Friday, December 29, 2006

I Survived Another Holdiay Season in the Antique Retail Business

I love the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season. It can get a tad hectic when you are the retail store and all of your seasonal help has grown up and have "real" jobs with "nicer" bosses. But we survived and I think that everyone got their gifts in time for Christmas.... I haven't heard otherwise.

The vast majority of folks are amazing to work with and my regular customer's know that I will do whatever it takes to get their orders to them as quickly as possible. 6 trips to the Post Office a day was the norm there for a few days and I even went looking for a few special gift items for some customer's.

Each year there seems to be at least one person that is just insane... there is no other way to put it. They are rude, crude, out of control, insane.

This year a family had me send a gift to a woman. They did not want to pay to have it gift wrapped just a little note that it was from them with love. It was a $12 copper colored aluminum mold.

I wrapped it first in white tissue (I do this on all items) bubble wrap and then I wrapped it in a festive decorative paper. I attached a pretty card with the requested text in it. Packed it carefully and mailed it to the recipient.

Well, the next week I checked my email and there was one of the nastiest emails I have ever seen from this gift recipient. The mold is cheap looking, the wrapping looks like I took it out of the trash and I am an idiot.

I am pretty heavily medicated on cough medicine and Benadryl due to some nasty bug I had picked up so I decided that I really didn't want to deal with this wacko. I contacted the folks that bought the item and sent them the email. I asked them what they wanted me to do about it.

Later in the day I have 5 more emails from angry lady and no response from the customer. I decided I had better say something to her and told her that I would refund the full price plus shipping - TO THE PEOPLE THAT PAID FOR IT, but I needed my mold back ... in the same condition as when it was mailed to her. She responds that she is not going to do anything for me and that includes send the mold back.

I just took another swig of cough medicine and went back to bed.

What do you do with people like this? Obviously her family bought her a token gift, I have some beautiful copper molds on my website and they picked the least expensive one for her. Also, I was taught that it is the thought and not the gift so just accept it graciously and either re-gift it later or donate it to a charity.

When I opened my email the next day, there were at least 15 more emails from this loony toon. She was making personal attacks on me at this point and I was angry. She is the kind of person that will say these things in an impersonal forum such as email but I bet you dollars to donuts she would not make statements such as this to my face. She is a bitter, angry, no self-esteem, rude person.

I contacted DHL to see if they could pick the package up and send it back to me, sure they would but the nasty lady would not cooperate, she would not even sit the mold on her front porch for them to pick-up.

The end result was, I refunded the buyer all of his money while his mother stole my mold. I did tell her son that he needs to ask her to donate it to a charity so that someone who would appreciate it could have it.

Later I began thinking... this might be a scam. Person #1 buys a gift for person #2, #2 hates it and goes through the above process until the seller just gives in (like I did) and lets them keep the item and they get their money back.

In this case we are not talking about anything worth much money but it is the principal and it could evolve into "keeping" wares that are valuable. Legally I did not have to refund the money until I had the item in my possession, I was just too sick to fight them on it but be aware of situations such as this especially if the recipient is in North Carolina.

I also believe in Karma, so what this woman did and said WILL come back to her threefold.

1 comment:

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