Sunday, December 21, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: How do I keep eBay lipstick shipment from melting?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 7/24/2014

Dear eBay Queen: Hi! I recently purchased a pallet of makeup. Most of it is lipstick and lip gloss. What is the best way to ship lipstick and other kinds of make up in this hot weather, so they won’t melt and get ruined? Thanks! — Candy

Dear Candy: I did a little research, and here are some of the best ways to guarantee happy customers when shipping makeup:

• Wrap lipstick or make up generously with tissue paper.

• Avoid using bubble wrap as it will prevent the lipsticks from breathing, which causes “sweating.”

• When shipping in bulk, place the wrapped lipstick tubes in a sturdy shipping box with enough packing material such as shredded paper to provide padding. If you are shipping single tubes, you can use ordinary padded mailers when shipping just a few tubes.

• To ensure that a lipstick has not melted or sweat during shipment, advise the recipient to pop the tube in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes upon delivery.

If you have a pallet of this stuff, I think it would be a good idea to make a few test shipments to a friend or relative that lives across the country in warm areas to make sure your customers are happy when their item arrives.

Dear eBay Queen: I had a buyer purchase four custom-made navy blue placemats. They opened a significantly not as described case, because they are “so dark they are almost black.” I’m thinking, “Duh, navy blue is a very dark blue.” I do offer fabric swatches of most of our patterns (including this one). This buyer never asked about color, just said it was darker then the photo looked on his computer.

In the opened a case, he threatened to leave negative feedback if we don’t resolve the problem for him. I offered a refund once the item was sent back, but it burns me that this jerk opened the case to circumvent our return policy, which states we do not accept returns on custom placemats. I am ticked that he is getting away with abusing the system, and we will end up with a “defect.” I decided to do a little research in and it is reported he apparently has issues with color in photos on items he buys.

I offered the refund, and he’s sent me several messages informing me that he is an “amateur photographer with a great deal of experience in photo editing, and he knows color.” My response was simple: Return for refund. At least he did me the courtesy of threatening me with negative feedback — which will mean any negative he leaves will get pulled by eBay. This guy comes across as a real idiot, and someone who is used to getting his way. I talked to my partner about this, and he felt like this guy was just “Shaking the tree to see if something falls out.”  We live in a day and age where most sellers give people money and let them keep the item so that the horrible person will just go away. I don’t know why eBay sellers are doing that! — Madison

Dear Madison: It’s a tale as old as eBay; color differences between the actual item and someone’s computer screen. You are definitely on the right track by asking him to return the item. I would take it one step further and call eBay, and have them notate your account regarding the feedback extortion. That way if he does leave negative feedback a simple call is all that it will take to get it removed. If your buyer does not return the placemats within the 10 day time period, contact eBay again and see if they will de-score and remove the case.

I think the use of smart phones has increased more unhappy buyers too. Sometimes, when a person buys an item on their small phone, they are surprised when they see it in person. I hope everything works out for you and this case is descored.

Strange eBay item of the week: Item No. 370844879521. I love pigs. I love Fiesta Ware. This Andy Warhol print combines the two perfectly. “Andy Warhol Fiesta Pig 1979 Art Print 22x32-inch Poster Out of Print.” It sold for $249.99 at

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen

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