Do you believe?

The Genie doesn't photograph well...

I recently received this inquiry from an eBay customer, regarding our Genie Lamp – 3 Wishes Inspiration Coin.

“hiya im not being nasty but do these work ive been on your feed back (on EBAY) and you have getten 5 negative feed backs so how are you expected for people to belive if they work or not im just being straight with you”

So many thoughts tumbled through my head as I read this person’s
question, including, but definitely not limited to the following:

  1. I wonder what the note would say if he/she was being nasty and wasn’t being straight with me?
  2. Do any of our 5 negative feedbacks on EBAY in the last year have to do with wishes not coming true?
  3. Am I on Candid Camera?
  4. If these Genie/3 Wishes coins really worked do you think we would be
    sharing them with others?

While I am still not sure what the author of the note really was looking for in an answer to their query, I AM sure about the answer to question #4…a resounding “YES”!

Let me come at you from a different angle on this one.  While I know that a Genie is not going to pop out of the lamp pictured on this coin, I do like to think that making a few wishes can brighten someone’s day.  The Lighthouse/Shine coin may not actually help you win the upcoming football game, but it will probably boost your confidence.   When you are struggling to maintain yourself in the face of a hard situation just the words “Take a Deep Breath” on a token might give you a moment of peace.  That is what and our products are all about – making life just a little better for anyone who may need a pick me up.

When we ship a large order of engraved “Hope” stones to a cancer fundraising event, I know that our rocks can’t cure cancer but do they give someone’s spirit a lift?  I sure hope so.

One of our most popular items is the Pewter Pocket Angel.  The pocket card that can be purchased with them reads “An Angel for your pocket to remind you that you’re not alone.”  Is there a real true angel in your pocket?  No, but can a small token make you feel comfort in a time of need?  You bet…and I love selling those tokens over and over again.

I am still mulling over how to actually answer the Genie Coin question, but I will say that no amount of good or bad feedback can steer a person into believing anything.  That, my friends, must come from somewhere in your heart…


Lost in Translation

The unfortunately un-magnetized Christian Fish token.

Do you ever feel like you are talking and no one is listening?  Sadly, that feeling comes to me on a regular basis when answering questions our customers have about our products.  I feel that after working with these items for over 3 years I am pretty qualified to answer most questions and usually do so in a pretty clear way.  But every now and then someone just has to be told again and again and again.

Below is the email stream that I recently had with a customer over a two day period about one of our Inspiration Coins:

Customer: Will these stick to a magnet? How big are the tokens in comparison to a quarter? Nickel? Thanks.

Suzi: We have never attempted to make these into magnets but I assume it would be possible. They are approximately the size of a nickel but oblong. Thanks!

Customer: Is there any way you can confirm they’ll stick to a magnet?

Suzi: If you are asking if they are naturally magnetic the answer is no. We have had people buy many of our tokens to make them into magnets, so it will depend on what adhesive you use to attach the magnet. As I said before we have never attempted to make them into magnets. Thanks!

Customer: No, all I’m asking if it will stick to a magnet?  If I took a magnet and placed it on a quarter, the magnet would not “magnetize the quarter” and stick to it.  So, will these stick to a magnet like other metal objects?  Sorry to be a pain, but it’s important.

SuziNo, it will not stick to a magnet.

Please note dear reader that I did not end my final communication with my customary “Thanks!”, this is because I had given up hope at this point that he/she would actually buy the product… I was correct.


Um, that’s Dudette to you…

“Dude, did you ship yet?” came the email today.

We get lots of emails, all day long. Some kind, some nasty, some informational. It’s not often we get emails that begin with ‘Dude’. In fact, I’m not sure it’s ever happened.

It made me laugh. Out loud.

We are an office of women. And we are fairly girly girls. We wear scarves, occasionally cry, get our feelings hurt by ‘mean’ customers and drink tea. We unanimously adore pedicures, talk about the best place to get our hair cut and colored and have long, involved conversations about giving birth (one of us became a new aunt yesterday!)

No one has ever mistaken any of us for a ‘dude’. (Funnier, however, then being referred to as ‘Dear Sir’.) ‘Dude’ conjures up thoughts of Hawaii, surfing and pot. None of which I’ve ever experienced. I swear.

I love my job. Not sure I love being referred to as ‘dude’, though. And yes, kind sir, your package shipped last week.

The wacky ‘wonderful’ world of Customer Service

When I took the reins of customer service here at I knew I would be dealing with all kinds of people and personalities.  I am by nature a people person, and some would say a people pleaser.  Okay, I just want everyone to be happy all the time, is that so wrong?  But lately I have gotten some emails that have just baffled me. 

Here is a quick sample to whet your appetite:

 Customer email (sent on 7/18):  ~~ I would like to order the pewter hearts.  A bag of 100.  Would like to have them by Thursday 7/22/10. 

 That’s it people, no “Here is my phone number and please call me, so I can give you my name, address and credit card information” no “I’ll put the order in online and please confirm these can be delivered by my need by date”.  What am I psychic??? (See previous post about us looking for a full-time psychic to help with customers such as these!)

 Here are a couple more slightly lost souls:

 Customer #1:  ~~I want to place an order but can’t find ‘go to check out.’ Do you deliver to the UK?

 Customer #2:  ~~ I would like to place a small order of 6 word stones to determine if I want to order in bulk.  I do not see where I can order on-line.  Am I missing something? HELP!

 Their only error was that they didn’t scroll down far enough on the page to see the order grid.  I could tell you what I think customer #2 could be missing but you would think I am being mean, and that is not what this blog is intended for.  If you are the author of one of these messages, please be assured that I have answered your query with great intentions and only want to help you place your order.  But every now and then when they all pile up in my inbox I have to wonder out loud…what is going on with people?  Trust me, I know that I ask crazy questions on a daily basis. The difference is I try to ask them in my own head and never let them escape my lips if they sound too crazy!

We also seem to attract people who would like things basically for free.  Sometimes they come right out and say it:

 ~~ I am hosting a Holiday Open House party at my store this November, and would love to have some items from you as door prizes for my customers. This is a great way to show my customers I appreciate them, and for you to show you appreciate my store.  🙂  Please let me know if you are able to send some product for the event.

 Most times they are slightly (and I use this word loosely) more subtle:

 ~~Hey! Just got one of your tokens, would you give me free shipping if I buy a second? Thanks!

 ~~I was just wondering if it’s possible to get special pricing for this item. I plan on giving them as “Thank You” favors at my grandmother’s 85th birthday party next January and I would need about 25 tokens.

 ~~ Hello: I really hope that I am not insulting you. Please don’t take it that way. I would really like to have one of your pennies.  But the most that I can offer to you is a $1.25 total. That’s with shipping.  If you won’t make any money selling it for $1.25 I’ll understand. I thank you very much for your time and consideration. Thank you for being so kind to me in this matter.

 It is amazing how insulting people can be when they say they aren’t trying to insult you!  We are very glad that our tokens and stones are a product in demand.  I am here and willing to help you get the best price we can offer for the amount of items that you are looking to purchase. 

But dear, sweet, thoughtful, kind customers of mine, our company does need to make a little profit…so I can get a little paycheck!  🙂

Psychic hotline, here we come

We recently had a customer order a variety of stones in different quantities.  This is not unusual as I’m sure you can figure out there are lots of different reasons why people buy the stones in all kinds of combination’s.  This particular customer, however, was not happy with our service.  Here’s how the conversation went...

Customer:  “Hi, um, yeah, I just received my order and it’s wrong.”

CourageInStone:  “Oh no, we’re so sorry!  What is the problem?”

Customer:  “Well, I received 20 of the word Hope and I only wanted 2.”

CourageInStone:  “OK, let me take a look at your order….hmm…I see here that you actually ordered 20 of the word Hope.”

Customer:  “But, I didn’t want 20 Hope, I only wanted 2.”

CourageInStone:  “I understand.  But you ordered and paid for 20.”

Customer:  “Well, I just think you should have caught the error and corrected it.”

CourageInStone:  “How would we have known that you only wanted 2 instead of 20?”

Customer:  “Based on the rest of my order…I didn’t order 20 of any other stone.”

CourageInStone:  “Well, people order different amounts of stones for different reasons all the time.  How can we fix this for you?”

Customer:  “Oh, I’ll keep them.  But I just would have appreciated knowing that I made an error.”

CourageInStone:  “OK, well, we’ll try to catch that the next time you order. You have a nice day.”

So…we have decided to put a psychic on staff.  Anyone know of one that’s looking for a full time gig?

You did not just say that

We are lucky to boast customers from all over the world, from all walks of life and ages.  Most of our customers are polite, friendly, pleasant and appreciative.  We love them.  Occasionally, however, we get a few wacky ones in the mix…the ones that make you scratch your head and chuckle and every so often the ones that make you wonder about the state of mankind in general.   I’d like to share with you a few of the things people have actually communicated to us.

(Small print:  I feel it necessary to point out that with over 16,000 orders under our belt, we deal with a lot of different people on a regular basis…it keeps us sane to share a sense of humor about our day to day tasks, and we know that sometimes we ALL say things that don’t really come out quite as we expected!  Having said that, enjoy…)

  1. When inadvertently sent stones with the word “Hope” instead of “Courage”, a customer called to inform us that he was very upset and needed to return them because he ‘didn’t believe in hope.’  (If that doesn’t send you home depressed, I don’t know what will…)
  2. When we were unable to meet a customer’s deadline for some custom engraved stones, she finished a 15 minute rant with ‘these stones were supposed to save lives.’ (Well if that’s the case, we are WAY undercharging.)
  3. When asking for a discount price on an already deeply discounted order, one customer told us that she had just spent $45,000 getting a doctorate and that she was currently ‘financially drained.’  (Yeah honey, aren’t we all.)
  4. After placing an order, a customer asked how quickly we shipped ‘because I’m on oxygen and don’t have much time left.  I hope I’m still alive when they get here.’  (It’s important to note that she’s been a returning customer for 2 years now…)
  5. When a customer saw one of our tokens that depicts a Buddha, she declared ‘I need to do Buddhism ’cause he’s just so darn cute!’ (Yes, I’m fairly certain that most people that ‘do Buddhism’ follow the religion because of its ‘darn cute’ deity.)
  6. In the notes section of an order: ‘Please throw package over fence.’ (While we pride ourselves on great customer service, personal delivery of packages just isn’t cost effective.  However, if we were to personally deliver a package, I can assure you that there would be no ‘throwing’ involved…)
  7. A woman called in to buy a gift and as she was choosing her stones, she asked ‘which words do you think my daughter would like?’ (Um, you do realize that we don’t actually know your daughter?!)
  8. Often we get requests to ‘send the best and prettiest ones you have’ of a particular item.  (Good thing you specified that, because otherwise we send our worst and ugliest.)
  9. We are an office full of women.  One customer called several times and each time someone different answered the phone.  Her response?  “Oh, are you all sisters?” (Several different women + same office = sisters?  Not quite sure how that equation works, but OK!)
  10. When we went back and forth with a customer concerning a package that she was insisting she had not received, we were perplexed.  We had shipped it in a timely manner and the tracking confirmed it had been delivered.  So, we were very relieved when, a few days later, the customer called to let us know that she had found the package…’under some stuff on top of the refrigerator’… (Well of course!  On top of the refrigerator is the 1st place I always look for missing packages…)

So thank you for the laughs.  We look forward to filling our next 16,000 orders, smiling the whole way.