It has come to my attention that there are a lot of incorrect facts floating around about WOMH and what occurred. Because I would rather everyone have the whole story and not be spreading false information I am going to explain in detail what happened to destroy WOMH.
There were several incidents in the last year that lead to the demise of WOMH, but the one with the most blame is the eBay mess. Between the months of June to Aug., there was a glitch in eBay’s auto information forward that caused over 20 BreyerFest orders to vanish. Here is how this happened. This is a warning to others who rely on app connections.
Flow of Information
eBay (sales) >>>> LinkFrog (connection between programs) >>>> Big Commerce (Website)
Somehow not all the information was flowing from eBay to BigCommerce, although some of it was. Since we were receiving eBay orders throughout this time, there were no red flags to cause concern. It wasn’t until after BreyerFest, during the first part of Aug. that the leak was discovered, when customers started complaining that they weren’t getting their orders, and we didn’t have orders for them.
It took a bit for us to figure out what had happened. We contacted first Big Commerce to see if the problem originated from their end. They assured us that it did not. So we contacted linkfrog and they too claimed it was not their problem, so we then contacted eBay and explained to them what had happened. They offered to reimburse us the seller fees associated with the missing orders, which still has not happened, but that was all they would do.
So lets go back a little bit. Before we figured out what had happened, we had filled a few of the missing orders with their BF items because we didn’t know what else to do, and had no idea how many were missing. That was a mistake, because that then ran us short on models for the orders that did come through. Since we were already short some of the models, Julep & Pim and By A Nose, this left us short on just about everything.
It is a 3 day trip each way (4400 miles) to and from KY to Idaho. We left KY on the 20th and returned to Lewiston on the 23rd. I took off the 24th to rest from the long journey and hot BF days. Being by myself and having to still answer all the emails (we were getting about 100 a day) from both customers, inquiry’s, solicitors and vendors, keep up with the book work, and direct the Perfect Pony project I was only able to ship about 10 packages a day at best, some days I couldn’t even do that.
I did send out emails, or post blogs with photos of all the boxes and models in our room, and telling people about having to ship models back to home, and that we were short some models. But not everyone got the message and panic began to in sew in customers that they would not get their orders. As a chain reaction my phone calls and emails increased to the point where that was all I could do is answer emails and phone calls. As if that wasn’t bad enough, my internet started having issues and fires took out some lines so we were without internet for about 3 weeks, till the end of Aug. Without internet we could not access our customer records, print shipping labels, or answer the phone. This added to the panic and all sorts of story’s started and grew, that we were stealing everyone’s money, we did not intend to ship out models, and we had cheated people in previous years. None of this was true.
So we contracted a new Internet carrier in Sept. As luck would have it, we had internet for 3 days then they shut us off by mistake thinking we were another person who owed them lots of money trying to use a different name to get service again. So they straightened out that problem and we had to wait another 5 days to get reconnected. So now it is the middle of Sept. During this period I didn’t give any updates or blog posts due to not having internet service.
When we got everything back up and working we resumed shipping the BF models. By this time it was the end of Sept. We now had to refund over 20 BF orders that we had not gotten. We had $4000 in our PayPal and bank account combined as we spent over $20,000 on the BF trip. PayPal took the entire $4000 to apply to refunds, but it wasn’t enough. The total for all the refunds came to over $7000, because there were also people wanting refunds because it was taking so long to get their models, and with the rumors floating around they were afraid they would loose their money, which they can’t be blamed for.
So then PayPal froze me out of my account, and started handling the refunds themselves and taking 100% of my sales income. Because I still had daily orders coming in, and a bunch of BF packages to still send out, I had not funds to do so. So I donated my $769 disability check to the shipping fund to ship as many as I could for the month of Oct. Without funds we not only couldn’t ship anything, but we also couldn’t pay any of the bills. So in Oct. our water got shut off so we had no bathroom facilities, then 3 weeks later the electricity, which again left us without contact with our customers. It was more fuel to the fire. So again in Nov. I donated my disability check for shipping and to set up all new accounts so that a disaster like this would never be able to happen again.
In addition to setting up new accounts, we lost the store too, so we are now in the process of moving to a smaller building and leasing it rather than owning it, which breaks my heart. My life savings went into owing our own store, and now it is all gone. But I’m not one to give up when things get tough, but rather find a way to make things happen. So I had to basically start all over again with a new business. We now have a new website that is secure for our customers, we no longer link accounts to depend on the information flowing smoothly, but picked a web host that does everything we need them to do in one program instead of three or more. So there will not be any information loss in the future. It is going to take some time for us to fully recoup from this disaster, but it will happen. We still have a few BF models to ship out and other items, and we are shipping as quickly as we get funds to do so. I apologize to everyone for the mess we have gone through and appreciate those customers who have stuck with us and had faith we would make things right. I can’t thank you enough!
We have also dropped helping the wild mustangs of WY until we can get back on our feet, and we have down sized our operation to be more manageable. Our focus from here on out will be getting the rest of the orders filled, and the Perfect Pony Collection. We will not be getting any new Breyer models after our order for the Celestine’s and the Justify items, which are on hold till we can pay for them.
We ask for your help and understanding. Anyone wanting to cancel their orders will have to file a claim with either eBay or PayPal as I no longer have any control over either account. Those that are willing to give me time to get things straightened out and running again will get their items as quickly as I am able to get them.
We have also added a donation page if anyone would like to help us out financially to get things rolling faster. My disability check doesn’t go far, but I have our overhead down to $1000 now per month instead of $3200 that it was. If you prefer not to help by donating, you can also purchase WOMH’s remaining inventory for a VERY reduced price to help us generate income again. We will be adding those items this week under the heading “Clearance items”. This page will include Breyer models, CollectA models, Trail of the Painted Pony, dolls, and props. We need to sell these items to be able to finish filling and shipping the remaining orders and to progress with the Perfect Pony Collection. Thank you for your time, and if you have any questions or concerns you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be transferring the customer information, credits and orders, from the old site to the new site the rest of this week. Your account information may not be transfered and you may have to reset up your accounts to access the information. All credits will transfer to this new site.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! KAT