Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I Hate Having To Make Changes Because People Can't Follow Through

A few days ago, I published a blog column mentioning the changes we've made over the past few years and why on the Bodacious Biscuit Love end of things. We made a lot of those changes last year and, because life is always evolving, there will be more changes as time goes on. Here and there. Sporadically. As situations arise. At the time, when I composed that particular blog column, I had no idea that we'd have another issue on the table.

Unfortunately, we do.

This issue has been ongoing on since Bodacious Biscuit Love was born, but over the past year, it has increased drastically. I attribute a lot of this to offering other items aside from our homemade biscuits.

The issue is payment.

In the beginning, we accepted checks and money orders. After the first year, we offered PayPal. Up until this point, we've continued to offer these payment options.

In addition, we've also gone down the path of the honor system. What that translates to is often times we ship biscuits and quilts, and our other DIY Dog Mom Projects, before payment is received.

Over the past almost-four years, we've been stiffed quite a bit. I stopped tallying up the amount when we hit the $500 mark a couple of years ago.

Since then, we've tightened the reigns and that was largely due to some of the changes we made. Making those changes helped in that area considerably, but it hasn't solved the problem completely.

We're at the point where we need to resolve this issue in its entirety. 

To better understand this, think about the last purchases you made whether in-store or online.

If you purchased items in-store, you went into the store and filled your cart with the items you needed and wanted. Once you completed your shopping, you had to go through check out and pay for your purchases before leaving the store.

If your last purchase was made online, during the checkout process, you had to enter in a credit or bank card number, have it approved, and your card was charged. Some online stores don't charge your card until your items have shipped. Other retailers charge your card immediately.

In both scenarios, you had to pay for your items before you left the store or the items were shipped.

There wasn't an option to get these items "when you remembered to pay" or "remembered to put the check in the mail" or to "get the items for free because you didn't feel like paying." 

As I've mentioned before, and because we've always gone down the path of the honor system, we've become an easy target.

A lot of times we ship stuff out before it's paid for.

And, we've been burned. 

Or, we've spent several weeks reminding people they need to pay.

If I hear, "I'm so sorry, I forgot to put the check in the mail" one more time, I'm going to completely lose it.

What people don't understand is that we rely on payments to purchase ingredients, supplies, and to cover shipping costs so we can help pet parents in need and spread biscuit love to our local animal shelters.

If I sell $50 worth of items in a week's time, I include that amount into our budget for our weekend shopping and shipping out Bodacious Care Packages the following week.

When checks aren't sent, or money isn't deposited into PayPal, the expected funds aren't there to purchase ingredients, supplies, and to cover shipping costs.

Shipping is expensive.

In return, we have to take money out of our own pockets to cover this. As mentioned several times before, our budget to do this isn't as abundant as it was 4 years ago when we only had 1 kid.

So, we end up waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

Throughout that time frame, I have to send messages and emails reminding people they haven't paid yet.

I hate doing that.

I shouldn't have to do that.

Because this has been going on for so long, and it's only getting worse, we're in the process of making another change.

As of now, we're at a crossroads. We're deliberating between 2 options.

The first, PayPal only as a means of payment.

Or, payment must be received before anything is shipped out on our end.

We're leaning more towards the second option. Not everyone uses PayPal. We don't want to limit our payment options to just a single method.

We'll keep you posted...

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