Saturday, January 24, 2015

Why We Stopped Using the FOMO Method- Sort Of

Why we stopped using the FOMO methodThe FOMO method has allowed use to ship hundreds of items at an affordable cost. This method of shipping breakables essentially consists of bubble wrapping a mug or fragile item, cutting cardboard to wrap around it, then popping it in a Padded Flat Rate Envelope for under $6.
It saved us a ton of money on shipping! We never had any breakage... Until we moved to our new home.
All of the sudden we had 3 or 4 items broken. When you consider the fact that we have shipped thousands of items and have had perhaps 6 broken items ever (including these), that's a crazy high rate of breakage! Something wasn't right.
Naturally we refunded immediately and filed claims, which the USPS summarily denied for no good reason. So insurance with USPS... Pfft. We won't be paying extra for their insurance ever again.
Anywho, Mr. Uniquelyleanna chatted with the local post office head dude who investigated. He found that an employee was placing all Padded Flat Rate Envelopes in the wrong machine, which was munching on the envelopes and breaking anything in it.
While we are happy that the issue was addressed, what would prevent this from happening somewhere else?
Nothing would prevent this from happening in any other post office. Nothing.
The only thing we can do about it is to stop using the method. While we use a variation of the method to pack things for safety, we now send almost everything in boxes. It's not worth the risk, and now that the USPS has proven to us how worthless their insurance is, breakage would leave us with even emptier pockets!
It's a very disappointing turn of events, but as small business owners who take responsibility for the mistakes of others and for events completely out of our control, it's a necessary step to ensure our customers receive happy mail- not sad mail!
So before you ship breakable items FOMO, I strongly urge you to consider which is more important to you- saving a few bucks now, or the happiness of your customers. We choose our customers. We ALWAYS choose our customers!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Vintage Personal Shopper at Your Service!

IMG_1739.JPGMy most absolutely positively favorite thing to do is to serve as a vintage personal shopper! There really isn't really a specific job title for this aside from "pickers," and we generally don't go rummaging through people's houses (see note at the end). We thought about what personal shoppers do, and that really is what we do, simply with a vintage twist and within a given budget!
In a nutshell, people give us lists of what they are looking for. We call these "ISO lists." Some lists are super specific, while others are more vague. We have some customers who collect one item, and other customers who collect a laundry list of items.
Still other customers are mixed media crafters who prefer to buy their materials through us so they can focus on what they love best- crafting! Those lists change with the wind, and that's just fine!
Flea market vendors and antique shop owners often struggle to keep particular items in stock. We understand you need to make a profit in this case, so we offer vintage items at wholesale prices as well! From old medical ephemera to antique tins, we will find it for you!
As we all know, some vintage and antique items can be very hard to find. Some are simply priced sky high. In these cases we often ask for a budget to keep in mind as we may find these items at a flea market but would, naturally, have to charge more since we would pay more!
Once we find something we think you might like, we forward pictures, prices, and information such as any imperfections to you. If it's not exactly what you are looking for, then we simply offer it to someone else. Pictures of your home, collection, or store always help us get a better idea of what you are looking for and tend to speed up the initial getting-to-know-you process. We really do enjoy getting to know our customers and celebrating their passions!
Whether you are a collector, a crafter, a busy executive looking for unique and personalized gifts for employees, or a stay at home mom who wants a few special items within budget, we are here to serve you and ensure you get exactly what you are looking for at a price you can afford!
Interested? Contact us at uniquelyleanna@gmail.com, call/text, or find us on Instagram!
Note: While I am sure that would be super fun, I'm allergic to everything! If there was cigarette smoke or a pile of tires we would be headed to the ER after using an epi pen. I can, however, go to some thrifts and flea markets in what I refer to as my combat gear- nitrile gloves and my latex free respirator mask!