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Small Business and Lockdown



The pandemic and lockdown have brought uncertainty for everyone. And for us, small business owners or we proudly said mompreneur, we have to take the business to the back seat. For those who sell digital products, they won't be much impacted because there's no product to be shipped.

While sewing and other behind the scene works are going on, we're worried about how and when we can ship them. During the strict lockdown for 2 months, I had to shut down my fabric and handmade shop, both in Etsy and Website. I actively following every bit of news about government guidelines regarding e-commerce shipping. By the way, strict lockdown means a movement of non-essential items is restricted. And since most people are gone to their village or hometown, no couriers are in operation until last week! 


Now we're on the 5th phase of lockdown and thankfully, postal and courier services for all have resumed. I put out a notification in my Etsy and Website that Shipping will resume after 31st May. According to the India Post replied to my tweet, we can ship to 103 countries, including the USA and UK, but when we went to the PO, the officer said the service to both the USA and UK is not available. As I am writing this, I'm still waiting for their response to my queries regarding this confusion. 

In the meantime, I got several calls from DHL e-commerce rep saying that Etsy India has tied up with them and I can send my packages through DHL. I was so excited and I called up the Bluedart (DHL rep locally) but I was going in a circle. Few rounds of call and WhatsApp messages didn't bring any good news ( as yet). Going to their website, there's no clarity about the tariff rate, etc. I mean, why would you offer such service and not updating the website? I feel that courier services should have a rate calculator for every service they offer regardless of whether they are individual or company. 
On a positive note (hopefully), I got a newsletter email from Shiprocket, which I recently used for delivering our domestic orders, that they tied up with several e-commerce courier services to deliver internationally, including DHL e-commerce, FedEx, dan Aramex. Well, this is certainly very good news to us, Etsy Sellers in India. So today, I upgraded my account and will complete any necessary paperwork (or e-paperwork).  I am trying to get hold of their customer service but it looks like everybody is busy :P. 
Anyway, I managed to understand how to schedule shipping from the computer. I understand that this e-commerce international service is very new, but I am sure the courier service company understood, even though we - small business owners - are small fish in the pond, but we're great in numbers. If anything  IMHO, the small e-commerce business will be able to jump-start the economic slump due to the pandemic. I hope they will simplify the paperwork and make international shipping as easy as India Post. Let's hope and pray this will work. 

So that's a little bit behind the scene of small business. If you're happened to place orders with one of our Shops, please bear with us. We're trying to get things sorted out. Your continued support and trust at this time really mean a lot to us! 

Now I better get back to my sewing table and finish a few orders. Thank you so much for dropping by and reading my blog. 

Until next time,

Take care & stay safe!!

Elvira
 

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