Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dark Heart & Heartsy: Where it all went wrong…

First off, I would like to thank Ana of Lipsticks and Lightsabers for bringing some of the issues to my attention, so I can respond to them.

Now, down to business. First off, I am sincerely sorry, beyond words, for the amount of time that everyone has had to wait to receive their orders from the Heartsy deal. I feel terrible that you have all had to wait, and that, for most of you, this is the first experience you’ll have with my shop. I want to take a moment to explain how all this mess happened.


Duh Moment #1:




My company is not a very big one, even by indie standards. My shop opened in March of 2010, and I’ve had 199 sales from that date, until now. Here’s where the duh part starts. 199 sales from March of 2010 until August of 2011 divides out to about 11 orders a month. I can handle that number with no problem, but, I didn’t think to work out these numbers before I signed up for the sale. I’ve learned my lesson on what I can, and can’t handle, and I apologize to everyone that I had to learn the hard way.


The Heartsy mess:




I’ve attached the original email from Heartsy to this post, to explain why I foolishly offered so many vouchers from my shop. If you’ll notice in the paragraph numbered 1, the Heartsy representative explains how many vouchers are usually offered, and that I’m highly unlikely to sell all my vouchers. Given this statement, and the fact that my goal of going on Heartsy is to draw more exposure for my shop, I decide I need to offer more than 75, just to get that exposure. Due to the statement from the representative that few sellers sell out, I get the impression that it’s safe to offer 150 vouchers. I finalize everything with Heartsy, and my offer is ready to go live.


Now this is where it really gets messy:



This is an excerpt from an email that Heartsy sent me on how to set up vouchers. I follow the instructions, and my deal starts. After receiving 9 pages of orders (pages, not orders. Each page averages about 6-10 orders), I received another email from Heartsy, stating that they didn’t realize my shop was an Artfire shop, not an Etsy shop, although in previous emails, they made statements that suggest that had looked at my shop. In the middle of my deal, with orders rolling in left and right, I’m told to change the entire checkout process. I responded to the email, as I’ve had no problem with orders so far, and this is a reply from the Heartsy rep:




After this, I change my checkout from manually approving the order, to having customers use coupon codes. Half of the time the coupon codes don’t work, and I still have to manually approve, and fix orders. During this time, I’m also answering emails from confused customers, as everything has changed. In the middle of taking care of this, I realize I can no longer track the Heartsy vouchers because half of my orders have voucher numbers, and the rest use a coupon codes. The paperwork side of my deal becomes an absolute clusterf*ck that takes me two weeks to somewhat sort through the mess, as much as I possibly can.

Why didn’t I worry about the amount of orders I was getting during this time? I love filling orders, and I still didn’t realize how out of hand it was going to be. I was actually excited, and thought I was doing something good.


Filling orders:




After I managed to sort all of the paperwork out, I was also ordering the supplies to fill all of the orders. When they finally arrived, I started filling orders. I get through about two pages, and realize I’m in way over my head. With my discounted deal, my orders average to 3 jars per order, although there are more that have 4. This is approximately 300 jars. I’ve been filling, packing, and shipping orders as fast as I can, with the few hours I have to spend after work everyday, and usually all weekend. I really feel like I’m not getting through the orders at all, and I know everyone is waiting for them.


The Gel Liners:




The gel liners were made during the time that I was waiting for supplies to fill the orders. I listed them in between filling orders, when my hands were hurting me, and I needed a break. I apologize if this appeared to take time away from anyone’s order. I promise you, it did not.


Why I didn’t close the shop:


I realize now, that I probably should have done this anyway, but at the time I was getting no orders, besides Heartsy voucher orders. I changed a statement in my shop to reflect the extended ship time, as I still wanted to be able to get the Heartsy orders on my list, so I knew what I had to fill, and ship off. I apologize if this gave anyone the impression that I was taking orders outside of the vouchers, and shipping them first. Both of my shops remained open, but any orders that were placed are in line after the Heartsy orders.


My final statement:


I realize that I have handled my Heartsy deal poorly. To everyone that was effected, I am extremely sorry. I apologize for any wait that you may have had to endure, for any distress or anger you may have towards me, or my company, or anything else that you feel I may have done wrong, or handled poorly. I hope you can forgive me, as I sincerely did not mean to disappoint anyone. I have learned very much from this sale, and I appreciate everything that everyone has done for me, and my company, and I hope you’ll accept my apology. Thank you for your business, your patience, your advice, and your help through this deal. I’m hoping to have the last of it finished very soon, and I hope I haven’t disappointed you all too much, because I know without my customers, I have nothing. Thank, and I’m sorry again.