Re: A quick whinge...
Posted by Maureen on June 29, 2002 at 11:22:34:
It has been a very very rare occurance when I have shipped an order
prior to payment. I have done this with people I have done business
with in the past. But I wouldn't suggest it as a "way" of doing
business all of the time. That seems a bit high risk.
I am not sure what the products are that you have to order and
purchase after you have received an order for them from a customer,
but if they are something that are too expensive to keep in stock and
you can acquire them quickly, then you may just want to let people
know that it will take "X" number of days to get that particular item
to them once their order is placed and "paid for." That way they
won't place an order if they are in a hurry and you will have the
customer's payment prior to acquiring the item to fill the order. I
think it is just a matter of the order in which you are doing things
that is problematic and pretty predictable that you are eventually
going to be stuck with items ordered but never paid for.
If the items are rare enough and special enough, people who want them
will not mind waiting a bit more time to get them if they know
upfront the timeframe between the time they pay and when their item
will arrive. However, it the items are something that people can get
fairly easily from other sources without the wait and for similar
price, they won't wait. You may then have to consider how to keep
some of those items in stock.
Bottom-line, it can be tricky in a number of ways to take orders for
items you don't have on hand. Tricky if you lay out money to get the
item on hand prior to receiving your payment. Tricky if you receive
payment from a customer and then you have difficulty acquiring the
item or have problems receiving your shipment.
Lauren, I am not sure how you ship, but when shipping Priority Mail,
delivery confirmation costs an additional forty cents and is well
worth the extra to have confirmation quickly that a package was
delivered or not. I don't use Priority all the time because
sometimes First Class delivers in the same amount of time for less.
But, when it is clear that a package has not been delivered, I will
tend to ship a replacement and work on the insurance paperwork
later. Especially if I feel some unreasonable period of time has
passed between the time I shipped and the time when it is clear that
the package was not received by the customer. I have had a few
packages just seem to disappear into some vast postal wasteland too.
The post office can usually confirm for me that a package has or has
not been delivered. I was surprised to find out that the post office
can actually track any package or piece of mail. So, seems to me
once you have confirmed that the package has not been received by
your customer, you resend. This is not to say that just because
someone says they did not receive a package that you automatically
resend. This is to say that you can confirm whether or not a package
was delivered or not and once confirmed, I would think that you would
want to resend as soon as possible.
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