When Sales (Almost) Go Sideways

I think many of us would agree that 2020 is a year that has gone sideways. In so many ways. And here we are in August and it’s hard for me to get excited about the rest of the year. Is it the same for you? I keep focusing on all the things I can’t do and the people I can’t see. I know this is the wrong way to live. The wrong focus. There are so many things I can do. So many wonderful things. And so much to be thankful for. And I am. Thankful.

But this post is really about a sale that almost went sideways. Some of you may be able to relate. Some of you will be relieved that this has never happened to you. For some it will just be mildly entertaining.

Here’s the story of one

A customer bought an item. Then another. Then a third–an expensive piece of jewelry–all within the span of an hour. These were all beautiful older items and I combined all the pieces into one shipment, with signature confirmation due to the value, and let the buyer know they’d be arriving together.

Shortly after they were delivered she left ratings on two of them, one being the lowest…a one star. I was surprised. Since the photos and details of the item were thorough and accurate and I do accept returns, I couldn’t imagine why she would leave such a bad rating. I emailed her to find out why she was dissatisfied with this piece. At first she didn’t respond though the rating changed from a 1-star to a 5-star (the highest). A day later she confessed she was confused by the “survey” (feedback form).

Okay, I sighed with relief, she’s happy with everything.

Then she asked where the third item was. The most expensive. A piece of jewelry worth hundreds of dollars.

My heart stopped. Oh no. No. No. No. This isn’t happening!

I told her it had been mailed in the box with the other two items and was in the long brown kraft box tied with yarn. (She couldn’t have missed it.)

Then I waited on tenterhooks for her reply.

An hour or so later I heard back from her. Surprisingly she admitted to having seen that box but had thrown it away!

What??! I didn’t know what to think at this point. You threw it away? I encouraged her to search her garbage because this was a fantastic piece. An heirloom-quality piece.

I heard from her the next day. She had searched her garbage and was “smelly” but had found the box and was “looking good” with the bracelet on her wrist!

PHEW!! So it all ended well. Just.

I really thought this transaction was going sideways. But in the end there was no trickery. I’m guessing she has some cognitive issues. A little bit of confusion now and then. I’m not sure.

Here’s another recent story. Not a heart-stopper, but curious.

I received this email…

I just see where it looks like I ordered a box from you and strange enough it was mailed to my old work address….Will you please look into this for me. What was the total cost for the item, there is one item on my checking account I am questioning. Thank you so much!!!

I was happy to oblige, but a little concerned where this was going. Still I researched my orders and found the only one from this customer…dated back to 2013! Yes, it was seven years ago. I sent him the info he had requested and haven’t heard back from him. Not sure what, if anything, will happen with this. Can’t imagine that it could. The item was bought and delivered seven years ago to the address he provided. Still it’s curious, don’t you think?

So I’m trying to keep focused on all the good things in my life. Trying to get in a better frame of mind for living through enjoying the remainder of 2020!

I’m also realizing that when things look like they are starting to go sideways it’s best to remain calm. Don’t expect the worst. Breathe.

Has anything gone sideways for you this year?


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