Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 2012 Newsletter

I joined -  I have so many email contacts from the bridal shows I was a vendor at I figured I should reach out to these brides!

This website allows me to send emails 500 emails a month for $5.  Not bad I figured until my contact list goes over 500.  Right now I have almost 300 contacts so I can only send one email a month, if I had under 250 I could send two emails a month.  I think one email a month is fine.  I should set up a reminder to send out these emails so I dont waste my $5!

I hope these emails will keep an open line of communication with customers about specials and events. Right now my list is mainly bridal but I hope to open up my email list for everyone. The great thing about this site is I can place certain email address in different categories.   This helps when creating newsletters geared towards them and chances of the email going in the trash gets lower.

Because I am promoting my invitations and gift items to the brides I also make a point to send letters with coupons.  This way they get to 'see' my product as well as read about it. It cost a little bit but it worth it when a customer comes in because of it.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Requested Feedback adjustment

While I do make mistakes with my listings I am quick to correct them.  I have listed items that have disappeared from my store, or miscounted a product, or returned something to the vendor and forget to remove the listing. Sometimes an item will sell in our store and again I forget to remove the listing.  This are all honest mistakes but there are some people that you cant please no matter what you do.

I mentioned a few days ago that someone left us negative feedback saying I never refunded them and I wasted their time.  I wasted a feedback revision request on this buyer.  All they did was change the wording around and left it negative!  How rude.

You know you do everything you can to help the buyer and they dont care. Wasted their time? You waste time when you sit at the DMV day after day and still dont get your business taken care of. Or when you have a 10AM appointment at the doctor and dont see the doc until 1PM thats wasting your time.  Oh when you order something from a catalog and find out weeks later they dont have the item in stock!  Not when your refunded within a few hours of your order coming thru!

Once we noticed that we did not have the item we immediately refunded the money and sent an email of apology.  What more could we do?  Nothing!  Its not the first time this has happened to us, but we do our best so it does not happen. When it does we correct it quickly. Sometimes people do not accept the cancellation of the order and thats OK, we lose on the selling fees.  Many people do not bother leaving negatives but there are some people that are just horrible.

Maybe I shouldn't talk since I was trying to sell something I didnt have.

Monday, March 5, 2012

iPhone 4 issue no one can hear me talk, what happened?

So I may be been that most resistant to a smart phone, I refused them cause I didnt want to be 'connected' to the internet like that.  Last August I finally gave in and we all got them as a family, which means out bill shot up by $120 a month!  Data plans are not cheap and they no longer offered the unlimited plan.  So this was the cheapest plan $30 a month for 4 people!  Ugh sounds high.

Anyway, I was the only one to get an iPhone, everyone else got Droids.  So I am a dedicated APPLE person at heart!

So last week for no reason at all no one could hear me speak?  I was just on the phone the night before having a conversation with my friend with no issue. The very next day Im like what the heck is wrong with everyone, they call me and dont talk!  I was getting really annoyed.  After a few calls I started to think maybe it was me?  But I have an iPhone! They are like the best of the best, lol.  Well image my surprise when after some 'tests' we find out its my phone.  So no one could hear me talk which means the microphone was shot!  Speak phone worked, I could hear the sounds the phone normally makes, but when talking tom does not hear you, somethings up.

So I connected my phone to my itunes on my MAC of course, sync everything, nothing changes. I rebooted the phone, nothing. Ok Im getting concerned.  So the next day I head to Verizon.

While at Verizon I tell them whats going on, they instantly say that this is an ongoing problem. No check on my insurance or my phone contract nothing. The person I spoke with says that they are just going to replace my phone with a 'certified like new' phone.  Im like what the heck is that?  Im told its a phone that someone used for maybe a week or so and turned it in cause they didnt like it.  Ok so its used? No she says, its certified like new.  Isnt that the same thing?  I mean a new car is considered used once you drive it off the lot right?

So Im like what do I have to do? They could do it in the store or I could call them from my phone. Duh didnt I say no one can hear me talk?  So I said let me give it a few days to see if it fixes itself. She gives me the toll free number to call for the replacement.  Basically they would send me a phone, I would return the phone I have and reset the new replacement.

Well just like anyone else I started to do some searches on the internet about the issue I am having with my phone.  Many posts said to go directly to the Apple store.   After a few days with this issue, we finally had the opportunity to go to the Apple store.  The store is about 40 miles from where we live so its not a hop and a skip you know.  We took the trip - quickly the looked at my phone and said yes they will replace my phone.  The phone was only 6 months old! Falls under Apple warranty. HA!

So here come the questions:  What do I have to pay? Nothing. How long does it take? 10 minutes. Will it be used or new?  New.  When can I do it?  Right now.  WELL ALRIGHT!

Then the tech says when did you last back up your phone? Im like uh I dunno?  She was a real sweetheart, tells me, take it home and back it up so I dont loose anything.  When we replace your phone you can go back home and restore the new phone with the same info it would be exactly the same.   Well how excited I was!  We went back home, the back up took all of 5 minutes and I was like did it do it?  Yea!  We planned another trip down the next day, we included other stops along the way lol.

I made my appointment on my phone on the way do, wait time is a little crazy on a saturday. Still they were a little behind but the wait was not long.  I happen to get the same technician as the day before.  Not that she remembered me all that well but after a bit she seemed to.  She takes my phone does some stuff, comes back out with a new phone right out of the box, reprograms it, and done! Takes what 10 minutes?  Holy crap!

Now I am really excited. Upon walking out the store I 'tested' it again, I called a few people. Now I cant hear them! Im like really?  I walked back inside, tell the same tech and she removes the plastic film on the phone... what a dope! I gotta say the phone works great and didnt cost me a thing. I love Apple.

So while I was there I asked about Apple Care, if you have ever owned an Apple product this is their warranty program.  I have always gotten Apple Care for each product I owned except an iPod Touch I purchased via BestBuy a few years ago and this iPhone.  They tell me it would cost $69 to extend it for a year of coverage, so basically till the end of my wireless contract.  Verizon got me paying $12 a month for coverage. If I misplaced my phone I would have to pay Verizon a deductible of what $170 to get another used phone?  Ok granted Apple Care does not pay for a lost phone, but its better coverage then what Verizon is offering.  I am also thinking that $12 a month adds up to more than the coverage offered by Apple. I personally have never lost a phone but I bet I could buy a used phone for cheaper then what Im paying Verizon.

Things to ponder.

Yet another negative feedback on eBay

Im at the end of my rope, Im so temped to just close my eBay store.  But then I remember I do have so much positive feedback and I shouldn't let one or two rotten apples spoil the bunch right?

So here I am blogging about my experiences, why do I do that?  Well I hope to educate others and share what happened to me and what I did. Sometimes I do not handle situations properly but majority of the time I do and I still get bit in the butt for it.

I am an individual running a business. I sell on multiple platforms online and I have a store, a brick and mortar.  Ive noticed since I have moved in a number of things going missing.  Guess it goes with the territory of operating a store.  On occasion something would just disappear and I would not notice until someone online buys it and I cant find it! So now I look like an idiot trying to sell something I do not have in inventory. It does not happen often but once in a while.

A few weeks ago I got an order for a beanie. I was a little surprised as we just cleaned up our 'hat' section and I dont remember seeing one of those.  Well I looked and looked every where I could think of and I could not find it.  I emailed the buyer with an apology and refunded the money they paid.  This was in a few hours of the purchase.  A few days later I noticed the transaction was still 'waiting to be shipped'... so I called eBay.  They tell me there is a glitch where pay pal is not telling eBay I refunded money to the buyer and that I should just archive the transaction so I 'dont see it'.  So I do and think nothing of it.  Mistakes happen and most people are understanding in this situation, others are not.

Imagine my surprise when last friday I notice a negative remark! The buyer claims I never refunded the money & I wasted their time! Im floored!  So I think back and research, I refunded almost 3 weeks ago! Not only that I did email they buyer. So I call eBay about their glitch causing a buyer to think I did not refund them.  Well too bad it does not qualify for feedback removal so I am stuck with it, I tried to email the buyer and guess what? The email bounced back! Imagine that, how pissed was I. I submitted a feedback adjustment but thats all up to the buyer.   Now I wait and since the buyers email does not work my message will just go unanswered.

Monday morning I wake up to yet another negative remark!  I dont think I have ever gotten two in a matter of 3 days in my whole eBay life!  I check my account on the mobile app for questions and check feedback at the same time.  So no idea whats going on or who the buyer was. I needed to check into it when I get into my store.

Turns out this person purchase a dozen crystal suncatchers from me, this person just put feedback that said: 1/2 the products sent were chipped and damaged.  So on my drive in Im thinking maybe it was damaged in transit cause I know I packed it tight with tissue paper and well it was going to Canada.   So I get into the office and get this email:

**** I copy and print exactly as written, we simply remove contact info: 

Hi There,

I'd like you to know that I've left negative feedback w/out contacting you for the following reasons. I received my box in perfect condition, no damage. When I opened the box and un-wrapped each of the individual crystals I found no crystal pieces to indicated it was damaged in shipping but yet at least 1/2 of them were damaged, ie: many of the crystal pieces at the bottom were chipped & damaged. Leading me to believe that these were wrapped and shipped to me knowing the condition of the product - damaged, as mentioned box was in perfect condition & there was no crystal debris, so it didn't happen in shipping. I purchased these as an added bonus to my brides maid & family gifts for our wedding and cannot not use half of them as they are so damaged I wouldn't even hang them in my own window.

Thank you so very much for wasting my time....

What a slap in the face!  I have never had a fight in my life so all I could do was shake, a few hours later as I write this now Im thinking Bridezilla? I also reviewed feedback they have left for others and this person is a negative nelly. This is what I call buyers that a chronic when it comes to leaving negative feedback.  We also pulled out the rest of our crystals for examination and did not find anything wrong with them. So I have no idea what this buyer is talking about.

Well I reply, it was short and simple.

We are not in the business of sending damaged merchandise. We would be happy to refund you upon return of said items. When we packed these we did not see any visible damage, nor were we looking as they are still in their original packaging received from the manufacture. Perhaps its a manufacture defect.

All you needed to do was send us an image of the 'defect' and we would have sent replacements. 

The crystals are still in the baggies I got them in from the manufacture, all I did was pull them out and place them into tissue paper and into a box for shipment. If there were chips I didnt notice them as I was not looking for them.  I didnt think I was rude in my email at all. I tell everyone if they just send me an image of the defect or damage I would help them out.  At this point I really didnt want to help them since they seemed to be set in their decision.

Then I get this reply:

Looks like you are in the business of sending damaged products, I see several other complaints, some even stating their product was damaged in the same way. I've already given them to my niece to hang in her outside tree house, only good place for them. I have a right to cop an attitude as I was sold crap, you on the other hand, another story. They were not in manufacturer pkging... they were wrapped in used, ripped, tissue paper... I'll just take my business elsewhere in the future. You're clearly blind if you couldn't see the chips & shards missing from the large hanging crystals.

I'd appreciate if you stop continuing to waste my time... here's a thought, maybe sell un-damaged products! :)

So now Im heated cause they didnt read my email I wrote before, they accuse me of selling 'crap' and that I am 'blind'!  Who says that kind of stuff?  I wrapped them in NEW tissue paper not used and they were never shipped in manufacture packaging besides how would they know if thats how I got them or not?  And even admits to having an attitude. Again I didnt think my reply was rude.  So the buyer decided to give them away. Seriously if you got something that was not in good condition wouldnt you contact the buyer? Ask for a refund? Replacement?

My reply:

Im trying to be nice here, and your being rude and obnoxious. I said I still have the crystals in the original packing, which I took out and wrapped in tissue paper when it was shipped. Thanks for reading my email and seeing only what you want. Ive blocked you already just stay away from us and we will no longer see you in the future. 

Figured Im done right? Well no - they had to put another knife in my chest with this reply:

Rude and obnoxious? Grow up! You are a real beaut! Have a great day!

At which point I asked them to stop harassing me or I will report them.

Unfortunately the only thing I can do about it reply to the feedback left for me.  Which may or may not tell my story since the buyers can reply to my reply and make the situation look even worse than it was!  Which this buyer did.

I was so hurt, people forget that I have feelings and I have to stop taking the feedback personally. It almost feels like they are saying Im a horrible person.  I try my best to do everything right and all it takes is one person to bring me down. This business is cut throat already buyers dont need to aggravate the issue.

So I have to remember negative feedback is like having scars. Thankfully some scars eventually go away.  Im going to attempt to report this buyer in any case. Lets see what happens.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pinterest - My review

So I heard of this site called Pinterst.  Not the first time I heard it but we actually spoke about it a meeting we had last week and it peeked my interest.

So the very next day I started browsing the site.  So many images to view so little time.  I think I spent a few hours on this site. You can find A LOT of images on a specific topic, word, saying, quote. Whatever!

Well in order to join someone has to invite you, otherwise I hear it can take a few days to be allow in. Well I got my invite and joined right away!  Turned out upon joining my Facebook profile was automatically changed to the Timeline feature.  From what I read all profiles are changing by the end of March anyway.  Nothing I could do about it so I dealt with it.

So Im on Pinterest, now what?

Oh boy!  I created a couple of boards, gave them titles, some of the titles were left alone. I started browsing.  Right away I pinned a few things and 'liked' a few things, you can even 'like' right on to Facebook!

So I find myself browsing the site daily just looking at different categories and searching by words.  You can be on this site for days and I thought Facebook was addicting!  Ive even learned to upload images to include on my board, which other people have pinned for themselves!

So think of it this way, you post an image, your friends that are following you see the pin and they pin themselves to your image, and so on and so on... its a great way to get your images out there for everyone to see!

Follow me here: