If you’ve read my post about storing inventory you’ll know that I have stuff all over the house and in my garage and the location of pretty much everything is stored away in an inventory list. The trouble is that inventory list is in my head and sometimes it takes me a while to locate an item.
Based on what I sell I can narrow down where it may be. Clothes are in a wardrobe in my bedroom, computer games in the office and larger items in the garage etc.
Today I sold a vintage computer game poster. I say vintage, it was a SNES poster from the 90′s does that count as vintage yet?
I knew where it would be, in my office in a filing cabinet in a file with some other posters. It wasn’t there.
I didn’t panic, it must be somewhere! Then I realised that I’d sold it before, to someone in Norway. So I packed it up in a cardboard envelope ready to post. The buyer never paid and so I never sent it.
That meant that the poster was still in the envelope somewhere in my house. I hunted high and low for it but after an hour of looking I never found it. It was lost.
What could I do? I knew I wouldn’t find it no matter how long I spent looking but it would probably turn up when I least expected it. It wasn’t worth my time spending all day turning the house upside down I had other things to do.
So what next?
My options were limited, I didn’t have another to send. I could have pretended I’d sent it and blamed Royal Mail for screwing up or I could come clean. I’m not one for subterfuge and it really wouldn’t get me anywhere so I came clean.
I sent my buyer a message:
“Thanks for your purchase and fast payment. I’m writing to tell you that I’ve messed up.
I can’t find this poster anywhere! I’ve found two styles of the NES Playing with power poster but this one is nowhere to be found.
I had two of them and both sold but one of the buyers didn’t pay so I know it’s sat in a cardboard envelope somewhere awaiting a new address label.
Because I can’t guarantee that I’m going to find it I suggest that I refund your money to save messing you about and if I manage to find it I will send it to you for free for the inconvenience.
I’m really sorry again and I really should have found it out before accepting your offer.
Let me know that you are happy with that arrangement and I will send you your money back.”
Not five minutes later I got a reply.
Lucky for me the buyer was cool with my screw up. Lots of buyers wouldn’t have been so cool about it and I could have got negative feedback. But I was honest and it all worked out for the best.
“Thanks very much for being so understanding. I just can’t see where it can be, I know I’ll come across it when I’ve forgotten all about it.
If I do I’ve got your address I’ll just send it for free, it’s not your fault I messed up so I can’t ask you to pay again!
I’ll get your refund sent soon.”
I then refunded the money and left positive feedback. Lesson learnt. Be more organised. Put that inventory list onto paper!
Have you ever lost an item? What did you do?