A couple weeks before Thanksgiving I decided I had better get into Christmas present buying mode. Family was coming to town for the holiday and being the fiscally retentive (aka cheap) person that I am, I wanted to send them home with Christmas presents. I’d finish Christmas early and forgo having to pay postage to send gifts (it costs 55 cents just to mail a regular letter!). I successfully ordered all my presents and waited for them to come in. I even splurged a little and ordered some Christmas presents from me to me because I sure have good taste. I’d say it was just like Christmas with all the packages but it was, in fact, Christmas. Also about this time I overheard my co-workers complaining about Amazon packages they had ordered that came via China Post. Their orders were delayed because of the riots in China. I heeded my eavesdropped knowledge and tried to avoid the same pitfall.
A couple of telltale signs I noticed. If the product had an expected delivery date a month out – it was probably coming from China. Keep scrolling.
Also, if I used my laptop to order, I scrolled to the bottom and found a little disclaimer basically saying the product was more than likely to arrive late. It mentioned being one of the few “lucky ducks” to get the package in a timely manner but the majority of the people wouldn’t get it until a month or so later.
So, I tried to avoid ordering those products.
Or, at least, I thought I avoided ordering those products.
For my gift for MZ, I wanted to buy a Hallmark movie watching shirt. I thought I had navigated through the “lucky duck” options and picked one that would be delivered by Thanksgiving. She was coming for Thanksgiving so that would work out well.
I was wrong. It did not come that weekend. The tracking for it said it was shipped through China Post. “Good crud,” I complained. “I thought I was smarter than that.” The tracking stopped after the second day.
About a week later, long after MZ had returned home, I received an email from Amazon saying something along the lines of “Looks like your package is lost. If you haven’t received it by such and such date you can get a refund.”
I waited until such and such date. The tracking never changed. As soon as I could request a refund, I did. That’s when I heard from the seller. They didn’t want to refund the product and said they’d refund me 50% and I’d get to keep the shirt when it came in. Mind you, at this point, I still didn’t have the shirt and now I was scrambling for a Plan B gift.
We have a Hallmark store here in town but it must be Hallmark in name only. It apparently doesn’t actually have Hallmark merchandise. But I contacted Lyn who lives nearby a Hallmark store and told her what I wanted. Within a couple of days she bought MZ’s gift and even gift wrapped it for me. Now, I really didn’t want the shirt from China. What would I do with two Hallmark shirts?
I heard again from the seller and they were willing to refund me 80% and I still would get to keep the shirt. Keep in mind, I still didn’t have the shirt but they assured me I would have it the Wednesday before Christmas.
If that was the best offer I was willing to do it although I was trying to think of what to do with the extra shirt. The shirt came in the Wednesday before Christmas and I didn’t even open it. I blacked out my address and stuck it back in the mail. I did get a full refund on the product. MZ got a much better Christmas present than what she was going to get from me. It was a win all the way around. Except for the seller.
I guess the moral of the little adventure is to start Christmas shopping even earlier. Like maybe now. I bet if I ordered a Hallmark shirt now it would be here by next Christmas. Maybe.