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toomuchglass

Stupid comments heard at craft shows

17 years ago

I have to laugh every time I hear some of the questions and comments at a craft show. I'm sure you've heard quite a few doozies too. Here's a few - feel free to add yours ...

*** Did you make this ? "no - I bought it at Walmart"

*** How long does it take you to make one? One of what ? I'm selling 100 things"

*** Does the color in stained glass fade ? It's the COLOR of the glass - not paint! sheesh,,

*** Asked about my suncatchers - WILL THEY BREAK?

C'mon - it's GLASS ! Glass DOES break!

*** How do you make that ? Like I have 4 hours to explain

Oh - there's probably so many more I can't think of right now . Please - tell me some of yours !

Comments (77)

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for your comments ! I really was making light of the subject - I still stand by my opinion ,if a person goes to juried craft show , pays to get in - finds it to be a classy show -- of course the crafter made their item - why bother to ask ? When somebody DOES happen to ask me---the conversation always turns to a discussion on how many cheap imports there are and how nice it is to see stuff handmade. So - it starts out stupid and ends up a friendly conversation ! I heard another comment at the craft show I did last week. It wasn't stupid - I thought it was downright Rude. 2 people were in front of my booth "loudly" comparing my stained glass to another crafter's on the other side of the room. They discussed prices,colors,subject matter .... ggggrrrrrrrrr... If I had guts I would have butted in and told them "She buys her stuff at Walmart " ~~~ ROFL !!!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    At first the question "Did you make this?" bothered me, but I soon turned it to my advantage. My crafts appear to be very simple (hairbows), but they are time consuming. So I would immediately answer, "Yes, that one takes about an hour from start to finish." That would spark a whole conversation about the process and I find that it always helps to engage in that conversation. Some people thought that I could curl grosgrain ribbon w/ scissors (like cheap ribbon!) until I explained that I had to wrap it on dowels and bake it in the oven...it soon becomes obvious that my hairbows really are a "craft" and not an import or Walmart knockoff. But without this kind of conversation, I might lose many potential customers.

    I did have someone tell me once that I needed to "invest" in better bags (I use the 2 cent brown lunch bags). I just laughed and ignored her comment.

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  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    junknstuf - (I like that "code" name) "junkin" as we call it in Southern IL is my favorite - My kids tell their friends their mom can somebody's junk and do something with it and make money. Them and their friends look for "junk" for me. I live in a little town of 1,800 people in S. IL about 50 miles east of St. Louis (good part of IL) One of the biggest Craft shows in the are which used to be 400 crafters is now down to about 250 and about 1/3 of them had bought stuff they were trying to peddle - it was sad. I do shows and everything I do is homemade and I have the bags under my eyes to show for it. Have to get ready for one the 1st week of December and were did the time go!! Maybe you could help me - I am looking for garland, swags, wreaths etc that has leaves that feel like fun foam - have any idea what it is called - it is very "country" looking and very real looking. Nobody selling it wants to let me in on the secret were they buy it. tried all the craft stores I know - and it is not homemade!
    Thanks for listening - tammy

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm with Sal.
    I don't really think "Did you make this?" is an out-of -line question at any time. Could be that the person manning the booth is not the crafter. And usually people probably are only asking because they think it is a nice item worth asking about.

    I was to a large craft show today and was disappointed to see so many "Made in China" stickers. I found some great stuff, though!

    Keep crafting!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have to agree with you Toomuchglass - that was down right rude and insulting on their part. I know you bit your tongue on that one. I do wish you the best at all your craft shows and be rest assured that there are some of us at craft shows who do appreciate the hard work that goes into each handmade craft.

    Sal

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I do not sell at craft shows/fairs but I go to them to get inspired, and I say stupid things like "wow I never thought of that, but I can make that myself" and of course I don't,
    my grandmother for 30 yrs or so went to every craft fair/ church bazaar and such and bought an item and she asked particulars on how to do them and then her and the ladies at the senior center would "copy" it and sell them at the fairs the next year, people would consider it an honor to have this group copy their stuff, and all of them did this out of their own pockets and donated the monies raised to the Seniors for seniors dinners which provided seniors with meals throughout the year that were alone or could not afford meals. I made a fence flag this year and hung it up and my very talented sister-in law asked where I bought it and when I told her I made it she was impressed( still think she does not believe me!!)
    sorry ladies for this being long, have fun and thanks for putting up with the unknowledged!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Some years back...I overheard this coming from 2 people women shopping in the booth next to mine. I had the impression they were sisters. The crafter had made exquisitely crafted fabric decorations; I don't recall exactly what (wreaths?), but they were very labor intensive, with both machine work and hand stitching/embroidery. The crafter was out of her booth for a minute.

    Woman 1 says, "Oh, I love that; I wish I could afford it, but I've spent my check already."

    Woman 2: "Oh, do you? Why, I can make one for you."

    Woman 1: "Would you? I would be just thrilled to have one."

    Woman 2: "Sure, Honey, I can do that for you; it's not that hard to make."

    Woman 1: "You're such a sweetheart...(gratefull kiss on the cheek)...When would you make it?" (It was a Christmas theme.)

    Woman 2: "Just as soon as I buy a sewing machine."

    I would have loved to have seen the look on Woman #1's face as they walked away, but they were not facing me.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    LOL -- THAT Was funny !!!!! I bet the look on the one ladie's face was priceless !

    I do have another problem at craft shows - Not comments but - people who try and copy my stuff. You can tell when someone is trying to memorize things. My friend and I did a summer show where a man actually brought a camera in ....my friend stepped right in front of him and blocked the lens and sternly asked if she could help him ...then politely threw him out of her booth.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This isn't really stupid but I think it's amusing. About 15 years ago, I was selling pop can animals right and left. I was at a show and was answering all kinds of questions about how they were made, where I got the idea, etc. when this kid came up and was looking one over very closely. I said to him, "Can you tell what that is made out of?" He couldn't so I told him. He looked at me, smiled, and said, "Cool. What kind of pop was it?" I still laugh about it! Leave it to a kid to think of that question!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My 5 friends and I meet each week and "craft".
    When one of us goes to a craft show, we try to get detailed directions, (gasp! or even a picture) of a certain craft. decorated chairs would be difficult to describe, so I asked if I could take a pic to show my friends the beautiful work.
    The next time we meet, maybe a couple of us want to make the item, just for ourselves or family - never to sell.
    We have done stepping stones, decorated sweatshirts, bowling balls, painted snowmen on slates,purses from jeans, etc. (one friend has 7 children and she makes one for each grown child for Christmas.
    I have asked if I could copy something, stating I would definately not be selling any, and have been helped by a few vendors. I have since met one vendor and have purchased a few items from her because she was so nice.
    I curb picked two dining room chairs and decoratively painted one for my sis for her b-day, the other one I did for myself, but the friend whose house we meet each week loved it and commented on it, so I gave it to her. Oh well.
    I am sure this is not the case in other's experiences. Sometimes a vendor is so friendly, even if I did not think I wanted to buy anything, I did anyway because she was so friendly. (i.e. hand made soaps, or candles which I normally do not use)
    What ever....that is why each of us is different.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I beat you all with the dumbest question! I make fleece stuffed snow babies and glue them onto decorated CD's,and make them xmas ornaments. One guy, after studying it ever so carefully asks,"but how do you play it?" CLASSIC!!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't do craft shows anymore but I do remember some of the people who stopped by my booth. I have painted old world Santas on old light bulbs for more than 10 years. I have had a lot of nice comments on them - and I put on the tag that the Santa is painted on a light bulb and always wrapped the metal part you screw in to the lamp with a gold braid. One gentleman was very impressed with one of my bulbs and showed it to his wife. She looked at it over and over and finally asked "well how does it light up?" She was very sincere but not very bright (pardon the pun). Of course, I was very nice to her and explained in detail about the bulb, the whole time her husband was rolling his eyes. I still laugh about that.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for the funny comments ! I'm guilty of asking stooopid questions,too .... Vendors probably laugh at me when I leave their booth. Laughing makes life so much more fun !

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've often felt for craft vendors when shows are on, and you can just hear some of the conversations that occur.

    My story is not craft related, but might make you all smile.

    I'm in marketing professionally (crafter for my own amusement) and one client had us compile for them the results of an anonymous survey. We gave them a large report summarizing it.

    So the client calls me one day and says he'd like the names of all the people who took the survey. "I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can't give that to you. It was an anonymous survey." And I reminded him why it had been anonymous, so people would feel comfortable giving their opinions, etc...

    And he responded, "Oh. Okay. Well, then just send me their email addresses."

    Have a good one, folks! :-)
    -Jenn
    http://web.mac.com/thriftshopromantic/iWeb/

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Bumped up, because I looked this one up- I was thinking about it the other day!

    I have garden totems for sale at a craft mall, and I had a lady come up to me to reprimend me about my prices-
    they weren't high enough.
    The price wouldn't even pay for the clay to make the teapots...

    (let me know if you need this explained!!) :)

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I use recycled denim and blue jeans in my crafts. I also update and decorate used denim clothing. I had a woman who was very well dressed for the street craft show we were doing, she looked like she belonged on Rodeo Drive, not in the middle of fly speck, Delaware... anyway.. she walked into my booth, under my tent, took one look at this beautiful embroidered denim dress ( sells for $30, a very nice piece) and almost chocked when she realized it was an upcycled dress. She got the most disgusted look on her face, exclaimed.. "This is USED clothing" and about ran out of my booth.

    It's not like my clothing is dirty or something that belongs in the rag bin. And she was mortified that she was touching used clothing.. I had never been so disgusted with anyone in my life.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    MJOWEST !!!!!! I am dying laughing !!!!!!!!

    You certainly "are talented" , arent you ???? LOLOLLL

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I thought of you guys immediately when she said this! :)

    LOL-savacreep! Used! Imagine!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Savacreep...a perfect reply to her would have been,
    'well they are no worse than the sheets you sleep on in a hotel that hundreds of other people have slept on'
    That would have probably really sent her running in horror.
    I use overalls and jeans that have been 'previously owned' also.
    Like yours I'm sure, they are well washed and less germy than the new ones hanging on the racks that heaven knows what has touched them.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I really love these comments ... and the funny thing is - they stick in our mind for some reason . I guess that's what makes people more fun !

    +++ PS -- If you are doing fairs this summer - keep adding to it !

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This is so funny because I remember posting a comment back in 07. It always amazes me how funny people can be without even knowing it.

    Oh, I haven't posted here in a long time but I do visit as often as I can. Mostly I am on the Tole and Decorative Painting Forum.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Just read through all of the fun comments and hope I kept a smile on my face as I remember people asking me many of the same questions. Now I have to tell one on myself.

    About 18 years ago, while visiting family on the other side of the country, we visited a country fair. I was new to crafting at that time and was so impressed with one booth that I not only bought several things that I could have painted myself but explained to the two artists that I live 2100 miles away and really wanted to take pictures of their booth so that I could use some of their ideas in my own. They were tickled! They started explaining how they did this and that and said that if I would come back at the end of the day (it was the last day of the fair) they would show me more! I went back and for years we emailed back and forth.

    Just visiting from the painters forum,

    Belle

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The comment that sticks in my mind......customer asked me at a craft show if the $50 price tag on my item was "the best you can do?" I said "No - $100 is the best I can do" Needless to say he didn't buy it....but I kept chuckling to myself for the rest of the day!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    A few years back, while doing a craft show I was selling hand bags and was making barbie clothes with my scrap fabric and two older ladies came by and announced rather loudly: They sell these at the dollar store!! Wow... My handbags are selling at the dollar store????? Who would have thought! For the next few years, as they made their rounds to all the shows, we crafters would announce: The dollar store ladies are here today.....Gotta Laugh:)

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This thread has me giggling! I've been lurking here for quite awhile, but I just have to tell you all about a comment I heard at a antiques show. A women looking at a piece of furniture said "Somebody made that". Now, I have a strong appreciation of the wonders that mother nature provides, but I have never seen a tree grow into a cupboard on it's own!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    " * mammaw123 (My Page) on Sat, Oct 28, 06 at 15:00

    LOL! I've heard ALL of these! Especially "I could do that". The other one, not a stupid comment, but one I get tired of hearing, "that's so cute, or so and so needs that!". Then they put it down and walk away!"

    I can usually tolerate the "not well thought out comments", but walking around with an item in your hand the entire time your scanning the booth only to put it down (especially nowhere near where you got it from) & leave without getting a thing. I do admit that I have too done this, but usually it's after my DH asks me if I really need it & makes me feel guilty.

    I usually make a sale if someone asks me if I made the craft item, it seems to start a friendly conversation. I do sell non-handmade items also & I'm totally honest about that too, if asked. I like to alter things that have been store bought, so I don't get asked if I made it a lot.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The last posting (shpnquen) tickled me because I did the same thing. I found something I really liked, good price, BUT, could not find the crafter to take my money. Finally found her, she was chit-chatting with a friend, I stood there about 5 minutes, and yes she knew I was there. I just put it down next to them and walked out of the booth. They never said a word--just continued visiting. I did watch the booth of and on for about 20 minutes while looking at other things, and she never sold one thing. Why waste the time.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh, I've had this happen too mariend, when I was shopping at someone's booth. If you really want to sell something, then you should act like it. I'm not saying to stalk people, but at least show that you appreciate them taking the time to look at your stuff - many people will just stroll on by. And you should REALLY show some appreciation if they have something of yours in their hand. If visiting with a friend is more important, then she should have just saved her booth rent & spent the day with her friend...

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I had a lady spend a lot of time admiring my painted Santa tree ornaments. After quite some time, she commented that she never thought of Santa as having blue eyes. I said "Oh, really, what color do you think they should be?" She said she didn't know but not blue. It was probably her way to get out of buying one. She was there so long it was as if she was going to buy the whole lot. Maybe she was trying to memorize them all. Funny the things that you remember! Nancy

    Nancy

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I make QUILTS...had a lady ask me once how long it took to KNIT one!!!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have really enjoyed reading these comments. I, too, like it when people ask if I made the product myself. I cut items out on a scrollsaw then paint them. Many are very small, like pins or Christmas ornaments. People seemed amazed that a woman does all the work herself. I usually end up in conversations with both the hubby and his wife, and more often than not, make a sale. I also sell signs with "funny" sayings on them. I listen to people read them all day long. I have them set up near my money table. It makes me so happy to see the smiles and hear the laughter that comes from these people. Do I get tired of hearing it, yes, but I would rather they stand there and read them than just walk on buy. I sell about 30/40 per show! I did have a fellow crafter (newbie using a badge maker) come stand in front of my booth and start writing my saying down. I nicely said "Why don't you just look them up on the internet, like I did!" He walked away while other crafters giggled. Sorry this is so long. I am new to posting. Have been doing shows for 18 years.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I was doing a sale when this man came from nowhere and put his hand on one of my items, "IS THIS THE BEST YOU CAN DO??"

    As my jaw dropped in shock, I looked at it to see what was wrong.

    Then I realized that he was talking about the price.

    Another time I wasn't paying much attention when I heard a little girl say, "Granny, you said that you would make me one of these."

    "I am," says the granny as she practically has the thing inside out examining it. I buy my supplies wholesale so it would be a lot cheaper for her to buy it than make it.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't think I wrote on this before My sisters were wonderful creative women. My oldest even designed items for Herrschners about 40 some years ago. She and a friend of hers opened a little shop north of Chicago called something like "The Hand mades" everything was original and hand crafted. She said the biggest problem they had was people coming in and trying to copy their work.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Imitation is the best form of flattery.

    That being said, I have found that people that THINK they can do better very rarely can.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    i can see what u all are saying, hearing the same things over and over no matter what they are saying can be annoying. But, you got to keep in mind - having artistic or creative ability is a skill or talent that people look up to, especially those who don't have those skills. so maybe when they are asking if you made it, they are just in awe of the fact that someone CAN make the item. Those of you who can draw, don't you remember as a kid in school, if you were drawing, all the other kids would gather round to watch over your shoulder, mesmerized, as if you were doing magic? Its an ability people admire.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Got another one!

    although it's not necessarily at a craft show- I sell glass totems and flowers, and people come up to me when I'm at the craft mall, or I sell some in my yard, ALL excited-
    ""I"ve seen these at the craft shows!""

    ok, so, now what? lol

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have 2 (actually, several each of the 2, placed around my booth) signs posted in my booth.."Sure you can make it yourself, but when will you find the time?" I've made many sales because of this..they look at it and say,"your absolutely right!" Another is "please do not take photos" . I plan on the fact that within a year of adding something new to my line, that I will have to drop it, as other crafters will be making it.:0)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm one of who who will say, 'I can do that', but of course it's always easier to buy from someone who already *has*. ;o)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I used to always think "I can make that", but I have to say it was back when I didn't have the money to buy much.

    And of course I ususallly didn't make it. Now I'm realizing that there are things that I love to make and other things I should buy, and fortunately now i can afford to buy more!

    Kathy

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Grab a snack, cup of coffee and don't plan on moving for one hour...

    Here is a link that might be useful: More craft show remarks

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I went and read pat of the ETSY thread. There are lots of complaints of people who want to copy. I did a craft show for two years and then moved out of state, but came back to visit the next year. My bigger selling items had been copied by the other vendors. Most of my items were original ideas that I had developed to fit the local niche. My dh said I should go back and do another show so they could have new ideas.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This wasn't a stupic comment but one that made me laugh. It was more of a commentary on the state of things today.
    I did my final show of 2011 (#40) and there was this little older lady who came into my booth early Saturday. She was wearing a sweatshirt that read:
    "I say Merry Christmas. Deal with it!"

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This post has me laughing again -- look at the date !!

    A lady was with her elderly mom .... she was holding mom's arm so she could lean in and look . They were looking at a booth that was selling felted stuff. Grandma leaned toward her daughter and said ( rather loudly ) " I bet all that stuff is made in China" ..... ( she must have forgotten that she was at a craft fair ! LOL ) Gotta love old ladies.

    One lady had a booth that was selling rustic/all natural floral wall hangings . She used acorns,leaves,dried flowers, twigs,branches etc. One lady was looking at one of wall hangings and asked the seller " Are those branches real?" The seller politely answered they were real. I must have been the only one that thought it was funny to ask about branches - like a crafter is going to handmake replicas of branches! LOL I would never say that outloud,but sometimes my brain just switches to sarcasm mode.

    I really do enjoy craft fairs & love the people no matter what :)Alot of us are doing some of the stuff we're laughing at !!!!!!!!!! LOL

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am incredibly saddened that original items are being stolen and copied.

    I have thought, "I could do that." I have frequently been wrong.

    I love to craft and frequently make it up as I go along. Currently I am developing a line of barbie clothes mostly for my own edification.

    For all the crafters reading this thread. I would like you all to know how much I appreciate the time and thought you put into your projects. I love looking at them and buying those that I need. BTW my kitchen is in the tuscan colors please keep this in mind when you do the kitchen appliance covers. Thank you.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    OK, first show of 2012.

    There was a lady who I guess was fed up with the "I can make that" customer, so she had this sign in her booth:

    "I know you think you can make it, but you won't, so buy mine."

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have heard of another version of that sign (might be buried in this thread which I'm not going to read it all again):
    "I know you can make this, but when ever will you find the time?"

    BTW, when I used to think "I can make that" its not so much to take someone else's design, I was thinking "I know how to knit/crochet/sew etc, I should make my own sweater/afgan/apron" etc etc. Not their version but my own.

    Kathy

  • 8 years ago

    I know the feeling. But about when asked how it's made, I've read literature helps. Maybe make up a sheet about how you make your products, then display it at your shows? That way, when a potential customer asks, you can refer them to your literature.

  • PRO
    8 years ago

    I think the real long-term issue for artists is that now, in the information age, people are becoming accustomed to not paying for things at all.

    I was, in my first couple of years selling handmade artworks on eBay, constantly asked, why I'd make, sell, and ship original art pieces (gouache, acrylic, pastel, etc) often well below the cost of the materials. Everyone seemed to suspect I was lying, or cheating customers somehow. The real answer was, nobody was buying those pieces if I priced them above a dollar because a lot of people these days in the digital era seem to be irrationally conditioned to expect everything for free or nearly free.

    Problem is, nothing is really going to be free. Everything has a cost to it, and in these cases I pretty much absorbed the cost of the items I was losing money on, by doing other tedious jobs like transcription tasks for around $5/hr. The cost was my time, and all my genuinely creative projects moving forward at a snail's pace. The cost was that a lot of the things I've tried to work on, that people want me to finish, aren't getting finished any time soon.

    If every customer is this stingy, and everyone pirates everything, or wants everything available for free, it'll kill the software industry, games industry, movies, music, books, etc - or clutter them all with lots of ads like television. Sort of a 'prisoner's dilemma' situation, on a much larger scale. I saw this coming years ago and made a determination that I would never pirate anything. I'd be one of the ones who paid for digital products. I'm weird that way.

    There were some artworks back then that I made to order for customers, and sold for as little as a penny. And there were some listings priced at a penny that *still* wouldn't sell. Right now, now that I have 120 ratings on eBay, all positive, people are beginning to get that I'm actually doing this, that it isn't a joke or a trick. That's good, because now I'm actually able to sell some large art pieces at prices where I actually turn a profit on them. Not a big profit, mind you, it's more like $2-$3/hr, but at least I'm not losing money on all of my items. (Though, in between all my fixed price stuff, there are still listings with 99-cent opening bids.)

    An example of an ad I posted in a few places:


    My eBay shop


    The other thread discussing my work.


    A big thank you, BTW, to everyone who did buy from me, whether the amount they spent was a penny or a dollar or anything else, as those early ratings on eBay were key to establishing a track record there. It's really helped. I am excited about the future and how things are going now. I'm optimistic that soon I'll be able to ramp up development of indie games and videos and do some really fun stuff. So thanks, everybody.

  • 8 years ago

    Awesome insights, TA. I think of it as the Napster-ization of America. Everyone thinks they're entitled to everything, free.

    No wonder people ask, "Did you make this?" when it's clear the venue allows people to sell mass-produced rubbish at some of the, ahem, craft tables.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I'm wondering why TA isn't doing art fairs? They're excellent venues for artists and craftsmen to show and sell their work, and make real money. There are levels of art fairs and craft fairs that do not allow any buy/sell or commercial vendors at all.

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