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How shipwire does not help me build my business, and an apology to my clients

First things first: I owe many of you an apology and you will get an email from me saying exactly this: Please accept my apology that your Rose flash ordered did not arrive yet. I know, it is a week now and I am very sorry and do my best that you will get your order. The reasons: It is quite ironic and somewhat sad, but unfortunately true that my order fulfillment partner in the US, Shipwire, together with USPS, did not get many rose flash ordered out, yet. Actually, the samples that we shipped in parallel from Switzerland arrived in the mean time. Shipwire is located in the US.

This information is based on what I see in the shipwire system and USPS’s track and trace.

Shipwire, in the past, was very liable. Thus, I am all puzzled that exactly now, when doing a sales of ROSE flash, things don’t move. This is especially sad as we had new clients ordering the first time from us: Not a nice experience.

Unfortunately, I do not know why this is. I have a lot empathy for a lot of things that can go wrong. Sick collaborators, systems crashing, too many orders at once overflowing the system: All fine, but as order fulfillment partner you need to talk.

Thus, the facts of what I see: As far as I can tell, the orders were handled by shipwire and “completed”, meaning that the shipment label seems to have been created and the product is ready to go to USPS.  But – based on what I see- the products did not go to USPS. I get a track and trace link to USPS in the shipwire system. There, on USPS, for the majority of orders, it says “shipment label created”. But since October 1, when shipwired “completed” this part of the process: Nothing happens.

Based on the shipwire and USPS system: The Rose flash orders did not move beyond being “completed” and me being charged by shipwire for handling and the shipment.

You get it: Me, Andy Tauer, is sitting here in Switzerland, on my chair, between the shipwire and USPS chair, and the only thing I can do is trying to get in touch with Shipwire. I did so through their support form that I used in the past and always got an answer within a day. Not this time. No answer.

Hence, I sit here, in Zurich, in the dark, and get mails from clients asking about the products that they paid for.

So, what do I do now?

I go manually through the entire list of orders on shipwire. Click on every track and trace, check the status. If nothing happened with the shipment based on the USPS information, then I copy the client information back into excel, building a list, for a later email, and in order to keep track of what I -in the worst case- have to ship again, just to make sure that folks get what they paid for. It is time consuming and tedious.

I will have to talk to each client, asking them to let me know if they got it or not.

Thus, when I am on the shipwire website and read “Shipwire helps grow your sales while reducing time, cost and complexity” it feels a bit like a joke.

And I am worried, as I have almost 100 ROSE flash flying over the Atlantic right now. They are supposed to be delivered to the clients who ordered a “back-ordered” ROSE flash. What will happen there, with these orders? Based on what happened with the first batch of orders, it might turn out into an Andy Tauer shipwire horror trip:  I will be super busy next week, travelling, followed by talking in a radio show, giving a presentation afterwards, and with lots of pre- xmas orders: I simply do not have the time to continue following each order, and build excel files. Actually, what I experience now is exactly how it should not be like. Quel horreur, as the French say. (I could add another story here about my French suppliers, but reserve this for another post…).

“But you have the time to write this post?”, you might add. Right you are! It fulfills several purposes: I wanted to apologize as I feel so sorry for my clients who spent their $ and do not get what they paid for in a reasonable time. And it helps me to deal with what I cannot change.

In the end, there are a couple of lessons I am learning these days.

In order to finish this post with a happy note: Today’s picture shows you a highlight (of yesterday): I got myself a little chair. I got it online at Spatz.ch  It is not the my chair where I sit between USPS and shipwire, but it is for outdoors, for camping and when painting in the wild. I ordered it yesterday online, and it will arrive today. Or tomorrow.