So, I'm pretty sure that I just lost the biggest wholesale account I may ever see. On a positive note though, that loss will help keep my moral compass pointed in a forward-facing direction. Remember when I said that I bent over backwards to get samples to a big-boy company, and then didn't hear back from them? Well, I actually DID hear back from them, finally, this week and it continued to get worse instead of better. Basically they decided they wanted to carry my perfume on their website, but they lost the sample of the thing they were most interested in. So they wanted me to send a replacement, as well as a whole boatload more stuff again for free. After 4 days of exchanging wildly frustrating emails with their buyer, I chose to send off this gem of a self-destructive email to them this morning...
"Hi *employee whose name I shall spare in this blog*. I apologize for any misunderstanding. This was the first mention of the fact that I may be getting the account. Up until this time, I was under the impression that I was shipping samples for review at meetings, and was not made aware that any decision had been made. To be completely honest though, I don't really feel good about sending that amount of product to be photographed for your website without some sort of commitment that you're going to end up buying it. And at this point I'm not sure I'd feel good about having this account at all.
I sincerely hope that other small business owners are not having the same experience dealing with Urban Outfitters. This feels like a large company trying to take advantage of the high hopes of a just-starting-out small business. Financially, an account with Urban Outfitters would be an amazing opportunity that I may not see again. However, some things are just not worth the money. Feeling belittled and taken advantage of, is not the way I want to start a business relationship with anyone. Where I'm from, businesses, large or small, are run by people. Those people deserve to be treated with kindness, respect.
So far I've I taken time away from my family, and hundreds of dollars worth of product off my shelves, to prepare a sample order for you. I made sure that it got to you the very next day, so that you could have it in time for your meeting. Only to find out that some of the products I sent went missing. And with no apology, I was asked to send replacements for what was lost, and an additional $200 worth of product. It was not an empty bottle of perfume, as you say, that I sent either. It contained a generous amount of sample perfume in it, just like the solid perfumes I sent you. If you find the hand-written note I included to you, thanking you for the opportunity and hoping that you enjoyed the perfume I sent, you may find the perfume as well. I also sent a line sheet, at your request, that went unread. This was apparent when you sent me an email that included a photo from my line sheet, with an inquiry about wholesale cost of the item. The wholesale and MSRP list was on the line sheet just below the photo that was copied and attached in the same email.
This behavior shows a serious lack of attention to detail, and lack of compassion towards me as a human being. So I hope you can see why I'm hesitant about continuing a working relationship with you. Please either start treating me with respect, or find another supplier for your perfumes.
I thank you with heart for the opportunity."
Thanks for stopping by,