Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Moving from NY to CA

Earlier in 2013 we found out that we were moving to California. It was not a planned it was more unexpected, a surprise - a shock lol.

The DH went to California on his first business trip for 2 weeks during Easter, it quickly turned into 3 weeks. All he could tell me was how fantastic and beautiful it was, the people we nice and they loved him there, the weather was perfect, and then he says theres a job opening for exactly what he does.

I quickly said why dont you apply and see what happens, imagine how surprised we were to see he was offered the job and a transfer was in process, We were moving to California.

Now I always wanted to move out of New York but most New Yorkers move south on the east coast not the west coast lol.

He returned back to NY and stayed for only about 2-3 weeks and was gone again. In a short time I had to sell all the things in our house, put the house up for sale, pack and plan a move. They put him in a hotel and gave him a rental car for a few months. Time was quickly running away from us.  At first I was going to stay in NY till October as I had previous commitments booked and I felt bad having to cancel events. Then there was our child, should I have her go to school in NY for a few months and then move?

In the end we cancelled those events and decided to move in August. It turned out the week we picked was still bad as school had started in the middle of the month so she was  going to miss a little over a week of school.  The school district told us to register her for school on August 1st even though she wasn't going to attend right away but to insure she was able to attend.

After much research we shipped the DH motorcycle, drove across in my Prius and used ABF to get our stuff that we were taking to CA.  Now we got rid of all our furniture, sold, donated and threw away a ton of stuff!  There were many options to this, at first we were going to rent a truck and tow my car, we even thought of using one of those pods but that was even more. To rent a truck it meant over 1K in just gas, plus around 3K for the rental and tow, not counting the hotels, meals and where exactly were we going to place our two cats and dog. We thought of using pods and fly but that was even more.  We found ABF which allowed us to use truck space and it was hauled. It was based on space used which made sense.   It was more expensive if they took the truck to us to load and unload so what we did was rent a truck to load, drive it up to the ABF station and load the ABF truck. We reserved 15 feet of space and ended up using only 9 which was fantastic! We saved a lot of money doing it this way, thing was it meant that when our stuff got to CA we had to rent another truck, load it from the stuff off the ABF truck and drive to our new place.

It sounds a bit crazy loaded and unloaded multiple times but it worked out and it was a lot cheaper then any other way we found. We loaded the ABF truck on a Friday it arrived the following Monday. It was not that bad, our stuff shifted a little bit and some containers sank and bent out of shape but I dont think anything actually broke on us.

Renting the truck locally was a flat rate plus milage, plus replacement gas on both ends of the trip, the ABF truck quoted us for 15 feet and had an adjustment of $119 for each foot taken away or added. The truck cost about $100 on each side, the ABF truck cost just under 3K.  Our Prius cost about $200 in gas, hotel and food we were going to pay no matter which if we drove the car or truck ourselves.

So our journey began on route 80 heading west.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Moved to California

Its been a while since I have blogged and Ill admit its because Ive been depressed.  The past few months have been so stressful I just cant get myself to do anything.  I dont think I have ever been so stressed.

Let see:  The DH left in March for that business trip, gone for three weeks. Came back just after Easter for about 3 weeks and left again to start the new job in California. I had to close my gift store at the end of April, we moved all my stuff to storage and we spent our 10 year anniversary having a garage sale and he left a few days later on Mother's Day.  I spent the next few weeks packing, donating and selling everything in our house and in storage. All alone as my DH was in California working.

At the end of June I flew out to California for 10 days where the DH showed me around and so we could find a place to live. 10 days to do all this when we had not seen each other for about 5 weeks.  We did find a place to rent which he moved into at the start of July, he was living in a hotel his job put him in.  July 1 I had to fly back to New York.  Finished selling everything else that I could, donating even more stuff, more garage sales, and finally planning for the actual move. I found out my older sons were not going with me and I was devastated.

After much back and forth we finally decided to use ABF to move our our stuff that we were taking and we were going to drive across the country.  Something I was dreading.  Mid August DH flies back to NY and we just finished as much as we could. I did a lot but of course it wasnt enough.  In a matter of 4 days we cleaned, packed the ABF truck, loaded our car and left.

I have a Prius so imagine myself, the DH and my youngest, along with the dog and two cats.  Almost 2900 miles, 5 days, 4 hotels, fast foods, meowing and dog whimpering we made it to California. Left my whole family, friends and everything I was used to, to come and live in a new place.

Now dont get me wrong its nice living in California. The weather is actually very nice and Im looking forward to living in a place without snow but I have not left this apartment in 2 months.  I dont know anyone and I cant figure out where to start.  Ive never felt so lost before, so alone.  I keep a strong facade but inside Im crying.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

eBays ETA on shipping screwing sellers over

Once again eBay is making changes. In the all the years we have been selling online eBay has made more changes in the past 5 years then Amazon and etsy combined!

Why is that?  Who really knows, but I am noticing a new things that is really bothering me. Does eBay own the post office now? Amazingly they know delivery dates. Why does eBay think its ok to tell a buyer when they will get the item?  Ive been doing this for many years and yea there are others doing this a lot longer than I have.  But one thing is always the same, the post office service is unpredictable.  How can eBay say an item would take 4 days to get across the country?

Let me explain:

I had a buyer purchase an item on Saturday May 25th after 5PM pm here on the east coast, so 2PM on the west coast. The buyer is located in the state of Washington.  Well naturally we could not ship as our local post office closes at noon on Saturday, not to mention it was already after 5PM anyway!  Sunday we packed it and knew it would not go out until Tuesday because Monday was Memorial day and the post offices across the US would be closed.  Tuesday came we took the package to the post office and it was on the way.

On June 3rd I notice we got a 'neutral' feedback and wonder what now!  Well this buyer is complaining because the package is 3 days late and we are wondering how is that possible.  After researching it, the order is telling the buyer that this item is 'Fast N Free' and will arrive on or before May 31st, how is that possible?  How is it possible for us to ship an order on Saturday when everything is closed and how is it possible they were told it would be delivered on May 31st?  And why does the USPS indicated it would be delivered on June 3rd?  And why does the buyer blame sellers when packages arrive 'late' according to eBay?

This buyer is not taking the time difference or the fact we are on the opposite coast as they are into consideration.  Nor the fact that it was a holiday weekend.

So we call eBay, they think Im asking for feedback removal and I keep reminding them thats not why I was calling. Why would eBay promise to a buyer that a package would arrive by a certain date?  Why would they not take into consideration the fact that the buyer purchased this out side of 'normal business hours' and it was impossible for us to ship the same day? Had it been any other day we would have been able to ship the same day.

When I review my listing Im thinking its because it has 'FREE' shipping!  Ive changed the shipping zip code to NC, FL and CA and it consistently shows the item will arrive in 4 days, how is that possible?  They of course say the feedback would not be removed and I continue to say thats not why I was calling.   Then they tell me I should contact the buyer and ask them to change it!  But this is not something I created, we've done nothing wrong, we never told the buyer it would arrive May 31st,  its something eBay created!

You've seen it,... I have shipped packages to Hawaii that arrive in 4 days, I have also shipped packages 4 hours north of my location and seen it take 2 weeks!  How can they be allowed to make false promises to buyers?

Another peeve I noticed is the time, have you ever tried to print a label after 6PM and it still shows todays date?  If I go to purchase an item after 6PM it will still say it would be shipped today even if it can not be.  Not until around after 8PM if I try to print a label would the system actually adjust the date for the following date.  Call me crazy but they should not include Saturday at all since every location has various hours on Saturday and some are not even open on Saturday.

Their posted hours are on the pacific coast time which leaves the east coast with an unfair advantage.   They need to reconsider their program that gives these ETAs and modify it.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

We are moving to California!

Ive known for about two weeks now and it has not really sank in I guess.  The job my DH applied for is his and he starts on May 13! We are excited and nervous as there is much to do.

I had to close my store first of all. The landlord was not happy, I was already planning to move to anther location and had given him proper notice. I did not pay April rent and was delayed in it, I was hoping that they would help me out. Instead I got an ear full of cursing and yelling and man did I feel like crap. In the end he got his money and left me alone. We moved all my stuff in one day.  Hard to believe I had so much crap!  I had to rent a storage unit and the rest is in my house right now.

The next step is to put our house on the market.  We had some crazy things with that as we interviewed a few realtors and got so many various scenarios, all with the same information.   They always tell you to talk to a few before choosing one. It was a good idea as you can really tell who is really looking out for you and who is just looking to make a quick buck.  We spoke with 4 and two of them were just like, blah and wanted us to just short sale the house when we didnt have too.  One of them says you'll never get what you want, you will have to sell it for what you paid for it 11 years ago!  Man Ive never seen the DH didnt kick someone out of here so fast.   The third says we have to short sale but gave us a price that the first person gave us.  The price the realtor gave us would have us 'break even' not short sale at all.  So we eventually settled on one and hope it will work out.

Then we have to figure out moving.  We are so tossed on a few options:

1. Sell everything we can, donate the rest, ship out incidentals and the cars and fly over.
2. Sell everything we can, rent a truck and drive across the country.
3. Keep everything and drive across the country.

You wouldnt believe how much those shipping boxes are! One company quoted us almost 5K for a 16ft x 8ft x 7ft box to ship over. Payable in installments which was nice but still high, that didnt not include the cost to ship the cars over and fly.

Renting a truck for cross country of course was less but then to hitch the car, drive for like 5 days, stop at hotels and meals, gas, that alone was over 1K - we are still looking at over 4K.

If we use a moving company and keep everything and have them ship it over it was going to cost almost 6K, plus the cost of the car and flying.  We could drive but then again gas, hotel, meals would cost the same as shipping the car and flying.

I think we are going to sell everything we can, donate what does not sell and ship out important things that can not fly over. Its the cheapest and Im not interested in driving across the country.  LOL.

Still not sure about my online business, sure I can do it from anywhere but I have to do more research.

Work it out via email

Whats with people these days opening cases on eBay? Is this a new feature? No its been there forever! So why is it when there is an issue people are quick to open a case instead of sending an email and say 'hey! you messed up'  NOOOOO

The number of cases opening is crazy! This should be something to resort to when there is truly an issue or when the seller does not respond or when an agreement is not reached not as a first resort.

eBay should ask those questions before allowing someone to open a case. Why does eBay have to be in the middle of an issue that can be corrected by a simple email?  If I send the wrong thing just email me, say hey I got the wrong thing can you fix it?  Or if something happens upon receipt, say hey this item is cracked or broken can you send a replacement.  Nooooo.... the first thing they are doing now is using eBay to open a case, I guess I should be glad that they are not holding my funds!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Telemarketer strikes back!

A few months ago we inadvertently signed up for something that we thought was something else. You know how that happens right?  We were at a convention were multiple things were going on and there was a large table in the hall surrounded by many people filling out these forms. The sign said win a $500 gift certificate to Home Depot! So of course we were like OK, didnt think about it and signed up for it and forgot about it.

A month later we get a call from someone at a place called Blue Green Resorts. She goes on to tell me that we signed up to get information at a convention center, the exact same one as mentioned above. I was like I wouldn't sign up for information on timeshare resorts.  She goes on to give me more details and it all comes back to me. We signed up to win a give certificate to Home Depot not for information on Blue Green Resorts. She of course has no idea what I am talking about but was nice about it and I said we are not interested just remove our number from your list. She agrees and I think thats the last I hear about it.

Just last week I get a call from guess who? Yup Blue Green Resorts, telling me how I signed up at the convention center requesting information. I said no we didnt and the conversation goes back to yes I did, So now Im pissed of course and I say "We didnt sign up for that, it was a gift certificate to Home Depot and I told you people to remove...." I never got to finish that sentence. The man on the other end cuts me off and says 'I am not YOU PEOPLE, I am a consumer just like you and dont appreciate you says YOU PEOPLE, Jesus is my savior and ...' I stopped listening since I was in shock now.  I did hear him say that we were removed from the list yet again and that we should pay attention to what we sign up for.

I said thank you and hung up.  Never have I had someone do that!

Someone has opened a case against me... now what? Amazon or eBay

We have had our share of cases. Most of them unfounded and in our favor anyway. Many of them used improperly.

The first thing is not to panic. There are many times of 'cases' that can open against you. Ill start with Amazon first.

On Amazon someone can open an A-Z Claim or a Chargeback.  A Chargeback is usually when a buyer complains to their credit card company about a charge not being theirs. So its a 'fraudulent'. In the past 3 years we have seen 2 chargebacks on our account. Or rather we have noticed there were 2.  These usually happen in behind the scenes, sometimes they will ask you to provide details to help with the case but since everything is done online you are really protected especially if the item was marked delivered.  Both cases were escalated in our case but they were dealt with by Amazon. We proved they were shipped and received by the buyer and Amazon decided to refund the buyer on their own, we were not held responsible. Unfortunately there are a few dishonest people out there.

An A-Z Claim is when a buyer is disappointed with a product or it was damaged, defective or wrong, or non receipt.  We have had about 3 of these over the years. The most recent was a buyer claiming they did not receive the item. Turned out it was sitting in the post office! They never picked it up or answered the door since it need a signature, Amazon immediately refunded the buyer because the item truly was not delivered, rightfully so. So at that moment I contacted the post office over there and told them to return it to me. Which they did at least I had the product back.

We had one case years ago where they buyer claimed they were over charged shipping. Its one of those where the buyer does not read the listing and selected two day shipping for an item and yells at us telling us it was supposed to be FREE... you know what Im talking about.  Needless to say we won that case but not without getting a nice big fat negative on our rating.  We are starting to call them battle scars lol.

I get a kick out of it when a buyer says they were never informed of the prices! I mean Im actually not a big buyer online but I know that Amazon and eBay show you the prices of the item and shipping MANY times over before you say send payment. Amazon also gives buyers 30 minutes to change the order! So they get an email and they can see the order in front of them!

On eBay buyers can open a case with eBay or Paypal. Most cases with Paypal hold funds on your account until the item is either returned or the buyer escalates the issue and Paypal refund them.  We've seen that happen only a handful of times. When someone opens a case with paypal they never expect that they have to return the item. I ALWAYS  say they have to return the item before we will issue a refund.   We had one were there was a chargeback. I was totally shocked as they buyer ordered a personalized item and we had a complete conversation with this buyer! Not only that they lefts us positive feedback the same day they received it! I had to upload the conversation to paypal and in the end they found in my favor and they dealt with the credit card company.

There are these other 'cases' buyers are opening on eBay. Ive had two in the past month. They work a little differently. The buyer says the item is not described and eBay says we have to 'work it out' perhaps until the buyer is satisfied or closed the case. Not exactly sure what happens on their end.  But what gets me is when they use the wrong thing. Example: The one I got today said the item was not as described, but then it says they want a replacement as its broken. So which is it?  Last one said same thing... but I fixed that. Apparently we shorted an item so we sent them out and they got it. So how does sending one to little mean item not as described?  These cases dont hold funds against us but it still makes me wonder.

What I dont get is why people are so quick to open a 'case' against us when they can just send an email telling what the issue is.

We once had a buyer accuse us of listing the wrong color.  Im like its blue you got blue how is that wrong?  Buyer says the picture is light blue, the item is dark blue, or it may have been the other way around I forget but Im like seriously?  Its not like you got it in red, now thats a wrong color. Disclaimers started becoming a staple in our listings.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Considering drop shipping?

Half the sellers online use this method to sell products. Why not? Its easy, all you have to do it list the items on your website, sell it, place the order with the company, pay your cost and the rest is yours!  Easy no?

When I first started selling online I said I would personally never, ever do that.  One of the main reason is because you dont see the product, your looking at it just like anyone else and trusting that the quality is what it says it supposed to be. Your also trusting that the item is in stock for them to ship it.  Your trusting that the company is doing everything to ensure that the item arrives undamaged and as it is described on their website!  There is a lot of trust behind a computer.

The other reason is that there are many companies promoting to eBay and Amazon other size to sellers to drop ship their item and it turns into everything else... hundreds of sellers selling the same exact item and eventually someone is selling the item at cost and you cant sell it like that since you make nothing. Now you have to research again for items to sell.

When selecting a drop shipper be sure you can view their products BEFORE you agree to sell it. Im talking about handling the item.  There a tons of companies covering all kinds of products so dont stick with one just because they advertise in a magazine and you think they must be good.  No take your time and search around the internet.  Look for manufactures that drop ship too.

There are many companies that do not charge a drop fee. I seek these out cause any MORE fees you have to pay come out of your pocket. Request samples or order them if you have to. At least you will get an idea of what you are dealing with.  I would rather pay for a sample then try and sell a horrible product that you will have to accept as a return cause the buyer does like it and lose money.  Dont tell me you wont accept returns cause its just not possible. Remember these buyers can call their credit cards to dispute a transaction and just like that you are out the money and the product.  Accept returns and re-list the item even if you have to do it at a deep discount.

Be sure to review weights of the item in question.  Ill give you an example:  I had this item listing in my store.  It was a sash, it weighed maybe 5 ounces. They purchased the item for say $6. So according to my shipping calculators they only paid $3 to ship it. This is fine if I am sending it myself via USPS. I would pay just about $2 to send it and all is done right? Well for drop shipping this particular company had a drop fee and used UPS so if I submitted this item for drop ship I would be seriously underwater.   Lets do math - Total they paid me $9 - the item would cost me $3 plus $2.50 drop ship fee - 5.50 - the shipping fee could be anywhere from $4 to $9! Not counting the fees for that transaction where am I at? At the lowest shipping fee I would be under by 50 cents BEFORE transaction fees! Is that worth it? No way!  

Stick with items that are over a pound for drop shipping.

You want to deal with items people are looking for yes but you need to profit at.  I have some items listing my store for $50, they cost $25. The weight they tell me is like 3 pounds but I enter them as 6 pounds. Not to charge an excessive amount of shipping but to make sure that I am covered.  The buyer paid me $15 in shipping and the drop shipper charged me $13 to ship the item so I made $2 on shipping plus $25 on the item.

Remember most shipping companies are zone specific.  A 3 pound package from NY to VA will cost less then a that same package from NY to CA. Many programs are not that complex to be able to tell you in advance what the shipping costs will be.  Since we ship across the country its better to have a buffer with the shipping then to end up eating it.

Where do you find drop shippers??  Besides online?  Believe it or not many of my current vendors offered drop shipping and I had no idea.  Read their terms and ask them to see if they do it and how its offered.

Good Luck in your search.

Moving to another state

Its quite possible now.  The spouse went on a business trip to California, three weeks out there and he loves it.  The place, the people, the weather, the location... he applied for the open position out there.  I suggested it when he first found out but he was a little scared.  After the second week he finally applied for the job.  They said it was his, they still have to create an 'offer' for him to review and accept so we are still up in the air at this point.

Im so nervous about it. Ive never lived anywhere but NY, I lived in North Carolina for like 4 months but thats not really living is it?  While we wait there are so many thing to consider... Ive always wanted to move but to Florida not California.  Everyones got their opinions and thats fine but I hate NY and it just grows more and more every year.  Cant stand the cold, ice or snow.  And yea Florida has hurricanes and California has earthquakes, but dont forget in the past few years we had two hurricanes and a tropical storm that knocked out the tri state area for well over a week!

So much to investigate, so much to review. I am fortunate that I can do my business virtually anywhere in the US so it does not matter where I go. But now I have to learn new rules, sales tax requirements, business requirements, etc. Should I sell everything and start over all new at the new location.  Will we find a place big enough so I can work from home? Should I try a store front at the new location?

So many people move across the country, every one has their own opinion of where we should live. Its hard to listen to everyone.

I pray this is an easy transition.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Why negative feedback means nothing

Of all the years we have been selling and buying on Amazon and eBay we have had our share of negatives and neutrals. What makes it worse is how little positive we receive. Maybe no news is good news?

This is why negatives and neutrals means nothing.. at least to me.

When I receive a negative or neutral I can remember each case. Its causes a scar in my memory and sticks there.  With the details I receive I try to fix things so it does not happen again in the future.  There are times when someone will leaving a negative or neutral for no reason at all.  There area also some people out there that you just cant please no matter what you do! 

Ill give examples:

The newest neutral we got says: When they went to use them they tore and didnt work... etc.  What are they talking about? We sell tattoo stencils. They are one time use items and made for professional artist. Not only that these are NOT cheap ones from china, these are made in the USA of top grade materials and it takes a lot of strength to tear them.  If they dont work for the buyer its because they dont know how to use them. Its like those commercials where you see the doctor trying to be a construction worker. It takes a lot of patiences and practice to use these. 

When your not familiar with how to use the product how is it the sellers fault that you dont know how to use them? 

A recent neutral on Amazon (score of 3 out of 5) says: Item could have been described better. I had expected something more colorful and a higher gloss to the finish. At this point I'm undecided as whether to keep or send back. 

I was going to ask Amazon to remove this since its a product description but as it turns out when a buyer checks 'no' under the items as described it means Amazon will not remove it.  The problem I have with this is that since I am not the only seller of this item  Amazon groups the information into one listing, its not totally bad 'but' if one of the sellers 'write' or uses the 'wrong image' then its 'wrong' for everyone! I have a current listing of a frog item and the image shows an owl because the 'buy box' belongs to someone with the same title but the wrong image. So it screws the rest of the sellers up. I did contact this person and offered a refund if they didnt want the item and it turns out they want to keep it and are pleased with it?!? So Im confused but now Im stuck with this feedback. Yes I could ask them to revise it but is it worth the trouble? 

The other day I got a score of 4, ok its not bad but they complained about the post office being slow. The item was delivered within the eta provided by Amazon, can you image how crazy its going to get when they stop delivering on saturday? Why dont I use UPS or FedEx? Cause 99% of my items are under a pound and its just not worth it to me. 

Newest negative... this is my favorite:  I had gotten an email from a buyer asking where their items are. So in my investigation the description provided by USPS days 'Available for pickup' . I admit its something I had never seen before so I just copied and pasted it and emailed it to the buyer telling them they may have to pick it up and they should contact the local post office as they have it. Immediately I got a reply saying:

why do I need to pick it up when it suppose to deliver to my home address? it is seller's responsibility to ensure delivery. The tracking number didn't state that usps has attempt any delivery. is it because of insufficient postage? im not happy

So I replied trying to sooth the buyer: 

Sorry you're not happy, please understand I dont represent the post office, its in their possession and at last scan it says Awaiting Pickup. This could mean anything, it could be on the truck on route to your house, it could be awaiting the carrier to 'pick it up' and deliver it, it could be at your house right now. Their system does not update until after the carriers return from delivering the mail. So it may not update till later or tomorrow. I would suggest you contact your local post office directly. They would be able to help you better then I can from all the way over here.

I think I replied well. I didnt get a reply back after that and the next day I replied again in the AM as the USPS now shows it was delivered the day before! Strangely enough delivered just before I got the first email asking where the item was.

Then I noticed they left negative feedback saying:

Package missing and no help from seller. No sense of responsibility.Disappointed

To my surprise of course... as I thought I was helping. I replied:

Here I thought I was being nice by letting you know the package was delivered yesterday as I said it would be and I am sure you know it was delivered as you received it. Even eBay is telling me you received it yesterday. Surprised I just saw that you decided to leave negative feedback claiming the package is missing and I was not helping you?

Was I not trying to help?

And of course I didnt hear back.

Here is my thinking of the whole situation.

If you purchased an item, doesnt matter where, what wesite, what buyer... if the item you purchased does not show up what do you do? Ive had items marked delivered (yes I have) and not received so I contact the seller and of course tell them I didnt get it, send another. But if that didnt work I dont know about you I would file a complaint with my credit card company or with the company I purchased the item from. Off ALL the negatives I have ever received buyers have NEVER filed a case against me. NEVER asked for a refund. Ive NEVER given a refund. Dont say you dont want to offend a seller, dont say you want to do the right thing, ... call me crazy, if your item NEVER arrived why would you allow yourself to LOSE MONEY?

A buyer can file a case and no one would really know if a case was filed against the seller but I KNOW! All the negative leavers are just grouchy people looking to ruin the reputations of genuine sellers.

If your in a situation where you item has not arrived contact the seller, dont get mad, they dont own the delivery company. They provide a service and call me crazy but they should not be held responsible for what a delivery company does!  The USPS, FedEx and UPS ALL LOSE items!  Thats their fault! Dont lie just to get a second one! Thats not fair to anyone and lies catch up with you.  Just be honest and give people chances. 

And thats why negatives mean nothing... To me...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fraudulent buyer on Amazon?

An item was returned recently and was very suspicious.  The envelope was basically empty, only the crayola box was inside.

We send a pack of colored pencils by Crayola to a correctional facility as request on the order.  Upon return was saw the envelope was opened and re-taped, the pencils removed.  Reviewing the tracking information, the postal service shows that the item was delivered and 5 days later they took it back and marked it refused.

There are a few issues here.

1. The postal service accepting a package that was clearly delivered 5 days before, opened and re taped and marked refused and damaged. It all seems strange to me.
2. The fact partial contents were removed.

3. Amazon does not have a way to report buyer fraud only seller fraud.

We took pictures of the envelope inside and outside.  If you examine the images you can see that there are colored pencil markings inside the envelope. The Crayola boxes are not normally sealed so it was easy enough to just open the box and pull out the pencils.

I spoke with my local post office and they said the post office should not have accepted the package that was re taped the way it was.

Now I have a few more potential issues.

I reported it to Amazon thru the seller fraud link.  I couldn not upload images but I have them on my computer just incase. We are expecting a case to be opened from the buyer any day now and we even expect Amazon to side with the buyer since the package was returned to us.   We have proof there was something in the package by showing the receipt from the post office showing the ounces as 9. An empty envelope wouldn't weigh more then 2.

In all the years we have been selling online we have never seen anything like this before. Be warned - in recent weeks we have been wrapping all our items in paper and all to try and deter this, we are also placing labels along the opening of the envelopes so tracking numbers have to be ripped to be opened. I am hoping it helps stop people from opening a package, remove the contents and return the package.  We may have to return to using poly bags, not sure if that would be better then padded envelopes.  I also thought of using special marking tape.

Its a shame it has come to this.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Crazy Holiday Season

Its been a while and so much has happened I think I will have blog content for weeks!

That should be great!

Shortly after my last post the holiday season officially kicked in for me. My online sales went thru the roof!  I did exceed my last year sales but I think I shot my self in the foot because of fear and not having faith in myself.

I constantly purchase a low quantity of products. Mainly because Im afraid they will not sell, I am sure you know what I am talking about. That product that has been sitting in your store for months and has not moved. The clearance table that seems to just be growing bigger and bigger and the same stuff is in there! I cringe when a minimum order is in the thousands or the quantity minimum is in the dozens. Is that me thinking small? Fear of success? Costly to advertise and show others what you sell?

I am so tired of putting everything on sale to draw people in!  So how did I shoot myself in the foot?  Well I purchased these beautiful items in 3s and 6s cause of course what if they didnt sell and I would be stuck with these items! Well imagine my surprise at the speed I was selling them in! The worst part, this company was closed for the holiday! There are many companies I know that close for the last three weeks of December so nothing gets shipped.  Imagine how frustrating it is when these items sell out within a week and you cant get more!  Its even more frustrating when you do get a replenishment of a popular product and they dont move!

In any event we shipped well over 1000 orders this holiday season, its not a whole lot compared to many other companies but for a single person operation I think it was fantastic! It was very overwhelming for me but I managed.