Saturday, June 5, 2010

In the Weeds

I ordered a custom item to use for my cards from a seller about a month ago, and before I could review and approve a proof the order was processed and sent to me. And it was wrong. I immediately contacted the seller and let them know that my order was wrong, asked what to do with the order I received, and when I could get a corrected order sent to me.

I got a response three days later apologizing and letting me know that I could keep the incorrect order (it's not unusable, just not made according to my specifications) and that a new order would be shipped to me.

That was almost two weeks ago.

Now, I've ordered before from this seller, and she's always been nice and her products ARE superior to any that I have found in her category. So in all honesty, I am not worried that I won't get my order, and I'm pretty patient, most of the time.

I have looked at this seller's feedback and have noticed the same thing happening with some other buyers- incorrect orders, late orders, late to respond to notifications of incorrect orders.

Look, when you make so many sales that the negatives and neutrals don't affect your 100% feedback, you really can't get so careless to think that word of mouth can't ruin your business. Before my situation I referred this seller to many others who needed her products, and you know what they've told me? "I contacted them over a week ago for a custom order and I still haven't heard back from them". Not.Good. I'm hesitant to make any more referrals.

When you are so busy that you are making mistakes on orders, slow to respond to requests, slow to getting items shipped out in a timely manner or slow to respond to a customer telling you their item is incorrect, you are in the WEEDS. If you cannot fulfill the demand, you need to take action and do some positive things before you implode and totally ruin your 1000 plus sales and your "100%" feedback. And your shop as you know it.

1.) Hire help- really, if you are doing this well, you should be able to hire someone to help you part time to answer emails, print out orders and get you organized.
2). Quit selling at so many venues- Seriously, if you can't keep up with orders from your main shop, you can't keep up with selling on Face Book, Art Fire, Zibbet, or wherever else you may be selling. I'm ALL for selling where ever you can to increase your sales, but if you can't keep up, you are in the WEEDS.
3). STOP PRODUCTION until you can catch up! The world will not come to an end of you shut your shop down for a few days to catch up. Your customers will understand, and respect you for it.
4). RESPOND to your customers! I don't care how busy you are. Three days to get back to me is two days too long.

And don't think that just because you make lots of sales and do well that you will continue to do so. There are LOTS of shops that did well and are no longer selling because they couldn't keep up with the work load. They were in the WEEDS and they let it affect their reputation as a seller.
Don't let that happen to you.

Don't be a WEED BAG.

OK, I'm done with this post. I think.

I'll keep you guys updated on this one, as well.

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