Ordering Products for Your Scrapbook Store

When it comes to the ordering, shipping and receiving of products for your scrapbook store, it unfortunately can be a case of “buyer beware”—especially for LSS’s (local scrapbook stores.)

We’ve heard horror stories about scrapbook store owners signing for a package, sending the delivery person off with a “good day” and opening the package to find a ruined product or store gear (racks are unwieldy to ship and can be damaged in transit.) It’s not unheard of for the shipper or freight company to refuse to issue a refund and/or replacement if the package wasn’t opened in the presence of a delivery person. Find out the rules for each of the companies you deal with so you won’t be surprised and left out in the cold.

On the other side of the coin, when it comes to packs of scrapbooking paper, most companies will replace any that arrives bent, crumpled, or, most commonly, badly crushed-in at one or more corners. They’ll likely send you a mailing label to return the offending paper. Some, either not caring to pay shipping or simply wanting to make amends, will let you keep the damaged paper, which you can then make use of in classes, card projects and make-and-takes.

If you pay for one-day air, or another form of expedited shipping, and the product doesn’t arrive as promised, don’t just roll over. Insist on being reimbursed.

Not all companies treat all customers the same. It’s an unfortunate fact of the retail world, and isn’t limited to scrapbooking stores. A manufacturer may cut a deal with a chain retailer to ship a new product to their stores first. Or the chains and shop-at-home television stations may sell a product at a deep discount you can’t hope to compete with. (And, to add insult to injury, send customers to your store so you can show them how to use it—for free!)

It’s best to learn the rules of the game early on, pick your battles and just do the best you can in today’s competitive business world and challenging economy. Remember, it’s often the most helpful, patient store owners who end up building relationships and winning long-term customers.