I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was particularly enjoyable since my back problems seem to be under control for the first time in years. Unfortunately, the enforced inactivity of my recuperation, combined with a family love of good food, has combined to give me a physique that's looking all too Santa-like. I'm a jolly fat man by nature, but I hope being able to get back into a pool and the gym will mean there's a bit less of me jiggling around. Heh.
That aside, there was one other minor Christmas complication- a replica prop I ordered back in late October still hasn't arrived. Delivery dates have come and gone, promised tracking numbers have failed to materialize, and I find myself with nothing to show for the missing money in my wallet. I also have the uncomfortable task of explaining to the recipient why they won't be receiving a Christmas gift until well into January.
Experiences like this are all too common in the replica prop field, and one of the reasons why I'm obsessive about how I manage my own efforts. After participating in dozens of short-run projects I came to the conclusion that the surest sign of potential trouble was any delay between payment and shipping. It's simply amazing how many people, even those with sterling reputations and a history of reliability, suddenly become seriously ill, have a death in the family, or have their computers explode once they have a chunk of your money. Yes, unforeseen events can pop up, but if you have the time to collect my payment you damn well have the time to slap an address label on a box and get my stuff in the mail. If you can't, refund my money.
Really, is this that hard to understand?