O.K., so I said I’d tell you next how we got started but we had something so crazy happen last week that I have to share!
We were in the Morning Sentinel on February 12th. Amy Calder came to our operation and watched us make soap. She wrote a clever, well-written article and David Leaming took pictures. It was great publicity for us and we heard from a lot of people. Then we got a call from WABI-TV. They had seen the article and they wanted to interview us as well. They sent a talented anchor, Emily Tadlock, to interview us and roll the camera. She did a really nice job as well. We reached a much wider audience and started getting lot’s of new soap orders.
Along with all the orders, we received a message from a woman in Spain, Marna, who was interested in selling our soap in her store in Spain. We were flattered and Susan corresponded with Marna as she had a special connection with Spain. (She lived there for a while.) Marna had some questions about shipping costs so Susan was researching the options. Susan then left for a long overdue vacation to Florida and Cindy and I had to take care of business. During this week Marna placed her order…. 151 bars of soap!! Wow!! Biggest order we’ve seen!! She wanted to know the total cost including shipping.
I first went to the Post Office to figure out what box to use and the least expensive way to ship it. The postal clerk was great and I went to our warehouse (Susan’s basement) with Cindy and we gathered up the 151 bars of soap and nicely packed it in the box. The next part was a comedy show. I stepped on scales at least three times to make sure my weight was the same every time. Then I picked up the 40+ pound box of soap and stepped on the scales. I did that at least three times to be accurate. I then brought the box home to wait for Marna’s reaction to the cost of soap plus shipping. (We knew the shipping would be approximately $158. if the box weighed between 40 & 44 pounds.)
In the meantime, Susan is still vacationing in much warmer weather than here and she gets an email from Marna. Susan was on her way to an event so asked if we could take care of it. Marna says that she lives in a remote corner of Spain and often packages don’t get to the correct address so she wants me to check with Ocean Freight. They’re a company that picks up and delivers packages. She wanted a quote from them including our costs. Of course, I emailed the company right away and waited for a response.
Their quote came back at $400 and $500 priority for their services!! I was flabbergasted but just forwarded the quote to Marna, thinking there’s no way she’ll want to go this route.
Not only did Marna want us to use Ocean Freight but she was going with the $500 charge!! Not only that, but she had issues with Paypal, would pay us the total amount with her credit card but we were to get a moneygram to pay Ocean freight their cost, etc., etc. We were a little suspicious all along but kept thinking if it was a scam how did they get their money? Well now we know!
Good news…Our soap stock is up 151 bars.
Bad news…Marna is no longer friends with us!
Even worse news…I can’t get my own weight out of the mind. To the gym I go…