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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why can't you just ship already???

It is a matter of pride to me that I ship my packages right away. Sure, it takes that extra 5 min. to go to the post office daily, but a satisfied customer is there for life. No matter what goes wrong in an order, if you ship fast you can still have a mostly positive experience.

Here's my rant about what gets to me in a bad ship. It's one thing if a seller lets you know up front that they do not actually have the product made or carry it in their stock. Even when the shop owner says that one of their suppliers is late delivering, I can handle hearing that. I wouldn't buy something that I knew wasn't already made, however, a lot of people would.  I just get so excited when I purchase something that I want to receive it as fast as possible. Especially if it's a gift or something I need for an event. What keeps happening to me is that sellers lie and says it's available now, then tell you 2 weeks later they have just shipped it.

As a long time internet seller I have been tempted to relist immediately or state that I have more available then I do. But in the end it would only hurt my business and put me behind. A wise eBayer once told me that you should always take pictures of the new version of an item. That way someone cannot come back to you later and say why are these ear hooks gold but pictured in silver? Why is the design placed differently? I used to use a disclaimer for this and I got into feedback trouble more than once. So my point is, why would you say something pictured was in stock now and have it backfire on you in the end? It makes me feel like you don't care about your shop, customer loyalty, or your products.

Here's my easy peasy ship tips;

International, it ain't no thing:) You are probably going to the post office for tracking, insurance, etc. at least once a week if you are a successful seller. So what's the big deal about attaching a green form?? I take a stack from the post office and put it in my shipping station so I can just fill out it quickly and attach. You really do not have to go into detail on them I just put accessories. Which I feel is an all encompassing term for anything you wear☺ I am not going to go into the gift thing or not here, you do whatever feels right for your biz.

Buy some nice bubble mailers please! I get a lot of packages with crummy envelopes and messy reused mailers. I want my items that I buy "new" to look "new." I recycle a lot in my personal business but there are limits. My jewelry customers do not want to see a big mess when they receive my items. It just shows a lack of caring on my part to do this. Besides, I find that most of the time the wrapping is so poorly done the package gets damaged in shipment thus ruining my presents:( I have bought 100 bubble mailers before for $20 which included shipping. I don't feel cost is an excuse here and if you don't have this amount of money to pay for shipping, then you aren't ready to take on customers yet. IMHO, (in my humble opinion).

Shipping cost - Do not ever, ever, ever, expect customers to contact you to find out what their item will cost to ship. 99% of these people will never come back and shop with you again. Please clearly state your shipping policy to avoid this. Include international and domestic prices. If you insist on listing every different ship price per country, per weight of items shipped, you will be making a HUGE amount of work for yourself and your customers. The problems and questions you receive will be daily annoyances. Which brings me to my next philosophy on shipping...

Handling Cost - For gosh sakes people, why do you have to account to everyone for your shipping/handling cost? No one but you knows what goes into this. What if you have to drive 20 miles to the post office? Or the only way for you to pay yourself back for ship supplies, packaging, etc. is to go above the postage cost? Determine how much over the actual ship price you need to go and do this also for additional items sent. This is one BIG reason not to just ship for actual postage. You will never get your handling $$ back in your pocket and you will probably get into a ton of arguments and refunds of over postage when customers look at the labels for their packages. Please don't do this, I'm begging you.

Pretty pretty - This kinda goes back to the bubble mailer discussion. Have you ever received a B&B product that got all yucky in the mail because the seller didn't package correctly? Think this through for everything you sell. I don't want to receive anymore melted lip balm or dirty soap:( Whatever minimal packaging you think is enough  to keep your item safe from your hands to your customer, always add more! I used to scoff at all that bubble wrap on plastic jewelry. Well, after some really pissed off customers who had broken rings and refunds ASAP, I learned my lesson. I have always triple packaged, (plastic jewelry bag, organza bag, and outside pretty, pretty, cellophane bag. Now I also wrap bubble wrap around the plastic jewelry bag. It's not overkill, believe me. I hate when customer's receive broken items. It's embarrassing to me and no matter how it turns out you've lost a customer. Also, why can't we use nice looking shipping supplies? You can get 100's of cellophane bags for pennies. Do it now your customers will thank you for it later.

The post office is your new best friend. I not only do my po thing daily but I put a lot of love into it. I have been going to the same po for 3 years now and I know all the postal clerks by first name. They have paid shipping for me when I screwed up, calibrated my postal scale, and let me throw internationals w/postage at them without waiting in line. Friendships at the post office are priceless. Especially with the holidays coming up and super long lines.

Okay, I think I've covered everything I stand behind regarding shipping. If I've missed anything please feel free to comment here. Now get out there and ship international people!!

Love the love,

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