Tag Archives: anita nelson

How To Handle Your Online Business In The Face of Personal Tragedy

Despair.

Despair.

These events unfolded in such a ridiculous way, my life is on hold until I can explain them. I looked for a guide to help me during this time and did not find one. This is not a typical blog post for me. Perhaps this can serve for someone in the future.

Despair. Ludicrous events. Unbelievable.

The customer service end of my online business is probably the most challenging. It can sometimes take up to 20 minutes to craft the proper response to a customer inquiry or complaint. It needs to be concise, very brief and to the point. Easier stated than crafted.

The beginning of this sounds like the segue for a joke: we just paid off our car a couple of days before and it wouldn’t start. It would start again if we left it alone for a few hours, sometimes overnight. I was convinced through my Googling that it had something to do with the car’s anti-theft system or electronic keys. As it was, the car couldn’t be trusted and, if it started, needed to be left on wherever it went – less than ideal. Since it was likely a security issue, it would need to be taken to the dealer. The dealer always means big bucks. We milked it until it stopped for good on Christmas Eve 2009.

Everything we were supposed to attend, forget it. We didn’t even have food in the house. The only thing there was to do was tweet. In my tweets, I did not want to bring others down, so barely mentioned my situation. We had to wait until Christmas was over to get the car into the dealer. And on December 26th, the car started to go to the dealer! Well, it saved us money for towing. It turned out to be the starter, something my husband could have fixed, instead it was over $400 at the dealer. While the car was in the dealer and during all of this, shipments were getting delayed and I got word that my father was in the hospital and it was pretty bad. I should find a way there. Shipments were delayed and stress was mounting.

The dealer remarked to my husband that the brakes were going to need work very soon and that we should plan on that or just get them done that day for an additional $1,200. He told them he would do them himself. We figured we had another month to get the parts and tools needed for that job. We were wrong. The brakes were quickly starting to fail and we had to consolidate shipping days.

I didn’t get to the hospital at all. That’s ok. It will be alright. Dad will be fine and I will get up there in a day or two.

By New Year’s Eve, the brakes failed completely. The car could not be driven at all. Both the front and rear brakes as well as the two rear wheel cylinders were out.

And we JUST paid the car off.

It was frigid in Michigan during this time, below zero with wind chills and in single digits without the help of the wind. We had blowing snow and no garage to shield the car or the man working on it who happened to be my husband.

I didn’t get to the hospital at all. No shipments were going out.

This process took days. And the days became longer and longer. There was little I could do to actually help. My husband literally walked a mile to the parts store to make sure he would get the right parts.

You’re probably wondering why someone didn’t drive us, etc. In Michigan, during the winter, people really do not see each other much. If we needed to ask for a favor, it better be a big favor. From what my sister said, that favor was going to need to be a ride 60 miles to the hospital. My husband assured me that I would not need to ask anyone for that favor. Shipments were delayed. I can still feel the stress.

I like to ship same to next day. I wanted to see my dad.

I began to realize that I was very behind and put my eBay and Etsy stores on vacation, putting the reasons in the space provided for notes to customers. I also noted my situation on my Me Page at eBay and tweeted it for good measure. I wasn’t sure anyone would see anything. Orders still came in, God Bless them.

Finally! On January 8th, 2010, we got to the hospital to see my dad, shipping just before going.

My dad was far worse than I imagined. He couldn’t even look at me, speak or anything except an almost imperceptible hand squeeze. I held his hand the whole time I was there. I wasn’t sure we should leave, but my husband had been under a car in horrific weather conditions for days. We needed to rest. The stress had been exhausting, too.

I never thought that would be the last time I would see my father alive.

The next day, January 9th, 2010, my dad let go at 6:30 am. I had been planning to go see him later that day, but he was already gone. Everyone said he held on to see me.

In this blur of emotion, this raw suffering, I still had to think about what to do with my business. I wasn’t sure what to do. I knew this would delay or further delay shipments and that I needed to address the public. I updated my vacation store status on eBay and Etsy, changed my Me Page and finally sent each person a copy and paste note about what was going on. It took a long time to write the note, but the copy and paste was therapeutic in some way. It was something I could manage in between helping with the funeral service and arrangements.

Talking to my friends was especially helpful during this time. Kelly (not on Twitter 😉 reminded me what I would do in a situation like this – I would contact everyone, of course. @PowerSellingMom listened to me and advised me on the morning of the funeral. She calmed me down for 20 minutes, allowing me to go over my checklist of things I needed to do for the business. I am eternally grateful to Danna for that time. She also suggested I do this blog post.

I made sure I emailed or messaged everyone personally. I gave the option in the note to simply request a refund. I think that was pivotal. Of all the orders, only one opted for a refund and I was able to do that swiftly and without any hard feelings. Here is the note:

Hi,
My father passed away yesterday after struggling through the holidays. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. All shipments are delayed. Please request a refund through eBay messaging if you cannot wait. Talk to you soon. Your patience is BEYOND appreciated.

Thank you again for your order.
Anita @ModelSupplies & DNAshopper

So far, no one has left me negative, neutral or nasty comment. My customers are truly the best.

It is my hope this information will be useful to someone during a time when they find it difficult to think. It may sound strange that I would be so worried about my business during such personal tragedy, but there is not much separation between my personal and business life and I love it that way. I am still grappling with the loss of my father and still get delayed a couple days here and there. I cannot predict when it will happen, but knowing my customers care for me like I care for them has kept me going. Grateful cannot begin to describe my feelings for you. Thank you so much for standing by me during this time.
x0x
Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies

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Guesting on Warren Whitlock and Ed Philipp’s “Will Your Brand Survive in the Social Media Age?”

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Will Your Brand Survive in the Social Media Age?

Tonight, I was lucky enough to receive an invitation from Ed Philipp @EdLovesSumo to be on @WarrenWhitlock and his BlogTalkRadio show, TwitcastRadio.com Use the tag #TCR on Twitter to follow the tweets!

For more information about the webinar I presented via Danna Crawford @PowerSellingMom on @VirtualOnline

Virtual Online Learning: Understanding Twitter Lists http://bit.ly/3mDBZ1 #edu

Joining Virtual Online Learning ? Please say “Anita sent you”! Thank you for listening! Feel free to post questions & I will follow up here or ModelSuppliesBlog.com

by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies on Twitter – Follow me!

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Help! I Don’t Show Up In Twitter Search!

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Open Your Mind! Expand Your Horizons! – Quick 15 minute show

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Open Your Mind! Expand Your Horizons! – Quick 15 minute show.

Open in your default player

Open Your Mind! Expand Your Horizons! – Quick 15 minute show

Most of you know that I am a vegetarian, middle of the road Democrat and against animal

testing for cosmetics. What you may not know is that I am a supporter of the right to bear

arms and, while I do not hunt or eat meat myself, I can see the need for others to do so

and hold no “beef” with them over it. In fact, I have recently begun selling Pella hunting

wear and gear in cooperation with PheasantPhun.com and TeamHuntress.com and am finding a

new appreciation for it!

I believe it is extremely important for us to keep our minds open, live and let live and

not attack one another over our beliefs. There is room for all of us in this world and

plenty of room for varying opinions.

Links to outdoor destination vacations:

PheasantPhun.com

TeamHuntress.com

My Blogs: http://ModelSupplies.WordPress.com

http://ModelSuppliesBlog.com

Skin Care Ingredient info: http://ModelSupplies.info

Thank you so much for listening!
Twitter follows:

@PheasantPhun

@TeamHuntress

@AlphaMares

My Blog: http://ModelSupplies.WordPress.com

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Share your beauty videos of the week!

–>

I’m taking classes for marketing! Join me!

http://VirtualOnlineLearning.com

Regular show Features: Facial Exercise of the week, Twitter follow shout outs & Weekly

Featured blog.

Visit us at eBay or Etsy.com for ingredients: http://Model-Supplies.com or
http://eModelSupplies.com

Follow me on Twitter: @ModelSupplies I follow back!

by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies on Twitter – Follow me!

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Help! I Don’t Show Up In Twitter Search!

Domestic Violence Takes Many Forms….

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5 “Get Followed Fast” Finds!
My Twitter Mosaic – Fabulous Tweeps!

Careful What You Tweet
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A Twitter Guide – The Art of the DM

TweetIt from HubSpot

Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!

Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!

I have done a lot of writing about spam DMs or Direct Messages on Twitter recently and it may sound as if I don’t like to get DMs at all. Nothing could be further from the truth! I just adore DMs and prefer them to email, truth be told. Surprised? Don’t be!

The DM is a private conversation. It is ideal for people who have very little time and/or short attention span with its limited character set. A big “up side” to having limited characters is that it can force someone to get to the point, be concise and stay focused.

I used to write long, rambling emails. I used to enjoy reading them from others, too, but I simply do not have time for that luxury anymore. I spend most of my email time battling spam. It takes more time to sift email now and I do not enjoy sifting. It is my own fault since I should use a separate account for those purposes, but I digress.

TweetVisor makes me so happy, I could sing!

TweetVisor makes me so happy, I could sing!

I always have TweetVisor up, so I can usually see DMs as they come in and reply instantly whenever I am online. TweetVisor shows everything all at once on one page, so I see my public @replies, too. This saves a TON of energy and effort, plus it allows me to be very speedy in my communications. Most of the time, an @reply on Twitter is great for both parties, lending exposure for both parties and the chance for new followers, but sometimes the conversation goes deeper or gets more involved or personal. How do I know when to take it to DM?

  • When you send your email address or other private information, take it to DM.
  • When you’re in an involved conversation and exchanged multiple messages that really concern no one else, take it to DM.
  • When it would be impossible to follow or jump into the conversation, take it to DM.
  • When you want to flirt for real, take it to DM. (Caution, you may get blocked! But that’s the same as real life, isn’t it?)
  • When the information you’d like to impart is very specifically for that one person, take it to DM.
  • When the subject is private information, take it to DM.
  • When sending a link someone requests that you have already tweeted within the past 4 hours, send it via DM to avoid being thrown out of search. (see my article about search for more information)
  • When you feel the need to use off-color language, in general, take it to DM.
  • If you feel the need to say something negative, keep it out of your stream and take it to DM. (Avoid)
  • When contacting customer support or Twitter support about a sensitive subject or complaint, don’t be rude and embarrass the company in an @reply, take it to DM.
DMs are like whispers...

DMs are like whispers...

Basically, an @reply or tweet is a shout out and a DM is a whisper. Whatever is said in DM is not general knowledge and should never be shared with someone else. You should never post the contents of a DM or tell someone else the contents of a DM. That is a trust violator that is not easily, if ever, overcome. Don’t overuse the DM, either, or your important messages may not be seen due to an onslaught of automatic DMs, frivolous flirtations and True Twit DM messages clogging the column. Master the art of the DM and it will simplify many areas of your electronic life!

by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies on Twitter – Follow me!

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Charity Turns Away Help

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They say there’s a first time for everything, but I didn’t see this one coming. It’s no big deal to me, but I think it could hurt charities if they think the way North Shore Animal League did recently. This is an animal rescue charity that has long been dear to me and I have stuffed envelopes with cash and mailed them off to this cause during even the toughest of times for my family. I have made donations to them for well over 10 years.

As you probably know, I have an eBay store and very often, well, almost always have items listed for charity. The items vary, and the percentages are anywhere from 10% – 100% of the auction winnings. While most of my items are in the $10-$15 range, this adds up over time and I believe most of the charities I have chosen are grateful. I have even gotten a few “Thank you” emails! Very nice!

Most of my items are beauty related and I even have my own skin care line, but I try to offer a variety of items. I have recently begun listing an item for sexual health called “Healthy Sense Potent Passion

Healthy Sense Potent Passion with Horny Goat Weed

Healthy Sense Potent Passion with Horny Goat Weed

and was looking for my favorite charities at the same time as listing. I was just thrilled to see my old favorite charity, North Shore Animal League! I chose them for this listing, thinking how cute it would be for animal magnetism and wondering if I should up the anty for North Shore, perhaps throw in an extra bottle or do incentives. Maybe when I relist it, have to get going now… Well, good thing I didn’t. North Shore Animal League didn’t think my listing was cute at all. They canceled it. eBay sent a notice:

The nonprofit organization designated within your listing (North Shore Animal League America) has notified eBay that they do not wish to be affiliated with this listing; therefore, we have ended your item.”

North Shore said nothing to me at all. This is a supplement for sexual health. It is not presented as it could be. I relisted the item with a new charity, Prostate Cancer Foundation , and if they do not object to my item and me, I will relist it with incentives of additional bottles. I understand that this may not have been the ideal item to list for North Shore Animal League, but I would have probably changed it to Hyaluronic Acid powder next time out. I am not required to list for charities, but it is a wonderful thing I can do that Danna Crawford, aka @PowerSellingMom showed me how to do it with eBay Giving Works! I was THRILLED to discover that I could help charities without shelling out actual cash. I always have more product than cash as a seller! (If you’d like to learn from @PowerSellingMom join Virtual Online Learning Group and tell ’em Anita sent you! Lifetime Membership goes up November 1st~!)

I think it’s a little silly for North Shore to burn bridges in this economy. Would it really harm their PR campaign if I donated to them with this item? Have you ever heard of them before this post? What do you think?

Update:

By contrast & to put the positive spin back into my post! Here is a Thank you email from Susan G. Komen for the Cure:

Thank you for selling items on eBay and for choosing Susan G. Komen for the Cure as the beneficiary of your gift.  Our important work is made possible only because of the very generous support of individuals like you throughout the world.

With survivors and activists in 122 Affiliates representing almost every community and city in the country, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the most progressive grassroots organization fighting breast cancer today. I encourage you to get involved in your area.  Please visit our website at www.komen.org or call our National Toll-Free Helpline at 1-877-GO KOMEN to find a Komen Affiliate near you and for answers to your questions about breast health and breast cancer.

Together we will end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

View your special thank you card by clicking the link below.

Sincerely,

Hala Moddelmog

President and CEO

To be fair, I have listed all types of products for them, and I’m not sure if I listed the above product, but something tells me they would be just as grateful. It is something for charities to think about. There is a scene in “Gone With The Wind” where the “harlot” gives money to Scarlette’s gentle, sweet sister-in-law and she accepts their money, much to Scarlette’s surprise. Sometimes allowing others to give is a gift in itself.

by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies on Twitter – Follow me!

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More Articles from Anita Nelson at ModelSupplies
Help! I Don’t Show Up In Twitter Search!

Domestic Violence Takes Many Forms….

TwitBlocking – Shocking New Twitter Trend Brings Me To My Knees

What It’s Like To Be #TwitterSuspended

5 “Get Followed Fast” Finds!
My Twitter Mosaic – Fabulous Tweeps!

Careful What You Tweet
How to Become Instantly RT-able (A Twitter Guide)

Healthy Sense Potent Passion