about how since they were family she would happily give them a 25% discount. She probably had that exact same conversation with at least 5 people during the 2 hours we were there.
As soon as we left I spoke to her and said she needs to quit doing that. I told her if people were actually interested, they would ask her about her store, but not every single person she talks to wants or needs to hear about her art.
She got upset and said that she just wants to spread her product and doesn't see what she's doing wrong and hasn't spoken to me much since. I feel like I'm the a**hole since I will admit I had a pretty harsh tone and could've been a lot nicer during that conversation, plus I get that she's just trying to sell her products, even if it gets obnoxious. AITA?
There's middle ground here, but I'm going with YTA because of your delivery. She has a right and, if she's really trying to make a go of the business, an obligation to promote herself. She chooses to do it informally, person to person, which is just fine.
I can see, however, that the two of you probably need to have a "no business hats" night where the focus is on each other. Maybe bring that up (gently) after apologizing to her for being TA here.
"She chooses to do it informally, person to person, which is just fine."
Honestly, this is the best kind of advertising. You want a piece of jewelry and you think of the nice lady you met at the party who will give you a discount, win-win.
No, don’t be trying to sell me something in casual conversation. It’s a step away from an MLM pitch. I’ll talk about your business and you can make it clear how to buy your stuff but don’t be telling about the discounts you’re offering.
No, I still agree with @kinggakman. Saying “I’m so glad you like, it, I made it!” And leaving it ALONE unless the other person EXPLICITLY asks for more information is the polite way to go.
I’ve owned three businesses (potter, soap maker, photographer) and have many friends who own their own businesses and no one wants to be sold to like you’re describing. It’s very in line with the MLM approach which makes me want to say something really mean and avoid person. Let people ask.
It makes it feel like they didn’t actually want to have a conversation with you, they were just waiting for an opportunity to sell to you. Makes me feel so icky!
NTA. She is doing it over and over. I sell on eBay, have for 23 years. I make damn good money. I never bring it up unless someone asks, then, I give a few vague responses. She needs to stop. There is a great divide between business and socializing.
NTA and I would actually go out of my way to avoid her. I hate pushy sales people. She can promote her jewelry on instagram or even set up a special Facebook page and invite people to join. But every conversation, that's a "no" from me.
I don’t get the y t a here. It’s very annoying for a family member to be constantly pushing their business on friends and family. Maybe he could have been a little softer in his approach but NTA.