USPS Carnage and how a 1-Star Review turned into a Loyal Repeat Etsy Buyer

etsy etsy vintage Mar 30, 2021

You will get a bad review at some point in your Etsy shop. Not necessarily because you deserved it. Not because your product is bad. Not because of anything that is within your control. Let me share a story that happened to me yesterday to illustrate this.

I have had a terrible time with the USPS in 2021. I had nine orders picked up from my house on March 2 that did not show up on tracking for 15 days and then spent another 10-15 days in transit. It took over a month for one of my customers to get her book set.

But yesterday was a crazy of epic proportions. I had a customer order a set of books that I shipped in two separate boxes. The first arrived with just a short delay. The second box arrived 14 days after I shipped them, even though they were going within my state. And then it gets really weird. When my customer opened the box, there were no books inside. Instead, she found a CABLE BOX.

She messaged me with an angry message saying she was going to report me for misrepresentation and then gave me a 1-star review. I immediately messaged her and expressed my shock and confusion over her package contents and refunded her the full amount of her order. I also asked nicely if she would help me by taking a picture of the box. She did, and I could see it was NOT the box I had shipped.

Instead, the post office had taken the label from my box (the label AND the part of the cardboard box it was attached to), and taped it onto another box. And this other box contained a cable box.

We talked about it and she investigated further and indeed that is what she found. Once she realized this was clearly not my fault, her tone changed and she was very understanding and kind. I asked her if she would consider changing her review to reflect her experience with me and my shop and the things that were under my control rather than what the USPS had done, and she changed it immediately. AND THEN PLACED ANOTHER ORDER with me.

Lesson: when you get a 1-star review, engage! Do what you can to make it right, be nice, be willing to refund. Don’t hold too tightly to your sense of right and wrong. As the marriage advice goes, “you can be right or you can be happy”. I’d rather have a 5-star review AND a loyal repeat buyer than hold on to my $45 and stand on my pedestal of rightness.

P.S. I don’t know how this mix-up with the packages occurred. My best guess is that my box and the box that originally held the cable box both broke, and the contents spilled out. At that point, the post office must have gotten a new box and put my label on it and put the wrong contents inside.



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