Seller Alert

Returning to Ruby Lane as I did in November has been a very positive experience for me. I am sure it will continue to be and the incident which happened recently will not be repeated as I have learned from it.

I had a check bounce. Unfortunately I had sent the merchandise to the customer. I suspect all reading this are saying, "Shame on you. You should have known better." And yes I should, however, let me explain how it happened.

I received a purchase order from a man for some lovely Fosteria coin glass candle holders. The man emailed me inquiring my home address as he wanted to pay by personal check which, at the time, I accepted. I did tell him that I would not send his merchandise until the check cleared. A couple of days later his check arrived. I deposited the check where it showed on my statement as “pending.” After checking my account three days later, I found the check was no longer “pending” so I went ahead and mailed the merchandise.

Three days later, while checking my account, I suddenly noted a $15.00 charge for a bounced check. I then noted that the check for $38.00 had been returned. Immediately I called my bank to find out that their policy is to release the funds to their customers after a twenty-four hour hold and then collect the money from the appropriate bank. Since this had never happened to me before, I had no clue that was their policy and discussed their policy at length with a couple supervisors. In the end, it is their policy and I am stuck.

On my purchase order there was a telephone number for this person. I called, leaving two messages and I also emailed the customer. A couple of days later, the man telephoned me telling me he intended to make this right and informed me that he would send me a money order. He said it would be in the mail the next day. A week went by and I did not have the money order. I emailed him in the middle of the week. He replied that the money order had been sent. I still have not received it.

I think each and every one of us in business has a sinking feeling when something goes wrong. We are not big operators who can stand losses even to the tune of $55.00 which is what this one will cost me. More than that, I find myself very disappointed. In my many years of business I may have had just one other incident which was corrected quickly. Consequently I have changed my policy on my home page, which perhaps in today’s world was not smart anyway. I will no longer accept personal checks.

In addition I have blocked the buyer from my site and have reported him to Ruby Lane as well. I began to think about all shop owners on Ruby Lane, who like myself, are just plugging along. I decided perhaps I should write a blog  to alert my fellow shop owners.

There are two parts to this problem which truly bother me. I do not think the bank should have released the money. The check no longer pending was the key as to why I mailed the item in the first place. Secondly and probably the most important in my mind is the change that I am seeing in our country that someone would have the gall to cheat someone out of a pair of candle holders with a clear conscience. I try to pack items really well, especially when the merchandise is glass. I know I am supposed to turn the other cheek, but I could not help but wish the candle holders arrived broken. Just kidding… seems like a little humor is needed!!

Marilyn Wright

The Wright Treasure

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