06/07: Cost of Doing Business

We are a small operation to provide gourmet teas to North Americans.

Thinking it as an easy going business? not a bit, sometime I even think if it's worthwhile to continue it, or I should scale it back. I did not say I wanted to go back working for a big corporation like I used to - some headhunters still called me, but I could do better with other revenues.

First of all, there is a high cost involved with the international travel. For our type of business we have to work with a shoe string budget. And we were mentally and physically exhausted at the end of our trips.

The second headache is to ship the goods from oversea. We packed the goods as good as we could, (let's not to talk about the they cost us dearly in excess freight charges and fees), but in the end when we received the goods, only found they were in a pretty bad shape.

Take a look at this picture:

Celdon Gaiwan

Can you believe the goods could be often lost during shipping? We shipped them, but never received them. Among them were some of our best procurement.

Now the goods were sold, we packed them up, and duly paid the shipping charge to our customers. You think it's the end of stories, oh, NO. I won't release how many times we got cheated, as Paypal kept sending those charge back emails to us, because someone stopped the payment or there was a cyber crime.

Most our customers are kind, understanding, and supportive. It's a pleasure to deal with these folks. But we did encounter a few whom simply pissed me off.

In today's cyber world, you can bad-mouth others without any consequence.

The final assult came when you got someone sending complaints, and demands, publishing bad reviews/comments on the net and etc. They were not just talking about the products you sold, they were assulting you personally.

It's tough to survive in today's small business environment.

Comments made

I understand your where you stand, as I have followed the blogs you are talking about. I am a paving contractor working for my fathers small family owned business. He started this business over 30 years ago and built it up without any education and barely any english. The past few years we have had barely any work. I started a second job as a bus driver to get by. It looks to be getting very competitive in all small business especially in the puerh business with many new vendors. And everyone will say they have the best. Thank you for your hard work and I hope your business stays fruitful. I recommend you and will continue to support.
07/07 03:16:46

Your support is what got us going. For you guys, we are willing to bend over backwards to continue this business.
07/07 18:12:50
The world is full of jerks that will never be satisfied no matter how hard you try; and yes you can always find a tea cheaper somewhere else if you REALLY want to. But is saving a dollar really a deal if you can't get someone to return your email or answer a question? Jim has always made me feel like a valued customer with personal service. Some things you just can't put a price on!
14/07 11:49:39

You know, suggestions and comments are always welcomed, we would like to be a better little shop to serve our clients.
18/07 07:53:02

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