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Small web retailers struggle to make Christmas

Don't Waste Your Money
Posted: 6:29 PM, Dec 20, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-21 17:28:12Z

The 2017 holiday season is turning out to be the year of the late gift.

Two weeks ago I spoke with Northern Kentucky mom Rebecca Baker. She ordered some gifts from a web retailer called " Jewelry Candles."

But instead of kids jewelry, she received a box of scented candles for adults.

"No. This is not what I ordered," she said. She said she can't possibly give real candles to a young child.

Facebook ads creating unexpected rush of orders

Jewelry Candles is a legitimate business. But like many web retailers now advertising on Facebook, it is reaching millions more potential customers than it ever expected.

In the past, small craft businesses just operated locally, so 20 or 30 employees could handle the rush.

But now, with these businesses going national, many are unprepared for the number of orders they are going to receive.

This week, KT Long of Fairfield, Ohio, told us about her order of customized puppy socks for her family.

Long wonders if her "PupSocks" will arrive in time.

"There were hundreds of comments on their post from really upset customers saying they placed orders in November, I am trying to reach out to you."
    
We called and emailed PupSocks, but got only their voicemail and an auto reply saying "please be patient."

Jewelry Candles, meantime, told us: "We got slammed with holiday business, but will get 98 percent of our orders out by Christmas. We started the business in our kitchen just 4 years ago, so we still have lots to learn."

And that seems to be the lesson many small web retailers are learning.

Startups with just 20 or 30 employees might no longer be able to handle a Christmas blitz that brings in thousands of gift orders, thanks to Facebook ads that reach millions of people.

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