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How Would You Resolve This? Sorry So Long


wildangel112
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A little over a week ago, I got a wholesale order for 105 candles. No big deal and they were in no rush. The candles weren't needed until Nov. A couple of days later, they added 50 more to the order, and then another 20 a bit later. Still no biggie, until I got notice of change of date and found myself with 2 days to get the order completed. Also, I ended up ordering out 3 special scents she requested. Something I don't usually do :rolleyes2 . I only require a 50% deposit on orders and have a 72 hour waiting peroid after this, to give time for questions, changes, etc. She didn't want the wait and insisted her order was definite. So I started work and got everything complete minus 18 candles that I would later ship out. Everything else was delivered on schedule. Being as she asked if I make "pure soy" candles, I assumed she knew all of the ins and outs of it. My biggest and best marketing technique with my candles is the frosting or "bloom" on them. Everyone loves it. So I keep and at times even encourage it on my candles. Well, I was ill and unable to accompany my husband to make delivery. I was surprised to find that after spending the money for this order, she didn't even check it before taking it. Now, she has emailed me stating the she's unsatisfied with the look of them and finds them un-sellable (sp?). And she's wanting to know how I'll resolve this. As I told her from the beginning, I've been working all summer, utilizing my own supplies getting ready for the biggest show I have every year. She was informed that I would be ordering out supplies to complete her order with the money she paid. Another reason I have the 72 hour wait, before i start doing this. I've told her I'll gladly refund the cost of the 18 candles still awaiting delivery. Normally I would have added a charge for the oils I special ordered, but am even willing to forego that this time. I don't know what else to tell her, after putting in all that time and work rushing out her order. This is the first complaint I've ever had. Just wondering how anyone else would handle this one. :undecided

Rena

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First of all did she even test one of your candles before she decided to order?

It sounds like this lady is pushing you around, first she changed the date with very short notice. You complied! How could you not if the money was not paid up front? Now she is stating the appearance is not what she wanted. Did she not realize she was ordering soy candles? I would explain to her that what she ordered is exactly what she got. That this order was especially made for her. Anybody who takes on a wholesale order such as this, I would assume has tested the merchandise?

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First of all did she even test one of your candles before she decided to order?

It sounds like this lady is pushing you around, first she changed the date with very short notice. You complied! How could you not if the money was not paid up front? Now she is stating the appearance is not what she wanted. Did she not realize she was ordering soy candles? I would explain to her that what she ordered is exactly what she got. That this order was especially made for her. Anybody who takes on a wholesale order such as this, I would assume has tested the merchandise?

And now that it occurs to me, she had to known there was frosting as we had one jar that wouldn't fit in the box so DH put it in her hands. It definitely had frosting so how could it have suddenly come as a surprise after she got home with them. :confused:

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Well I would not take the candles back because she doesn't like the looks I would explain these are soy and are suppose to be frosty looking. I would explain to her that when she changed her need by date you did push her order ahead of others to accommodate her but that was all the allowance that you where going to make. I would also explain you havea retail site so she should have known what you candles looked like and how they burned by buying sample. I would also explain you will only make refunds on defective product.

I am lousy at these kind of letters but I would try to say all of that in a letter which is worded a lot better than what I just did.

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This won't help in this situation, but to avoid future problems, I would suggest that you add your "Bloom" marketing strategy to your website! If it's there, I didn't see it, and I apologize! I'm assuming that if she had never tested a sample candle of yours, that she ordered off of your website?

In looking at the photos of your candles on your site, there is nothing there to suggest to me that the candles would be 'overly' frosty.. the pictures don't show it much imo, and maybe, again, she was just taken aback by the actual appearance. I would concentrate on getting her to try a candle, and base their "sellability" on how great they burn, and how wonderful they smell at this point. It does sound as though you have bent over backwards in order to get her order to her on a greatly shortened deadline, and if it were me, I would be very hesitant to extend my generosity much more lol. We always want to make our customers happy, and this was a nice order.. if you can convince her to overlook her own bias on the look of the candles, and take a chance that not everyone will feel the same way, hopefully she will find that she still sells the heck out of them and she'll end up ordering more! Good luck to you!

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I agree, it is her responsibility to test the merchandise. She ordered 205 candles without even trying one first? Not a very smart move on her part and I find that a bit unsettling. I would make a note on your site that you welcome wholesalers to request a sample before ordering. That is common sense but unfortunately not many people have any of that.

This is really going to be up to you. I would do as Vickey's says and explain to her the charactristics of soy and the fact that what she ordered is in fact soy and the nature of it. You complied to the agreement and because she finds the appearance to not be of her liking does not grant the product unsellable or faulty by any means. I would also note to her that many people pride your candles on the unique appearance because it is different and because it is made of soy. Explain to her that if she was unfamilar with soy or your product for that matter, that before placing such a large order she should have sampled BEFORE purchasing. Tell her you are already taking a loss on the custom fragrances you did not charge her for and that you feel you have met your part of the bargain.

Edited to say: Also do as Annie says and add a little sugar in there, LOL.

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Thank you so much on your input and suggestions, everyone. PA, you're right on this one and I'll see about altering my site to include my "frosting" strategy :D . Being as one of her first questions to me was whether or not my candles were "pure soy", I assumed she knew what she was dealing with. But I'll have the info available on site ASAP. I did explain to her that my candles appearance is part of their appeal to my customers, as she offered me suggestions on improving their appearance. This seems to be her only complaint with them, as she was very complimentary on their scent throw. Seems to me this would be the most important aspect, but I know people can see things differently.

Rena

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I thought I'd post back to let you all know that this issue seems to be resolved. I can't tell you how happy I am. It seems that she had never worked with soy before and was totally unfamiliar with the frosting aspect. She still wants the other 18, as ordered and seems to want to continue doing business. I love it when things can be resolved in this manner. Good communication is a BIG +. :) Thanks so much for letting me babble everyone.

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I took some candles to a spay clinic I was doing after craft season so they were gettiing kinda frosty with heat and cold temps.Sept-Nov shows.It was mid March with the clinic and someone said are these Soy?YES? She said what is wrong why are you selling them so cheap.I said left over from shows last season and just wanting to sell cheaper and they are frosted.She said "Well I understand that(frosting) but it doesn't cause them to burn different".So that was my lesson from a customer.I was so particular and she did not care.

take my candles to shows frosting or not.Really only happens to a few but when fresh ususally fine but as the craft shows go on they do get frosty.

This is something I also need to think about if I ever get wholesale orders. Have you ever wondered if they get that way in the store. I took candles to a craft store for 6 months and the longer they were there they frosted.It was chilly there.

.As for what to say now I would keep it the way it is and tell her if a customer wonders she can explain soy will frost with temp changes but the candle is still of good quality and smell awesome when burning and are clean.I have never had anyone to look at my candles and turn one down because of frosting.I do have a few that frost but not many but people don't ask what is wrong. Our candles can "frost" when customers get them home.

LynnS

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BIG lesson chandlers always learn sooner or later...learn to say NO, politely of course. We have found this to be especially true when dealing with retailers wanting to buy wholesale. As one person put it to us, it never hurts to ask a merchant for lower prices, etc... the worst they can say is no. Same applies to ordering special scents. Sounds like the retailer is one of those difficult to please people. Puts you on the defensive, plus she might get a special deal next order because you want to please her. Have rules and guidelines and stick like glue to them.

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BIG lesson chandlers always learn sooner or later...learn to say NO, politely of course. We have found this to be especially true when dealing with retailers wanting to buy wholesale. As one person put it to us, it never hurts to ask a merchant for lower prices, etc... the worst they can say is no. Same applies to ordering special scents. Sounds like the retailer is one of those difficult to please people. Puts you on the defensive, plus she might get a special deal next order because you want to please her. Have rules and guidelines and stick like glue to them.

I'm glad it all worked out for you, but like David said, just be careful of next time, she may be one of those peeps that just tries to see how much she can get outta ya, KWIM??

Give 'em an inch they take a mile!!

You were MORE than accomodating with her, and I hope she realizes that, although I doubt it.

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