Spend a few seconds browsing our Wall of Shame, and you'll notice a common theme - Cancellations and returns on orders of our beautiful game cartridge soaps.
The reason is almost always the same. Despite our detailed product titles and descriptions, buyers often do not realize they are buying soap until they've completed the checkout process.
The soaps do look admittedly realistic. I designed them that way.
But because the soaps look like functional controllers and cartridges, it's extra important that my product descriptions are clear. On some listings, I even have a check box for customers to indicate their understanding that they are purchasing soap. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't have a way to add these types of boxes, and so I have started putting up a warning image. The image was created by a customer who wanted to help us reduce the number of returns.
Customers often find these unintentional sales entertaining. In some ways I do, too. It means that I've achieved a goal of ultimate realism with my products.
Along with the flattery, though, comes frustration. Every time a customer requests a return on Amazon, I am obligated under Amazon policies to accept the return no matter what.
The worst part is that the product is usually opened when it comes back to me. The soap can't be reused. Even more, though, I spent time on realism and detailing in anticipation of giving customers the greatest experiences possible.
Instead, I'll get "This is not what I wanted." Or, in what amounts to belittling the work that I do, "I wasted money on this thing you made."
Look, I only want sales from people who want my soaps. But I can't always control where the eye is drawn and how fast customers click through the checkout process.
Ultimately, I've decided that the realism is worth the hassle.
I'll be over here updating the Wall of Shame proudly.