About a month ago, I placed an order for some scrapbook supplies from an online shop. I had bought from them before and had a great experience. The prices are good, they get the new releases quite quickly, and sometimes carry things that I can’t get with my consultant discount from MEMORY WORKS. Super cool, right?

So I ordered a bunch of things from the October Afternoon “9 TO 5” LINE including 12×12 papers, Mini Market stickers, 2 rolls of washi tape, etc. I also purchased a set of SUMMER FRESH 6×8 insert pages {MW was out of stock at the time}.

summer fresh mix and match album

My shipment arrived in a timely manner and I was scrap happy, although I was so busy with work and family stuff at the time, I barely had time to glance at it all much less sniff all the paper …. erm, verify that I got everything I ordered.


So fast forward to last weekend. I was straightening up my desk, putting away a bunch of scrap crap … errr … scrappy goodness, and I came across the package with my order. Finally! Time to sniff my papers! I mean, LOOK at all my goodies. For shits and giggles, I looked at the packing sheet and compared it to what I received.

Lo and behold, something didn’t match up. Instead of the LABEL STICKERS that I ordered …

october afternoon 9 to 5 label stickers

… I received WORD STICKERS:

october afternoon 9 to 5 word stickers

And instead of 1 set of JOURNAL CARDS

october afternoon 9 to 5 journal cards

october afternoon 9 to 5 journal cards

… I received 2 sets.


Don’t get me wrong: Those Word Stickers are sure cute. But, you know, um … that’s not what I paid for. Not what I chose. For one thing, I won’t even use those book tab thingee stickers. And I wanted the journaling space provided by the, uh, ya know, label stickers that I ordered.

Then again, why am I complaining? Not only did they replace the Label stickers with the comparably-priced Word Stickers, but I got a “free” pack of Journal Cards too. So doesn’t that more than make up for everything?

I’m not going to make an issue of it. One could say if I cared so much, why would I take over a month to figure out the discrepancy? And is it really worth the time/energy it takes to call or write the company, return or exchange or wait for the Label Stickers (which I assume they were out of) to come in, etc.? Nope, not worth it to me.

But this is the second time this has happened to me in about the last year (and I’d say I order something online about twice a month, if you include my monthly SUPER SKETCH CLUB kit). The other time it was from one of the huge online vendors. In that case, they really screwed me. An item I ordered was “out of stock” (funny how it was IN stock when I placed my order) so not only did they just ship it to me without the item (you know, the one I was REALLY looking forward to and the main reason I placed the order in the first place?).

But by deleting that item, it took me below the “$50 and free shipping” threshhold. So I received only my secondary item AND got charged for full shipping which was not an amount I would’ve agreed to pay for shipping. Grrr! I e-mailed them to express my pissed-off-edness but didn’t pursue it beyond that. I did learn not to order from them again unless I’m willing to risk this little cancellation and replacement dance they do.

And now I don’t trust this second vendor and will question ordering from them again. Wouldn’t it have been better for their sake if they had taken the time to write or call me and say, “Hey, we’re out of this, can we give you that, or would you rather have a Paypal refund?” And then I would continue my loyalty to them as a very happy customer. Now, not so much.

So this has me wondering how common a practice this is in the scrapbook industry. What’s been your experience with online shopping? Have you had items you ordered and paid for – substituted, canceled, or otherwise arrive not as you expected? Did you make an issue of it or just let it ride?

Would love to hear your experiences … Please leave the company name out of it if you can/thanks!

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  1. avatar

    This sort of thing happens to me all the time with my scrappy orders. I recieve a decent sized order each month from the same shop each month and more often than not I am missing something or got the wrong item. Its gotten to the point that I hate emailing them to tell them because it makes me feel like they think im lying :(

  2. avatar

    I finally checked out your blog and I’m loving it so far! :) Can’t wait to go through your other posts …

    The only time I’ve had a bad experience getting scrapbook supplies was not when I ordered, it was when I won a prize. I won a blog contest from my favorite scrapbook manufacturer for their latest collection. In their congratulations email, they clearly stated that they did not have the collection yet, that it would be another month before they got it in stock. They said to contact them if I had not received anything after that. I thought it was awful strange that they’d have a contest with prizes they didn’t have on hand, but went with it. A month went by, and following THEIR instructions, I forwarded their email back to them, with a message that I wanted to check on it, as instructed. I found their reply not only tacky, but made it sound like I’d been hounding them daily for a handout. They said they should be getting the shipment to their warehouse “next week” and after they send their store orders out, they’ll get to the prizes. Meanwhile, I not only saw other people who won posting about it, I saw the collections for sale online. I waited another 2 weeks, then fired off an email stating all the facts, and telling them just how disappointed it made me that my FAVORITE company were to treat me this way. I got an apology, and assurance that the company president was personally going through the warehouse filling up a box for me with extra goodies. :) I did get a nice apology note in my box, although I wish it had been signed instead of just printed.

  3. avatar

    I have been lucky so far with most of my on-line shopping.
    I have had a few things not arrive because they turned out to not be in stock, but have always been refunded.
    And a few times a little extra goodie thrown in to make up for the out of stock item.
    I will say, I have made a few errors on my end though.
    Accidentally ordering two of the same item :)

  4. avatar
    Jill T says:

    I’m having an issue (ahem!) getting a magazine that I subscribed to. I won’t say the name but it’s a scrappy one (narrows it down), an expensive one and one that features a different scrappy artist each issue. This series began early this year and I have yet to receive the magazine with the regular mailing. The scenario goes like this each month: I notice the discount/deal-a-day websites featuring the latest magazine which reminds me I’ve never gotten my copy. I email the publisher who always tells me it should have been mailed with the 15th of the month mailings, I need to wait until the end of the month and if I haven’t received it, let them know and they will be “happy” to have it re-sent. I keep asking them to please check my subscription because there has to be some problem with it and they just ignore that request or act like it’s my fault for not waiting long enough for the magazine to arrive. Last month I waited until the 24th to notify them, figuring it had plenty of time to arrive if it truly shipped on the 15th but still got the same response. I’m getting very frustrated because I feel like I have to babysit this thing and make sure I get what I’ve paid for. It would have been MUCH easier to have just taken my happy little 40% off coupon to Hobby Lobby each month and bought the mag there. And believe me, that’s what I will be doing in the future! Whew, thanks for letting me vent Erika!

  5. avatar
    smcl says:

    That sounds bad & I would be upset! I don’t use the file tabs as is, I cut them in half and use them that way, as word labels
    . Online ordering has been okay so far for me with companies. I did win a 130 piece MME kit on eBay that only the had the paper in it -12 pieces! I was really upset, b/c I don’t need any more paper, I wanted all those extra pieces. I ended up getting a refund, but I am still looking for those embellishments at a good price!

  6. avatar

    As an owner of an online shop and a B&M shop, we deal with out of stock items more than I would like. We automatically update our inventory every 3 hours, so that if something sells in the B&M store, our online store should be updated as well. However, it happens that something is purchased in the B&M store before we can pull the online store. It also happens that B&M store “customers” decide to take something and not pay for it, and we don’t realize it’s missing until we pull an online order and an item is missing. I have also had it where a B&M customer picked up a product, decided they didn’t want it, and dropped it somewhere else in the store. Of course, that’s the item we’ve been looking all over for, to pack in an online order. :) Never fails that we find the item somewhere in the store AFTER we’ve emailed the customer about the out of stock item, credited their accounts and shipped it off.

    Of course there are mistakes on our part too. In the 9 years we’ve been shipping out orders I think we have made less than a dozen errors in shipping wrong items, but it happens. We have ALWAYS made it right by the customer though! They keep the wrong item, and we ship out their correct item immediately.

    One more thing we do for our customers…if your order falls below the free shipping amount because we are out of stock on something (that is NO FAULT OF YOURS!!!) we ship it for free anyway. :)

    Believe me when I tell you, the out of stock thing drives me CRAZY! We do perpetual inventory counts to help prevent it, but it just is something that unfortunately is something we’ll have to deal with.

    Have a fantastic day!

  7. avatar

    I don’t shop online that much as I like to be able to touch before I buy – I know, it’s weird. But I do know how frustrating it is when you don’t get the service you expect. Sorry you had to experience that. :(

  8. avatar

    I shop A LOT online, not just for scrapbook stuff. An order being wrong happens occasionally. People make mistakes. With scrapbook stuff, where a box is being filled with lots of small stuff, and items can look very similar to each other at first glance – like with those sticker sheets – it’s especially hard to not make errors. So I always check my orders when I get them.

    Anytime you get an item that you didn’t order like the duplicate you were sent, by law you are entitled to keep it. If you were not shipped an item, you are entitled to a credit or replacement. If you are shipped the wrong item, you are entitled to keep the wrong item AND be credited or sent a replacement.

    In my experience scrapbook retailers have been good about fixing problems. But I haven’t had them often.

  9. avatar

    Haha! Your story sounds like something I experienced a few years ago. I had placed an order with a scrappy manufacture’s own website. They were having a huge sale. I snagged up papers, journaling sheets, chipboards, a little bit of everything….

    I get my order, and they had left an iterm off my order and sent two of another, more expensive item that I had not even ordered. So I called them, and they appologized and and said they would sent the correct item right out.

    I get the next shipment, still the wrong product, and two of a more expensive item. I called them again, and went through the process one more time, with all the same results.

    I finally said forget it. I didn’t want things I had not paid for, I just wanted the item I had ordered; and GOOD GRAVY !!!! Iffin you don’t have it in stock, quit sending me random things; and just tell me you don’t have it. I’m a big girl. I can handle it! lol

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