It is not often that I complain, almost never publicly. You won't see me ramble on FaceBook or here on the blog. Today I won't complain either but I do want to lay my egg and share something with you.
As an online seller you have to deal with lots of things. You have to make pretty items, than you have to take good pictures to show those items accurately and in detail and be the eyes for the customer.
You have to explain each and every aspect of the item and also of your services like packaging, shipping, policies etc etc.
I enjoy these things, yes it is hard sometimes to do all these things, you have to do many kinds of jobs while your customers hardly know or acknowledge how much work you put in to it all. With handmade each and every item has your time and love in it and you take everything very personally.
The reason why I am saying all this? I love my work, mum and I feel blessed to do the work we love and we are grateful for each and every sale we make. After 10 years each sale is still a thrill, but there is always a but :)
Christmas is our busiest time, like most online sellers December is the month to make your year and have some extra cash. We had a busy Christmas, we offer registered shipping and express shipping, time frames are explained in each listing and lots of people choose express shipping. However even more did not. And here the problems started. Emails and Etsy convo's start to pour in the closer we got to Christmas. During Christmas everything got quiet but after Christmas things got worse.
You have to understand that on a good normal Sunny day shipping takes 15 days to the US, we live 500 miles from Istanbul so by the time our package goes from our postoffice to the main office of Istanbul about 3-4 days have already passed. After that it leaves Turkey and arrives in NY where millions of packages arrive and are sorted, some are checked at customs, this of course all takes time, but when all goes well it is 15 days.
During Christmas the millions of packages get many millions more and this is where USPS always gets stuck, even with extra workers they just can not manage, and this year was worse than ever.
Right now we still have 42 packages undelivered, all from December. We have emails, convo's, Etsy cases, Paypal cases, the whole stressful package, and we are of course feeling pretty down about it. With 1-2 packages worse case you can refund the buyer, but with this many that is impossible.
The worst part has been a few people who are practically yelling at you and treat you like sh*t, and are blaming you for slow shipping.
I try to explain; Christmas, bad weather, we are at the other side of the globe, simply the fact that it is out of our hands and that we offer express shipping to avoid such things. Also pointing out that we ship the packages within 2 business days of purchase. One buyer has sent 11 horrible emails, opened cases and still keeps saying that we provide horrible service every possible way, like we are the owners of USPS and enjoy keeping mail away from our customers.
So yes this is the part that sucks of our work; delays in shipment and the pissed off customers that come with those delays. Luckily most are understanding and patient, but a few do manage to make you feel horrible. I just wish we could beam things right over like in StarTrek, that would make the world a smaller and maybe better place? :)
If you are one of the waiting customers, thank you for your patience and understanding :)
If you are a seller living the same nightmare I would love to hear your stories :). If you are a seller who found the formula to keep all customers happy please share it :)