Local Delivery Question

Baking By OneCreativeCookie Updated 7 Mar 2011 , 2:06pm by cylstrial

OneCreativeCookie Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 3:10pm
post #1 of 13

For those of you who deliver locally (gift baskets, etc.), how do you handle the situation where cookies have been ordered, paid for and baked and the recipient can't be reached or isn't available when at the set delivery time?

I have had 4 local gift delivery customers and 2 of the three have become botched. First, I arranged delivery with the recipient and then they weren't home at the scheduled time. I had to re-delivery the following day. Presently, I have a gift basket that was to be delivered yesterday, but I am unable to reach the recipient to schedule the delivery.

How do you all handle these kind of situations? Maybe a second delivery attempt is just the cost of doing business, but I don't want to deliver stale cookies because the recipient can't be reached on the delivery date! Yikes.

12 replies
Cocobongo Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 3:23pm
post #2 of 13

Well I've never had this but I would put a clause in your contract that only 1 delivery attempt will be made (at the agreed time). If you turn up and there is no answer, put a 'sorry we missed you' card through the letterbox and a phone number for them to arrange collection at a convenient time. Write that these are your procedures in your contract. Good Luck icon_smile.gif

cheatize Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 3:54pm
post #3 of 13

I agree, except for the letterbox part. If you are in the U.S. you cannot put anything in the mailbox. Perhaps you can slide it between the storm door and the door frame.

Emmar308 Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 4:02pm
post #4 of 13

I'm sorry i know this is off - topic, but i'm curious, WHY can't you put anything in the letter box??

Enchantedcakes Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 4:08pm
post #5 of 13

In the US only postal carriers who work for the US postal service can put something in your mail box due to the heighten security measures taken after anthrax was found to be transported through US mail system. In many states it is Illegal to put anything in someones mail box unless you are an employee of the postal service.

Corrie76 Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 4:23pm
post #6 of 13

it's actually breaking federal law to open anyone's mailbox unless you've been specifically asked by the owner to collect their mail for them, like if they are out-of-town and you're helping bring in their mail. I think it's supposed to keep would-be criminals or terrorists (icon_rolleyes.gif) from stealling your mail and/or sprinkling anthrax on your credit card bills icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
Also, I'm sure the US postal service gets irritated with mailboxes being used for non-mailing purposes as it clogs up the box and might make the mailman's job a little more difficult.
A lot of people don't mind if someone throws a note into their mail box, but you never know who out there really is a stickler about following rules....so I would not drop any correspondence off in a customers mailbox, they may think you've invaded their privacy or tampered with their mail- I would definately leave a note taped or stuck into their door.
On a sort of related topic, when I was twelve I decided to empty two bottles of mustard into our neighbors mailbox (she was one of those mean ladies who kept frisbies and balls if they landed in her yard) I was never suspected or caught but it was such a thrill because she called the police, who came over to investigate her mailbox and take a report from her for the vandalism.....just so you all know now I'm fully rehabilitated today from my unlawful behaviors,lol.
Back to the topic: I'd make one attempt at delivery, if the costumer wan't there I'd call them and offer one more attempt at delivery-at my convenience- and if they are unreachable- then I'd sit back and wait. They paid for a product and you fufilled your end of the bargain, if they weren't able to fufill theirs than that's their problem. I wouldn't worry about the cookies being stale, if your client resurfaces and wants their cookies- just explain to them that it's unfortunate they weren't able to pick them up on time when they were fresh- offer no discounts or refunds, you made them a fresh quality product and it's not your fault they weren't there to recieve it on time.

GeminiRJ Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 4:30pm
post #7 of 13

It's been against the rules for a l-o-n-g time (well before 9/11 and the anthrax scare) to put anything in someone's mailbox except by a U.S. Postal employee. It has nothing to do with terrorism....it's all about money. The mail has to be stamped and gone thru the system. I could be wrong, but I think they consider your mailbox the property of the postal system.....

I would definitely state at the time of any order that only one delivery attempt will be made. If it's missed, it's up to the customer to come pick up the item. Since they have to have it paid for ahead of time, I can't believe they'll just let it sit there!

OneCreativeCookie Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 4:55pm
post #8 of 13

Thanks for the suggestions - one clarification: anyone who orders cookies from me for their own use must pick them up at my house. In that case, I agree, if they don't pick up their cookies today, their issue, not mine. And, my wrapped cookies can easily weather a one or two day delay in pick-up (though I've never had a problem with it!).

In the instance in question, the recipient is not the purchaser. I'm talking about when someone orders cookies as a gift to be delivered to another person (like sending flowers). And, in all likelyhood, the gift recipient has never even tasted my product, so their satisfaction is extremely important to me. I'd hate to have someone say "I got some cookies from this company as a gift and they were really cute, but they were stale when they arrived."

Normally I wouldn't worry about a day or two difference in delivery, but I just don't think the cello gift basket bags offer very much protection for keeping cookies fresh.

Hmmm...always something new to consider in this business icon_wink.gif

Corrie76 Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 5:30pm
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCreativeCookie

Thanks for the suggestions - one clarification: anyone who orders cookies from me for their own use must pick them up at my house. In that case, I agree, if they don't pick up their cookies today, their issue, not mine. And, my wrapped cookies can easily weather a one or two day delay in pick-up (though I've never had a problem with it!).

In the instance in question, the recipient is not the purchaser. I'm talking about when someone orders cookies as a gift to be delivered to another person (like sending flowers). And, in all likelyhood, the gift recipient has never even tasted my product, so their satisfaction is extremely important to me. I'd hate to have someone say "I got some cookies from this company as a gift and they were really cute, but they were stale when they arrived."

Normally I wouldn't worry about a day or two difference in delivery, but I just don't think the cello gift basket bags offer very much protection for keeping cookies fresh.

Hmmm...always something new to consider in this business icon_wink.gif



oh, that is a whole separate issue and I can totally understand you wanting the recipient to get the freshest possible product as far as referrals go....maybe it's time to start thinking about printing up some door hangers saying something like: "You've missed a special delivery from Creative Cookies! (or whatever your business name is) Please call 555-5555 to arrange a better time to recieve your gift!"
Hopefully, this isn't a situation that will happen very often...I'd call a local florist and ask them what they do in similar situations- I bet they have lots of experience with the recipient being absent from time to time.

sillywabbitz Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 5:33pm
post #10 of 13

If I remember how the flower company does it, they make one delivery attempt and leave a note to call. Because they are always running deliveries, you can pick up the flowers or they will make a second attempt. If you order something perishable it says very clearly that you must be home on the delivery date or your order is forfitted. My thoughts are if this becomes a consistent problem, I would not offer gift delivery. Where a florist has a delivery person and that is an expected service, you are a private baker. I would think you can make the cookie bouquets and let the customers pick them up and deliver them to their friends. It's just too much time for you to loose.

scp1127 Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 8:51am
post #11 of 13

Gemini is right on the PO.

Here's how to do this:

1) The recipient MUST know they are receiving a perishible gift at a specific time of day (predetermined at time of sale). You call them for verification on delivery before you go. OR... have the gift giver verify that the recipient is there just before you deliver and how long will they be there. This is the correct way to do this.

2) A door hanger or sticky note with one of the following... a) left it a ___address, a close neighbor (use discretion), or b) can be picked up at (shop location), c) call to arrange alternate pickup or delivery.

susiekoos Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 11:52am
post #12 of 13

I deliver all my cakes and cookies. When I take the order I get the clients # the recipients # . I always call the day before to schedule delivery or for the client to make arrangements to deliver to a neighbor or family menber.
Good luck icon_wink.gif

cylstrial Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:06pm
post #13 of 13

I would prearrange what to do with the cookies (via email) in case the customer is not home and can't be reached on the phone. For instance, leave it at the neighbor's house. And I would also put something on there, that if for some reason you can't leave it at the neighbor's house or anywhere else, that they are responsible for coming to you to pick it up. If you have to re-deliver it, they have to pay another delivery fee. (I bet they will start being home). But I do agree, call and confirm that you are going to be delivering it at the specified time.

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