Saturday, July 23, 2011

Catching Up and some nice emails

Although the creation of the Six animals that went to Canada went smoothly, the shipping did not.  I have used Fedex Ground for Canadian orders before without any problems or SNAFUs.  This time, a few days after they were sent, they showed up back on my doorstep.  Seems that my invoice didn't have a statement of "country or origin" on it.  I had indicated the "country of origin" on the form, but because I used my own invoice instead of the one generated by Fedex (They said I could use my own in the information on their web site) the shipment bounced.  This error cost me, but not the full amount of shipping.  I don't mind paying for my own mistakes.

So after I redid the invoice and shipped them again, I went on to other things.  When enough days had passed that I thought they should have either arrived, or were about to, I checked the tracking number.  I discovered they were being held in Customs because they needed yet another special paper.  A notarized power of attourney  giving Fedex the authority to deliver them.  What?  I have never needed this before!  I called Fedex again and was told it was required because of the value of the shipment.  A few years back I looked into all of this, and at the time I thought I had read that this wasn't required on shipments valued at less than $1800.  So when I made out the invoice I made it for $1700 instead of the full value.  Wrong again!  The cut off point is $1600. So off to the Notary to get the POA, and fax it to them.

Lesson learned.  If I ever get another order that big, I will ship it in two separate shipments.  They were in two boxes anyway.

It still took two more days to clear customs.  I kept in touch with my customer, and all the while felt very embarrassed that I didn't know these things. He seemed OK with what was happening as long as I kept him informed.

I have to say I was delighted when I got his email after they were delivered.

He said:
"OMG we got them yesterday and they are freakin amazing. You do such great work. We love them. We have not taken the horns/antlers out yet bc we won't be putting them up for a few months but the actual animal heads are again, amazing....good work sista
thank you
When I did shows, and sold things directly to people, I was able to see them being carried off by a happy buyer, or if they were ordered,  it was usually by someone local and they came and picked it up or I delivered it in person.

Some days when I ship an order it feels like I am putting an unaccompanied minor onto a bus or plane, and I'm not really sure they will be loved and cared for when they arrive!

The week after finishing the Canadian Six, I also had two other orders go out.  One was a leopard to someone in California, and the other was a giraffe that went to Wisconsin.  I got this email from the person in California:

"We received our leopard head today and it's great!  Thank you so much!!"

But heard nothing from the giraffe person.  I don't ask the customers to let me know when things arrive, or if they like them.  But it's nice when they do.  I checked the tracking number and I know it was delivered, but that was all.

On the RV shopping front.  The salesman called me today about the Itasca that we almost offered on.  The other buyer did get his financing approved, so it is now off the list. But he is going to watch for similar rigs for us to consider.  This week I went on line and read reviews of dealers that we might find ourselves working with.  One had almost all bad reviews, one had a mixture of good and not so good, a couple had no reviews, and See Grins had all good reviews.  I know each persons experience is different and most of the time people only write complaints.  But it is comforting to read the place you might be doing business isn't a bunch of complete scum-bags and crooks.

We are working on the house this weekend, and I am leaving for San Diego next Sunday for a week, so we probably won't do anymore looking until after I get back.  I might look at some rigs down in San Diego however.  


  1. Nothing is better than getting positive, enthusiastic feedback!! Yay for you!!

  2. What a relief! I know that you are happy that your offspring are in their new home. I too, am amazed at your work.

    Happy and safe travels!

  3. Glad everything arrived safely and your customer really appreciated the talent in their creation. What alot to go through to get them!!

  4. At times, you must feel like you are living in a zoo! :)

  5. It is so nice to get that positive feedback. Have a safe trip to San Diego!

  6. How nice that you got some good feedback. I can see where it would be more satisfying to place your craft into the buyer's hand rather than to just ship if off and never get to see the reaction of the new owner. I'll bet the new owner of the giraffe loved it too but just didn't take the time to write.

    Good luck with your ongoing RV search. You will find the right one - it just takes time.

  7. It's got to be a great feeling when you get such positive feedback about your work. Another happy customer. :)

    I got my RV at La Mesa RV in San Diego - I would highly recommend them. Everyone I dealt with was completely professional, knew what they were doing, and they were really nice. Could not have been more helpful, even after the sale. My rig was the cleanest I'd seen, and they have a warranty. It's short, 30 days, but it's real. If you get a chance, check them out. I wouldn't recommend Camping World in San Marcos if they are still selling RV's.

  8. great news that your customer is happy with the product!..that is the best advertising!!

  9. The customs guys seem to come up with new rules and regs every other week. Glad you got it sorted out.


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