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Re: OT, but I am in urgent need of advice
From Patrick at on 18 August '00
replying to OT, but I am in urgent need of advice posted by Karen

You're going to hate this answer, but you have to eat it. In fact loss due to theft(or fraud) should be an item in your business plan, becuase every business is going to get it. Treat it like part of your overhead. The losses from theft should be worked into your pricing scheme.

Ever wonder why the mark-up on matresses is 200-300 percent or more? It's because people will buy a matress, sleep on it for a week or two, then return it. The cost from returns is worked into the retail price.

If this makes you feel any better, you can refuse to sell to the customer again, but I suggest having a policy. After a certain number of returns, the customer is refused service. This means your shopping cart software has to support lock-outs, or you have to go through each order and check, but that's about all you can do.

It's better to lose $100 to a thief, than to lose $1,000 because a disgruntled customer(with an honest complaint) was treated like a thief and spread the word.

Best of Luck!

PS. If you bought insurance when you shipped, you can try and get reimbursed from the Post Office.

>Sorry this is a little off-topic, but I need the advice of other ecommerce merchants who may have had to deal with this problem. I am fairly new to ecommerce. I have an online fragrance store. I just received an email from a customer who purchased 2 items that said she got her order but only received one of the items. Now, I packed that order myself. I rolled both items up in one long strip of bubble-wrap and know absolutely beyond a doubt that both items were in the box and she is lying. The package was sent by Priority Mail if that makes a difference. I have sent her an email telling her I know I packed both items and asking her if the box had been opened when she received it.
>What can I do to avoid having to send this dishonest person a free expensive product?
>Thank you.

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