During the holidays things can get pretty hairy in my studio. Last year even when I was sure I kept things organized, I mislabeled a package and sent it to the wrong person. When the customer contacted me, I was really embarrassed. I couldn’t believe I had done it! I felt that the customer should not be responsible for the cost of sending the item back to me, so I decided to let them keep the small item I sent. Obviously, if this were a more expensive item, I would probably kindly request the buyer return the item and possibly compensate them in some way by paying for return shipping or offering them store credit for the cost of shipping and their time.
The second time I sent the wrong items out, I mixed up two orders that were more expensive custom items. Total panic set in. I had spent a lot of time an money creating these pieces and was definitely not willing to take a loss on them. I contacted the buyers and fortunately they were incredibly nice about the mix up and happy to send the items back to me. I sent each buyer money for shipping via PayPal, and, although they offered to send them to the correct buyer, I decided to have them send the items back to me. This took longer, but I didn’t want to give out the other buyers’ addresses, and I also wanted to make sure the items were in good condition and nicely packaged. I also included a hand written thank you with the repackaged orders and a small gift to thank them for their time and understanding. In over 1200 sales I’m fortunate to have only gone through this twice and that was two times too many for me! Here’s the system I put in place to prevent it from happening again.
Every shop has it’s own unique considerations, and what has worked for me in this scenario may not work for everyone. When bad things crop up, I’ve found it’s good to have a game plan so I can keep a level head. I know I’m far from perfect, so coming up with a plan for my potential mistakes has proven worthwhile when I’m able to prevent them.