It causes a bit of a clash of cultures, placing handmade work on the internet for sale. We at ThrowMeAPillow established our business in the 1970′s. With over 30 years experience there are things which we take for granted but which the internet generation might find surprising. One salient example is the time it may take to turn around an online order for a handmade pillow.
ThrowMeAPillow STOCKS about 70% of what they sell.
Putting on the final touches can make all the difference between customer satisfaction and a “run of the mill” experience
TMAP’s business model is far different than “drop-shipping” internet retailers (aka― “e-tailers”). “Drop-Shipping” typically means the e-tailer takes no responsibility regarding the quality or availability of a product that they are “marketing”. They locate importers manufacturers or wholesalers who hold stock. They purvey the items as “theirs” on the internet; preferably on their own hosted web-site but sometimes on auction sites like E-Bay. Then they forward all orders along with your address to the warehouse that stocks the item. That warehouse ships the item to you.
The result is that no one has really looked critically at your item before it is in your hands.
Thus it can be seen that drop-shipping can have a negative impact on the retail customer’s experience. If the wholesaler has sold-out, then drop-shipper is usually unaware of that fact. Multiple e-tailers might all be promising that they can deliver to you quickly, but all of them, in turn, get the same answer when they contact the wholesaler; “Sorry, but your item is out of stock and/or has been discontinued”. At that point, every drop-shipper will give you the same answer (or no answer at all, in the case of the least reputable!)
EVENTUALLY, every drop-shipper learns that an item is discontinued and they all update their offerings; i.e. they stop showing something that is no longer available. However, you have still not gained access to your heart’s desire! So your order becomes the trigger for them to update their online offering. With little or no “skin in the game”, drop-shippers simply move on to the next customer’s order. This business model works well enough for plastic widgets where “run-of-the-mill” quality is expected. It does not work so well for handmade decor.
At the other end; wholesalers sense that there is something cheap about a middle-man who adds little or no real value to an item that they market. This sentiment has generated a backlash of resentment from manufacturers, wholesalers and importers toward e-tailers. What is called for is a balance between the maximum access that online marketing provides with the customer service that a small-town interior design shop or gift boutique used to offer.
Unwary online shoppers may end up doing business with someone who started their business with no store, “no money or skills” and who wants “no risk” or responsibility!
Is that where you will get the best service if there is some hang-up? (see links that attract prospective “drop-ship” e-tailers, below)
Because ThrowMeAPillow actually holds stock in the pillows we sell online TMAP is a different sort of online retailer. Often the item you want is where we can place hands on it immediately, while you are still on the phone with us. Our experience since the 1970′s suggests that you want QUALITY when you are buying anything hand-made. At the same time, handmade craft items can almost always use some final primping before delivery (called “deluxing” in the business) If nothing else, it’s nice when someone makes sure that the down and feather “insert” is “fully inserted” into the corners of your pillow!
Why does ThrowMeAPillow indicate that standard delivery times might be as long as two to three weeks?
There are other dynamics that affect how we operate at ThrowMeAPillow. By stocking the most popular items, we have often been the only place to get immediate delivery on certain “standards” like this “50 Years Together” needlepoint pillows. This makes us a reliable outlet with whom to place your original online order. However, one of our goals is to offer the widest possible selection of pillows under a single banner on the internet. This necessitates offering some unique pillows without holding stock. (Occasionally, more IS better…)
If it turns out that we do not happen to have stock in an item you order, we at TMAP go out of our way to find the item for you ourselves. We go to the source and we will even check with our “online competitors” (and buy at retail from them) if possible, to fulfill an order for you. This saves you from getting “the run-around”. ThrowMeAPillow will run around for you, if need be. Under those conditions, it CAN take two to three weeks for your order to be successfully processed. Our experience is that it is best for both sides of the transaction to know up front that this can occur. There is seldom a complaint if an item comes sooner; meanwhile, there is no time for you to complain if the anniversary party is already past and your gift never arrives! You want a responsible online partner and a responsible partner NEVER “over-promises”. Right?
Finally there is one more way that reasonable delays can occur. Since we prefer to do a final inspection and deluxing on your pillows before we release them, we have essentially all items shipped to us for that final “going over”. That adds an extra leg to the journey from “Warehouse” to “Your House”. Seeing as we have a very liberal return policy, “the wrong color for my room” accounts for essentially all returns (under 4%). There are never returns over questions of Quality at TMAP.
We hope this explanation will give you the confidence to place your order with ThrowMeAPillow today!
to “Our House”
to “Your House”
Satisfaction from a job well done!
We welcome your toll-free call with questions about availability and projected delivery times for your perfect luxury decorative throw pillow… and yes… if you insist, on occasion we can drop-ship if you prefer speed over optimum quality!