This morning however, the weather is rather gloomy in Sydney. It actually rained (which it hasn't in a while now). I received a call from Kim and from the tone of her voice, I could tell that she was distraught. You see, Kim is a miracle worker. She's a wonderful person who is passionate about what she does, enjoys delighting our customers and is always ever ready and ever willing to help. Really, there is nothing this woman can't do if she puts her mind to it. :)
So naturally, I knew it had to be something really out of the ordinary this time.
And I was right. Here's an email Kim received from 1 very unhappy person (notice I didn't say customer because she never converted to one):-
"I want the 10 coupon where did it go. your prices are so expensive compared to others I might as well just drive to a store or buy from ebay. I am going straight to facebook and tell them about this now. Delete my account I have no desire to get ripped off."
I don't know about you, but what would your initial response be to such an email?
Anger? Frustration? Worry? Offended? Sadness?
Kim asked for my advice on how to respond to this particular person. She was feeling a mix of emotions, but as hurtful as those words were, I told her that regardless the situation, we will stay true to our brand, motto and products. In short, we value our customers. Customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of our business and it always will be even if we find ourselves in challenging or less than desirable situations.
So, Kim wrote back with a courteous reply and apologized that our products could not meet this person's needs and expectations. And because this person had to have the last say, Kim's reply was not kindly requited.
Now, what is the purpose of me sharing this with you? To vent my anger and frustration? Not at all. You may not believe me but my only reaction to this email was pure empathy. And here's why.
While you may be able to find some of our designs elsewhere at a cheaper price (and with eBay, free shipping even), there are some things that you have to consider.
When The Price Is Right, But It Just Doesn't Feel RightThe thing about purchasing something online is that things can be easily manipulated. Unfortunately, while I prefer to perceive the glass as half full vs half empty, I can't deny that there are still some retailers who are dodgy and unscrupulous. There are some who take stock photos showcasing products from other retailers and passing them as their own.
Why? Simple - they want you to think that you are getting the exact same product but at a cheaper price. After all, everybody loves a bargain. The actual fact is, and I hate to break it to you ladies - you're most likely getting a knock off.
For eBay, things may be a little different. Some dresses are sold at below cost price (even the manufacturers themselves do not offer such prices at wholesale!) and it bewilders me sometimes how these sellers actually make a profit. So I did a little digging around.
Do you sometimes notice how some eBay listings make over thousands of sales? These listings usually feature products with insanely low, rock-bottom prices (accompanied by free shipping most of the time) to entice people to buy. This helps the listing rank higher on eBay, even if it means that the seller makes a loss on that particular product. However, the good news is if the seller carries other similar or related products in his/her store, he/she may be able to offset the loss if the customer decides to purchase more than 1 item.
With eBay, you also need to know that free shipping comes at a price (no pun intended). Especially if the product is shipped from China. In order to reduce costs (and losses), the seller will usually ship via China Post as it is more economical. However, please bear in mind that it usually takes at least 3-4 weeks to receive your order, and worse yet, the parcel loss rate is very high. Tracking information is virtually non-existent.
How do I know this? From my years of experience working with shipping agents - I know for a fact that many China Post parcels are returned to the sender, which is why they never make their way to the receiver.
So when the price is right but it feels too good to be true, make sure you consider all these different angles before you make a commitment to purchase. If you have reservations about shopping from China, you might find this post helpful.
How Is Dressific DifferentWhile we make every attempt to ensure we survey the market before we actually decide to sell a particular design or style, we are only human and we're not perfect.
There are some sellers who are notoriously known for selling knockoffs of renowned brands (to the extent of the freewheeling use of the brand's product photos) which we avoid at all costs like the plague. I will not name names because that's just not how I operate.
If you ever find a product on our site which you believe is a complete knockoff of someone else's design, please report the product to us. If we determine that it is indeed the case, we will remove the product from our catalog. That's how serious we are.
When creating product listings, we will either use photos provided by our manufacturers or suppliers - with their permission beforehand of course - or we'll take our own photos. Although Dressific may have just launched recently, I have been in the retail industry since 2006 (my gosh, that's 10 years now!) and have established long term partnerships with our manufacturers and suppliers. So you know you're getting exactly what you're seeing when you purchase from us - no knockoffs, replicas or whatever you want to call it.
So while our prices may not be the lowest in the market, we take pride in the quality and authenticity of our products. You can't have everything, and we can't please everyone and I'm perfectly okay with that. :)