Thursday, 17 July 2008

A Frustrating Week

One of the frustrations of being a retailer is that you are dependent on a whole host of other people in getting products to your customers.  I can't keep everything in stock all the time, though I do try to keep the most popular books.  The thing is, when you urgently need something for a customer from a supplier who is normally 100% reliable, things go wrong.  This week I have had:
  • the order placed with a supplier for an item which went out of print after I placed the order, only they didn't bother to tell me, just marked my order "complete" (!?) and forgot about it
  • the order placed by phone but promptly lost by the supplier and so not actioned
  • the supplier who dispatched an order later than they normally do, but in this case I really need something in the parcel, plus put inadequate postage on it which meant it took 4 days to arrive
I've also had parcels sent to a four-year old address, ones that disappear in the post completely never to be seen again, one which looked like it had been used as the office football, and ones with an incomplete address which took two weeks to reach me.

Another oddity which I really don't understand is that I tend to get a rush for a particular instrument or book, from all over the UK so I know it's not the same teacher!  Sometimes I have a saxophone week, sometimes a flute, clarinet or violin week.  This week it is "Music Theory in Practice Week".  This book is published by the Associated Board and is a series of workbooks on music theory, hence the title.  These books have recently been rewritten (the lower grades anyway) and republished in shiny new covers, so maybe that explains the demand this week?  I don't know, but this week I have sold the same number as I normally do in two months.   Very strange.  

The new PayPal Express Checkout has been causing a few problems, with glitches in the software - in particular how it connects between my site and their checkout.  I have spoken to my web hoster and they tell me they and PayPal are aware and working on it.  In the meantime I have made a couple of changes to my checkout which should resolve most problems.  I'm sorry if you have had problems, but it should be better now.

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