Friday, July 24, 2009
Here's an old photo I just found. Me at The Fair, Syracuse, NY. This was the last year I did that fair after the arrival of my 2 daughters. Babies and Fairs are hard to juggle. Long hours selling.
The big round display to the left of me displays all the State Fair Buttons we sold.
I had a 20 foot tent filled with buttons. You are looking at only about 3 feet of the booth.
We had been making and selling buttons for 10 years when this photo was taken. This was our 7th year at the New York State Fair.
My babies are now both 19 years old. I'm one of those who adopted and then got pregnant. So my daughters are just 4 months apart in age. Virtual twins.
Now they are old enough to help me work the arts and craft fairs. But they are going to college. I think doing shows, at least at this magnitude, is history.
I am still going through some of the old stock. Might take me another year to get everything posted on line. So if there is anything you want, better just ask me if I have it.
This post could also be titled: "The Nicest Customers."
On July 2nd I shipped out 6 packages of buttons from SW Florida. One to CA, one to MI, one to IL, and 2 to two different customers in GA.
About 2 weeks went by and one of the customers in GA sent me a convo (etsy-speak for an email) letting me know that she did not get her button order. Gosh what a patient person! I think I might have emailed sooner than that asking unless it was something I ordered from overseas.
I always use delivery confirmation, so I found myself, for the first time actually using it to check on the package. Records showed that the package was stamped in Fort Myers, FL on July 3rd, and no tracking information after that. It just said it was in transit.
I decided to check ALL the packages I mailed that day. Tracking showed that the packages to CA, MI and Il had all arrived ages ago. Both packages going to GA had been scanned in Fort Myers FL on July 3rd and were never delivered.
I quickly emailed the other GA customer and told her about this and asked if she got the buttons, hoping tracking info was wrong. She said she didn't get the buttons, but assumed there was a good reason. ANOTHER very patent etsy customer. And this customer had a very large order.
My customers checked with their post office and I checked with mine several times. I told both customers I would send all new buttons. BOTH customers said not to do that yet, give it time. Time? It was going on 3 weeks and it was seeming obvious to me that without insurance we would never see those packages. So I spent one day remaking both orders of buttons. I mailed them off about 2 days ago, insuring the box with the large order.
Guess what happened yesterday?? Both customers got BOTH packages the same day. The original packages of buttons I sent PLUS the new packages of buttons.
I learned a lot though this ordeal:
1. It can 3 weeks with first class mail to cross the state line from FL to GA.
2. My postmaster told me to always put your address inside the package in case it gets damaged and the outside label not readable. The Post Office will return to sender a damaged package even if all that is left of it is shreds, as long as they can find your address somewhere inside it.
3. If you write FRAGILE on your package even if it isn't so fragile, the package will get special handling and more chance it will arrive safely.
4. Buy insurance for any items that I cannot replace, one of a kinds, and all large orders.
5. Some of the customers on Etsy are the nicest people you could ever meet. My customers were so patient, polite and kind. I wish they had an Etsy Shop, so I could promote their shops here. But neither one of them do. One customer wanted to PAY ME for the doubles. Gosh how nice is that! I told her not to. But she has already bought more buttons.
Hope this post helps some other Etsy Sellers out there in regarding to shipping and lost packages.
I sure learned a lot.
I joined Etsy Bloggers.
I haven't figured it out yet. I made an introduction under new members introductions, yesterday. But I don't see any replies. Hope to have time to figure out how it works soon.
Meantime stop by my Zibbet Shop.
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