December 17th, 2011

stabat mater dolorosa

status update - catching up; also updates at karmazain.com store

I finally got back on my feet Wednesday night and have been making my way through the queues of messages and catching up on orders.  I am doing the best I can - please keep in mind:

1. custom work takes time, and if you're in a hurry, you probably should order from a place that already has stuff made and sitting on a shelf ready to ship instead of ordering from me. I do not strive for quick shipping - I strive for personalized, custom-finished items.  If you are going to freak out when you don't have your stuff in a week, you should not shop with me, because you are just going to be frustrated and I am just going to be irritated and nobody will be happy. I go out of my way to make this custom work and handling time thing clear, in my ebay listings especially, since ebay casts wide nets and there are always new customers and some of them do not read item listings carefully or payment acknowledgment emails & FAQs at all, apparently.  As I direct new folks to these status update posts in the FAQ, I repeat this a lot, and I apologize to my regular readers, clients, and customers for beating the dead horse. But it's always a brand new horse to somebody, so I appreciate your patience with my repeating myself :-)

2. Once I print your label, I have it picked up on the label ship date. We sellers have to use labels on the label ship date - we can't just waltz in whenever with a label printed on an earlier date.  And once that package is picked up, I have no idea where it is, why USPS has not scanned it yet, why it says it is in Florida when you live in Seattle, when it's going to get there, or anything like that.  I have the same info you have (which, by the way, is NOT tracking - it's delivery confirmation. it's not supposed to do anything except confirm delivery.  It does not advertise that it will tell you where your package is while it's in transit, and it does not in fact accurately tell you where your package is in transit.  That's not what it's for, and I wish eBay and the USPS would stop calling it tracking when it is in fact no such thing).  And neither I nor the post office consider it "lost" until twenty business days from the label ship date have passed with no package appearing.  And you know what?  In ten years, *the package has always there by twenty business days from the label ship date,* even when services have been totally trashed by hurricanes and other disasters.  So despite what at least one recent ebay customer thinks, I do not print labels and then not mail the packages. That would be like flushing cash down the toilet.  I have nothing to gain from that.  and I am certainly not in the business of trying to rip off my customers - I've been doing this for a long time, not a fly by night op, and I have nothing to gain from lying to you about shipping your $5 bottle of oil.  Cue serenity prayer here.  IF 20 business days have passed and your package has still not arrived, I will be more than happy to put in a trace.  But prior to 20 business days, there is nothing I can tell you that you do not already know, so there is really no point in sending me those "my item hasn't arrived yet" emails before 20 business days have passed.  And if you read the payment acknowledgment email, you will already know this.  I understand being concerned when a package takes longer than you expect - I have been the anxious buyer plenty of times, honestly, I do get it.  But I go out of my way to explain how this works ahead of time so there are no surprises, and so I get a little frustrated when I have fifty new messages and twenty of them are from five people asking me questions that they have already been given the answers to, if they would only read their email.  Honest to God, I have nothing to gain from not mailing your stuff, or from lying to you, and things taking longer to arrive around the holidays is not a personal vendetta or some plot on my part - it's a fact of life with peak seasons at the post office.

3.  I do not like to do consultations when I am not feeling 100%, and I do not like to do altar work or ritual work when I'm not feeling 100%, so if your stuff takes a little longer than expected, I hope you will check out my reputation and realize that there is probably a good reason for that, and that I am not just a flake.  I would really prefer to do your altar work and divination work when I'm at my best - and I think you would prefer that too if you think about it for a minute.  And, as always, if you find the waiting time on your consultation to be too long and you would like a refund, I'm happy to oblige if I have not yet begun working on your consultation.

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Store news: I still haven't done the "grand reopening" due to a host of minor things, not least of which has been this whole greater-than-desired intimacy with the inside of hospitals lately.  However, I have made a couple of changes that should make life easier in the meanwhile:

- there are now two automated options for international buyers who want to check out through the store and not wait on me to send an invoice.  Basically, overseas buyers can add a shipping fee to their cart, as if it were a store item, so they can check out as usual and have their orders begin processing without delay.  Of course, I'm happy to send a second invoice for shipping instead, still, if you prefer that.

- I have adjusted the fees for services that are available through the store, so that when you are charged shipping for them even though nothing is to be mailed, the end result should be your paying the proper amount for the service, instead of the proper amount + shipping. This means, for instance, that light settings in the store are now $9.25 instead of $15.  You still pay $15, but $5.75 of it is going to be labeled "shipping."  So I won't have to go back and manually refund you the shipping anymore

***

also, don't forget that today is the last day of the "free shipping" sale on jewelry at the eBay store. It ends this evening, so don't dawdle if you meant to take advantage of it!

Happy holidays, and thanks for bearing with me as I clawed my way back to health these past couple of weeks!