Dear eBay Queen: I sell new and handmade outdoor flags and windsocks. Most of my items in my eBay store are made in China or in other countries, but I do make my own from time to time. Of course, the ones I make, I charge more money for.
I had a buyer purchase an expensive windsock and an outdoor pennant flag. The buyer asked me if I would send it to her friend as a birthday gift. As I do with all items purchased as gifts, I wrapped it and put a little note from the person that bought it. On the back of the note is my email address.
I shipped the items, and today I received an email from the giftee today, with the following message:
“To Whom it May Concern: What kind of American are you? This flag and matching windsock are made in China! Do you not understand that people have died for your freedom? You have no respect for the person you are sending the item too! I am a veteran I would never sell Chinese crap to another veteran or really anyone for that matter.”
That’s a pretty negative email about my product right? Should I feel bad about selling things from China? I mean, everyone sells product from China! Is this my problem or the person who gave them the gift’s problem? Should I contact the gifter, write a note back, or just pretend the email never came in? — Windsock
Dear Windsock: I guess the giftee is very passionate about where he buys things and where his gifts come from! I think I would be a little embarrassed all the way around, even though it’s not your fault. I don’t think you should feel bad, or apologize for selling products from China. The person who received the gift has missed the point. It was a gift, not an opportunity to give his opinion.
If this were my transaction, I would send the giftee this email:
“I am so sorry you were offended by (fill in the gifter’s name’s) gift. He purchased this item from me as a special gift for you. I can assure you it was not my or (fill in the gifter’s name) intention to offend you. If you would like to send the item back, I would be happy to refund (fill in the gifter’s name) money.
“Thank you for serving our country.”
I probably would not notify the person who sent the gift, unless the person sent the item back for a refund. Good Luck with your next transaction. This one can go down in the books as a weird one for sure!
Dear eBay Queen: I sold a cute bracelet last week and it came back in the mail. Someone had the wrong address for me to ship to on her PayPal account and the package came back to me as undeliverable. I emailed asking for correct information and she sent it. Now I will have to print an additional label and pay for it. When this happens, as I am sure it has happened to others, what do you do? The package was small, costing $1.67. Do you send an invoice to the buyer? Or do you pay it yourself and say nothing?
Ugggg! — Dallas, Texas
Dear Ugggg: I think you have a couple of options.
1) Since it’s only a $1.67, you could just send it to the buyer and not worry about it.
2) Let the buyer know it is going to cost $1.67 to re-send the item, and you’ll mail it as soon as she sends the money to your PayPal account.
3) Send the buyer a full refund and then create a new invoice. I would let her know in advance that I would be doing this. If you are feeling exceptionally cranky that day, you also could include the price of the first label.
If this were my transaction I would just send it and not worry about the $1.67. If it were more money, I would let her know she needed to pay for the shipping before I would send the new package out.
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Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Do you have a question for the eBay Queen? E-mail her at the eBay Queen