Thursday 19 January 2017

Snail Mail

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 :)


  1. I'm as a seller, agree with you. This Christmas was the worst in slowness. Before Christmas I spent hours every day tracked the items and sending histories via mail.... I have no magic formula, I was always helpful and kind with my customers, I resent some items. I feel now I can breath again, Christmas is over. I hope it is true!

  2. Hi Estellinha, I feel so sorry about this situation... It is not fair... Many people in this world don't even realize what is behind a job like this and don't undertand that there are somethings we cannot control... like deliveries. Next to you I'm toddler as far as Etsy is concerned, but I offer just one shipping method that is international priority mail (it can be registered or not). The price is good and I haven't had problems so far. Of course it is a bit expensive than normal shipping, but that's a choice I made. Who agree with it, good, you doesn't, I feel sorry but can't do anything. My itens are not heavy either.
    I hope all the packages that didn't arrive to their destinations yet get there quickly so you can relax. Sending much love in your direction. ♥
    (let's see if I can post this... I'm not used to blog...)

  3. So sorry for the situation. I offer standard shipping (priority mail with no tracking number) and Registered Mail (with tracking number). 99% of customers choose standard shipping and I had no problems and no delays with it. Last year I had problems with Registered Mail.

  4. Yes shipping sucks. You always end up having issues with it. I hope you undelivered packages do get delivered in the end!

  5. Sorry for your situation. That is a huge number of packages missing, I hope it will be resolved in your favor.
    I always send through standard mail, and had only one delay that I know of (but also had nowhere near your amount of sales).
    But maybe unregistered is an idea around Christmas for cheaper items?

  6. You wrote it so well!
    I am 100% agree with you! I had the chance to sell most of my Christmas orders in France so did not have problem this time but it seems to have been quite a mess this year!

  7. Yes, that kind of client really sucks, some people shows anger and frustration because it is the only thing they have inside... but hey! that it is never your fault. Everybody owns his own feelings. Hope you can feel a little bit better and that every thing turns out the best way possible for you and your mom, your are a lovely couple! Wish you lots of luck.

  8. Yes, this winter was crazy with shipping, and it seems that you took the worst part. I send through standard mail to US, but delays are still a thing.
    Sending hugs for you both!!

  9. OH, how I understand you. The number of your lost packages is soo high. I must knock on the wood, I had no lost packages this year for the first time (but also less sales). I ship registered priority mail with tracking, but the trouble is, that Czech post tracking does not work in many foreign countries (fortunatelly USA works pretty well and that is my biggest costumer). Keeping my fingers crossed for your packages.

    1. They're delayed not lost lol, bite your tong :D

  10. We are in the same boat , but with less packages . 10 packages from the end of November and beginning of December are late , half of them to Europe. We offered express shipping during Christmas season but most of the customers did not choose it and also they did not give attention that they are buying from Turkey other side of the world. One customer which we refunded also got the item a couple of days after and left bad review. Sorry, I don't have the formula for keeping all customers happy. Also some of them will be unhappy whatever you will do. I hope all will arrive ,soon .

    1. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles :( The mail bags of that period is just covered with new mail bags, this is hard to explain to customers. I think the amount of mail in December is unimaginable, all arrive to NY and from all over the world, I can not imagine how many come from China for example!
      Things have been moving a little the last few days, but more those of the end of December, let's just hope for the best :)

  11. with the paypal issues in Turkey I didn't have a nice season, an on top of it all the shipping delays made it worst. I hope they'll all resolve in a while... Just hang in there...