Have you heard about internet shipping scams? Recently, Midisparks Art Sales was subjected to one. They go something like this.
An interested buyer contacts your site via email. The prospect asks if your site ships internationally and accepts credit card payments. Upon receiving affirmative replies to both those queries, the prospect gives you a story about poor delivery service to their (remote) country by the well-known international shippers. The prospect asks that you contact a recommended shipper. She provides you with an email address to that end.
The quote you get back from the bogus shipper is for an extraordinary amount of money – usually far more than the value of the order. When you quote that number back to your prospect, she has no problem with it. You should put the order together for him and he will then provide a credit card. When you have taken payment you should bank wire payment to the shipper.
After you have done that the scammers will either cancel the order or the card. You might be out the cost of goods sold. You will certainly be out the shipping payment you wired.
Okay, there is the scam. So what might the silver lining be? What is the learning? Well, in my case, helpful retail support suggested the con while I was speaking with them about the order, which I abandoned. So an aborted scam because of bringing in your team is certainly a good thing and a happy lesson to store for the future. Beyond that, I took some extraordinary measures to ensure that product was going to be up to snuff and that the customer experience was going to be superb. The attention to quality for the sake of this bogus order established a production procedure with my vendor which will guarantee quality on all the real orders going forward.
Positive, well-planned and incremental steps can overwhelm the negativity that may be assaulting you and keep you from being hurt. We should keep believing that good fortune can come our way. We just need to keep our heads when things are good, even as we have learned to keep our heads when the going is rough.
Spark on! Dan Goldstein