Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crafter Beware: Queen City Emporium Accused of Scamming Independent Artists

The Queen City Emporium made a big splash in the fine craft world in late 2010 when it offered to consign works for dozens of independent artists and bloggers. So far, over 100 artisans have come forward to complain about Queen City Emporium's handling of their merchandise and sales receipts, leaving many to wonder if they have any way of recouping these items.

The store, located in Springfield, MO offers everything from handcrafted soap to hairgoods, all created by independent crafters and small businesses.One crafter's story is here, others are cropping up all over the web.

Sounds like a great shop, right? Well, it would be if it had remained open! The store has been shuttered since January 18th, and owes merchandise, money or both to almost 100 crafters at last count.

Queen City Emporium stands accused of hurting more than just artisans and small businesses--who put their hearts and souls into every item them make. They are also unable to honor coupons sold by the popular Daily Deal site Groupon. Groupon offered coupons for Queen City Emporium, so anyone purchasing these vouchers are out $10 for each useless coupon they purchased.

While almost a hundred crafters have come forward to complain about Queen City Emporium, there has been no response from the owners. Calls to the business and emails go unanswered, and the shop retains both merchandise and cash. The Missouri Attorney General's office has already received over 50 complaints and more crafters continue to come forward.

If you have consigned items with Queen City Emporium, you can join a Facebook group of affected artisans to share experiences and get the latest updates.

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