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KPop Fantasy Shop Review: 8 Small Business Lessons From a Badly Run Small Business

My family and I are big supporters of local stores and local online stores. We are even big supporters of businesses owned by young people. It’s our way of contributing to their growth because we believe that young people should be given a chance. That’s why we shop a lot online and we specifically look for stores that are owned by young people.

We recently did that with KPop Fantasy shop, a Facebook-based online store that sells Korean stuff. They also have a blogspot page( As you may have guessed by now, I am a big Korean entertainment fan.

The Good Beginning

We found a binder we liked and the store said it will be shipped overnight because the item is “on hand”. That means they have the item with them physically. We made the payment December 20 and waited for my item. We didn’t get it after 3 days. We ordered it December 29 and were were understanding of the fact that it was the holidays. They are probably swamped with orders.

We decided to wait a bit more. After all, this is a small business.

When it turned bad

After Christmas, we were beginning to feel restless. So I texted the administrator of the site. We were told, were already eligible for a refund. We asked for our money back. This was January already. However, the administrator we originally transacted with left. So, we decided to send a message to another admin.

The admin’s reply is below.




She was one of the administrators of your site. That means it is now your responsibility [since she resigned] to fulfill what she promised. I need to see the receipt if it was really shipped December 20.

KPop Fantasy Shop Admin Aura:

No. She resigned. It was her who promised that. Now that she’s not a part of the shop already, maybe you could already fix that without us.

We honestly would have settled for an apology but we got that SMS. We decided to file a complaint on their site but my messages were getting deleted. Worse, our order still hasn’t arrived. we decided to post a review on our experience on a facebook page that airs out bad experiences from online shops. We were careful not to mention any other name. As far as we were concerned, we were complaining about the shop and the response that one administrator sent to us.

We finally got their attention.

Unfortunately, another administrator answered using her personal Facebook page. She responded and sent a photo of the shipping receipt.


Notice the date. We paid December 20 for an item that was supposed to be shipped overnight. The shipping receipt indicated it was shipped January 16, almost a full month after we paid.

When it got worse

Apparently, the item reached an old address. Since they weren’t honest on when they shipped the item, they shipped it to the old place where we were staying. Who knows where it is now and who got it.

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We don’t have my item and we don’t have the refund. They still have our money. Now, this administrator insists that we are cyber bullying her. Since when did posting reviews of shopping experience become bullying?

Besides, we were sending personal messages to her. It was her who decided to make our "private message" public.

Shouldn’t we be the one complaining? After all, they lied about when they shipped the item, didn’t apologize, were arrogant and wrong in their replies and still have our money while we still don’t have our item.

Lessons Startup Online Shops Should Learn

For those who are planning to put up their own site, here are something to pick up from our experience.

1. Before you put up a shop, learn about proper trade practices

Just because you see a lot of online shops claiming they don’t have the responsibility over the things they ship after they ship it, doesn’t mean it is right. It is your responsibility to make sure you have a legitimate partnership with a shipping company. Make sure items are insured.

2. Returns, Exchanges and Refund

Customers should get what they are promised. When they don’t, they should be given their money back. End of story. That means you need to put aside some money for screw ups.

4. Customer Happiness First

A business is about the customer, not about your own convenience. Do whatever it takes to make your customer happy. Sure, you will encounter some customers who may be abusive but there are more who will give credit where credit is due. Just look at Zappos.

They even allow 365 days for returns. Don't say it's because they are a big company. They were small once but it's the value they put in customer experience that made them grow.

5. Nothing is Worth Your Dignity and Reputation

That item we ordered from Kpop Fantasy Shop is less than $3. Imagine the damage in their reputation just because of $3.

If it is a choice between losing money and damaging your reputation, give back the customer's money and apologize especially if you are in the wrong.

When you are starting a business, the first thing you need to build up is your reputation and the most important thing you should sustain as you go through your business. You will be able to establish a good reputation two ways:

A) Quality Products

When you are selling something, make sure you are giving the customer's money's worth if not more than its worth. There are some stores who sell dirt cheap products with dirt cheap quality but, at least, they are honest about what the customer will get. As a result, expectations are neutralized.

B) Quality Customer Service

When a customer asks a question, answer. Be polite and be humble. Remember that one irate customer beats a hundred that are happy. Make sure you are just as kind to the window shoppers as you are to the high rollers.

6. Honesty Remains to be the Best Policy

The worst thing Kpop Fantasy Shop did in the whole situation was when they lied about shipping the item. The claimed they shipped the item when they only did it recently. When your word cannot be trusted by your customers, you don't become worth much.

If you make a mistake, admit it. If the item you are selling is damages, say it and show it. If you cannot deliver what the customer is demanding, say it. It is better to lose one customer than lose your reputation.

7. Get the Right Employees

The owner of KPop Fantasy shop hired an employee who didn't know anything about customer rights and customers service. That one disrespectful text from that Admin spelled the difference. Remember that each of your employee, whenever they act in their capacity as an employee of your business represents what your business stands for.

If one employee is disrespectful, that is a reflection of the values of the company.

8. CYA

In other words, cover your @$$. Make sure you read up on the consumer rights, business laws and have the right processes. When sensitive situations arise, you would know how to react the right away instead of reacting in an emotional way.


Last Words

We are still big supporters of online stores and young entrepreneurs. We just hope that an incident like this will teach others a lesson on how they should treat their customers and how to run their business.

No problem is too small especially when you are running a small business. It is when you learn how to deal with the small things will you be able to achieve the big things.


Fairlane Raymundo (author) from Los Angeles, CA on August 17, 2014:

you said you sent the item when you actually haven't. you were either an irresponsible owner that you didn't know what's happening in your own business or you outright lied. either way, not the kind of business that should be running.

my mom never got involved.

Itumba na yan translation is not "shoot them down".

even if it is a holiday, your shop is open because it is online. if you plan to close, put it on your site.

your employee said that whatever your former employee said is not your responsibility anymore and i should just run after that person and leave you out of it. really? where do i begin.

it was you who stole my money. don't turn the tables around. you never apologized.

no i will not take down this review. it's a fair one. you posted your comment and i allowed it.

Kpop Fantasy Shop Representative on August 10, 2014:

I would like to clarify all the FALSE ACCUSATION towards our shop written in this review.

First of all we never mentioned that the BINDER was ONHAND. We took the pre order before it was being released. You passed your order for the starcards first then added the binder afterwards. Of course, the starcards will arrive first since you ordered it first. You requested to shipped the items at the same time to maximize the shipping fee and we agreed on it since we are hoping that the items will arrive at the same time but the starcards arrived first so we shipped it to you without the binder since we don't want you to wait. And since we agreed to ship them at the same time, we've decided to just shoulder the shipping fee for the binder since it's our fault that they were not shipped at the same time. We didn't expect that they will not arrive at the same time.

Then the starcards arrived from Korea and was shipped to you. Since your address is different from the one written in your form, we had a slight problem regarding your address. But then again, you've sent us a message telling it should be shipped to your home address instead from the address that was stated to your form. We shipped it to your home address despite the fact that it's wrong to inform us using the page because right after you sent the form you will see there that if you have any modification to make, you should email us with the subject {modify}. That's the proper way but we still attended to your concern since as a shop we all know that we should adjust for the comfort of the customers.

You reported to us that you haven't received the starcards yet so we made a follow up right away, we've informed you that the item was returned to our branch since nobody claimed it. We shipped the item again back to the address that you've messaged us via page. We've once again confirmed it to you if we should ship it to your home address.

You received the starcards after that. Now, regarding the binder, it took a lot of time before it arrived in the country because of the following reasons:

A. we're on a holiday , actually it's a national holiday during that time (all saints day and all souls day)

B. unpredicted weather disturbances

it's not even our fault but external forces caused the delays of your item. We clearly stated in our terms and conditions that these factors may affect your items. You've been sending us a lot of inquiries even though we have posted that the shop will be on a holiday too, meaning, there will be no operations, but despite of that fact, we still replied to your messages during our supposed to be holiday period.

since the items were delayed, domestic shipment was delayed too. and domestic courier might suffer delays too because of the typhoons during that time but we gave you an update and time range on when you could possibly get your item. Since we are expecting the item to arrive on a certain date, one of our admins promised to give you a refund if it didn't arrive yet or even if you already got your item. It's an idiom. It means, she's really really really sure that you will receive your item on that certain date. Reasons on why you didn't receive your item is beyond her expectations and it's also beyond her control already. I believe that we're not connected in domestic couriers so it's beyond our scope already. However, since you reported that you haven't received it yet, we assisted you and gave you the proper instructions on how to get your item from the courier. We even gave you the contact instructions on how to reach the courier.

Regarding the answer of our another staff, I don't know why you can't understand that the one who promised you that, already resigned (effective during that incident only, because that admin is now active). If you're in a company, then you resigned, are you still responsible of the stuffs that the shop was doing? And I don't understand also why you're still asking for refund while the item was already shipped to you? It's like we are giving you the item plus giving you money also. Isn't it unfair? We're being honest about the shipment of your item so you don't need to do those kinds of things to us.

And about the cyber bullying, you've been posting scandalous posts on our page back then and we have no choice but to delete everything because it's been destroying our image. And if these kind of message is not cyber bullying, then what do you call this?[user]=136522823&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=1

Your mom said things like she will file an assault to us and your auntie sent us this kind of message. You even post a meme on our page telling "ITUMBA NA YAN" meaning "shot them down or kill them". Our admins are really scary during that time because we might be killed anytime.

We're not perfect, we've gone into troubles in the past but we've been staying in this business for about 2 years already and we're fixing all the troubles that we encounter. Once we've sent the receipt to you, you replied "okay i'll check" and we never heard anything from you again so we thought that you already got your item. If you just told us earlier that you didn't receive it, we should have done everything that we could do. Like I've said, you have 2 orders from us and the one was shipped, so we don't have a reason to lie to you for your second purchase. And if you feel that we really lying and we don't have any intentions of giving your item, we shouldn't have been replying to your concerns and we shouldn't have been giving you updates, receipt and tracking numbers and most of all if we're really irresponsible sellers, we shouldn't have been answering your blog like this.

I hope we could fix this soon. I already explained our part so if you could turn down this page, we would appreciate it. We're open for any possibility to reconcile with you or to open the case again about your item. If you're only intention is just to destroy our shop and spread false rumors then we can't help it anymore. If you're really that mad at us to put these kind of things against us even if it's not 100% true, then we can't do anything about it anymore. We've explained our part, we've done our part.

If anybody was thinking that I'm only making things up, I could support these facts with screencaps from the buyer's and our shop's conversations.

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