Archive for the ‘Business Related’ Category

To Catch a Scammer….

To fill you in, I got an order in the past week from a girl claiming to be in Germany. She didn’t order through my shopping cart-but my email. I knew at that point it was a bit fishy. But I played along to see where this would go. She was wanting to order 40 items of 4 different things that I carry. She said I could pick the scent-she gave me an address to check out the shipping costs through pamshippers. I did-as it wasn’t hurting me to do an estimate. They came back with an amount of $1800…right then I was like she isn’t going to go any farther. But she did-her order total would have been over $3000 with shipping. I told her I would need a valid credit card, with cvc, expiration date, address etc. She then came back with a credit card, but not one in her name. Now I have received orders before where the card was in the husband’s name-but the addresses were the same-the last names were the same etc.
So when I quesitoned her what the relationship was with her and that person-she then changed her story to it was her manager’s card and they would call me the next day. Problem was-this credit card was for someone in a southern state-and she was still claiming to be in Germany.
She gave me all of his information except a phone number. So when she didn’t immediately write me back I googled the white pages for this person’s phone number and called him.
I got their answering machine-but received a phone call back within 15 minutes. As I had suspected these kind people had NOT authorized this card to be used…..Hmmmmm did I catch her? or him? I gave the credit card information to this kind person-to find out YES it was one of their credit cards.
After that person called their credit card company they found that this person had also charged flowers to their card. And upon further investigation this person found out that the “scammer” was a manager for a rental car place out of Tennessee. Seems they had rented a car from an airport back in the spring-and the MANAGER…was the one using their card. Not only did the person go by another name (close though)-they were able to figure out her full name, address, and I had supplied the email. They are now going to be pressing charges against her.
I could give you her name that she went by-but it won’t help as if she were to do this again-she will most likely use a new email and a new name. But beware! I really didn’t think from the start that this order was valid-but I am glad that I pursued it as I might have saved these wonderful people more charges to their account.
I find it outrightly irritating that people out there are stealing other peoples information and using it for themselves. Did she not think that these people wouldn’t notice new charges? Did she think she would get a way with it with me? I led her to believe so. This scammer wanted me to charge the card asap…what she didn’t realize that an order that size would have taken me weeks to complete and IF I had been quick to do it-because heck the money would have been great. But in the end I would have had stock of items I put my money into and lost what I had invested, and these people would be fighting charges to their card that should have never happened. Scammers ruin it for out of country people that are legitimately placing valid orders. I do have a person in Italy, a couple in Australia that are legitimate…but I always 2nd guess them. It isn’t their fault, it is the scammers out there trying to take advantage of innocent people.
The scammer now knows she has been found out-I didn’t contact her again-but the person she tried to take advantage of did…and I am sure it felt good to let her know-as I wanted to say SHAME ON YOU…And to top it off-this person was in the US this whole time…
The person said they didn’t know how to thank me…Honestly? The good feeling I got from stopping if only 1 person was pay enough.
So take it from me-if the order seems to good to be true-then it probably is…and if you have credit, debit cards…check your statements each month-keep track of your bank accounts; especially if you can go online and sign up with your bank to view your statements in a secured setting. It might be the difference between someone taking your money or not. So I am feeling pretty good this week…There are many honest people out there-but you just have to watch out for the ones that aren’t. This isn’t the first time I have gotten an order like this one…but the last person faded off-and didn’t use a card that wasn’t theirs-to my knowledge…so I didn’t “catch” them…I may be a “small business” but maybe that is even better than being a big company that might have processed the order not realizing what was going on…who knows…Thanks for letting me share my story with you! Til Next Time….

Craft it Forward….

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This post will remain on top until I get the 5 comments on here I need. Hurry 5 free gifts, handmade by Country Keepsakes! Comment now! Recently, Lisa from Kidccessory Haven, carried on a bit of a ‘craft-it-forward’ handmade giveaways. I found out about this through Lisa and I will be receiving something from her, so I’m following up my end of the bargain, and offering something up to you. P.S. There is FINE PRINT so, read carefully!

Here is the fine print:

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me!

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

* I make no guarantees that you will like what I make but I will do my best.

* it will be done in the next couple months (or weeks)

* you have no clue what it’s going to be – that’s the fun part!

It could be a hand poured candle, melts, a wax “food” product, or potpourri or lotion. What will it be? You’ll have to wait and see!

I reserve the right to do whatever comes to mind~it maybe on the web site or it might not. You never know where my creativity will take me.

Here’s the (really) fine print:

In return, all you need to do is post this text into a note of your own and make 5 things for 5 others. What could be more fun! Some ideas you could do for others: artwork, CD’s, burn a DVD, write a poem, crochet a scarf, make a mini book, send a photograph (a printed one, not e-mailed. etc…).

If you are interested, leave a comment below with your email address (if you don’t have a blog-based email address and are not comfortable leaving your personal email address, you can also email me at houseonthehill06@aol.com. Just make sure I am able to contact you.

Thanks!! Becky

Attitude of Gratitude Award from House of Raquel….

I want to Thank Raquel of House of Raquel for nominating me for the “Attitude of Gratitude Award”. Although I have never met Raquel in person I feel like I have known her all of my life. So Thank You Raquel!
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My nominees for this award that I have never physically met but enjoy the time I get to network and chat/email with are:

Crystal Martin of The Cinnamon Hollow
http://thecinnamonhollow.blogspot.com

Pansy of A Diva’s Hammer
http://adivashammer.blogspot.com/

Lynn of Lady Lynn’s Boutique
http://www.ladylynnsboutique.blogspot.com/
K’lee of K’lee’s Kreations
http://kleeskreationsandmusings.blogspot.com/

Dianne of Prim Decor Gal & Prim Decor Tips
http://www.primdecortips.com/blog.php

Lisa Edwards of Military Momz
http://militarymomz.blogspot.com/

Krista Clyburn of WAHM Addicts
http://wahmaddicts.blogspot.com/

Connie of Dry Branch Primitives Blog
http://www.drybranchprimitives.blogspot.com/

Ellen Levinas of The Sample Bag
http://theesamplebag.blogspot.com/

Shari of Cranapple Christmas
http://cranapplechristmas.blogspot.com/

I appreciate each and everyone of these people for the hard work that they do and giving of themselves for others!

The Rules of Accepting and Sharing this Award
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude
3. Link to your nominees within your post
4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they’ve received this award
5. Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award. Tell us how you’ve come to have an attitude of gratitude.

Log Cabin Antiques & Gifts~A spotlight on one of my retailers.

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One of my customers was so gracious to give me a testimonial for my newsletter, so in turn I wanted to mention her store on my blog as I just love it! This is what she said:

Log Cabin Antiques is a small antique store offering rustic and primitive antiques. We also have a line of country gift items. Before opening in Oct. 2006, I was looking for a nice country candle supplier. I found Country Keepsakes online and ordered some candles to try. This was one of the best decisions I have made! Even when a customer doesn’t find anything in the antique section, they will often buy a candle, either for themselves or a gift. I have many customers who come in just to purchase another candle in their favorite scent. The packaging has a great country look too that fits right in with my log cabin decor!
I also love to decorate seasonally and am very pleased that Country Keepsakes offers so many different seasonal scents. I have ordered Jelly Bean for Easter, and Cupid for Valentine’s day, etc., and they just add to my displays in a special way.
The candles are wonderfully scented, the jars are virtually soot free, and very reasonably priced. Becky is wonderful to work with and her customer service is outstanding, she is both professional and personable at the same time. She feels like a cherished, and comfortable friend! I highly recommend offering Country Keepsakes to your customers, you will be glad you did!
Lynn Coolen-Log Cabin Antiques

Lynn is a great person. She has been with me since I took over~and really started before that with my sister. She shows her appreciation by sending me Christmas cards, or notes to let me know her ordered arrived safely. I have listed her blog on here, and am including 2 pictures…but you have to visit her blog to get the feel Log Cabin Antiques
If you are in the Kingston NH area…you will have to stop by…here is directions… Welcome to Log Cabin Antiques! We are located off the Plains (or Common area) in Kingston, NH. At Rick’s Cafe and Grille, turn onto Bartlett Street. Look for our sign and flag halfway up on the right. Hours are Thursday through Sunday 10-5. Log Cabin Antiques-21 Bartlett Street, Kingston, NH 603-642-4943 Stop in soon for a visit! I can ship small items if you see something you like! Call me at 603-642-4943 Thurs-Sun 10-5 or email any questions to logcabinantiquesgifts@yahoo.com
Thank You Lynn for taking the time to write such a nice testimonial.
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Visit her blog, and leave her a note that you were there….Or leave a comment here and I will pass it on to her…

Have you EVER been so excited You….

Couldn’t stand yourself? Well that is where I am at today. First I have so many new ideas to add to Country Keepsakes Retail & Wholesale, I have a new site coming (I know, I know-quit talking about it Becky and just do it) well I am trying….Then I am going to have a column at: Crafters in the News Where people can ask their questions regarding candle making and I get to answer them.

THEN there is this EXCITING site that is growing by LEAPS & BOUNDS… it is called WAHM ADDICTS. If you are in business for yourself-whether you are a crafter, a graphic artist, you sell others items at a profit for yourself…just starting out, have been in business for a while..THIS is the time to get in and get noticed. We keep hearing about the “big” companies having layoffs, closing plants and on and on…well this is an AWESOME time to grow your home based business. People are looking for quality, friendliness, and that personal touch. They are looking for you~they just can’t find you…well that is going to be over with when you join WAHM Addicts…are you looking for helpful information? Networking at its best? Then you just have to join WAHM ADDICTS SOCIAL. I have posted about this before…and I am posting about it again-so what does that tell you? I endorse this wonderful site and its people. I believe in them…get in while the getting is GREAT…You won’t be sorry. Are you serious about your business? Then you will want to be a part of this group that is growing. With over 500 members and counting~you can’t go wrong. SO go to the sites, check it out…You will be so glad you did. Do you sell jewelry? home decor? flower arrangements?…a special service?…it is for you too….When you join, add me as a friend..and let me know you are there…I look forward to seeing you there…
If I find that you join and you are one of the businesses I have posted…I will give you 6 months FREE advertising at The Homestead Register on the front page… http://www.thehomesteadregister.com Now does that tell you just how excited I am?….
Before the week is out I will be posting new products…but for now…Keep your thoughts positive and just ask yourself…Today what did I do for my business? (and if you don’t have a business), Today what did I do to further myself?

Exciting Things to Come….

Well now that I am adjusting to my new computer and finally found a new label program…I am on my way.
I have a lot of new ideas and am planning on getting them on my site(s) soon.
Despite the cold I am trying to keep moving..and creating.
I will be adding Body Wash to my Bath n’ Body Line, new scents to the line up. Scents like: Fuzzy Navel, Fried Ice Cream (in both candles & lotion), Strawberry Lemonade, Island Baby (a cross between Baby Powder & Plumeria), Lemon Meringue, just to name a few.
I have been busily pouring blueberries, banana slices, walnuts; and soon to be pouring strawberries, grapes, cherries, apple slices, peach slices & a Rocky Road Brownie….
So keep your eye out whether you are a wholesale customer or a retail customer…or a customer to be.
If you haven’t been there lately look up my site: http://www.cntrykeepsakes.com and if you are looking to carry my items-I have a wholesale link on that site. All you need is a Tax ID…
Until next time…Keep warm…and keep positive!

Frustration Robs Your Time…

It all started last Wednesday morning. I got to work at 7:30am after dropping the kids at their respective schools…The coffee was going, the wood stove starting to get warm…I had the radio on, the computer going….getting ready to print my labels for an order…Everything was humming and I was actually getting things done. I had organized the day before, filed paperwork, cleaned up my areas…Life seemed Good….then it happened. Just as I was dragging the label down to the tray in my program…Zippppp-pa…Everything went off, then on, then off, then like a big tease onoff…that quick…It was a windy day, they had just got done on the radio saying we shouldn’t have to worry about losing power-but we did.
I looked around in the dark…at the glowing wood stove and thought “well at least I can be thankful for the heat”. What do you do in the dark at your work? No radio, no computers, no lights…but I was resourceful and put my double boiler on the wood stove and continued to melt wax….so that wasn’t a loss of my “time”.
2 hours later the power was back on. In the meantime I had cut up fabric for my melt packages and candles, and talked to myself due to the loss of the radio and company…lol.
So I started to go around “re-starting” all of the electrical items.
Then I came back to my computer only to find it was still not on. Hmmm…hit the power again-nothing, again, nothing, unplugged, plugged….NOTHING…Ahhhh I wanted to scream. My whole “business life” lives on that thing. When is the last time I backed up my labels?….Ummm, next vision~ALL that was GONE…was it? How could I be so stupid not to be more conscious?
Well I could go on and on…but long story short I had a Memorial Service for the next few days-I think I am still “mourning” the loss of Bessy-she had been with me for the past 2 years (in business form that is)..Gone is my label program that is not “compatible” with Windows Vista…GONE I say. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been nice to Bessy in the past few weeks. Constantly freezing up on me…the Windows Task Manager had become our common friend. But she was ya know with me from the start of my business-just going on 2 years. So now, although I do really like the new computer (I am at a loss). I now have to recreate all of my labels-missing fonts, where in the heck are all my graphics? Oh yeah-that disc…and that disc…oh and that one.
I got all the programs back on, except my FTP…and except for my monitor going to sleep a lot-like it should be tired-it just got out of the box…I am the one that is tired…tired of “Allow this, and Allow that”…lol…
Lessons learned? I bought 50 cd discs…I will promise to back my work up. I will accept the challenge of a NEW label program and learn to love it…I will enter each one of my customers back into my NEW invoice program…and think of them…
Things will get back to normal for me and the new “guy”…or “girl”…as we get acquainted and learn how to overcome the loss of Bessy!